Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
Spotsylvania GOP Committee’s New Chairman Q&A
Steve Thomas was elected chairman of the Spotsylvania Republican Committee last week.
Here is a Q&A:
1. The local GOP candidates have not had much luck in the recent local elections. With the exception of Jerry Logan, who was unopposed, no Republican candidate has won in Spotsylvania, which is a very RED county. How do you explain this trend of losses?
Well, as usual there’s a number of factors, including national climate, that had an impact. We need to do a better job of engaging the public- as conservatives, as a party- in the debates of the day.
Too often, we as Spotsy Republicans don’t say clearly and concisely what we stand for and what that means in real terms. We need to be clear, and present solid conservative alternatives to policies we don’t agree with. We don’t do a great job of recruiting candidates locally (we did not compete in most Spotsy elections last year), but that is changing.
2. What are your priorities as chairman of the Spotsy GOP?
Our mission as an organization is to elect Republicans. We have to be much more efficient at doing that. Developing knowledgeable candidates who will make terrific public servants, fundraising, promoting common-sense conservative solutions to everyday problems and engaging- in a very positive and real way- the community so we include our natural allies in our activities.
3. As the chairman, what are your duties?
To recruit, train, and elect great conservative public servants.
4. Do you have any aspirations to run for any elected position in the county or state in the future?
Not for several years at least. I have a business and a young family that need my attention too!
5. Why are Republicans anti-tax? Is this responsible behavior?
Republicans, like most conservatives, are for smaller, more efficient, less costly government. Like JFK said, it is a good thing that governments lower taxes, so that people can use that money on building their American Dream and businesses can hire more workers. It’s a basic freedom and quality of life issue, the biggest one. There is no high-tax jurisdiction in the entire country at the moment that is successful in attracting or retaining residents or businesses. And there is no big-government, high-tax jurisdiction that can sustain their bad management practices in the face of tough times- just look at California and New Jersey.
The last time Spotsy raised property taxes, we proceeded to lead all of Virginia in foreclosure rate, thousands of vulnerable Spotsylvanians- elderly, poor- were forced out. It was a bad idea, and we suffered, and our home values will suffer for years. If Spotsy raises taxes (primarily) on our business community more than 40% this year, what do you think will happen? Raising taxes is just a bad idea. There is no additional service they can offer us that is worth it.
6. Why has politics become so ugly? It seems the ugliness has gotten worse over the past five years.
Well, in just the last year I have seen our Republican candidates get called epithets like “abortionists”, “neanderthals”, and one Supervisor even called them “Shiites”. Here, I thought we had all graduated from the third grade- only to find that third grade behavior persists in Spotsylvania politics. Go figure.
This kind of bad behavior lasts until people get sick of it and call it out. The Spotsy GOP will conduct itself in a stand-up, classy way that tries to raise the caliber of the public discourse. We will not tear people down, but we will call out this kind of boorish, dirty, petty behavior- and vigorously. If it falls to us to raise the bar, so be it!