Monday, May 28, 2007

Misinformation is harmful to the 51st district convention process

I do not live in the 51st district, and I have not endorsed a candidate. But as a republican and a member of the Prince William County republican committee, I am very concerned that our convention process, and our nomination fights in general, be done fairly, above-board, and without suggestion of impropriety. Moreso, as a blogger, I want the information I provide to be accurate, not half-truths to support an agenda. I should think that all bloggers would feel the same -- we should convince based on the better argument, not based on ignorance or lies.

That means that, before reporting whatever tidbits of information are leaked by a candidate, we should all verify the story, the WHOLE story, before reporting it. That is especially true in the case of this convention, where there is already widespread fear, uncertainty, and doubt being cast by a small but vocal band of Gill Haters who will do anything to tear him down, and that includes making things up and hiding the truth from their readers (some going so far as to delete facts that refute their charges).

In the latest case of a half-truth being used to try to sway public opinion, a post over at Virginia Virtucon titled "More about those 51st convo delegate filing forms", they provide the following account about a supposed act taken by the credentials committee:
We’ve received some additional information on some of the convention delegate filings for the 51st Dist. GOP convo. Among the filings said to have been accepted were three from one family where the signatures were all the same — not the same handwriting mind you — one person signed three forms with his own name. When contacted, this individual admitted to signing all three forms, yet apparently all three were still allowed.
That statement is incorrect. I've posted a comment over their to correct the misstatement and to provide all the facts. I wanted to cover it here as well, because BVBL picked it up, and I'm certain he's written a lot more nasty stuff about it (although I can't read his blog so I don't know what he said).

I do not blame the author of the post at VV. My guess is he reported what he was told, and THAT person, probably involved in a campaign, which only gave him half the story. I'm guessing VV won't make the mistake of accepting THAT person's reports without checking the facts again.

I wasn't actually reading VV. Instead, I was having a phone conversation with Mike May, co-chair of the credentials committee, regarding the RPV response about the deadline for "applied for registration". He was helping me get my facts straight for a posting I made on that subject (I thank Mike for everything he is doing, he is serious about doing this job right).

During our conversation, he mentioned the post at VV, and then gave me the facts. We then exchanged e-mails to flesh out a statement I made over there on the subject. Here is my full response:
As to the suggestion that 3 delegates were accepted on the same signature, that is false. Mike May (credentials commitee co-chair) has given me the facts. There were four forms with the same signature — a father and his three family members. The father signed all four forms. Then there were three additional forms with the individual signatures of each family member. All seven forms were submitted, rather than the 3 invalid forms being discarded. The committee correctly rejected the incorrect and duplicate forms, but accepted the properly signed forms (the father’s original, and the family’s three duplicates with proper signatures).

And in an abundance of caution, the committee is requiring a sworn statement for all cases where the signature on the forms was ever in doubt because of duplicates where the signatures did not look the same. They are also requiring sworn statements if there are any discrepancies between the name listed on the form and the name provided by the registrar (e.g. if a delegate's registration name is "Donald Duck", but they put "Don Duck" on the form), and also if there is a discrepancy b/t the address listed on the form and the address listed on by the registrar (provided that person’s address per the registrar is still in the 51st).

So in NO case is a delegate being accepted on the basis of a form with an invalid signature or with any other invalid information. Only forms submitted by May 21st that have valid signatures are being accepted.

It is especially important, given the volatility surrounding this convention caused by some vocal gill-haters, that responsible bloggers get the entire truth, and not stir the pot with inaccurate or incomplete information.

I have spoken with Mike May about this issue. I sent the following statement to Mike May and received his approval before posting:

He expressed concern that the committee's job was hard enough without people leaking partial information. He also said while he reads the blogs regularly, he has not had time to comment and respond to every issue that was being raised in the blogosphere. He advised that if any blogger whatsoever wanted information regarding the credentials committee process, he was available. All they need to do is give him a call. He also emphasized his neutrality in the race and his attempts, along with his co-chairman Delegate McQuigg, to keep everything honest and above board.
I urge anyone who has a question to take Mike up on his offer, rather than engage in speculation and the spreading of half-truth and rumor that will only harm our reputation without acheiving anything.
My point here, beyond answering that specific point, is to urge here as well for everybody to take up Mike on his offer. The partial information is making their job harder, and it's not helping the candidates. There is no excuse for not having all the facts, we have been offered access. And there is certainly no excuse for INCORRECT information such as this.

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