Many of you will recall watching video clips of Clint Eastwood speaking to an empty chair during the 2012 Republican National Convention.
To call what transpired a surrealistic event would be an understatement.
Here in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District race we have another empty chair … ahem make that empty podium, Tea Publican Dave Brat.
A candidate who consistently refuses to engage the public, hiding behind closed to the press events which are nothing more than canned stump speeches filled with platitudes about the 6 principles of Republicanism, along with refusing to debate either of his opponents.
An earlier series of postings on this blog, starting with, outlining some of what Brat is all about. After reading this recent post on another blog, it’s clear it didn’t adequately capture the degree to which his campaign has been taken over by “Cuccinelli conservatives” and extreme party operatives.
Plain and simple, Dave Brat nothing more than a Manchurian Candidate, another brought and paid for shills working for the interests of his corporate masters. Below is an edited version of Old Dominion Libertarian’s blog posting that has been re-posted with the authors permission.
At the 7th District Candidate Debate in New Kent, Virginia on October 14th, there was an empty chair on stage. Why? Because Republican Congressional Candidate Dave Brat chose not to show up. The Debate organizer had two confirmations from the Brat Campaign that he would be there. Confirmations that Brat Campaign spokesman Brian Gottstein said did not exist. (Gottstein has yet to address the fact that he lied about the campaign not agreeing to be at the debate.)
At the Candidate Forum held at Virginia Union University and hosted by the Richmond Crusade For Voters on October 19th, there was another empty chair. Dave Brat chose not to show up again. Forum organizers were unsure if Dave Brat was coming, or if he was going to send a spokesperson like the Warner and Gillespie Campaigns did.
Apparently Dave Brat chose to do neither, and chose not to inform anyone of his choice. Debate organizers waited for him to appear and when it was finally clear he was not going to show, they proceeded with the event, leaving his empty chair and nameplate in plain view of the attendees.
And of course Brian Gottstein will come up with an array of excuses. “Dave Brat had a hang nail,” or “The Sun wasn’t bright enough,” And “Keeping Up With The Kardashian’s was having a special on at that time and Dave couldn’t miss it.”
That’s about how lame his excuses have been. You could point out that Dave should have invested in a DVR, but then Brian Gottstein would just stomp his feet and blame the other candidates for Dave’s failure to plan..
Libertarian Congressional Candidate James Carr attended the event as did Libertarian Senate Candidate Robert Sarvis. His other opponent, Democrat Jack Trammell, sent his campaign manager to speak on his behalf.
Many Dave Brat supporters will argue that Dave’s hands are tied. That his campaign has been hijacked by backroom dealing, Washington Insiders like Brian Gottstein, and that there is nothing he can do about it.
But there is something he could do. He could grow a pair and send those Washington Insiders back to D.C. and get back to the type of campaign he was running during the primaries against Eric Cantor.
At the Term Limits Summit in Richmond on Wednesday, October 8th, Dave Brat told Fletcher Voelcker, a 7th District resident that his campaign staff had not changed since he’d won the nomination back in June. He made it clear that his campaign staff was the same now as it had been before the primary.
And let us not forget Dave Brat’s campaign manager during the primary, Zachary Werrell. He is no longer with the campaign. Two people have filled that roll since the primary ended and Werrell left the campaign. One more lie in Dave Brat’s corner.
Is this the kind of man you want to send to Washington, D.C. to represent you? A man who would blatantly lie to a voter’s face? I think not. Did Brian Gottstein hold a gun to Dave Brat’s head and force him to be dishonest? Nope, Dave Brat made this decision all on his own. But Gottstein would probably try and blame the other candidates saying they caused Dave Brat to be dishonest, if this issue were ever brought up publicly.
Brat’s campaign is losing supporters every day because of Brian Gottstein and the rest of the Washington Insiders that have been hired. 10 people – and these are just people I know personally – have stopped supporting Dave Brat and are now supporting other candidates. At first they were merely looking at the other options because they had grown extremely disappointed with Dave Brat since he won the primary, and there are many more across the 7th District that I don’t know, who are jumping off of Dave Brat’s ship.
Some are asking if Brian Gottstein is aware that he is hurting the Brat Campaign. Let’s be clear. Brian Gottstein does not care if Dave Brat wins or loses. He will get paid either way. And regardless of the outcome, he will slither back to that backroom deal in Washington, D.C. whence he came, when it’s all said and done. Calling Brian Gottstein an opportunist would be the understatement of the new millennium.
A real libertarian would not work for or vote for a theocrat. And that is exactly what Dave Brat is. Another thing Brian Gottstein seems to be good at is always blaming someone else for the Brat Campaign’s missteps.
Dave Brat doesn’t want to face either Jack Trammell or James Carr in a debate because he knows his platform cannot stand public scrutiny. He knows they both can talk circles around him when it comes to healthcare and economics. Brian Gottstein knows this as well. And that’s fine. The longer Dave Brat hides, the more voters there will be who will be casting their votes for someone else.
Dave Brat rode the “anyone but Cantor” wave for as long as he could. And now that Eric Cantor is no longer in the picture, there’s just no reason to vote for Dave Brat.
Jon Taylor & Joe Enroughty