Saturday, April 01, 2006

Kopko Wins at uneventful PWC Republican Convention

Update 4/2: Jim Young has a commentary about the election in his post Kopko Wins, which I believe is insightful.
Update 4/2: Changed "Weems" to "Woodbridge".

I just returned from the post-election party for Tom Kopko, after attending the Prince William County Republican Party convention (All members of the committee were invited to the party).

This is a report I mostly typed during the meeting, with some post-convention editing.

The meeting started relatively promptly at around 10:15 am, after an orderly check-in process. 177 people eligible showed up for the meeting:

  • Brentsville - 63
  • Coles - 20
  • Dumfries - 17
  • Gainesville - 35
  • Neabsco - 11
  • Occoquan - 26
  • Woodbridge - 5
It took a while for the Credentials committee to verify all the registrations, so we were treated to speeches by several republican officeholders, including a rousing speech by Tom Davis that was well-received by all in attendance.

The 10th district delegate election was uneventful. The reading of the names was waived, and the entire delegation was approved. Heidi Stirrup gave a good speech outlining why she felt she should be chosen. I'll have more details on that speech tomorrow night (I have to finish this and fly to a cub scout camping trip).

When the names for the PWC committee membership were presented, a motion to waive the reading was made, but Jim Young objected. A show of hands found the convention split closely enough that a counting by district would have been necessary, and since that would take longer than simply reading the names, the names were read.

This was a good thing, as it was found that the people who had not paid were incorrectly left off the list. Some may remember that happened two years ago and led to some bad feelings at the next regular meeting.

The committee membership vote was therefore tabled.

This led to the nominating speeches for the county chairmanship. Tom Kopko went first (determined by coin flip, don't know who won or lost the toss). Tom was nominated by Karen Ulrich, who is his pick for the VP, and then there were speeches by Corey Stewart and Jeff Frederick. I'll post some details of their speeches later if I get the time.

Tom finally took the stage with his family, and his wife made a short speech. Then Tom finished up with a couple minutes re-iterating his campaign pledges and asking for our votes. He spoke for about 1 1/2 minutes.

Then it was Brian's turn. Brian was nominated by Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, who appealed for continuity and experience going into the next election cycle. Brian followed him, and gave about a 6 1/2 minute speech.

Desi Arnaiz then explained the voting procedure, and we were off to the cafeteria to stand in line to vote.

When we were called back to the room, Brian Murphy took the podium and announced that he had lost by 40 votes. That was the only official mention of the election result -- I'm told Brian intended to call for a vote by acclaimation, but did not (I believe just because he forgot), but that was why the elections committee did not come to announce the results.

Tom then took the podium. He thanked Brian for a clean campaign, and for his years of service as chairman of the committee, I may post more about the speeches later.

There was then a motion to reconsider the 10th district vote, simply to get the names read because there was questions about whether anybody was missing.

We then got back to the PWC committee membership. After the list was corrected, no objection was heard to the list.

The 10th district list also had some problems, so it was read. Again an error was found that was easily corrected, and the revised list passed easily.

Last on the agenda was 5 resolutions.
Resolutions 1,3, and 4 were put together and voted on en-blanc:


These passed easily.

We had discussions on the other two, but both passed.

Resolution 2 "INCREASES IN REAL ESTATE PROPERTY TAXES" urged the county to limit the total rate of increase in property bills to an average of the rate of inflation for the Baltimore/Washington Region. We had some confusion on the floor as to what the resolution did, one thinking that we couldn’t change assessments.

Some did vote no, but it overwhelming passed.

Resolution 3 dealt with a development in Brentsville: "CONCERNING PROPOSED BRENTSWOOD DEVELOPMENT PROJECT". Some didn’t want to tell their supervisors how to vote. A lot of people wanted to talk about this one. I even rose in opposition to the amendment because I didn’t think it was a "republican" issue. I probably don’t support the development, but don’t see why a republican committee should be taking a position on the issue.

Anyway, the vote was only slighly closer than the others, passing easily.

We then adjourned.

I have pictures and audio, and even bad movies of the two candidate speeches (not the supporter speeches). I have to go to a camping trip and will be offline until tomorrow afternoon, then I will try to find a place to post the stuff and reference it here.

UPDATE: Virginia Virtucon has their initial post up here, and TooConservative's is here.


James Young said...

Point of personal privilege, Charles.

I'm pretty sure that I objected to skipping reading of the Tenth District list, moved for reading, and the motion was defeated. When I raised the same objection to skipping reading of the Committee list, Michele McQuigg chimed in, and then things proceeded as you said.

For what it's worth, the guy whose name had been skipped on the Tenth District list came up and specifically thanked me for my efforts. Wish I could remember his name, but it was quite gracious of him. Jim Ebel's apology was also gracious, and more than I expected.

Charles said...

Jim is correct. I think only two or three of us voted with you on that first motion, and I forgot about it.

I've heard people at all conventions seem to object to reading the names, but even the full delegate list took less than ten minutes, and would have gone quicker but a question was raised about whether elected officials should be on the list -- they were not, because elected officials (except school board officials) automatically have membership in the committee, and the committee can't vote on that.

Freddie said...

Aren't the names posted on the wall by the door?

James Young said...

No, they weren't. I was told later that posting on the wall by the door was the intention, but that they weren't able to do it. This MIGHT have solved the problem, had it been done and had that fact been publicized at registration (telling people at the convention and having them check before voting would've taken more time that simply reading the names). It might even have been unobjectionable.

My concern was that the failure to read the names we voted on made the entire PWC slate challengeable. And I have no doubt that, had we not reconsidered and read the names, that --- his absence notwithstanding --- Jim Rich and/or his partisans would have challenge the entire PWC delegation, had they discerned particular strenght for Heidi. That's what I told them, and why I told them they should have the matter reconsidered, to at least one delegate's benefit.

Anonymous said...

Just a question on the resolutions -

Did the resolution on real estate tax rate just say rate of inflation for Balt/Wash area?

What happened to the rate of inflation & pop. increase that was part of the Taxpayer Alliance pledge. (I know they are not the same group, but I thought THAT formulation was supposed to be the be-all-and-end-all.)

It SOUNDS like we keep moving the goal posts.

Anonymous said...

James, you probably were referring to me as I was the only one who had been left off the 10th District list. It's not too much to thank the person who first raised his voice in an effort that ultimately protected my ability to participate. But the thanks extends beyond that -- you did a great job of ensuring quality a number of other times, and I felt you made sure that the convention ran correctly.

Where I come from, we call that rare skill "leading from the audience". You're a credit to the committee.

Greg Letiecq