Monday, May 07, 2007

Julie Lucas Responds

5/30: Updated for moderation.

NOTE: I updated this to make it less harsh, in the spirit of resolving the issue and moving on to elect Republicans, as Julie says in her e-mail.

Julie Lucas has finally sent an e-mail to the committee regarding the flap over her quotes in the Washington Post.

Unfortunately, like BVBL before her, she starts off on the wrong foot by blaming Faisal Gill, her opponent, for an argument that is between her and the Committee, and the Committee chair. Faisal Gill has no more say in the convention arrangements than Julie Lucas, and her complaint was that Tom Kopko accepted payment for services from another candidate, not that another candidate PAID for services.

She confirms that the Post came to her (probably because of Lucy's complaints). My complaint is that she aired her complaints to the Post before she came to the committee to give us a chance to deal with the issue, especially given that we had a meeting to discuss it, and she was meeting with Tom and the opposing campaign.

Julie should have told the Washington Post that the issue was being resolved in the committee, as it should be, and that she and the party were focused on getting republicans elected for the good of the community. Instead, she cast aspersions on our committee and our chair, which prompted his response and created the firestorm she now wants to put behind us.

She also faults Gill for not personally being at the meeting between Tom and the campaigns. But her own rep, Karen Ulrich, said of that meeting beforehand : "(Tom) said he would meet with both campaigns to discuss whatever problems this may have caused. We will meet with our chairman and the other campaign."

The meeting was not to have the candidates "work anything out", since the complaint regarded the fairness of the committee chair, but to have campaign representatives get together to ensure a fair an impartial process.

Here is her e-mail, as written:
Dear Committee Members,

It is very unfortunate to see controversy arise from the 51st District Convention. While I am deeply concerned that my opponent, Faisal Gill paid our Chairman to be a political consultant, I would like to be able to resolve this issue so we can move on to select the best Republican candidate, and ultimately win in November.

April finance reports indicated that Faisal Gill paid our party chairman $1000 for consulting services. An amended filing has revealed the amount is actually $2000. At the last GOP meeting I chose not to publicly address the issue, but agreed to meet with Faisal Gill and the Chairman, per his suggestion. Unfortunately my opponent did not personally attend the meeting. Whatever issue the Party as a whole has with these actions, we must not allow this to promote infighting among our Party members.

A recent Washington Post article on Faisal Gill’s hiring of the committee chairman prompted Tom Kopko to email the Republican Committee explaining “his side of the story.” There are many areas I feel I must now clarify.
· I’ve never advocated for a primary so Democrats could vote for me. In fact, in Tom Kopko’s e-mail, he expressed his opinion that discussion of a primary is a “veiled attempt” to include Democrats in the process.
· I assure my fellow Republicans that I did not contact the Washington Post and would have preferred to continue with the process that was agreed upon. In fact, I called the Chairman to alert him to the pending article.

Most of you know how hard I work for the Republican Party, over the past 7 years, in Prince William County. My personal belief is that it is a conflict of interest for any candidate to retain the Chairman as a paid staff member. Prior to the filing deadline, I was busy consulting with close friends and associates. My closest advisors knew of my intention to run before January. I continued to make public my intent to file for the 51st District seat at the January 25th meeting of my GOP women’s group. Many of the members congratulated me on my decision to run for the 51st District. During Dec/Jan, I was in contact with our chairman many times regarding the 51st race. I had been trying to meet with the Chairman since December 2006 to show my interest in the 51st Delegate race. At no time during these discussions was the paid relationship between Faisal Gill and the Chairman revealed. At this point the bottom line is it doesn’t matter when I declared my candidacy, as the filing was still open and any primary candidate could have emerged. Now, we must focus on retaining the 51st District for the Republican Party.

Though I have been encouraged by many people’s support for my candidacy, my focus is on representing the people of the 51st district in the Virginia House of Delegates.

I agree with Tom that we must look forward, and regret he tried to divert the issue with inaccurate and disparaging remarks. I can do nothing but what I’ve always done, work hard for the Republican party, the people of Prince William County and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

I strongly support Republicans choosing their nominee and support Party registration in Virginia, but I have found 51st District voters are confused by the process. With two conventions and a general primary, voters find it difficult to juggle family and participation in the process. The convenience to the voters and the integrity of the process requires giving primaries a consideration whenever possible. I am extremely humbled by how many people want to give a few hours of their time on Saturday, June 2, to help me win the Republican nomination!

Tom and I agree on one major point, we want to bring in new people to the Republican Committee. I am very excited about the opportunity to bring in Republicans that have never participated in a convention before. In order to keep these attendees participating we must do all we can to ensure the convention is run smoothly and efficiently. We have a very strong party and a lot to be proud of, let’s welcome fellow Republicans to our party with open arms!

Thank you, for taking the time to read this email, and thank you for your dedication to our Party. If you have any questions for me please visit my web site: www.VoteJulieLucas.com or call: (703)597-3233.

Most humble regards,

Julie
I presume that those who support Julie will believe her version of the events, and those who support Tom will believe his version. I think the truth is probably somewhere in between, and the competing statements represent a point of view and a preconception clouding judgment than an actual difference in fact.

But here's something else I'm worried about -- those who support Lucas will call Tom a liar and say he must resign, while those who believe Tom will treat Lucas with the respect she deserves as a candidate.

That's how you will tell who is trying, as Lucas asks, to work this out, and who is trying to split the party.

2 comments:

John Light said...

You write: "But here's something else I'm worried about -- those who support Lucas will call Tom a liar and say he must resign, while those who believe Tom will treat Lucas with the respect she deserves as a candidate."

So, you are worried about people who support Tom as treating Ms. Lucas with the "respect she deserves" (your words)? Well, as someone who has been a witness to the events, Tom is, indeed, lying.

Also, Faisal was mentioned ONLY because Tom himself suggested that Ms. Lucas and Faisal meet and when, in good faith, Ms. Lucas attempted to meet with Faisal, he instead sent his henchmen who stormed out of the meeting because they did not get their way.

Yeah, I know, I am only a graduate of The Citadel, a Deacon in my church, and have custody of my 3 children, so who am I to be believed?

The lies that have come from Tom and his camp have just been disgusting and THAT is why I have stepped forward to answer Ms. Lucas' critis on the various blogs and what's funny, EVERY time I have responded, the argument has ended.

Tom is a paid consultant for Faisal Gill. He lied when he reported that he had only accepted $1000 from Faisal (he in fact had accepted at least $2000 that I know of).

If Faisal is that good of a candidate, then he would have had NO PROBLEM in a Primary, where there is less chance of shenanigans (as we are witnessing here), right? If you have nothing to hide, then let the voters decide.

Fairfax County, home of Ken Cuccinelli and Jay O'Brien, among others, opted to go with Primary over Convention to prevent this very thing from taking place...it may do PWC well to learn from their neighbors up (cough, cough) north.

I recommend ALL to go to http://www.vpap.org and take a look at the doners for Faisal - gee, I only see 3 people from Woodbridge!!!

Charles said...

John, I'll answer your comments point by point:

"So, you are worried about people who support Tom as treating Ms. Lucas with the "respect she deserves" (your words)?"

You seem smart enough to know that is a false twisting of my words, and a disappointing way to start a dialog that purports to be about the truth. I would love if both parties were treated with respect, my fear was that those supporting Lucas would not.

"Tom himself suggested that Ms. Lucas and Faisal meet and when, in good faith, Ms. Lucas attempted to meet with Faisal, he instead sent his henchmen who stormed out of the meeting because they did not get their way."

Since Tom does not work for Faisal (despite your false claim later), even assuming you have direct knowledge and are accurately conveying that knowledge, Faisal can hardly be held responsible for something Tom said.

Your use of the term "henchmen" to describe campaign staff is also disappointing and indicative of a general lack of civility and good taste.

And I do doubt your credibility on this point, as there is no other indication that Faisal is not pleased, nor is there ANY reason why Faisal would not be pleased with the arrangements. Pat is a fine man.

Worse, your statement, if true, would directly refute claims elsewhere that Tom was doing things for Gill that harmed Lucas -- if Gill's people are upset with the choice of their own delegate (that's what Greg called Pat, I don't know), it would be very strange indeed.

"Yeah, I know, I am only a graduate of The Citadel, a Deacon in my church, and have custody of my 3 children, so who am I to be believed?"

I'm a graduate of Virginia Tech, the sound man in my church, and have joint custody of my two children with my wife whom I live with, but none of that gives any indication whether I would know the facts, or accurately transmit those facts.

"Tom is a paid consultant for Faisal Gill."
A failse statement. Tom is not consulting Gill, at least not on a pay basis. He did a task for Gill and got paid for it in January.

"He lied when he reported that he had only accepted $1000 from Faisal (he in fact had accepted at least $2000 that I know of)."

Another false statement. Tom is not a candidate, and needs to report nothing, and in fact Greg himself stated that Tom never said an amount at the meeting. It's GILL that made the error on his form, and GILL that corrected that error. Your attempt to smear Tom with that error is beneath one who claims that his deaconship makes him trustworthy.

"If Faisal is that good of a candidate, then he would have had NO PROBLEM in a Primary,"
And if Lucas is the clear choice of republicans, she will have no problem with a republican convention. But in fact, a primary would be harder for Faisal, who has little name recognition in the district compared to Julie who has run for office and been on the ballot before.

"where there is less chance of shenanigans (as we are witnessing here), right?"

I have witnessed no shenanigans, and repeated requests for evidence has received no reply. Nobody can point to a single thing done as regards this convention that has been anything but above-board.

"If you have nothing to hide, then let the voters decide."
Republican convention delegates are all voters. And if you have any evidence otherwise, or that anything untoward has been done regarding the convention, step forward.

"Fairfax County, home of Ken Cuccinelli and Jay O'Brien, among others, opted to go with Primary over Convention to prevent this very thing from taking place...it may do PWC well to learn from their neighbors up (cough, cough) north."

I have no idea what is being done in Fairfax. Incumbents who previously had primaries are allowed to request primaries, and they always do, because primaries are better for people with good name recognition. I have no trouble with conventions, and no convention I've been involved with has been beseiged by any "things".

And again, what is "this very thing" you refer to? Nobody has said anything wrong has been done with the convention, just complaints about "appearances".

In fact, the only actual complaint is that we are HAVING a convention instead of a primary. And that's a choice the PWC committee entered into on purpose, and enthusiastically, knowing that it's the only way to keep democrats from picking our nominee.

"I recommend ALL to go to http://www.vpap.org and take a look at the doners for Faisal - gee, I only see 3 people from Woodbridge!!!"

This is true, although the report doesn't include money raised at his kickoff, which happened after the end of the reporting period. He does have $43,000 from Northern Virginia.

Julie had her kickoff earlier, and her donations from local people show up.

Oddly, Julie and Faisal have almost identical amounts raised in Prince William County. And half of Julie's money came from her existing "Friends of Julie" from her school board campaigns.

However, to the degree Julie might get more people from the district to donate money, it seems that shows she should also be able to get more people to show up for a convention.

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