February 22, 2018 · OPINION
Setting the record straight about Fauquier GOP
By David E. Willis
I read an opinion piece a few days ago in FauquierNow.com penned by George Beveridge, chairman of the Membership Committee of the Fauquier County Republican Committee. In light of his characterizations of certain events and his omissions of others, I felt compelled to provide additional background and facts in an attempt to “correct the record,” and to provide my own opinion of Greg Schumacher’s character. I apologize in advance for the length, but it is necessary to provide the proper context to this discussion.
Mr. Beveridge, to borrow a phrase from a popular movie, “I don’t believe that word means what you think it means.”
In this case the word is “disingenuous,” and his use of it in describing Mr. Schumacher’s motives and actions. According to Webster’s, disingenuous means “lacking in candor; also: giving a false appearance of simple frankness: CALCULATING.” Some synonyms for disingenuous are: insincere, dishonest, untruthful, false, deceitful, duplicitous, lying, mendacious, hypocritical. I go through this grammar lesson to make sure there is no misunderstanding on the part of any reader when I say that Greg Schumacher is NONE of those things. Instead, I would state he is the antithesis of that word, and instead could be described by the following antonyms for disingenuous: fair, honest, open, truthful, frank, just, trustworthy and sincere. I would add to that list honorable.
However, Mr. Beveridge’s characterization of the events he describes may well be viewed differently in light of all of the pertinent facts.
Mr. Schumacher DID NOT vote to expel any new members of the Fauquier County Republican Committee. No one at that meeting did! Mr. Schumacher (and all those who voted in like manner) DID vote against the process used to bring those individuals (including Mr. Schumacher) onto the committee. Why would he vote to “expel himself?” He only took such action because he had the integrity to acknowledge that the process was not done in accordance with the bylaws of the FCRC, and certainly not done with transparency. That is called choosing the harder right over the easier wrong and it is the opposite of “disingenuous.”
Further, since neither declared candidate for the chairman’s race has had the opportunity to announce his decision to run in front of a duly called FCRC meeting, Mr. Schumacher has reached out via local media and in meetings where fellow Republicans and like-minded Fauquier citizens have gathered to present himself and his ideas for how we can, collectively, advance the principles espoused in the Republican Party of Virginia Creed through the FCRC. I believe the other declared candidate has done the same thing.
Mr. Beveridge would have the reader believe that because the RPV State Central Committee is considering the FCRC’s appeal of a finding against them, the issue at hand is “baseless.” I have to ask Mr. Beveridge, where he is getting his information because I’m afraid he (along with many others associated with the FCRC) has been either misled or misinformed.
What is being considered at the State Central Committee is the finding (or verdict, if you will) of the Virginia Republican 5th District Committee, in response to an appeal from a member of the FCRC. In their finding, the 5th District Committee voted unanimously in support of the appeal which argued that the chairman of the FCRC and the FCRC did not act in accordance with its own bylaws at the meeting on September 12, 2017, where the 14 individuals noted by Mr. Beveridge were elected to be FCRC members. But in case you, the reader, think I am being “disingenuous,” I will directly reference the findings, motions, and resolution passed by (unanimously, I would add) the Republican 5th Congressional District Committee.
The 5th District empaneled an appeals committee to investigate the facts surrounding the appeal filed by Rick Buchanan, a member of the FCRC. In their report regarding this matter, the following four findings were noted:
• The FCRC violated its own bylaws by allowing Kay Hayes to serve as chairman of the Membership Committee. The FCRC fails to allow members to know, in an open and transparent manner, who serves on subcommittees.
• The FCRC did not give proper notice of the membership vacancies given the precinct specific membership structure that is currently in place.
• The Nominations Committee and the Membership Committee of the FCRC are failing to function in accordance with the FCRC bylaws.
• Ms. Hayes did not have the authority to negotiate with Mr. Buchanan to hear his appeal outside the parameters of the Party Plan.
I won’t go into the recommended remedies for these findings, but the following paragraph was included in the Appeals Committee report and is worth noting:
“The Appeals Committee hopes the FCRC understands that this is not the first time that these types of matters have come before the District Committee and State Central Committee. In recent years, they were heavily admonished to create a more open and transparent process.”
Not the first time and they've been heavily admonished to create a more open and transparent process.
It is worth noting here that there was no one at the 5th District from the leadership or Executive Committee of the FCRC. I know this because I was there to observe that vote, along with four other individuals from Fauquier County. I’ll repeat that just to make sure it is clear: No one from the Executive Committee of the FCRC was present to defend their actions of September 12, 2017.
Next, I’ll refer to the final motion passed by the Republican 5th Congressional District Committee on December 2, 2017:
“The Chairman of the Fauquier County Republican Committee and the Fauquier County Republican Committee shall operate under its bylaws, the State Party Plan, and Robert’s Rules of Order. We require that the recommendations in the report of the Appeals Committee be followed. We also require that at least two (2) observers be allowed at meetings and the reconstitution of the committee (FCRC), comprised of District Committee members, the State Party, and/or 5th District SCC, to enter and observe the process and be provided with required documentation, as an extra layer of accountability. This shall continue until the completion of the first meeting after the next committee (FCRC) reconstitution.” (Note: This motion was passed by a unanimous voice vote.)
The Republican 5th Congressional District Committee went on to pass the following resolution:
“Whereas, the 5th Congressional District Committee believes that the State Party Plan, the FCRC Bylaws, and Robert’s Rules of Order are the source of authority for all acts undertaken by the Fauquier County Unit; and
“Whereas, the 5th Congressional District Committee believes that adherence to these rules ensures that all persons are treated fairly by the Unit Committee; and
“Whereas, the 5th Congressional District Committee is concerned that Republicans in Fauquier County have been disenfranchised by the FCRC’s violations of these rules;
“Be it resolved that the 5th Congressional District Committee places our member Unit, the FCRC, under notice; until the Unit is fully reconstituted, that they will be held accountable by this body to follow the FCRC Bylaws, the State Party Plan, and Robert’s Rules of Order, with the assistance of district observers as specified by the District Committee at its meeting on December 2, 2017; and
“Be it further resolved that failure of the FCRC to comply will result in a hearing to determine whether the FCRC is a functioning committee.” (Note: This resolution was also adopted by a unanimous voice vote.)
So, Mr. Beveridge, after all that, I must admit that I have come to the same conclusion as you: Fauquier deserves better than that. And that “better” would be retired Maj. Gen Greg Schumacher.
If you want to know more about Mr. Schumacher and his vision to bring the Republicans of Fauquier County together to unify around common purpose, check him out on his webpage at http://gregforchair.com/ or at his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/greg4chair/ .
And if you would like to meet him in person, he will be having a meet and greet from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, February 27, at the Harold J. Davis Remington American Legion, 11420 James Madison Highway, Remington (next to Moo Thru!).
martinkus · March 14, 2018 at 1:59 pm
Yep, the FCRC looks to be quite consistent with the way the White House is currently being managed!
dillydillyfauquier · March 13, 2018 at 6:59 am
Both of the sides in the FCRC fight are a joke. On one hand you have the elites of the north end of the county want to continue runnning things with their iron fist using democrats to continue their control. They are lead by Jim Rich and his cronies who only want to retain control so they can be in control. On the other hand you have the whiners of south end of the county wanting to take over. They are no better than the Jim Rich crowd with how they run things. Just look at who their base is. Lee Sherbeyn who was thrown out of the Republican Party. Joanne Smoot, David Willis and others who like to tell you the party needs transparency but are not transparent in the other boards they are on. They cry about following the rules yet flont the rules in their other positions. In fact, there are lots of questions about their actions on other boards and how they run things and if it is any indication they will run the FCRC the same way. And then they bring in Shumaker to be the front person and then violate campaign rules by using pictures of him in uniform as central pictures in campaign ads and literature. That is agains the law for them to campaign using pictures of them in military uniform. We are stuck with continued disdainful leadership by the Jim Rich liberal elite crew or dictatorial leadership under the brown shirts of the south. It is a no win for Fauquier either way.
martinkus · February 27, 2018 at 9:26 pm
I really don't care who wins the Republican leadership post - just providing some insight for those folks who will vote at the upcoming canvass - NOT including me. I left the Republican party long ago. The Republican leadership in Washington is dysfunctional and replete with hypocrites - sad!
Vickie · February 26, 2018 at 10:33 pm
martinkus seems to routinely throw out labels on people as if he has some inside knowledge, or just wants to negatively portray a fine upstanding candidate. Why would he use "Teaparty" to describe someone who is determined to be civil, inclusive, and to grow our local party to include diverse views? Is it because he's trying to paint a newcomer in a term he thinks will dissuade voters to give someone with new ideas a chance to breathe new life into the Party? Beware the status quo. It stopped working for us a long time ago. Vote integrity, truth and transparency, not back room deals and secret manipulation. So many problems occurring in the past have resulted in scrutiny by the 5th district. Observers will make sure rules are followed and to assure that the local group conducts themselves appropriately until after new Officers are installed. Don't you think that says the old batch left something to be desired? (Oh, like the competitor from the status quo, running against the breath of fresh air MG Ret. Gregory Schumacher.)
Jim Griffin · February 26, 2018 at 7:43 pm
Both parties struggle for good reason: Lock-step voting along party lines is a requirement for membership. I prefer to pick and choose the person I think best for the job, not abdicate that decision to a committee.
martinkus · February 26, 2018 at 1:10 pm
The local Republicans have a choice for their leadership post: a Tea Party supported military retiree or a moderate/centrist. From what I know and have heard, the local Republican committee meetings can have a "circus-like" atmosphere. "Dysfunctional" comes to mind, much like the Republican dysfunction up on Capitol Hill and within the White House. Would new leadership change that? Hard to predict. It is clear, though, that the Blue Wave continues to grow nationwide, and also within Virginia. Is Fauquier County in the cross-hairs? Good luck to the local candidates at the upcoming Republican canvass.
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