Greg Letiecq was set up to videotape the Convention but was shut down at request of the Dave Schmidt campaign. Anna Lee told Greg he was forbidden from taping by the rules, and then Fauquier County’s finest stepped in as the enforcers.

So despite whatever we don’t know about him, we know Dave Schmidt has a campaign that fears transparency. Losers.

Glad we are here to vote for Howie Lind. Definitely the good guy in this contest.

UPDATE: good for Greg – he just tried to get the censorship ruling overturned, however meeting chair Tom Rust declined to recognize the majority vote and upheld the censorship.

Wonder what the Dave Schmidt loser campaign has to hide.

UPDATE II: Frank Wolf is giving a wonderful speech, an excellent speech with the theme “America’s best days are ahead” (hey thanks a LOT Dave Schmidt for ensuring there would be no video of this outstanding message!)

Frank is always good but hopefully he will keep it short since this is an uncontested GOP nomination; save your energy for November, Frank.

UPDATE III: 823 total delegates, 309 from Loudoun. Fairfax was next with 200-something. No other jurisdiction was in triple digits.

UPDATE IV: our AG Ken Cuccinelli takes the podium to nominate Howie Lind – very cool. Says Howie “will grow party openly, transparently …” (As opposed to, for instance, the Dave Schmidt approach) “If you want to need a bigger auditorium for your next Convention, vote for Howie Lind.”

Lind: “I want to beat Democrats at every level – I want to beat the dogcatcher.” Nice speech, not exactly electrifying but very good and, hey, he was not afraid to be videotaped.

UPDATE V: After being introduced by five people, Dave Schmidt comes out from behind the bush he was cowering under and, unthreatened by recording devices, boldly states: “we are here to retire Harry Reid and fire Nancy Pelosi.” Incisive, and also original. No wonder he was afraid to be videotaped because someone might have pilfered that gem.

UDATE VI: there is some controversy about the availability of pencils, and now Jim Rich is demanding everyone be quiet so he can fully discuss the notion of folding the ballots, which point he has just made for the third time. Good job, Jim. Maybe this was what they were afraid of having videotaped.

Ok, voting has begun. I am guessing we won’t stay for the results. One can only ask one’s spouse to sacrifice so much on a weekend after a busy week. But who knows, maybe this has been a revivifying experience for her.

UPDATE VII: we have just been informed that instead of a simple box or circle to fill in, the ballot has “an uncompleted arrow” which must be completed to point at one’s desired candidate. This is interesting and, in two words, incredibly stupid.
Could we possibly do more to confuse people and muck up the voting process? I mean, this is the kind of idiocy that makes you say Wow.

UPDATE VIII: I have been informed we will be staying for the results, so stay tuned.

UPDATE IX: Greg just informed us it was Jim Rich who sicced the Sheriff on him to shut down the videotaping. Tom Rust upheld it. What a couple of tools.

UPDATE X: and the new 10th District Republican Chair is Howie Lind, nominated by acclamation.

And they all lived happily ever after.

LAST UPDATE: Someone just sent me a message saying that in their opinion Dave Schmidt would not have had it in him to censor coverage of the Convention, but that more likely the outrageous prohibition on recording was just Jim Rich “being an ass.” Around where I was sitting it certainly looked like the Schmidt people supported suppressing the recording, and the Lind people were in favor of transparency. Anyway, it worked out for the best, Jim Rich is gone and repudiated, and the 10th District is now managed by the folks who are not afraid. Good result.

CORRECTION? My posts here were written in real time throughout today’s Convention and reflect my perception of the videotape controversy as it unfolded. Greg Letiecq just noted the following in the comments.

One thing I want to make clear — I have no evidence that Dave Schmidt had anything to do with this, and based on my previous interactions with him I would be very surprised if he was. Dave has always been an upstanding guy with me, and I have and will always maintain the highest respect for his skills, demeanor and judgment. I do not believe he deserves criticism here.

Instead, Jim Rich was well aware of my criticism of his behavior and I have no doubt that he and those who allied themselves with him are solely responsible for this. My big question is why Tom Rust, someone who I’ve always held in high regard, chose to act the way he did today in making a bizarre decision, refusing to allow discussion about that decision, and ultimately ruling that a vote he clearly lost was won by him. When Republicans fail to adhere to the principles they publicly espouse it’s time we cleaned house a bit before Democrats inevitably would do that housecleaning for us. If Tom Rust is this so ethically malleable by someone of vanishing political power as Jim Rich, it begs the question whether he really is the best candidate to serve the residents of the district that he currently represents.

Don’t focus on Dave Schmidt. By all appearances he is an honorable man. Instead, your questions should be directed to Tom Rust, and alternately to some pretty sharp people I know in the area who would do a tremendous job of representing the District Rust currently serves.

So while to me the controversy made Dave look like a loser, in reality it was the people who appeared to be his allies not doing him any favors. Apologies to Dave Schmidt for the caustic comments above if he indeed had no hand in trying to suppress the video recording.

Jim Rich just weighed in at TC to explain the decision to shut down the videographers. I recommend reading his argument. I think the reasoning is overly paranoid – not solely on Jim Rich’s part apparently but as Committee policy – and I don’t know if it is going to convince anyone outside the Committee. But I have to respect Jim Rich for stating his case in a timely manner here in the blogosphere.