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April 9, 2018 · OPINION

Time for Fauquier GOP to elect new leadership

By Peter Popovich
Broad Run

In one respect, the Fauquier County Republican Committee election Saturday, April 14, at Fauquier High School is already decided.

Regardless of whether Greg Schumacher or Harry Burroughs becomes chairman, the committee will be headed by a person dedicated to the county’s Comprehensive Plan that features slow planned growth in the service districts. Hope Porter has educated many in the county to the fact that residential sprawl drives up taxes, ruins the county’s beauty and could jeopardize our agricultural economy. Wisdom says that we stay with the Comprehensive Plan’s approach. Both candidates are pledged to do so.

What is left to decide is if we want leadership that really has the potential to grow the Republican Party and stem the current erosion of our Republican voting margins. Mr. Burroughs is part of the current leadership inner circle that has sought unity by excluding those they don’t like or don’t think are the right kind of Republicans.

Mr. Schumacher wants to keep Fauquier green, but put primary emphasis on growing our voting margins through:

• Open leadership and respect of all members and their opinions (transparency). Currently, meetings are scripted and discussion is generally shut down before members are heard.

• Inclusiveness and diversity of membership. Mr. Schumacher wants to grow the influence of the party by reaching out to minorities and youth. After all, the conservative message, if presented, is compelling.

• Unity – not by including only those you agree with 100 percent, but focusing on the 80 to 90 percent that all Republicans have in common. Mr. Schumacher has promised that if he wins it will not be “winner take all.” He is pledged to having an executive committee and any subcommittees including people from “both sides.” See if the Burroughs campaign will also say this.

The Burroughs campaign supporters demonized Mr. Schumacher, first with the “pave over the county” thing, and lately with statements that he will support the selection of candidates for board of supervisors in “small closed door meetings.” If any group is characterized by “small closed door meetings,” it is the current Fauquier County Republican Committee leadership executive council, of which Mr. Burroughs is unfortunately a member.

Mr. Schumacher knows and has so far met with three of the four Republican members of the board of supervisors, and he supports them all.

It’s time to try something new. We need every Republican vote for Mr. Schumacher this year. There is documented evidence that in this election two years ago, 130 votes were cast by voters who recently voted in a Democratic primary or contributed to a Democratic candidate. These and other likeminded voters will be challenged this year and will have to sign a statement disavowing their previous support of the Democratic Party.

The 130 have a valid interest in keeping Fauquier rural, but they may also have a hidden desire to see an ineffective, status quo, Republican committee. I urge all Republicans to vote for Mr. Schumacher for chair of the FCRC this Saturday.
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martinkus · April 16, 2018 at 3:27 pm

Thanks! I feel the same way as well. Too bad the many chuckleheads up on Capitol Hill can't do the same. The mid-terms will be interesting indeed. Locally, let's see if the new leadership of the FCRC can truly heal the divide from within. That canvass was an interesting one...don't ever recall having to "run the gauntlet" of so many folks trying to convince me to vote one way or another! Glad that event is over! See ya next time and take care!
Nister83 · April 15, 2018 at 11:56 pm

Interesting choice. I was high on Kasich initially in regard to the balanced budget issue. I kind of fell off because I felt that was the only hand he would play in the end.

What pleases me a lot is we can have differences of positions without getting in each other's face. That's refreshing in itself. So I leave you to ponder the political landscape come 2018 and hope to see you back here in time. Stay well!
martinkus · April 14, 2018 at 9:23 pm
I don't think I would. I prefer someone like John Kasich, current Ohio governor. He's a centrist. He was Budget Committee Chair in the House, under Gringrich, during the Clinton presidency. Kasich was instrumental in balancing the federal budget (last time we had a balanced budget and actually ran a surplus in the latter Clinton years). Pence is a good man but is too far right for me. Problem is that centrists cannot win in the current political climate. Too bad - Kasich would be a decent candidate. I didn't vote for Trump in 2016, nor did I vote for the witch...I voted Libertarian.
Nister83 · April 14, 2018 at 7:57 pm

Would you vote for Pence if he were to run in 2020, just sayin'
martinkus · April 13, 2018 at 11:17 pm

It will be the same "S#!T Show." The Dems are no better than what we have now in the White House. If Dems control the White House and Congress, immigration will be a very high priority. I suspect they would also rework the tax reform bill and change it to the disadvantage of corporations and wealthy folks. The country is deeply divided and I don't see a good solution now or in the near future. Even local Republicans are going after one another with vitriol. President Reagan is turning over in his grave! Can the Dems win in 2020? Maybe, but that may depend on their candidate. I am not sure that a far left candidate will have a broad appeal. I also do not see Trump having the same success that he had last time. He got lucky in the upper midwest. Clinton should have won up there but she was a dummy (arrogant may be a better word) and did not campaign heavily there! Too damn bad we don't have a centrist/moderate running for President! Someone who could really and honestly work with both sides of the aisle and help heal the divide we now have. Yes, Obama is guilty but so is Trump!
Nister83 · April 13, 2018 at 3:43 pm

This tells me a lot about the process as you see it unfolding. I'm more interested in your views as to how you see our Nation's future--assuming the Dems. were to succeed in capturing the White House in 2020 sans Pres. Trump? Thanks.
martinkus · April 13, 2018 at 3:03 pm

The odds are good that Democrats will retake the House this November. Forty-six Republican incumbents are not running for re-election. The spin doctors are active "spinning" the reasons why but I believe Trump's unpopularity is one of many driving factors. As for the Senate, I believe the Republicans have a better chance of retaining the majority, but not by much. Even if the Republicans retain the Senate majority, my wish would be that someone other than Mitch McConnell be the majority leader. He stinks, much like the former Democratic Senate Majority leader, Harry Reid! Trump will, most likely, weather the current storms (no pun intended) and, even if the Democrats take over the House, I really don't believe that the left would begin impeachment proceedings unless something really, really bad is exposed and is true. Even if the House (under Democratic control) voted to impeach, I really don't believe the Senate would have the gonads to remove him from office. As we know, Clinton was impeached but not removed. The current state of affairs is really sad...we have a shmendrick as president and a Republican controlled Congress that is fiscally irresponsible and growing the deficit to unbelievable levels (about $1 trillion/yr, starting in 2020). One would think that Democrats are currently running the federal government! What the hell happened to the Republican party and its ideology of fiscal constraint, small government, and bringing down the national debt?
Nister83 · April 13, 2018 at 12:14 pm

Pretty clear where you stand on Trump. What are you predictions/beliefs if the Dems take back the Whitehouse in 2020, if not sooner?
martinkus · April 13, 2018 at 12:19 am

Trump is a disaster! Dishonest and unethical! An "adult" should take his cell phone away. I cannot support a "carnival barker" and "flim-flam man." Whatever happened to fiscal responsibility? The Republicans have lost their way and have ballooned the deficit and our national debt. We can look forward to a $1 trillion budget deficit coming soon! Hypocrites!
Nister83 · April 12, 2018 at 9:33 pm

Hey "tink" good to hear from you! Yeah, sadly this canvass has played right into the cross hairs, as you put it, of the Dems. Allowed to continue they won't need to fire a shot. I don't think anything is "off the table" when it comes to the midterm elections. As for Pres. Trump, the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know. Think about it.
martinkus · April 12, 2018 at 2:36 pm

The FCRC will require "major healing" after the April 14th canvass. Locally, the Republicans are still OK but the Democrats are rising up and becoming competitive. Rep. Tom Garrett (5th Congressional district) might be well-challenged come November. As for the Senate, I do not believe Republicans have a chance unseat Senator Tim Kaine. The current Republican choices for the Senate are not that good! As for Trump, my personal opinion is that he is an embarrassment and I cannot support him come 2020.
Nister83 · April 10, 2018 at 9:50 pm
Hi martinkus,
I feel it's safe to say that our founding fathers disagreed vehemently on many issues but ultimately resolved their differences to create a nation unlike a few I've lived in, as a foreigner mind you. The respectful exchange of ideas may look dysfunction on the surface bur doesn't guarantee a chaotic outcome.

Keep in mind that the FCRC's grand plan is, or should be, to aid Republican candidates to win elections at all levels of government, i.e. local to national.
And no President from FDR onward has had to endure the attacks of the losing party as has President Trump. I respectfully disagree that demagoguery is his method of leadership. I am reminded, however, the Pres. Truman referred to Gen. MacArthur at one time in these words, ".... he may be an SOB, but he's my SOB." (SOB was not abbreviated as I have here)

Like you, I wish (pray) that the outcome of this election will be won, not stolen, by the vote of Republican citizens and lead to a deeper Red Fauquier County.
martinkus · April 10, 2018 at 2:40 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 (i.e., Trump-mediated chaos-after all he is a demagogue). Would new FCRC 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, a deep red community, in the cross-hairs? Good luck to the local candidates at the upcoming Republican canvass.
Nister83 · April 10, 2018 at 11:10 am
Realty....back in the Kennedy (Pres.) days I was a registered Democrat, which is no longer the case. In simple terms I argue that a Democrat, or Republican, absent a change in Virginia legislation (which like you I would endorse) is one who declares himself/herself (registers) to be one or the other at that moment in time. Past party affiliation has been superseded, i.e. it isn't embossed on our foreheads. In addition, I see Mr. Schumacher has given, albeit indirectly, us a much more detailed answer to your question than I. Check it out bro!
Reagan Republican · April 10, 2018 at 8:47 am
Greg, Thanks for the response, I look forward to reading your responses and hope that if the six questions don't include ones that I have asked, that you will come back and answer the ones that were not covered.

Also, according to your own comment Cameron Jones would qualify as a Democrat for voting in a Democrat Presidential Primary, correct? And Rick Buchanan doing an autocall for Lee Sherbeyn against the Republican nominee in the race for supervisor would disqualify him also, correct? I just need a yes or no.
G Schumacher · April 10, 2018 at 8:02 am
Reality, just some quick follow up. You are spot on about the need to change legislation to allow for party registration. You are correct that we need to win hearts and minds of all people, including current Democrats. The issue described by Mr. Popovich is this. After signing a pledge to support Republican principles and nominees in his 2016 election, many (over 100 according to publicly available records) went on to vote in Democrat primaries. Seems "definitive" to me. This could not be researched until after the last election. You have asked me several good questions in the past. The Times posed 6 questions to me and my opponent, and they will appear in tomorrow's paper.
Reality · April 10, 2018 at 6:33 am
Nister83 - Good question.

I have not seen any invitations for Democrats to participate in the leadership canvass, but if there are, the people who extend the invitation should be told that they cannot do that. Pete Popovich lost his election for chairman and only afterwards did he mention "democrats" voting in the process, that seem like a sore loser to me. Cameron Jones did the same thing when he lost, saying that Democrats voted. Ironically, Cameron should not have been able to vote for chairman because, according to county voting records, he voted as a Democrat in the 2008 Presidential Primary Election.

I do have a question for you Nister83, what constitutes a "Democrat?" Is a person who has a family member who is running for office as a Democrat and gives them $100 for their race and voted for them because they are family, but only votes Republican otherwise really a Democrat? Is a person who gives money to a national or state based trade group (like National Assoc. of Realtors) that supports some Democrats really a Democrat? Is a 21 year old, who was influenced in college by their professors to vote Democrat in a presidential primary, but since graduating is interested the GOP really a Democrat? What if a Republican is involved in an outside political organization that has Democrats?;_term=.0d23b1ecb649

Where is the line drawn and who gets to decide? To grow the party we have to reach out to former Democrats and independents who are looking for something different, we can't do that if they feel like Big Brother is looking for any reason to throw them out of the party.

The solution to this problem is simple. Have Virginia pass legislation allowing for registration by party. Problem solved. Only registered Republicans would be able to vote! It is the only foolproof way to keep Democrats out.
Nister83 · April 10, 2018 at 3:37 am
A lot has been said about Democrats having voted in past and the upcoming FCRC election 14 April, but I have to question the relevancy of Reality's question #8, not to mention others. This election is about Republican party business specifically. We Republicans don't "make sissy" in the Democrats sandbox. Why should they be invited to come play in ours?
Freedom warrior · April 9, 2018 at 8:05 pm
You can polish a turd as much as you want but at the end of the day, it’s still a turd.
Reality · April 9, 2018 at 7:19 pm
Pete, Thanks for the letter. I have several questions for you and the candidate you are supporting:

1) Will Greg sign a pledge to support Primary Elections (with a oath if he wants) to allow the largest amount of Republicans yo participate, including those with young families, military personal who are deployed overseas, business owners, students away at school, mothers about to give birth, and those who are away on travel on Election Day?

2) Will Greg announce who his Executive Committee will be before the election so we can see who "from both sides" will serve on the

3) what exactly will Greg do for minority and outreach? I have not heard any specifics and want to know what will be done and how success will be measured.

4) Should voters be concerned about Greg's use of social media for outreach given that his Facebook page and election website have not been updated in over an month?

5) Will Greg ensure that, given Cameron Jones repeated comments about kicking people off the FCRC and recent negative comments that received Greg's public rebuke, Cameron will not serve on the Executive Committee?

6) Will Greg sign a pledge to demand that the 1st & 5th Congressional Districts and the State GOP increase their committee sizes to over 200 members to better represent their districts and the commonwealth?

7) Will Greg disavow Rick Buchanan's funding of robocalls for independent candidate Lee Sherbyn against Republican nominee Rick Gerhardt in the 2016 election?

8) Can you post the evidence that shows that all 130 people who voted in the 2016 election voted or contributed to Democratic candidates all voted for your opponent? Are you stating that there is no way possible that even one of these people voted for you? What evidence do you have to show that none voted for you?

Thanks again for the letter & I look forward to seeing the answers posted soon.
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