Sunday, April 29, 2007

Lucy Beauchamp quits race for Republican nomination

As I reported yesterday, Lucy abandoned her bid for the Republican nomination for Clerk of the Court.

The story ran in the Prince William Extra, page 1, but for some reason Page 1 has not been posted yet. The subhead was "Longtime Republican Cites Rift in Local Party", and the article starts by trying to build up Lucy's credentials:

Prince William School Board Chairman Lucy S. Beauchamp has voted twice for President Bush, campaigned for numerous past Republican Board of County Supervisor members and served on the Prince William County Republican Committee for more than 10 years.

Now, Beauchamp, who is running for clerk of Circuit Court, is relinquishing her Republican label at the most important point of her political career.

It almost brings a tear to your eye. But nowhere in the article does the Post note that Lucy has been unable to get the Republican Party endorsement for School Board Chair.

The Post blames a "rift" in the party:

Beauchamp's withdrawal reflects the growing rift in the county's Republican machine, as more members of the conservative wing have begun to leverage significant influence in leadership positions and policy decisions.

And where did they get that idea? Why, from Lucy Beauchamp, Republican extraordinaire!!! And what is this "growing rift"?:

This year, Beauchamp lobbied Republican supervisors vigorously, and unsuccessfully, to raise the county's real estate tax rate high enough so Prince William schools could offer teacher raises on par with other Northern Virginia School Districts, without being forced to trim any more from their own budget.

At least the Post was honest about the argument. Lucy didn't want to cut her own budget, instead she wanted the BOCS to raise taxes so she could claim credit for better teacher pay, without losing her standing with the pro-democrat NEA, and without getting blamed for the tax increases (which would be blamed on the Republicans on the BOCS).

Of course, it's not some small "conservative" leadership that opposed her. The Republican Committee spoke loudly and negatively about the move by the School Board to force a tax increase while not considering reasonable steps such as delaying the implementation of all-day Kindergarten, a program with limited evidence of value.

The Post also didn't mention that this "rift" as they call it was largely settled as millions more were made available to the school board.

The Post, having exhausted their ability to spin this, finally gets to the nub of the problem -- Republicans want to choose their OWN nominee, and Lucy doesn't like it:

Now her message is much more blunt and is driven by her belief that the local Republican Party's nomination process has been unfair this year. Party leaders decided to have a convention, where only Republican delegates have a say about candidates, rather than a primary, where the general public can vote.

Lucy thinks that it's unfair for Republicans to choose their nominee. As a friend to the teacher's union, she no doubt was counting on their mostly democratic membership to help her defeat Michelle McQuigg, who is counting on Republicans for her nomination.

Lucy also complained about the location for the convention being in the east (There is no "good" single location for a meeting in our county), and for being told she had to re-file too late. As to the last point, the Post notes:

Kopko denied that, saying that somehow an e-mail he had sent to her and McQuigg asking them to refile because the convention site had changed had not gone through and he did not realize it until much later. Ultimately, he allowed Beauchamp to remain as a candidate.

There is a valid reason to ask the candidate to acknowledge when the location changed, and it is NOT to kick the candidate out or to be unfair. Instead, it is FOR the candidate, to ensure that the candidate knows of the new location . Tom didn't kick her out, and the process ensured that both candidates were on record knowing about the new location.

I have little doubt that if he had not done this, we'd be reading charges that Lucy hadn't been properly notified of the change.

Lucy thinks this whole convention thing is intolerable:

There are some absolutely fine people in the Republican Committee, and I don't believe a lot of them agree with this,", Beauchamp said. "I believe my race should have been decided in a primary, to give the citizens the right to choose."

Did Lucy miss the meeting where the Committee approved the conventions? Or are all of us who voted NOT fine people? I don't want the "citizens" to choose MY PARTY nominee, I want the citizens of MY PARTY to choose the nominee. Most of the good people of our committee agree that we don't want the Democratic Party to choose our nominees.

If Lucy wanted ALL the citizens to get to vote for her, and not just Republicans, she shouldn't have wasted the Republicans' time, effort, and money on a disingenuous bid for our nomination. She is running as an independent now, and she will get her wish. But in doing so, she has trashed the party she pretends to hold dear, has cost the Republican nominee time, effort, and money to contest a nomination Lucy apparently had no interest in obtaining, and has frankly wasted MY time, and the time of all the members of the Republican Committee, who had to listen to her speeches, vote on the convention, organize it, give money to support it, and fill out delegate forms and change our schedules to support it.

For Lucy, it's all about her. "I've been harmed, I've been treated unfairly, I've been subjected to difficulty". Apparently Lucy thinks she is the first person in the history of the Internet to have an e-mail dropped. Apparently Lucy thinks that she is the only one inconvenienced by her dropping out of the convention, ignoring all of us who rearranged our schedules so we could attend.

The Washington Post didn't ask Lucy the most obvious question a person with a brain would want to ask -- Were you having trouble getting delegates for the convention? I guess the answer would have not been helpful to their story. Does anybody think that, if Lucy was getting enough delegates signed up to compete in the Republican convention, she would have dropped out? It's clear that she realised she would lose, and decided to cut her losses.

But why trash the Republican Committee on the way out? Because there are people who are friends of hers here, people who would be sympathetic to her charges of being treated unfairly. She hopes to mislead enough of them so that her NEA contacts can push her over the top in the general election against an uninspiring Democratic opponent.

Michelle's response when she heard this sob story?:

"I am surprised, I am speechless," she said. "When you say that you're a Republican and you're going to run in a Republican convention, to drop out, you know, is, I don't know. You lost the battle before your got started."

As I said, Lucy also complained about the location of the convention. Michelle responded to that as well:

McQuigg was not sympathetic to Beauchamp's comment that the Freedom High site was inconvenient, saying that, if anything, the location favored Beauchamp beause it's a school and Beauchamp is the School Board chairman. She said that if Beauchamp had difficulty communicating with Kopko over filing matters, she "needed to reach out".

That's how the post reporter wrote it. Methinks the reporter needed a clue about humor/sarcasm. As School Board Chair, Lucy has been on the ballot throughout the county. ANY location would be a location where people who have voted for her live. This location at least is also close to Michelle's natural constituency. I imagine Lucy would have been fine with a convention at Battlefield High.

Loser's whine, winners win. If Lucy had broad support in the Republican Party, she wouldn't be dropping out or attacking the party for wanting to pick it's own nominee. I feel sorry for the good Republicans who signed up for her campaign, and now have to decide between their obvious personal relationship they have with her, and their commitment to her, with their commitment to the Republican party. It will be interesting to see if any drop off her campaign.

BVBL has coverage, including what is said to be a response from Beefelt. Excerpts:

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.

This probably was written before Tom made it clear Lucy was not "disqualified". And I think Lucy's actions have "answered" the rumors.

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