Matt Harrison, the campaign manager for Democrat Jeanette Rishell who ran for the 50th House District in 2006, has resigned from the Prince William County Democratic Party and as 1st CD Vice Chairman. This is a pretty significant event for the PWCDC, which brings into focus the internal divisions that have torn the PWCDC apart and hampered their ability to recruit and elect quality candidates in the county. The old guard of centrist Democrats is being strongly challenged by a more liberal and activist faction in the party that seems to favor, one that has brought us candidates such as Jeff Dion who was severely trounced yesterday, Bruce Roemmelt, and Jeanette Rishell. The battle royale for the soul of the PWCDC seems to be on…
Members of the Steering Committee, et al:
I joined the PWCDC 10 years ago with the hopes of working with a Party that was dedicated to winning elections and improving the Democratic brand across the County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. Through many experiences with the PWCDC I have found little evidence to support my hopes.
We have seen a rapid deterioration of Democratic representation in Virginia, specifically at the State and Local levels. Many Chairmen have come and gone, each hoping to unite the various factions within the PWCDC in order to increase our representation on the Board of Supervisors and in the General Assembly.
Each has failed.
The reason for this failure is simple. The power within the PWCDC does not rest with the Chair and the other elected members of the Steering Committee or the Magisterial Districts and their individual members. The power rests solely with John & Ernestine Jenkins, Hilda Barg, Chuck Colgan and their closest supporters.
In the minds of these 3, the PWCDC exists to re-elect them and nothing else, or no other candidate, matters. We lose House of Delegates races every two years because Colgan, Jenkins, and Barg either limit or completely withhold their support from our candidates.
No Board of Supervisor or Delegate candidate received any support from these 3 during the 2003 elections because, Jenkins and Barg in particular, didn’t want to upset their Republican friends on the Board.
Hilda Barg is a known Tom Davis supporter and went out of her way to ignore Ken Longmeyer in 2004.
While Jenkins did support Earnie Porta in 2005, Barg would not support Earnie because she was friends with McQuigg. Colgan wouldn’t even take a picture with Bruce during the 2005 campaign.
There are many other examples of Colgan, Barg, and Jenkins having collectively worked to destroy the campaigns of other Democrats in PWC and they continue to be very willing to accept Republican domination of government; but I want to focus on one, recent, and telling issue.
As you know, 31st District Court Judge LeRoy Millete has reappointed Helen Cram to represent the Democratic Party on the PWC Electoral Board. Judge Millete reappointed Ms. Cram at the request of our elected officials and a member of the Dumfries Magisterial district despite the fact that she was not re-nominated by our Chairman, Vic Bras.
I have been told that Helen Cram will now serve at least nine years on the Electoral Board despite Steering Committee objections to her initial appointment and chairmen objections to her two re-appointments.
She is allowed to continue to do this despite the fact that she is not active in either the Dumfries Committee or the PWCDC.
The Party has once again been undermined by this clique bent on destroying the party as an organization to elect Democrats to State and Local offices. The PWCDC continues to be manipulated by this team of subversives who only crave success for their own, at the expense of every other Democratic candidate in Prince William County, Manasass, and Manassas Park. This undermines the entire Steering Committee and Magisterial District leadership structure at a time when we need to be focused on the many elections to be held this year.
As a result, I have no choice but to resign as 1st Congressional District Vice-Chair and as a member of the Dumfries Magisterial District Committee.
I now consider myself an Independent and will do what I can to aide in defeating John Jenkins and Hilda Barg and I sincerely hope that Chuck Colgan decides to retire. There might be short term pain by defeating these 3, but the long term health of the Party depends on their defeat.
Once this gang of three is gone, the PWCDC will have a chance of fulfilling our hopes of a Democratic resurgence in Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.
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