Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Republicans Need Much Better Leadership

Opinion: Lawrence Frangiosa
The Reporter Online, Tuesday, November 18, 2008:

One of the most memorable exchanges from the 2000 movie "Remember the Titans" was between Gerry Bertier, the white Captain of the T.C. Williams High School, and Julius Campbell, a black player in the first year of racial integration in Roanoke Virginia.

Campbell confronts Bertier: "I'm supposed to wear myself out for the team? What team? No, what I'm going to do is look out for myself and get mine."

Bertier retorts, "See man, that's the worst attitude I ever heard."

"Attitude reflects leadership, Captain."

And so here we are two weeks after the election, and everywhere I hear similar complaints. John McCain got off message, Sarah Palin was a bad choice, George Bush is responsible.

I have even heard blame placed on local committee people who were labeled by their county leadership as unenthusiastic and apathetic.

So if blaming the top of the ticket is not your cup of tea, just place blame on your loyal, dedicated committee folks. That should energize the citizens to support the local Republican Party.

If there is any blame to throw around for Republican woes, it rests squarely with local county leadership.

Let's first take a look at Chester County. Joseph "Skip" Brion, the Chester County Republican chairman, who under his watch has seen huge losses in party registration, went so far to say that the Democrats "deserved to win."

No " Skip, the Republicans deserved to lose. Maybe if you would have supported the decent local candidates who ran for office because they believe in responsible and honest government, instead of constantly dropping names and worrying about your next photo-op, you would not have lost three state House seats, and a Senate seat.

Under your watch as Chester County Republican chairman, republican registrations dropped by 15 percent, and although you boasted that you would bring a county victory for John McCain, Chester County gave Barack Obama more than 20,000 more votes.

Time to step down Brion, and if not willing to go quietly, I urge the Chester County Republican committee people to show the leadership that you lacked and force the issue.

Lets now travel across the Schuylkill River to Montgomery County where I grew up, and see what rears its ugly head.

Bob Kerns was elected Montgomery County Republican chair in May of this year, and he cannot be held responsible for what has occurred, or is occurring, in Montgomery County, unlike his counterpart in Chester County.

Montgomery County's problem is not really due to a lack of leadership, or unenthusiastic and apathetic committee people, as intimated in an e-mail to those very folks, but rather due to a huge clash of egos vying for power instead of representing constituents in an honest and transparent way.

Anyone who lives in Montgomery County knows the saga, and I don't need to mention names, but until this fissure between top county Republican leadership can be healed, Montgomery County will remain a blue county.

Good luck Bob Kerns, you will need it.

I am a resident of Montgomery County and the owner of a small business in Chester County, but more importantly a citizen of this commonwealth, and I believe in honest, transparent government that works for the people.

That being said, if the Republican Party does not want to remain irrelevant for the next 20 years, it needs more responsible candidates like Steve Kantrowitz, more state representatives like Mike Vereb, more state senators like Rob Wonderling, and more county commissioners like Bruce Castor.

It also needs local leadership that will work with these leaders, not against them.

Attitude reflects leadership.

Lawrence Frangiosa is a resident of Montgomery County and a business owner in Chester County.

H/T to my "brother" for this article.

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