by VA5th District TEA Party Leadership,
Compiled by Nigel Coleman, Bill Hay, Mark Lloyd, et al.
For the past several weeks there has been a growing concern among TEA Party Patriots of the VA5th Congressional District, as well as across the nation, that so many candidates are crowding the field that the body of conservative voters will be fractured. This would allow the progressive big government socialists presently infesting congress, such as lil’ Tommy Boy Pelosi-ello to be re-elected. Nothing short of this fracturing will derail the American people from saving our Republic.
After weeks of first hand observations, long conversations, deep deliberations, and gut checks, TEA Party leaders have come together to offer the official “TEA Party Perspective” of the GOP congressional nomination race in VA5. This evaluation is as fair and objective as we could make it. The intention of this evaluation is to clear up the rumors and claims being made by the media, candidates, and campaign staffers based on spin and political positioning. We, TEA Party leaders, will come together on a regular basis to offer our TEA Party Perspective and it will be published as “The Lump Report.”
In a Monday night conference call TEA Party leaders graded the Virginia 5th District Republican candidates according to their apparent campaign capabilities. Some of the areas taken into consideration were the ability to raise money, generate grassroot support, and the critically important alignment of political views with the majority of TEA Party patriots. Let us once again clarify to the media, and other supporters of the progressive agenda, the fundamental views of the “TEA Party” movement are (1) limited government, (2) fiscal responsibility, (3) free and fair markets, (4) individual liberty base on personal responsibility, and (5) a return to constitutional governance.
Each of these candidates has a seat at the TEA Party table, and have earned some lumps for their campaign “cup of tea.” The more lumps the sweeter the tea. Our deliberations provide the following evaluation (0-5 Lumps):
Ron Ferrin has apparently raised no money, nor has he reported spending any money. He has generated a smidgen of detectable grassroots support among TEA Party members. Those that know him like him, but, not too many of those folks to date. Those who have spoken with him report that his message will resonate. Mr. Ferrin needs to get to work, get in touch with the people, get some cash, and build a campaign, or reconsider his run.
1/2 a lump.
Ken Boyd has support in Albermarle county, none detectable anywhere else. However, he has shown ability to raise some cash. Mr. Boyd has not shown much interest in engaging the TEA Party, and it is reported he referred to TEA Party patriots as “TEA Baggers” in a GOP unit forum within the past several weeks. Perhaps Mr. Boyd did not realize this phrase derogatory to members of the movement. If he is not interested in us, then we will certainly not be interested in him. He has some work to do. However, we are early in the campaign.
Jim McKelvey was just a name on a list until he put up $500K of his own cash, which is impressive by any standard. However, only reports $1200 in contributions. Within the last couple weeks he has assembled a campaign staff, and increased the number of appearances. Those very few that know him do report that is message seems to resonate, but it is still rough in the delivery. However, TEA Party members to date are still asking “Who is this guy?” Until more is observed about Mr. McKelvey we are not rating him. He just arrived to the party, and the hot water is only now being poured into his cup.
NO lumps just yet
Feda Morton has passion to loan; however, the money issue is of great concern in that she reports “negfinity” (a new term coined Monday on our conference call). Reports of debt are concerning. Her message is passionate and in line with most TEA Party members. Those that know her like her, and she seems to be gaining widespread grassroots support, but we still wonder about the depth of that support, or if it will begin to generate money to get her out of the hole. The efforts she has put into her campaign in reaching out to TEA Party folk is noticed and appreciated.
Laurence Verga gets a big boost for being actively involved in the TEA Party movement before declaring his run. He has deep support within the movement. He speaks the TEA Party language and has an functional campaign organization. He has raised some money, and has put much of his own up to fund his campaign. It appears he has real potential to carry through and be competitive.
Mike McPadden is running a very good grassroots campaign. His message is definitely resonating with TEA Party Patriots, it is consistent and on target. He presents himself very well and his military service is admired. When he speaks people pay attention. He and his campaign are reaching out and connecting with the people of VA5. The financial question is concerning. This can be turned around, but it needs to be done sooner rather than later. Mr. McPadden is a contender.
Robert Hurt has grassroots support among TEA Partiers on the southside, but nearly none detected anywhere else. He is the GOP establishment candidate in the eyes of most TEA Partiers of the district. This is a burden to him among members who are not from his hometown. His cash collection is impressive, although much of it appears to be coming from GOP establishment types outside the district. His campaign has gotten off to a well documented rocky start with the TEA Party and the questions about his General Assembly votes are still unanswered in the minds of many .
1 1/2 Lumps.
This assessment has the potential to change. It is our sincere hope that the candidates and their campaign staff will seriously consider our “TEA Party Perspective” and adjust accordingly.