National Federation of Republican Women and ‘Rosie’ in Caroline County

While the official photographer’s pictures are not back yet, I wanted to extend a huge thank you to the lovely, talented and dedicated members of the National Federation of Republican Women. When we decided to resurrect our annual Red Barn View Brunswick Stew and Game Dinner In The Woods this year, we had no idea the National Federation of Republican Women would roll up in our driveway.

Planned since May, in honor of Ed Gillespie and our Republican ticket, we asked a long list of Virginia representatives to sign on to the event early. Our guests included 1st District Congressman Rob Wittman, Senators Ryan McDougle and Bryce Reeves as well as Delegates Bobby Orrock, Margaret Ransone, and Buddy Fowler.

Also headlining and speaking for Attorney General Candidate John Adams was Delegate Nick Freitas from Culpepper who is exploring a run for U.S. Senate next year. Veteran’s activist and journalist Daniel Cortez did the us the honor of singing the National Anthem (more pictures coming later).

Activists Martha Boneta from Fauquier and Denver Riggleman of Silverback Distillery also agreed to support our event and were listed on the over 500 invitations sent September 1st. With just under six months of planning to open our home and property to hundreds of people, we got a call from Carrie Almond who is the President this year of the National Federation of Republican Women, and who hails all the way from Missouri. Carrie told us they were coming and bringing the famous “Rosie,” their 40-foot RV.

Rosie has been traveling the state with Carrie and a number of members of the NFRW to bring the message to Virginia women how critical their participation and their vote is in electing a conservative governor. Maneuvering a 40-foot vehicle into the event took some planning, so a few large limbs in our driveway the day before were cut down, and we were ready for Rosie. Linda Barlett, past president of the organization also came from Northern Virginia, demonstrating how serious these ladies are about getting the message out.

“Rosie” was able to park next to our Virginia Wine tent with enough room for guests to participate in the tradition of signing their names on Rosie. I’ll have more about the event later, but I wanted to extend a huge thank you to Carrie and these extraordinary women who helped to make our event such a success.

The GOP gal pictured below signing her name is Caroline’s very own lady supervisor, the Honorable Nancy Long from the Port Royal District who in 2015, along with our Clerk of Court, Susan Minarchi (also present) were the very first Republican women ever elected locally in Caroline.

The Honorable Nancy Long

Delegate Nick Freitas (30th District), Senator Bryce Reeves, Supervisor Jeff Sili, Delegates Buddy Fowler (55th), Bobby Orrock (54th), and Margaret Ransone (99th)

Julie and Dave Billingsley, Steven and Heather Steele, NFRW president Carrie Almond

Delegate Nick Freitas (30th District), his wife Tina, and Mr. Daniel Cortez

Sassafrass Shade Winery located here in the county served up Chambourcin, a Red French American hybrid with a rich color and herbaceous aroma which was perfect with the Godiva chocolate bar in the dining room and the fruits and cheeses in the tent.  They also brought Old Fashioned Apple made from the juice of four heirloom apples and Granny Smith Apple, a crisp wine with a subtle apple flavor.  The favorite selection of the night was Sassafras’s own Caroline Red.

Attendees included the Honorables Susan Minarchi, Clerk of the Caroline Court; Mark Bissoon, Caroline Commissioner of the Revenue; John Mahoney, Caroline Commonwealth Attorney; Caroline Board of Supervisors chairman and vice chairman, Jeff Black and Nancy Long, as well as their fellow supervisor member from Madison District, Clay Forehand.

Also present were Russ Wright, Hanover County GOP Chairman; Alan Ayler, Westmoreland County GOP Chairman; 1st District Chairman Bob Watson, and Supervisor Ruby Brabo from King George, and Carol Dawson, SCC member from the 99th District.

Delegates Margaret Ransone, Bobby Orrock, Buddy Fowler, and Nick Freitas were also there to support the ticket with 1st District Congressman, Rob Wittman, and State Senator Ryan McDougle.


Standing in line for Brunswick stew.

Russ Role of Russ Roles and his sharp dressed band sings the blues.

Delegate Bobby Orrock talks to attendees Gene and Kathi Self.

King George Supervisor Ruby Brabo, VFRW President Carrie Almond, and host, Jeff Sili.

Mr. Shaun Kenney of The Republican Standard arrives with his wife, Melissa.

Mrs. Carrie Almond, President of the National Federation of Republican Women, stands by the host committee sign.

Daniel Cortez and Jeff Sili

Mr. Daniel Cortez sings the National Anthem while attendees stood with hands over hearts.

Senator Ryan McDougle speaking for Lt Governor candidate Jill Vogel.

Denver Riggleman of Silverback Distillery was also a special guest.

Martha Boneta speaking to the crowd.

  • old_redneck

    So this is where Ransone and Wittman are hiding. Both of them have been invited to several public appearances in Northumberland, Essex and Westmoreland counties. Neither has even had the courtesy to reply.

    • Susan Sili

      LOL both had just come from a public appearance in Northumberland, making them a bit late to Caroline and both of their facebook pages are filled with public appearances in the Northern Neck of late. Oh and Margaret does not represent Essex. But nice try.

      • old_redneck

        No, they did not come from public appearances in Northumberland. They were at private, smalll, invitation only fund raisers. Madam, you need to understand a sports adage: You can bullshit the fans but you cannot bullshit the players. I know exactly where they and thre was nothing public about t.

      • old_redneck

        Six years ago we Northumberland Democrats requested that Margaret Ransone attend one of our meetings or our chili cook-off or meet with some of us. She ignored us. Nevertheless, we persisted.

        After SIX months, she agreed to a meeting — these were her terms:
        — 9:00 AM; one hour
        — Supervisors’ conference room, old courthouse, Heathsville
        — Four of us and only four
        — No cameras or recording devices, else I walk.
        — Any evidence that the press knows of this, I walk.

        We agreed and met with her and one staffer. We presented to her several concerns that we asked her to address in the HOD. One of those concerns is the lack of forensic nurses in rural areas, specifically the Northern Neck.

        Forensic nurse. When a women (or man) is sexually assaulted, evidence must be collected quickly — body fluids, hair, fingernail scrapings; photos of wounds, bite marks, and the like. Forensic nurses are trained and equipped to collect evidence so it will stand up in court. They also appear as expert witnesses.

        Because we have no forensic nurses, a woman who is sexually assaulted around here cannot clean up, change clothes, wash — instead, she gets into the back seat of a police car with, in most cases, a male officer, who drives her to a regional medical center — 1 to 2 hours to Regional Memorial, MCV, or Mary Washington where can be examined by a forensic nurse and treated by a sexual assault team. This woman has just undergone serious emotional and physical trauma and she must wait hours for attention.

        We asked Ransone to introduce legislation that would provide state money annually to train and equip forensic nurses in rural areas. Of course she agreed to do so.

        That was six years ago. In spite of repeated attempts to contact her, to provide her with information, even offers to write the legislation — NOTHING. Two of us, two years ago, even went to Bevans Oyster Company where an employee in the parking lot told us she was there. People in the office denied she was there. We waited down the road — 30 minutes later, she drove out of the parking lot.

        Maybe we need to set up some tents, bring in some wineries and oysters, write a few checks with lots of zeroes . . . you think that might work?

        • Susan Sili

          This was not a fundraiser. Margaret received nothing for coming to talk for Senator Jill Vogel and actually left to go back to yet another event in the Northern Neck. While I was not privy to your conversation with her, I would have lots of questions about my tax dollar funding “forensic nurses.” Which locality gets one? Caroline is a large rural county 20 minutes from a hospital. Do we get one and where does he or she reside?,in a government funded office 24/7 waiting for a crime to be committed or does he or she travel to the victim and how far? How seriously is their testimony taken in a court of law? Just as if the victim had gone to the hospital? At the time you met with Margaret the General Assembly was controlled by Democrats so if you wanted this program so badly why not simply get another delegate to introduce legislation and of course we presently have a Democrat governor, surely he sees the need for these forensic nurses?

          • old_redneck

            Were you born stupid?

            Let me explain — listen closely.

            There are nurses at every hospital. They work there.

            Train a few as forensic nurses. They will not be — in your words — “. . . ,in a government funded office 24/7 waiting for a crime to be committed . . .” They’ll be at their normal jobs in the hospital, on call when they are needed as a forensic nurse.

            How seriously is their testimony taken? THAT’S THE WHOLE PURPOSE OF THE FORENSIC NURSE DESIGNATION.

          • Susan Sili

            My neighbor who is a nurse tells me they are already trained to handle rape and other sexual assault cases so the bottom line is you want something which is already available. In fact a nurse is not only who they see first but assists the doctor when the patient is seen. You had me there for a while to a point where I actually went to talk with her especially with the 2 or more hour wait time. You actually have no solution to what you described at all, the ride to the hospital etc.There would be no difference of any kind. Of course no legislator will listen to you because you are the idiot. .

    • Jim Portugul

      Factoid Alert!

      Since Congressman Wittman was named Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Sub-Commitee.

      1) We have 17 dead sailors that died horrible deads in as yet unexplained Navy ship collisions with civilians ships.

      2) We have 4 state of the art Navy war ships damaged and needing billions of dollars in repairs at a crucial time with both N. Korea’s Kim “Junkman” Ul (sic) and Trump acting like the playground childred they are. The Navy has apparently indicated that all the collisions with the civilian ships were their fault. Hundreds of millions will also have to be paid to the civilian ship owners for damages.

      3) We have had far to many military plane crashes resulting in the deaths of far to many members of the miltary, and hundreds of millions or over a billion of dollars in lost planes in the last 1.5 years. Congressman Wittman’s office was questioned on numerous occasions going back to late summer 2016 about these unexplained military plane crashes and their costs, and later loss of life. The Wittman response? Zero.

      4) The National Debt has more than DOUBLED to its now over $20 TRILLION since Congressman Rob Wittman was first elected to congress in 2007.

      5) Congressman Rob Wittman apparently has no answers for anything. (other than pissing away money more and running up the national debt) Primary Rob Wittman, or vote Democrat, while we still have a Navy.

      6) Republican’s seem to enjoy congregating in a small county with about 29k residents. Why? A county that has one striking similarity to Washington D.C. government. That similarity? Both Caroline County and Washington DC government have totally riddled their citizens with debt, both now being owned and managed by the establishment. Does any Virginia County have more per capita debt than sweet little Republican run Caroline County??? See Caroline debt link below:

      “You can’t make this stuff up folks”!

      • Susan Sili

        You did indeed make it up. Fact check-In the last decade Caroline County has completely turned over its board of supervisors with NEW members, except for one, sending the establishment home for that very reason, that they riddled the county with debt. Going forward .In the last three years the county ended each year with a surplus which was returned to savings and debt retirement. The article you linked to is our only at the time Republican Supervisor holding a town hall to explain how the debt occurred in the decades past and was one of many instrumental in waking citizens up to vote out the offenders. Caroline is a blue county traditionally run by Democrats and has only two board members out of six who run as GOP gaining it’s second one ever in 2015.

        • Jim Portugul

          You can finger point all you want. The lender has power over the borrower. The debt is owed to the establishment. You do not use numbers to substanciate your claims. And, most of all you have a conflict of interest regarding all things Caroline. Obivioustly you are going to defend you husband. Congressman Rob Wittman now represents all things establishment according to his voting record in Congress.

          I stand by my comment.

          • Susan Sili

            No need to finger point. You linked to the article where Jeff explains well what had transpired in Caroline in the last 3 decades. He did these town halls for 8 years twice a year until regular citizens and even those not Republicans realized how Caroline has been represented by tax and spend Democrats who held office between 24 and 30 years and voted them out in 2015. Blue Caroline has only voted for three Republican presidents since reconstruction while locally our Democrats happily spent us into near bankruptcy If by establishment you mean Dems, then you are correct and the voters sent them packing in 2015.The two new men on the board are not from Caroline at all and moved here in the last decade and have no establishment ties of any kind.Neither run as Republicans I have no conflict of interest on anything. I was involved in the political life of my county, held public office and was writing about the county long, long before Jeff Sili, who came from Ohio ever set foot here.You know less than nothing about Caroline.

          • Susan Sili

            By the way Jim I have a new post coming out soon on Congressman Wittman that really ought to frost ya even more than our Brunswick Stew Dinner. Recently Wittman was able to reach out and help a former constituent who rescues elderly animals in Florida and whose home had been damaged by the hurricane. I’ll include several other good deeds that did not escape the Congressman’s purview of late. I know you’ll enjoy so stay tuned. .

          • Jim Portugul

            Somehow, rescuing a cat in a tree doesn’t seem to compare with 17 dead sailors and billions in repairs.

          • Jim Portugul

            You need to read the article in the link, it is obvious that you have not read it. Please copy and past the parts where Jeff explains the previous decades???

            Its become nothing but a broken record where politicians blame debt, wars, all on previous administrations. When one runs for office and is elected they inherit the whole package. It become their package, they own it. That is how it works.

            Ok, do you agree with the tax cuts proposed by Trump and supported by Republicans including Congressman Rob Wittman?

          • Susan Sili

            You are looking at one article from dozens of public town halls ALL centering on the debt incurred in the 30 year reign of liberals. The important point is that the folks in Caroline understood what had happened and righted the ship in 2015. The cool thing about the town hall meetings was that they all centered on debt and used flip charts to show the debt service incurred over the years by the Democrats. Jeff would use volunteers from the audience to help with the figures (pictures on so that citizens could get a good handle on how the fiances had been mismanaged. Many considered it a class in local government. The next one will be in the early Spring before budgets are finalized. You should come Jim, you might learn a tiny bit about how it all works and thanks for opportunites to talk about all this as I never dreamed a post about my Brunswick Stew would get you so hot and bothered.

          • Jim Portugul

            While you are inviting people, maybe next year you will invite Corey Stewart for brunswick stew? And, until then, why don’t you write an article on why Dave Brat and Bob Goodlatte voted “nay” to HR 2266? Or, maybe why Wittman who at one time preached balanced budget amendment, now continues to spend like Caroline county? At least Dave Brat released a statement on his “nay” vote on HR2266 and his staff will gladly answer questions about his position. Wittman’s staff could be replaced with an answering machine.

            I am not hot and bothered. I just focus more on actions than words.

          • Susan Sili

            You have me confused with someone else but I am flattered by the continued attention on our event. I write most often (for the last 30 years)about local government issues and the General Assembly when it concerns those local issues, Caroline County and its history, architecture, tourism and historic preservation. Brat and Goodlatte don’t represent Caroline so you’ll have to look to someone else. .I have already written about my first hand experience (the best kind of experience)with Rob right here on Bearing Drift. I’ll post a link. You write like a guy who is the kid who is left out of the game and has his nose pressed against the glass wanting to be a part of the process but can’t get acceptance. send your address to my e-mail and I’ll add you to the list for events here.

  • MD Russ

    Looks like it was a great event, Susan. And many thanks for featuring a Virginia Wine tent. We are now the fifth largest producer of wine in the entire United States and winning many international awards. Virginia Wine contributes over three-quarters of a trillion dollars now to the economy of the Commonwealth.

    • Susan Sili

      Yes indeed and we were please to feature a new family owned business. Sassafras Shade Winery is a brand new business in Caroline and their wine is wonderful. They have two new varieties this year made from vintage heirloom apples.

  • Daniel Cortez

    It was the classiest conservative function of the year with the two most influential activists in Virginia, my dear friends Jeff and Susan Sili.

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