Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Stoneman and the Monk

Back in 2006, Greg Stone and I didn't much like each other. We really knew each other only in passing, and had our perceptions of each other, drawn only of a thin sliver of running the same circles, but never really having had the opportunity to speak to each other. When we held a Mass Meeting on a cold day in March of 2008, all of that was about to change.

As we joined to elect Glen Caroline as our Unit Chairman in that meeting, we both ended up on the same side of the room in a last moment fiasco by the "old guard" moments before Caroline made a prophetic statement that stays with me even today.

"I promise that under my leadership, you will never see this committee divide itself again."

True to his word, we set out to redefine the local Unit as an "activated" group. Noone would sit on this new Unit without some measure of demonstrated activity. As the McCain election cycle approached, we threw ourselves headlong into our new assignments.
What never registered (although I fully expect Glen knew) was that fighting alongside of each other in those trenches against a common enemy, a newfound respect for one another blossomed.

In all of this, I had come to know Greg well enough to know that he didn't really even like McCain...but in the heat of the campaign, he never showed that. Everytime I saw Greg Stone, his shoulder was in the wheel. He pushed for the McCain ticket with every bit of himself. He left nothing on the field. That paid off in a 3 point lead over our surrounding counties and peers. That number somehow got lost in the tidal wave of Obama. But make no mistake...our enemy came from as far away as Ohio, Columbia University in New York, and sent lawyers from nearly every state...to Virginia, the battleground. And we engaged them as a homegrown team. And we cut the loss in Loudoun County to 6 points. The Caroline Formula worked. But the competition threw a truck at us.

Later, in the 2009 cycle for McDonnell, we again hit those trenches and in a refreshing race where the Obama "Machine" didn't show up. I'm not sure whether it had been dissassembled after 2008, or if not enough of the parts survived to make the trip to Virginia. The SEIU showed up, but very little of the original machine did.
Greg and I, having history...good history..behind us, rolled up our sleeves and waded into the 2009 cycle. We worked well together, and I discovered that Greg was a very intelligent, reasoned guy who had a passion for good numbers over fudged ones, straight shooters on the Second Amendment, and common sense solutions that don't involve another Government growth cycle.

This whole story's point? Unity always wins. It gives you allies you didn't have. Those allies have valuable talents and skillsets. I cannot begin to impress the importance of unity in the local unit, or Statewide units. Glen Caroline has shown all of us..if you focus on the enemy and not each other, you win. It's a point that cannot be argued. The proof is right here in the heart of the 10th District's NUMBER ONE UNIT, as well as our representation by the NUMBER ONE UNIT CHAIR IN VIRGINIA for 2009.


G. stone said...

Mr Monk,thank you for the kind words.
You are correct, Glens arrival as chairman did indeed usher in order, discipline and purpose. It has been a pleasure working with you and our partners in the LCRC. You can not argue with success. This committee has been successful. It is my hope we keep it going. The next two years are going to require focus and hard work. Given the recent antics of this board, 2011 is going to turn out to be one very interesting year.

I owe you a Brown Ale or two.


The Bulletproof Monk said...

Stone, the very point I made was that we often miss powerful allies thru misdiagnosis and lazy intuition. I'm very happy that we've all turned that corner and now push in one direction. The results of the past two election cycles speak volumes about the positive results of bonding the individual talents into a durable product. It is an honor to serve with you and all of the great folks in that committee.

Joe Budzinski said...

Excellent post, Monk. I think we have all learned something over the past two years, the main thing being not to overlook those with whom we agree on the most important things. My views on who I can count on have definitely changed during that time.

The Bulletproof Monk said...

Thank you for your steadfast devotion to team. I know that you were lukewarm on some candidates, but there was never a hiccup in your support. I imagine that behind great and principled choices, we'll be just fine.

Tom the Redhunter said...

Greg Stone is indeed an outstanding individual and I am proud to be associated with him.