(Due to technical difficulties, the previous post on this topic was deleted. We apologize for the error and the lost comments.) When the Republican Party of Virginia central committee voted to nominate the party's 2008 United States Senate candidate by convention rather than primary, the mainstream media and disgruntled RINOs, as well as disdainful liberals, universally looked upon it as a way to ensure the nomination of former Governor Jim Gilmore over U.S. Representative Tom Davis. After all, the conventional wisdom goes, hardcore conservatives make up conventions, thus making it almost impossible for the "moderate" Davis to win the nomination, and Republicans allegedly just don't have room for moderates. Late last week, Rep. Davis announced he would not seek the nomination.

However, the selection of the convention should be looked at this way: The central committee probably has no problem with a primary should Rep. Davis win one. What it does have a problem with  as do most conservative Republicans is Democrats and liberals crossing into a Republican primary, which is why certain Republican Virginia senators likely won re-nomination this past June.

Allowing non-Republicans a say in who the GOP's candidates are is akin to letting the Red Sox name the new Yankees manager. Until Virginia has voter registration by party, expect more conventions. Perhaps with a recent federal court decision, that day may be closer. In the meantime, is there any more proof needed that non-Republicans have too much influence in the party than by the recent actions of outgoing Virginia Senate Finance Committee Chairman and President Pro Tempore John Chichester?

He has never been a conservative and years ago conveniently swapped his D for an R . Now, comfortably in his element, he has contributed thousands of dollars to three Democrat senate candidates.

The targets of his actions conservative Republicans Bob FitzSimmonds in Prince William County (29th senate district); Chris Yakabouski from Spottsylvania County (17th senate district); and Trisha Stall  from the Newport News area (1st senate district) should wear that fact like a badge of honor. His fundraising for those who would flip the Virginia Senate to liberal dominance is proof enough the state central committee made the correct choice.