A group of roughly 25 Republican Liberty Caucus of Virginia supporters — including Chairman George Primbs, Vice Chair Steven Latimer, Treasurer Cliff Dunn, members of the Board of Directors, and members of the organization – met early in the morning on Monday, January 17 to participate in the Virginia Tea Party Lobby Day. This was the first coordinated group trip to Richmond.
The Republican Liberty Caucus of Central Virginia played host to the northern Virginia contingent as well as several activists from Charlottesville, Newport News, and Virginia Beach. The day began with a RLC business meeting over coffee and breakfast. RLC’ers brought various literature and brochures to the event to distribute, and the Central Virginia RLC paid three folks to hand out our literature to everyone in attendance at the various events of the day. Chairman George Primbs made “I am the RLC” stickers that everyone ended up sporting.
The Board nominated Shelby McCurnin and Rob Kenyon to alternate positions on the Board of Directors. The Board also chose to endorse Republican Delegate Harvey Morgan’s bill to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession in the state of Virginia, HB 1443. After the business meeting, the RLC took a group photo (Note: other RLC members were not present at our initial gathering, but met up with us later in the day):
Then RLC members met up at the Capitol to meet with legislators. RLC Board member Rick Sincere met with Senator Creigh Deeds, a Democrat, to discuss non-partisan redistricting in the state. A small group of core RLC members met with Senator Mark Obenshain (R) to discuss his constitutional amendment to protect private property rights. Rick Sincere, who also runs his own blog, was able to get the Senator on audio discussing his legislation. The same group of RLC members had an excellent meeting with a new delegate, retired air force Colonel Rich Anderson (R), who represents a Democratic area west of Woodbridge. Delegate Anderson expressed that he may attend the RLC National Convention and enjoyed hearing from RLC members on the need to end government growth and, in particular, our support for HB 1443 to decriminalize marijuana. Each meeting was fruitful.
RLC members then went to a gun rights rally outside of the legislative office building. After a break for lunch at the historic Tobacco Lounge, RLC members caught the tail end of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s speech — which an estimated 200 people attended. Cuccinelli talked about his lawsuits related to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Obamacare bill.
After the speech, RLC members went to testify and express support to the Criminal Justice Committee of the House of Delegates on HB 1443, Delegate Morgan’s bill to decriminalize marijuana. RLC’ers went with the intent of swaying a single Republican member of the Committee to consider allowing the bill to be considered in the General Assembly. RLC member Rick Sincere testified in support of the bill, as did a large crowd from NORML and LEAP. Unfortunately, the bill was killed in Committee by a Democrat-Republican coalition of legislators.
Ultimately, this was one of the most productive meetings of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Virginia. In addition to participating in the lobby process and showing unity at a Tea Party event/rally, the RLC also was able to engage a wide variety of allies on the organization’s mission as well as invite them to attend the 2011 Republican Liberty Caucus National Convention in Arlington, Va. on Feb. 12. Thanks to the RLCVA members who came out to join us. To become active in the Virginia RLC, please e-mail us.