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Frederick makes comeback with PAC
Ex-GOP prospect rips establishment
Former Virginia Republican Party Chairman Jeffrey M. Frederick is re-entering politics as an anti-establishment conservative two years after he was ousted by his GOP colleagues.
Dogged by accusations of mismanaging party finances before his ouster in April 2009, he now plans to run a political action committee to fund like-minded candidates.
Mr. Frederick has reinvigorated a leadership PAC he created in 2004, saying the upcoming House and Senate elections are too important for him to sit on the sidelines without helping to elect small-government conservatives.
Once considered a rising star in the state party, Mr. Frederick defeated 18-year incumbent Delegate John A. "Jack" Rollison III in 2003, becoming the youngest legislator at the time at age 28. Known as one of Virginia's most fiscally and socially conservative lawmakers, he was chairman of the state Republican Party for about 10 months.
As he ends his self-imposed sabbatical, the themes he is sounding seem typical for him - less government, more individual liberty and lower taxes. He also hints at disillusionment with the state GOP he once led.
"It is imperative that we recruit, train and support rock-solid young conservatives, build and promote an alternative to our existing party institutions," Mr. Frederick said, criticizing the "political establishment" of both parties.
He was blamed within the state party for low fundraising numbers, three congressional seats and the state's presidential electoral votes going to Democrats in the 2008 elections, and the use of a technology firm he founded to track party funds. He also was criticized for a remark comparing then-presidential candidate Barack Obama to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Mr. Frederick disputed the charges against him and said longtime party insiders were trying to oust him. After he was removed as chairman on a 57-to-18 vote, he elected not to seek a fourth term to his Prince William County House seat.
Of the nearly $15,000 donated to his PAC during the first quarter of this year, about half came from GXS Strategies - the self-described Internet, technology and communications firm Mr. Frederick founded in 1998. About $11,000 remains after Mr. Frederick spent money on mailings, according to records obtained through the Virginia Public Access Project.
Right now, the focus is on electing conservatives to the House and Senate, Mr. Frederick said. But he doesn't rule out his own run in the future.
"I don't want to be coy," Mr. Frederick said. "The fact is that I'm in no hurry to run for anything. But if there's an opportunity, I'll certainly consider."
He also declined to offer specifics about what exactly he thinks is wrong with the Republican Party, talking instead about lawmakers who favor power over principles.
"When, for example, a leader of the Republican Party, a legislative leader, gets up and pushes for a policy he doesn't like and says, 'because of politics, we all need to support this measure,' " he said.
Mr. Frederick said he had a particular instance in mind - but he didn't want to get into those types of specifics.
"I thought it was important for somebody to go out there and be less rah-rah for the team and more talking about principles," he said.
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