Contrary to reports, the Tea Party and establishment Republicans—at least in Goochland County—play well together. At the August 26 meeting of the Goochland Tea Party, it was hard to tell where one group left off and the other started.
Fred Gruber, who wrested the 7th District GOP chair from longtime republican power broker Linwood Cobb in the spring, observed that the Tea Party and Republicans have common goals and beliefs. Gruber asked for the group to work for Republican candidates. He also asked for help to return about 30,000 lapsed Republicans, and their checkbooks, back into the party fold. Given the GOP’s recent history coupled with the soap opera underway in a Richmond Federal Court, that is a tall order.
Ben Slone, who chairs the Goochland Republican Committee and is active in the Goochland Tea Party, is another indication that the two groups are working together, rather than at cross purposes as portrayed by the national media.
A standing room only crowd heard from a wide range of speakers, including Keith Flannagan of the Goochland Electoral Board; District 1 Supervisor Susan Lascolette; and GOP candidate for the Virginia 7th District representative to the U. S. Congress, Dave Brat.
Flannagan gave a brief update on new voter ID rules and seemed encouraged about the potential for identifying those engaged in voter fraud.
Lascolette, in office since 2012, said that local government is a team sport. She was amazed to learn that the county has many boards and commissions comprised of citizens who generously share their time and talents with the community.
Although Goochland has a great team of elected and appointed officials and county and school staff, citizens must pay attention to ensure that governmental decisions are going in the right direction. Government, Lascolette declared, works for the benefit of the citizens, not the other way around.
Lascolette believes that the county must be live within its means. She said that she examines every matter that comes before the Board with an eye to unintended consequences. While grant money may seem appealing on the surface, all too often it comes with strings attached that increase the grasp of state and federal government and take the decision-making process for local issues out of local hands, she said.
Lascolette announced that the county’s comprehensive land use plan will be revised in the coming months. The result of a state (unfunded) mandate, the Comp Plan allegedly reflects the will of the citizens about land use, including where and how much the county will grow. It is intended to guide, rather than dictate, land use policy and decisions.
Lascolette believes that the existing comp plan is too detailed and needs to be simplified and streamlined. She urged everyone to let their planning commissioners (names and contact information is available on the county website www.co.goochland.va.us under planning) know their views on land use going forward. Citizen engagement in this process is vital for its success.
Brat was up next. He seems to have taken a deep breath after defeating Eric Cantor in June and crafted a campaign victory strategy. Brat said that he is an ethically focused economist and believes that the less government the better. The Founding Fathers, he contended, gave America a perfect plan to create an environment that fosters prosperity.
He pledged to serve no more than 12 years in Congress and asked for continued grass roots support from the Tea Party. (See davebrat.com for details)
Visit www.goochlandteaparty.org for more information about the Goochland Tea Party.
A debate between Brat and other candidates will be held on Thursday, October 23 at Benedictine High School on River Road at 7 p.m. This event is expected to draw a good crowd, so be sure to arrive early to get a seat.
The right to cast a ballot comes with the responsibility to be an informed voter. Learn all you can about the candidates and make up your own mind about who is the best choice.
Jack Trammell of Hanover is the democrat candidate for the congressional seat. His website is: www.trammellforcongress.com