Fredericksburg Va Patriots

We Can't All Be Washingtons, But We Can All Be Patriots!

My name is Les Gabriel, and I am running as a candidate for Chairman of the Fredericksburg Patriots.  I’ve been a member over 11 years, longer than anyone else and also the longest serving Board member.

Some might think that having served on the Board for so long that I would share the blame for any shortcomings as well as sharing in the credit for the good we have done.  I do take responsibility for the votes I cast, but I was not always on the prevailing side.  I will spell out below what I would like to accomplish.  Most of these are things I have stood for all along, and have presented to the Board.  If you agree with my approaches, I would be happy to work with you to see them become reality.

As Chairman, I would be open to ideas, projects and suggestions that further our mission and are consistent with our Core Principles, whether those ideas come from the Board, the voting members, or the general membership.

Before getting to my agenda, just a few words about my background, as many of you know me only from my roles in the Patriots.  My activist life only started a little over 30  years ago when I retired from the military and could more freely voice my views.  My conservatism goes back even further.  I was 6 months or one Constitutional Amendment short of being able to vote for Barry Goldwater.  I am a conservative, and do not need to be hyphenated  social-, fiscal-, political-, etc.  I am all of those and more.

In 1988, I moved back to Virginia to PW County and was a founding member of the PW Family Alliance (affiliate of the Family Foundation of Virginia) and the PW Taxpayer Alliance.  I worked with Scott Lingamfelter, Denny Daugherty, and Bob Fitzsimmonds, names that might be familiar to some of you.  During the 2002 Sales Tax Referendum fight, I was the PW rep to the NOVA coalition fighting for a “no” vote.  This grassroots coalition led by people like Ken Cuccinelli, Art Purves, and Peter Ferrara won in Northern Virginia against an establishment elite from both parties, the business community, big money, and the media.  If conservatives wrote textbooks, this fight between the grassroots and the establishment would be example number 1 of how principles can overcome power.

In 2004, I moved to Stafford County and worked with the only grassroots conseervative organization active at the time, which was another affiliate of the Family Foundation.  I did work with Russ Moulton and later Eric Herr as they led the 1st District Republican Committee, and even ran for Chair myself in 2008.

I joined the Fredericksburg Patriots in June 2009 just months after it was started as a meetup group meeting at a coffee shop near the Fredericksburg train station.  Scott and Virginia Weiss were the first leaders followed by people like Wayne Winslow and Dave Van Allen.  I have served as legislative chair and most recently as event chair.  I have been able to get some notable speakers to our group, including Loren Spivak and Tim Hannigan.  

The following are my priorities for enhancing the image and the effectiveness of the FVP if elected.

  1. Reviewing the membership rolls so that they are more useful in getting out information to our members, especially on local meetings and candidates.  Of the 700+ members on the rolls today, we have up-to-date information on less than half.  There are duplicates, at least one person who is deceased, some who have asked to be removed from membership, and an unknown number who have changed their physical address, phone number, or email.  I proposed a by-law change to the Board a ago year, but it has not yet been put on the agenda for a vote by the general membership.  I would put this near the top of my list.
  2. I would try to get more participation at our monthly meetings by putting aside time for members to bring forth ideas, suggestions, and questions.  As a grassroots organization, we should be more bottoms-up than top-down.  Board member reports would be for the most part written handouts.  Any invited candidates would be given a reasonable but fixed time and would have to answer questions for at least the amount of time given.  They would also be required to give out their phone number so that members could contact them.  Any candidate who is too busy to answer a phone call from a citizen is someone I am too busy to give my time to.
  3. The FVP should be engaged in activities that enhance our image in the community and help counter the narrative of some that we are “right-wing extremists”  It would be a goal to obtain space for a once-a-month op-ed in the FLS.
  4. We should seek out opportunities to confront ideas that run opposite to our ideals.  We should not shirk from engaging in debates or forums with those who support “Universal Health Care” or other socialist schemes.  
  5. I would institute specific fund-raising activities, including passing the hat at monthly meetings, to meet specific projects, such as buying pocket Constitutions and other educational materials to give away to the parents of children in the community.  Eventually, I would like to offer scholarships based on patriotic essays as we did 9 years ago.
  6. In addition to monthly op-eds mentioned above, I would work with editors at the FLS so that they would elicit our comments on local news stories.  I would welcome the introduction of Resolutions at our meetings and the forwarding of any passed Resolutions in a Press Release.
  7. We should encourage our members to use our web site and our FACEBOOK page.  Most of the discussions and blog posts on our web site 7 or 8 years old.  This should be a way that members share their successes in making positive changes in our community.  I would especially encourage members to share resources that they find useful in gaining insights relevant to our fight for liberty.  These resources might be books, movies, web sites, FB pages, among others.
  8. Some have expressed concerns about the process and the implementation of the endorsement of candidates as set forth in our by-laws.  I was part of the 18 month process that took place in 2011-2012 that formed the basis for how the by-laws now read.  There obviously was a lot of disagreement on this issue and it resulted in some people leaving and not coming back.  Probably no one was 100% satisfied with the eventual compromises.  Implementing those procedures over the past 8 years have sometimes resulted in additional friction.  It is time we revisited this topic to see if we are where we want to be or if there is a new consensus.  
  9. We should have a fun, family event at least once a year.
  10. These should be enough to get you thinking about whether you think such an agenda would be moving in the right direction for your vision of our group for the next two years.     .
  11. Call me at 703-919-4725 or email at with comments/questions

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Our Monthly Meeting

Our scheduled monthly membership meetings are held on the 4th Sunday of each month
Time: 2pm
The Salem Church Branch of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library
2607 Salem Church Road
Fredericksburg, VA 22407

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