Two Major Elements to the Vetting Process
- Campaign Viability
- One-hour individual interviews with each candidate on 32 questions covering political philosophy, conservative principles, and major issues
Phase #1: Campaign Viability
In early February the 7 LG and 2 AG candidates were sent a list of 21 questions, requesting Confidential answers on topics including:
- Campaign planning, structure, and strategy
- Campaign manager, staff, consultants
- Opposition research (Both inward and outward)
- Fundraising plan and results
- Unique aspects of the campaign
On April 25th, a nine-person committee comprised of Tea Party leaders, a Middle Resolution representative, and Chris Doss, spent three hours studying the confidential responses on Campaign Viability and determined specific point scores for all nine campaigns based on those responses.
During the April 26-27th Vetting Weekend, the Campaign Viability point scores were reported to the more than 200 vetting evaluators to give them a sense of the relative strength of the campaigns. The Campaign Viability scores were later added to the Phase Two Vetting Interview scores to reach LG and AG candidate’s rankings.
Phase # 2 April 26-27th Vetting Interviews
On April 26-27th, more than 200 Tea Party and Middle Resolution participants observed 1-hour interviews where Chris Doss, Moderator, directed 32 questions on political philosophy, conservative principles, and important issues.
Examples of the 32 questions
- Why is government spending bad?
- What is the purpose of government?
- What are the pros and cons of Virginia’s tax laws?
- What economic philosophers guide your economic thinking?
- How will your campaign fight against the Alinsky tactics that will be used against you?
The more than 200 vetting evaluators from over 30 participating Tea Party groups and Middle Resolution scored all nine candidates on their responses to the 32 questions. Each Tea Party group then averaged their scores, leading to one representative score from each group. The total of these averaged group scores was then given to each candidate as their Phase 2 score.
After a completion of the Vetting interviews on Saturday afternoon, a committee drawn from Tea Party leaders and Middle Resolution compiled the Phase I and Phase 2 scores resulting in Corey Stewart as the highest-ranking LG candidate and Mark Obenshain as the highest ranking AG candidate.
Sure would be nice to see the details, such as who these nine “leaders” are, exactly what all the questions were, and how each candidate scored on each question, together with the actual Phase One and Phase Two scores.
We complain that the government does not provide all the details. We need to set an example by providing full transparency ourselves. In the case of this study, even the link to this page was only added to the Press Release page after multiple people posted comments requesting it. Now that this page has been provided, it still does not provide all the details.
As things stand now, the only detail we have been provided is a list of five sample questions and the “Trust us – We’re the Tea Party” assurance that the two candidates listed above did actually score better than the others.