I love RedState. No, really I do. You provide what may well be the single most valuable service to the online conservative movement.
That said, I feel compelled to take you to the proverbial woodshed over this little nugget. I can’t believe that you guys would actually put your tag line on that story, much less trash a state party chairman on the front page. Your two proof points are a blog post from the squishiest RINO in Virginia and a complaint about his Twitter habits. Ah yes, I can see it now. Gov. Kaine was sitting at his desk with Tweetdeck open, witnessed a coup d’etat attempt and ran down to the floor to put the kibosh on things.
Please. I expect better from RedState than a strawman. You could have legitimized the piece by linking this, which is the text of the letter itself. Let’s take a look at some of the more salacious charges:
1. Failure to transmit, in a timely manner, online contributions made to the Republican Party of Virginia and processed by his own company. Withholding 7% of online contributions made to the RPV for a period of weeks during the summer of 2008 after repeatedly assuring the Executive Committee that he was not using his company as a vendor for RPV.
It’s little wonder that the authors would put this one up front. It sort of makes it look like Frederick was skimming 7% of the cash off the top, doesn’t it? Except he wasn’t….
You see, when you accept credit cards for any online transaction you need to have what’s known as a “merchant account” or an arrangement with someone who does. (I’d expect you guys to know this) To get one, you need an agreement with the financial institution with whom you’re going to clear the transactions. A common condition of such agreements is that you hold some percentage of the money in reserve to cover what are known as “chargebacks.” Chargebacks are cases of buyer’s remorse that occur when the cardholder for whatever reason decides not to follow through on the transaction, and calls their issuer to have the charges reversed. Generally speaking, merchants hold about 10% of the transaction totals in reserve to cover chargebacks. Notice it says “Withholding 7% of online contributions made to the RPV for a period of weeks during the summer of 2008.” It seems to me that what’s going on here is just a good business practice, and one that the processor is contractually obligated to no less.
However, I’m willing to bet that 90% of the folks who signed that latter have no idea how online contributions work, which is what makes it such an oh-so-clever device to induce people to sign on to the effort to remove him.
Then we have this one, which is related to the above:
2. Repeated failure to fully comply with a July 22, 2008 directive unanimously adopted by the RPV Executive Committee to disclose existing and pending contracts with vendors.
Ok, so here’s the smoking gun. You see, Jeff Frederick jeopardized his reputation to make off with a whopping 1384.00 (note to the Frederick haters: see how fair and balanced I am? I rounded up). Give me a break.
You can read the rest of the letter for yourselves, but most of the other points are of the pea-under-my-mattress variety or other stuff that’s impossible to prove. I’m absolutely befuddled as to why Bob McDonnell would weigh in on this issue instead of staying above the fray like this guy, but he’s kicked over a hornet’s nest that he could have easily avoided.
In summary, you of all people should know that there are always two sides to the story Erick. I’m disappointed that you’d use the considerable clout of RedState to trash Frederick without any shred of objectivity and insert yourself into a matter internal to a state party. There are legitimate criticisms that could be leveled at the Chairman but your article contains none. I expected more than a lazy rhetorical device from you.