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December 26, 2006

Wishing Everyone a Dose of Reality

Katie Nash

In his December 21st Frederick News-Post article entitled, "Public Supports Board Law Change", Reporter Cliff Cumber depicts the sappy image of Frederick County citizens being hoodwinked by "party politics."

Although this idea resonates with many because it is always easier to blame someone else for the role politics plays in our lives, there seems to be a bit of confusion surrounding the decision of the Republican Central Committee to speak out.

In fact, the Republican Central Committee, although charged with the mission of championing Republican elected officials and furthering the Republican Party in Frederick County, has recently caught fire for challenging the actions of Commissioner David Gray.

Suzan Thompson, wife of Commissioner John L. (Lennie) Thompson Jr., went so far as to argue that the Frederick County Republican Central Committee has been remiss in its silence regarding political action committees and their actions during the 2006 election season.

According to Mrs. Thompson, the central commit should focus its efforts on challenging the actions of an entirely legal entity. Surely everyone knows that the Real Republicans of Frederick County PAC was in no way affiliated with the FCRCC.

Does anyone truly know what a "Real Republican" is? Of course not - perhaps that is what made the PAC so distasteful. Sleazy, yes. Illegal, no.

The committee, according to Mrs. Thompson, should not challenge the actions of the Board of County Commissioners, of which her husband serves, when the elected president of the board seeks to change a law to benefit one individual.

In this busy holiday season, the average voter obviously won't rank this issue all that high on the priority list and there are obviously those who can't understand why the central committee is speaking out about this issue.

The simple answer is: it is the committee's job to represent the Republican Party in Frederick County. It is not, however, the organization's responsibility to go after legal PAC's. Nor is it the organization's job to build bipartisanship.

It doesn't matter that Mrs. Thompson's husband was targeted in the 2006 election - politics is ugly, and now that the elections are over and Mr. Thompson has been re-elected, we can move forward.

Although Mr. Cumber presents the image of the big bad central committee seeking to destroy the nonpartisan spirit of Mr. Gray's proposal, Ms. Thompson brings everything back to focus with her comment regarding party loyalty.

She infers that her husband and any other candidates who felt slighted by the actions of individuals during the 2006 election cycle should now refuse to work together.

Clearly, the problem of disunity lies with disgruntled elected officials and their wives, rather than in the healthy debate provided by the Republican Central Committee.

Republicans in Frederick County can only hope that the Democrats are experiencing this sentiment as well because some elected Republican leaders, local or statewide, do nothing to improve the image of the Republican Party.

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