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PWCRC Election Kickoff

By Greg L | 30 December 2007 | PWCRC | 73 Comments

In April the Prince William County Republican Committee will select new leadership, capping off several months of behind-the-scenes jockeying for position that began about a year ago when the Tom Kopko faction of the committee began it’s quest to install Faisal Gill in the House of Delegates.  After a pretty strong start as Chairman, Kopko managed to erode his position with a series of embarrassing gaffes, and then toss away whatever remaining credibility he had with some ham-handed attempts to dictate the outcome of the candidate selection process.  As a result, the committee’s membership has plunged, and the committee itself is a rather hollow shell of the political powerhouse it once was, and only made marginally credible by the even more dramatic implosion of the PWCDC.  Soon there will be a chance to change direction.

At this point even Tom Kopko realizes that getting re-elected isn’t going to happen.  Without the support of elected officials, and deserted by all but a hard-core cadre of party loyalists, anyone running as an alternative choice would walk away with a win.  The Kopko loyalists talked up a shocking alternative candidate for a while — Faisal Gill, fresh off his November defeat by an absolute political neophyte, and who is in sore need of some serious credential building if he were ever to run for office again.  Within a few weeks, I’m told that wiser heads prevailed, and this faction has likely settled on Chris Royse as a candidate, who is a rather interesting choice.

Although Chris failed in his bid to become Woodbridge Supervisor, he is well liked and has earned broad respect from party activists.  While not a hugely experienced party stalwart by any means, he is rightly viewed as principled, fair and ideologically acceptable by many, if not all, within the PWCRC.  About the only thing missing from his resume is extensive experience in party politics, which the last several years have demonstrated is pretty important if only to spot the political icebergs in the path of this ship as it navigates some pretty treacherous political waters before the party inexorably crashes into them.  Other than that weakness, Chris Royse is a tremendous candidate for this position and would easily garner substantial support within the party’s conservative base.

The anti-Kopko alternative is Lyle Beefeldt.  Lyle is more a party technocrat, and brings a huge amount of experience, and a lot of that is from the side of those whom the Kopko crowd has attempted to marginalize or otherwise prevent from participating in the candidate selection process.  While some of the candidates Lyle has helped might not make the conservative center-of-mass within the PWCRC exactly jubilant (Lucy Beauchamp comes to mind), his experience with the effects of trying to ram a chosen candidate through the nomination process is incredibly valuable.  It would be hard to find anyone more dedicated to ensuring a fair candidate selection process than the same person who worked overtime to try to rescue it from the corruption which had so thoroughly infested it under Kopko.  Beefeldt would strongly appeal to the “big tent” Republicans, and those who figure that regardless of ideology, a fair process ensures that the better candidates win.  Conservatives would then have to actually run strong and competitive campaigns in order to win, rather than rely on a party chairman’s heavy thumb to tip the scales.

So this race could well come down to a contest between ideology versus competence, since there really isn’t much else to distinguish between these two likely candidates other than who is supporting them.  They’re both solid, and any party unit would be rather lucky to be lead by either of them.  Of course there are the broader strategic concerns, which won’t likely be the subject of open discussion, but may overshadow the outcome here.

Despite the conservative bent of the committee, the elected county officials don’t entirely represent a dominant conservative ideology, with Marty Nohe and Maureen Caddigan being frequent targets of conservative’s ire.  Both had attempted challengers this last election cycle, with Tom Kopko putatively challenging Nohe, and Caddigan getting a weak primary challenge from Charles Brewer courtesy of Corey Stewart and Tom Kopko.  The political payback has been occasionally difficult, with Caddigan openly supporting Sharon Pandak in the last election.  Nohe has been far more adept at simply waiting out the problem from a position of political strength instead of letting it fester into open warfare, but Caddigan has been determined to fight back at every opportunity and has been poisoning whatever opportunity for reconciliation that may have ever existed.

Screwing over Maureen Caddigan in whatever way may be possible has thus become a prime objective of a wide swath of the committee, and this crosses the pro and anti Tom Kopko factions.  Whatever one’s complaints may be with Tom Kopko, his methods of exacting revenge are quiet, out of the public eye, and delivered with a smile.  Caddigan relishes in trying to publicly humiliate anyone she doesn’t care for, drawing much more universal disdain for not only being a frequent roadblock to conservative legislative priorities, but being a classless wench while doing it.  Picking fights with Corey Stewart on the dais, calling out county residents by name during Supervisor’s Time, and campaigning for Democrats while running for office as a Republican is outrageous.  Anyone who runs for PWCRC Chairman and gives an indication that they’re going to use the power of that office to derail any political future for Maureen Caddigan is going to be pretty popular with party stalwarts.  Will Chris Royse do this?  He might be smart to.

Or perhaps not, since this strategy hasn’t worked so far.  No matter how the party leadership may be able to hamstring one of it’s elected officials, nothing will ever change unless a suitable candidate can effectively challenge her and win.  Knocking off an entrenched incumbent in a primary challenge is no easy task, but unless the real nuts and bolts of party leadership — candidate development, building the committee, and amassing a volunteer army are done, there’s little that a party unit chairman can otherwise do to rid themselves of a troublesome heretical elected official.  You don’t effect change through harassing incumbents, you do so by creating better alternatives.

So while the Kopko crowd can promote their candidate as a means of ridding the electorate of Maureen Caddigan, ideology here really means little.  Building a party, smoothly managing party operations, and flawlessly running a candidate selection process, while a longer-term effort than finding that one opportunity to effectively screw someone over, is the only dependable way to achieve the desired outcome.  About the only strategic objective the Tom Kopko faction of the party can offer is doing whatever possible to knock off Maureen Caddigan as soon as it can, but the implementation of this goal is difficult, if not impossible.  The alternative, while much less emotionally appealing, is to simply execute the typical long-term party building operation that will make it more likely that an effective candidate to  replace Caddigan can be found and run a credible campaign, although this is far from the quick-fix some would yearn for.

If these are the two candidates for PWCRC Chairman, these external issues will hopefully be insignificant, although there will likely be perceived political advantages in dragging them in.  The likely candidates have a lot to offer by themselves, and should be able to offer strong reasons why they should be selected based on their qualities and experience alone.  This isn’t a selection for the purpose of delivering whatever required level of political payback to Maureen Caddigan is called for, it’s for choosing the right helmsman for a difficult job where charting out a good course and keeping it is critical for future Republican success in Prince William County.  Fortunately the choices here are looking pretty good.

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  1. Had to Say said on 30 Dec 2007 at 3:53 pm:
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    Good riddance to Kopko!

  2. Not JY said on 30 Dec 2007 at 3:53 pm:
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    When a doctor works on a patients wound, he does not just heal the skin, but goes after the infection so that it will not spread and destroy the body. So, too, should the PWCRC members do with Tom Kopko and his ilk. Be it people like Tom, Jimmy “Mr. Clinton can I buy you a cheap cigar” Young, or Denny D, these traitors to the Party need to be purged and they can go whimper to each other at The Drunken Clam how much better things were back in 1995 when they were in charge.

    Personally, I would like to see Lyle become head of the PWCGOP and bring respect back to this organization. Chris is nothing but loyal, honest, God-fearing but like Greg said is still relatively new to the area. Lyle knows the history of why things are the way they are and how best to talk to the “old timers” while NOT alienating those who are new and maybe not quite to the Right as you or I may like.

    Again, if Chris wins we ALL win; however I feel that Chris’ place is holding elected office State-wide. Chris Royse may not be a veteran in politics, but he has served his country well and with honor, unlike the traitors to the party mentioned above. Well, I best close this for now as Jim Young is likely doning a handwriting analysis on this and will SWEAR that I am Dolph, Julie Lucas, John Light or even Greg lol. One day, Jimmy, when you are in the corner of the room whining about “the good old days” and how NOBODY is more Conservative than you are, I will walk up to you, laugh in your face at how low you really are, and make an introduction.

    Until then, little Jimmy Young, I am like “The Shadow” - hahahahahahahahaha

  3. Dolph said on 30 Dec 2007 at 4:19 pm:
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    Perhaps those in the local GOP think of Maureen Caddigan as a ‘classless wench’ and ‘heretical.’ On the other hand, when you step outside of the Republican party, you will find that she is viewed quite positively by mainstream Prince William County.

    Look at the bright side, she could always switch sides if she gets too much slack…you know, like the big loser from Gainesville District did, and run as a Democrat, and win.

    Your Republican blinders are not allowing you to see that it looks like Corey is bullying Ms. Caddigan. Perhaps there is bad blood there but the general public doesn’t see it. Calling Ms. Caddigan ‘classless,’ ‘heretical’ and a ‘wench’ certainly isn’t doing much to prove that he isn’t.

  4. PWConservative said on 30 Dec 2007 at 4:38 pm:
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    I Like Chris but I think Lyle would be the better choice. Anyone is better than Kopko

  5. Sad Citizen said on 30 Dec 2007 at 5:40 pm:
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    So incredibly mean. What makes a man this way? How about a positive thought, word, action or deed? The PW Republican Party is not the destructive Death Star Greg makes it out to be. Really. We are not so bad. Greg has enough acolytes to create a new party more theocratically attuned to his World view… just do it, and leave the Republican Party to thrive without your fury. PLEASE.

  6. Lafayette said on 30 Dec 2007 at 5:46 pm:
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    When did you become a republican? lol

  7. anonymoustoo said on 30 Dec 2007 at 5:52 pm:
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    From another Independent…ditto to what Dolph said. Caddigan and Nohe are your best hopes of capturing needed votes from Independents. If we supported everything that conservative Republicans hoped to accomplish, we’d be Republicans. You’ll have to offer moderate candidates to get my vote. And the more you slam Maureen Caddigan, the only remaining woman on the BOCS, the more you’ll alienate women. Not every candidate has to be a white male. (I know several Republican women who voted for Pandak while their husbands remained loyal to the party.)

    It’s your party to do with what you please. But if you continue to offer only right-wing male candidates, we’ll go crash the Democrats’ party come election time…champagne and party noisemakers in hand.

  8. Lafayette said on 30 Dec 2007 at 5:55 pm:
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    anonymoustoo said on 30 Dec 2007 at 5:52 pm:
    I’m in total agreement with you and Dolph. We need rational not radical politicians. IMHO

  9. Dolph said on 30 Dec 2007 at 6:05 pm:
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    LOL Perish the thought! It will not happen. My name is not Gary F.

    Poor J, J and G. I almost felt sorry for them for a minute, being associated with my commie pinko whatever else…I forget….MODERATE politics.

  10. AWCheney said on 30 Dec 2007 at 7:15 pm:
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    There’s only one reason that Kopko and his people would be supporting Chris Royse…they believe that they can control/own him because of his lack of political experience and whatever “help” they may have given him during his campaign. Although I don’t believe that Chris would allow them to have any power over him, lack of experience is the last thing that the PWCRC needs right now…it’s had enough of that during the Murphy years with the ultimate result being the “Kopko Kaos” (not misspelled…merely literary license).

  11. CONVA said on 30 Dec 2007 at 7:51 pm:
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    Whom ever ends up in the PWCRC chair best refrain from attacking Maureen. Her support crosses all political lines and is massive, primarily because she delivers for ALL constituents. Maybe they should concentrate on attempting to get those that have left the committee since Kopko and his merry Kops took over back into the committee. Most of those that made the machine work are now on the side lines watching to see who takes over. The two rumored candidates hardly get the juices running.

  12. John Smith said on 30 Dec 2007 at 7:59 pm:
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    Anyone know anything about the consulting group that Kopko is starting up?

    Royse is one of four in the group. The website used to have the names of the four, but it no longer contains that information.

    “The Resolves Group, Inc. was formed on November 12 by four experienced leaders in the fields of law enforcement and counter-terrorism, bio-technology, international relations, and high technology. James J. Fotis, Christopher A. Royse, Trent A. Barton, and Thomas A. Kopko are the principles.” (see Google cached) http://www.TheResolvesGroup.com

    I have no problem with them using their expertise and skills for employment. But, even though Chris may be a great guy, this ties him quite closely with Kopko. Too close for me.

  13. AWCheney said on 30 Dec 2007 at 8:13 pm:
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    There you go…Kopko obviously feels that he owns Royse. Too bad…I thought Royse might have a political future but he’s obviously showing some pretty poor judgement.

  14. Too sick to speak! said on 30 Dec 2007 at 8:15 pm:
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    John Smith said on 30 Dec 2007 at 7:59 pm:
    I have no problem with them using their expertise and skills for employment. But, even though Chris may be a great guy, this ties him quite closely with Kopko. Too close for me.

    Too close here too.
    Jim/Chris/Trent: Come on gentlemen, Kopko? You could’ve done better than that.

  15. CONVA said on 30 Dec 2007 at 8:16 pm:
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    That puts Royse out of the running. Kopko & Barton? Royse must not be aware of their track records.

  16. Greg L said on 30 Dec 2007 at 9:03 pm:
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    Even if you might not agree with Tom Kopko’s decisions as a party chairman, you probably would consider his experience and knowledge of county politics a pretty valuable asset if you’re looking for a consultant. He’s no dummy, to boot. I personally see nothing wrong with entering into a business arrangement with him, and he might well have a lot to offer this group.

    Just because you disagree with some of his decisions as PWCRC Chair doesn’t at all mean he brings no value to a consulting organization.

  17. Dolph said on 30 Dec 2007 at 9:43 pm:
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    I certainly wouldn’t want to do business with someone I didn’t trust politically. Perhaps this is just a Republican thing…I wouldn’t understand.

  18. John Smith said on 30 Dec 2007 at 9:44 pm:
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    I agree. Like I said, I have no problem with any of them using their expertise and skills for this consulting organization. The fact that Kopko has a lot to offer the organization is not the issue. The issue is the close relationship Mr. Royse has forged with Mr. Kopko. I have little interest in supporting a Kopko backed candidate.

  19. Lafayette said on 30 Dec 2007 at 10:07 pm:
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    Good one, of course you wouldn’t understand, and why would you want to for that matter. Guilty by association comes to mind. Remember, how arrogant Kopko was when he spoke at during citizens’ time about the Wesleyan Church in the Brentsville District.

  20. Dolph said on 30 Dec 2007 at 10:47 pm:
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    Who could forget?

    Remember that old Sudley/Westgate expression about what birds of a feather do?

  21. Anonymous said on 30 Dec 2007 at 11:04 pm:
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    Royse will probably run as the “Kopko” candidate of choice. Is obvious they now have close ties. Its very interesting because not all of the conservatives in the party originally backed Kopko to begin with. Even some of Gill’s supporters never backed Kopko I believe.
    I think its fair to say the anti-Kopko candidate if it is Lyle Beefelt will get plenty of support from conservatives even if they have disagreed with him in the past just because he will take the party in a different direction than the current chair. I do think Royse will have some problems if he runs because he does at times come off as very arrogent, proud, and condesending. Maybe thats just his personality but it does seem strange. Very ,eerily similar to Kopko. I think many would be very suprised at the type of support a candidate like Beefelt would draw from all sides of the party. Even many of the conservatives think Kopko has failed miserably.

    Instead of ideological warfare, it might be best for the committee to concentrate on getting party structure and grassroots base back to working together in general elections. Instead of silly committee protest press releases and wasted time arguing over useless points of order it might be nice to concentrate on our strengths rather than our weaknesses.

    It might also be best to get rid of conventions for a while as well. I really don’t buy the horrible argument by some that democrats always vote in GOP primaries. If you cannot win a GOP primary than you are not really capable of doing well in a general election conservative or not. Winning a primary is a much truer test of electablility than a relatively small convention.

  22. anona said on 30 Dec 2007 at 11:17 pm:
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    Neither of these suggestions is acceptable. Both of these guys have somewhat arrogant personalities. Royse will tick off the anti Kopko anti Stewart moderate crowd by doing something Kopko-ish and his inexperience will put the committee in a dangerous position at election time which will have the angry moderates tripping over themselves to throw fundraisers for Democrats.

    Beefelt will tick off the anti Nohe anti Caddigan conservatives by supporting any developer that walks into the county with a vision for a 6000 home development and by thwarting Chairman Stewart every chance he gets which will make the conservatives foam at the mouth.

    That’s all the Republicans can come up with? Surely there is someone else out there with better personal skills to bring the party together.

  23. AWCheney said on 30 Dec 2007 at 11:18 pm:
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    Before I begin, please note that I invoke a sarcasm alert.

    Well Greg, let’s look at Kopko’s political resume: Little Stevie Chapman, that eminent candidate on two momentous occasions (oops, I should say one occasion…since he forgot to file the second time because of you); his EXTRAORDINARY leadership of the PWCRC which led to such an efficient reduction of forces, thereby stream-lining operations; let us not forget those magnificent conventions run with the efficiency of a meeting of the Politburo, without the guns of course (they knew how to conveniently set their own rules as well); and, lest we forget, that incomparable candidate Faisal Gill (AKA, “Google” Faisal Gill) who was sure to keep that long-time Republican district in the “R” column (oops again, he lost didn’t he).

    You’re absolutely right Greg…he’s JUST the right kind of political consultant, with those great “skills and expertise” (as Mr. Smith pointed out) that I’d want in my corner (please remember that sarcasm alert).

  24. Dolph said on 30 Dec 2007 at 11:31 pm:
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    I seem to recall voting in a Republican primary in the fairly recent past. Seems a young challenger named Chapman was running against long term incumbant Delegate Harry Parrish. This kid was flippant, unknowledgeable, and telling bald-faced lies against a man who had spent most of MY adult life serving the residents of Manassas/Prince William County.

    I wasn’t a Republican. I was an Independent. Should I have been cut out of the election process at this level? I think not. As I recall, that primary was a pretty tight race. It was probably a good thing those rascally old Independents and probably a few Democrats were out there pulling for Delegate Parrish.

    Those kinds of primaries generally have the decks stacked. This one would have been no exception. Primaries rule. Primaries force honesty, especially if it is lacking in a candidate.

  25. The Truth said on 31 Dec 2007 at 3:34 am:
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    Step right up folks! The show is right this way! Check your scruples at the door!

    And now for the Amazing Super Duper Blogger’s next trick. TA DA! Greg will fool you into believing that Maureen Caddigan might be gay!

    That’s right folks! She’s actually got that pesky thing called a conscience. We can’t have that getting in the way of our master plan now can we?

  26. freedom said on 31 Dec 2007 at 6:33 am:
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    Borrowing AWC’s “sarcasm alert” for a bit…

    What the PWCRC REALLY needs is someone with experience…a man never to be controlled by another’s voting block or access to money, a man of humility, logic and reason, a man whose judgment coalesces voters in a single direction.

    Fellow Republicans, be honest with yourselves, that man is clearly, beyond any doubt, jimmy (aka James) Young. Where are ya when we need you sooooooo much, jimmy?

    “Sarcasm alert” off…

  27. CONVA said on 31 Dec 2007 at 11:49 am:
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    Yeah! The PWCRC needs JY like a hemophiac needs acupuncture.

  28. IN WOODBRIDGE said on 31 Dec 2007 at 11:51 am:
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    We were told 2 months ago that Royse was a Kopko man and this sure pit a cloud on him.
    Lyle is the best and hope he still has a backbone,as the group will make it hard for him.

    Hopefully people like Jimmy, Denny Fitzy,Barton,Kopko,and a few others will give up and go away. So a new Party can start and bring back the many that left as it was hard fighting them. Now that they spent Davis’s $50000 and were not capable of heading up fund raisers,there is not any money left.

    Kopko’s wife had apparently alot of fund spending that 50000 for new stuff in Hdqtrs. that they lease. What a blast.

    Here’s hoping for a Good Leader. Not Faisal either.

  29. James Young said on 31 Dec 2007 at 12:06 pm:
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    I guess I’m confused a little with your discussion, Greg. According to you, while Faisal is unacceptable as a candidate (not that I am advocating him; I wouldn’t have thought that he’d be interested, nor had I heard anyone suggesting that he run) because he lost to “an absolute political neophyte, and who is in sore need of some serious credential building if he were ever to run for office again” (though his credentials are superior to virtually any other candidate on the GOP or Dem side, for that matter), Chris Royse “is a tremendous candidate for this position and would easily garner substantial support within the party’s conservative base” even though he also lost to “an absolute political neophyte, and who is in sore need of some serious credential building if he were ever to run for office again,” since his credentials are certainly less substantial than Faisal’s.

    Your discussion is fascinating for the fact that you manage to smear Faisal by comparing him unfavorably to a very comparable person. And my comment is based upon the fact that I have no animosity toward either of them. Your animosity toward Faisal clearly causes you to ignore their similarities.

    As for your comments about Lyle, I agree. I think he would be a good Chairman. What is truly hilarious is the apparent presumption that he isn’t among the people smeared here. Then again, I think Chris would probably be a good Chairman, too, so long as he has the wit to ignore cowardly lions who smear GOP leadership while cowering in anonymity, or has-beens whose influence is limited to attaching herself to perhaps-unbeatable incumbents whose reputation can survive their sleazy tactics.

    ‘Fact is, I don’t have any doubts about the ability of either of the individuals mentioned to perform the technical requirements of the job, though I wonder whether either has the experience necessary to build up the Committee and the GOP as the grassroots organization anticipated when we broke away from the consolidated Committee 17 years ago. I doubt that they would be inferior to any recent Chairman in this regard; my only question is whether they would be superior.

    Of course, much of the problem with your post is in its premise. I don’t know that Kopko has announced his intentions. And then there’s the problem your complaints about the integrity of the process. It’s really too bad that you and your fellow nihilists continue your jihad against any process which produces an outcome with which you (and others) disagree.

    As for you, “Not JY,” your “threat” worries me not at all. It presumes so much that is false, but primarily that: (a) your “faction” will ever be in ascendance; and (b) that you’ll ever develop the personal courage actually to confront your opponents publicly.

    I will not hold my breath in anticipation of either development, though doing so would, of course, serve your purposes.

    And as for you, “Fredo,” I could do the job. Pretty much did, for a time, back in the day, according to some.

    Not interested. Better things to do than smile and try to diminish the damage done by the likes of you.

  30. Loudoun Insider said on 31 Dec 2007 at 12:16 pm:
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    Kopko was talking up his new firm at the Advance. I didn’t know Royce was part of it, and this is disappointing.

    The LCRC is a huge mess, even worse than the PWCRC, but we seem to have found an excellent Chairman candidate that all sides agree on - Glen Caroline, who is the Grassroots Director for the NRA by day. He is a guy with impeccable reputation and great organizational skills. He is conservative but not a myopic idealogue, and most importantly, he had to be somewhat cajoled into going for the nomination. He is not doing it to further his own ambitions or those of his friends. This is exactly what the LCRC needs, and a similar candidate would be well suited to putting the PWCRC back together.

    RPV really needs to take an active role in assuring fair processes for both upcoming conventions. NOVA is far too important for the upcoming state and federal elections. We’ve all unfortunately seen how the power mongers in both counties like to play with conventions.

  31. Concerned said on 31 Dec 2007 at 2:14 pm:
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    Chris might be a Tom Kopko ally but Lyle has been tied to Wally Covington for years. Lyle is personally a good guy and solid Republican from what I know of him but I certainly don’t want the Covington crew and their developer cronies in charge of the PWCRC. Covington talks a good game at election time but is already showing his true colors through his shenanigans over Fireside Wesleyan, among other things. He is also the Supervisor (along with Connaughton) who tried to get Brentswood through for their developer buddies in 2006. If Lyle wins, Covington will be calling the shots and that means more developer influence, much akin to what Loudoun faced on their Committee and Board.

    Check out the Development Application Processing Schedule (http://www.pwcgov.org/default.aspx?topic=040035001160002351) and you’ll see some of what Wally has in store for us. This is just the tip of the iceberg, however, because it shows only projects currently in the pipeline. The rest have been saved as surprises for us for after the election.

    Given the choice between Chris and Tom, or Lyle, Wally and the developers, I would have to go with Chris. However, if Chris is unacceptable to the anti-Tom Kopko crowd, who is out there who is not tied to either Tom or Wally and the developers?

  32. AWCheney said on 31 Dec 2007 at 3:04 pm:
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    Concerned, you’re looking at this from a completely unreasonable perspective. Lyle is quite aware (unlike Kopko) that the Chairman does NOT set policy for the Republican Committee…the job of the Committee is to recruit and elect Republican candidates. Those candidates cannot have their hands tied by narrow, dogmatic views unrepresentative of the majority of Republicans, and other voters, in the County. The Chairman, and the rest of the Executive Committee, are ADMINISTRATORS, recruiting, training, and organizing volunteers; recruiting viable candidates for the various elected offices in their jurisdiction; raising money for the Committee and for those candidates; providing resources such as voter registration lists (updated) and phone banks as needed; and the “nuts and bolts” list goes on and on. I should think that would be quite enough to keep a Chairman fully occupied, especially since most of them also have day jobs.

    The only way that a Chairman COULD properly perform his duties is if he has that grassroots experience in all aspects of the job, and experience in administration is a big plus. Lyle has all this, and more. He’s a “local boy” (raised right here in PWC) and knows this county and its political history. Of course he’s friends with Wally Covington who’s also a “local boy”…any of us who have been involved with the Republican Party forever and who were raised in PWC (particularly in the same Magisterial District) could not help having a long-time relationship with each other. It’s not a bad thing at all, and does not mean that everyone is going to share the same ties and influences. Too few people in recent years have shown a willingness to “agree to disagree,” and other such reasonable attitudes necessary to amicable, and professional, political relationships. We’re not all cut from the same mold…just as our electorate is not.

    The only way that the PWCRC will once again grow to its previous strength and influence is if we have someone at the helm that actually has the experience and knows what he’s doing…and Lyle Beefelt does.

  33. Concerned said on 31 Dec 2007 at 5:00 pm:
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    AW Cheney:

    I understand what you are saying. I agree whole-heartedly about unifying PWC Republicans and having someone who knows nuts-and-bolts politics. I’ve met both Lyle and Chris but don’t know either of them very well. The impressions I have of both so far are only positive. However, I’m sure that Chris’ supporters would say the same thing on his behalf that you are saying for Lyle. Namely, he’ll be independent and act in the best interests of all PWC Republicans. I hope that would be true of either candidate.

    My concern with Lyle and Covington is still the same as the concern others have regarding Chris and Tom Kopko. Lyle and Wally Covington go back a long way, as you wrote yourself. Covington’s loyalty is first and foremost to development interests rather than to Prince William County or his Brentsville constituents. I’ve heard several Brentsville Republicans express their disappointment at not having an alternative candidate to support in the Republican primary.

    The Democrats missed a big opportunity by taking a pass on the Brentsville Supervisor election this year. I know many Republicans who would not admit it publically, but would have voted against Covington and for a moderate Democrat who was strong on controlling runaway development and ending County taxpayer-funded corporate welfare for the developers.

    If push came to shove I still have great concern that Lyle would err on the side of his long-time friend, Covington, and thus Covington’s developer cronies. I can’t vote for Lyle for that reason, despite his other qualities. I can’t imagine any other PWC Republicans who are deeply concerned about over-development supporting Lyle either because of his connections to Covington. As I wrote before, if others feel the same about Chris, we need to find a candidate for PWCRC Chair who is more broadly acceptable.

  34. AWCheney said on 31 Dec 2007 at 5:17 pm:
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    I happen to be a friend of Wally’s as well and, whether I agree with him or not, that friendship does NOT influence my stand on the issues. It may give me better access to try and influence him, which is a good thing…wouldn’t you say?

    You entirely miss the point: Lyle has the experience and background to bring this Committee back…Chris does not. Lyle is an administrator with many years of experience with the nuts and bolts of politics, and as an elected PWC official (School Board)…Chris is a political neophyte. Lyle is a lifelong PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY Republican…Chris is new to our County. Do your own “Ben Franklin” list and I believe you’ll see the logic there.

  35. AWCheney said on 31 Dec 2007 at 5:27 pm:
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    BTW, I should also like to point out that a political neophyte would be far more susceptible to influences than someone with long-time experience in the political trenches. Just one point that you might want to consider, given your concerns.

  36. anona said on 31 Dec 2007 at 5:37 pm:
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    Actually Covington just pretends to be a local boy, he is more Fairfax raised than PWC, which explains his politics.
    I guess we have two big question marks:

    Would Lyle recruit volunteers, staff phone banks, and do his best to promote Republican candidates (even when they’re conservative candidates) or would he put on press conferences in support of Brentswood, scratch Covington and Nohe’s backs by sticking it to Chairman Stewart, circumvent the will of the majority of the party on the growth issue and try to rid the party of all conservatives?

    Will Chris recruit volunteers, staff phone banks, and do his best to promote Republican candidates (even when they’re moderate candidates) or would he write distracting letters to the editor and hold press conferences about illegal immigration, take every opportunity to infuriate Caddigan, publically show his inexperience at party basics during elections and try to rid the party of all moderates?

    I’m not sure so about either one so maybe we should just play it safe and PLEASE FIND SOMEONE ELSE.

    ConVA, Freedom, Concerned: Why don’t one of you step up to the task? You seem to be knowledgable, experienced and you have time to blog so you must have some extra time on your hands. You see potential in both candidates so you must be fairly in the middle politically.

  37. Loudoun Insider said on 31 Dec 2007 at 5:42 pm:
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    This is precisely why you need someone along the lines of Glen Caroline - an unaligned nuts and bolts tactician rather than a puppet for any single “side” of the local committee. Surely there is someone who fits this bill in PWC.

  38. AWCheney said on 31 Dec 2007 at 6:13 pm:
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    “Actually Covington just pretends to be a local boy, he is more Fairfax raised than PWC, which explains his politics.”

    That may be true anona, although I first met his mother when she purchased Crummett’s Store (and family home) on Vint Hill Road after the old man retired almost 30 years ago, I believe it was. I admit, I didn’t meet Wally until some time after that (I didn’t assume he was actually raised here, as were Lyle and I), but he’s certainly lived in PWC long enough to be considered a “local boy” by today’s standards, although perhaps not by the standards of 46 years ago…we had lived on the same corner near Nokesville for at least 15 years when the old farmers down the road were still calling my father “that newcomer on the corner.” It’s all a matter of timing and perspective.

  39. NoVA Scout said on 31 Dec 2007 at 6:31 pm:
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    Good post, Greg. It brings out a lot of issues and fairly lines up many of the pros and cons.

    A quibble about one item, however, is the reference to the PWCRC not being the “political powerhouse it once was.” I have been watching this from across the Occoquan (once and a while from across the Chopawamsic (sp?)) since the early 90s, and I can’t remember this committee ever being very awe-inspiring. It sure has gone downhill from wherever it was, but I think its Golden Age must be ahead of it. The Connaughton juggernaut was in spite of the Committee, not because of it. While Connaughton made it easier for Rs to get elected in PWC, (Stewart, Nohe, Stirrup, Hill, and, indirectly, May, all owe him some measure of thanks for direct monetary aid, campaign support, or elimination of their predecessors) the Committee’s isolation from Connaughton’s success meant that there was nothing substantive to follow up with once Connaughton moved up to the national scene. The overt willingness to use the process against anyone outside the “in” crowd discouraged the recruitment of strong candidates. My impression over the last few years is that the Committee became a kind of kids clubhouse for odd ducks who couldn’t get into other clubs. The prevailing ethic came to be to reward those who sucked up to the inner dozen, and punish the rest. No way to run a Party. Their most visible accomplishment is a prominent role in handing the state Senate back to the Dems by not discouraging FitzSimmonds (the folks who pushed forward Ms. Stall down in Tidewater can take a bow also). The Gill thing was pure crony-ism also, but at least Gill was a credible candidate with a respectable resume. The House of Delegates was not hanging in the balance, so that was a race that we could “afford” to throw to the Democrats (however strange that sort of standard is for gauging performance). Gill’s not dumb, and I’m sure he has his own regrets about throwing in blindly with that clique.

    No question that the Dems are in worse shape for different reasons, so the local Rs can make a ton of mistakes and not lose every single race. But it’s not very impressive, that’s for sure.

    The paragraph that indicates that it’s time for good technical politics is spot on, and you’re getting good support from some of the wiser heads here (LI, AWC, and others). Let’s hope that people begin to understand that a credible political presence requires more than buzzwords and a shoeshine. It’s hard, detailed, tedious, non-ideological organization work.

  40. freedom said on 31 Dec 2007 at 9:28 pm:
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    Nova Scout said, “…but at least Gill was a credible candidate with a respectable resume.” What? Credible candidate? Where have you been? “Respectable resume,” kinda like as if Alamoudi were “respectable,” huh?? Nevermind, moving on to the future…

    Here’s a hint, jimmy…if you like Chris Royce as the next PWCRC Chairmain, do him and his chances a favor, don’t support him publicly.

    As for alternatives, I have an excellent alternative, one who doesn’t need the extra bucks of a consultant and one who places party philosophy above reciprocal promises…and you all know her.

    One thing is for sure though…for the sake of the PWCRC, we must all coalesce and compromise behind the best single alternative…a split vote will be a losing vote…and a disaster for all of us.

  41. AWCheney said on 31 Dec 2007 at 10:49 pm:
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    Freedom, no matter who the alternative candidate may be, there will never be a concensus as you’re suggesting is necessary. Fact is, I simply do not see Lyle Beefelt as strictly aligned with any faction, so he is about as neutral a candidate for Chairman as you’re going to be able to find…and he actually seems to be willing to take on the job. You know that the Kopko faction is not going to support ANYONE that they don’t feel that they can control anyway, so any other alternative will only serve to split the remaining available vote.

  42. anon said on 1 Jan 2008 at 12:43 am:
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    “I have an excellent alternative, one who doesn’t need the extra bucks of a consultant and one who places party philosophy above reciprocal promises…and you all know her. ”

    Give us a bigger hint than that.

  43. freedom said on 1 Jan 2008 at 8:20 am:
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    AWC said, “…so any other alternative will only serve to split the remaining available vote.” I agree with you completely…in fact, that’s exactly what I meant — perhaps I didn’t say it quite so clearly.

    No, 100% concensus behind a single opposition candidate is more than we could ever expect. However, if we’re to have a leader instead of a “consultant,” we may have to compromise.

    I know Lyle very well and one thing about him for sure…he’s not owned by ANYONE, including Tom Kopko.

    Anon: I can’t, without speaking to her on the subject first. :)

  44. CONVA said on 1 Jan 2008 at 11:14 am:
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    The best candidate for PWCRC chair would be Ruth Anderson. She’s smart, dedicated, doesn’t play games that favor one side over the other and has the management skills desperately needed. Of course the mental midgets such as Fitz and the other members of the cabal would do all they could to undermine her. But she would bring the committee together and most of the disenchanted back into the fold.

  45. NoVA Scout said on 1 Jan 2008 at 11:16 am:
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    Freedom: my point is that Gill has a credible life story to qualify him for public office. Voters had to make their own judgments as to whether the
    Almoudi ties were big demerits. I don’t live in the district and didn’t bother to go that deep. On paper at least, Gill was a respectable possibility with a respectable resume. I still think it was dumb, crude and vulgar for the Kopko/Stewart claque to be so heavy-handed about slanting the process toward Gill, who, regardless of his resume, was demonstrably a weaker candidate than Julie Lucas. I was contrasting Gill to someone like FitzSimmonds, who was a well-established political failure without the ticket-punches that Gill had to qualify him for public office. People in the PWCRC had to have a pretty good idea that running FitzSimmonds would be a throw-away of a seat at a time when every seat was needed to retain the majority. So of the two incompetencies in the last go-round, I view the Senate suicide as more damning against the present leadership than the HD suicide.

    If the Republican Party in Northern Virginia would aggressively reach into the various communities we have in this diverse area and find candidates from our Hispanic, Korean, Indian, Muslim, Afghan, Vietnamese, etc. communities, we’d be a stronger party.

  46. CONVA said on 1 Jan 2008 at 12:31 pm:
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    Does Gill’s “credible” life’s story include the numerous traffic violations he has managed to accumulate, or his sorry tenure as the committee’s vice chairman?

  47. Anonymous said on 1 Jan 2008 at 1:13 pm:
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    You know if Bob Fitzsimmons had not gone up against Colgan, he would have probably been unopposed. I really admire someone who has the courage to run against incredible odds. Most people gave Bob NO chance of doing anything and he really made the Democrats sweat the last two weeks. Maybe all the people Mark Warner brought in the closing days would have gone to Cuccinelli’s opponent or another vulnerable Republican instead of the dems effort to “save” Colgan. Just look at the amount of time Kaine spent in PWC the last two weeks. They were scared. The Dems really thought they might lose this seat but in the end incumbency ruled the day.

    Yes, we had a prominent Muslim candidate in NOVA last fall and we all see how that turned out. Reaching out to any type of “ethnic” community is essentially a waste of time and money. That includes caucasians. We as a party should be inclusive of all groups and not “target” communities. People see right through this. This has been tried in Fairfax and other areas and does not work. Ethnic groups for name your candidate are ridiculous. If I hear another statewide candidate try any ethnic group coalition I will just roll my eyes. If the Republican parties principles are solid (As I believe they are) and your candidate is the party of ideas than reaching out to ethnic or religious groups will come naturally with your message. Believe me, Republicans have spent millions of dollars nationwide attempting to pander to various ethnic communities and it has been a failure for the most part with the exception of Fl were GOP Cuba policy plays a huge roll, NOT ethnic pandering. Policies dictate ethnic community support not singling out ethnic identities. Until GOP candidates figure this out, they will never get the support they want from any minority community.

  48. anon said on 1 Jan 2008 at 3:21 pm:
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    Ruth Anderson is an incredible person and I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t highly respect her. She is also experienced. I wonder if she would even consider it though. She is usually so above the nasty fray that she may not want to wander directly down into the mess.

  49. NoVA Scout said on 1 Jan 2008 at 9:52 pm:
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    ConVA: I’m not a Gill fan. I would have preferred Lucas. Gill’s candidacy is an example of how inner-cronyism in the Clubhouse of what the PWCRC has become hurt the Party in the elections. But, to be fair and objective, Gill had a credible resume, which is more than a lot of local and General Assembly candidates can boast.

    Anon: I doubt Colgan would have run if we had advanced a real candidate. I think he ran simply to keep the seat from falling into the mitts of someone like FitzSimmonds.

    Agree with you generally on the downsides of ethnic pandering. But I suspect that there are some excellent potential candidates within the ethnic communities that are so much a part of the local scene now. An aggressive Party leadership would be actively soliciting participation and trying to identify candidates from within these groups.

  50. Concerned said on 2 Jan 2008 at 8:59 am:
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    I appreciate anona including me in a list of potential candidates. I supported Tom when he ran for PWCRC Chair, however, and even though I have not been very active in the PWCRC fear that anyone who backed him at that time would be labeled a member of the Kopko cabal. Tom has certainly made some missteps but he’s also done many positive things for the PWCRC. In any event, I think we need to find a candidate for PWCRC chair who is not linked to any particular faction, candidate or elected official. The next chair should treat the job exactly as AWCheney describes.

    The discussion in this thread brings out another point as well. The “local boys” in the Brentsville and Gainesville districts seem to be the ones most determined to sell out the County to developers. I recall that Wally’s predecessor, Ben Thompson, would openly admit his support from and ties to the development community. Thompson took marching orders from Ed Wilbourn also. Ed was the most notorious developer stooge on the BOCS of whom I’ve ever known. Gainesville voters fortunately replaced him with John Stirrup.

    Many of those Brentsville “local boys” are the ones who own property in the Rural Crescent that they want desperately to cash in on now. If you own acreage in the Rural Crescent you can sell it now for a tremendous amount of money to be developed as ten-acre estate lots. That’s not enough for them, however. They want taxpayer-funded sewer and greater density so they can really cash in at our expense (i.e., more congested roads and schools, and higher taxes from development not paying for itself).

    I’m afraid that AWCheney’s posts have made me more certain that I can’t vote for Lyle. Despite his personal qualities and experience, Lyle’s ties to Covington, the developers and the “local boy” network in Western PWC who all want to cash-in and move out, make him unacceptable to me. Even though I supported Tom earlier, I’m not stuck on replacing him with a Kopko ally. I want someone who will do the job as AWCheney describes; I just don’t think Lyle is the person who can accomplish that.

  51. One Voice said on 2 Jan 2008 at 10:08 am:
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    ” have not been very active in the PWCRC fear that anyone who backed him at that time would be labeled a member of the Kopko cabal.”

    ……Interesting commentary that supporting someone even if you disagree with some issues cannot be done without fear. It would take a real leader to take that issue on and put those who live to instill fear in their place; well behind the interests of us all. This one comment is a microcosm of politics at all levels in the US. It’s up to us to take it back under control and force the focus back to their mission and for people to not be afraid to have differing opinions. Honestly.

    I think it could be done by someone who clearly has PWC as their first and only priority. Persistant consistancy in that area would cross party lines and would cast any non productive clamoring into the shadows.

    Development is not a bad thing in itself, at this point in PWC’s history, it absolutely must be strategic - attracting commercial development, not residential. Residential development alone can be a good thing, but not in PWC and not at this time. I am of the opinion that the rural crescent is good for economic development and attracts business. It was a very forward thinking move in the mid/late nineties and it still is.

    This is one of the better threads/comments.

  52. James Young said on 2 Jan 2008 at 11:40 am:
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    Awww, isn’t that special: an individual (”Fredo”) too cowardly to associate his name with his rantings opines that association of my name with a candidate would hurt that candidate!

    It boggles the mind!

  53. Concerned said on 2 Jan 2008 at 12:26 pm:
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    One Voice is hitting the nail right on the head. Development will come but our BOCS should not be amending the comprehensive plan or offering corporate welfare to accommodate residential developers. We need party leaders and elected officials who put the best interests of PWC ahead of all other agendas.

    For example, Maureen used to have a good record on development but has been losing credibility as she uses her vote to stab Corey in the back rather than serve her constituents. In the past she supported proffer revisions staff recommended but voted with the Covington/Democrat coalition last October not to implement the latest revisions. She used to be a dependable defender of the Rural Crescent but joined with the Covington coalition to allow Fireside Wesleyan Church to bring sewer into the Rural Crescent. This move was a Trojan Horse to help open the Rural Crescent to sewering and higher densities.

    Wally’s development-oriented motivations have long been very clear but Maureen appears now to be pursuing an agenda of screw Corey at all costs, even if that means screwing the County in the process. I wish Maureen would search her soul on what she’s been doing, put animosities toward Corey aside, and again vote in the best interests of PWC even if that means voting with Corey sometimes. That sort of behavior would only strengthen the respect the community has for her.

    Remember also that the boom in housing construction was the single, most important factor driving the surge of illegal aliens who moved to PWC to take the developers’ slave-labor wages. That problem is now improving primarily because of the collapse of residential construction. The pro-development members of the BOCS stand ready to accommodate the industry, however, and if they are able to deliver we’ll be right back where we started. I’ve posted on BVBL before about the huge amounts of developer financing those supervisors received even when they were unopposed in the election and won’t repeat that again now. Interested readers should visit www.vpap.org for details.

    Some have commented on the low unemployment rate in PWC and the difficulty of finding workers. However, if developers were deprived of illegals and compelled to pay market wages and benefits, including their labor taxes and withholding, many legal workers would come forward to take the jobs. They pay ALL of the taxes they owe – not just some sales taxes that the illegal alien lobby cites as evidence that illegals pay taxes. There is no job that Americans won’t do for a fair wage and benefits.

    The vast majority of PWC Republicans support curbing the incentives the BOCS has provided residential developers, preserving open space and encouraging commercial development that creates good jobs in the County and pays more in taxes than it consumes in services. Unfortunately, much of the action from our BOCS is driven by other agendas.

    The next PWCRC chair should be someone not tied to any alternative agenda. If the next chair acts in the best interests of PWC Republicans, we’ll get candidates who support the citizens’ agendas. Again, I agree with AWCheney’s description of how the job should be done. I will not support someone tied to Covington and his developer interests. If others feel they can’t vote for someone Tom Kopko supports openly, we need to find an alternative acceptable to the largest number of PWCRC members who can build a consensus and grow the Party.

  54. One Voice said on 2 Jan 2008 at 12:52 pm:
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    Thank you, Concerned, for the endorsement. I am not used to receiving those here on BVBL!!!

    I am concerned about Mrs. C’s constant reactions to the Honorable. It would be in her best interest to rise above it and continue with her up to now thoughful votes for PWC. I was very surprised with that Fireside vote. Hopefully, those close to her will do the right thing and point out that anger only shows as anger nothing more. Not in the best interest of PWC.

  55. AWCheney said on 2 Jan 2008 at 2:29 pm:
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    “The next PWCRC chair should be someone not tied to any alternative agenda.”

    Ruth, the next PWCRC chair should not have ANY OTHER AGENDA but cleaning up the PWCRC and setting it back on a course of growth, financial stability, efficiency of operations with a well-trained and enthusiastic corp. of available volunteers, and a level playing field for ALL potential candidates (thereby encouraging more qualified candidates to apply). Anybody that doesn’t believe that Lyle Beefelt is capable of that does not know him.

    If you believe that anyone who “has ties to Covington, the developers and the “local boy” network in Western PWC who all want to cash-in and move out,” you’re offering a sweeping generalization that includes ANYBODY, including me, who has lived in Brentsville District for decades. I guess it’s more acceptable to turn things over to another newcomer like Kopko, who has not yet developed roots in the Prince William County community. I think I resent your implication. It also explains a lot.

  56. Loudoun Insider said on 2 Jan 2008 at 2:49 pm:
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    I agree with AWC that the next PWCRC chair should not be tied to any particular issue lobby. That said, the above commenters make great points about the insidious reach of the developer lobby into the county BOSs. Land use votes are the single biggest plum at the disposal of county supervisors, and it is no secret that many can be bought for sizable campaign donations and other nefarious “favors”. They will attempt to drape themselves in the property rights flag of supposedly conservative values while fleecing the average taxpayer, employing illegal aliens, and defacing our great landscape. And they also create the perfect conditions for long term Democratic political dominance. Corey Stewart is absolutely on the right side in this battle for the hearts and minds of citizens. It’s about time other supervisors started worrying more about their existing constituents instead of potential future consituents.

  57. AWCheney said on 2 Jan 2008 at 3:15 pm:
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    Oops…just went back into the comments and noticed that “anona” mentioned “Concerned”…not anon pushing for Ruth. Sorry Ruth.

  58. anona said on 2 Jan 2008 at 4:29 pm:
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    Doesn’t this situation resemble Faisal Gill’s problem? He was considered by many to be a poor candidate, not for the man he was or his ideas, but for the company he kept.

    Committee members are just worried that Beefeldt would err on the side of development if push came to shove because of his ties. For example, the Republican committee was instrumental in getting the 7000 home Brentswood project killed. Connaughton, Covington and Nohe all supported the project openly (which they all denied after it was killed).

    Although I don’t have any love for Kopko, he strongly opposed the project, giving reasons why Republicans and taxpayers should take a stand against Brentswood.

    Would Beefeldt feel comfortable doing that when a project like Brentswood comes back up (and it certainly will as they are already floating out proposals)? Is he going to feel comfortable taking a stand against Covington? Or would it be likely that he just kept his mouth, and thus the committee’s mouth shut on the subject? I think Royse is too inexperienced (but might make a great vice chair), so someone else must be found.

  59. Concerned said on 2 Jan 2008 at 4:43 pm:
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    AWCheney - I don’t intend any slight to you or Lyle. As I wrote before, the limited contact I’ve had with Lyle has been only positive. I’m sure he would work hard and try to do a good job as PWCRC chair. However, we all have our biases no matter how independent we may think we are. You’ve described in this thread the long, deep personal connections among you, Wally, Lyle and others. I don’t know a lot about Lyle but I’ve watched Wally in action for over four years and seen a stark bias toward the development community and those who own and want to sell land in the Rural Crescent. As PWCRC chair, Lyle would turn to Wally and others to whom he is close for advice long before turning to anyone without such an orientation toward development.

    I understand when long-time residents of the Rural Crescent want to cash in on land they’ve owned for decades. That’s normal, rational economic behavior. However, when developers buy supervisors through campaign contributions and other favors (see www.vpap.org), and then the supervisor pushes through actions on the BOCS that favor a small number of land owners and developers, the rest of the community pays.

    Rezoning Rural Crescent land for more density along with taxpayer-funded sewer is a windfall for the landowner and the developer, but takes away my property rights. I own less than a half of an acre that I bought many years ago expecting a certain quality of life. The rezoning and increased density in the Rural Crescent mean that I must either pay higher taxes or receive reduced services because residential development does not pay for itself. We’ve already discussed the Covington Coalition’s success at defeating the revised proffers, which would have helped some. I must also drive on more congested roads and put my kids in more crowded schools. All of this deprives me of my property rights to the benefits of using my small piece of ground and residing in PWC. All of this is done in the name of Wally and others delivering on the political contributions they received and creating a windfall for a small number of landowners and developers at the expense of the property rights of the rest of the community.

  60. AWCheney said on 2 Jan 2008 at 5:17 pm:
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    Obviously Concerned, you believe that the Party Chairman DOES set policy on issues, binding the hands of candidates…which would explain your support of Kopko last time around. That is simply not in the job description of a good unit chairman, nor is using their position to tip the scale in favor of their preferred candidate by getting creative with the rules and tailoring them accordingly. You obviously know nothing of Lyle Beefelt, or most of the rest of us for that matter, and you know nothing of what got the PWC Republican Committee to that point in the 90’s so that the likes of people such as Jimmy Young could take credit for all that came before…to GET the Committee to the point where it was able to routinely elect Republicans to office.

  61. AWCheney said on 2 Jan 2008 at 6:33 pm:
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    “Although I don’t have any love for Kopko, he strongly opposed the project, giving reasons why Republicans and taxpayers should take a stand against Brentswood.”

    As I’ve said in numerous comments before, THE PARTY CHAIRMAN HAS NO BUSINESS SETTING POLICY FOR THE REPUBLICANS IN THEIR UNIT! Unit chairman have a specific job, and speaking for people with whom he has not consulted is NOT one of them. He can have his opinions…but he can’t speak for others, thus undermining other Republicans who may be of a slightly different opinion. It happens that the Republican ranks have shrunk because only certain opinions are allowed!

    “Would Beefeldt feel comfortable doing that when a project like Brentswood comes back up (and it certainly will as they are already floating out proposals)?”

    I HOPE TO HELL NOT! That happens to be something which should be left to the various elected officials, and those with a known interest in becoming an elected official. Party officials must give the appearance of neutrality when there is division in the ranks regarding various issues. Not everyone thinks alike, nor should they. There is a basic philosophy which attracts people to the Republican Party…most people will disagree on one or more of the sub-elements of that philosophy. That’s called the “big tent” folks…remember?

  62. AWCheney said on 2 Jan 2008 at 6:40 pm:
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    Btw, it would be the responsibility of the Chairman to help facilitate any public meetings or press conferences that these elected official might require. It’s NOT the Chairman’s job to try to make the news himself. It’s that’s what has happened throughout the Republican Party (that self-serving, ME attitude), it’s no wonder the Party is in trouble.

  63. AWCheney said on 2 Jan 2008 at 6:45 pm:
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    Lots of typos in the previous comment…sorry. I trust you get the meaning.

  64. freedom said on 2 Jan 2008 at 10:50 pm:
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    AWC is absolutely correct!!!

    It is not the role of the PWCRC Chair to even attempt to influence elected officials. His job is to get Republicans elected, not to tell them how to vote AFTER they’re elected.

  65. Concerned said on 3 Jan 2008 at 10:04 am:
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    AWCheney - I’ve said at least three times in this thread that I agree with your view of how the PWCRC chair should do the job. It’s because of that view that I feel we need someone who is not linked to any particular faction or candidate, no matter how pure their motives or intent may be.

    Thinking that anyone could do the job without being influenced to some degree by their own views, biases and associations may be unrealistic. However, the two candidates before us, Lyle and Chris, are clearly aligned with particular groups among Republicans in PWC.

    As I wrote before, Tom has made some missteps and done some things that I would have certainly done differently. However, helping organize the opposition to Brentswood in 2006 was a very positive act on Tom’s part. Our ostensible Republican leader at the time, his lordship King Connaughton, and his merry band of stooges wanted to push Brentswood through to please their developer paymasters, demonstrate their loyalty and ensure future funding when they pursued higher offices. In a perfect world, the chair of the PWCRC would not have had to have become involved and would have remained completely independent. In the real world, the pro-development faction was pursuing their own agenda in the name of PWC Republicans, who overwhelmingly opposed what they were doing.

    Presidential debates should also remain unbiased but Ronald Reagan paid the expenses for a debate in the New Hampshire primary in 1980 that was to include not only himself and George Bush (senior) but several other candidates as well. Bush objected to the participation of the other candidates and as Reagan was explaining his decision to include them, Jon Breen, the editor of the Nashua Telegraph ordered the sound man to mute Reagan’s microphone. An angry Ronald Reagan responded with his now immortal remark, “I am paying for this microphone . . .!”

    Yes, AWCheney, the PWCRC chair should remain as independent as possible. However, that is sometimes not possible. With Connaughton usurping leadership of PWC Republicans to deliver for the developers, and a willing media in the form of the Manassas Journal Messenger and Potomac News aiding and abetting him every step of the way to ensure continued advertising sales from their development and real estate customers, someone had to speak out to let the public know that Connaughton, Covington, etc. did not speak on behalf of the vast majority of PWC Republicans. Given those circumstances I think Tom’s telling the public that we paid for the microphone and we’re taking it back was entirely appropriate.

    I hope we don’t get into a situation such as that again. However, Covington is frothing at the mouth now over the prospect of being able to deliver for his developer and landowner buddies with Jenkins, Nohe, Caddigan (unfortunately betraying her solid past voting record on development just to spite Corey Stewart) and likely Principi as well all behind him. Stewart, Stirrup and May will not be able to hold back the tide. I will not support any candidate for PWCRC chair who is linked to the Covington pro-development faction. Ideally, we would have a truly independent chair. However, despite Tom’s shortcomings, I prefer a PWCRC chair who would turn to him for advice rather than to Wally Covington.

  66. James Young said on 3 Jan 2008 at 10:51 am:
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    Certain commenters demonstrate, again, how far outside of the mainstream they are by their comments, and how little understanding they have about the functioning of an effective political organization.

    The notion that GOP Chairman should not “attempt to influence elected officials,” is the old debate over whether the Party serves its elected officials, or whether elected officials should be responsible to “those who brung ‘em.” If “getting Republicans elected” is the sole task of a Unit Chairman, then the sole task of a political party is the acquisition and maintenance of political power, a view which I associate with Democrats, not Republicans. It’s a continuing debate (hangers-on frequently resurrect the argument, probably because they lack the talent/ability to have influence other than by smooching the posteriors of those who already possess it, including elected officials), but the view that the sole function of the PWC GOP should be the acquisition and maintenance of political power was rejected long ago, virtually from its founding.

    Republicans in Virginia, after all, HAVE adopted a creed (http://www.rpv.org/about.html), to which most everyone (some more than others) pays at least lip service. The contrary view means that a Prince William County Republican Chairman would be obliged to support a David Duke, were he to obtain the GOP nomination (as happened in Louisiana), a concept that died aborning when the County’s Party Plan was adopted.

    As for the fact that Kopko engaged in opposition to the Brentswood project, he did so with the virtually unanimous support of the County Republican Convention (at least, I recall little vocalized opposition; I don’t think I voted on the issue), so there can be no complaint — at least, none that can be sustained on the facts — that he acted ultra vires. Indeed, there is no more authoritative act in the GOP than the act of its Conventions.

    Moreover, the County Party Plan specifically makes the Chairman “responsible for the general execution and implementation of the programs AND POLICIES of the Committee.” Article III, Section E(1) (emphasis added). http://www.pwcgop.org/bylaws.htm#_Toc134038296

    The County Party Plan therefore clearly contemplates that there will be “policies” of the County GOP, adopted through its Conventions and — between Conventions — Committee, and makes the Chairman responsible for their “execution and implementation.”

    Therefore, one has to wonder why those complaining about Kopko’s entirely legitimate actions — indeed, REQUIRED actions — fail to mention those salient facts. I strongly suspect that they are attempting to camouflage their pro-developer agenda with selective application of purportedly objective criteria. It certainly has to cause one to wonder if this isn’t what set them off against Kopko, launching them into their smear campaign.

  67. anona said on 3 Jan 2008 at 6:01 pm:
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    The committee did vote about Brentswood (against), so Kopko was just representing what the committee voted. There is no love lost for Kopko, but you cannot fault him for representing the party. The whole movement against Brentswood did come from the public officials, Stewart and Stirrup who I believe proposed the statement against Brentswood. So this case, Kopko was representing the will of the committee. Do you have a problem with that?

    No one is suggesting that the chairman launch out on their own with their views, claiming them to be the view of the party.

    Beefeldt is a likeable solid guy and I think his experience would make him a good fit. Initially I was just worried about his views on development. Instead of being reassured, I am now more worried after reading AWC’s defense. Beefeldt may not want that kind of defense as it isn’t going to help him in the committee.

    The next thing you know, someone will be suggesting that Ed Wilbourn come back and head up the committee.

  68. freedom said on 3 Jan 2008 at 8:00 pm:
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    jimmy Young said, “The contrary view means that a Prince William County Republican Chairman would be obliged to support a David Duke, were he to obtain the GOP nomination (as happened in Louisiana), a concept that died aborning when the County’s Party Plan was adopted.”

    …and so, Tom Kopko supported Faisal Gill, his employer, jimmy; what’s your point? Guess I’d have to say that TK followed what you describe as “the contrary view”…:)

    How funny this is…well, come to think of it, it’s not funny at all…:(

  69. AWCheney said on 4 Jan 2008 at 1:48 pm:
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    It’s obvious that Anona, Concerned, and (no surprise) Jimmy Young want another Tom Kopko in the Chair. Organization, building bridges, the “big tent,” the “show,” and generally the rest of the Republican electorate of Prince William County are irrelevant as long as the purity of the Committee, as defined by a limited number of individuals, is maintained. OK…I got it.

  70. anona said on 4 Jan 2008 at 5:53 pm:
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    Who said anything about another Kopko? I believe Ruth Anderson was the best option I saw mentioned and she certainly isn’t anything like Kopko.

  71. James Young said on 4 Jan 2008 at 11:18 pm:
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    “Anona” gets it right, though I don’t know Ruth Anderson well enough to join “Anona’s” endorsement of her. What “Anona” may not realize is that it doesn’t matter what you say; the [redacted] is going to attack. I didn’t say anything negative about any of the names mentioned, but that doesn’t stop her.

    It’s obvious that the [redacted] is going to attack anyone SHE can’t control.

    She obviously missed the fact that Republicans she loathes did quite well in PWC, her efforts to the contrary notwithstanding.

    [Ed note: comment edited.]

  72. AWCheney said on 5 Jan 2008 at 12:00 am:
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    Oh yeah Jimmy…like who? :-)

  73. freedom said on 5 Jan 2008 at 7:15 am:
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    Well AWC, you must admit that Faisal Gill did quite well….at embarassing the Republican party. :(

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