Conflict of interest? What’s that? …Seriously?

From The Journal Press: Government Officials and Republican Leaders Endorse Rob Wittman for Congress:

Twenty-six local elected officials from counties in the First Congressional District have endorsed Delegate Rob Wittman of Westmoreland County in his bid for the Republican nomination for Congress. Every Republican county chairman in Delegate Wittman’s 99th Legislative District has also endorsed Wittman. The Republican Party will nominate its congressional candidate on Nov. 10 at a Party Convention in Caroline County. The special election is Dec. 11.

[…]

They are: Admiral Robert Fountain, Westmoreland County, Larry Kile, King George County, Jeff Sili, Caroline County, Joan Blackstone, Lancaster County, Allen Webb, Northumberland County, and Deborah Harper, Richmond County.

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch: 13 seek nods for open seat in House:

The GOP contest already is mired in controversy. The Republican Party of Virginia is looking into complaints that the Caroline County Republican committee held an improper mass meeting Saturday.

The hastily called meeting was held in a private aircraft hangar near Sparta in rural Caroline and started before its scheduled starting time. Signs along the road leading to the landing field said “No Trespassing.” Representatives of two candidates complained it was over before they got there.

J.M. Sili, Caroline County GOP chairman who won election to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, said the hangar was one of the few places in the area large enough to accommodate a mass meeting. He said the no-trespassing signs were aimed at keeping hunters from parking on the landing field. Candidates were not allowed to speak, because there are too many, he said.

Sili acknowledged the meeting may have started before its scheduled time. Fifty-one people attended and elected nine delegates to tomorrow’s convention. The delegates are not pledged to any of the candidates, he said.

What about the top-tier Presidential candidate’s campaign that wasn’t able to find out what the time the meeting was supposed to happen due to your oh-so-great leadership Mr. Sili? Maybe if you had bothered updating the Caroline County GOP website since September 2006

Charles E. Judd, executive director of the state GOP, said party officials were trying to determine when the meeting was called to order and adjourned.

If the rules were not followed, the mass meeting could be voided, he said. But there is not time to hold another meeting and elect other delegates, Judd said.

Shaun Kenney, a spokesman for the state party, said the Caroline delegates’ credentials may be challenged at the convention.

A comment left on Renaissance Ruminations blog:

David Says:
November 9th, 2007 at 10:36 pm

From the RPV’s “Handbook for Mass Meetings, Conventions and Party Canvasses”:
“All mass meetings must be held in a public place. Frequently, mass meetings are held in public school auditoriums, council chambers, courtrooms, town halls, civic centers, libraries, etc. A private home is not allowed. A commercial space may be appropriate if it is also used for other public functions (such as a bank auditorium).” A private airplane hangar on someone’s private property seems highly suspect. But starting before the time stated in the Call is just plain wrong.

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