UPDATES: WashPo says RPV Executive Director Sean Kenney is out. RPV’s federal account has $252 cash on-hand and $217,499 in debts. In January, the gap widened by another $11,086, worsening the situation just as RPV sent out mailers for Bill Howell’s primary campaign. The state account shows $47,147 on-hand at year’s end, not enough to cover the shortfall. Heads are rolling.
If you ever wondered whether being RPV Chairman is an honor or a penance, on Monday you’re going to get another example of how it’s the latter. Although folks in the know are being awfully tight-lipped right now, on Monday an announcement is expected that will involve some sort of less-than-helpful behavior with significant financial impacts on RPV’s finances that may degrade at least in the short-term the ability of RPV to adequately fulfill it’s mission. Immediate staffing changes are expected as a result.
As tough as this is going to be for John Whitbeck to navigate a way forward from whatever this is, it’s fortunate that he’s at the helm. There aren’t many out there more capable than him.
Stay tuned for updates below the fold…
Here’s a visual look at the changes in RPV’s federal account over the past 13 months. Not pretty.
Since April RPV has been accumulating debt just as contributions from the state account to the federal account fell from about $20k/month to only $28,000 in the last six months. All of RPV’s staff are paid from the federal account, but the funding comes from transfers from the state account. When that funding dried up, RPV started running out of money and stopped paying quite a few vendors, accumulating debt at a rapid pace without any effort at all to make repayments. At this point it’s hard to imagine anyone providing services or materials to RPV under contract as it’s quite likely they won’t get paid for them until this gets cleared up.
I wouldn’t want to be in John Whitbeck’s shoes right now. This is going to be hard to fix.
UPDATE 3: With the Washington Post reporting (apparently someone at RPV decided to talk to them, but not to any Republicans) that Sean Kenney will be leaving the Executive Director position at RPV. His tenure does match up quite coincidentally with the onset of RPV’s debt problems (as one commenter noted) and that likely has something to do with this. The full story probably won’t come out for a while, and only after a few beers with some select insider.
UPDATE 4: Steve Thomas writes an interesting piece over a Virtucon that starts the process of explaining what happened. It would not surprise me if his insight on the financial picture is a great starting point on the post-mortem that needs to be done. Was Kenney really the one hope RPV had to fix the financial problems that incumbents laid on them? Or was it something else entirely? This at least starts a pretty important dialogue deserving of completion.
UPDATE 5: Laura Ingraham has an amusing take on all this:
One of the biggest Establishment GOP disasters in state politics of the past year has been Shaun Kenney from Virginia. So we’re not sad to see him go. We remember his famous no-show on our show, which caused waves. Hint: If you can’t defend your position or strategy as a Republican on the Laura Ingraham Show, you’re simply not a conservative.
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