Saturday, June 02, 2007

Faisal Gill Wins GOP Nomination In 51st District

Faisal Gill secured the GOP nomination for the 51st District House of Delegates seat late this afternoon, after a long and, from what I observed, sometimes raucous convention at GAR-Field High School.

I stopped by the convention after dropping my eldest son, Jimmy, off at a birthday party nearby. Since I don't live in the district, I had little interest in going for the long haul, and it seemed to me that, with the vile and despicable smears that some have made against me, it just didn't make sense to make myself a target. However, when I heard that there were some continuing controversies, and being in the area anyway, I stopped by for a look/see.

So I left a juvenile birthday party to witness the sometimes juvenile behavior of the convention. Except, the kids I left at the birthday party were better-behaved.

What a mess. It appears that someone screwed up, and in three precincts, more votes were cast than convention delegates certified. When the votes were counted, Faisal Gill came out on top, both in raw numbers, and in delegate votes (votes were weighted by precinct, based upon a formula set forth in the State Republican Party Plan).

It appeared to be quite a problem. It certainly created quite a controversy. However, the Elections Committee apparently determined that, even if the extra votes were presumed to be votes for Gill, and they were excluded, Gill still would prevail, and therefore reported to the convention that he was victorious.

Well, that didn't sit well with "Team Lucas." However, rather than behaving respectably and accepting what was a narrow but clear defeat, they decided to fight, and drew the convention out long past the time when it should have been adjourned. I arrived at about 3:30, and immediately joined a few other officious intermeddlers, including "Not Larry Sabato," Ben Tribbett, and "Black Velvet Bruce Li," Greg Letiecq, who led the smear campaign on his tackily-named website, giving aid and comfort to the likes of Democrat Jonathan Mark, whose racist-tinged comments became more shrill and frank as the convention approached.

Interestingly, I spoke to one convention delegate (and Gill supporter) who noted to me that a few members of the Barbara Bush Republican Women's Club had expressed similar sentiments to him/her.

The question now is whether Julie Lucas and her team will emulate Al Gore (see 2000 election controversy). Early action is not promising, i.e., she might. Her "brain trust" --- charitably named --- was apparently led by O.P. Ditch, one of the tax advocates, who distinguished himself while I was there by trying to get the votes of one (remember, three had overvotes) precinct thrown out entirely, i.e., disenfranchising all voters in the precinct. Not surprisingly, it was a precinct which had gone for Gill. I wonder how many of those to be disenfranchised by Ditch's effort were military votes?

Then, unexpectedly (probably because Lucas' people figured out they didn't have the votes to prevail; she lost her own home precinct), he withdrew his appeal from the ruling of the Chairman, Pat O'Leary, and the convention adjourned.

The whole thing makes me wonder if I shouldn't have stayed home.

On the bright side, though, more than six hundred (600) people who signed a pledge to "support all of the Republican Party's nominees in the ensuing election" showed up and spent the better part of a beautiful Saturday afternoon to select a GOP nominee. And unless I am very mistaken, it was the most ethnically diverse gathering of Republicans I have ever witnessed, giving lie to the Democrat smear/stereotype about Republicans. Many were new immigrants to our nation, demonstrating the power and persuasiveness of the Republican message. Of course, there are those who will condemn it for that reason (while paradoxically posturing with the claim that they seek a "big tent," which appears to actually means that they want more Liberals --- preferably WASPs --- in the GOP).

What is of particular note is the fact that so many apparently Muslim Americans, many new, made what was probably among their first participations in the democratic process with the GOP. Of course, as with all immigrant groups, it is important that they assimilate into American culture. And it was quite heartening to see so many choose the GOP as the vehicle for their collective voice. In these times when many --- too many, really --- mindlessly question the loyalties of all Muslims, it is significant that so many good, loyal, hard-working Muslim Americans participated so enthusiastically on behalf of a GOP candidate.

I don't know who will win the 51st District. It was never a "safe" GOP seat, except with a GOP incumbent, and plenty of mud was thrown by both sides. Most of it was independent, but unfortunately, Lucas' late desperation caused her to associate herself formally with the smear of Faisal Gill.

In any case, the GOP now has a nominee, and in my opinion, it is a nominee who will be a much more formidable candidate against a serious Democrat nominee, Paul Nichols.

One hopes that, rather than indulging what is likely bad advice to continue the controversy, Julie Lucas and her supporters will fulfill their pledge to "support all of the Republican Party's nominees in the ensuing election," including 51st District nominee for the House of Delegates, Faisal Gill.


Charles said...

If they just threw out all the Gill votes, Julie would win unanimously.

Gee, I guess there wasn't a "vote to nominate by acclimation".

opditch said...


At Sun Jun 03, 07:34:00 AM EDT, opditch said...
"O.P. Ditch, one of the tax advocates"
(my wife is LOL)

Can you support this claim without your now famous charge of "guilt by association"?

I'm sure the "PWCRC's former lawyerly expert" will find some eloquent way to explain this charge.

O. P. Ditch

James Young said...

I think I understand, and omitted the other comment.

"Guilt by association" is not a legitimate tactic when one is alleging illicit and/or criminal activity, particularly when other aspects of a person's associations/activities belie the intimation/allegation of wrongdoing. Why is it not a legitimate method of determining one's political beliefs by paying attention to the candidates one supports?

Tell us, O.P., did you ever raise a note of criticism over Chairman Sean's serial tax increases? Or did you make excuses for him? Did you oppose the sales tax referendum in 2002? My recollection is that you never voiced a word of complaint over the ridiculous tax increases borne by County taxpayers over Chairman Sean's term. Indeed, my recollection is that you belittle the activities of groups like the Taxpayers Alliance, perhaps even posting in the blogs under a pseudonym.

If I am mistaken, please let me know, and provide SOME evidence of the same. I would be happy to correct my post and apologize if, indeed, you have ever lifted a finger against tax increases.

James Young said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
opditch said...

Jim, is this how you "lawyer" your cases? You accuse someone of doing something like being a "tax advocate", then you justify it by saying that he was not an anti-tax person (presumably meaning he didn't join or support the tax "alliance"), and that he didn't "lift a finger against tax increases?" Were there even blogs back in 2002? If there really were, I didn't blog back then, and this is only one of my few blog comments recently. Unless you consider a blog. You still have not made a case to back up your claim that I'm a "tax advocate."

Also, Jim, you have no idea, nor would I tell you, what I was recommending to the political people I supported. You also likely overestimate my influence on those I supported. If I wrote anything on the subject of taxes, I challenge YOU to produce a single one where I "advocated" higher taxes.

I don't doubt that I may have spoken or even written against the idea or the need for any politician having to sign a "NO TAX PLEDGE." I wonder how Del Lingamfelter, among others, feels now that he has broken his "pledge."

PS, I should now better than arguing with a lawyer, but I'm feeling reckless after yesterday's events.

James Young said...

You know, OP, one of the things about blogs (note, I didn't say "nice things") is that you can just throw it out there. Obviously, the Faisal-haters have relied heavily on that fact to smear him.

I'm not smearing you. I've offered you the opportunity to tell me I'm wrong, and that I would retract my statement, and you've pointedly refused to do so.

You are correct: there weren't blogs back in 2002. However, there was a little website (that you've since deleted), and I seem to recall posts by you savaging anyone who dared to suggest that the Commonwealth and the County were taking enough of our hard-earned money.

What I am specifically relying upon is your reflexive opposition to any candidate who takes a strong stand against tax increases. Nevertheless, I'll raise the same challenge again: "did you ever raise a note of criticism over Chairman Sean's serial tax increases? Or did you make excuses for him? Did you oppose the sales tax referendum in 2002? My recollection is that you never voiced a word of complaint over the ridiculous tax increases borne by County taxpayers over Chairman Sean's term. Indeed, my recollection is that you belittle the activities of groups like the Taxpayers Alliance."

Feel free to polish your credentials here, and prove me wrong.

And BTW, smartass, I'm sure the likes of you gets off on attacking someone's professional credentials. But as you obviously know, a blog isn't a courtroom, nor does it make any pretense of being one.

But go with the feeling. Should you do so, I suspect Julie Lucas' political future will be bleak indeed.

PWC Republican said...

I was there from about 7:30am til about noon, and since my presence wasn't going to affect the outcome, I pressed on to recover the rest of a beautiful Saturday. I went in with an open mind, listening to both canidates, and two things seemed obvious; 1) Gill had the credentials and had proved himself through years of work and support for the Republican party as a solid contender, while Lucas came off as a competent school superintendent who was working hard on getting in over her head. Can you say, 'Peter Principle'? And 2) the Lucas camp was raucous and ill-behaved, and betrayed what might possibly be bigotry in their speeches, slyly suggesting that Gill was not "electable" for nebulous, unexplained reasons. They would have done far better to teach their teacher more about state-level politics and issues so that she could focus on facts rather than emphasis her school record again and again.

Mr. Gill stayed above the mud-slinging, focused on issues, and proved not only his leadership ability but his ability to draw together an incredibly diverse ethnic and religious following. Very impressive. I liked his background with the US Navy as a JAG officer, as well.

The system worked this time; the best qualified, most focused, and most relevant canidate won. I wish that sort of thing would happen more often.

Scott said...

Not jumping in the battle - just a point of clairification in your post. Isn't Civic Center still Julie's home precinct? It looks to me as though she won Civic Center.

Although she did loose the other Neabsco District precinct (Kerrydale).

James Young said...

Not sure, Scott. Only the generality was reported to me, not the specific precinct. If you're correct, then this is a factual error.

Charles said...

PWC Republican,

I liked what you said, so I stole it and put it up on the "Fans of Faisal" web site, but without your name (it should be up soon). But, if you don't like it, make a comment there and I'll take it down. Or comment here and I'll take it down.

Jim, I'll link to the comment here as well, so people know where it came from :-)