Va 1: So Much for “Be Nice” & Predictions

Pseudonymous blogging makes it easy to be ignored, even when I am right. Yesterday I urged the folks participating in the Virginia First Republican Convention to:

“Be Nice, and Follow the Rules”

Naturally, I was ignored…Hey, I can only try to help.

Today’s Daily Press online version offered an LTE from a Willam Welsh, who didn’t agree that the the late Jo Ann Davis “filled the shoes” of her predecessor, the late Herb Bateman:

First of all, Davis never reached the level of service her predecessor, Herb Bateman, did. She never had the impact on the House Armed Services Committee that Bateman had.

Then he hits his stride…

While it is regrettable Davis passed away, it is equally regrettable she is credited with having served so well.

Mr. Welch goes on to mention his support for Paul Jost and Sherwood Bowditch, and finishes strong with:

As for the other Republican candidates, including Chuck Davis, they are not capable of beginning to fill Herb Bateman’s shoes –– shoes which have remained unfilled since 2000.

Pretty nasty stuff on the face of it. Somewhere between rude and distasteful. First of all, has this man lost his sense of respect for the dead? Next, did he really put issues of perceived effectiveness in the same league as death? He finishes strong by not simply stating his support of certain candidates, but by maligning the candidates-including the late congresswoman’s widower. Oh, and he cannot simply say his piece, but he has to drag in a man long gone from the earthly pale to slime political rivals past and present. There are certain rules of polite conduct, and this letter is in no way, shape, or form according to Hoyle.

But it gets worse. When you read the comments, and/or the rebuttal comments by Roger Pogge (former 1st Congressional District Republican Chairman) and Brenda Pogge, Delegate-elect, 96th House of Delegates District, you find that:

1) Mr. Welch’s wife worked for Mr. Bateman;
2) Mr. and Mrs. Welch supported Paul Jost over Jo Ann Davis for the nomination in 2002;
3) Despite their opposition, Jo Ann Davis did not ask for Mrs. Welch’s resignation upon her election, instead keeping Mrs. Welch employed through her retirement (with federal benefits) this past summer.

And then Mr. Welch writes this dreck? Oh-ingratitude, thy name is Welch!

What possessed him to write this letter? Moreover, to write it days before the Va-1 convention. Does he really think this will help his candidates?…but perhaps the best question is why was this letter published?

I was told last week by a former Va 1 political junkie that some of the baggage Mr. Jost brings is that the Newport News and Hampton business community will not support him over a democrat, much as happened in the recent Miller-Stall state senate election. I think that attitude may just have bled over to the newspapers. Someone wanting to keep Mr. Jost in the ballgame would have killed this letter. The only reason I can think of is to somehow help Mr. Davis while undermining an opponent, not only through the visceral reaction to this bilge but by showing Jost has no control over his campaign or his supporters.

Between this letter, the Caroline County mishegas, and the fact that most jurisdictions will be sending their maximum sized delegations, I think tomorrow will be a big old slug fest.  We can only hope that Mr. Welch shows up in his big boy clothes and doesn’t further embarrass himself, his candidate, or the party.

What will happen tomorrow? My take is this…

1. If Chuck Davis is going to win, he has to either win on ballot 1 or come in so close to a majority that he cannot be denied on ballot 2…otherwise the emotion that drives some delegates to select Representative Davis’s husband will fade and the delegates will start thinking politically again. But grabbing that kind of total on the first ballot with a bazillion candidates in the field? Could be tough.

2. After this letter, I doubt the Davis delegates will be going to Jost on any ballot, and I think the folks who are there as good Republicans will react badly to this this letter.  Going to be tough to win if Davis has a sizable plurality and a candidate cannot get to them as their second choice.

3. If Davis doesn’t win early, and if no rush goes to Jost (perhaps the two best known candidates) due to ideology and ability to self finance, then the convention will settle down to siege warfare for a couple more ballots, and the winner will be either Delegate Wittman OR a dark horse candidate from the lower peninsula…maybe even former First District officer and conservative blogger James Atticus Bowden!

In the meantime, I am not sure what part of this Mr. Welch (and perhaps others) misunderstood, so let me try it again. As you folks head to the District Convention:

“Be Nice, and Follow the Rules”

Just so we understand, because I didn’t spell it out last time…that means the rules of the party, the rules of decorum, and the rules of just plain decent polite society.

I hope the folks who most need to follow this advice are listening.

UPDATE (11/10/2007…0639)

Sherman Bowditch, one of two candidates Mr. Welch praised in the LTE referenced above, has responded-and admirably, I think:

We were greeted yesterday morning with the type of slander that makes people avoid public service. Jo Ann Davis served the First
Congressional District with distinction, humility and honor. Mr. Welch is not a supporter of mine and told me personally that he would be
supporting another candidate. Mr. Welch should understand that I do not welcome his support and I am personally offended by his remarks.

All who enter politics should know that unfair and even untrue things will be said about them. This is unfortunately the nature of our current  political climate. By demeaning and misrepresenting the accomplishment and service of Representative Davis a race that had been largely positive was made much cheaper. I am sorry that my name was mentioned in yesterday’s letter to the editor. I add my voice to many others in denouncing the tone, words
and sentiment of Mr. Welch letter.


Sherwood Bowditch

Also, the MSM has finally jumped on board regarding the curious shenanigans in Caroline County.

Finally, as always, remember to:

“Be Nice, and Follow the Rules”


One thought on “Va 1: So Much for “Be Nice” & Predictions

  1. Hey Bwana:
    Rob Whittman is the Delgate for the Northern neck and my 90 year-old grandparents who live in that district say he is a good man and a responsive politician. I wish him well in his Congressional bid.

    Bwana Fan In Vienna

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