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Carrie Wigal

My Response to Attempted Removal of RPV Chairman Jeff Frederick

I sent the following email tonight to members of the State Central Committee of the Republican Party concerning the Attempted Removal of RPV Chairman Jeff Frederick.

Dear Republican Party Leader,

My name is Carrie Wigal. My husband and I are delegates for Fluvanna
County (5th District) to this year’s GOP State Convention, and we were
delegates to last year’s State Convention. That was our first exposure to
politics at that level.

It was Governor Mike Huckabee running for President that motivated me to
get in the political game.

I jumped straight into “grassroots” campaigning before I was even really
active in our local GOP committee. (Things got a little crazy in our local
unit with the changing of the guard [unit chairman], so we got a late
start in campaigning for our GOP candidates.)

My personal grassroots efforts included leading a sign waving on Route 29
in Charlottesville and 2 outside the gates to Lake Monticello, a gated
community comprising half the population of Fluvanna County. We were on
the local news…I was on TV on two separate occasions, and I was
interviewed on NPR (National Public Radio). I was in the local newspaper a
couple of times, and I and a handful of others drove around town for weeks
with our candidates name and values written on our car/van windows &
windshields. I made homemade T-shirts and yard signs, distributing them
along with fliers and other campaign materials throughout our county. I
worked the polls in my local precinct, and I have hosted both private and
public events…all with the aim to promote the Republican candidate I
endorsed. This was all done independent of the Republican Party and my
local Republican unit. Oh yeah, I’m a blogger, too, and very involved in
various social online networks.

At last year’s state convention, I and my husband voted for Jeff Frederick
to be the new RPV chairman. Why? We needed a fresh face…someone who
could reach out to the young crowd, someone who stood strong for
Conservative values, someone familiar with modern technology, and someone
who understood the value of the Grassroots*. I also helped campaign for
Jeff at the convention. He won the election last year, fair and square and
by a large margin.

Almost two weeks ago, I discovered that folks were seeking to remove Jeff
as Chairman, and I was stunned. When I tried to find out why, I couldn’t
find anything concrete. Then I read an article somewhere that Bob
McDonnell had said he should be removed and that this was the desire of
the grassroots of the party. What? I didn’t want him to be removed. I
contacted a few of my “grassroots” friends in my district (who also voted
him in) and they didn’t want him removed either. I couldn’t and still
can’t understand why he was asked to resign.

Secondly, I knew that HuckPAC had endorsed McDonnell. After all that the
Huckabee supporters did to rally around Huckabee last year and Saxby
earlier this year…as a strong grassroots effort, I couldn’t believe how
out of touch McDonnell was to suggest it was the grassroots that wanted
Frederick out.

I implore you, unless you have some hard evidence of serious wrongdoing,
do not disenfranchise the grassroots of this party by throwing our choice
out. If you do have such evidence, it is in the best interest of the party
to present them publicly, since the intention to have him removed has
already been made public. If this is not aired out for all to see, then
there will be great animosity and further division within the party.

Our local committee went through some nasty power-play politics last year
with the overturning of our mass meeting at the 5th district. Thankfully
the SCC overruled that decision and the Fluvanna County voters were not
disenfranchised.  Last year we had 15 delegates go to the state
convention. This year…as a result of strong grassroots efforts, we have 51!

I am also very active in my community, and I assure you the average person
on Main Street is sick to death over party politics. They and myself
included want our elected officials to work on our behalf, for the
betterment of our communities and country, not for their own self
interests. We don’t want them playing politics anymore. If this removal is
purely a power play, then the people will see right through it, and that
will be the fall of the Republican Party.

Thank you for your service, and I pray you will do the right thing. Please
feel free to contact me anytime. Thank you for your time and
consideration.

Sincerely,
Carrie Wigal

*What I mean by “grassroots” is action from the bottom up. It is folks
like me who get out where the people are and “campaign” for whom we want
because *we* want to, not because someone higher up told us we needed to.

18 Responses to “My Response to Attempted Removal of RPV Chairman Jeff Frederick”

  1. Comment from Freddie:

    Here are details on what Frederick has done wronge:
    http://bearingdrift.com/2009/03/12/ap-10-charges-to-jeff-frederick/

  2. Comment from collateral damage:

    As RPV Chairman, Jeff Frederick steered RPV contracts through is own company and then retained a 7% commission for all internet donations to the RPV.

    Jeff promised the Executive Committee of the RPV that he would disclose it if he or any staff member of RPV had an ownership interest in any company that is contracted to perform services with RPV.

    Jeff was asked on several occasions over the summer of 2008 if his company, GSX Strategies, as a vendor of RPV and Jeff Frederick said NO on two occasions.

    If you need proof that Frederick used his company as a Vendor for RPV, read this story and use the link in the story to view the Federal Elections Commission Expense Report from RPV to prove it. http://bearingdrift.com/2009/03/12/false-and-without-merit-says-frederick-or-is-it/

    If a state Chairman is unethical, if a state Chairman steers contracts to his own company, if a state Chairman lies about steering those contracts to his own company to his Executive Committee, if a state Chairman then admits he was receiving a commission for internet donations made to RPV and dismisses these valid and verifiable allegations as being “hot air by people trying to overturn the will of the grassroots”….that person no longer deserves to be Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia.

    Frederick sought office to line his pockets with the treasure of the grassroots who were tricked by him into thinking he cared about rebuilding the party. Know your facts. Know them well.

  3. Comment from Carrie Wigal:

    Thanks Freddie.

    Thank you, “collateral damage” for your comments. Please remember that these are charges/accusations. There is always another side to the story.

    Speaking from personal experience on a local level where a Unit Chairman went to great lengths to remove a Vice Chairman from its Committee on charges/allegations that sounded bad at the outset, but proved to be utterly ridiculous, I have learned not to be hasty in drawing conclusions. While the act on the part of the Vice Chair in this case might have involved poor judgment, it certainly did not warrant his removal. With the accusations of this one man, he was able to manipulate and obtain signatures from the Vice Chair’s own friends to come up with the sufficient number for a trial. Yet, when the truth came out, it was a totally different story.

    If I hadn’t seen this play out first hand, I wouldn’t have believed something like this could happen in our own party. But it did…and that was just the beginning.

    I’ll comment on the 10 charges after I’ve read through them and get a chance to digest them. I’ll publish my comments in a separate post.

  4. Comment from Kilo:

    Hi Carrie.
    I supported Jeff also but I cant condone his running money through his own company. That is first charge out of the ten and the FEC paperwork shows it in black and white.
    While it may not be illegal it is definitely unethical. What bothers me more is his denying that he did it…When the FEC paper shows he did.
    While I supported Jeff I honestly believe he can not be an effective leader after this mess. Do you? That is the issue we must face. Not who we supported, not how this whole mess has acted out, but can Jeff be a effective leader.
    With that said – Removing Frederick is only the beginning in straightening up the RPV.

  5. Comment from Carrie Wigal:

    I don’t want to put the cart before the horse here. How do you know he can’t be an effective leader here? I say, wait to hear his side of the story…and encourage others to do the same. The problem is folks are jumping ahead without all the facts.

    “Ah, it’s for the good of the party to dismiss this man”…maybe somebody else needs dismissing…maybe alot of somebody elses need dismissing. But at this point, we don’t know all that is going on.

    Somebody leaked this request to have Frederick step down to the media. Then the letter asking for his removal was released. Some of the GOP candidates and elected officials have already taken sides and they don’t know the whole side of the story.

    I say, hold your horses. Let’s hear the whole side of the story before we pass judgment. If Frederick has a reasonable explanation and he can communicate it effectively, the ones making the accusations and all those who ran ahead of themselves are going to look like fools. Let’s wait and see. Until the full truth comes out, let’s presume innocence until proven guilty.

  6. Comment from Kilo:

    That is why I said the first charge is the only one I have read that has real evidence – The FEC paper. The rest are allegations. Remember, this started at the advance months ago. The knives have been out for Jeff since day one. The SCC has made it clear they have the votes needed to remove Jeff on the 4th, no matter what you and I think. Given the info that is out there he will be removed on the 4th by the people WE placed on the SCC…So the cart ahead of the horse plays no part in this. This is about the impeachment powers of the SCC and their minds are made up.
    After that If Jeff wants a floor battle at the convention that is his right. It will be grand for the SCC members to take the mic and present the dirt and Jeff and his supporters can do the same. The press will love that, as will the Democrats. It will be one heck of show that is for sure and You and I will get our chance to vote
    To me the real problem here is the power we grant that chairman. The SCC can take that power away – they are the only ones that can. I have grown tired of hearing about the chairman past and present abusing powers when they can remove those powers but for some reason they wont. This has been going on for years and it stinks. I too pray they will support us come the 4th…but It looks like Jeff will be removed.I will stand by my “he cant be an effective leader” statement and we can pray I am wrong. I have nothing to draw on showing any great moves he has made thus far as chairman and after this I dont see how that can change.
    Thank you for your response and thank you for writing the SCC. The party would be well served by more people like you.

  7. Comment from Brad Smith:

    How many times are we going to see the lie about Jeff keeping 7% of the contributions repeated? Are you lynch-Frederick types intentionally lying or are you just ignorant of how things work with online credit card processing? The text of the SCC letter doesn’t even allege that he kept 7%, it says that he was “withholding 7% of online contributions made to the RPV for a period of weeks during the summer of 2008.” Folks interested in facts can read this for a good explanation on why you have to hold back a percentage of transactions processed online.

  8. Comment from Carrie Wigal:

    Be careful, Kilo…that first charge states:
    “1. Failure to transmit, in a timely manner, online contributions made to the Republican Party of Virginia and processed by his own company. Withholding 7% of online contributions made to the RPV for a period of weeks during the summer of 2008 after repeatedly assuring the Executive Committee that he was not using his company as a vendor for RPV.”
    There is nothing unethical in using your own company when you are not profiting from it in any way. Bearing Drift reports there’s an FEC form showing a payment made to “ChargedContribution.com” (which is managed by Jeff Frederick), but fails to point out the purpose was “Credit Card/Merchant Fee”, and does not explain how Merchant Accounts work when it comes to processing charges. To the inexperienced person, this might seem shady, but there’s nothing shady about it.
    I have my own business and I have my own Merchant Account, and there are charges that are incurred and charges that are set aside. Admittedly it was confusing to me as to what each charge was for, so I’m sure its confusing to all who stumble across an official-looking piece of paper and see charges listed.
    If people are looking for a way to oust this man, then doing something like this is the way to do it. Pick something that the average person does not understand the inner workings of, twist an interpretation to make it appear to be something it is not…this is called deception. And good people are being deceived about this particular point.
    PLEASE, I beg you to withhold judgment until the truth comes out.

    Secondly, we are being told that SCC has the votes to oust him. This is not necessarily true. They have the signatures required to take this to trial. That does not mean they have committed individuals that will vote to have him removed. Remember, SCC has only seen the accuser’s side of the story, they have not heard any defense. The purpose of calling the trial on April 4th is for a case to be presented and the accused to defend himself.

    I have firsthand experience in how this process works on the local level, and I have seen nasty measures to remove an executive officer, so I am not as gullible as I once was.

    Next, the idea of being an effective leader after all is said and done… If folks are against the man no matter what, then they will be driven away by the rest of the party should the man stand without blame. The people that are behind the accusations are going to look like idiots if the truth comes out and Frederick has not done any impeachable offense. I’m not saying the man is a saint, but has he really done anything to warrant removal? Those who are watching on the sidelines who believe in right vs wrong, as opposed to political correctness will surface when the truth is revealed. So, don’t count his leadership out yet.

    Thank you Kilo for your comments…I appreciate the dialogue.

  9. Comment from Carrie Wigal:

    I was writing my response to Kilo when Brad, you wrote yours. I don’t think Kilo is the bad guy…not everyone who wants Jeff removed is the bad guy. People are being deceived.
    In the past I would have just read the various blogs and listened to what folks had to say and kept quiet with my own ideas, but I feel it is my responsibility having gone through what I did last year with the Fluvanna Republican Committee to speak up.
    It is my mission, until the truth comes out, to educate the naysayers to the likely deception. If I am wrong, then so be it. I still believe in the idea of “innocent until proven guilty”. Call me naive and ideological, but my experience begs me to hold out for the whole story.

  10. Comment from Carrie Wigal:

    RPV Chairman Jeff Frederick’s response to each of the 10 SCC charges are now posted on the homepage of RPVNetwork.org. Please read it for yourself…do not rely on commentary as your primary source of information.

  11. Comment from Doug Johnson:

    I have read the charges and have read Jeff’s response.

    I support Jeff and say he should stay.

  12. Comment from Doug Johnson:

    I have received the following e-mail today:

    Dear County and City Unit Chairman,

    These are provided to you in case you haven’t received them. Below are my
    thoughts on the current situation regarding the Chairman of the Republican
    Party of Virginia – Jeff Frederick. His letter is below my letter. Please
    read both letters. Thank you.

    Howie

    From: Howie Lind

    State Central Committee Member

    10th Congressional District

    Dear State Central Committee Member,

    You now have received Chairman Jeff Frederick’s email response to the
    charges that have been leveled against him. I have been out of town for
    the past 10 days during this frenzy of activity along with our
    now-scheduled special meeting to decide upon the removal of Chairman Jeff
    Frederick. I feel compelled to respond to you now.

    Here is an interesting scenario for you. A third-world nation that is
    widely known for its corruption in all matters political holds an election
    to pick a new leader. The outcome is not close, and the
    democratically-elected candidate is declared the winner by a 60-40 margin.
    But the opponents vow on that day that this new leader will not remain in
    office. Over the next several months, these opponents “engineer” a way to
    remove this newly elected leader. They design a bunch of trumped up
    “charges” against this leader, which all sound terrible but actually have
    no merit whatsoever. They proceed to get 75% of their legislative members
    to sign a piece of paper calling for the ouster of the leader based on
    these false charges. They even get other leaders to call legislative
    members to browbeat them into agreeing that this new leader must be
    removed. Finally, these opponents schedule a meeting date so that the
    legislature can convene to vote on the leader’s removal.

    Sound familiar? The problem is that we are not a politically corrupt,
    third-world country. We are the Republican Party of Virginia in the United
    States of America. No one could make this up. This is patently absurd.

    If Jeff’s opponents want to be Chairman of our party so bad, why don’t they
    run state-wide – like Jeff did, and win state-wide – like Jeff did.

    Think of your own situation. You were elected to the State Central
    Committee in your district or region, and you represent thousands of
    Virginia Republicans. Now suppose that the supporters of your defeated
    opponent decide to overturn your election. They declare a bunch of false
    charges against you; they get other leaders to agree to these false
    charges; they get a bunch of signatures on a petition to remove you; and
    they schedule a meeting to vote on your removal. What would you do in this
    situation? I hope you would fight it. That’s what I would do. And that
    is what Jeff is doing now.

    Finally, through out this entire ordeal, one nagging question persists –
    why are these opponents going to all this trouble? They must have some
    planned endgame in mind. One constant rumor is that Tom Davis would be the
    newly installed Chairman if these opponents succeed in removing Jeff. If
    that is true, why doesn’t Tom run state-wide, like Jeff did, to win this
    position outright, like Jeff did.

    If these opponents of Jeff fought this hard against Democrats every year,
    I’m sure we would be winning more elections. This is the biggest –
    self-generated – internal political debacle I have ever seen.

    Don’t be browbeaten by others. You know this is not right. Please support
    Jeff to remain as our Party Chairman.

    Howie

  13. Comment from Doug Johnson:

    Later today I received this e-mail:

    Got it Howie..

    Now here is my scenario. This 3rd world leader was elected because he hoodwinked the population. Then he went on to be the most inept leader of this 3rd world country (i.e.: Jeff Fredericks) had ever seen, losing election after election and putting his foot in his mouth and embarassing said 3rd world country. (Funny I always thought of the Commonwealth as 1st Rate)

    So the Congress (State Central Committee) elects to remove him before he does anymore harm. How many elections need to be lost before we lose Jeff Frederick. incidentally I didn’t vote for him, as I saw his inexperience as a hindrance. Besides the guy he removed from office was only in there for 9 months. So Jeff should now consider running for delegate again. I hope this does not upset his wife who had her sights set on this.

    Tim Boyle
    Chairman
    Mecklenburg County Republican Unit

    Now this offended me so I wrote back to him:
    Tim

    I resent the implication that I was “hoodwinked” when I voted for Jeff. I have been voting in every election for over 50 years. My vote counts. I will not be disenfranchised by anyone who considers their opinion any more valid than mine.

    I sent this to you personally and not to the entire list. I suggest you send to that list and apologize. Unless, of course, you feel your opinion is more valid than mine and all the others who did vote for Jeff.

    Doug Johnson, Chairman
    Fluvanna Republican Committee

    To this, Tim responded:

    TOUGH!! You have your opinion I have mine!!

  14. Comment from Doug Johnson:

    I just got a robo call from “grassroots republicans of Virginia” asking me to call someone I voted for when that person ran for State Central. I do not know who is pushing for the removal of Jeff but this robo call offended me.

  15. Comment from Kilo:

    You are right Carrie, I am not a bad person. I just realize the SCC has the votes to remove Frederick. We can get mad and write a letter, but come the 4th he is gone. Like we discussed, he can take the floor at the convention and try again.
    To me, the bigger question is who will replace Jeff and if the SCC will finally remove the powers that always get abused. If that makes me a bad person so be it.

  16. Comment from RepubMom:

    Thanks for posting your opinions. It’s almost impossible to find an objective opinion that would give JF a fair shake. Could you answer why Hager was only in for 9 months? And how many times has the SCC ousted a chairman? Who holds the SCC’s feet to the fire? It does not seem to matter for this 2009 election who we have in as Chairman as his role doesn’t seem to be that far reaching. But maybe we should change the rules to be a 2 year term limit and then, outside of criminal or serious ethical issues, tough it up and deal with whomever is elected. Is this a recurring trend for the SCC? I’m new to the Republican political ins and outs and would just like to know. Thanks.

  17. Comment from Carrie Wigal:

    Kilo stated, To me the real problem here is the power we grant that chairman. The SCC can take that power away – they are the only ones that can. Actually, I was reading the party plan last week and found that the State Chairman can be removed by 3/4 of SCC vote -or- 2/3 of Convention vote. So, technically SCC does not appear to be the only ones to take that power away.

    I wrote a second letter to Bob McDonnell and I was told by a campaign manager that they would like to speak with me about this. I gave him my phone number. He said he would call me yesterday. So far I haven’t heard from him.

    I wrote a second letter to my 5th District Chairman and the other SCC members representing the 5th district that I had not heard back from yet. I was surprised at the hostility demonstrated by Tucker (5th District Chair) when he responded to an earlier email he was copied on when I replied to my Unit Chairman’s email directed to our Executive Committee pertaining to this issue. He seemed to be a bit perturbed at me. The other SCC members replied with a canned response. Hmm.

  18. Comment from Carrie Wigal:

    I spoke with someone from Bob McDonnell’s campaign last week. I must say, the man was very gracious in allowing me to speak and present my perspective. While he believed that Bob was justified in calling for Jeff’s resignation because virtually every Republican-elected officer in the State & Federal Government (representing VA) was on board with his removal, he was cordial and let me speak. I explained to him that I believed the man deserved a fair trial, and I thought it would have been wiser for Bob to withhold judgment until after the SCC decision was made.

    I am very interested in hearing the outcome of the meeting on Saturday…State Central Committee will be meeting in Richmond at 10AM.

    Repubmom, I’m sorry I didn’t directly respond to your questions earlier than this. I’m not sure how long Hager was in office prior to Frederick, but I do recall he had everybody and his brother “endorsing” him for re-election. His campaign materials were not very positive…it was mostly anti-Frederick, from what I recall. I found that to be very much a turnoff. I wish candidates could be more like Huckabee was last year during the primary season…willing to talk civilly about his positions without shredding the competition.

    From what I understand this was only the second time a chairman was elected by a convention of delegates in a very long time. The previous chairs were mostly appointed by SCC. Now, I don’t have specifics to point to, but this is my generalized understanding based on various blogs I’ve read.

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