Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Patrick (McSweeney) on Patrick (Muldoon)

The day after the state central committee removed Jeff Frederick, Patrick McSweeney issued a letter supporting Patrick Muldoon for Lieutenant Governor in what appeared to be an attempt to capitalize on the growing discontent in many conservatives. While Patrick McSweeney went to far, he definitely turned heads with his letter. Mason Conservative came out very strongly against McSweeney on this issue, and Tertium Quids agreed with McSweeney in part and disagreed with him in part.

McSweeney made some good points about the new direction of the RPV, especially it's lack of support for social issues. However Mason Conservative very accurately pointed out that going after Bolling for these problems and with Muldoon seems rather counterproductive.

While the RPV definitely has problems, Bolling has proven himself time and again to be a true conservative, and he has a very good chance at winning in the fall. Patrick Muldoon on the other hand has never been able to win an election, and has few real accomplishments and achievements that could make him a better nominee than Bolling. Honestly I have yet to see a real reason to vote for Muldoon. The only reason I see is that someone has a nitpicky problem with Bolling, or is trying to lodge a protest vote against McDonnell. Neither of those reasons though are reasons to support Muldoon only possible reasons to oppose Bolling.


I make no pretense that this is the usual nomination speech. Frankly, I’m tired of the usual political speech.

As a party, we simply must begin to talk in a very different way than we have in recent campaigns or we will continue to lose ground.

We all know that the Republican Party today has no clear brand. The choice
is whether to develop a new one or to rediscover our tradition, but abandoned

That is not the only choice. The more important choice is whether incumbents and their consultants or the grassroots should decide what our brand should be instead of the grassroots.

I nominate Patrick Muldoon for Lieutenant Governor because he is committed
to the Party’s principles; to building a grassroots party and to having the
grassroots decide the most important questions facing us.

Patrick is an exceptionally capable, intelligent and hardworking fellow. Born and raised in Southwest Virginia on a family farm, he has earned both an engineering degree and law degree. In 1996 and 1998, he ran unsuccessfully for Congress against Democrat Rick Boucher in the 9th District. It also took George Washington and Vance Wilkins three tries each to win their first elections.

Patrick’s opponent is the incumbent Lieutenant Governor, Bill Bolling, who has forgotten that having a strong grassroots party means that elected officials must be accountable to the grassroots. After the 2008 Republican State Convention, Patrick’s opponent and an elite few decided that this convention should be as closed and restricted as possible. They decided that they, not the grassroots, would decide who our standbearers would be in 2009.

During the summer of 2008, this group of elites devised a Call for the 2009 convention that would make it very difficult for any candidates to enter the field who had not already announced. They used the only meeting of the State Central committee during the 2008 campaigns between May and November to push through the Call. Instead of planning to help our 2008 candidates, the Central Committee devoted almost its entirety of its September 2008 meeting to controversial procedural issues that had nothing to do with the 2008 elections.

As a result, a great deal of the Party’s energy and focus during the closing weeks of the 2008 campaigns was diverted from the essential tasks of enhancing turnout and promoting our candidates to organizing for the 2009 nomination contests. Lining up petition drives for 2009 candidates, raising money for 2009 candidates and generally speculating about 2009 had never before been allowed to interfere with the immediate challenge of winning the elections only weeks away.

What this group of elites never acknowledged was that they were abandoning
an unspoken, but reasonable and longstanding rule that all of our energy and focus be devoted to the elections at hand. Candidates for nomination in future races generally honored that rule. Patrick’s opponent and others in this group of elites put personal ambition and other concerns ahead of the best interests of our 2008 candidates and the best interests of the Party.

What is equally troublesome is that Bill Bolling and others in the elite group do not believe that Bolling should be required to account either for his past actions and positions or for the positions he intends to take during the 2009 campaign if he is nominated. The obvious conclusion is this: Patrick’s opponent and his elite group don’t want a public discussion about what our brand should be. They and only they will decide.

I am impressed with Patrick’s background and ability. Even more, I am impressed with his commitment to our principles and his willingness to hold fast to them in the face of vigorous opposition. I am impressed that he wants to rebuild this Party as a true grassroots party.

I am greatly disturbed that Bill Bolling has decided to abandon, downplay or remain silent about the principled positions that the grassroots of this Party has repeatedly
endorsed. His consultants have advised him that he cannot win the general election by advocating our well-established positions on social issues, limited government and individual liberty.

The new Republican message, we are told, must be that Republicans are better equipped than Democrats to solve people’s everyday problems.

Please take a moment to reflect on this new message. It necessarily means that ours has become a radically different party. We are no longer committed to encouraging individuals, families, religious organizations, voluntary associations and the free market to solve our problems. We will now look first to government to solve our problems, just as Democrats do. Our new brand is that Republicans can give people better government and maybe just a little bit less government than the Democrats. No matter how it is dressed up, that means expanding government.

This new brand is not one that the grassroots of the Party has ever embraced. Why should we blindly accept the brand chosen by Party elites?

Bill Bolling has decided that Republicans should either hide or compromise their positions on social issues. He never consulted the grassroots about that. We want candidates who will unapologetically defend those positions, not act as if they are afraid of them.

President Obama has reversed executive orders issued by President Bush to protect human life. Where are the Republican leaders who should be challenging President Obama for his actions?

Because many of our elected officials went along with higher government debt and spending while Republicans controlled the General Assembly, Congress and the White House, the Party has little credibility now when it calls for limiting government. The grassroots never endorsed this abandonment of the central principle of our Party, but we have not held our elected officials accountable for doing so.

At a time when the Democrats are further diminishing the role of the states in our federal system, where are our Republican leaders? Where is Bill Bolling? Is federal stimulus money so precious that Virginia should meekly accept any conditions that President Obama and Congress attach to the receipt of that money?

At a time when we face a serious threat of being disarmed by our government, where is Bill Bolling?

Because so few of our Republican elected officials and candidates actually understand or are willing to stand up for our principles, voters fail to appreciate the role that individuals, families, religious organizations, voluntary groups and the free market should play in solving problems. This has meant that the debate has been reduced to whether Republicans or Democrats are better suited to providing government solutions. Is it any wonder our Party is losing ground?

When we most need committed, articulate and principled candidates, too many of our candidates are listening to consultants who tell them not to tie themselves to controversial social issues or to advocate limited government because polls indicate that voters are opposed to those positions. Our candidates should be changing public opinion, not compromising our principles to placate public opinion.

The contest for the nomination for Lieutenant Governor offers a clear
· Patrick will campaign to
protect human life from conception to natural death.
· Bill Bolling has said that
Republicans must downplay their traditional positions on social issues in order
to win.
· Patrick wants to return to
traditional conservative principles of personal responsibility, community
self-help, parental control and reliance on private initiative and enterprise to
solve our everyday problems.
· Bill Bolling has a platform
that proposes new legislation to solve the citizens’ everyday problems and has
supported intrusive measures such as the human papillomavirus vaccination
· Patrick opposes legislation,
such as the 2007 transportation statute (H.B. 3202), that provides for the
imposition of taxes by unelected bodies, abusive driver fees and billions of
tax-backed debt without voter approval.
· Bolling supported H.B. 3202 in

The grassroots should choose candidates who will change minds, not change our principles. Patrick’s opponent has already decided that he will not be that kind of candidate.

That is why I am nominating a courageous young man who is fully prepared to defend our principles, even when the public appears to oppose them. I ask you support Patrick Muldoon. Let’s restore the proper, traditional conservative Republican brand that has brought us statewide victories in the past.

Thank you.

Patrick McSweeney

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