Chesco Purge Orchestrated By Big Money?
By Dick Gould
I want to tell you a story.
Three years ago my wife and I, as solid Reagan Republicans, were tired of yelling at the TV, watching our country as we know it slip away towards socialism, and we were worried about our kids’ future. We decided to attend a Flag Day ceremony on the courthouse steps in West Chester, and we took the kids as an educational experience to learn about our country. There we met a number of interesting people including Sheriff Bunny Welsh who was the impetus for us to try to make a positive difference by running for Republican committeepersons in our precinct. In the five years that we had lived on Valley Forge Mountain, we had never met our committee people, had no idea who they were, nor had we ever had any political literature or sample ballots delivered to our house, so we knew we could do a better job and perhaps help move the needle towards getting more good Republicans elected.
So we ran in 2012 and found out some people in West Chester didn’t like concerned independent-minded newcomers, but would rather appoint their own who might then feel obligated to act and endorse as they were told. For two years we worked hard and we believe we have made a difference in our community with fund raising and new creative ideas.
Earlier this year, when I saw that I was being challenged in the primary, I thought “Fine, that’s our system. Let’s see if he can do a better job than I can.” However, we quickly realized this was a well-organized, professionally managed and funded effort. We spent $66 through Vistaprint for some palm cards, plus we had to fork out $100 just to get our names on our own Republican sample ballot. My opponent had professionally designed and edited literature and an extensive mailing campaign of red, white and blue glossies with our GOP elephant emblem on them, all paid for by the United Republicans of Chester County. They probably spent around $2000 just against me. He even had his own committeeman lawn signs.
So I started digging into this United Republicans of Chester County. And please, don’t take my word for any of this, it is all easily verifiable through the internet and through your own contacts and political friends. United Republicans targeted and tried to unseat dozens of Reagan Republican committeepersons in this past Chester County Primary. United Republicans is run by a guy named Alex Rahn who was the former SE PA Political Director for Arlen Specter, who was obviously not a Reagan Republican. Rahn is also a committeeman in Honeybrook and he happens to attend an awful lot of the Republican Committee of Chester County executive meetings. I was told that Alex Rahn was running a “black ops” campaign to get rid of committeepeople who would not get in line. In their efforts to purge people like me, the United Republicans hired help to call and to vet potential candidates to run. Another committeeperson in Chester County answered a robocall from the United Republicans and after “correctly” answering all of the vetting questions, asked who ran the organization and got the response “Alex Rahn and Rob Brooks”. Neighbors told us that our own Area Chair endorsed my United Republicans’ opponent.
By the way, the United Republicans of Chester County is an unregistered political entity that probably spent between $25,000 and $50,000 on their operations so far. But unregistered means that there is also no public record of political funding. I question where the United Republicans funding came from. I would rather use that money to work against the Democrats.
If this were a plan hatched by the Democrats to fracture our party, it would be flat out brilliant. Is this what causes us to lose elections? Of the dozen or so races contested by the United Republicans, near as we can tell they lost just about every one by huge margins, strong evidence that voters are repulsed by their divisive attacks. I ended up winning my race 136-54. By the way, I called up my opponent after the election to congratulate him on a hard fought campaign. I don’t fault him because he was just a pawn in this scheme, and he is eager to deliver some literature bags for us in his neighborhood.
Does our Republican leadership work harder against its’ own Reagan Conservative Core than it does against the Democrats? I’m speaking out because I think that sunlight is the best disinfectant. What I really want to do is to help the best possible Republican candidates win on every level. The system works best when it is fair and honest.
Mr. Gould is the GOP Committeeman for Tredyffrin Ward 5 in Chester County.
7 thoughts on “Chesco Purge Orchestrated By Big Money?”
Thanks for Mr. Gould’s informative and well-written piece. Not sure whether to laugh or cry when reading it. You wonder why the Republican Party can’t get much done. This is why. The establishment spends most of its time going after independent-minded and limited-government types and not the Democrats.
It says that “the United Republicans of Chester County is an unregistered political entity that probably spent between $25,000 and $50,000 on their operations so far. ” Isn’t that against the law? Why have they not been called to account? Who can this be reported to to actually do something? Inquiring minds want to know.
This is very sad to hear. It seems the political class only cares about money and power. Why else ChesCo GOP “leaders” collude with Democrats and hurt their own commiteemen?
very concerning to me, my family, and friends… strikes at the heart of my conservative republican principles, values and beliefs! Not at all happy at what I perceive is happening in the Republican party, Chester County, and America!
the money was put up by Bob Asher, owner of “Asher’s Candies”
Bob Asher, Convicted Felon?
Dick says that the United Republican group didn’t report their money, but there is another article that clearly states where it came from so obviously did report it. What’s the deal, Dick?
Citizens of rhe entire state of PA should be very concerned about how just a handful of those in Republican leadership positions have stolen the party from an unaware public who unknowingly finace the effort. In addition too many citizens are simply allowing this to happen simply by believing party literature, and the endorsement process instead of researching the candidates themselves.
Back in 2009-2010 Gubernatorial race I volunteered to head the efforts in Chester County for the campaign of Sam Rohrer. A 17 year legislator in the PA HOUSE, Sam was considered by his peers as the most conservative man in Harrisburg.
He never voted for a tax increase believing elected officials should work within the boundaries of the budget they are provided. He led efforts TO ELIMINATE ALL LOCAL SCHOOL TAXES ( property, income, and nuisance taxes) for both the public and businesses by increasing the state sales tax on non-essentials, as well as the State income tax.
The Property Tax Elimination Act was the only bill of its type to be appoved by politically independent financial institutions as it would have fully replaced the schools funding dollar for dollar while SAVING PROPERTY OWNERS THOUSANDS A YEAR , and removing the overhead that causes landlords to raise rent.
A statewide bill, in just Chester County residents would have had an extra Billion dollars a year to spend on local businesses, a small business boom that would result in increased employment opportunities, and business startups.
He fought for the rights of gun owners and when a yearly fee per gun was proposed in Harrisburg he personally began a statewide petition at gun shops and clubs to defeat the effort. Tom Corbett, his opponent, was on video declaring he would disarm PENNSYVANIANS if so ordered by the President in a situation like the New Orleans flood.
He authored the Educational Improvement Tax Credit a bill that encouraged businesses to provide funding to help students in failing schools attend alternative schools like charter schools. His approach spearheaded similar programs adopted across the USA. His opponent Tom Corbett never gave Sam credit for the bill and promoted support for it as part of his platform.
Sam was a Constitutional Republican and for many years he lectured statewide explaining how the Constitution was written to PROTECT THE INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS of the average citizen so elected officials cannot simply interpret the law in their own way. His opponent Tom Corbet however felt it to be “LIVING DOCUMENT ” subject to the interpretation of the one in power.
So HOW DID OUR REPUBLICAN TREAT SAM? They did not even put his name in a news release announcing he was running for Governor. Instead of mentioning his name he was only refered to as “Tom Corbets opponent”.
On the PA GOP FACEBOOK page if any of Sam’s many supporters suggested a debate with Corbet, or made any positive remark about Sam IT WAS REMOVED BY THE GOP WITH 2 MINUTES …monitored 24 hours a day.
Two months befoe the primary the GOP ENDORSED Corbett with some excuse about no one knowing who Sam was. As a result Sam was then shut off from all party campaign funds…much of it donated to the party in support of Sam. Sam was even PREVENTED FROM HANDING OUT CAMPAIGN LITERAURE at Chester County GOP committee meeting or at OTHER GOP events. His signs and flyers were constantly being removed and trashed. Can’t imagine why since no one was supposed to know who he was. Since Sam refused to accept donations from those who expected favors in return it was hard to compete with the REPUBLICAN MACHINE and their tactics.
Sam got roughly 35% of the vote in Chester County with Corbet winning. One of the worst areas for him was Tredyffrin Easton, considered to have one of the best school districts in the state, where Corbet got 80% of the vote. Apparently they are too busy there to investigate the candidates and most do exactly what the party directs them to do. Why would they lie?
Two years later Sam ran for the U.S. Senate, for the Bob Casey slot, impressing many in the Republican party in Washington with the checklist he used to insure bills he might approve were constitutional, actually needed, and could be paid for without a tax increase.
Back in PA our MOST CONSERVATIVE MAN FROM HARRISBURG was competing with conservative millionaire (former Democrat) Tom Smith who was a new Republican convert. There was also Steve Welch, a Democrat who help Obama and other Democrats get elected, and also a brand new Republican fir rhis election.
Who did the Republican party and Governor Tom Corbet ENDORSE pre primary? The most liberal candidate…STEVE WELCH who placed dead last. I remember manning the polls and having Republican voters asking me whomthey were supposed to vote for…as they got their Republican Flyer of endorsed candidates???
If as a Republican you think your CONSERVATIVE views are being supported by the parties leadership …think Again. It only serves a select few. Be careful who you vote for as the Endorsed candidates are probably just YES MEN with hopes of a long political career