The Day the Circus Came to Fauquier

by Rick Buchanan

Past 1st Vice Chair, Events Chair and Elections Chair of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation

I have lived in Fauquier County for 10 years now. Being a Republican voter all my adult life, excluding my uninformed, youthful vote for Jimmy Carter in which I quickly learned the many errors in Democrat philosophy, I was proud I lived in a county that votes over 65% Republican in just about every election. One would naturally assume the citizens here in Fauquier would be electing strong conservatives to the leadership of the local Committee. Until the election of March 22nd to reconstitute the Fauquier County Republican Committee, that would have been viewed a true statement.

As most active Republicans here in Fauquier know, Cameron Jones, one of the two candidates for Chairman of the Fauquier County Republican Committee, is a friend of mine. We have worked together on several campaigns, knocking doors and making phone calls for Republican candidates. Not only have we worked very hard to get Republicans elected, we have donated our money in tough economic times to Republican candidates. Also, we have both attended our Board of Supervisor’s meetings where we have publically expressed our thoughts about local zoning, taxation, school and business policies before the Board Members. Our writings have been published locally in The Fauquier Times (used-to-be-but-still-is-Democrat), Fauquier Now  and the Fauquier Free Citizen, as well as various other publications around the state.

So it was with great concern that I watched as the tone of the campaign run by Cam’s opponent immediately took a turn south. The election between two supposed “conservatives”, my friend Cam and a new person in the county, Scott Russell – President of the American Spectator Foundation, would have appeared to be a classic battle of two champions of the right. However, right out of the gate, Cam, our friends and I were labeled “elements” wanting to “seize control” of the same party we had worked for several years to promote. Then came the lies being spread about Cam’s philosophies and record. You can view one letter being widely circulated that spread fears based totally on fabricated lies Here.

This alone was concerning enough, but then we discovered one of those spreading similar deceptions was a person that had given money to opponents of Republicans (but never to Republicans) and stated the following in her letter: “You do not need to be a Republican. Democrats, Progressives, Independents, Libertarians – all registered voters in Fauquier County are welcome.” This is a clear violation of the Republican State Party Plan. You can read Jessica Swan’s letter in its entirety Here.

It was obvious that the Fauquier County Republican Committee had done no credentialing of candidates. How could they? There was no Credentials Committee! So Cam’s team did our own investigation. A quick search on VPAP turned up interesting information on two other At-Large candidates.

Kitty Smith, a resident of Delaplane, who has never donated to a Republican, has donated to Democrats and has voted in two Democrat primaries in 2008 and 2009.

Leslie Cheek III, a resident of Warrenton, voted in Democrat primaries in 2009 and 2013. His donation record is even more interesting. While giving relatively small amounts to four local Republicans (less that 10% of his total donations), the overwhelming share of his almost $20,000.00 of donations went to either Democrats, opponents of Republicans or organizations that gave heavily to Democrats.

One such organization, the Virginia League of Conservation Voters (VALCV), received almost 25% of all of Mr. Cheek’s contributions. This group, claiming to be a “non-partisan political voice” gives almost exclusively (over 90%) to Democrats. “A search of VPAP shows 99.6% of the nearly $2 Million in political donations for 2013 went to Democrats, with 98.1% of that money going to the top 3 positions (Governor Terry McAuliffe, Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring).” VALCV was Terry McAuliffe’s third largest donor. Leslie Cheek III sits on the Board of Directors of this “non-partisan” group. For further details click Here.

Mr. Russell stated in an email blast that these three individuals are solid Republicans with the “leadership qualities and experience to help lead the Fauquier County Republican Committee”, and they are “dedicated to keeping Fauquier County solidly in Republican hands”. You can read Mr. Russell’s entire letter Here.


Carrot Woman promoting Mr. Russell and his candidates

Election Day was like a circus. Folks showed up in droves. There were over 1200 people who cast their ballots. The only thing they needed, true to Swan’s letter, was a valid ID. The Party leaders had done nothing to prevent Democrats from “taking over”, even though Cam had requested measures be taken.  A Republican voter related this conversation of the couple in front of him: Female voter “This is so weird coming here to vote today, I’m not even a Republican.” The male voter replies, “I know, I’m not either.” Similar conversations were heard by many that day.

One Democrat, creating her own Circus Act, came dressed in a carrot suit. Anyone watching the antics outside the polling place would see that this election was being made the laughing stock of the county.  Cam’s supporters, however, were not laughing. Some of the Democrats hurled personal threats to his volunteers as they handed out sample ballots, saying things like “their days in the county were numbered.”

So Jessica Swan, along with her two Democrat associates, Cheek and Smith, are now voting members of the “new” Fauquier County Republican Committee. They were successful in getting out the Democrats to select the leaders of the “new” Republican Committee in Fauquier County.

It was the saddest day in politics I have ever experienced. Not so much that a mockery was made of the election. It’s that the “winning team” has no problems with either the lead-up to the election or anything that occurred that day.




20 Responses to The Day the Circus Came to Fauquier

  1. Dominic Ruibal Reply

    April 18, 2014 at 7:03 am

    I think it is funny that you guys think that so many Democrats would take time out of their day to drive to Warrenton to vote for Republicans. You guys truly are paranoid and delusional.

    • rickbuchanan Reply

      April 18, 2014 at 8:23 am

      It is NOT funny that so many Democrats DID vote in the canvass. And it is because they were lied to by Russell’s camp, which used fear tactics that created an atmosphere of paranoia. These Democrats came out to defend themselves against the strawman created by Russell’s team. Not to understand that is truly delusional.

  2. Pingback: GOP duels over Dems crashing Fauquier party «

  3. Pingback: Bloggers Join the Circus - Fauquier Free Citizen | Fauquier Free Citizen

  4. James Demoto Reply

    April 14, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Proof? We don’t need no stinkin’ proof. We have said it, therefore it is fact. When will you silly people learn. We decide what is the truth in the county. And even if you catch us in a lie, we will change the facts to meet our needs. So, if one of us say we have public proof that Mr. Jones voted in the Dem primary, you better believe a Mr. Jones voted in the Dem primary. Sure, it may not be the same person, but who cares. We said it so it is true.

    We can make up birth certificates, do you honestly think we can’t make up some voter registrations and voter rolls? We have people that work in these departments and will do whatever we tell them. After all, nobody makes you sign to show it was actually you who voted. If we had to make the signatures of the voters match, none of our dead people would be allowed to vote. Do you know how much money it saves us not having to create fake licenses and become good at forging signatures?

    So what you gonna do besides whine. Go join the whineries and leave us alone in our peaceful enjoyment of our vast estates. So long as we don’t have to look at you or hear you we are fine.

  5. Anton Afterwit Reply

    April 14, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Mr. Rick Jones – Quite a sensational accusation. Please provide us the proof of the public voter record that is available. When I go to the Virginia State Board of Elections page and attempt to search for a voting record (, the page tells me, “I understand that it is unlawful to access the record of any other voter, punishable as computer fraud under Va. Code § 18.2-152.3.”

    Since the state says it is a crime to access the record of any other voter, please tell us the source of your sensational accusation. If you cannot then you have simply served to brand the leadership of Scott Russell as one that submits scurrilous accusations to the public without fact and starting untrue whisper campaigns against others. Or have you committed a crime by accessing and disseminating voter information on another voter?

    We look forward to you providing us the proof and source of the proof. The way I see it, this article pretty much already sums up poor leadership by the Republican Committee after only a few weeks at the helm.

    • Rick Jones Reply

      April 14, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      Mr. Afterwit, Who voted in an election (primary or general) is public information available at any local Registrar’s office. It is also available through various election database companies (you have to pay for those).

      Sorry no illegal activity here, just good fact checking like all the VPAP research done by the FFC.

      Thanks for the apologies Mr. Jones, but it wasn’t needed. I do see that no one is addressing the ongoing attacks on a Small Female Family Farmer. Where’s the outrage and protest? Hurry someone call Mr. Lingamfelter!

  6. Cameron Jones Reply

    April 14, 2014 at 10:36 am

    I’m thinking Reagan’s Big Tent Theory did not include having Democrats run the Republican Party.

    We currently have three proven Democrats on our Committee, and the small Female Family Farmer I believe you are referring to was responsible for inviting Democrats and other non-Republicans to come out and help elect these three.

    The proof is here:

    As far as my appeal; the many Republicans I have spoken to are behind me. The Committee should have taken steps to exclude or at least discourage Democrats from voting in our election as I requested of the Chairman on March 2nd; but they did not.

    Fauquier Republicans have a real problem with Democrats participating in our Party elections, and with Democrats holding voting positions in our Committee.

    You might consider that there are at least 500 Republican voters in this county who have a direct stake in my appeal; they would be the ones who turned out to vote for me.

    You can call me Democrat, sore loser or whatever else you can come up with, but I am proceeding with the appeal and I have a lot of Republican voters behind me.

    Someone should ask the new Chairman why the Committee is stonewalling me on my request for the voter rolls which the RPV has said I am entitled to. Are they afraid the truth might be told, and we will find out just how many Democrats voted in our election?

    If anyone were to be interested in asking that question, the Fauquier GOP can be contacted here:

  7. Cameron Jones Reply

    April 14, 2014 at 10:26 am

    You are right Mr. Jones, I should not have called you Scott Russell.

    It was not very Christian of me to do so.

    I hope you will accept my deepest most sincere public apology.

  8. Rick Jones (aka Rick Jones) Reply

    April 13, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Mr. Jones. I find it entertaining that you and your crew call anyone who speaks against you “Scott Russell.” It is also revealing that you allow your friends to relentlessly attack a small Female Family Farmer. I guess your support for small farmers is only extended those who agree with you 100% of the time? The big tent theory that Reagan made so successful must not pass muster in your circles.

    In the spirit of you running off and appealing this election like a Democrat, I have pulled out a stash of “Sore Loserman” bumper stickers and started handing them out.

    • Local Man Reply

      April 13, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      Right you are. There have been several other examples of farmers under attack recently, most notably a couple oyster farmers, but you wouldn’t know it from anything on here.

      And calling people scott russell is at least an improvement, as in times past, one was accused of being a PEC crony for any infraction.

  9. Rick Jones Reply

    April 12, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Why isn’t anyone pointing out the fact that Mr. Jones voted in the 2009 Democrat Primary? Doesn’t that disqualify him from being Chairman? It is right there in the public voter records.

    • Cameron Jones Reply

      April 12, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      Scott Russell (aka Rick Jones),

      I have never voted in a Democrat Primary and I will prove it.

      Cameron Jones

  10. EricM Reply

    April 12, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    I have limited use for cowards that hide behind anonymous name’s like “Local Man”. If you have something to say, stand by your words.

    • Local Man Reply

      April 12, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      Really, you should talk to the editor here then.

  11. Mark Fitzgibbons Reply

    April 12, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Local Man,

    Rick Buchanan’s excellent piece exposes the fears spread by Jessica Swan (and others) through emails using lies and blatant attempts to cheat.

    These people bear false witness against honest people, are caught cheating in the political process, and spread fear in emails and elsewhere. FFC exposes that for the community to see. Your comment is “ridiculous theatrics” given the fine and honest job done by Rick.

    Sycophants for the abuses by Fauquier government can start their own news service. Oh, that’s right, you already have one in Fauquier Times.

  12. Local Man Reply

    April 11, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    The spreading of fear seems to be this “news” website’s stock in trade – – so strange to see you folks rattled by it when others turn the tables. The Fred Phelps/Westboro Baptist-like “pitchfork protest” was a classic example. Rather than work with the county to resolve issues, you sought to tear it all down. You of course will dispute it but let’s not be confused, most folks in the County are repelled and repulsed by such antics – regardless of their political affiliation. So there you have it. I am sure Mr. Jones would have made a fine chairman but I am guessing his association with the free citizen turned away a handful of voters at a minimum.

    I like the tea party message but I cannot stand the ridiculous theatrics that some people insist on putting on. It is a turn off, since most Americans tend to shy away from overly confrontational methods of problem solving, in favor of more tolerant and amicable means. The spirit of working together across boundaries, political or otherwise, is much more productive.

    I hope the folks here at the free citizen will do a better job of reaching out to the Board, and be an agent of positive change rather than an overly partisan wrecking ball. If you love America, and the Old a Dominion, and Fauquier, you will rise to the occasion, I am sure of it.

    • rickbuchanan Reply

      April 12, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      “The Truth uncompromisingly told will always have its jagged edges”

  13. Mark Fitzgibbons Reply

    April 11, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Scott Russell, your silence on this is as telling as your silence on Holder Trumbo’s ‘Kevlar’ and other comments that would have him censured if any officials in the county had principles or moral courage. This is not good if you have political aspirations. You disappoint me, brother.

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