Pat Mullins, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, must go. The recent convention made that apparent.
Toward the end of the convention, after delegates had been in the coliseum for over 10 hours, Pat Mullins appeared on stage to chastise the bored crowd for making and tossing paper airplanes. He yelled at the crowd about the 3 massive screens that the RPV had purchased for $50,000 each. He claimed that paper airplanes could damage one of those screens and if that happened there would be hell to pay! Really? A $50,000 screen can be damaged by a paper airplane? Ridiculous. Strike one for Mullins.
Just after 8 pm, the results of the 3rd ballot were announced. The race was down to two men, Pete Sndyer and E.W. Jackson. Jackson had 49.7%, only 15 votes short of a win. Snyder had just 30% of the vote. That meant Snyder had less than a .003 chance of winning on a 4rd ballot. ALL of Stewart’s delegates, 100% of them, would have to vote for Snyder on the 4th ballot for Snyder to prevail. At that point, Pat Mullins should have had a ‘Come to Jesus’ meeting with Pete Snyder to tell him that he was done, he needed to graciously bow out and not put delegates through a 4th ballot with several more hours to be spent in the coliseum. Delegates had already been held for over 10 hours, it was time to end it. Such a directive to Snyder did not happen. Pat Mullins and the other establishment republicans did not want Jackson to become the nominee. They had chosen Pete to be the candidate and, darn it, they wouldn’t give up on him! Strike two for Pat Mullins.
After the third ballot results were announced, Snyder’s team began passing out flyers claiming that Corey Stewart had endorsed Pete, followed by more flyers claiming that Obenshain had also endorsed Pete. Neither were true. Snyder lied. Corey Stewart pleaded with Pat Mullins to let him speak so he could tell the delegates that he had not endorsed Snyder, or Mullins could tell the delegates. Mullins refused to do either, leading Stewart to walk around the convention holding hands with E.W. Jackson while holding up a Jackson sign. There was no other way to let delegates know that Stewart had NOT endorsed Snyder. More on this story with pictures can be found in this excellent blog post. Mullins made a big mistake when he refused to let the delegates know that they were being handed lies about endorsements from the Snyder campaign. Throughout the convention Mullins seemed quite happy to take the stage to lecture the delegates about their behavior, or to prattle on about anything that struck his fancy. There was no valid excuse for him not to take to the stage to clear up the endorsement lies being distributed by the Snyder campaign. Strike three for Mullins.
At 9:49 Pat Mullins announced that the results of the 4th and final vote was complete and would be announced momentarily. He invited the remaining delegates to come to the floor of the coliseum. Then delegates waited, and waited some more. At 10:15 Mullins finally returned to the stage. Everyone was very excited! We were finally going to have a candidate for Lt. Governor! Surely he would immediately announce the winner! Not quite. The delegates had to wait even longer while Mullins babbled on about something or other. No one cared, they just wanted to know who had been nominated! Some in the crowd booed. Mullins continued to talk. Then he invited the 11 republican district chairs to come on stage so they could be acknowledged and thanked for their work on the convention. By this time, many delegates had been in the hall for over 13 hours while Mullins delayed the announcement of the winner, over and over. It was maddening. Finally, at 10:23, Pete Snyder came on stage to concede. Mullins repeated delays were completely unnecessary. Strike Four.
Was Mullins delaying the inevitable because his boy Pete lost? Or is he simply in love with his own voice and party position? Whatever the reasons, Pat Mullins must go. Now.