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Manassas GOP Convention Results

By Greg L | 26 January 2008 | Manassas City | 78 Comments

Jonathan Way, Mark Wolfe and Steve Smith received the Republican nomination for Manassas City Council in a well-run and smoothly operated convention this morning that again demonstrates the continuing effectiveness of the Manassas City GOP in conducting conventions.  Other party units could learn a lot from the Manassas GOP, which brought a record 376 delegates to Metz Middle School in order to select three nominees from among five candidates and did so efficiently and without acrimony. 

The popular Jonathan Way decided to campaign as a block along with Mark Wolfe and Steve Smith, which likely didn’t make much of a difference for Way but significantly boosted the vote totals for Wolfe and Smith.  This block effectively out-worked candidates David Core and Maureen Wood, and rescued the candidacy of Steve Smith which probably would not have otherwise prevailed on the first ballot.  Being an incumbent is a strong advantage, but having a superior convention strategy takes that advantage and turns it into a decisive one.  Still, the margin between David Core and Steve Smith wasn’t very large, so there was some evident frustration with Steve Smith’s voting record.

If there’s a lesson to be learned (re-learned?) for conservatives in Manassas City, it’s that complacency isn’t that productive.

Congratulations to Jonathan Way, Mark Wolfe and Steve Smith for winning the nomination.  They really earned this nomination, and are now virtually guaranteed to prevail in Manassas City’s municipal elections in May.  No other candidates for the general election have been announced.

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  1. Manassasinsider said on 26 Jan 2008 at 2:36 pm:
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    Very interesting results. I am amazed how a person virtually unknown in the Republican Party (Wolfe) can just show up at the convention and beat out two long time party activists (Wood and Core).

    The block vote strategy by Way/Smith/Wolfe was brilliant. I hear on the grape vine that block vote was planned only after Wood entered the race.

    Question, did the Wood candidacy sink Dave Core? After all, she still has many people who despise her ever since her verbal attack on the late councilwoman Judith Hayes at the last convention.

  2. Dave Core said on 26 Jan 2008 at 3:02 pm:
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    The Manassas Republican Committee of which I am a proud member did an excellent job on the convention!

    I think this shows that block voting is the way to go. I know Jon Way worked very hard for this nomination and it showed in the results. Congratulations to him, Mark, and Steve. I don’t think we should be discouraged that this means that the issues of conservatives — illegal alien control, low taxes and spending — are not important in Manassas. It’s just that the winning candidates pulled in more people who like Manassas just the way it was and who want the City not to take difficult positions on hard issues. I care too much about this City to let our leaders sweep things under the rug, because they won’t go away. I appreciate all who came and supported me and I’m sorry to have disappointed. BTW, I encouraged Maureen to run and instructed many of my delegates to vote for her, too. I had about 60-70% of the delegates I had signed up show up. That number is pretty average.

    Let’s keep our current leaders’ feet to the fire and continue to show up and speak at Council meetings when issues are presented. Don’t let the Council approve weak ordinances that do nothing only so they can claim victory. Marc is the only conservative and he needs your support.

  3. Dave Core said on 26 Jan 2008 at 3:04 pm:
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    To clarify, I meant “Marc Aveni” is the only conservative …

  4. Uncle_Salty said on 26 Jan 2008 at 3:46 pm:
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    The power of “The Machine” !

    Have the results/numbers been published somewhere today?

    I do agree the Way, Smith & Wolfe Coalition was a staggering tactical maneuver. However I also feel Wolfe is whom was cast in the role of ’spoiler’ at Core’s expence.

  5. Local Gal said on 26 Jan 2008 at 6:26 pm:
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    Big Dog,
    Did you really like hearing Mark Wolfe say Manasssas wasn’t a great place to live in 1990 when he came to town? Who the hell would you go ahead and move here then?
    How ANYBODY who was living here at the time(1990) could actually vote for someone that would slam the very city he now wants to represent is beyond my wildest dreams.
    I say any delegate that was living here in 1990 and voted for Wolfe today is an absolute DISGRACE! There were plenty of delegates at the convention that fit the bill.
    Way to go!(sarcasm)
    Well, as far I can tell the city already has a DEMOCRAT ticket. I’ll be voting for the real Democrats or an Independent in May.
    Thanks for making my decission so much easier!

  6. dbrown said on 26 Jan 2008 at 6:31 pm:
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    I thought the block vote maneuver lacked class, but was pretty much what I have come to expect from the old farts who run Manassas.

    I was inspired by Hal P’s acceptance speech, especially when he said his first act as Mayor would be to drive a bulldozer over “The Sign!’ Oh wait, maybe I dreamt that, dozed off a few times.

  7. JimmyV said on 26 Jan 2008 at 6:56 pm:
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    Well done Repulicans, well done. I doubt the ticket will receive any competition. Any idea who is running for school board. I believe there are 4 spots up, Bushnell, Albrecht, Bass and Andersen.

  8. Poor Richard said on 26 Jan 2008 at 7:07 pm:
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    Bushnell and Albrecht are running, but not sure yet about
    Bass and Anderson. A retired Manassas asst. principal -
    Kermit Dance - will also run per an article in the MJM.

  9. take it back in 2010 said on 26 Jan 2008 at 7:49 pm:
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    We needed more folks to show who knew straight up from straight down. Let’s regroup and knock ‘em out in 2010! Who’s in?

  10. sh said on 26 Jan 2008 at 9:16 pm:
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    RINO power?

  11. JimmyV said on 26 Jan 2008 at 9:31 pm:
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    I hear that Dance guy is not very well thought of by his former students and the people he worked with at OHS. Lets hope we get better choices than a guy named after a frog.

  12. Batson D. Belfrey said on 26 Jan 2008 at 11:35 pm:
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    I am impressed by the bloc strategy. From what I hear of the way the votes broke out, Way pulled Smith and Wolfe along. Smith was not liked by conservatives, and Wolfe was an unkown. I can only speculate, but I believe that Smith (and Way to a lesser degree), felt threatened by a perceived Core/Wood anti-illegal immigration bloc, and one or both co-opted Wolfe to form a counter bloc. Wolfe had everything to gain, and nothing to lose by throwing in with the two incumbents. Wolfe (inspite of his “1990 Manassas wasn’t a great place to live” comment) did a masterful job in introducing himself to the convention. He came out from behind the podium, spoke exptemporaneously, and was relaxed. His work in the performing arts served him well today, and his on-stage performance was impressive. Way laid out a well-organized, well-stated “6-point plan”, with illegal immigration as his number two priority. Smith, demonstrated his long ties to the community, talking about Steven Stills making Manassas famous by naming his band after the city, and went on to say (dishonestly, in my opinion) that he supported 287g, and wanted to do something about illegal immigration, but whatever we did must be lawful. He pointed out as an attorney, he understood the law. People bought it.

    Neither Wood nor Core went at Smith. I am sure both had considered it, and decided that would be counter-productive. I am not going to say that this was a right or wrong decision, as it could have turned off more delgates than it won over. Both gave good speeches, although I think Wood ran out of time.

    Again, this is only specualtion based on the distribution of votes, in a Way, Smith, Wolfe, Core race, the results would have been quite different. Only Way would have gotten a the required majority in the first round, forcing a 2nd. That would have disolved any block that had previously existed, and in an “everyman for himself” scenario I think Core could have defeated Wolfe for the nomination.

    I also think that neither the Core nor the Wood campaigns had a cogent convention strategy. After the realization that Way/Smith/Wolfe had formed a bloc, one strategy could have been to challenge delegates. From my own observations, there were many delgates who could have been challenged: Those who had publically endorsed Colgan last fall. Those who had Colgan and Rishell signs in their yards. An independent city councilman. By doing this prior to the convention, a winowing could have been accomplished. By doing it from the convention floor, the process dragged out until only the most committed delegates remained. This is bare-knuckle convention politics.

    But, this isn’t the style in Manassas. Manassas GOP runs fair, organized and civil conventions. Manassas has a well-run party, which is for the most-part unified. The net result of this is that at all levels, local, state and federal, Manassas remains solidly in the GOP column, inspite of the changing demographics of the community.

    But, the “what-ifs” don’t matter now, only the future. On this, I have a few observations;

    Fiscal concerns remain high on the list of concerns of the citizens. Manassas selected two candidates with solid business credentials in Way and Wolfe.

    Illegal Immigration is still an important issue, as the re-election of Way would indicate, but Manassas wants to address this in a measured, deliberate pace with non-contraversial steps like zoning, e-verify, and 287g.

    The Democrats will likely sit this one out. They would be hard-pressed to run someone, anyone who would defeat any of the three GOP candidates. From a party-perspective, the Manassas GOP remains the dominant party in Manassas. Any independent would have a tough go of it as well. Without a party organization, they would have to be extremely well-funded to mount any credible challenge.

    The Manassas GOP will be able to conserve their resources for the November national elections, which is shaping up to be quite a fight.

  13. JimmyV said on 27 Jan 2008 at 12:24 am:
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    Word on the street is that Bass and/or Demaria from the school board may make a run as an independent. Bass has been around a long time and Demaria is a home town boy.

  14. Archie said on 27 Jan 2008 at 12:57 am:
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    I know that many of the attendees of Saturday’s convention would vote for a good independent, or possibly even a democrat.
    The way the three stooges formed their unadvertised coalition was a very smart move, obviously. But they still are not the best people for the job!

  15. Archie said on 27 Jan 2008 at 12:59 am:
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    Kermit Dance was an assistant principal at OHS.

  16. Batson D. Belfrey said on 27 Jan 2008 at 8:48 am:
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    “I know that many of the attendees of Saturday’s convention would vote for a good independent, or possibly even a democrat.”

    Which is why we need registration by party. Every attendee signed a pledge to support the nominees, but I agree with your analysis; many of those who attended were not Republicans.

  17. Snoop Pollywog said on 27 Jan 2008 at 10:10 am:
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    Why on earth would Sheryl Bass run as an Independant? Her candidates won!
    Tim Demeria, on the other hand, is a liberal’s liberal, so I can see him running, and getting walloped.

  18. dolph said on 27 Jan 2008 at 10:47 am:
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    You must know Kermit Dance well….NOT. Who cares what the students think. If there are some who take issue with him, he was probably doing his job. Wasn’t he the assistant principal at Metz?

  19. JimmyV said on 27 Jan 2008 at 11:15 am:
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    I am talking about former students who are now adults. Dance has not been in the school (OHS) for quite a while. Former parents were also not happy with the way Dance diciplined, much too soft.
    You are most likely correct about Bass. I did not know Demaria was a liberal. Did he run as a Democrat for SB?

  20. silverfox said on 27 Jan 2008 at 12:28 pm:
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    It should not have come as any surprise that there would be a voting bloc in place the day of the convention. For anyone who received and read Way’s mailings, he spelled it out! “DON’T “SPLIT” YOUR VOTE AMONG MULTIPLE CANDIDATES; IT DILUTES YOUR IMPACT”.

    Having a one party representation in Manassas does more to harm us than to good for us. We don’t know who are parading themselves under the Republican banner. The masses stay confused by what seems to appear as a Republican town. When we moved here 15 years ago we thought Colgan WAS a Republican. They all mingle so well together. Friends with benefits!

    Working collectively and cooperatively amongst ourselves out here in ‘no name land’ could have a different result in May. And just because we are from the other side of town does not mean there cannot be a well-funded
    campaign that could challenge the 3 who received the nomination. It is not just a local opinion but a national opinion that the political climate is ripe for real change. And voters WILL support ones who can and will bring real change.

    We could learn alot from the camp of the ‘haves’ in town and apply what we learn. No man is an island. Even Smith figured this one out!

  21. Big Dog said on 27 Jan 2008 at 12:34 pm:
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    - School elections in Virginia are non-partisan.
    - Nobody likes to lose - time to cast out the heathen
    (i.e. -anyone who doesn’t agree with you 100%)?
    - Concur with Bats that the negative impacts of
    illegal immigration remain an important issue and
    Manassas will address it at a clearly legal and
    measured pace with stronger zoning/code enforcement,
    e-verify and 287g. The wise move is to go
    forward with all deliberate speed, but not get blown
    up by lawsuits that may cost the city millions and leave
    us even worse off than now. We must use all
    the tools the federal and state governments grant
    us, but exercise great caution acting by ourselves.
    - Very possible the GOP slate will recieve no
    opposition in the May election, but something
    might come “out of the woods” - remember the nice
    young man four years ago that ran for mayor
    on the “Water Park” ticket?

  22. Archie said on 27 Jan 2008 at 12:53 pm:
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    This would be a good time for an opposing coalition to form. I say that because there are still MANY who do not agree with the even larger ‘coalition’ that is now being formed to take total control over the City of Manassas. God help Marc Aveni, the best chance we had for a better Manassas!

    I almost see the illegal alien issue as a thing of the past. I see what happened yesterday as a BIG win for the MSF group.

    Even Greg is abandoning Manassas and HSM.

  23. Anon1 said on 27 Jan 2008 at 1:29 pm:
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    “Even Greg is abandoning Manassas and HSM.”

    What do you mean by that?

  24. Manassasinsider said on 27 Jan 2008 at 1:30 pm:
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    I have spoken with Kermit Dance once or twice over the past couple years. He is very liberal and is very much against the “racist anti-illegal alien movement” that has taken over the country and community. I wonder if this will come out during his school board campaign.

    Some friends of mine that work in the school system have told me that he is very hard to get along with and has a strong ‘my way or the highway attitude’.

  25. Greg L said on 27 Jan 2008 at 1:46 pm:
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    “Archie”, I am in no way abandoning HSM or giving up on Manassas. I’m surprised that you’d say such a silly thing, and use a pseudonym to say it, when I know exactly who you are.

    Manassas has made great progress in the past year, much of it quietly and without a lot of fanfare. The debate over whether illegal aliens should be discouraged from unlawfully residing in the city is over, and MSF lost that debate badly. Things are getting ready to roll again in PWC as soon as we see what the results of the General Assembly session are likely to be.

    It does get a little annoying to see folks try to say how I feel and what I intend to do when they have no idea what the heck they’re talking about. If you want to know, call me. You have my number.

  26. JimmyV said on 27 Jan 2008 at 2:12 pm:
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    Now I am hearing rumblings that Xerk White may run as an independent for council. Anyone know if Mary Anderson is running for re-election to the SB? How about Bass?

  27. Big Dog said on 27 Jan 2008 at 2:24 pm:
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    FYI for those not at the GOP meeting.
    - Marc Aveni seconded Dave Core
    - Andy Harrover - Mark Wolfe
    - John Weber - Jon Way
    - Harry Clark - Steve Smith
    - John Stirrup - Maureen Wood.

  28. Local Gal said on 27 Jan 2008 at 2:31 pm:
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    Big Dog as an Independent was there to vote in a Republican convention. I don’t like the idea of party registration, but when you are NOT a republican you should NOT vote in a convention PERIOD. This was yet just another disgrace like Mr Wolfe’s comment about Manassas in 1990.

  29. JimmyV said on 27 Jan 2008 at 2:37 pm:
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    Local Gal,
    If you are against party registration how do you propose to identify true Republicans?

    John Stirrup has lost all my respect, and who is Harry Clark?

  30. One Voice said on 27 Jan 2008 at 2:39 pm:
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    Greg - You’ve been BVBL’d!!!!! Welcome to the other side :)

  31. dbrown said on 27 Jan 2008 at 2:44 pm:
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    Greg may not be abandoning HSM, but HSM chose a bad time to take a day off. M. Wood deserved better.

    As for Way, I would never vote for a guy who pulled a stunt like he just pulled. If I wanted to live under sleazeball Republicans I could have stayed in New York state. Everytime I’m listening to S Smith lie through his teeth on immigration I’ll think ‘Thanks J. Way.’

  32. anonymoustoo said on 27 Jan 2008 at 2:55 pm:
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    I’m curious about how those of you who are unsatisfied with the results of this convention would have had your candidate do anything differently without opening the city up to lawsuits. I think the present council pushed hard enough to draw the attention of the DOJ and then had the good sense to back off and study the implications of any state or federal limitations on what could be reasonably achieved. What specifically would you propose be done differently? And, I don’t consider “get tough on illegal immigrants” an answer. I’d like to hear specifics that don’t violate a state or federal law or that wouldn’t waste taxpayers’ bucks. Someone mentioned here or in the other convention related thread that they’d get the sign on Liberty Street down fast. How specifically would you intend to do this without considering the legal implications and all of Mr. Fernandez’s zoning appeal or freedom of speech rights. How would you have done anything differently than has been done and do it legally. I’m all ears. It’s easy to mouth off when you don’t have to make decisions that impact the tax base and reputation of the city.

    As an visual arts major, I appreciate the revitalization of Old Town with its Candy Factory renovation, new museum,skating rink (not many of those in NoVa), First Fridays, free movies, dances, free concerts, etc. There certainly has been much movement forward by the City in the twenty-odd years that I’ve lived on its outskirts and I appreciate that.

    There are overcrowding issues in most, if not all, of the Virginia jurisdictions but how a locality handles that issue can make or break a community. I think the three candidates will consider all the factors which affect the reputation of the City.

  33. JimmyV said on 27 Jan 2008 at 3:31 pm:
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    Well said anonymoustoo.

  34. Big Dog said on 27 Jan 2008 at 3:34 pm:
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    Local Gal, I was requested to file as a delegate
    by Hal Parrish. “Big Dog” certainly is not a party
    crasher and won’t go where he isn’t invited.
    (Through the years, I’ve supported many GOP
    candidates - including the late Harry Parrish.)

    Sorry to have offended you.

  35. Anonymous said on 27 Jan 2008 at 4:37 pm:
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    Way’s request for people not to split their vote was a request that the “bullet vote”, and had nothing to do with the bloc. This is a wellknown convention strategy. From what I hear, many delegates did… for Way and Core, and almost none for Smith and Wolfe. The bloc benefitted Smith and Wolfe, and did nothing for Way. Way pulled them along.

  36. Local Gal said on 27 Jan 2008 at 4:39 pm:
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    Big Dog,
    No offense taken, sir. I’m sure you have supported Democrats too. I claim no alegence to either party or would. I think of myself as Independent and vote a mixed ticket. Voting for the man not the party. Both parties need overhauled.
    JimmyV & Big Dog,
    My point in saying I don’t like the idea of having to register with a party, doesn’t mean that I don’t think it’s time to change. I think there should be COMPLETE CAMPAIN REFORM in our great nation.

  37. Batson D. Belfrey said on 27 Jan 2008 at 5:50 pm:
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    “I think of myself as Independent and vote a mixed ticket. Voting for the man not the party. Both parties need overhauled.”

    Local Gal,

    I am assuming that you have lived most or all of your life in the great state of Virginia, and thus have no experience with “registration by party”. I have lived in states that do have this, and the way it works is that you can register for any recognized party, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, Communist, Constitustion Party, any of them. Or, if you don’t want to register for a party, you register as an “Independent”. The benefit is that in any nominating contest, only those registered in the particualr party holding the contest may vote. Dems in Dem conventions, primaries and Caucuses. Republicans in theirs, Libertarians in theirs, so on and so fourth. “Independents” cannot vote in any nomination contest, as they have not aligned with any party.

    Parties should be able to nominate their own candidates, without outside influence of those who do not feel strongly enough to join a party, or who are the members of other parties, and should be expected to fully support the nominee of their party. Independents are free to vote for whatever candidate they want in a general election, but should not be able to participate in an nomination contest.

    You say the parties need to be “overhauled” I say the “overhaul” needs to be registration by party. Oaths and Pledges are like pissing on a forest fire, and are up to the honor of the signatory. In the City convention, there was a pledge that every delegate signed which stated that they would support the nominee, regardless of who it was. I know for a fact that there were people there who have supported democrats in the past, and will do so again in the future. The best way to prevent this is registration by party. All parties would benefit from this.

  38. Local Gal said on 27 Jan 2008 at 7:44 pm:
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    Thanks for putting my thougts registration by party in your elegant words. I think might be time to have this happen in Virginia.
    How many folks do you think a vote a straight ticket? Do you think folks in eastern Prince William honored that similar oath and supported Faisal Gill. Nope, they did not.
    So much for the “honor” system. Voting in party primary when you clearly are not member party and go ahead vote anyways is the wrong thing do. I know many who’ve done this for years, decades, and lifetimes in Manassas and in Prince William County.

  39. Batson D. Belfrey said on 27 Jan 2008 at 8:00 pm:
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    “I think might be time to have this happen in Virginia.”

    Amen, Sister.


    The sooner we have Republicans selecting Republicans, Democrats selecting Democrats, with many “independents” forced to pick a side if they want a say in the primaries, the more reformed our parties and process will become. Folks like Mr. James Young shouted on high in defense of the primary “oath’ that was eventually struck down. While I agree 100% with the principle of the “oath” I have no faith in it’s practicality. Too many times I have seen someone at a Manassas City convention or Mass Meeting, only to later see the other parties candidate’s sign in their yard when I am out and about. You said it Local Gal…no honor. Registration by party would cut through the crap, and people like Steve Smith would be forced to run as what they are, “independents”, and no longer benefit from the hard work of the committees or ride the coattails of real Republicans.

  40. manasty said on 27 Jan 2008 at 8:10 pm:
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    Hal worked this one to keep conservatives out and we let him get away with it by largely staying home. Shame on us and we better show up in larger numbers next time.

    Someone asked what would you have the council do more/different?

    How about get rid of the sign on Liberty, clean up the GTS day labor site, and get some real guidelines for push cart vendors, home business and abortionists for a start? I would feel better when I go ice skating then.

  41. CitizenofManassas said on 27 Jan 2008 at 8:54 pm:
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    What I do not understand is how Way aligned himself with two people who are clearly with him on the illegal immigration issue. Way’s speech was very strong on combating illegal immigration, Smith and Wolfe really did not touch on it.

    Every issue the candidates talked about yesterday do not mean a thing if illegal immigration is not taken care of. High taxes, poor schools, lowered quality of life, crime can all be tied to illegal immigration.

  42. Had to Say said on 27 Jan 2008 at 9:50 pm:
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    How can someone say they support 287g when they voted against it? Steve Smith flat out lied to the members of that convention. I’m suprised that Wood didn’t call him out on that.

    How many Republican committee meetings have Smith and Wolfe been to? These people are NOT Republicans.

  43. Had to Say said on 27 Jan 2008 at 9:53 pm:
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    Running together on coat tails of Way was a smart move on the part of Wolfe and Smith. I guess they were afraid that they would be beat on their own merit’s, by conservative’s Core and Wood.

  44. Local Gal said on 27 Jan 2008 at 10:00 pm:
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    Registration by party would cut through the crap, and people like Steve Smith would be forced to run as what they are, “independents”, and no longer benefit from the hard work of the committees or ride the coattails of real Republicans.

    I must admit this was the first convention I’d attended, and found the whole thing to be quite fascinating. I knew I would not be attended a convention to that of the likes Prince William last year. I thought is ran like a well oiled machine. All those who played a roll in running the convention are truly to be commended. I was very impressed. It was very clear to me there are some very hard working folks in the City’s GOP. Of course I’m just a local gal afterall.

  45. Local Gal said on 27 Jan 2008 at 10:06 pm:
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    I knew I would not be attended a convention to that of the likes Prince William last year.
    attened should read “attending” a convention…

  46. dbrown said on 27 Jan 2008 at 11:38 pm:
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    Way’s alighnment with Smith and Wolfe was an insult to the intelligence of any “Republican” in the room. It also pretty much trashed the commitment of the local Republican party to run a Republican nominating convention. Well runned? Yeah, if you like surrender ceremonies. As for the pledge, I’m not a lawyer, but usually contracts to be binding require both parties to abide by the terms. I think the pledge pretty much became void once the Party itself decided to turn the affair into more a farce than a convention. They even took out one of their own committee members, what a hoot.

  47. Local Gal said on 28 Jan 2008 at 12:01 am:
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    I don’t mean I like surrender ceremonies. I mean there was no confusion, and no corruption like Prince William’s convention last year.
    “Way’s alighnment with Smith and Wolfe was an insult to the intelligence of any “Republican” in the room.”
    I agree with this. Each and every delegate could vote for whoever they wanted and in my opinion they chose poorly. I don’t see what that has to with how the procedures/operation of the convention being well run. My comment had nothing to do with poor choices the delegates made.

  48. dbrown said on 28 Jan 2008 at 12:13 am:
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    I wasn’t at PW convention so I wasn’t comparing it to that. I’m just making a comment on the general observation, which I heard from several people, that yesterday’s event was well organized and I stand by my comment.

  49. JimmyV said on 28 Jan 2008 at 6:36 am:
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    It may not have turned out like the far right Republicans would have liked, but if you would have put all five out in May the general publc in Manassas would have made the same choices that came out of the convention. It’s not about the Party, it’s about the people. I am glad the City of Manassas beat out the Republican Party.

  50. Batson D. Belfrey said on 28 Jan 2008 at 7:40 am:
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    “Way’s alighnment with Smith and Wolfe was an insult to the intelligence of any “Republican” in the room. It also pretty much trashed the commitment of the local Republican party to run a Republican nominating convention.”


    I have to agree with Local Gal, in that the convention was well-run and above all, FAIR. That is what the Manassas GOP is tasked to do. Yes, conservative Republicans should be upset, WITH THEMSELVES. They were out-worked and out-foxed. Like the old saying goes, “Experience and deciet will overcome youth and endurance every time.” However, don’t blame this on the leadership of the local committee, or those who ran the convention. Should the Manassas GOP have run a circus like the one that went on in the 51st last May? The same group that ran this Manassas convention was the same one that ran the 50th’s convention two years ago, which selected Jackson Miller. Conservatives were pretty satisfied with that outcome, weren’t they?

    The basic rule of a fair convention is the candidate with the most delegates wins. Combined, these three got the most delegates to show up and vote for them. They won. It was a fair fight. Conservatives lost, not because of a failure of their ideals. They lost because they didn’t show up in sufficient numbers to overcome the bloc.

    The Manassas GOP exists to nominate Republicans, and get those nominees elected. The party cannot differentiate between “Conservatives” and “Moderates”, nor can the leadership of the party favor any one candidate over another. If they did, the party would not be unified when facing the Democrats or other parties and independents in a General Election.

    Conservatives got caught flatfooted. The campaigns should have been identifying delegates for challenge as soon as the list was assembled. It is my understanding that not a single delegate was challenged. The leadershp of the committee doesn’t do this. The candidates do. Even Hal Parrish could have been challenged. He endorsed Colgan last fall. Whether or not the challenges would have been successful is anybody’s guess, as this would have been voted on by the assembled convention…not the City Committee.

    The question that I want to ask is how does this impact Way? Way ran as a conservative who will be tough on immigration, pro-business, and fiscally smart, yet he aligned with Steve Smith, who is not a conservative, and Wolfe, who is by all accounts a political neophyte. I believe that Way had the support of most of the conservatives who were there, based what my understanding of how the votes were distributed. Was this Way’s “coming out party”? Did he lack confidence in his ability to win on his own, got spooked and threw in with Smith and Wolfe? Will conservatives support him in the future? Will this cause a rift in the Manassas City Committee, something akin to the rift that exists in the PWC party? What do the conservatives do next?

    If Way did this solely for political expediency to secure the nomination, and then when re-elected he votes as a conservative, I think all will be forgiven. However, if this bloc survives and continues on council, things could get dicey for Way in four years. I hope Core makes another run in 2010, and comes prepared for a fight. Randolph’s seat will be up, as well as Harrovers and Aveni’s. A lot will depend on who seeks re-election.

    And for those of you calling for a conservative coalition to run an independent in May, dream on. Even if you managed to find a candidate, I doubt they could beat the GOP ticket. I don’t think Bass will run, and she’s no conservative. Any independent better have a big bank account and a ton of name id if they have any hope of winning. If the Dems were going to run someone, we’d have heard about it already.

  51. Batson D. Belfrey said on 28 Jan 2008 at 7:41 am:
    Flag comment

    My last comments should have been directed at dbrown, not JimmyV

  52. anon said on 28 Jan 2008 at 8:23 am:
    Flag comment

    Slate of 3 (Way, Smith, Wolfe) vs. HSM slate (Core, Wood) was Old Town Manassas (Hal Parrish supporters) getting back at recent rise and success of Jackson Miller. Remember that Carrol Weimer (the convention chairman) won Manassas City, and had most overall votes, but lost weighted vote to Miller in the GOP 50th House primary after Harry Parrish died. Many old Manassas folks don’t want Jackson and HSM to dominate the agenda and politics of power in Manassas. Bass will run against Aveni and Randolph in 2 years. That is why she is not seeking reelection to school board. She won’t run against the GOP this year - they are all her friends of the ballet. Hal does not want to deal with Jackson Miller and resents his ascendancy. The politics of illegal immigration causes too many problems.

  53. dbrown said on 28 Jan 2008 at 8:31 am:
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    Reading Way’s campaign literature and listening to his speech one would have thought Way would have joined forces with Core and Wood. The fact that he didn’t tells me all that I have to know about Way. No integrity period. In case you missed it he did not run on being a ‘neophyte’ he ran on being a savvy, experienced manager and business executive.

    “Brilliant Block Strategy” yeah sure, more like the “Illegal Alien Strategy.” Get some insiders to collaborate with you, go in and take the place over and then call anyone who objects lazy and sore losers. Yes it was extremely well run mugging.

  54. silverfox said on 28 Jan 2008 at 8:31 am:
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    “it also pretty much trashed the committment of the local Republican Party to run a Republican nominating convention - BATSON D. BELFREY”

    Well stated. One cannot do ones ‘job’ when one is hand cuffed. It is VERY unfortunate that a true conservative Republican in this town has no chance of getting support from the local GOP and slim-to-none chance of winning.

    So what WILL the Manassas GOP officials DO to make some change? Better perhaps would be to say, what CAN they do?

    And about “any independent better have a big bank account and a ton of name id if they have any hope of winning”. It just goes to show you how it was different around here 20 years ago. Who knew Steve Randolph and how big did his bank account have to be? I’d be careful and NOT underestimate the average voter out here. The political climate is ripe for a change, a big change!

  55. CitizenofManassas said on 28 Jan 2008 at 8:32 am:
    Flag comment


    Of course people living in the “Old Town” area of the City are not concerned with illegal immigration, they don’t have to live next door to them and are pretty much insulated from the issue, except for their tax bills. However, for those us, who live in the other areas of the City deal with the issue on a daily basis. That is why we want to elect Citizens who are concerned with issues that affect all areas of the City.


    A well done analysis.

  56. Batson D. Belfrey said on 28 Jan 2008 at 9:07 am:
    Flag comment

    “Well stated. One cannot do ones ‘job’ when one is hand cuffed. It is VERY unfortunate that a true conservative Republican in this town has no chance of getting support from the local GOP and slim-to-none chance of winning.”


    The local GOP seems to support Jackson Miller pretty strongly. Mark Aveni did pretty well too.

    Yes, there are factions in the Manassas GOP, just like there are factions in every other committee in every other jurisdiction. This time the “old town” or “old guard” faction won.

    Also, when you say the “local GOP” I hope you don’t mean the City Committee. The City Committee is plenty supportive of Conservatives.

    Lest we not forget it is the campaigns themselves that bear the responsibility to get their guy or gal nominated. The GOP is here to get nominees elected. Should the head of the RNC be out there schilling for any particular presidential candidate? Look at the convention last May in the 51st. Look what resulted from Tom Kopko’s being on the payroll of the Gill campaign. Look at how divisive that convention was, resulting in the loss of the seat to the Democrats. The rift continues today. Would you want the same here in Manassas? If the same thing started here, this City would turn Democrat in two or three election cycles. Where’d we be then? That’s why you don’t see the Chairman or Vice Chairman or members of the executive committee out stumping for a nominee, prior to a convention. They can’t pick sides. I am sure that each has their preferences, but they do a good job of keeping them to themselves. The process was clean and fair. Had Core and or Wood won, there would be just as many pissed off people on the other side.

  57. Dave Core said on 28 Jan 2008 at 9:55 am:
    Flag comment

    I had a nicely designed and professionally printed brochure that some volunteers and I distributed to all 552 registered delegates on Friday morning. It outlined the six issues I was committed to, the number one being illegal aliens. It directed people to my website, www.davecore.com, where I outlined solutions in more detail. On illegal aliens i proposed solutions that had been implemented in other jurisdictions (in Virginia and elsewhere) and many of these were the same solutions that Jon Way said he was supporting.

    My wife came back from the convention all charged to fight and she’s a very humble woman. When she distributed flyers to the many delegates on Pill Hill and then to those few on Zimbro Ave., she said “No wonder the ‘Pill Hill’ crowd came out against you, Dave. They do not see the impacts of overcrowding, trashy lawns, cars parked on lawns, that we see all the time and that I saw on Zimbro Ave. They are in a world to themselves.” Yes, I need to be more ‘polished’, yes, I need to be better prepared, but I am not of the ‘Old Town’ crowd and never will be and Maureen’s and my candidacies were seen as a major threat.

    I am a conservative .. and the moderates took the convention fairly. I was disappointed that around 40 of my delegates did not show up but I will not go away!

  58. Anonymous said on 28 Jan 2008 at 10:19 am:
    Flag comment

    anon 8:23,

    You are seeing things that really dont exist. The Miller/Wiemer race was very very close, yet it was a rather non-controversial affair. It also was not a moderate vs. conservative race as both of them are fairly conservative republicans. If anything it was a newcomer (Miller) vs. old Manassas (Wiemer) race.

    Plus, Parrish is a bigger person than what you are claiming. He sent out an endorsement letter for Miller in his first race and I was told he MC’d a fundraiser for Miller in this past race.

    Parrish/Miller were often the only two on the losing end of votes to control city spending. I saw them as the only two fiscal conservatives on council before Aveni and Harrover were elected.

  59. Batson D. Belfrey said on 28 Jan 2008 at 10:27 am:
    Flag comment

    “I am a conservative .. and the moderates took the convention fairly. I was disappointed that around 40 of my delegates did not show up but I will not go away!”

    That’s great to hear Dave! Be voting for you again in 2 years.

  60. Anonytoo said on 28 Jan 2008 at 12:53 pm:
    Flag comment

    Anon 10:19, I agree. The relationship between Parrish and Miller is not one born of resentment. They worked together quite well on council and there is evidence of mutual respect there. Miller has since gone on to gain the confidence and support of many more people throughout the local party and community, beyond those who supported him in the beginning. What happened on Saturday had more to do with the wounds incurred by moderates at the nominating convention for council in ‘06.

    There was definitely an “us-vs.-them” mentality on the part of the moderates on Saturday. This obviously had to do with Core and Wood being viewed as threats to moderates on the board. However, let us not forget that there was much indignation in the moderate camp after the last nominating convention for council (in 2006), when Maureen Wood received the nomination instead of incumbent Judy Hays. This was a blow to the establishment wing of the republican party that was not forgotten, and the other shoe dropped on Saturday. I believe that is where the motivation for the bloc voting came from. The establishment didn’t want a repeat of ‘06 to happen to Councilman Smith nor to Councilman Way. Congrats is due to them for outperforming the competition.

    The moderates have shown that they can motivate people to get up and out for them. This should be a lesson to conservatives. I saw many staunch and vocal conservatives there alone on Saturday, i.e without their spouses, friends, neighbors. The goal for conservatives should be not just to get oneself to the convention, but to get one’s spouse, voting-aged children, and like-minded neighbors and friends there too.

  61. Batson D. Belfrey said on 28 Jan 2008 at 1:46 pm:
    Flag comment


    Your analysis is spot-on, and your conclusions 100% correct.

  62. dbrown said on 28 Jan 2008 at 2:07 pm:
    Flag comment

    “I saw many staunch and vocal conservatives there alone on Saturday, i.e without their spouses, friends, neighbors. ” -Anonytoo

    True enough, but the key word in the above is “many,” many of us did not know we would be competing with the Democratic and Independent Wings of the Manassas Republican Party.

    To visual arts major:

    What to do? It’s called Eminent Domain sieze the property, bulldoze the site and send Senor F the bill.

    Don’t worry about the Justice Dept. HUD, and several other departments and agencies they have more to fear in FOIA and discovery than you realize. Now if we could only get some decent class action lawyers in town. Why don’t you visual the creation of a Class Action Legal Industrial Park? We can invite all the nastiest lawyers in the nation to open up shop in Manassas and they can make everbody else’s lives in the nation miserable and do all our work pro bono.

  63. Batson D. Belfrey said on 28 Jan 2008 at 2:16 pm:
    Flag comment

    “many of us did not know we would be competing with the Democratic and Independent Wings of the Manassas Republican Party.”

    Then this must have been your first convention, mass meeting or primary. It has always been this way in Manassas. You think all those people who voted for Harry Parrish all those years were all Republicans? Do you think that there weren’t Republicans who voted for Colgan this time around?

    With no voter registration by party, if you are not a member of a local committee, then you are not a member of a party. You are an independent that votes republican…. We need voter party registration!

  64. anonymoustoo said on 28 Jan 2008 at 3:06 pm:
    Flag comment

    Ha ha, dbrown, I visualize Manassas as a large loony bin if you put your plan in place…plenty of noise but freedom of speech be damned…taken by eminent domain. A+ for specifics though! The pro bono lawyers may even recoup some of the funds sure to be lost to the Feds!

  65. Big Dog said on 28 Jan 2008 at 4:03 pm:
    Flag comment

    -Our pals in Manassas Park won’t have their city
    election until November - the current council moved
    it from May and extended their terms six months -
    surprised they got away with that. The logic is that
    it will bring in more voters, but many fear that local
    issues will be swamped by national ones - guess we
    will find out - in November. Anyone think Manassas
    should do this?

  66. Andy H said on 28 Jan 2008 at 4:25 pm:
    Flag comment

    I wouldn’t support moving the election to November. I like the fact that our local elections are separate from other elections.

  67. CitizenofManassas said on 28 Jan 2008 at 4:52 pm:
    Flag comment


    I’d like to get your thoughts on how the City can move forward on commercial redevelopment if the population continues to stay stagnate or even decreases? How will the City move forward with a lousy housing market and many homes that are completely unoccupied such as the ones in Wellington? Also, how will the City attract high end restaurants and retail when we have eye sores such as the Flea Market shopping Center and the “sign” on Liberty street? Lastly, with the overall quality of life suffering, why should residents choose to shop and eat in old town when we can drive to Gainesville or other nearby places to shop knowing we will not have to put up with illegals and eat without paying an extra meals tax?


  68. Archie said on 28 Jan 2008 at 9:18 pm:
    Flag comment

    53 minutes, that is the best response time I ever got from you Greg!
    Sorry if I said something silly. I am happy you are not abandoning HSM.
    I have been misinformed.

    I understand that you know who I am, (”I know exactly who you are”.)
    Thanks for your response. Thanks for your service to HSM and this community. See you at HSM Wednesday evening.

  69. anonymoustoo said on 29 Jan 2008 at 7:50 am:
    Flag comment

    COM, I’m a PWC resident and I’ll choose the restaurants in Old Town any day over what Gainesville has to offer thus far. It’s a matter of quality and service. And an extra buck for tax won’t deter me. If I find myself that short of chump change, I’ll have to cook at home.

  70. Big Dog said on 29 Jan 2008 at 9:42 am:
    Flag comment

    - More than three months out from the municipal
    elections, the MJM in today’s Op/Ed basically
    endorsed the GOP slate selected this past weekend.
    May looks like a slam dunk.
    - Any party large enough to hold all the major power
    bases in a community, will never be “100% pure”
    for any single group. Roanoke, a mirror image
    with the Dems in almost total control, also goes
    through spasms with folks trying to cast each
    other out of the party as “unclean”.

  71. Batson D. Belfrey said on 29 Jan 2008 at 2:57 pm:
    Flag comment

    Big Dog,

    Good observations. To carry them further, I offer the following:

    -The MJM is catering to the “Old Town” crowd. Since the Democrats will most likely sit this one out (I believe that the deadline set by SBE for both parties to have their nomination contest has passed, or is about to, and there no noise out on the street that they will have a nominee), nor will there be a credible challenge from an independent, the election was effectively decided last Saturday. Considering that none of those nominated are considered to be the least bit “contraversial”, what does the MJM have to lose? “We’re fair and balanced”.

    -Every party has its factions, the GOP inculded. When internal struggles come to dominate party business, the party will lose ground. Look at the PWCGOP as an example. Months before he was elected, Kopko and crew picked internal fights at every opportunity. The fuss caused many longtime Republicans to leave the party. Once they had a numerical advantage, they got their man elected. Instead of uniting the party, Kopko and crew set about bashing electeds like Sean Connaughton , Marty Nohe, Harry Parrish, Tom Davis, none of which measured up to Kopko’s level of ideological purity. Under Kopko and his cult of personality, the GOP has lost serious ground. Sure, the GOP held on to the chairmanship of the BCOS, but ask former Senator George Allen what the result of the loss in PWC cost him. Kopko’s condust of the 51st district convention was shameful. All he cared about was getting one of his own, Gill, elected. We all know how that turned out.

    Contrast that with the Manassas GOP. Clearly, the Manassas GOP has its factions, but there aren’t contentious meetings detailed on the blogs, and you will never, ever hear the leadership bash a nominee or elected official. They understand that their role is to get Republicans, conservative and moderate alike elected. They run smooth, efficient nominating contests. They run effective campaings to get their people elected. As a result, Manassas remains solidly Republican. With the exception of Colgan, when has a Democrat running for any office taken Manassas in the last 10 years?

    There are some conservatives out there very angry about what happened on Saturday. They should be angry that they were out-foxed. Remember, revenge is a dish best served cold. Don’t start fights now. Way, Smith and Wolfe will have an easy go if it during the general, but running an independent won’t accomplish anything. You will have your chance again in two years. Make sure Aveni gets re-nominated and that Core or another conservative candidate gets a nomination too. Repeat in 2012, and make sure that Smith is gone. If Wolfe turns out to be another Smith, then beat him too.

    But don’t make the same mistake PWC GOP did.

  72. CitizenofManassas said on 29 Jan 2008 at 8:30 pm:
    Flag comment


    Are you kidding me? We do eat in the City, but there simply is not the selection that Gainesville already has. Of course part of that is due to space issues, but also due to the demographics that Gainesville has.

  73. CitizenofManassas said on 29 Jan 2008 at 10:11 pm:
    Flag comment

    Once again the MJM shows just how stupid their editorial board really is. First of all, given they love illegals, it is not surprising for them to try and spin what happened on Saturday as a negative for HSM. Recall, how even before HSM really got going the MJM opined against it. They overlook, or refused to recognize that Jon Way is very much against illegal immigration and pretty much said as much on Saturday. Once you wade through all of they silly comments and attempts at slamming anyone who might believe illegal aliens is an issue, you truly see a newspaper that has become a one trick pony, exactly what they rail against by attacking Core and Wood.

    I suppose they do not think high crime rates that can be directly tied to illegals(source, Manassas City Police department) is a problem. I suppose they also do not think high taxes, overcrowded schools, and a lower quality of life are issues that can tied to illegals. Nope, they simply want us to smile and be happy about having such a diverse group of criminals.

  74. dbrown said on 30 Jan 2008 at 11:53 pm:
    Flag comment

    Batson D. said:
    “Then this must have been your first convention, mass meeting or primary.”

    Nope. Over 40 years, started going door to door when I was a kid, both parents very active in Republican and Conservative politics in Upstate NY. And Republicans here are making the same stupid mistakes that Republicans in Upstate made 30 years ago.

    I’ve seen politics up close here and overseas, on the national, state and local levels and when I see a blatantly sleazy tactic I call it…a blatantly sleazy tactic. ‘Anti-Illegal Alien Candidate’ Way’s willingness to bloc with Smith, and to a lesser extent Wolfe, was an insult to the intelligence of every single delegate in that room and to the integrity of the process. If you don’t see it that Way, then maybe you are a little too immersed in the little stretched nuances and self-deceits that occupy Manassas’ chattering polticos.

  75. dbrown said on 31 Jan 2008 at 12:20 am:
    Flag comment

    anonymoustoo said on 28 Jan 2008 at 3:06 pm:

    “Ha ha, dbrown, I visualize Manassas as a large loony bin if you put your plan in place…plenty of noise but freedom of speech be damned…taken by eminent domain.”

    Most people I know in Manassas believe that “the Sign” and the weak and pathetic response of the city government to it, constitute pretty good evidence that we already live in ‘a large loony bin.’ Your defense of the sign on free speech grounds, ‘anonymoustoo’? Definitive confirmation.

  76. Big Dog said on 31 Jan 2008 at 9:47 am:
    Flag comment

    Interesting article in the PW section of today’s WaPo.
    “Immigration Upstaged at Manassas GOP Assembly”

    Think the real back story is that the council doesn’t have
    the luxury of Cuccinelli or Marshall’s “show bills” in
    Richmond — it has to work in the world of reality and
    not political acting out. The majority of council is
    fully aware of the negative impacts of illegal immigration,
    and will continue to look for rational legal long term

  77. old time said on 31 Jan 2008 at 10:15 am:
    Flag comment

    Just had time to read this after the convention. Great analysis and theories on the “block of three”. Trying to stay positive, it virtually assures that the GOP slate will run un-opposed for Council in May. The result, we will retain not only a GOP majority, but more importantly a majority of fiscal and social conservatives (Aveni, Harrover, Way & Parrish). Hopefully the block of three will work together for the tenure of their term to implement the promises they made at the convention.

    As far as School Board, I gladly signed petitions for Albrecht and Bushnell Saturday. Both are fiscal conservatives, and Albrecht has been long active in the GOP. After speaking to them several times, the schools also now allow home schooled High School children to take classes at OHS. I believe they helped facilitate this. I don’t know Mr. Dance other than as a former employee. Have heard other names of several people thinking of running (including Bass), but no petitions yet.

  78. dbrown said on 31 Jan 2008 at 1:13 pm:
    Flag comment

    Big Dog:

    “The majority of council is fully aware of the negative impacts of illegal immigration,and will continue to look for rational legal long term solutions.”


    Sign stays; schools , health care system, and community safety continue their descent into Anonymoustoo’s loony bin.

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