Mike Thomas, First Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, has called for the resignation of GOP treasurer Bob FitzSimmonds, former aide to Ken Cuccinelli and currently chief deputy clerk of court in Prince William County, after inflammatory remarks made by FitzSimmonds earlier in the week about Muslim Americans (see Va. GOP treasurer is said to offer resignation after Facebook post on Muslims).
In a Facebook post Friday morning, Thomas, who is one of the most widely-respected Republicans in the Commonwealth, noted the responsibility of those in leadership who represent RPV:
Freedom of Religion is just as much a part of our Constitution as Freedom of Speech. What is missing here is responsibility. Any individual is entitled to express his or her opinions on a subject. I will defend their right to do so, even when I disagree with it. BUT, if the individual is an officer or leader of the Republican Party, they have a RESPONSIBILITY to the Party to conduct themselves in a way that is respectful of others and accurately reflects the values of the Party.
Regrettably, the RPV Treasurer has not, in my opinion, exercised this responsibility as an officer of RPV through repeated public comments that are at best not respectful of others and not reflective of the Party, and he should step down as Treasurer.
Thomas joins others in the party calling for FitzSimmonds’ resignation including Republican Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates William Howell.
Delegate David Ramadan (R-87th House), a Lebanese-born American businessman who represents Loudoun and Prince William counties, called for FitzSimmonds to step aside, writing on his website:
Bob FitzSimmonds does not represent the Republican Party of Virginia, Bob FitzSimmonds is not taken seriously by the Republican Party of Virginia; the Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia & the Speaker of the House had called earlier this year for Bob’s resignation.
Bob is stuck in an antiquated 18th-century mentality and if Bob digs deep enough into his roots, he will find his ancestors came to this country looking for religious freedom. Yes, we should thank every loyal patriot American -Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus or any other religions for their contributions to our United States, the greatest nation ever. Freedom of religion is every American’s constitutional right!
Conservative bloggers have also called for an end to the madness that is FitzSimmonds periodically making statements to hinder the GOP. Leading the pack was Justin Higgins who came out early (Virginia: Again, Bob FitzSimmonds Should Resign at JH Politics), Chris Beer (I Would Like Bob FitzSimmonds To Meet Someone. She Is My Daughter’s Babysitter and She Is Muslim at Mason Conservative), and Jim Hoeft (RPV treasurer FitzSimmonds trips up again on Facebook – updated at Bearing Drift).
John Scott, president of the Virginia Young Republicans, also called for FitzSimmonds to step down, writing on his Facebook page:
Sigh. By my count, this is the fourth time that Treasurer FitzSimmonds has made an unprompted comment and our detractors have used it against us to strengthen their narrative. Additionally, these comments may endanger the efforts of our Party and our candidates of reaching out to Muslim communities in the Commonwealth.
When I called for Bob’s resignation after his last unforced episode, my conservative colleagues chastised me because Bob “didn’t mean” to use the word he did and he “didn’t mean” for it to be offensive. The damage had already been done, however. Several pointed out then this isn’t the first time he’s put his foot in his mouth, and it was only a matter of time before he will do it again. Unfortunately that time has now approached, and therefore, am renewing my call for his resignation.
When will this nonsense stop?
After reports circulated Thursday afternoon that FitzSimmonds had decided to offer his resignation, the Bull Elephant blog reported he had told them no, he had no plans then or in the future to resign. To which a commenter wrote, “Then he should make plans … or have them made for him.”
JH Politics later reported that the Virginia Black Conservatives called on FitzSimmonds to resign (see Virginia Black Conservatives call on FitzSimmonds to resign):
The saga surrounding Republican Party of Virginia Treasurer Bob FitzSimmonds continues. Earlier today he pushed back against reports that he was going to resign after attention was called to his shameful anti-Muslim comments. It’s becoming increasingly clear that only the party’s State Central Committee can secure his removal by ousting him.
A group of black conservatives is joining the chorus of those requesting that FitzSimmonds be removed, should he not have a change of heart on his much warranted resignation.
Considering the controversy surrounding the now erroneous Washington Post report on his resignation, it looks like he will have to be forcibly removed. We will see if our party’s governing body has the spine to remove a man whose idiotic statements have become a detriment to our image and our efforts.
Even as the calls increase for FitzSimmonds to go, nothing has been heard from RPV Chairman Pat Mullins. Earlier this year, FitzSimmonds was able to wait it out and the uproar died down and went away. Is the same going to happen this time?