The Republican Party of Virginia continues to veer off to the far right and sees a plot and conspiracy behind every bush. For now the Party has rescinded it's call for a loyalty oath to be signed by anyone voting in the GOP presidential primary. Not that any such oath would be enforceable anyway. Frankly, fears that Democrats will vote in the GOP primary are probably without merit: the GOP is much more capable of nominating an extremist candidate with little likelihood of winning in the general election than any would be cross over voters in my opinion.
In point of fact, I was at Mixers last night and was speaking with an appointee of Governor Kaine and the consensus was PLEASE let the GOP party convention confirm Jim Gilmore as the candidate for retiring U.S. Senator John Warner's seat. The GOP wingnuts love Gilmore but do not seem to grasp that most of the public does not and that Gilmore was VERY unpopular when he left office. With Gilmore as the GOP candidate, Mark Warner is all but guaranteed to be the next U.S. Senator from Virginia. I attribute my former law partner, Mark Earley's loss in his run for Governor largely to the fact that (1) he did not sufficiently repudiate Gilmore's policies - as I and others urged him to do - and (2) people were voting to punish the GOP for the mess Gilmore had made. Here are some highlights from the Virginian Pilot's coverage ( http://content.hamptonroads.com/story.cfm?story=138016&ran=178199):
Virginia Republicans on Friday voted to rescind their demand that voters in the February presidential primary sign a written oath of loyalty to the party's presidential nominee. A committee at the party's annual winter retreat voted overwhelmingly to rescind the request to the State Board of Elections regarding the Feb. 12 primary. The party had been criticized for imposing the oath. State GOP Executive Director Charlie Judd said because Democrats are holding their primary in Virginia the same day, that reduces the possibility that Democrats or independents could meddle in the GOP selection process.
Voters in Virginia do not register by party. Since the mid-'90s, the state's Republicans have fretted that Democrats might meddle in their primaries, which are open to all registered voters. Virginia Democrats require no oath for their presidential primary.