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Daily Devotions


If you support our national security issues, you may love and appreciate the United States of America, our Constitution with its’ freedoms, and our American flag.

If you support and practice our fiscal issues, you may value worldly possessions.

If you support and value our social issues, you may love Judeo-Christian values.

If you support and practice all these values, that is all good; an insignia of “Wisdom” . - Oscar Y. Harward

Friday, January 18, 2013


A “reprint” of March 27, 2006 

March 27, 2006 


At the age of eight years old, I became interested in partisan politics. A few things Dad always provided included a stay at home mother and six kids with plenty of good food, a roof over our heads, warm clothes, indoor plumbing including a bathroom, a good radio, and the Charlotte Observer. With the radio, no TV, and the newspaper, I could listen to and read the news. In 1952, I listened to the GOP National Convention and heard what I heard from and about General Dwight D. Eisenhower. It was at that time when Republicanism became implanted as a part of my life to come. 


In 1965, Marshville’s Irvin Griffin and I went to the UC Board of Elections to register and vote. In those days, you had to be twenty one years old. In the 1966 Primary Election and General Election, I was privileged to volunteer and work at the Marshville Precinct on election days. 


It was September 1976 when I attended my very first official Union County GOP Executive Committee meeting which was moderated by Attorney and UC GOP Chairman Don Perry at the Monroe Chamber of Commerce. Earlier along the way, I volunteered on Jesse Helms’ original campaign in 1972 and all of his following campaigns. It was an honor learning and working on other political campaigns with some very professional campaign managers. Few of the locals may not know that Governor Ronald Reagan won his first Presidential Primary right here in North Carolina in 1976. President Gerald Ford won the 1976 Republican Party nomination; only to be defeated by former Governor Jimmy Carter in the General Election. Ronald Reagan went on to become the GOP nominee, was elected President in 1980, and reelected in 1984; to become one of the most popular and most successful presidents in US history. Roger Austin was elected UC GOP Chairman in 1977 and I as GOP Secretary in 1977. I was then elected Chairman in 1979. 


Marshville’s Roger Austin was our GOP nominee for US Congress in 1978. Actress Elizabeth Taylor visited our Eighth Congressional District on behalf of Roger Austin for Congress. I served as “Austin for Congress” Chairman in the fall of 1978. Talking with Roger Austin recently, he reminded me of my volunteering for GOP Gubernatorial nominee Jim Gardner in 1968. 


Until much more recent years, Union County Republicans voted sparingly in primary elections which usually allowed the activist to choose our GOP nominees. Then and now on General Election days, the registered Republicans turn out massively voting for GOP nominees. 


Even back then, we knew we had a message the massive numbers would welcome if they could just hear us. Some of this changed with the addition of Reporter Gene Stowe of the Union Observer, a change in the Managing Editor at the EJ, and the purchase of Jim “The Fox” Reddish of WIXE. All of these changes allowed avenues for Conservative Republicans to communicate through the media to the citizens of Union County. 


In the early days, Democrats outnumbered Republicans in registration by more than ten to one. Oh, how times have changed since the old days. The local Democrats use to joke about the UC GOP was to hold our county conventions in a telephone booth; not anymore! 


We must pay tribute to some of the local folks who freely gave so much and were always there when the GOP called. A short list includes Don and Edie Perry, the late Boyd Keziah, the late Col. Paul Wrenn, who personally funded a political mailer one year, Janet and Tommy Thompson, the late John and Angie Davis, Dick and Virginia Pierce, Virginia Carpenter, Earle and Shirley Goode, Gwen and the late Al Pittman, the late Wriston Green and his daughter Candace, Charles and Doris Greene, Darren Greene, Donnie and Melvin Ledbetter, Gaston and Hazel Dutton, Roger and Beverly Austin, Paul and Peggy Dvorak, Lula and David Moore, Carolyn McCorkle, the late Tom and Georgia Winchester, Francis and Mitchell Arant. It was Mitchell Arant who provided us the idea in 1980 which led to the election of Senator John East,  the late Hazel Giles and family, Rebecca and the late Joe Medlin, Jim and the late Jake Plyler, both who were always there for financial resources as needed, and Jim and Shirley Bossbach. Shirley Bossbach probably personally registered more Republicans than any others, ever.  We must remember John W. Newman and his late wife Idella, Clayton Loflin, Jim Baucom who provided window space for advertising at Unionville Grocery, Donnie and Jane Baucom, Mike Hogan, Lynne Hayes, Bill Davis, Fern Shubert, Curtis and Audrey Blackwood, Eddie Goodall,  Irene Brown, the late Don and Kathy Griffin, Mike Kloc, Ruby and the late Bill Poole, Louise and the late John Mullis, the late Mary Crowell, John and Jeannette Haynes, John Feezer, and Vance Benton who always served as our cheerleader. We must remember the late Olis and Carolyn Wynn who lived on a fixed income but always gave at least one dollar for any fundraising and always worked within their own neighborhood to get out the vote for GOP nominees, and a list too long to list. I just hope each of you will forgive me for all omissions and/or corrections in failing to personally mention so many important individuals along the way who made a positive difference in the UC GOP. 


In 1981, Shirley Bossbach was elected UC GOP Chairman, and then reelected in 1983. Mrs. Bossbach led our local GOP nominees in 1984 which were headed by President Ronald Reagan for reelection, Sen. Jesse Helms’ reelection for US Senate, and Congressman Jim Martin as our nominee for NC Governor. On the local level, the GOP commission nominees were headed by Attorney Larry Harrington and New Salem’s Bill Davis for Union County Commissioners. President Reagan won reelection, as did Sen. Helms for US Senate. Congressman Jim Martin became the second Republican Governor in modern history. Bill Davis and Larry Harrington were the first elected Republican UC Commissioners in modern history. 


It was in the early to mid 1980’s when the voter registration started to change and make a real difference. Under other county leaders such as John W. Newman, Shirley Bossbach, Clayton Loflin, and others, voter registration of Republican voters started to outnumber Democrats, and it grew even wider as time moved forward. 


Clayton Loflin was elected UC GOP Chairman in March 1985. Larry Harrington as UC Commissioner was the one who made the GOP click for voters in Union County. Commissioner Harrington with the assistance of Commissioner Bill Davis and Democrat commissioners corrected a few wrongs within our local government, and working with the Democrat majority, guided the Board to bring our citizens the then new Union Memorial Hospital, started the development of the now countywide EMS which at the time was all ambulances with first aid training operated by the City of Monroe. We must thank the City of Monroe as it was the City of Monroe taxpayers, if I correctly remember, who funded almost the entire earlier system. Beyond that, volunteers in some three VFDs did fund, supply, and operate ambulance services with some limited medical training. These somewhat rural volunteers must be remembered and thanked for their personal time and money to train, supply, and operate these volunteer ambulance services.


Politically speaking, most of all, Larry Harrington moved the Democrat majority of the Board to more adequately fund our local educational system, yet controlling growth in taxes. That is when the voters of UC then started voting Republican consistently. 


In 1990, as I remember, Parker Mills won a seat on the UC Commission. In the successive budget years, Commissioner Mills voted for tax increases of 14%, 10%, and 12%. In his fourth year, Commissioner Loflin gained the support of a majority to stop the growth at 0% or 66 cents per $100.00 valuation. With Mills as a UC County Commissioner representative on the UC Fireman’s Association, it was alleged that while the Fireman’s Association would present a proposal to Commissioner Mills for presentation to the entire UC Commission. Commissioner Parker Mills would refuse to even present the volunteer firemen’s proposal to all commissioners for the full Boards’ consideration. The issue at hand for the volunteer firemen was to construct a Fireman’s Training Tower. UC community construction volunteers later built the Training Tower at very little expense to the taxpayers.


In 1994, a small group of us were working behind the scenes with some UC Commissioners and with a “very large group” of Union Memorial Hospital employees who wanted a change in their UMH management leadership. These UMH employees had vented their justifiable reasons for change. With all working together and winning three UC Commissioners, we were able to obtain this objective. What a positive difference we have seen with this change. Under the old management, UC taxpayers were paying some $50,000 annually to the Union Memorial Hospital mortgage building payments. Under the change in leadership at Union Regional Medical Center, now renamed Carolina Medical Center-Union, the turnaround was the building mortgage payments were paid by CMC-Union and the taxpayers immediately started receiving in excess of over $1,000,000 annually. It was UC Commissioner Chairman Parker Mills and Commissioner Paul Standridge who fought this change and these two who fought for the group “Keep Health Care Local” under Union Memorial Hospital and the old hospital management. Commissioner Mills was soundly defeated for his reelection in the following GOP Primary. 


In the last four years, UC Commissioners Stone, Sexton, and then Standridge who did not run for reelection in 2004 was replaced by Roger Lane. It seems to me this is the time when these commissioners ideology started to go astray to the left. Just two to three months ago, our UC Finance Officer presented a plan as to how solid our financial solid in UC was. No mention was said about the fact that our Commissioners Stone and Sexton had led the way earlier and passed a twenty percent tax increase along to Union County taxpayers. In one year, taxpayers were faced with a local 20% tax increase. I ask either of these three “tax and spend” commissioners as to what effort either of you did to save the higher paying manufacturing jobs of Square D, Pennsylvania House, Schrader Automotive, or anyone else? Did the manufacturing jobs leave because of the tax increases? Why did these three commissioners insult the local management of Yale Security for making an honest mistake? Why could you not consider these errors were as presented by management to be pure honest accounting mistakes? With that attitude and these excessive huge tax increases, is there any other reason for these higher paying manufacturing jobs and others to leave Union County and be relocated elsewhere? How many other manufacturing jobs in UC are currently considering leaving? How many? When will these “tax and spend” commissioners recognize this? 


Union County citizens have some certain assets which should not be up for sale. One is educating our children. It seems to me these commissioners, who control the tax monies, have been cheating the students at Union Academy. I ask any elected board member to truly identify the Monroe School System in which Union Academy has been funded under. There is no Monroe School System as it was merged into the Union County School Board system many years ago.


Union County has only one school district. Union Academy students should have always been funded equally as the Union County Board of Education students were. 


A second asset which should not be for sale is our local hospital (Carolina Medical Center-Union. Is it a fact, that within the last one year to eighteen months, one of these aforementioned elected commissioners and/or the County Manager did an inquiry about selling our local hospital? After finding our hospital could probably not be reasonably sold as it is under an additional eighteen year lease, did the question then become; “can we tax it”? 


Under the Stone – Sexton session along with either Standridge or Lane on the UC Commission, their fix was to insult our citizens and dismiss all current board members, then replace with ones whom these commissioners believed would support them on their own personal and political agendas. Remember the Board of Adjustments and remember the Planning Board? 


In the last few years, it seems something has gone wrong within the Republican Party leadership. I have been criticized and/or chastised within the UC GOP leadership for my endorsing of Democrat Monroe City Councilman Bobby Kilgore for Mayor in a non-partisan election. In my October 2005 endorsement, I said “Bobby Kilgore was a young policeman rising to become Monroe Chief of Police, a member of Monroe Civitan Club being chosen as Citizen of the Year, an Executive of the Year as the Bicentennial Chapter of Professional Secretaries International, a Man of the Year for Union County, and the list goes on. Rotary International, Masonic Lodge #244, Deacon/Trustee/Sunday School Class President at Oakland Baptist Church, Member-Library Foundation, NC Governor’s Crime Commission, Habitat For Humanity Nurture Committee, Union County CrimeStoppers, and there is even more, a list too long to mention. Bobby Kilgore has now served on the Monroe City Council for eight (8) years as Councilman. Bobby Kilgore is now asking for your vote to become Mayor for the City of Monroe”. 


I continued “I have considered Bobby Kilgore to be a very good personal friend. Bobby Kilgore is one you can always talk to about any issue. What a choice for the citizens of Monroe in electing Bobby Kilgore as your Mayor. What a victory having Bobby Kilgore as Monroe Mayor for the people and the entire surrounding area”. 


On November 2005 election day, Bobby Kilgore was elected by more than three to one over his opponent who was a registered Republican. This opponent, Paul Standridge, who just before the 2005 municipal election had an editorial printed in the local newspaper(s) and who had to recall the editorial and apologize for some of his statements which were less than accurate. 


It was this same opponent, Paul Standridge, who just recently called on the UC Commissioners to provide the UC employees a “Veterans Day” holiday. UC Commissioner Standridge is one UC Commissioner who voted to take away the “Veterans Day” holiday and to make it an “optional” holiday. Then Commissioner Standridge, along with Commissioners Richard Stone and Hughie Sexton, then voted just a few months ago to totally eliminate the “Veterans Day” as a holiday at all. 


Commission Chairman Standridge some two years ago said he did not remember he voted to provide “lifetime health insurance benefits” to UC Commissioners at taxpayers’ expense. Standridge’s personal signature was affixed about two inches from that portion of the UC Budget document. After a political uprising, “lifetime health insurance benefits” at taxpayers’ expense was reversed. Bobby Kilgore is an honorable man. I stand by my October 2005 endorsement. 


During the November 2005 UC Executive Committee meeting, the UC GOP Chairman has said that if you take the very “worse” of any registered Republican, they would be better than the very “best” of any registered Democrat. This, I do not believe. GOP Chairman McCollum should apologize and/or resign for such a radical and irrational statement. While I may have problems with many Democrats on Capitol Hill, there are many, many other very good people registered as Democrats around us right here in Union County and all over America. I am proud to associate with many of these Judeo Christian Conservatives regardless as to their political partisan affiliation. Political registration does not alone determine the character of any person. Again, I believe the GOP Chairman should apologize for that statement and/or resign as Chairman. Neither the GOP nor anyone else needs that technique of leadership. The disappointment is that a few others in the leadership of our Republican Party echo that same message. It seems to me that a few in leadership believe the GOP as a social club and anything goes. I believe the real GOP to be a group of individuals working together with a common goal to “practice and live by ideas of principle”; the GOP Plan of Organization and the GOP Platform which our party stands for. 


In the Republican Party which I have worked now for forty years, we practiced by encouraging any and all citizens to get involved in, participate in, and vote for our candidates based on “political policies, values, and integrity” which the Republican Party “political policies, values, and integrity” stood for and supported.  I am proud to have joined in an effort to participate in a minor part of “all” of Senator Jesse Helms’ winning campaigns, three President for Ronald Reagan, one for US Senate John East, one for US Senate “Lauch” Faircloth, and many, many others winning local elections along the way. We, in the UC GOP, have been blessed with political leaders such as John W. Newman and Shirley Bossbach to practice purity in political policies while teaching values and integrity. These two politicos are, among others, shining stars on morality in UC. 


Over the years, our old practice of persuasion has worked pretty well in Union County.  While I am now disabled, very much less mobile and unable to participate as I once did, I am still alive and making every effort to make America a stronger country based on “political policies, values, and integrity”.  These “values” are based in our Bible, our Constitution, and our GOP Platform. 


Over the years, we have climbed the mountain. We have seen what President Reagan said as “the dawning of a shining city”. As we move forward, we must pursue to achieve even brighter days, months, and years for the succeeding generations to come. To obtain even greater heights, we must promote the old time Judeo-Christian, Conservative, Republican values so many worked so hard for all to reach this level. 


Remember Plato, “In a Democratic society the price wise men pay for neglecting politics is to be ruled by unwise men.” 


God Bless America! 


Respectfully submitted, 


Oscar Y. Harward

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