I received the following letter from the George Fitch for Virginia governor campaign, which I reprint here without comment -- well, except one: "Teddy Roosevelt Republican" is not a term that inspires confidence that Fitch is as dedicated to small government as his earlier statements would have us believe. But, that quibble aside, on with the letter:
I would like to urge you to support a candidate—a man who could genuinely improve the lives of all living in this great State.
George Fitch seeks the Republican nomination for Governor of Virginia. The primaries for both parties this year will be on June 14, only two weeks from now. Because we are an “open primary” state, any registered Virginia voter may ask for either party’s ballot, (without making any commitments to that party), and vote as he or she likes. I appeal to each of you: please take the Republican ballot, and vote for George Fitch.
You may not have heard about George; the GOP party elites are working hard to keep it that way, because George is not one of the professional political class. He is a thoughtful and independent man of conscience who has shown repeatedly that he can get good things done in unconventional ways, and is not afraid to rock the boat if necessary.
George can deliver. In the past 6 years, as twice-elected mayor of Warrenton, he has done the most unlikely thing: he fulfilled all his better government campaign promises. The town has gone from among the highest taxed to now the lowest taxed community in Virginia, the growth rate of government spending cut to less than the rate of inflation (while more than $3 million in debt has been retired early through annual operating surpluses). All of this was done without cutting any services, and the town is more functional today than when he was sworn in.
George’s local opponents didn’t believe it could be done; later they joined in re-electing him, and today they are supporting his candidacy for governor.
Most critically, to me, George is a Teddy Roosevelt Republican—a conservationist conservative—and so Warrenton’s reforms have not been at the expense of its beauty and wonderful quality of life. (The Town recently received the Preserve America Community Award from First Lady Laura Bush and her Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, a high honor we shared with Williamsburg, otherwise alone in Virginia.)
George’s positions on containing sprawl, reorienting our transportation policies, protecting the environment, and reforming inefficient government operations are the best of any candidate, in either party.
Born in China, where his great-grandfather and grandfather were Christian missionaries, and where his father served with the OSS and later with General Chenault’s “Flying Tigers” fighting the Japanese, George had a distinguished U.S. Foreign Service career, including work on Caribbean economic development initiatives during the first Reagan Administration. A businessman now, he has lived in Virginia for 30 years with his wife Patricia, and been the active embodiment of the concept think globally, act locally.
Can a small town mayor defeat the party bosses and gain the Republican nomination? Yes, of course! If we vote for him. Let me quote from Bacon’s Rebellion, the enlightened insider’s policy wonk e-publication: “But it would be a mistake to dismiss Fitch as a gadfly. No one took him seriously when he wanted to organize the Jamaican bobsled team to compete in the Calgary Olympics. Remarkably, the Jamaicans proceeded to beat 10 other teams, as portrayed in the Disney movie, Cool Runnings. No one thought Fitch had a chance either to displace the heir apparent in a run for mayor of Warrenton, yet he not only went on to win, but he made good on promises to slash spending, stimulate economic growth and reduce taxes.”
I encourage you to take a look at www.georgefitch.com and read about George’s plans for Virginia. His strategies for creating more livable communities, for better coordinating land use planning with transportation, for reigning-in an overreaching Dillon’s Rule and unlocking the problem-solving resources of local leaders (freeing them from Richmond’s grip and from that of developers), and more, are detailed there.
For still further information, call (540) 341-7900, email him at email@example.com or visit his campaign office located at 32 Ashby Street, Suite 201, Warrenton, VA 20186. Also, feel free to email back to me if I can help you obtain information on this election.
Please put voting June 14th on your calendar. It matters!
P.S.: For my many friends who typically vote for candidates with a “D” next to their name, please consider voting for George now even if you are likely to support Tim Kaine in the fall. There are those in the Democratic Party who say that Tim would be more competitive against George than against the much better known Jerry Kilgore, and are voting for George for that reason. I prefer to say this: The Commonwealth would benefit from a debate between two intelligent, policy-oriented candidates, and from an election where the tone would be civil, even enlightened. Whatever your motivation, please vote for George Fitch on June 14.