KC Lincoln Days Meeting With Governor Bob McDonnell

Cape County Tea Party leaders were invited to attend a Tea Party meeting with Americans for Prosperity and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell at the KC Lincoln Days event on February 18th, 2012.  Thank you to Holly Lintner of the Pachyderms for attending and reporting back on the events that took place:

The AFP meeting with Governor Bob McDonnell and Phil Cox, Executive Director of the Republican Governor’s Association, was the highlight of State Lincoln Day. We began by going around the room and allowing each person to introduce themselves. Though many did not have “Tea Party” in their organization name, I was surprised to see the diverse number of truly grassroots organizations of various names. There were Pachyderm Clubs in the room as well as organizations like “We heard the people say…”

After introductions the floor was opened to the group to discuss grassroots issues. Right to Work was the first topic mentioned and we all discussed the need for re-branding the name, to make it sound better. Suggested names included “Employee Choice Act” or “Workers Choice”. We quickly then moved on to more general issues like the need for the Republican Party to be able to reach out to young people as well as minorities.

But, all of this was overshadowed by one gigantic elephant in the room. Within the first minute of Governor McDonnell speaking he announced proudly that he will be supporting Dave Spence for Governor and helping him in every way he could. He also mentioned that he would be meeting with Spence after our meeting. The room was very clearly filled with Bill Randles supporters as Bill is generally perceived to be the more grassroots type. Spence of course comes with a lot of money and the Party’s nod as the most likely nominee.  The crowd maintained composure for 5 or so minutes, enough to talk about the issues above, but you could tell they were seething. Brandy Pederson of St. Louis was the first to break the silence on this issue. She was proudly sporting her Bill Randles t-shirt. She expressed concern with “the establishment” supporting the big money candidate over the more conservative choice. She went on to point out that those who work their tails off for the Party don’t feel like they are heard, but rather are handed down the anointed candidate and are expected to support them wholeheartedly, even though their hearts aren’t invested.

John Putnam from the southwest part of the State then echoed similar thoughts and threw Mitt Romney’s name in the mix and criticized the Governor’s endorsement of Mitt, based on the same arguments that Brandy was making. He also asked the Governor if he would be meeting with Bill Randles as well, and the Governor said “yes”. Several others in the room made brief comments that piggybacked on what Ms. Pederson and Mr. Putnam were saying, displaying an overall distaste for candidates in a primary receiving an “anointed” status.

I am told that Governor McDonnell did meet with both candidates and that he told Bill Randles that he was sorry and that “he (Governor McDonnell) had been duped”.

That is my report. See picture attached.

Thanks for the invite.


Holly M. Lintner, MPA
Executive Director
1555 Kisker Road, Suite 109
St. Charles, MO 63304
(636)720-3450 Office
(888)467-2249 Toll Free
(636)720-3451 Fax