Rapp GOP source: ‘It was not an easy vote’
A “decisive” vote was taken last night by the Rappahannock County Republican Committee to “censure” GOP Rep. Denver Riggleman, who had been invited to the county meeting but opted to send a staff member instead.
According to a motion read at the meeting, there were “two main reasons” for the censure involving the freshman lawmaker, including “repeated votes for massive increases in the alphabet soup of visas for the importation of foreign workers (from low to high skilled) which reduce job opportunities for U.S. citizens and depress their wages across the board.
“These votes undermine Trump’s program of American jobs for American workers,” the committee stated.
The second reason given for censure, as stated in writing, surrounded Riggleman’s “repeated votes to send sophisticated military equipment and advanced systems to Saudi Arabia to take their side in the War in Yemen, therein abetting the destruction of civilian areas resulting in huge civilian casualties.
“These votes undermine Trump’s pledge to stay out of other countries’ civil wars and to refrain from military commitments not clearly tied to our own national security.”
A Rappahannock Committee member, who was not identified, stated in a news release sent to the Rappahannock News: “Since taking office Freshman Congressman Denver Riggleman has not served the interests of the citizens of Virginia’s 5th District. By his votes in Congress it’s crystal clear he is at the service of big multinational corporations, foreign governments and their K Street lobbyists.”
The same member said the move last night to censure “by a decisive vote, not even close.”
The Rappahannock News was alerted early Wednesday afternoon that the county Republicans would meet the next day to discuss “serious deviations” from President Trump’s agenda by the 5th District congressman, and “consider a motion of censure.”
“This is a rarely exercised option. But in this case Riggleman’s votes are so antithetical to Republican voters here in the county and across the district that conscientious citizens are taking action,” said one member, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
In addition, the same GOP member confirmed that parallel to the possible censure “a recruitment effort is well underway across the district for a challenger to contest the Republican nomination for U.S. Congress in the Fifth District.”
Reliable sources report that a “serious challenger will step forward before this November.” The next district-wide election will be in November 2020.
Reached Wednesday afternoon on Capitol Hill, Riggleman Communications Director Joe Chelak told the News: “Denver Riggleman has a very conservative voting record in Congress with a 100 percent score from the Heritage Foundation. He’s supported our farmers and has helped bring jobs back to the 5th district.
“This censure is a ridiculous notion. I suggest the Rappahannock committee’s time would be better spent on a censure of 5th district committee chairman Melvin Adams for his recent horrible comments disparaging certain groups.”
A committee member was critical of Riggleman for not being “man enough to show up” for last night’s Rappahanock meeting, saying he instead “sent a flunky from his staff who was there the whole time and who was permitted to speak, which he did — lamely, not even attempting to refute any of the charges, which are factual and therefore irrefutable.”
The Rappahannock News was not invited to the meeting.
The member stressed the censure “is an official vote by the Rappahannock Republican Committee. The vote was not even close. It was decisive. Many members spoke. The meeting went on for slightly longer than two hours. It was sober, frank, open and honest. It was not an easy vote.
“Chairman Terry Dixon conducted the serious, unprecedented proceeding with assiduous fairness and probity. The document which passed was unchanged and unamended from what was proposed in writing at the start of the meeting.”
Asked earlier whether disgruntlement with Riggleman’s voting record during his first year in office had anything to do with the congressman officiating a gay wedding ceremony this summer of two campaign volunteers, the committee member replied: “If there was nobody in this county would sign on.”
That said, two GOP groups in the district tried and failed about six weeks ago to censure Riggleman for officiating the wedding.
The congressman told the Washington Post that his belief is “government shouldn’t be involved in marriage at all, but if it is, everybody has to be treated equally before the law. That is part of our Republican creed. And it also comes down to love is love. I’m happy to join two people together who obviously love each other.”
Full text: Riggleman Resolution of Censure
Whereas, after conferring with members of the Rappahannock Republican Committee, the County Chairman for Rappahannock County participated in a caucus of the Fifth District of the Republican Party of Virginia held at Nelson County, Virginia on June 2, 2018, and supported the nomination of Denver Riggleman as the Republican County candidate for House of Representatives for the Fifth Congressional District of Virginia, and
Whereas, the support of Rappahannock County Republican Party for Denver Riggleman was based on Riggleman’s commitment to traditional Republican Party values of fiscal restraint and curbing runaway deficit spending by Congress, strict interpretation of the Constitution of the United States, strict enforcement of existing immigration and naturalization laws and supporting the President’s efforts to build a wall along our Southern border, support for traditional family values, and other conservative principles, and
Whereas Denver Riggleman pledged to joint and support the “House Freedom Causus” if elected, and
Whereas the Republican Committee of Rappahannock County vigorously supported the candidacy of Denver Riggleman in the November 2018 general election and he carried Rappahannock County by a comfortable margin, despite the fact that his opponent claimed to be a resident of Rappahannock County, Virginia, and
Whereas since becoming a member of the United States House of Representatives, Denver Riggleman has failed to represent the will of the constituents of Rappahannock County and has reneged on the promises and representations he made at the time of his nomination and election, and
Whereas Denver Riggleman has repeatedly voted for continuing resolutions for out-of-control spending that increase inflation and jeopardizes the economic stability and well being of the citizens of Rappahannock County and of the Fifth District of Virginia, and
Whereas, contrary to our wishes, and ignoring our pleas and protests, Denver Riggleman has repeatedly voted for huge increases in visas for foreign workers from across the globe, and he has demonstrated that he is serving the interests of big multinational corporations seeking endless supplies of cheap foreign labor at the expense of the interests of families and workers in Rappahannock County and the Fifth Congressional District of Virginia, and
Whereas, without consulting the citizens of Rappahannock County and despite the pleas and protests of the Republicans of Rappahannock County, most of whom do not support involving the intervention of the United States in yet another foreign war not directly tied to our own national defense, all at great expense to the taxpayers and in the face of a trillion dollar budget deficit, Denver Riggleman has voted to fund sending sophisticated weapons and U.S. military support to Saudi Arabia and Ukraine, and
Whereas on these issues and others, Denver Riggleman has failed adequately to communicate with or to listen to his constituents, and has voted repeatedly in brazen disregard for our wishes while supporting the interests of multinational corporations, foreign governments and K Street lobbyists - interests which are antithetical to those of the citizens of Rappahannock County and of the Fifth District of Virginia,
NOW BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED
That Denver Riggleman, be and he is hereby CENSURED for his votes in the Congress of the United States contrary to the principles of the Republican Party and the wishes of the citizens of Rappahannock County and the Fifth District of Virginia.
FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Resolution be spread upon the minutes of the Committee and a certified copy be sent to the Chairman of the Fifth District of the Republican Party of Virginia and the respective Chairman of the Republican Party of the other Counties in the Fifth Congressional District and to the Chairman and the Secretary of the State Central Committee of the Republican Party of Virginia.
Approved by majority vote of the Republican Party of Rappahannock County assembled this 12th day of September 2019 at Washington, Virginia.
TERRY N. DIXON, Chairman