The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

Memo to Pat Mullins

Mr. Mullins,

I first met you in 2009 at the RPV Convention in Richmond in one of the welcoming suites. This was before you got elected, and I asked you-as well as your opponent-what your plans would be for minority outreach in the age of Obama. Of everything you told me, what struck me the most was your acknowledgement that the party needed to be more inclusive. It was good hearing that.

In early 2010, after you had been on the job for a few months, I asked you the same question at one of the Virginia Beach Republican breakfasts. While you gave me the same answer you did at the convention, you also said that your first focus in the lead-up to the elections that fall was increasing RPV’s new media presence. I didn’t like that…but the strategist in me saw sense in that. A few months later, you, Dave Rexrode, myself and a couple other black Republicans sat down in Richmond to try to create a strategy for RPV on minority outreach.

And then, bad things started to happen.

First, the David Bartholomew incident last year. Good man, bad-no, horrible mistake. Were that the only incident over the last year, I probably wouldn’t have brought it up. But then, this happened:

The Republican Party of Virginia is strongly condemning an e-mail sent by Loudoun County’s GOP committee that shows President Obama as a zombie with part of his skull missing and a bullet through his head.

The e-mail, first reported on the blog Too Conservative, has “Halloween 2011” in the subject lines and has several other images, including one of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, whose face has been made to look deformed with one eye bulging out of its socket.

The e-mail invites supporters to a Halloween parade. “LCRC members and Republican candidates: We are going to vanquish the zombies with clear thinking conservative principles and a truckload of Republican candy…It’s fun and a great way to represent our candidates to a ton of voters (and their kids) just before the election.”

A markedly different form of disrespect…and one that I and others might argue is a LOT worse.

Meanwhile, any semblance of an outreach strategy for next year’s elections? Nonexistent. Or if it does exist, no one that should be talking about it or implementing it, is doing that.

There’s going to be an expectation that I-as well as other black Republicans-will support our slate of nominees for next year, whoever they are. Want to know what’s gonna happen when we go out to try and try and represent our party next year?

People in our communities aren’t going to want to discuss the issues of the day. They’re going to want to discuss David. And Loudoun County’s unit. And, personally, what I’m doing standing with them.

And, speaking for myself here, I’m not willing to endure those discussions on behalf of an organization that could’ve done everything to prevent them; everything to better its standing within my community…and has consistently chose to do the bare minimum, or nothing at all (and no, running black candidates with minimal support from RPV does not qualify as “outreach.” But that’s another memo).

So, in a much more direct fashion, here’s what I’d like to know:

  1. What SPECIFIC plans does the Republican Party of Virginia have to address minority outreach for the 2012 elections? Along with those plans, what type of budget is RPV willing to create to genuinely support those efforts?
  2. What SPECIFIC steps will you, as the party chair, take to ensure that incidents like David’s and Loudoun County’s don’t happen again?
Are you responsible directly for these things happening? No…but you should know that if they keep happening, they’re going to start to reflect on your leadership. And others who ask-especially those on the opposite side of the aisle from ours-may not be so nice in asking.
If you can’t provide the answers to those questions, then I can’t support RPV next year in any way. No volunteer or staff work, nothing. My self-preservation’s starting to kick in; I’m not going to continue to support a political organization that’s not going to make an active effort to talk to the people who I live with daily, and who’s going to make my efforts in doing so on their behalf much more difficult.
Now, you’ll say “he’s just one person; no big loss.” That may be true. But if the other black Republicans across the state that I know are as sick of these things as I am start to stand up, you may have a much bigger set of problems. And if it doesn’t, I’ll stand alone; it’s what I do as a black Republican every day in my community.
Look forward to hearing from you. Most of your staff knows how to reach me.

Written by Coby Dillard

October 31, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Posted in Editorials

One Response

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  1. GREAT open letter.

    I’m sure this will get a positive response.. or at least, I hope it will!

    Shaun Kenney

    October 31, 2011 at 7:46 pm

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