Mark Sell Concedes LCRC Chairman Race to Candace Strother

By Loudoun Insider

Alternate Titles*


Mark Sell Snatches Defeat From The Jaws Of Defeat


Mark Sell Rallies Uber-Conservatives By Employing Roberts Rules Of Torture


It’s late and I’m exhausted after an utterly exhausting LCRC meeting.  Major items on the agenda included the call for the upcoming Party Canvass and modifications to the LCRC Bylaws to conform with recent RPV Party Plan changes.  The first part of the meeting went quite quickly and smoothly, until we got to the bylaws.  Then the real “excitement” started.


Someone remarked to me that they are reading a self help book that breaks down situations into four classes.  And that the ensuing drama was easily classified into the “Not important and not interesting” category.  I unfortunately (please cue the screams as I poke my eyes with hot needles) agree wholeheartedly.


Mark Sell, purported real conservative “leader” running for LCRC Chairman, made a motion that the bylaws be considered one by one rather than as a whole.  Mind you, Sell sat on the committee that drafted these bylaws and voted to move them forward to the full committee for a vote WITHOUT RAISING SO MUCH AS A PEEP ABOUT THEM.   


Except that he really didn’t make a stink about them himself.  He made the motion, then his puppet handlers lept into action.  Suzanne Volpe (drafter of the RPV rejected call several years ago) made all the substantive verbalizations about supposed problems, with the vile Dimitri Kesari making endless calls for division, sometimes assisted by noted parliamentarians Bob Maistros, Joanne Chase, and John Grigsby.  All while Sell, the purported “leader” of this cabal, sat in his chair like a bump on a log.


What a complete debacle for Sell.  Candace Strother gave a great speech spelling out why she wanted to be Chairman and where she  would take the committee while Sell came up and tried in vain to explain why he had just wasted everyone’s time by making a motion and letting others lead the charge.  Many people who came to the meeting pre-disposed for Sell left shaking their heads and vowing to work for Candace Strother.  I wholeheartedly agree – do we want another puppet in the Chairman’s seat or an accomplished woman who worked for Ronald Reagan and has political credentials these naysayers could only dream of?  This is no longer even a contest.


*Suggested in comments by Jonathan Weintraub, of all people, who was unfortunately there on loan from the LCDC to see the LCRC in “action”.


  • Brian S says:

    David, c’mon. Who said anything about a quota system? As far as I can tell, Candace Strother is the most qualified candidate for the job, regardless of gender.
    Honestly, when it comes to diversity, I think the Republicans in Northern Virginia are doing as well or better than the Democrats – at least in terms of candidates, elected officials and party officials.

  • Dan says:

    David, how dare you insinuate that the Republicans would use a quota system. That is uncalled for.
    Next you are going to be claiming that Michael Steele is a token! That is absurd.
    Ask any Democrat and they will tell you that Michael Steele is the most wonderful National Chairman the Republicans could possibly have chosen. We love the guy. He’s the best!

  • G. Stone says:

    I think she’ll make a fine partner with Anthony Bedell here in NoVA.

    Yes, she will. Knowing Candace well and having met Anthony Bedell , these two would make a dynamic regional team for the Republican Party. Two very qualified individuals.

    I look forward to working with both of them.

  • Well, I was responding to pissed off Bob.
    Your implication is that, with two well-qualified individuals to choose from, a man and a woman, the LCDC should have chosen the woman…just because? If that’s not a quota approach, I don’t know what is.
    On the other hand, the LCRC situation is completely different. According to most of you, there is no comparison on the basis of merit between the two candidates. So I can’t understand what the fuss over choosing “a well-qualified woman” is all about. Aren’t you just choosing the best candidate, irrespective of personal characteristics?

  • Loudoun Lady says:

    I think it is a taunt David.

  • Brian S says:

    I think the implication was that one of the individuals was better qualified than the other. And, yes, the folks in Loudoun would be choosing the best candidate if they vote for Candace Strother.
    However, we, like anybody else, like to tweak out opponents when we live up to the standards they claim to represent better than they do. It’s just one of life’s little amusing moments (and like LL said, a taunt).

  • James Young says:

    Uh, Brian, you should either stop drinking the union-boss Kool-Aid, or stop pretending you’re a Conservative… or a moderate, for that matter.

    You “know ‘union’ is a four letter word for you and your colleagues”?!?!? In fact, it’s not. Never has been. “Forced-unionism” is, but “union” is not… unless you’re equating the two. Now, you are either just parroting the nonsense that you hear from your bosses — you may have to do that professionally, as an attorney, but not personally — or you’re too stu… er, “ignorant” to know the difference.

    However, since — with this response — ignorance is no longer an excuse, I’ll just assume willful prevarication the next time you attempt a smear like that.

    As for Robert’s Rules, I never said the strategy was wise; to the contrary, I said otherwise, but whether it was wise or not, it was permissible, and you certainly don’t throw out a time-tested hammer simply because you’ve driven a few nails imperfectly with it.

    And Dan, clearing rooms from the likes of you is a useful skill, and one in which the GOP is in dire need.

  • James,

    Go waste someone else’s space. I’ve never heard a coherent argument from you. You obviously like taunting otherwise perfectly enjoyable people – like Mary Gail Swenson — who — again, like Mary Gail Swenson — could easily kick your ass if you said any of that in person.

  • Dan says:

    James, don’t sell yourself short. I’m pretty sure you make people duck and scoot out of the room without regard to political affiliation.
    It is breathtaking that you would accuse Brian of parroting ideas he doesn’t believe because of who his employer is. Brian strikes me as a guiy with some integrity.
    I have read your ludicrous and cartoonish characterizations of unions. It would be hard to not view them as a joke. It’s hard to believe any sentient being would take your stuff seriously or the notion that you are doing it to benefit working people. I’m sure they appreciate your efforts to help them work longer hours for less money with fewer or no benefits. Maybe you can take us back to the 7 day work week and the 12 hour day. You great friend of the working man. Thank heaven they have you to save them.
    You are paid to spew that nonsense. And you do it. Yet you have the chutzpah to accuse someone else of parroting opinions because of their employment. What a hypocrite.
    Add to that the pompous, egotistical and generally nasty tone with which you address others in your comments and I’d say it is a fair guess that people flee the room when you approach. Probably muttering something like, “not that asshole again”.

  • sally says:

    Loudoun Lady,

    I have been a member for a few years now, but family commitments and health issues have limited my involvement.

    I won an award? will have to email Ben Belrose… how exciting!

  • Brian S says:

    James, it’s disingenuous for you to argue that the NRW is not anti-union. Are you telling me that if it were possible for you to repeal the Wagner Act you wouldn’t do it? The fact that I don’t accept your protestations that you’re not anti-union at face value is neither stupidity nor ignorance. I simply don’t find your statements credible. Just like you don’t appear to find my statements that I’m a moderate credible. I also find it kind of interesting that you believe the phrase “anti-union” is a smear. Then again, your definition of smear seems to be “anything anyone says to me that I disagree with” so that’s a pretty low threshold to meet.
    As for Robert’s Rules, again we’ll just have to disagree (I guess there’s another smear). I have no problems throwing out a hammer if I think it’s causing me more harm than good when I use it.

  • Lovettsville Lady says:

    It was a shame that Mark Sell was used in the way that he was last night. Being unable to extricate himself from that mess last night shows that he is not ready to lead the LCRC.

    I agree that if Suzanne Volpe wants to be chair she should run, rather than use Mark as her front man. She set him up for embarrassment, with much anger directed toward him, making it painfully clear to everyone that he is not ready to lead. Some of her little friends might want to take heed when she next asks something of them. They could suffer the same fate as poor Mark Sell.

    I also think it’s hysterical that John Grisby was waving his hand through the door, clutching the orange voting paper. I had wondered why the chair asked that the man behind the door to come fully into the room. Too funny! These clowns may well have a future in the circus!

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    But, LL, don’t you know that he is the savior of real conservatism in Loudoun County? Are you saying that John Grigsby could have been acting less than honorably? Heaven forbid!

  • Tim Veliotes says:

    Just so I can get a bit more excited about that Strother-Sell race, can someone remind me where I can view that smashing photograph of LCRC Chairman wannabee Mark Sell wearing his prison strip “Thought Police” garb outside of the US Capitol?

    This photo of Mark Sell in action, together with his illuminating bit of oratory last night, can tell us all what kind of leadership the Volpe/Grigsby/Kesari wing of the GOP wants to give us.

  • I believe I have one of him standing proudly next to Mr. Delgaudio. That is just as illuminating, is it not?

  • “are you guys using a quota system instead of a merit-based one?”
    No David. The woman is over-qualified, and we’re lucky to have her run to lead us.

  • Tim, don’t be so hard on Mark. As I’ve noted…when there was incoming directed at the trench, Mark was right there manning his post….like the rest of us. Mark may now realize that Suzanne used him and threw him away, and that may well bring Mr. Sell to the reasonable people’s side of this embarassment. Mark authored the committee’s resolution against the food tax, and after it was shot down in committee for not having passed thru the Issues Committee, it was presented to the Committee using the proper channel, and Mark, as the author, was allowed to read it into the record. I haven’t given up on Mark yet. He may want to unite with the winners marching into 2010, though.

  • Good grief.
    When LL said “David, I think it’s a taunt,” I thought, “well, of course it is.”
    Then I realized she was talking about Bob.
    Thanks for being so earnest, though. :)

  • LCRC says:

    Folks, we need to remember, Grigsby was a member of the AFL-CIO in Ohio and protested Reagan at every chance. He then changed colors and then named one of his children after Reagan as if he really believed in Reagan and what made him so special. His goal, sadly, has been to make the LCRC an embarrassment and has done so with great zeal.

  • James Young says:

    No, Brian, “agree[ing] to disagree” is not a smear. Making patently false accusations is. And why would advocating repeal of the Wagner Act necessarily be “anti-union”? Might come as news to the late Lane Kirkland (former AFL-CIO President), who observed that it might be a more effective form of labor law “reform” than anything likely to pass Congress.

    Apparently, you define “anti-union” as advocacy of anything that would diminish the special privileges granted to labor unions, i.e., level the playing field. Which is why your claim to be a “moderate” is demonstrably false.

  • James Young says:

    More specifically, an attempt at false labeling of your radical ideas.

  • Tim Veliotes says:

    Thanks, Mr. Monk.

    I understand and appreciate your point.

    Last night, Mark Sell was clearly put up to do something stupid, time-wasting, and demeaning of whatever leadership gifts he might possess. Suzanne Volpe must have some kind of mind-control thing working over him.

    Second only to Mark Sell’s barely coherent speech, Suzanne Volpe’s dilatory and disruptive comments were the worst oratories given last night.

    What is perhaps most purplexing about Mark Sell’s conduct is that he was given four, count ‘em FOUR opportunities to cure his conduct and back off his ridiculous claims: twice by Chairman Caroline, one by Bruce Tulloch’s superb inquiry, and one more through Charlie King’s friendly admonition. Mark Sell spurned each of these four chances to redeem himself before the body and avoid further degradation.

    It now makes no sense for Mark Sell to continue on in his quest to be LCRC
    Chairman and he should do the following immediately:

    1) Walk down the hall at NRA HQ and apologize to Glen Caroline for disrupting the meeting;

    2) Step down from his candidacy for LCRC Chairman; and finally

    3) Get professional help to wean himself from his Ubermistress Suzanne Volpe.

  • Tim, in the following weeks, if he isn’t weaned, I’ll abandon hope for him.

  • Brian S. says:

    James, I’m not accusing you of anything. Please feel free to state unequivocally that you’re pro-union if you wish. If you do that, I won’t state that you’re anti-union anymore. I’m well aware of who Lane Kirkland is, and I’m well aware that he advocated “deregulation” of labor relations. What I view as anti-union is simply that – a belief that labor unions are inherently bad, union “bosses” are inherently corrupt, and a nation without unions would be better off than one with them. If you disagree with those statements, feel free to say so unequivocally. I will gladly apologize and retract my belief. But you can’t fault me (or anyone else here) for having it – because nothing you have ever said would lead any rational person to believe that you think unions are in any way beneficial.
    I have been called many things in my years in politics, but radical is a new one. I’ll take it as a compliment. If believing in democracy (even in the workplace) is radical, I’ll gladly accept that moniker.

  • Ashburn Watcher says:

    Suzanne really blew it last night. She had the floor on the Canvass matter 2 or 3 times for 10 minutes and rather than make her motion, she decided to pontificate on and on with nonsense about the precinct over-fiing, just to look like she knew what she was talking about I presume. She never got to the point when Dean Coursen finally shut her down. Whatever she was trying to do went down in flames with no true understanding from the members.

    I think she she blew it so bad on the Canvass, she comanded her peeps to waste everyones time on the by-laws, and for what? For nothing gained except making Mark look like a fool and having him fall on his own sword opposing mostly irrelevant RPV mandated by-law changes. What a disaster!

    Mark, after last night, I wouldnt trust Suzanne with the campaign “strategery” for another minute.

  • Lovettsville Lady says:

    Tim, we are in total agreement. Mark needs to apologize to Glen and to the rest of us. Suzanne needs to do the same.

    I suspect that Mark has considered withdrawing his bid for chair after Tuesday night’s debacle. I also suspect that Suzanne and Jo-Ann are desperately trying to make him stay in this race, a race that he knows he cannot win. Poor guy, if he doesn’t withdraw the embarrassments will continue to pile up. But Suzanne and Jo-Ann don’t care. Why would they? They’ve set Mark up and are happy to let him take the fall, again.

  • Draft Jo-Ann Chase says:

    Did anyone else think Jo-Ann looked tremendous in those tight black pants at the LCRC meeting?

  • Loudoun Lady says:

    Love Lady, Tim, LI, Monk and all – I have read and heard some feedback from several people that are unaware of the whys and hows this happened at the meeting. Several members had guests with them and are embarrassed their committee was portrayed in this manner. I know there is spin happening on the other side of this debacle and I fear many people are unaware and don’t realize the ramifications. While I don’t think Mark Sell has a shot at winning this thing, the discontent this is breeding among a few could be like a virus. I don’t want it to spread.
    I think we all have to continue to be vigilant in our portrayal of the committee’s achievements and unity during the past 2 years. Glen gave credit where it is due on Tues and we need to continue with that message. We can’t work as a unit with big divisions. Our candidate is the one that can provide continuity and unity – we are all on the same side! We need to advance – not continually look behind – the stakes are too high. Spread the message as we have been.

  • Loudoun Lady, couldn’t agree more. Long before you were a member, those who pulled this stunt were the inventors of the whisper campaign. Fortunately, there is more video than what BVBL captured. Several of us recorded the whole fiasco of their attempt, especially the stars of the production.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    If anyone has good video, send it to me and I’ll post it.
    Ashburn Watcher makes a great point. You would think they would have wanted to make their stand on the canvass issue rather than the mundane party plan stuff, most of which was required to bring the plan into compliance with recent RPV plan changes. Instead of having a mass meeting where they could whip out more “Roberts Rules of Torture” maneuvers to drive normal people home and wait until they had a majority of diehards left, we know have a much easier format to deal with getting people to vote. Suzanne Volpe is lost and in her own self-important world. Hey if anyone out there has the photos and good photo shop skills, I’d love to have a shot of Sell’s head on Volpe’s arm like the puppet he seems to be!

  • jacob says:

    Wow, just like Democrats. God forbid there should be an open discussion. My wife was there. All she saw was Mark make two motions:
    1. can we discuss/explain the raft of changes
    Ans No.
    2. since the answer was no, can we vote on each one separately?

    I guess this is torture. I love the overwrought responses. I love all the anger. Yup. A measured response. For all the deep thinkers here, if not at the LCRC committee where should we ask for a public explanation of the changes to the bylaws?

    This is personal. A Democrat style politics of personal destruction. Pure and simple. If asking to debate in a PUBLIC forum illicits this kind of response, we as a party need a little self reflection. Does the word hysterical conjure up any images?

    When is this party going to grow up and realize that someone disagreeing with you, or inconveniencing you, is not cause for personal attack.

  • G. Stone says:

    Jacob my friend you are missing the point.
    There were no legitimate concerns over the changes / document / harmonization process. The guy making the objection was the guy who helped author the changes. This was an example of some creating a solution to a problem that did not exist in order to make themselves look like they were actually doing something. It was BS ! It was Political theater. Further, Mark was asked two WEEKS ago at our excom meeting if there were any issues. I was there, I was in the room. There were no issues. All of a sudden in front of the assembled committee , now there are issues. It is BS, pure and simple. They can spin this until they screw themselves into the group it will not change. This was a case of a political Cluster Fox Trot.

    There is no there there.

  • G. Stone says:


  • Loudoun Lady says:

    Jacob, I don’t mind discussion – and the discussion would have lasted 5 minutes if Mark had been upfront with the problems he had with proposed changes. The reason Mark only said 2 things was because he would not speak when asked what the problem was when discussion was open. Not one peep!
    Mark is on the committee that wrote the by-laws changes. If there had been a problem – was that not the first place to bring them up? 4-5 opportunities presented themselves and all were ignored. Why didn’t he talk? Will you ask him? Please tell us why this was blown out to such huge proportions? I have done no name calling – it doesn’t have to resort to this.
    No one was denied the right to speak. It was totally bizarre. I can’t believe people walked out of that room and thought Mark was somehow gagged.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Jacob, you have been taken to the woolshed by LL and G. Stone. They are absolutely correct. Does Sell have a speech impediment or something that doesn’t let him speak up when he’s troubled? He had plenty of opportunities to speak up during the committee meetings, and chose not to do so. He then had plenty of opportunities to speak up with specific concerns at the meeting, yet he said basically nothing while Suzanne Volpe did all the talking for him. It was a pathetic display of “leadership” if that’s what he was trying to convey.

  • LL, they know he wasn’t. Welcome to the old committee way. They NEED the twisted logic to “imply” that he was. And that’s the spin they will put on it when they go out to recruit people. Those people will never know the truth, because they’ve heard a bunch of manipulative BS used as a recruiting tool.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    I’m late to this party, and, since I don’t live in the 10th, I couldn’t have brought a very satisfying hot dish in any event. But I thought the more interesting story in all of this was how quickly Cuccinelli jumped in to back Howie Lind. Don’t you think one of the last things you’d do if you just were elected to a statewide office of high public trust is to come charging into an intra-party contest? I found that very bizarre and reflective of the worst sort of political judgment. The other story, perhaps commented on in another thread, was that Rich’s decision not to run may reflect Congressman Wolf’s intentions about running again.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    Jokes on me. Sorry folks. I parked this under the wrong post. Oh well. The shipwreck of old age is not a pleasant thing, as General de Gaulle once observed. If I gave you the gift of laughter, it’s all worth it.

  • Lovettsville Lady says:

    Frank is announcing his run for office on February 5th. While it’s very sad that Jim cannot run again due to his Dad’s illness, that has nothing to do with Frank’s intention to run.

  • CountryGent says:

    A couple points I would like to make:

    1) There were 9 items in the LCRC By-Laws. One of them had no change at all. That leaves 8 items being changed. Of these, 2 – 25% – were rejected. If the RPV charter applied in all matters, why bother to vote on ANY of them?
    If they should all have been voted on as a unit, what would that have done to the vote? Doesn’t the fact the 25% of the changes were defeated indicate that it WAS a useful thing to consider each of these changes individually?
    2) The last time these proposed changes were sent around was quite some while ago. I understand that we didn’t have the attendance on the previous try, to allow us to vote on the changes. But why wasn’t the draft sent back out ahead of this meeting? Business effectiveness experts would remind us that for each meeting, we should have a PLAN – People, Location, Agenda (including the items to be voted on), and then Notes to summarize.
    3) I was standing near John Grigsby. He wasn’t on the line to any swami, but was listening to a national Tea Party conference call. Not sure whether he is not still an LCRC member, but in any case it was an example of conflicting obligations, and the call ran over its planned time.
    Speaking of John…can anyone else tell me what THEY did when the Board of Stupidvisors decided to ignore the results of the Bond Referendum, and instead used County Development Bonds to finance the new Government Center?
    4) I have worked with Mark for years. While Candace has a great resume, why haven’t I seen her at an LCRC meeting before this last one?

  • The Virginian says:

    BLAAHAHHHAHAHAH LMAOF! Mark Sell won because he is a conservative and not a RINO like so many of you here on this blog. Get used to it we conservatives are back and we will have a litmus test for candidates. Those of you who seem to spew so much venom about our Chairman Mr. Sell bare even know him or how hard he has worked over the years for the LCRC. Strothers was another RINO Country Clubber plant who was soundly defeated by the growing number of common sense conservatives in the GOP who really want change we can believe in!

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