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Trixie Averill at a meeting of AFP in January 2011

In a bit of breaking news, I’ve just received word that long-time Virginia political activist and Sixth District Republican Chairwoman Trixie Averill has recently accepted the position of Virginia State Director for Americans for Prosperity.  As you may of heard, Ben Marchi, who has held the position for the last several years, will be leaving that post in a matter of days.  I knew that AFP had been sorting through candidates, but, until a few moments ago, had not realized that they had selected one.

This news is of particular interest to me for a number of reasons.  First among them, in an interesting twist of fate, I have had the opportunity to get to know and work with both Mrs. Averill and Mr. Marchi.  Then again, I suppose there aren’t but so many people who work in Virginia politics.  For the record, the Republican Party of Virginia employed all three of us during the 2006 election cycle.  In the early stages of the campaign, I worked with Ben Marchi in Virginia Beach.  In the later part, it was with Trixie Averill in the Valley.

With this news of AFP also comes word that Mrs. Averill will be resigning her post as Chairwoman for the Sixth District.  Who will take her place is still, as of yet, unknown.

I want to extend my congratulations to Trixie Averill as she begins her new position with Virginia’s Americans for Prosperity.  With our Delegates and Senators up for election this year and our Representatives, Senator, and President the next, it should certainly be a busy time.  I’m looking forward to seeing what she has in store.

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At the 6th district meeting this weekend, delegates selected long-time political activist Trixie Averill of Roanoke as our new Republican Chairwoman.  As stated earlier, having worked with/for Trixie in the 2006 election cycle, I can personally attest to her commitment and dedication to our cause.  I want to congratulate Mrs. Averill for her victory and I’m sure all of us are expecting many good things from her time in office.

If anyone has any pictures of the event that they would care to share, please let me know.

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Early in my inbox this morning (and I do mean early), I received an email from our conservative friends in Botetourt County.  In it, Delegate Marshall (R-13) offers his opinion about the race for the 6th District Chairman.   To follow are his comments:

Can you take four to five minutes from your busy day to think about a decision that will have effects on you, your family and Virginia for years to come?

I am talking about the Sixth District Republican Convention race where you and other fellow conservatives will set a course for our Virginia Republican Party.

The decision is yours to make, not mine, although I do have a preference for the Sixth District.

I would just like to first share with you the benefit of my experience of my more than 32 years in Republican politics, 19 years as an elected official, and 6 years as a Congressional staff aide.

Clearly, the most successful American politician of the last part of the 20th Century was President Ronald Reagan.  He called himself a conservative, and did not apologize.  He ran as a Republican.  He said he was 100% pro life because it was a moral issue.  He opposed high taxes because he thought it weakened American families.  He called the Soviet Union the Evil Empire because it was.  He would not compromise any moral principle for political gain.  He won the presidency twice after serving as Governor of California.

In 1975 Ronald Reagan criticized the spending policies of Republican President Gerald Ford for adopting the deficit spending and debt increasing habits of the Democratic controlled Congress.  Sad to say, the current crop of debt-loving liberal Democrats in Congress can point to the debt increases approved by congressional Republicans who voted to grow the debt on our children when George Bush was president.  Unfortunately, the record shows the Democrat critics are correct!

If we depart from our own principles “just a little bit,” we are not in a good position to criticize Democrats when they do it with gusto.

By voting for Danny Goad for Sixth Republican Chair on May 22 at 10:00AM in Lynchberg at the Towns Alumni Center, Liberty University, we can bring back that successful Reagan formula of combining conservative social and economic principles to win elections.

Danny Goad, father of six, is a Mechanical Engineer with an MBA.  Danny has been involved in conservative Republican efforts and elections for 18 years.  He has been vice-chairman or chairman of three local Republican units.  If ever our nation needed principled individuals willing to lead it is now.  Danny Goad is a committed conservative and is willing to serve as Sixth District Republican Chair.

Ronald Reagan did not win victories in Virginia and across America by himself.  He had the support of a Republican Political Party structure, people like you and me, who were largely conservative.

We, you and I together, can do that again for Virginia with a vote for conservative Republican Danny Goad on May 22.

Thank you for all you do to preserve our Republic and our Liberties.  If you have any questions, call me on my cell phone at 703-853-4213.
Hopefully,

Bob Marshall

Delegate Bob Marshall, R – 13th District of Virginia

P.S.  I have included excerpts from Ronald Reagan’s 1975 and 1977 speeches to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) with a few comments of my own so you can see for yourself how Ronald Reagan combined practical experience with conservative principles to revive and rebuild a conservative Republican Party.

Ronald Reagan 1975 Speech to CPAC — Excerpts

“Since our last meeting we have been through a disastrous election.  (November, 1974) It is easy for us to be discouraged, as pundits hail that election as a repudiation of our philosophy and even as a mandate of some kind or other. But the significance of the election was not registered by those who voted, but by those who stayed home. If there was anything like a mandate it will be found among almost two-thirds of the citizens who refused to participate.

Bitter as it is to accept the results of the November election, we should have reason for some optimism. For many years now we have preached “the gospel,” in opposition to the philosophy of so-called liberalism which was, in truth, a call to collectivism.

Now, it is possible we have been persuasive to a greater degree than we had ever realized. Few, if any, Democratic party candidates in the last election ran as liberals. Listening to them I had the eerie feeling we were hearing reruns of Goldwater speeches. I even thought I heard a few of my own.  …

But let’s not be so naive as to think we are witnessing a mass conversion to the principles of conservatism. Once sworn into office, the victors reverted to type. In their view, apparently, the ends justified the means. … Can we live with ourselves if we, as a nation, betray our friends and ignore our pledged word? …

Americans are hungry to feel once again a sense of mission and greatness.

I don’t know about you, but I am impatient with those Republicans who after the last election rushed into print saying, “We must broaden the base of our party”–when what they meant was to fuzz up and blur even more the differences between ourselves and our opponents.

It was a feeling that there was not a sufficient difference now between the parties that kept a majority of the voters away from the polls. When have we ever advocated a closed-door policy? Who has ever been barred from participating?

Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people? Let us show that we stand for fiscal integrity and sound money and above all for an end to deficit spending, with ultimate retirement of the national debt. …

Let us explore ways to ward off socialism, not by increasing government’s coercive power, but by increasing participation by the people in the ownership of our industrial machine. …

In his first address to Congress, the president asked Congress to join him in an all-out effort to balance the budget. I think all of us wish that he had re-issued that speech instead of this year’s budget message.

What side can be taken in a debate over whether the deficit should be $52 billion or $70 billion or $80 billion preferred by the profligate Congress?

Inflation has one cause and one cause only: government spending more than government takes in. And the cure to inflation is a balanced budget. We know, of course, that after 40 years of social tinkering and Keynesian experimentation that we can’t do this all at once, but it can be achieved. Balancing the budget is like protecting your virtue: you have to learn to say “no.” …

A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers.

I do not believe I have proposed anything that is contrary to what has been considered Republican principle. It is at the same time the very basis of conservatism. It is time to reassert that principle and raise it to full view.  And if there are those who cannot subscribe to these principles, then let them go their way.”

Ronald Reagan 1977 speech to CPAC–Excerpts

The percent of Americans now calling themselves “conservative” vs. “liberal” was higher at the end of 2009 than in 1976 when Reagan was addressing CPAC below.  A recent Gallup survey found the following breakdown:  conservatives 40%; liberal 21% and moderate 36%.  Additional Gallup breakdowns show that 71% of Republicans, 35% of independents and 21% of democrats call themselves “conservative.”

Reagan recognized that there were varieties of conservative, which he identified as social and economic.   No Republican president since Reagan has been able or been willing to replicate the Reagan union of social, economic and defense of foreign affairs conservatives.  Reagan said:

“Despite what some in the press may say, we who are proud to call ourselves “conservative” are not a minority of a minority party; we are part of the great majority of Americans of both major parties and of most of the independents as well.  A Harris poll released September 7, 1975 showed 18 percent identifying themselves as liberal and 31 percent as conservative, with 41 percent as middle of the road; a few months later, on January 5, 1976, by a 43-19 plurality, those polled by Harris said they would “prefer to see the country move in a more conservative direction than a liberal one.”

You know, as I do, that most commentators make a distinction between they call “social” conservatism and “economic” conservatism. The so-called social issues—law and order, abortion, busing, quota systems—are usually associated with blue-collar, ethnic and religious groups themselves traditionally associated with the Democratic Party. The economic issues—inflation, deficit spending and big government—are usually associated with Republican Party members and independents who concentrate their attention on economic matters.

… In short, isn’t it possible to combine the two major segments of contemporary American conservatism into one politically effective whole?  I believe the answer is: Yes … This will mean compromise.  But not a compromise of basic principle.” …

“And let me say so there can be no mistakes as to what I mean: The New Republican Party I envision will not be, and cannot, be one limited to the country club-big business image that, for reasons both fair and unfair, it is burdened with today. The New Republican Party I am speaking about is going to have room for the man and the woman in the factories, for the farmer, for the cop on the beat and the millions of Americans who may never have thought of joining our party before, but whose interests coincide with those represented by principled Republicanism. If we are to attract more working men and women of this country, we will do so not by simply “making room” for them, but by making certain they have a say in what goes on in the party. The Democratic Party turned its back on the majority of social conservatives during the 1960s. The New Republican Party of the late ’70s and ’80s must welcome them, seek them out, enlist them, not only as rank-and-file members but as leaders and as candidates.” …

My friends, the time has come to start acting to bring about the great conservative majority party we know is waiting to be created.

And just to set the record straight, let me say this about our friends who are now Republicans but who do not identify themselves as conservatives: I want the record to show that I do not view the new revitalized Republican Party as one based on a principle of exclusion. After all, you do not get to be a majority party by searching for groups you won’t associate or work with. If we truly believe in our principles, we should sit down and talk.

Talk with anyone, anywhere, at any time if it means talking about the principles for the Republican Party. Conservatism is not a narrow ideology, nor is it the exclusive property of conservative activists.”

Although unfortunately I still haven’t spoken with Mr. Goad, Delegate Marshall offers many strong words of praise, going so far as to compare him to President Reagan.  Given his stances, I do hope to meet Mr. Goad sooner or later.   On a related note, it is interesting to see as more and more of my Facebook friends line up on one side of the aisle or the other.   With the election a mere three days away, the camps are clearly forming.

In retrospect, I wish I were attending the convention down in Lynchburg this Saturday.  Nevertheless, I expect that both of the candidates, Danny Goad and Trixie Averill, will serve the Republicans of the 6th district well.  It should be exciting to see who wins!

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While sifting through a backlog of email, I came across this email concerning the race for the Sixth District Chairman position from Trixie Averill from a couple weeks ago and wanted to share its message with you.

Dear GOP Friends, Compatriots, and Colleagues,

It is with great excitement and humility that I announce to you that I am a candidate for Chairman of the 6th District Republican Committee.  I did not initially intend to seek out this position, but after receiving numerous emails and phone calls of prodding, encouragement, and support I gave it very serious consideration and decided to say yes.  I am generally more comfortable working hard in the background for the good of the party and for our Republican candidates, but our unique circumstances in the 6th District require leadership that can unite us. For more than the last two decades I’ve held numerous party positions and volunteered on every race since 1980 and each has taught me something new.  I even ran as a candidate for the House of Delegates way back in ’95 and received 47% of the vote.  It was an honor to carry our banner, even though it didn’t work out for us that year, but it took a lot of courage to get out there and do it.

I have traveled all of the Western part of the state since 1993 representing statewide candidates and spent countless hours attending and organizing meetings, fundraisers, rallies, parades, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and untold numbers of barbeques!!  I have made phone calls, lists, distributed materials, worked Headquarters, sent thousands of emails, poked, prodded, and pushed candidates and volunteers alike to work harder to win the race.  I’ve been a member of the 6th District Committee and the State Central Committee since 1992, and currently serve as the Western Vice-Chairwoman.  You know me; I am part of the grassroots.  You also know that I am conservative with a capital C. My traditional conservative values are widely known and have never changed.

I’ve had the incredible honor of representing some of the finest conservative statewide candidates Virginia has seen over the last two decades, including George Allen, Jim Gilmore, Mark Earley, Jerry Kilgore, Bob McDonnell, and Bill Bolling – sometimes wearing hats for two at a time!!  I have learned things from each of them, and have maintained great relationships with them to this day.  I am a team player and am proud to have played a role in delivering the Western part of the state for them.

Now, after 16 years of traveling the West, I’d like to focus right here in my home district. The political landscape has changed and we can no longer assume that the 6th will go red, just because it always has.  I do believe that we can still win and win big, but we have to buckle down, work together, and stay focused on the goal.  There is still much work to be done, more elections to win, and our liberties to be protected.  I would be honored to have your support at the 6th District Convention in Lynchburg May 22, and hope that together we can continue to build on our successes, grow our Party, and work to elect more rock-solid conservative candidates to represent us at all levels of government.  Will you join me???

Trixie Averill

Will it be Trixie Averill, Danny Goad, or perhaps some third undeclared candidate who captures the Chairmanship in a couple of months?  Right now, I think it is too early to tell, but each side must seize each opportunity between now and the 22nd of May to rally supporters to his or her respective side.  This race will likely be decided on three points:  message and goals, the ability to relay that message to the activists, and making sure that your supporters actually show up in Lynchburg.

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While other several other congressional districts decide who will be their Republican nominee for the House of Representatives, here in the 6th District we have an important decision to make as well.  Obviously Bob Goodlatte will be our candidate of choice.  But who will be the new 6th District Chairman?  For a little while, the race was between longtime activist and Western RPV Vice-Chairwoman Trixie Averill and Greg Habeeb, Chairman of the Salem GOP.  With Mr. Habeeb’s recent and sudden departure from the race, I figured the election was over.  However, now a new challenger has emerged from Botetourt, the Vice-Chairman of the County Party, Danny Goad.  Here is an email announcement I received earlier today:

Danny H. Goad Announces He Is Running For Chairman of Republican Party, Sixth Congressional District

Danny H. Goad

February 22, 2010

Citizens of the Sixth Congressional District,

It is with great anticipation and a strong sense of duty to serve that I write to you.  After encouragement of many throughout the district I want to let you know that I am running for Chairman of the Republican Party of the Sixth Congressional District of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  I believe as a nation and a state our best days are yet to come and that freedom fought and died for by our Founders is resurging. Great encouragement should be taken in the activity we are seeing in groups in our localities like the tea parties and Constitutional advocacy groups.  For freedom to endure we must set the stage for it to be nurtured.  We cannot sit idly by and think that business as usual will accomplish the task.  We must be deliberate in what we do.  We must have a plan for correcting the things that we are not doing well as the Republican Party.

As Chairman of the Sixth Congressional District I will work hard to strengthen the local units in accomplishing our stated goals and to grow the Party.  The purpose of the Republican Party is threefold. First, we have an obligation to advocate the principles of the Republican Party and represent those electing us in our respective
units.  Second, we have an obligation to work hard to get Republican candidates elected to office.  Lastly, we have an obligation to assist elected Republican office holders as they have need to attend meetings or otherwise assist them.  I believe the Sixth Congressional District does a good job working on campaigns and assisting elected Republicans.

As we reflect on the events of the last year we recognize that our district is not what it was one year ago.  Something has changed. Citizens are on their own volition speaking out in a constructive manner on the issues of liberty and the role of government.  Once again citizens are talking about the Constitution like it means what it says.  While Republicans recognize that this resurgence of liberty is a good thing, we must be true to ourselves and acknowledge it did not originate in the Republican Party.  We must ask ourselves right here in the Sixth District what we must do differently to nurture this freedom.

We have a great opportunity to participate in this renewal of freedom. Our greatest strength is our principles.  What we say we believe is the only thing that makes us different from the Democrat Party.  The principles of the Republican Party are quite simple and are expressed concisely in the Virginia Republican Creed.  Of particular note is the fourth clause of the Creed which refers to Constitutional limitations. As I have intently listened to many citizen groups in the last year I get the sense they feel the Republican Party has let them down in the Party’s failure to abide by Constitutional limitations.  Specifically, they say, “On what authority does the federal government have the permission to dictate what health care plan we have?  On what authority do you pass the TARP legislation and provide no accounting of the funds?  On what authority do you pass ex post facto legislation that targets specific individuals and takes their assets?”  These are but a few examples of concerns of the citizen’s groups.  Many citizens feel to a large degree that the response of the Republican Party has been silence.  Recognizing our weakness is the first step in gaining the confidence of those who feel our actions do not match our rhetoric.  As Chairman of the Sixth District I will not be silent on these issues.

We declare that we are a grassroots organization when we need someone to volunteer with the campaign but we sometimes cringe when we are asked by a volunteer why an elected Republican took a certain position on an issue.  I think this is a natural human response.  We don’t like it when the actions of elected representatives that we campaigned for are questioned.  However, we must be willing to hear the concerns of citizens and be willing to advocate for them when we view their concern and recognize it as consistent with the Republican Creed and Constitution.

The Sixth District Republican Party has the opportunity to embrace freedom in a manner not paralleled in recent history.  If we embrace the principles espoused in the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, the Republican Party will grow.  As Chairman I will lead that effort.

Very briefly I will tell you some of my political experience and I’ll follow-up with more at a later time.  In 1992, I joined the Republican Party and went to my first state convention in Salem.  In 1993, I was elected Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of Hampton and was responsible for organizing the city-wide campaign of more than 300 volunteers.  Simultaneously, I was City Coordinator for Mike Farris for Lieutenant Governor.  1994-Elected to Hampton City School Board, organized North for Senate campaign in Hampton.  1997, 1998-Elected Chairman of the Giles County Republican Committee.  2001-SW VA Area Director Jay Katzen for Lt. Governor.  2006,2008-Elected Vice-Chairman of the Botetourt County Republican Committee.  I have a record of growing the Republican Party.

By trade I am a Mechanical Engineer, licensed in two states, and hold an engineering degree from Virginia Tech and an MBA from the College of William and Mary.  I am also a graduate of The Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding.

I am married and have six children.

We have a fantastic opportunity to more fully embrace the ideals of our Founders: the opportunity to pass a greater freedom to our posterity.  Let’s work together to promote liberty in the Sixth District. Will you join me in reaching out to Virginians who share our vision of limited government who have not been active in a political party?  Will you join me in my campaign for Chairman of the Sixth Congressional District?  Please call or email me and I will let you know how you can get involved in my campaign.
Sincerely,

Danny H. Goad

(540)354-9556

dhgoadpe@msn.com

This race should be interesting.  Having worked for Trixie Averill back in 2006, I can attest that she is, without a doubt, one of the most hardworking and committed persons that I have ever met.  Most GOP activists in the 6th district not only know who she is, but also like her.  On the other hand, although I haven’t personally met Danny Goad, I have read and written about some of the many positive actions taken by the Botetourt Committee.  In addition, I greatly appreciate his strong statement in favor of limited government and the 10th amendment.

I’m looking forward to learning more about both.  With that thought in mind, Trixie Averill will be attending the First Friday lunch this week in Harrisonburg, so I encourage you to go if you are free.  Once I know when Danny Goad is coming, I’ll share that information too.

And so it begins…

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Good evening everyone.

Just wanted to pass along a quick update.  This afternoon, I enjoyed the monthly lunch gathering with the Harrisonburg/Rockingham County GOP.  The guest at this meeting was Pat Mullins (the next probable chair of the RPV).  He seemed like a pretty knowledgeable and conservative guy who has had a lot of valuable experience.  Although I don’t know a whole lot about him yet, if his deeds match his rhetoric then I think that he’ll make a fine RPV Chairman.  During the meeting, we were visited/interrupted by Trixie Averill (Western Vice-chairwoman for the RPV) and ardent Bob McDonnell supporter.  It was impossible not to smile as she left shuffling along on her knees (in order to not draw anymore attention!)  Although I didn’t get any pictures of the event myself, fear not, as our neighbor to the south, SWAC Girl, visited us and has not one, but two posts about the event found here and here.

As a side note, I’m pleased to say that this blog has now exceeded the 5,000 visitor mark.  Yay!  As expected, generally each month has been busier than the last, so I’ll be interested to see how long it takes to reach the 10,000 visitor threshold.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the journey so far.

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