Another sign George Allen is the inevitable GOP Senate nominee: an opponent's campaign manager is stepping aside.
Jamie Radtke’s campaign is $85,472 in debt and only $43,163 on hand as of the last FEC filing. Radtke’s campaign has been floundering by Tea Party infighting, polls in the single digits, and an unwillingness to debate anyone but former Governor George Allen to the point of sidestepping a Shenandoah Tea Party debate last month.
This weekend the Republicans Party of Virginia will be the Advance (Republicans don't retreat) in Homestead Resort, in Hot Springs, Virginia. Here's a youtube about the Advance.
Hundreds (the resort and surrounding hotels are full) of Tea Party activists, Republicans, candidates and elected officials will gather to celebrate the 2011 victories, train for future elections, and plan for the critical Presidential, Senatorial and Congressional races of 2012.
There are 15 breakout/training sessions and politicians, candidates and political organizations host hospitality suites. If you are interested in Virginia politics this is the place to be seen. However, Radtke is not having a suite and she's not even getting a $100 table in the lobby. She retreating to Natural Bridge High School with only several other Tea Party leaders.
On Saturday, December 3rd from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., several Tea Party and other patriot groups in the 6th Congressional District will hear from U.S. Senate 2012 candidates, E.W. Jackson, Sr. and Jamie Radtke during the morning session.
Around 12 noon, there will be a potluck lunch, followed by breakout meetings by each patriot group to discuss the U.S. Senate candidates. Goal is to assist the process to support a two-candidate race for U.S. Senate in the Republican primary.
If there any doubt that the Virginia Tea Party Patriot Federation was formed exclusively to promote Radtke, read on.
Henrico, VA – Today George Allen received the endorsement of over 100 Tea Party Patriots throughout the Commonwealth, led by Coby Dillard, Co-Founder of the Hampton Roads Tea Party, Laura Alcorn, Co-Founder of the Richmond Patriots, Strother Smith, President of the 10th Amendment Foundation, Ben Marchi, former State Director of Americans for Prosperity and conservative Tea Party activists Tito Munoz and Carl Tate. These Tea Party Patriots cited George Allen’s strong record on fiscal responsibility, individual liberty and his unwavering commitment to protect and stand up for the Constitution of the United States.
The press release provoked an immediate response by the Northern Virginia Tea Party and Virginia Tea Party Federation, one of the largest coalitions of tea party groups in the state. The federation claims to have approximately 40-50 legitimate groups in its membership, most of whom do not endorse or support George Allen. The group pushed out the following statement in response to George Allen’s release.
The Northern Virginia Tea Party has rebuked a George Allen campaign announcement which has implied that they and the state federation of Tea Party Patriots have endorsed his campaign and called upon George Allen to withdraw the announcement, reprimand the staff or consultants who created this misleading or dishonest announcement, meet with their leadership to offer his assurance that this will not happen again, and focus on face to face debates with other candidates seeking the support of Tea Party Patriots in Virginia for the 2012 GOP Senate nomination.
The recent announcement of Tea Party endorsement by the Allen campaign, the Tea Party statement said that “it is misleading at best, dishonest at worst. No candidate has been endorsed by any statewide Tea Party organization in Virginia and especially not by the Northern Virginia Tea Party.”
Karen Hurd, President of the Northern Virginia Tea Party, said George Allen is falsely claiming to have tea party support. “he’s trying to make it look like he’s got this great big groundswell of grassroots support. He does not.” Hurd suggested many names on the list of Allen’s release do not fully support Allen and did not give permission to be listed.
After a few phone calls, however, I found most names on the list were very much in support of George Allen. Michelle Stanley of the Richmond Patriots, for example, confirmed she had indeed endorsed Allen and said she believed the list was legitimate. Stanley, who is also a blogger here at CampaignTrailReport.com, believes the Northern Virginia Tea Party and VA Federation are fully in support of candidate Jamie Radkte.
Indeed, there does appear to be a conflict of interest in the response put out by the Norther Virginia Tea Party. First, Karen Hurd told me that as of yesterday she is a paid consultant for Jamie Radkte’s campaign. Second, Jamie Radkte is one of the key founding members of the VA Tea Party Federation and the coalition appears to be heavy handed with its membership and support of Radtke.
Michelle Stanley told me the Richmond Patriots had at one time been a member of the Federation, but decided to withdraw membership when it became clear the coalition was a support mechanism for Radtke’s run for Senate.
There is no doubt George Allen doesn’t have unanimous support of Virginia Tea Party Groups. That said, he certainly has legitimate claim to a fairly large support base among Virginia tea partiers. Additionally, those reacting to Allen’s tea party support are clearly doing so in the interest of Jamie Radtke.
I would like to thank Sara James for her articles on the subject (Have You Paid Your Dues Tea Partiers) and Tom White for his excellent analysis of the issue (Fight For The Tea Party Vote). Coby Dillard is on the List and you can read Coby's response here (For George Allen).
I have listened to Allen, Radtke and Donner speak on the issues facing us and although I am endorsing George Allen at this time I can honestly say that if Jamie Radtke or Tim Donner were to win the Republican Nomination I would wholeheartedly support them in their campaign to defeat Tim Kaine and Obama's money! Can those opposing Allen say the same thing? I would hope so. I look forward to the Republican Debates.
I am also on the list by choice and I always find it amazing when people who claim to be leaders of Conservative Organizations insist on going out of their way to to humiliate, attack and ridicule people who are their natural allies just because they do not approve of the candidate they are endorsing. True Conservative Leaders build bridges to other Conservative groups. True Conservative Leaders try to persuade you to their point of view without relying on personal attacks. True Conservative Leaders will respect your decision weather they agree with your choice or not. Apparently some of these so called Leaders of Conservative Organizations have resorted to calling people like me Republican Stooges, Cogs in the Republican Machine (paraphrased), question our Conservatism and even our Patriotism. Just who in the HELL do you think you are? Who in the HELL died and made you King or Queen? I will endorse who I want when I want weather you like it or not! I do not tell you who you should support nor do I make judgments about your Conservatism and Patriotism based on who you support.
Although I have had some spirited discussions with a few of my fellow Conservatives I have NEVER questioned their Conservatism and especially their Patriotism. I also do not resort to personal attacks. If any of them thought that I was conducting personal attacks in some of our discussions please except my apologies.
I hope that the so called Leaders of these Conservative Groups will learn that you attract a lot more support with honey than with vinegar!Do not attack your Natural Allies.
Remember the TRUE Enemy out there are the Progressive Democrats and their defeat is JOB 1.
Update: While George Allen is rolling out support from new legislators and businessmen, Karen Hurd is still contacting the media over the outrage of 100 people who associate themselves with the tea party (Taxed Enough Already) movement.