December 1, 2007
Just a few days after getting approval by the State Board of Elections for a requirement that all Republican primary voters sign a declaration of intent to vote for the party's nominee in the general elections, the RPV State Central Committee voted to withdraw the request. I think that makes the party look even worse than before -- The leaders clearly want to keep out voters whose loyalty to the party is suspect, but they don't want to appear to be doing so. In other words, they are (apparently) both exclusionary and gutless. RPV Communication Director Shaun Kenney explained that "conservatives do not want Democrats to infiltrate GOP nominating contests..." [emphasis added] Del. Scott Lingamfelter has introduced a bill that would begin registration by party in Virginia. (Good!) The Washington Post reported that squabbles and shouting matches broke out in Loudoun County in recent years when party officials tried to impose loyalty oaths on voters. Also see rpv.org.
Former Illinois Representative Henry Hyde passed away this week at the age of 83. He was known primarily as a staunch opponent of abortion, and the Hyde Amendment banned federal funding of abortions for poor women, which no doubt resulted in many more babies being born than otherwise. Hyde was a conservative Republican throughout his career, but he was also an independent thinker who sometimes broke ranks with his party. For example, he opposed term limits and favored greater controls on handguns. His strong opinions sometimes offended those who differed with him, but he was widely admired for his candor, sincerity, and integrity. He was a model of what a good legislator should be.