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Letter to the editor
Forsyth GOP is in fact involved in local issues
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Forsyth County News

In a recent [letter to the editor], Chris Goldston questioned why the Forsyth GOP has not taken a position on the proposed school millage rate. Unfortunately, Mr. Goldston does not understand how the Republican Party is organized, or how it is governed.

The Republican Party is organized from the grassroots, where the public elects leaders at the precinct level, as well as delegates who elect county-level leaders. All power to act on behalf of the Forsyth GOP resides in the County Committee, comprised of 27 precinct chairs and six executive officers. Each member of the County Committee has one vote, including the chairman.

The chairman has no authority to state a position of the Forsyth GOP unless authorized by the County Committee. Until the County Committee takes a position on a matter, I will not substitute my personal opinion under the guise of the party’s banner.

Even if the party does not issue a formal position, we spend considerable time discussing issues with elected officials to hold them accountable to the Republican platform. We have been much more effective in shaping decisions to conservative principles by working one-on-one with elected officials than by issuing bombastic statements to the press.

In his editorial, Mr. Goldston also evoked a matter on which I, in my private profession as an attorney, am representing a client as though I am acting on behalf of the Forsyth GOP. I have never used, and will never use, my party office to influence legal matters I represent.

In order to best represent my clients, I do not accept work on matters that contradict my conservative principles. The HUD 108 program meets this standard in that it facilitates loans of private dollars to private investors — no tax dollars and no bailout money is used. This loan is backed by Georgia’s annual allocation of economic development funds specifically allotted for that purpose, so in the event of a default, the allocation is reduced by the amount of the interest payment on the loan and no new taxes would have to be levied. This mechanism is similar to that used for SBA and VA loans.

Regardless of whether the local party takes an official position on a matter, it serves as an important forum for local issues. Our party and community are always made stronger by open discussion, and I will continue to work within the party to provide information so that we have a well-informed public.

Ethan Underwood

Chairman,
Forsyth County
Republican Party