Rick Gorka, Tate's campaign manager, at some point spoke with RPV's political director and claims he was offered assistance in finding other work if he left Tate's campaign. This claim was denied by the political director in the same Northern Virginia Daily article (link unavailable), but the damage was done. It's a well-known rule in politics that employees try to keep themselves out of the news in order to protect their jobs, and they all do their best to protect other Republicans except in the most extreme cases. Apparently, Mr. Gorka doesn't believe in political karma. He certainly had no loyalty to Katherine Harris when he dumped her after the primary, but why is willing to fall on his sword for Mark?
When rumors started floating that Tate was in legal trouble over his campaign finance reports, RPV chairman Ed Gillespie phoned recommending Tate drop out if indicited. Tate apparently was so outraged that Gillespie would recommend that Tate step aside for the good of the party that he contacted Ben Tribbett, a Democrat blogger and professional gambler and somehow gained Ben's support in a bid to exact revenge on the state party.
Since that aforementioned, eventful phone call on May 2nd, Tribbett has been on the warpath.
First, when Tate was actually indicted on May 22, Tribbett claimed that if any information had been leaked, it would be the bigger crime, and it seems to this humble fly that for someone who supposedly has no interest in a race to downplay a candidate's indictment for election fraud and perjury to be a big favor.
The very next day, Tribbet posted a comment from an anonymous blogger attacking the special prosecutor. Textbook Tate campaign here since they've been attacking the prosecution from the begining as you may have read in my post yesterday.
May 23, Tribbett posted a link to another story with just a link stating that Mrs. Vogel knew about the charges from his babysitter. (seeing a pattern yet?)
May 26, Tribbett wrote an extraordinarily long post trying to draw a connection between the awful Russ Potts and Jill Vogel. Unfortuantely for Ben and Mark Tate, Russ openened his vile mouth one more time and admitted that he can't stand Vogel and is considering supporting the Democrat. I mean, Ben is a smart political guy, and there is no way that he could have genuinely believed what he was writing. The only explanation is that he had an ulterior motive.
Yesterday, the Tate campaign and their newfound blogging ally took aim at their new scapegoat: RPV communications director Shaun Kenney. Apparently, Mr. Kenney had some level of contact with Mr. Tribbett about the pending indictment, and Tribbett has seized on this minimal contact to now claim that Kenney predicted the date of the indictment and therefore received some leak of information.
However, there is no proof of this supposed prediction, and the best that Ben has is an email between he and Kenney unrelated to any of Tribbett's allegations. Props to Virginia Virtucon for doing a much better job laying the case for an innocent Shaun Kenney.
Two explanations for this series of events come to mind. First, Tribbett has often been accused of being susceptible to bribery to support candidates, especially in situations where he has no preferred candidate. The only other explanation could be that Tribbett entered this marriage of convenience to guarauntee that Tate wins the primary in order to secure a Democrat victory in the fall. Giving Ben the benefit of the doubt and believing that the second explanation is the real one. The question becomes: Why is Mark Tate using Democrats to destroy the Virginia Republican Party? If we lose this seat, we will lose control of redistricting in 2010, and the ballgame is all over for Frank Wolf, Tom Davis, and our majority in the General Assembly.
UPDATE: Looks like Mark is at it again with his Democrat cheerleader declaring Tate "awesome."
UPDATE #2: HT to Jason Kenney for the link and some in-depth reporting on the Tate-Tribbett connection.