I doubt there is a more vocal Republican when it comes to the Republican Party of Virginia’s war on Conservatives than yours truly. And there are not many elected officials in the Commonwealth more Conservative than Delegate Mark Berg. And I really hate the fact that Mark lost in a very close primary, but that is what happened.
Unfortunately, an active write in campaign was waged in favor of Mark Berg. And while I do not believe Berg was spearheading this effort to write him in on the November 3 ballot, there was a write in campaign nevertheless.
John Whitbeck wrote an Op-Ed at the Bull Elephant (Click here to read his piece) detailing the considerable effort he put forth to avoid this situation.
For the sake of clarity, I should point out that Del. Berg was never removed from the Party, nor did he resign from the Party. There really is no such process because we do not register by Party in Virginia and I certainly do not have that power as Chairman. However, our Party does elect individuals to serve on the Official Committees that govern the Republican Party of Virginia (“RPV”). Up until October 31, 2015, Del. Berg was elected to serve on three Official Committees: the SCC, the 10th District and the FCRC. While individuals who serve on an Official Committees can be removed from their elected office after due process this did not happen to Del. Berg. Rather, he was deemed to have resigned from all Official Committees pursuant to Article 7, Section C, Paragraph 2 of the RPV Party Plan which states:
A member of an Official Committee is held to a higher standard of support for nominees of the Republican Party than an individual who merely participates in a mass meeting, party canvass, convention, or primary. Therefore, a member of an Official Committee is deemed to have resigned his Committee position if he (a) makes a reportable contribution to and/or (b) allows his name to be publicly used by and/or (c) makes a written or other public statement in support of a candidate in opposition to a Republican nominee in a Virginia General or Special Election. Such member may be re-instated by a majority vote of the other members of the Committee. (Emphasis added).
And the piece goes on to list the numerous efforts Whitbeck attempted on Berg’s behalf including a letter in the Bull Elephant post. All Mark was required to do was disavow the write in efforts.
He did so, but after the election.
Whitbeck points out that Berg, at this point, has two options. He can appeal the ruling, but it is my belief that the ruling is correct and I would support upholding the ruling. The second option is to be voted back in by a majority, which is the route I believe should be taken as soon as possible. And I would hope the vote would be unanimous.
Whitbeck correctly points out that the rules state that A member of an Official Committee is held to a higher standard of support for nominees of the Republican Party than an individual who merely participates in a mass meeting, party canvass, convention or primary. Such member need not actively support the nominee, but it is not permitted to knowingly allow your name to be used in opposition to the nominee. And after Whitbeck notified Berg, a simple statement could have prevented this unpleasantness.
So let’s vote Mark Berg back in and put this all behind us. We need Mark. There is a lot of work to do. And let’s give the Republican winner a chance. Chris Collins was elected with 86% of the vote.
Thank you John Whitbeck. I know it was hard but the right call was made here. Let’s all just get past it.
Article written by: Tom White