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Beauchamp Goes Independent

By Greg L | 28 April 2007 | Prince William County | 35 Comments

At tonight’s Manassas GOP Gala, candidate for Prince William County Clerk Michele McQuigg informed me that her opponent, Lucy Beauchamp has announced her intention to run as an independent in the race instead of continuing her efforts to seek the Republican nomination. Apparently Beauchamp hasn’t been too keen on her chances to win a convention, and several weeks back had been circulating petitions to file as an independent for the race in case she didn’t win. McQuigg has been pressuring Beauchamp to sign joint statement where both candidates would agree to accept the outcome of the Republican convention, and even though it looked as if this would be done earlier this week, Beauchamp backed out last evening and has started her campaign as an independent.  But there’s more to this story.

The Beauchamp camp has been complaining about the fairness of the process for some time now. Here’s how Beauchamp’s campaign manager Lyle Beefelt has characterized some of the problems:

The party is close to messing up the convention in a way that could give Lucy a way to run as an independent without paying a political price. The party has botched the call. (Actually, they botched all three calls but that is beside the point) After accepting her check and saying that she was filed as a candidate, they issued a new call that did not say that previously filed candidates or delegates had to re-file. The Chairman then sent out a notice regarding re-filing that only reached one of the previous candidates ([McQuigg]) and waited until an hour before the deadline when Lucy was chairing a school board meeting to try and call her. All Lucy has ever said to me is that she wants a fair process, but this looks anything but fair.

The party is already aggravating republican voters by holding a weird combination of primaries and conventions. If one lives in the 51st district, a party voter must attend two conventions and still vote in a primary to have a say in all the contested nominations. Now the party will try to tell the average Joe that Lucy is disqualified because, even though they accepted her check, didn’t say clearly in the call whether candidates or delegates had to re-file and didn’t give Lucy notice of the re-filing requirement. But somehow that it Lucy’s fault because she didn’t call the Chairman to find out what they weren’t telling her she had to do. And because there are rumors that Lucy might run as an independent, she must first re-commit to this sham of a process by answering all the rumors [about running as an independent] before the party will even think about making it fair.

Apparently a series of emails between committee chairman Tom Kopko and Lucy Beauchamp left the Beauchamp campaign wondering if Lucy would be excluded from participating in the convention.  There were also concerns about the credentialing process, in that once set of qualifications would be published, and another set of qualifications would be applied to delegates instead.  The significant differences seem to be between Tom Kopko and the Beauchamp campaign, rather than between the two competing campaigns, which is pretty unusual.  It’s probably true that Beauchamp is falling behind in signing up delegates.  It’s probably true that Beauchamp would have liked to have a back door to run as an independent if things didn’t work out with the Republican convention.  The key question here will be whether Beauchamp is running as an independent for Clerk primarily because the process was fatally flawed in such a way that no matter what she did, she had no hope of winning.

Whether this is a case of sour grapes, or the only viable way for a candidate to run who is not part of a selected group is going to be hashed out remains to be seen.  About the only certain thing is that Bill Ryland, the Democratic Party nominee has become quite a bit more competitive despite being not well respected by the courthouse gang.  This yawner of a race just got quite a bit more interesting.

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  1. anon said on 29 Apr 2007 at 3:11 am:
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    Lucy seems to have been looking for a way to drop out of the convention while saving face. So, she blames the embattled party chairman.

  2. AWCheney said on 29 Apr 2007 at 4:14 am:
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    If Kopko is playing his usual “favorites” game, it’s hard to say just how thoroughly he has attempted to manipulate the process. There is much a Chairman can do to torpedo an individual’s candidacy, particularly in events leading up to a Convention. Perhaps Lucy should release that email exchange and let the Party judge.

  3. Citizen Tom said on 29 Apr 2007 at 9:46 am:
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    I decided to do post on this too.

  4. Citizen Tom said on 29 Apr 2007 at 10:07 am:
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    One comment. The reason the party is holding a “weird combination of primaries and conventions” is that each voter will have ten different elected offices to consider. Each voter will have the opportunity to vote for two members of the General Assembly, two members of the Board of Supervisors, two members of the School Board, three constitutional offices (Clerk, Commonwealth Attorney, and sheriff), and members on the Soil and Water Board. The sheer number of elected offices we have to fill is absurd and unnecessarily complicates matters. The average voter cannot begin to keep track of all the candidates, and party officials — volunteering their time — have enough to do just managing a few conventions.

    Thus just a few conventions were scheduled, and these conventions were for open seats.

  5. anon2 said on 29 Apr 2007 at 11:31 am:
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    In reply to the last comment –

    Of course, if a primary was held, all of this ridiculous mish-mash would be eliminated. All of the extra work that is leading to these problems would also be eliminated.

    I’m not sure how one can consider it “sour grapes” when only given a one hour notice that all new delegate forms need to be filed. That is simply unacceptable. How could someone who has already been accused of being a RINO possibly think this WASN’T done as a means to eliminate said candidate. The matter is further complicated when the Chairman has already stated his support for your opponent. And now, conveniently, you get one hour notice that none of your delegate forms will be able to be used.

    If the party leadership wasn’t running in 16 different directions, maybe the Chairman or his designee would have had time to pick up the telephone and notify filed candidates that they’d need to get all new delegate forms or they couldn’t run - that is presuming, of course, that this wasn’t intentional and was just another in a series of “errors”.

  6. CONVA said on 29 Apr 2007 at 11:34 am:
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    If management expertise was paregoric, Kopko would give a rag doll diarrhrea.

  7. charles said on 29 Apr 2007 at 1:10 pm:
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    As I said yesterday when I reported this story, Lucy told the Washington Post about her decision before she told her own committee.

  8. charles said on 29 Apr 2007 at 1:24 pm:
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    Lucy was not required to refile, and her acceptance into the convention was not in doubt at the time she decided to drop out.

    The Washington Post gives her side of the story as best of “favorable” coverage as they could make out of it, but in the end we all must understand that if she thought she could get enough republicans to show up at the convention to win the nomination, she NEVER would have dropped out.

    Lucy has had trouble getting the committee to endorse her for her school board runs. Her actions in this election cycle regarding the budget were roundly criticized by the committee members. She didn’t have a chance of beating Michelle in the convention.

    Michelle wanted a convention, I assume because she wants republicans to pick the republican candidate. Lucy is upset because she didn’t get her way. As I explained in another thread, a convention is the most fair for the two candidates for a republican office, because it gives them an equal chance to get people of the party to support them.

    A Primary on the other hand allows a candidate who is less than honest to recruit democrats to vote in our primary, with no expectation that they would support even THAT candidate in the general election against a democrat, much less any of our other candidates.

    So while candidates who appeal more to democrats than republicans LIKE to have a primary, when one or more of the candidates wants a convention it hardly is “fairer” to do a primary.

    Primaries also favor candidates with better name recognition, which is why incumbents love them. Lucy has better name recognition across the county than Michelle, so that is another reason a primary would have favored her over Michelle.

    By picking a convention, each candidate has a level playing field — an entire county of republicans, each candidate has to convince the majority that they are worthy of their support.

    The rest of this is just excuses. While it is clear Tom’s e-mail didn’t get to where it needed to go, Tom clearly understood the problem and, in the end, the issue was resolved.

    It will be interesting to see if Lucy can get her money back. That would be more than fair, given that her insistance that she WAS going to run has cost our committee, and Michelle McQuig, money, time, and effort.

    I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised to see this blog so favorable toward any story that attacks their enemies. Glad you could find time from your all-important Gala to get one side of the story so you could report it after everybody else knew it.

  9. anon2 said on 29 Apr 2007 at 1:57 pm:
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    So, is it untrue that new delegate forms were needed?

  10. charles said on 29 Apr 2007 at 2:47 pm:
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    Lest my comments be misconstrued due to awkward wording, Greg, I thought your write-up was pretty balanced as writeups go for this blog. I was humored by some of the commenters.

    I’m guessing Beefelt’s comment was in a letter sent out prior to Lucy being told she was OK for the convention, and before she “answered the rumors” by her act of quitting?

    I liked Michelle’s snappy, somewhat sarcastic response as reported by the Post, especially her noting that some might consider having the convention in a school was unfair because Lucy was School Board Chair. (an obvious swipe at Lucy saying it was unfair because the school was in the east side of the county where the 51st is).

    The Post reporter I don’t think got the comment. See, Lucy is the school board county-wide chair, which means that ANY location is a location where Lucy’s name has appeared on ballots in the past, and would contain people who had voted for Lucy. So in fact, putting the convention anywhere else would have put it in a place where Lucy had been on the ballot, but not Michelle, making Michelle’s natural constituency have to travel farther than Lucy’s natural constituency.

    Using the “school”/”school board” reference seemed though to be too cerebral for the reporter to catch the meaning.

  11. charles said on 29 Apr 2007 at 3:06 pm:
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    So, is it untrue that new delegate forms were needed?

    Yes, it is untrue. I was a delegate for this convention, and did not have to re-file. I received an e-mail informing me of the new location.

    Note that you could ask people to “re-file electronically” simply to ensure that all the people who filled out forms are informed of the new location. Part of the advantage of having filed forms with the location on it is nobody can complain that they didn’t know where it was.

  12. Jason Suarez said on 29 Apr 2007 at 6:01 pm:
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    There where new delegate forms, but the old forms where acceptable to participate in the convention.

  13. CONVA said on 29 Apr 2007 at 6:35 pm:
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    Don’t be so fast to count Lucy out. She has won two county wide elections and is recognized as a doer. Then there is McQuigg?

  14. freedom said on 29 Apr 2007 at 6:59 pm:
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    Agree with CONVA — we don’t need a Gill supporter who refuses to take a public stand for EITHER 51st candidate (due to fear of losing votes?? of course…) anywhere EVEN NEAR the court, much less as the Clerk.

  15. anon2 said on 29 Apr 2007 at 7:40 pm:
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    Perhaps I am misunderstanding the above excerpt by Beefelt -

    It sounds like at some point in time Lucy received word that she would need to refile and/or delegates would need to refile - or perhaps this was left up in the air - and she received word of this one hour before the deadline (whenever that was).

    Are Charles and Jason saying that this never occurred?

    I understand that as it stands now, at this very moment in time, already filed candidates and delegates do not need to refile. But was that the way it stood from the very moment that the new call was formulated?

  16. charles said on 29 Apr 2007 at 11:31 pm:
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    So far as I understand, not having seen the actual e-mails, and simply heard the story from several sources, The call was re-issued with no need for candidates OR delegates to re-file.

    Then, Tom sent an e-mail to both CANDIDATES. That e-mail was interpreted as being a request for the candidate to re-file, at least for Lucy. It was e-mailed to both candidates, but Lucy didn’t receive it. Tom, realising he hadn’t heard from Lucy, tried to call her to find out what was happening.

    We don’t have any other e-mails, and there is some question as to how many contacts were made after that evening, but the result was that Lucy did not have to re-file, and was a candidate for the convention.

    I had heard some time the previous week that there was some question as to whether Lucy was still going to participate. I think that was part of the confusion, as my guess is that Tom thought Lucy was looking for an excuse to drop out and run as an independent, and thought that was why she hadn’t responded. There were rumors that her delegate collection was not going well anyway.

    I never spoke with Tom about this, I meant to send him an e-mail and forgot. There was never a question about delegates, and since the call did not mention re-filing as a candidate I believe there was never any question about that either, whatever Tom put in his e-mail.

    While Tom and I do not have a personal relationship, he has been good about answering my e-mails when I question what he is doing. I would expect he’d be pretty quick to respond to any civil e-mail query.

  17. James Young said on 29 Apr 2007 at 11:40 pm:
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    Lucy has actually won THREE countywide elections (1995, 1999, and 2003). As for Lyle’s release, this is beneath him. I am disappointed, since I respect Lyle.

    The question that goes to Lyle (and other Republicans listed on Lucy’s endorsement list) is whether they will resign from the GOP, or from Lucy’s campaign.

  18. anon said on 30 Apr 2007 at 9:15 am:
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    Is it “beneath him” if it is true? Suppose it is true that Kopko acted in such a way to benefit McQuigg and harm Lucy - after all there are accusations on this very website that he may have done that in regard to the Gill/Lucas contest, so why would it be so farfetched that he may have done it in this instance as well?

    Should Beefelt resign from a party and principles he supports because there is/may be corrupt leadership in that party?

    I think it is interesting that Beefelt says this:
    “But somehow [they will claim] that it Lucy’s fault because she didn’t call the Chairman to find out what they weren’t telling her she had to do.”

    And, then as predicted, in yesterday’s Washington Post, McQuigg lays the blame for the missed communication at Lucy’s feet because she didn’t “reach out” to Kopko. Exactly how was Lucy supposed to know that she was supposed to “reach out” - psychic powers?

  19. Batson D. Belfrey said on 30 Apr 2007 at 11:20 am:
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    Just further proof that Kopko needs to go. I am not saying that he intentionally tried to screw over Lucy. It is his laughable leadership skills that has brought the PWCGOP continued bad press. I wonder how many more members will quit over this. At this rate, the PWCGOP will consist of Kopko, Gill, Darth Vader, Charles Baggins, Denny and the Saurez twins, before November. I am sure they would be happy if it were so,

  20. James Young said on 30 Apr 2007 at 11:32 am:
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    How would “Batson” know, pray tell? His face has never darkened the door of a PWC event, so far as we know. If he had, would he be missed if he were gone?

    Since he likes nicknames so well, perhaps we can find a more appropriate one for him. He likes anonymity, after all, from which to cast his attacks. How about John Doe’s brother, Dil? Certainly fits.

  21. Batson D. Belfrey said on 30 Apr 2007 at 11:48 am:
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    “He likes anonymity, after all, from which to cast his attacks. How about John Doe’s brother, Dil? Certainly fits.”

    He He! That’s great! I think my nickname for you is better, and we both know why! Am I really anonymous? You seem to think I am employed by the government. Think real hard Darth. Use the force. You must know who I am by know.

    As to whether or not I have attended a PWC event, I guess you would know, considering you know who I am.

  22. James Young said on 30 Apr 2007 at 12:18 pm:
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    Well, “Batson,” put simply, I think I know where you work. However, since you are such a pimple on a flea (I might even be wrong), and I don’t have even three seconds to spare on actually getting your name by looking through alumni materials, I simply can’t be bothered. Why expend such effort to expose an obviously pathetic forty-year-old man? Besides, if someone were to actually put your name on your posts, a coward like you would probably drop dead of apoplexy.

    Your insults are tiresome. You celebrate Greg’s banning of me because I speak truth, yet you feel free to fire your childish broadsides, and belittle me when I suggest that — if Greg were applying an objective, rather than self-serving, standard — you would have been gone long ago. Perhaps he finds you entertaining. I merely find you to be a tiresome, embittered, frustrated boor.

    Why get in the mud with a swine? You only get dirty, and the swine likes it.

  23. Batson D. Belfrey said on 30 Apr 2007 at 12:56 pm:
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    “I don’t have even three seconds to spare on actually getting your name by looking through alumni materials,”

    What, you won’t use the force?

    “I merely find you to be a tiresome, embittered, frustrated boor.”

    Aw, Lord Vader, the feeling is quite mutual.

    “Why get in the mud with a swine?”

    Now let’s not get into a discussion about your student dating habits, or your proclivity to use your nose a way to kill time. I’d rather keep it to your misson to defend the questionable actions of Gill and Kopko. You seem ready to roll around and get dirty with these two.

  24. James Young said on 30 Apr 2007 at 2:14 pm:
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    Wow, “Batson” (or would that be Steve?), you really have an unhealthy fixation on what you believe to be my sex life… er, “dating habits,” from more than twenty years ago! I can assure you that they were not nearly so interesting as your continued attention suggests they were. And certainly not so interesting as to command the attention of one not involved in them.

    And BTW, whatever you say about Gill or Kopko, the simple fact is that you lie every time you post here, and hide your identity. It is therefore little wonder that you didn’t graduate from H-SC. After all, we do have a Honor Code.

  25. Batson D. Belfrey said on 30 Apr 2007 at 2:31 pm:
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    Wrong James. I did graduate. Come down to the office and I’ll show you my diploma.

  26. Batson D. Belfrey said on 30 Apr 2007 at 2:36 pm:
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    Better go back to the old alum list and take another crack at it.

  27. CONVA said on 30 Apr 2007 at 4:41 pm:
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    James 29 April…11:40 resign from the GOP or Lucy’s campaign? Many republicans will vote for Lucy and not drop out of the “GOP”. They may well resign from the Kopko Keystone Kops. What are the benefits of belonging to a committee? Registered voters can participate in conventions or primaries without belonging to a committee. One can support whom ever he/she chooses without belonging to any committee. All a committee membership does is allow one to pay dues. Any committee will solicit every and all to attend their functions, after all, it’s all about the money isn’t it?

  28. Batson D. Belfrey said on 30 Apr 2007 at 4:55 pm:
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    “After all, we do have a Honor Code”

    Would that be a Jedi’s code?

  29. James Young said on 30 Apr 2007 at 9:45 pm:
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    I was speaking, CONVA, of those Republicans who are members of an official committee of the Republican Party of Virginia, who are required, upon request in open meeting, to state their intention to support all Republican nominees in the ensuing election. The same obligation is imposed upon participants in Party nominating conventions and primaries, by the way. And, of course, unit committees are the officlal governing bodies of the Party in their jurisdictions, so it’s hardly “all about the money.” Your assertion simply demonstrates your lack of knowledge to speak with any authority on the issue.

    Of course, individuals may and will call themselves whatever they want, so doubtless, there are many who vote for Democrats who call themselves “Republicans” for political advantage. For that matter, there are scores in Congress who call themselves “Democrats” but are, in point of fact, socialists.

  30. CONVA said on 30 Apr 2007 at 10:59 pm:
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    WE are so lucky to have an expert like JY keeping us all on the right track. Maybe that is why the Pot News canned him. There are many of us conservatives that generally vote republican and do not join the “official” Republican Committee of Virginia because of it being populated by folks like Jim Young and Kopko’s Keystone Kops. The issue is that Lucy made a decision to go independent and she will do better than fighting the so called local republican brain bust.

  31. James Young said on 1 May 2007 at 12:39 am:
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    “CONVA,” it is a sign of your desperation that you are reduced to using the word “expert” as a term of derision? Are you so desperate to provoke controversy that you do so where there is none? You use the phrase with sarcastic derision, but the simple fact is that I AM an “expert” on the requirements and provisions of the Prince William Party Plan, as its primary author (though, of course, it was adopted by the Committee as a whole, waaaaaay back in 1992, if memory serves). That’s not braggadacio; it’s simple fact, based upon experience. I may not agree with what Kurt Vonnegut says about “Cat’s Cradle,” but I certainly have to respect his authority to comment upon what its author intended.

    You suggest another standard unknown to the rules by which the RPV and the PWC GOP and its Committee are governed, and one which would be unworkable in practice. That’s why I cited your “lack of knowledge.” I suppose I could have said “ignorance,” but “ignorance” carries a negative connotation, and I didn’t intend one.

    Now, however, your last post demonstrates that it’s not ignorance, but a knowing commitment to attacking rhetorically rules you cannot defeat in practice and which have withstood the test of time. What is “conservative” about that attitude is a mystery to me; one could argue that it’s nihlism at its worst, or perhaps just the application of situational ethics. ‘Fact is, the same rules that prohibit Members of official committees from endorsing/aiding non-Republicans (Democrats, Greens, Independents) like Beauchamp are the same rules which prohibit me, as a member of the PWC Committee, from endorsing a post-nomination opponent of Maureen Caddigan or Marty Nohe, our well-known differences to the contrary notwithstanding. The choice of Beauchamp’s endorsees who are Members of the County Committee is stark, but simple. It is not a choice faced by those who want to call themselves “Republicans,” but who are not members of the County Committee, a fact I freely concede.

    Leadership demands a higher standard, and membership in official RPV committees is a leadership role which places the demand that members be willing, upon request in open meeting, to state their intention to support all Republican nominees in the ensuing election. This is not a requirement which is contrary to the notion that “There are many of us conservatives that generally vote republican and do not join the ‘official’ Republican Committee of Virginia.” It is separate and apart from those who wish to take a leadership role in Party affairs by accepting Committee office and those who do on, some (like you, apparently) wishing to reserve unto themselves the freedom to support candidates other than Republicans.

    But please do not try to camouflage your desire to reject unilaterally and at your own discretion the considered wisdom of RPV or its units by citing your contempt for me or Kopko and those who supported him over Brian Murphy. That is simply a rationalization of a narcissism which is contrary to a party’s selection of its leaders, and the effective and efficient management of party affairs. Any party’s affairs.

  32. CONVA said on 1 May 2007 at 11:48 am:
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    I love the “wisdom of RPV” hahaha… I hope the Govenor reads that. By the way, does the PWC party plan address the any semblance of ethics?

  33. James Young said on 1 May 2007 at 1:15 pm:
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    Your last demonstrates why it is well that you should not aspire to a leadership role in the RPV or its units, “CONVA.” Is that “CON” short for “Conservative,” or “Con Artist”?

    As for your question, the first answer would be “What or whose ethics?” Mine? Yours based upon the convenience of the moment? Greg’s? Bill Kling’s?

    My recollection is that it does not. A Party Plan is a framework for governance, not an expression of values. Hence, the more successful ones merely establish a process for governance. The language is written broadly, such that the values reflected by the operations of the County Committee are those derived from the considered wisdom of its current Membership.

  34. anon said on 1 May 2007 at 9:55 pm:
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    A framework of government IS an expression of values.

  35. James Young said on 2 May 2007 at 10:21 am:
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    Anon 9:55, that’s a pretty good point. Hadn’t really thought about that, but you are correct, to a degree.

    I suppose in this context, and in an on-the-fly analysis, the values/ethics reflected in the Party Plan are ones which respect the phrase that I placed at the end: “the considered wisdom of its current Membership.” I suppose it harkens back to Franklin’s comment at the close of the Constitutional Convention: “a Republic, if you can keep it.” That is, a framework which reflects the commitment to thoughtful representation expressed democratically.

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