Why I am Supporting Jamie Radtke in Virginia’s 2012 U.S. Senate Primary Race
Written by Scott Cooper
2012 is going to be a decisive year for the future of The United States of America.
Most of those paying attention to the 2012 elections have their attention focused on the Presidential election. The Presidential election is critically important; however it is the tireless minority of true conservatives that were elected in 2010 to both houses of Congress, who joined the few that were already there, who have fought valiantly for the conservative cause. I was in Washington last spring on the day of The Debt Limit Increase Vote. In a small group setting, I had the privilege to hear from several of the Freshman Congressmen, as well as Congresswoman Bachmann who had literally just come from Caucus Meetings where attempts had relentlessly been made to force them to tow the party line. I could literally see the stress in the eye’s, facial expression and body language of one freshman congressman, the tremendous pressure he had just been placed through was clearly visible in his demeanor – yet this individual stood firm, against the leadership OF HIS OWN PARTY! I am convinced that in 2012 we must send significant re-enforcements to these entrenched conservatives in both houses of the U.S. Legislative body. While I pray a true conservative wins the White House, history has shown both Parties need accountability, thus we need strong conservatives in Congress to keep both parties in check, regardless of what happens with the Presidential race.
I am engaged in The Tea Party in my local community, in the state of Virginia and Nationally. I hold elected leadership positions in both a local group as well as in the Virginia Tea Party Patriot Federation, which is a coalition of almost 50 Tea Parties, representing the majority of counties in the Commonwealth. I mention that simply because my personal endorsement is being done as an individual who has been studying all of the six candidates, now five since Tim Donner dropped out, since January and February of 2011.
Why Jamie Radtke?
Even though Jamie has been involved in holding elected officials accountable for over 15 years, I first heard of Jamie Radtke in 2009, shortly after the Tea Party Movement began. I continued to follow her activities from a distance through that year. While we shared a couple of e-mails, I did not know her personally. In December 2009, many citizens were travelling to Washington DC to protest Obamacare. Following the scheduled rally outside the U.S. Capital, I had arranged meetings with both of the Virginia Senators. I had a few people coming with me, but I wanted more, so on the morning of the event I called Jamie to tell her about the two appointments. She informed me that she had a prior commitment, but would pass the information on to some key players. Within minutes of getting off the phone with Jamie, my phone started ringing due to her spreading the message. Our meeting that afternoon with Senator Warner had over 100 people in it. Many of those people showed up because of Jamie Radtke’s influence. That was my first exposure to Jamie Radtke’s leadership and influence. That last sentence is something I want to stress. Leadership is influence. I love the quote by John C. Maxwell, “He who thinks he leads, but has no followers is only taking a walk.” Jamie is not on a walk, she has an army of followers behind her.
The media likes to downplay the movement that Jamie led, but the fact of the matter is she led a grassroots volunteer organization in Richmond that had over 5,000 members. Following that she co-founded and led a coalition of like-minded groups from around the entire commonwealth of Virginia which today consists of almost 50 like-minded organizations. Anyone who has ever led a volunteer coalition, which consists of a multitude of “Type A” personalities, understands that this is not a small accomplishment. Those that minimalize it have never done it. While leading that organization her “Team” organized the largest Tea Party Convention held to date in our nation, and it was only for the state of Virginia. Those who are planning the sequel convention view this accomplishment with awe, because it is known we have extremely huge shoes to fill – and a record to maintain.
An interesting side-note, at the time of the convention in October of 2010, I remember watching her now competitor George Allen on the stage with Ken Cuccinelli and others, and thinking that George Allen was desperately trying to ride the coat-tails of this movement. To me, it seemed odd that George Allen was even on the stage in front of the 2,200+ Virginian conservatives who had gathered to learn how to reverse the trends in our country that he had been a part expediting while he was Senator the first time – when Republicans had controlled both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue!
In the last 12 months I have personally gotten to know Jamie. There are a few main reasons she has my support:
First, through personal conversations, as well as attendance at events, I know that she is not only a woman of great influence, but she is a woman of substance, who can speak intelligently about all the issues. In a recent Candidate Forum, she articulated policy solutions on every question raised, not in generalities like career politicians, but with specificity. In addition to her ability to articulate policy ideas in conversation Jamie has surrounded herself with policy experts who are volunteering their time and expertise to her campaign and will continue to be there when she is our Senator.
Second, she is a servant leader. There is so much I could say here. I will simply say that I have personally witnessed her do the hard work of holding elected officials accountable as well as organize groups to do the same. She expects accountability to continue once she is in office, and I know for a fact that you will never have to worry if your phone call will be returned once she is in office. She knows that “We The People” are in charge, and she will not forget that when she is our Senator.
Third, I have personally seen her resolve conflict. She is known for being able to disagree without being disagreeable, and this is a trait that is sorely needed in Washington. In my opinion, if you cannot demonstrate this type of leadership at the local and state level, we cannot expect it to be demonstrated at the Federal level. Jamie Radtke has demonstrated her ability to navigate the waters of building coalitions, and I am confident the standard she bears at home will be carried out in Washington.
Fourth, Jamie is a woman of character. John Adams said “Our Constitutional Republic would be wholly inadequate without virtuous leadership.” I believe this is true, and know Jamie meets this standard.
Finally, I already mentioned her influence. It takes an Army of grassroots activists who will give their time, talent and treasure to make a candidate’s vision a reality. Each of her competitors who want to take on the establishment candidate, are men of noble character with good ideas, passion and a desire to take our republic back to the principles we hold so dear. I have personally met and like each of these men, however the reality is passion and ideas alone will not win the election.
All except one candidate, who entered the race in January have been campaigning for almost a year or longer and Jamie is the only “Non-Establishment Candidate” who has been able to raise the financial backing required and establish the grassroots network required to defeat George Allen. I personally know and can attest to her leadership structure set up across the entire commonwealth, and you can review the Federal Election Reports for yourself. When you take out loans the candidates have given to their own campaigns, Jamie has raised more than all the other 4 “non-establishment candidates” combined. The list of individual donors to her campaign is 500 % greater than all her competitors combined. This is a key indicator of who can win against George Allen.
If you live in Virginia, and you truly want to change Washington, and have a Senate that will hold the Executive branch accountable, regardless of who wins the White House, I encourage you to take a strong look at Jamie Radtke, and then get behind her in the Virginia Primary. If we allow our Primary vote to be split, we will not send the conservative we need to Washington, so I implore you to look at all the reasons I listed above, especially my final point.
Click here for a brief introduction of Jamie, and if you want to know more, please check out Jamie’s website and sign up for her updates.