Witness "Mitch Cumstein's" ever evolving assertions. On a post attributed to him at Sean Connaughton's Cult of Personality ... er, "Too Conservative," "Mitch" says that:
Based on the numbers I’m hearing, this is going to be a very close race. Despite getting into the game very late, Gray has earned a tremendous amount of support. It will all depend on who shows up on Saturday but, of the approximately 950 delegates, my guess is that John has close to 450 (compared to 500 for Stewart). I don’t know the district-by-district makeup at this point. But I’d say it’s anyone’s ball game.But in a comment on independent Craig Vitter's website, he says this:
My source (who saw these forms last night) indicated that, based on the names, the split is probably closer to 80-20 in favor of Gray. With wieghted voting, Saturday is going to be very interesting.Hmmmm. Well, which is it, "Mitch"? Can't get your story straight? Or did you just get your talking points mixed up?
I won't pretend to have seen the filings. Didn't even file myself, as the Youngs will be in Canada on Saturday, on a long-planned family vacation. But a source close to the Stewart Campaign has indicated to me that "Mitch's" first numbers are a lot closer to the truth, though inflating Gray's by a factor of about 30%, and that the only way that Gray can win is if his people show up, and Corey's don't.
Clearly, this is a proxy battle. The Connaughtonites out there fear and loathe Corey Stewart. And it appears that they are attempting to turn out the same people who came to a GOP meeting in May 2004, after Chairman Sean was embarrassed by a loss in a straw poll on the Lieutenant Governor's race conducted by the YRs at an ill-attended County GOP Convention. Then, he attempted to hijack by proxy the County GOP Committee --- something he could have done easily if he'd just bothered to encourage his people to attend the Convention --- by turning out people to vote for inferior officers who would jump on his bandwagon. Among them was at least one --- John Gray --- who just a few months earlier had sought the Democrat nomination for Occoquan District Supervisor. Many paid their $30 membership fee with crisp, fresh new $10 and $20 bills, which many believe to have come from the same fresh bank stack from Chairman Sean's campaign. And most who were elected to Membership --- after the voting --- never bothered to show up again.
Hopefully, that fear is well-grounded. After all, if Corey wins and leads the County conservatively (e.g., by requiring County bureaucrats to write a budget within revenue, rather than allowing them to write budgets with ever-increasing taxes) it would give lie to claims that Chairman Sean is/was a conservative. And that disaster would follow from any other course.
What they fear most --- as "Mitch's" post makes clear --- is a Republican nominee who will actually and successfully pursue fiscally Conservative GOP policies, rather than Chairman Sean's developer-friendly, developer-financed tax-and-spend policies. A BOCS Chairman who puts those policies on the defensive --- as Chairman Sean has consistently refused to do --- would give likely give lie to the notion that County taxpayers are unremittingly supportive of a budget that has increased, under Chairman Sean's tutelage, by 114%, while the County's population has increased by only 30%.
What they fear is a choice, not an echo. That would certainly take the bloom off of Chairman Sean's rose.
UPDATE: Jim has a preliminary Credentials Committee Report up over at Virginia VirtuCon. It seems that old "Mitch" has been telling tales at Craig's site.