Joe Williams, the president of Vanguard Field Strategies sent a letter to the chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV), Rich Anderson, and other party officials apologizing for the recent actions of an employee. This letter was sent the day after a video surfaced of a Vanguard employee falsely identifying herself as working for RPV when her company was actually working for gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin.
In case you missed the full back story, read it here.
“As company President, I sincerely apologize for the incident that occurred yesterday morning with one of my field staffers,” Williams wrote. “That incident is not up to the standard of the company, and certainly not the [Youngkin] campaign. All of our staff were pulled from the field today to engage in an intensive re-training to ensure nothing like this happens again. I personally am approving each staffer to re-enter the field to reassure that each has an expert delivery of our script as well as firm understanding of the convention and delegate process.”
The form that Vanguard employees are distributing is the generic, RPV convention delegate filing form. It is completely normal for campaigns to collect these prior to the convention. The only reason this became an issue at all is because the Vanguard employee on Wednesday identified herself as working for the state party, instead of Youngkin, and it was caught on video.
“Vanguard takes full responsibility for this individual’s failure to adhere to Vanguard’s training guidelines, and we immediately recalled her from the field upon seeing this video,” Williams continued in the letter to Anderson. “It was this individual’s first day and this was one of the first homes she visited. She was the only individual trained by Vanguard yesterday morning and she has resigned her position. Yesterday, she visited 23 homes and collected 5 forms, and our team has already contacted those voters to ensure they have peace of mind that their form will be handled properly. Vanguard is redoubling our training efforts to ensure our team is properly identifying themselves as representatives of the Youngkin campaign and properly explaining the convention process to Republicans who say they want to vote.
This letter was also a direct reply to Chris Marston, who is the general counsel for RPV and the compliance lawyer for another gubernatorial candidate, Pete Snyder.
In the letter to Vanguard, Marston asked Williams to immediately provide their employees with training to correctly identify themselves when talking to voters. “On behalf of RPV, I must insist that you immediately direct anyone working on behalf of your company to properly identify themselves and make no representation or suggestion, direct or indirect, that they represent RPV,” Marston wrote. “I would also appreciate it if your script for canvassers included an appropriate explanation of the credentialing and voting process for the convention. Specifically, that forms must be submitted to local GOP Committees for certification, that certified delegates may vote at assigned polling locations on May 8 between 9 am and 4 pm, and that additional information about the convention and assigned polling locations is available at http://virginia.gop.”
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