After winning Prince William County for Barack Obama last year, local Democrats were emboldened and began searching far and wide for candidates to run for the General Assembly in 2009. And the results? Democrats recruited challenges to Delegates Jackson Miller (the usual Jeanette Rishell, a 2-time loser) and Bob Marshall (an opponent not even from the majority area of the district), and actually managed to spend money on a primary for an open seat in the 52nd District being vacated by Delegate Jeff Frederick, which should have simply been a walk-on. Meanwhile the Prince William GOP avoided such a contest for their challenger, Rich Anderson, who is running against Delegate Paul Nichols. Way to go D’s!
So much for putting up a challenge in every district. Democrats seemingly forgot to play the recruiting game in the 31st District, having no nominee to challenge Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, who despite being outspent by moonbat Bill Day in 2007, went on to defeat the candidate from the Kucinich wing of the Democrat Party by almost 12 percentage points. In fairness to the Ds, they might have actually come to realize this one was a lost cause.
That said, on June 6 the Prince William Democratic Committee put out a call notifying potential voters of a 31st Legislative District Democratic Firehouse Primary at 3:00pm on June 9th at their party headquarters on Dale Boulevard. It sounds simple enough, until you realize that by issuing this call, the Prince William Democratic Committee violated their party bylaws and at the same time issued a badly botched call.
First, the call notes in its second paragraph that “Any person wishing to be a candidate for nomination for either office” should file a written declaration with Chairman Frisbie. Unless they know something the rest of the world doesn’t, each party is only entitled to one candidate per House race, except perhaps in Chicago. Second, the call states that it is “Authorized by the 51st Legislative District Committee.” I’m not quite sure how that is supposed to work since the call claims it is for the 31st Legislative District. Why isn’t that Legislative District Committee authorizing the thing? Perhaps this may have been a hasty typo to correct, well, the absence of a call in the first place.
The Committee That Can’t Shoot Straight ought to go re-read its own Party Plan, approved under State Chairman Cranwell in 2008. Section 7.2 of Article 7 goes on to say that “The nominating committee shall advise State headquarters in writing of the method of nomination for any office within 7 days of the decision.” There was no evidence that the Prince William Democrats ever notified the State headquarters of this, making it questionable whether this ever occurred.
Article 9, Section 9.1 clearly says that when candidates for office “are to be selected by any method other than primary, notice of the time, place, and method of selection shall be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or city at least 7 days, but not more than 2 weeks, prior to the date of such selection.” It goes on to say that if a caucus/convention is used, a second notice is not needed and that either notices may be placed on the internet.
Wait. Did that say seven days notice? Perhaps Chairman Frisbie has yet to discover the calendar since their call allowed for three days notice, not seven as required in Article 9, Section 9.1 of their own party plan! At least when Brian Moran gave up his seat and ran a convention in a rush, Fairfax Dems managed to adhere to the rules. This kind of behavior starts to make Iran’s elections look pretty good.
I have heard that when Frisbee was questioned by GOP chairman Lyle Beefelt as to how they could ignore the seven day requirement, he e-mailed back that the PWCDC had received a waiver from the state party. The only problem is that, again according to the Democrat Party Plan, you can only have a waiver for a special election. He also said they posted that waiver on the local Prince William County Democratic Committee website. False. The only thing up on the 31st District was the mangled and illegal firehouse primary call. Leave it to Republicans to help educate the Dem unit chairs on what their own rules are.
In summary, the Prince William Dems managed to issue an illegal Firehouse Primary notice, have it issued by the wrong Legislative District Committee, leave an incumbent unchallenged, and announce that they have two open spots on the ballot designed for one. Pretty ridiculous. Republicans in Fairfax County, the so-called home-base bastion of Democrats, are challenging every Democrat incumbent in 2009. In Prince William County, the effort falls flat, again, and pretty hilariously at that.
Of course all this confusion and bumbling leaves Delegate Scott Lingamfelter free to campaign for other Prince William County delegates since the PWCDC can’t seem to come up (legally) with an opponent in the 31st District. I Lingamfelter this weekend in the Stonewall precinct, campaigning for Bob McDonnell and Delegate Jackson Miller.
I guess in the end I owe the PWCDC some thanks.
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