Everyone needs to lay off John Whitbeck… and Shaun Kenney. Now.

It’s been only since Monday, when the news broke that Shaun Kenney was leaving as Executive Director of the Republican Party of Virginia. Since that time, folks have both castigated Shaun for RPV being broke, and attacked our new Chairman, John Whitbeck, for supposedly forcing Shaun out, blamed Ken Cuccinelli, and thrown the football that is RPV’s debt back and forth, looking to assign blame.

The truth is that only a handful of folks, including John Whitbeck and Shaun Kenney themselves, actually know what went on and why. The truth is that both men are appearing down in Virginia Beach this weekend for a fundraiser for RPV. The truth is that Shaun Kenney has honorably agreed to stay on and help right the ship, and help find a replacement for himself. The truth is that the Eric Cantor/Ray Allen/Boyd Marcus/Bobbie Kilberg crowd are the ones who pulled money from RPV, and it had little to do with either Whitbeck or Kenney.

I hear a lot of people talking, but very few people speaking out of any sort of knowledge of the situation. All will be borne out in the fullness of time, as they say. In the meantime, shut up and wait to see what the truth is, and remember, the idea is to rebuild the RPV together, and disregard those who are ‘taking their ball and going home’. We need every Republican who supports our party’s Creed, to help elect candidates who support it. Who’s in?

Shaun Kenney Cleared

Way back in May, we addressed the reported investigation of RPV Exec. Dir. Shaun Kenney and using common sense, time and geography, came to the conclusion that he did not commit the wrongdoing of which he was accused. Now, the special prosecutor appointed in the case has come to the same conclusion with the release of his findings.

Today, I transmitted a file closing letter to the State Police concerning the above named individual in connection with the matter in which my office was appointed to serve as special prosecutor.

After a lengthy review, my office has determined that the allegations against Mr. Kenney do not constitute violations of Virginia law, and we are closing our file accordingly.

Due to numerous information requests (FOIA) from media outlets, I am sending a copy of the closure letter and investigative memorandum (summary) with this transmission at one time to a large group of recipients.

Thank you very much for your interest in this matter.


Jim Fisher

A copy of the letter can be found here.

Time and Geography Back Up Shaun Kenney’s Side of the Story

Late last week, the Virginia Pilot ran a story stating that Republican Party of Virginia Exec. Dir. Shaun Kenney was under investigation with regard to property that he purchased last year and whether he used his position while on the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors to enhance the value of that property. Based upon the facts that I have been able to discern here, both time and geography appear to vindicate Shaun’s side of the story.

First of all, let’s get this part out of the way. Anyone can ask for a state investigation of an elected official, whether it’s a state senator or a supervisor. The state police are duty bound to look into the nature of the allegations and offer whether or not there is merit to the accusation or not. Right now, state investigators are said to be wrapping up their investigation of Kenney and the accusations that he bought property in the Town of Columbia in order to sell it back to the James River Water Authority (JRWA) for an amount of $1.25 million so that it could build a pumping station or the alternate accusation that he bought the land in order to benefit from a revitalization grant.

With regard to geography, the Town of Columbia is one-mile away from the proposed pipeline route and none of the town lots are next to a water source. The JRWA can only serve Fluvanna and Louisa customers, which is why Columbia already has its own water treatment facility. (The black marks on the map below are Shaun’s property in Columbia. The proposed pipeline, as previously indicated, is a mile west and would not serve the town.)

columbia map

This is pretty clear-cut to me that Kenney’s property is not of interest to the JRWA. Furthermore, all of the information with regard to the JRWA proposal is public, so even if Kenney’s property would have been of interest to them, he would not have been utilizing inside information unavailable to the general public in order to make a profit (unlike how Virginia’s senior senator Mark Warner made his millions upon departing his staff job on Capitol Hill.)

The alternative allegation that Shaun purchased the property in order to benefit from a revitalization grant falls due to timing. The county’s application for a grant to restore the main street in Columbia was declined by the state in the summer of 2013. The major property owner along the main street in Columbia then began selling all of his properties at which time Kenney bought four buildings and six lots for the assessed price of the properties. So Kenney bought the property AFTER the grant was denied.

Even if the county reapplies for the grant in the future (and Kenney is no longer serving on the county board, so that issue is off the table), it was public knowledge at the time these lots were being sold that a grant had been applied for and anyone could have purchased them if they wanted to speculate that a grant might yet be approved one day. Plus Kenney bought the property for their assessed value, so it isn’t as if he received a sweetheart deal on the land like the Clintons did with Whitewater.

So, with both geography and time on Kenney’s side who filed the complaint against him and why?

In March, when Shaun was interviewing for Executive Director of RPV, State Senator Tom Garrett made statements insisting that Shaun not be hired.  Garrett not only referenced his involvement in helping a Fluvanna citizen file the request for a state investigation of Kenney, but stated specifically that Shaun was only taking the position as executive director so that Kenney could primary Garrett for state senate in 2015 (something that I have been assured Kenney is not looking to do, but Garrett’s actions sure are a great way to get someone to change their mind.) It makes you wonder if Garrett has been pushing this story with the media (and this blog comment mentioning Garrett is particularly interesting since it almost appears like a pre-emptive defense.)

Kenney In At RPV, Foreman Out In Dumfries

In light of Virtucon’s long track record of April Fool’s Day posts dating back to 2006, we thought it wise to hold off until today to report two unexpected political moves in the Commonwealth lest they thought to be pranks on our part.

First of all, in a bombshell announcement that took everyone by surprise, Dumfries Mayor Jerry Foreman announced during the town council meeting last night that he was withdrawing from the race for mayor next month. Foreman had declared for reelection back in November and when I spoke with him just two weeks ago he was gung-ho about the future. No reason for his decision was given. We hope that everything is okay with Mayor Foreman and the members of his family and wish him all the best in the future. He has served the Town of Dumfries well as both a councilman and mayor.

On the other side of the coin today is Shaun Kenney who has been named as the new Executive Director for the Republican Party of Virginia. I have known Shaun for years from both our days in the Young Republican Federation of Virginia and as fellow bloggers. He will undoubtedly bring a great deal of energy and ideas to the RPV just at the time when it needs it the most. Shaun brings something else as well – the ability and the will to take the political fight to the Democrats. For far too long Republicans in Virginia have sat idly by while Democrats have rolled over them because they viewed themselves above getting into the fray. If they expect Shaun to continue in that tradition, they are sadly mistaken.

Please Join Virtucon In Welcoming…

Virginia Virtucon is pleased to announce that Shaun Kenney has joined our staff and will assume the title of Publisher.  Shaun serves as the Chairman of the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors and is a former Communications Director for the Republican Party of Virginia.  He holds the distinction of being one of the first political bloggers in Virginia, starting his journey a full decade ago in 2002. Shaun lives with his wife, seven children, and what he likes to describe as a modest attempt at a farm in Kents Store, Virginia (a.k.a. Thomas Jefferson’s backyard.)  Please join us in welcoming Shaun onboard.

Shaun Kenney in the 22nd

So long as we are on the candidate draft kick, a grassroots movement has arisen calling for Fluvanna County Supervisor (and fellow blogger) Shaun Kenney to run for State Senate in the newly drawn 22nd District.

I’ve known Shaun for years and he is precisely the type of common sense, pro-economic growth conservative that Gov. Bob McDonnell could use to advance his agenda through the State Senate where it still runs into some road blocks.  No one should doubt his fiscal conservatism — after all, he is the guy who ran in a primary against Del. Bobby Orrock in 2005 over the tax issue.  Shaun is also a staunch social conservative with an impeccable pro-life record and commitment to the cause.  He has been a pioneer in the field of social media in Virginia, helping the GOP and conservatives catch up and surpass their counterparts on the left.  He’s the whole package and the Commonwealth would be very fortunate to have him as a member of the upper chamber.