Gubernatorial Candidate Chase Claims More Convention Corruption

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Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) is firing more claims of corruption at her gubernatorial opponent Pete Snyder and Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) officials, based on Snyder’s campaign hiring staffers with roles in the RPV. Snyder’s campaign and some RPV officials say the claims are baseless.

In a Wednesday campaign email from Chase titled “PROOF OF CORRUPTION AT RPV,” Chase said that RPV staffer Jordan Labiosa is responsible for posting website instructions about how voters can register as convention delegates. She alleges that Labiosa is also employed by the Snyder campaign. Chase also calls out RPV Western Vice Chairman Dan Webb for not disclosing Labiosa’s involvement with Snyder’s campaign to the RPV.

Chase wrote, “RPV Staff are doing undisclosed paid work for Pete Snyder’s campaign in violation of RPV’s own conflict of interest provision!”

“The campaign does not comment on baseless accusations,” Snyder campaign spokesperson Lenze Morris told The Star.

Jordan’s secret work for Pete, and Dan’s abdication of duty as a RPV officer to report the conflict, have tainted this election,” Chase wrote, calling for Labiosa to be fired. Furthermore, I call on Dan Webb to step down as RPV Western Vice Chair for not disclosing this conflict to RPV. If he does not step down the State Central Committee [SCC] should remove him immediately.”

Chase argued that RPV officials who favor Snyder could keep pro-Chase delegates from registering for the convention. The claims echo claims of rigged conventions Chase has made for months, arguing that pro-Snyder officials could have influenced votes on the party nomination process. On April 2, Chase appeared on The Jeff Katz Show where she threatened to run as an independent if Snyder wins, because RPV Legal Counsel Chris Marston is Snyder’s campaign treasurer.

After Chase made those claims, RPV Chair Rich Anderson told The Virginia Star that Marston was a foremost Virginia election lawyer who works as an uncompensated volunteer for the RPV. Anderson said starting a few months ago, he kept Marston from working on legal matters related to decisions about the convention.

Anderson said, “I have restricted him to such non-convention issues as reviewing contracts before execution by RPV, advising candidates for the Virginia House of Delegates on procedures for submitting candidate paperwork to the Virginia Department of Elections, addressing issues of intellectual property rights and copyright infringement, and leading our election integrity efforts that are directed toward putting certified Republican elections officials in polling locations across the state in the November 2 general election.”

SCC Member Willie Deutsch, who has endorsed Snyder, told The Star that cheating by RPV officials has happened in the past, notably in 2008 when local RPV units didn’t all publish registering information online. He said local officials used to make it hard to find information on how to register as a delegate or be unavailable before deadline. He said that if unit chairs were going to cheat, they could try to do it using the mechanism Chase indicated, by blocking voters from registering to be delegates.

However, Deutsch said that since 2008, the RPV has expanded the availability of delegate-registering information online. Additionally, delegate lists will be published by the RPV, and individual delegates will be informed if they have been registered for the convention. As a result, if an official blocks delegates from registering, those delegates and their campaigns will know, Deutsch said.

He said that new guidelines require members of the SCC, the party’s governing body, to report any political conflicts. In the list of SCC members with conflicts, four SCC members reported links to campaigns for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. Deutsch said crossover between RPV volunteers and campaign staffers is common practice.

Deutsch said that attacks on opponents leading up to a convention are normal, but he disputed Chase’s claims against Labiosa and Webb.

“[Labiosa] has regularly tried to stick up for [Chase] in circles when she’s been criticized,” Deutsch said. “The idea that Jordan, out of anybody, is out to nefariously get her is just ridiculous.”

“Dan sure as hell isn’t going to do that, Dan’s a good person,” he said.

On Thursday, gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin appeared on The Jeff Katz Show where Youngkin repeated his own claims that Snyder is behind anonymous attack ads focused on Youngkin. But when Katz asked him about Chase’s allegations of cheating, Youngkin dodged.

Well, I appreciate the good Senator’s comments. And as I just said, I’ve been frustrated myself, because I actually believe that what Virginians are looking for is actually a different kind of candidate,” Youngkin said.

“Amanda is just desperate and lashing out at this point,” Snyder supporter Deutsch said.

SCC Member Delegate Wendell Walker (R-Lynchburg) said he didn’t have any inside perspective on the validity of Chase’s claims. However, he noted that the RPV had a transparency problem.

“What it appears to me,” Walker said, “is that there were some folks that serve on the State Central Committee, the governing board, making decisions regarding the method of nomination that may, may, have been already in negotiations with some other candidates. Now whether they had signed contracts, I don’t know. It does appear that Mr. Webb, once he became employed by Mr. Snyder, then recused himself, which is the right and proper thing to do.”

Walker said, “Whether other members of the [SCC] had conflicts of interest, I don’t know, but I think this a lesson that the party needs to take a closer look at and anyone who is serving on the [SCC] should recuse themselves from any type of decisions relating to methods of nomination or candidates. We cannot have a conflict of interest.”

Nationally syndicated TV and Radio talk show host John Fredericks, who served as Trump Virginia campaign chairman in 2016 and 2020 called Chase’s claims, “silly, clownish and downright dumb.” Fredericks added, “The Chase for Governor campaign has devolved into a three-ring circus act, and as her poll numbers and delegate pre-files tank into the ash-bin of history, she has has to save face with outlandish claims and threats to voters. She’s going to finish behind Sergio De La Pena and embarrass herself yet again for Three-Stooges like shenanigans. A once promising career is now Virginia’s party punch line.”

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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Digital Network.  Email tips to [email protected].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Fredericks is the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Virginia Star.
He is also a Trump 2020 delegate and the chairman of the Trump Virginia Delegation.

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