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McHugh: Ratigan a 'sore loser'


Former Warren County GOP vice chairman responds to ex board member's comments

By Joe Beck -- jbeck@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- A member of a group of Republicans who want to replace party officers with their own candidates fired back Wednesday at one prominent party member who has called the group "immoral and unethical."

Mike McHugh, a former vice chairman of the Warren County Republican Party Committee, accused Tim Ratigan of dividing the party by walking out in protest at last week's party meeting and declaring himself an independent.

"It's typical media hound Ratigan being a sore loser," McHugh said.

McHugh and Ratigan are clashing over which faction violated party rules for selecting officers at the meeting.

McHugh said his group is divided roughly into three smaller groups that he described as supporters of Ron Paul, history-focused constitutional conservatives such as himself and Catholic anti-abortion activists.

McHugh said his wish for new party leadership stems from several votes cast by U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke. McHugh said Goodlatte has supported money for President Obama's health care reform bill, funding for Planned Parenthood and suspending the writ of habeas corpus by which courts respond to a petition from a prison inmate and determine whether he is being lawfully held behind bars.

Chris Leavitt, Goodlatte's campaign manager, strongly disputed McHugh's comments.
"Bob Goodlatte has fought Obamacare from day one and voted to repeal and defund it many times," Leavitt wrote in an email message. "He has a completely pro-life voting record and has voted to defund Planned Parenthood many times."

Leavitt added that Goodlatte "voted against the conference report to the National Defense Authorization Act when promised protections of the civil liberties of U.S. citizens were not included."

McHugh, who said he served as party vice chairman in 2008, insisted that his faction followed party rules in trying to win control of the party chairmanship and vice chairmanship.

"It's Ratigan's fault," McHugh said. "He and his side broke the bylaws of the Warren County Republican Committee."

He added: "We had a fractious meeting, but it was brought on by themselves, and they shot themselves in the foot."

One goal in trying to change the party chairman is to influence decisions made by the party at the congressional district level, McHugh said. Party chairmen have the ability to cast votes that affect rules governing how candidates run for Congress in the Republican Party. In Goodlatte's case, McHugh said, he would like to make it easier for someone to challenge the incumbent in the Republican primary.

McHugh denied that his side engaged in heavy handed tactics while debating their opponents at the meeting.

"We didn't shout anybody down, we didn't interrupt anybody," he said. "We let them speak."

McHugh said his group has turned to the Republican Party of Virginia for help in resolving the stalemate. Last week's meeting ended with no chairman or vice chairman being chosen, he said. The next step has been filing paperwork with the state party organization asking it to call a meeting at which a chairman and vice chairman will be chosen, he said.

"We're asking them to authorize a reconvened meeting to finish the business of the meeting so that a majority is not disenfranchised," McHugh said.

A telephone call to state Republican Party headquarters was not returned.




12 Comments



So far Tim Ratigan has left my question unanswered. What was the "unethical and immoral behavior" of the 60 plus Ron Paul supporters who showed at the meeting? From what I heard the supporters were courteous, kind and made up of some of the pillars in the community. The fact is there was no "unethical and immoral behavior", that is why question goes unanswered and will continue to go unanswered. This is very embarrassing.

So, 100 of those "ya gotta love them" lovable Republicans convened a meeting of themselves to elect a new chairman and a vice-chairman. So far, so good.

But then the meeting was like going to a carnival with hucksters lining the midway. It was between three main groups, the winner getting to pick a prize from the top shelf, the rest get kewpie dolls. While jockeying for an advantage, tempers flare, neck veins bulge, lots of huffing and puffing later, its a 3-way tie and the meeting is adjourned, the kewpie dolls are safe. What, no black eyes and bloody noses?

Would that 3-way split be McHugh leading the Ron Paul Anarchist Revolutionaries, Ratigan leading the Tea Party Crazy Conservatives, and Vicente and/or Clark leading the Catholic Anti-abortion Doctor Destroyers? Decisions, decisions, decisions.

It sorta figures the craziest of the crazies would stomp out of the meeting. Now who might that be?

With choices like these, who wants to be a Republican? Not me.

What Mr. McHugh forgot to mention is right after his side's chosen Temporary Chairman Dennis Fusara was elected Temporary Chair to chair the Mass Meating they adopted the same rules that the Committee set in place to run the Mass Meeting. In those rules it clearly stated that there was to be no nominations from the floor. That anyone who wanted to run for a Warren County Republican Committee Office Seat must have prefiled by a specific date and pay a prefiling fee.

(Ok simonsays here is your answer)

Immediately after adopting the rules that clearly said that no nominations could be taken from the floor Temp Chair Dennis Fusaro tried to open the floor up for Nominations for the Permanent Chairman Office. Is it our fault that Dennis Fusaro adopted the very rules that would conflict with their stradegy? I don't think so. And one more thing that Mr. McHugh is forgetting to mention. This type of behavior is taking place all over the Country. Missouri, Iowa, Kentucky. There is even a website that their side has posted that clearly lays out their plans to take over a Party that they dont' even consider themselves part of. So this is not some local initiative. This is a well though out battle plan, one that they've been working on for a long time. Ask Mr. McHugh and Mr Fusaro if they are Republicans. You will get a no for an answer. Then the question remains. If you are not a Republican and you have no intentions of being a Repubican then why would you want to take over a Republican Committee. I'll tell you why.

The Dennis Fusaros and Mike McHughs of the world are to lazy to be bothered with doing all the hard work it takes to set up their own committee. They would much rather take over one that is already in place.

Mr. McHugh let's be honest. Yes you want to replace Congressman Goodlatte. But the real goal has to do two or three delegate seats for the National Convention. And Mr. McHugh, we did not shoot ourselves in the foot. That was you that shot yourself in the foot when you adopted the very rules that prohibited you from doing what you had set out to do.

It was shame Mr. McHugh, at the beginning of the meeting it was going your way. Why? Because you followed the rules. But once you strayed from the rules then things headed south real fast. You had a majority of votes when the meeting started. But has the evening went on your support fell. At the end of the meeting you no longer held the majority. Ever wonder why? There is nothing wrong with what you did at the beginning of the meeting and I was prepared to accept the outcome and work with a new leadership because that is what Republicans do. But when you decided to break the very rules that your side adopted then that was when I drew the line in the sand and said I will not cross it.

The mass meeting of 3/15 was not immoral and unethical, but for many it was a surprise. If looked at in the proper light, it can become a new springtime of politics in Warren County. For a long time, those of us who busy themselves working to raise young families trusted our political leaders with working for the good of our communities and the country. In the past several years, under the leadership of both parties, we have seen our fundamental freedoms and livelihoods being eroded. In frustration, we have wanted to make our voices heard on these issues, but our obligations have prevented us. Finally, we acted locally, where the oppressive status quo can be changed more effectively.

One of the issues involves the changes being made in how our communities are allowed to develop, changes forced upon us by outside interests and by higher levels of government. The local powers-that-be allowed this to happen while, frankly, many of us remained asleep. I am referring to urban development areas and the agenda that surrounds them. Now some local leaders want to change Front Royal from a town to a city.

Personally, I have experience living in a modern big city, The government and society of these cities are invariably oppressive and do not represent the common people. We must stop Front Royal from moving in this direction--that of an urban sprawl.

Among other issues, this is something that the humble crowd that showed up at the mass meeting will fight to prevent.

For life and liberty,

Manuel Vicente

First I would like to comment on the article and its' statement: "Bob Goodlatte has fought Obamacare from day one and voted to repeal and defund it many times," Leavitt wrote in an email message. "He has a completely pro-life voting record and has voted to defund Planned Parenthood many times."

That statement proves beyond all doubt how the Republicans are trying to set women back 100 years!! Pro life and defund Planned Parenthood!! Women, please read this and please do your research before casting a vote come Nov!! Do these knuckleheads even know or understand that Planned Parenthood also offers many screenings for women's health issues?? Thanks to the VA Republicans now in office, VA is the laughing stock of our country and people from all over the country cannot believe how backward thinking VA has become!! Dethrone these loose cannons to protect and defend women's rights regarding thier own bodies! Don't let some half baked man take that from you!!

Now onto Mr. Ratigan...to quote you, you said "There is nothing wrong with what you did at the beginning of the meeting and I was prepared to accept the outcome and work with a new leadership because that is what Republicans do." You gotta be kidding me!! Republicans have done anything BUT work with their new leadership a.k.a. Pres. Obama. It has been sour grapes since Pres Obama took office from the Republicans and their actions since then have been nothing short of playground antics one might expect from pre-school children!

One question....how are Republicans ever going to pick a presidential candidate if you guys can't even stand each other?? Personally, I think these Republican primaries are best suited for the Cartoon Network.

Thank you, Mr. Vicente, for a calm, reasoned explanation! We need analytical thinkers like you, who can assess the damage done over recent years, and also offer us an alternative. So many critics just bloviate... but you back up your analysis and convictions by putting yourself on the line and running for office. Your candidacy means so much to us, those who have given up on ever being represented by someone who is not in it for the "glory" and "power," but rather to help us here in Front Royal live up to our potential and make this a place our children will want -- and be able -- to stay in and raise their families... a place where business is not systematically opposed via reams of red tape and prevented from thriving and creating jobs!

It is NOT unethical or immoral to ask for nominations from the floor because the call states no nominations can be from the floor. You may argue it is inappropriate, but unethical or immoral, no. The local GOP Warren County bylaws state that nominations from the floor are allowed (look it up yourself on their website) but the call stated otherwise, so the call probably takes precedence.

Don’t you just love those Republicans! With their in-fighting, dirty tricks, egos, and “holier than thou” attitudes, they continually reach for new records in ineptitude and incompetency. At both the state and local levels these right-wing zealots have a propensity for embarrassing themselves as well as the people they claim to represent. Today, we have a stupidity pandemic in the Republican Party at all levels. It’s not just in Warren Co, we’re only a microcosm of what’s happening all over the country. An implosion is about to occur. In the end one small group may be able to claim a battle victory. However, when it’s over they will discover the war was lost. All because the self-anointed few, with a minority viewpoint, attempted to hi-jack the party for their radical personal political gains. Reminds me a little of the old game, King on the Hill. The first to the top gets to wave the flag while those at the bottom of the hill plot on how to pull the flag-waver down. It’s a perpetual fight with no winner.

Mr. Ratigan - I have been reading your posts here for quite sometime now and have an observation.

For someone that has decided to run for a public office you have done yourself a great service by accessing social media as a way to promote yourself and get your platform out to the general public. However you have done yourself a great disservice in the way you come across.

I don't know you and quite frankly I don't have a dog in this fight since I don't live in Warren county. My impression of you is solely based on your words within this forum.

The impression you make here is less than favorable. You come across as a victim and seem to be extraordinarily defensive and without motivation to try to work with others of differing views in order to achieve any type of consensus. If I was a voter in Warren County your performance within this forum would cause me to look for another option when I'd vote.


The picture of what the Republican Party is all about is coming into focus. First, they misrepresent the Tea Party to the voters as a grassroots organization rising from the patriotic hearts of normal Americans everywhere. However, in reality they are actually a tiny faction of Republican party disenfranchised ultra conservatives who believed their party was not conservative enough, especially about economic ideology, and they set off to establish a party faction to push for change. By trying to be all things to all people, the Tea Party welcomed and embraced every wing nut and conspiracy theory group in the country. To their regret, Tea Partiers soiled themselves with the baggage that accompanied the wackos and the tin foil hats who brandished firearms at public meetings and gatherings.

Today the Tea Party is not a grass roots phenomenon. Far from it. They don't like to admit it but their roots are firmly far right conservative Republican, speaking a dialect distinctively evangelical fundamentalist, their theocratic beliefs refuse to guarantee an America where separation of church and state is absolute. The Republicans inserted loyal party members into the Tea Party organization, Trojan style, to gain control. They were successful. The Tea Party organization has lost any semblance of independence from Republican Party control. Their organizational structure is joined at the hip to the Republican Party organizational structure led by Dick Army.

This explains why Republican Party member Ratigan doesn't want the world to understand he is the Republican in charge of the local Tea Party activities. Ratigan represents himself as a Tea Party "organizer" preferring his Republican roots remain in the background. Ratigan is best described as the 'minder', keeping the local hard core Tea Party members narrowly focused on just 3 talking points; fiscal responsibility, limited government, and free markets. And just like the Republican Party faithful, Ratigan wants the Tea Party to have nothing to do with social issues. Ratigan deliberately avoids topics like gay marriage, abortion, and racial equality.

The hatred of President Obama is race based, politically sustained by Tea Party members refusing the smallest of concessions such as the validity of his birthplace, a ruse kept alive to swindle the weak minded. Republicans believe keeping the Tea Party out of divisive issues will attract Independent voters into the Tea Party fold and enhance Republican chances of being elected into local, state, and national offices. Internal party divisiveness is thwarting this goal. Encouraged by the evangelical fundamentalist successes, the Roman Catholics' Rick Santorum is making waves promoting the Catholic desire to control the world, one convert at a time. Local Catholics are seizing this opportunity to insert their hand-picked candidate, Manuel Vicente, disguising his Catholic beliefs, Catholic agenda, and Catholic anti-abortion stance.

Social issues pack a wallop. Tea Partiers find it difficult to keep social issues out of the conversation, telling us to go elsewhere and get involved in other organizations that already deal with social issues. Hence, the big Tea Party push for citizens to volunteer to "help" needy neighbors and thus prove the need to eliminate Social Security.

Tea Partiers have had their 15 minutes of public spotlight. Despite denials from the diehard core supporters, the Tea Party is gasping on its death bed trying to regain the spotlight and attention they do not deserve.

Ratigan deserves to fade away along with his Tea Party supporters. Goodbye, and good riddance.

What's up? The Republican Circular Firing Squad ran out of ammunition?

I find it a little perplexing that Republicans can be so adamantly against one of these party factions and yet so willing to submit to the other. Is this because the people running either are somehow especially ethical? To embrace one or the other shouldn't we be talking about stretching the bounds of credibility, too?



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