So, Shaun is gone, less than a year after taking the job.
I know some revel in this information, but I do not. Having seen from the inside some of the issues inherent, I can vouch that whoever leads that organization has a miserable hand to play- and Shawn played it as well as it could be played.
A couple quick points:
1. Kenney was never allowed to bring in his own people to RPV. Why this is the case is baffling, but despite promises from the Mullins regime to the contrary, Shaun Kenney was never allowed to bring in the people (or positions) needed to succeed- to wit, a fundraiser, a savvy data guy, a savvy tech guy. With the Cantor machine pulling all funding from RPV because conservatives control the State Central Committee, it was incumbent on RPV to chase a broader- more grassroots- sort of fundraising structure. Not only did it not, but certain short-sighted portions of the party (including one of the US Senate campaign campaigns last year) forced out one of the few experts in grassroots fundraising that exist in Virginia, who Kenney had brought in to build the infrastructure.
Hard to succeed without the appropriate team around you.
2. Kenney focused on fundraising from the getgo, but he was the only one. Now, for sure fundraising isn’t everyone’s forte. Not everyone likes asking others for cash. I get that. But Shaun was literally the only one at RPV leadership focused on fundraising in 2014. Others- including notably Del. Rob Bell, and current Chairman John Whitbeck- tried to lend a valued hand, but there was little infrastructure in place to take advantage of their assistance.
3. RPV’s fortunes rose and fell with the Senate race. Look at the good graph that BVBL posted. As all GOP units do, their resources spiked before the election and dropped after. Many units- including successful ones- find themselves in debt after November. The question is, what then? Without the infrastructure in place and with the Establishment deep freeze in place, the answer is: oh no.
Ultimately, as TBE notably pointed out, Shaun did a great job with minimal resources and nearly no freedom to put in place a winning organization around him. With half the party taking their ball and going home, it is incumbent on the conservatives- who lead SCC- to step up and help John Whitbeck develop a winning organization capable of raising money from small dollar donors in an effective and inexpensive way. Ultimately, this will provide needed insurance from the ups and downs of RPV- be they sour grapes, or the election cycle, or needed investments to keep up with the Dems.
The slate is clean and the stage is set. Conservatives, you’re on deck. #giterdone