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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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Greenville County GOP Silly Season
Jonathan Pait
October 31, 2003

NASCAR has its "silly season." It is that time near the end of the circuit when rumors abound about the fates of drivers who have not fared to well or teams that wonder if they will have a sponsor for the next yearís campaign. Well, on the eve of the Greenville County Republican Party convention the Party has entered upon its own silly season.

Several months ago I caught wind of a movement to remove Ed Foulke from the position of Chairman of the County Party. Feelers were going out to see if someone would step forward and run against the current holder of the gavel. Because of an article I had written on The Common Voice some thought I would be interested in participating in the coup as a candidate for the position. No thanks.

I didnít think much more of it until later when talking with a current member of the executive committee. He expanded on the idea that there was a desire beyond simply removing Mr. Foulke. There was also a movement to shake up the entire elected committee. Weíre talking from the Chairman through to the Secretary.

Best I can figure, there are three groups involved.

Group one is made up of those who simply want to see a change in the Chairman position. This group may actually include some of the executive committee members. The concerns of this group seem to revolve around administrative issues and some lesser friction on a philosophical level. You expect this type of play in politics. No surprise there and may the best man win.

Group two is more interesting. This group appears to be several "organizations" that are disenchanted with the current County Republican Party. They donít think the Party represents them but they realize that there is nothing to be gained by bolting to a third party. They have decided to bring about change from within.

This group seems most concerned with immigration and the "big tent" approach espoused by the Party. They also feel that the current "religious right" contingent within the Party has not taken a strong enough stand on issues of family values. I am told that they therefore want to present a completely new slate of officers for whom the delegates will vote.

Group three includes most of us - those who donít know what is going on. It seems that the first two groups at least share the common goal of unseating Ed Foulke. The name I am hearing, as the possible contender, is Stewart Vaughn. He once ran for state House in District 21. After that common connection, there doesnít seem to be as much agreement. Of course, I could show up tomorrow and find that all of this has been smoke and mirrors. Maybe, but I donít think so.

I cringe at the thought that there may be a group of people who think they can hand pick the members of the executive committee and then tell them to follow that groupís instructions. Thankfully, we the delegates will ultimately be the ones who decide.

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Guess I really need to refresh my memory on some of these people before commenting, but just off the top of my head, I am remembering being suspicious of William Herlong attempting to toss his hat into the ring, some time back, and run as a Republican, which was a complete joke, when we all know he is a flaming liberal. . . .

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