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March 16, 2018 · OPINION

“Baseless assertions” in the campaign for GOP chair

By Gregory Schumacher
The Plains

It’s obviously election time to reconstitute the Fauquier County Republican Committee. How do we know this? Because the candidate for chairman not anointed by those who appear to proclaim themselves as the sole guardians of our “rural county charm” is once again being characterized as the straw man who wants to “reverse our distinct rural tranquility,” promote “unchecked growth, industrial and highway expansion, and construction,” “supported by the Tea Party faction,” the “Cornerstone Committee’s candidate.”

The quoted items are from Phil Kasky’s March 14 letter to the editor about me in The Fauquier Times, “Burroughs needed as GOP chairman.” Mr. Kasky said some kind things about my service, but he has never taken the time to get to know me or my heart, and only one of those statements is true, and it is fraught with divisive exclusivity. Let me hit that one first. In context, the statement “supported by the Tea Party faction” can only be seen as negative from Mr. Kasky’s point of view. Yes, I am supported by those who identify as Tea Party. I’m also supported by those who would be considered more moderate. I want a “Big Tent” committee and party that respects and welcomes all of these views. I say to all factions of our party: Lose the labels. They are divisive.

So let me be clear, once again: I love our rural county charm. I want to preserve it (as do virtually all citizens of our county, regardless of party affiliation). I am not for anything remotely resembling unchecked growth of any kind. I do not know, have not knowingly talked with anyone, nor am I backed by or in the pocket of, anyone who does. I support our county’s Comprehensive Plan for smart and slow growth.

And, as I say in everything I’ve written (check my Facebook page, website (, and every time I’ve spoken, to include our last FCRC meeting where Mr. Kasky was present, but apparently not listening, I am NOT the Cornerstone candidate and stated so publicly. I am the candidate for Chairman of the FCRC, with a very specific vision to heal division, grow our party united around common purpose and who will operate with full transparency. I am the candidate for anyone who supports that vision. There are those who are no friends of Cornerstone, but who know my heart, and support me and that vision wholeheartedly.

I am building a coalition of folks with a new vision for our committee and our party. Perhaps that’s why Harry Burroughs and his supporters are once again hoping you will accept without any evidence or critical thinking these baseless assertions about who I am, what I believe and what I want to do. I know the GOP voters of Fauquier County are both fairer and smarter than that.

From this point forward, if Mr. Burroughs or his supporters want to continue to repeat these same, tired clichés and fear-mongering assertions, particularly without evidence, they are willfully and consciously misrepresenting my views and my character. Some would call it politics. I would call it lying.
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martinkus · March 26, 2018 at 10:02 am
Nicely stated "Rover 530." The FCRC is dysfunctional and at war with itself (at least that is what members have told me). The far right versus moderates! It's a mirror image of the national Republican party, including the major dysfunction within the White House! The mid term election could very interesting around the country!
Rover 530 · March 23, 2018 at 11:57 pm
Why back a general in Trump's army of sycophants and toadies? Local political party chairpersons oversee a "process" to recruit, support and elect candidates for public office. All else is BS. The Republicans are in charge of everything. Why can't they select their local leadership in a civil, orderly fashion? The local Democrats did. Sad, very sad.
martinkus · March 19, 2018 at 1:58 pm
Amen, brother!
BJ · March 19, 2018 at 7:49 am
martinkus - Agreed. I'm tired of all the 'parties" out there. Do what is best for our Country not the Party!
martinkus · March 17, 2018 at 1:43 pm
From what I know and have heard from members attending the committee meetings, the FCRC has a "circus-like" atmosphere! "Dysfunctional" comes to mind, much like the Republican dysfunction up on Capitol Hill and within the White House (i.e., Trump-mediated chaos...after all he is a demagogue). Would new FCRC leadership alter the local "dysfunction"? Hard to predict considering the current "divide" within the FCRC. Many folks believe that if the FCRC continues its drive toward the "political right," it could alienate moderate/centrist Republicans. It is clear, though, that the Democratic Blue Wave continues to grow nationwide (most current event: Pennsylvania special Congressional election). Look what happened last year in Virginia! Is Fauquier County, a deep red community, in the cross-hairs? Good luck to both candidates for the FCRC leadership position and to all other candidates seeking membership as voting members. Hopefully, there will be a "healing process" within the FCRC.
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