All my criticisms of LEC were just confirmed.

Update: I just learned of a small detail I got wrong in my account. Although we had discussed the need to make a donation, we actually didn’t write a check; we brought cash. It doesn’t help with the insinuation that there was some plot involving the cancelled check. Sorry about that, carry on. -Epl

I honestly did not think I would have to write this post.

True story: I was thrown out of the “Loudoun Environmental Council” Family Event Pig Roast Fundraiser.

This is what the invitation says:

Family Event Pig Roast
Saturday, April 09, 2011 2PM til ???
Hosted by Loudoun Environmental Council

703 xxx xxxx
xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxx
Hamilton, VA 20158

Please join us for a Pig Roast on Saturday, April 9, 2011 from 2:00PM to 7:00PM
Kids welcome, there will be activities, food, and a sundae bar.
Rain or Shine
Donation not required but appreciated
We are raising funds for the continued fight against the CBPO and for rational environmental goals.
This will be a fun day to thank you for your support in the past and your support in the future.
No speeches, just fun
Barbecue Whole Pig, Beans, Potato Salad, Coleslaw
Hot Dogs and a Sundae bar for little kids and big kids.
Adult and kids beverages provided
Country casual

Look, obviously I’ve been very critical of LEC, because they don’t appear to be what they say they are: non-partisan and concerned about clean water. I have explained why that’s what I think, as clearly and as transparently as I can. I’ve also explained that I have a lot of questions about the CBPO and whether it’s the best solution for protecting our streams. I don’t know what LEC means by the phrase “rational environmental goals,” but I’m trying to find out. For all of these reasons, on Saturday it really seemed like it would be a good idea to see if LEC was more complicated than I thought.

So, we wrote a check decided on a donation amount and drove down there. Why would I donate to an organization I’m so critical of? I don’t know – unsubstantiated hope? I was prepared to be disappointed, but when you go to a fundraiser at someone’s house that’s the right thing to do. I’m sorry if that offends anyone.

This part, you must admit, is pretty awesome: On the way over, my cynical husband wanted to know where we should go get lunch after they kick us out. I thought that was hilarious! That’s the last thing anyone would do! No, I mean it really is. Because that would be the absolute worst way to handle criticism imaginable. No one would be that stupid! And now I can’t get over how stupid I feel to have so sincerely believed this.

The first indication?

Anyway, at the entrance to the driveway is this jumbo pig, only with a sign that says something about the “Dulles Area Tea Party.” Ok, that’s not a surprise. We knew that’s part of LEC.

We approach the patio where the party’s going on, looking for people we know, when boy howdy, I have never seen such an animated engagement in conversation by two people in my life. I do hope that those reading this understand that we know and have some affection for these people. This can happen when you have human contact. So when I say that the manner in which Kristen Kalina made the distance between herself and us disappear reminds me of a certain rooster I have when I approach “his” yard, I do not think she will take it the wrong way. Ditto for the way that Tom Seeman so earnestly took up a position on our left, where he was shortly after joined by Dean Settle, whom I have been given to understand was carrying a concealed weapon, which I don’t doubt one bit.

I felt that the conversation dragged a bit once Dean started talking about some people he had beaten up on a picket line once, but that was ok because then Jonathan tapped me on the shoulder to let me know that Sally Mann – whose patio we weren’t quite on – wanted to talk to me. This part is pretty awesome, too – because I was already shaking her hand saying “Sally! It’s nice to meet you!” when I learned that she was throwing us off her property. Awkward. “You have said mean things about me on blogs that aren’t true, so I’m going to have to ask you to leave,” said Sally Mann, twice, because she said it to my husband by mistake the first time.

What are these mean things? We do not know. The only example I could get out of Sally is that there is a “not very flattering” photo of her in the set from the LEC rally in the government building, in a post that doesn’t even include her name. It remains a mystery. We left.

Since it was announced publicly that some LCRC candidates would be present, and we had seen only LCRC candidates and activists while we were there, I had to wonder; I called Malcolm Baldwin to ask if he had been invited. He hadn’t heard anything about it, but told me “I’m sorry to have missed it, and to have missed seeing my friend Sally Mann.”

It’s disappointing, it’s not really what I expected to see, but the conclusion I have to reach is that this was a private LCRC party, and that is the reason we were thrown out.

Here’s a suggestion that others may find helpful: If you think someone is unfairly criticizing your organization, what you really want to do is demonstrate that their criticisms are unfounded (Hint: This only works if they are actually unfounded). So, if you think the things I’ve suggested about LEC are wrong – say, that it was created to leverage the CBPO issue to help the LCRC in the 2011 election – then show me why I’m wrong. Definitely don’t do what Sally Mann did, which had exactly the opposite effect. What I experienced at her house has confirmed and extended every criticism I’ve raised about LEC.

106 thoughts on “All my criticisms of LEC were just confirmed.

  1. Alex Santana

    I have to say, this was s delightful event on private property by invitation with a specific purpose. When you post personal and hateful attacks against individuals as well as a group that they wish to identify with, it is naturally unlikely that you will not be welcome at a private home. Would you go to fundraisers for Alliance Defense Fund, American Family Association American Vision, Christian Action Network, Concerned Women for America, Family Research Council, Family Research Institute, Focus on the Family, Summit Ministries, Traditional Values Coalition to support them. If you are anti-LEC, why would you go to disturb the peace? Oh, just so you can wein.

  2. BlackOut

    Alex, you have identified one of the issues. This extension of the LCRC, the LEC, DOES consider itself a PRIVATE party.

    Seems the marching orders are we’ll give you an invitation (see image on this post) and when you arrive we will judge your worthiness with security guards. It can’t be defended. The LEC has NOTHING to do with the environment. It should be called the Loudoun Elite Council.

  3. George Thomson

    As an independent observer, the author of this article lacks any credibility and in my opinion sounds like one of those environmental radical extremist wackos like the PEC – these types of individuals are reckless and will do anything in the name of thier cause. You know the type, this author would probably go to an event to protest and throw chicken blood at innocent people, take off their clothes and run around naked while shouting rude profanities and other irrational crazed behavior because they want to get attention at all costs even if it means harming innocent people.

    If these wackos showed up at my event I sure hope they can run fast because I would consider their presence a threat to the safey and wellbeing of every individual present and my Winchester would escort them out the door.

  4. Loudoun Patriot

    Rooster! Can’t I at least be just a mad hen? ;-) You guys know that I always enjoy talking to you and to those reading this I am being sincere. Jonathan has always been a kind soul, regardless of our opposite view of the issues. But you also know I’m not one to hide the ball on topics of mutual interest. Maybe I should take up speed walking as a new exercise, I sure could use some exercise! Good seeing you. KK

  5. I love Loudon

    LECVA is an exceptional, ethical and highly regarded organization dedicated to providing sound environmental solutions. LECVA is not only listening but also taking action and not driven by lining the pockets of the rich.

    Did the author of the article leave the “check” if he is so sincere? I doubt it.

  6. Epluribusunum Post author

    Oh no, there is a huge difference between a mad hen and a vigilant rooster defending his flock. Don’t sell yourself short here ;) It was said with some measure of admiration – when I said please don’t take it the wrong way, that’s what I meant. It was the spectacle of the flock of chickens in the background, nervously looking around, that really nailed it. “Oh, crap. The Weintraubs are gonna see that there’s nobody here but Republicans.”

    It was really not what I expected to see. I thought there would be a more diverse crowd. I didn’t expect LEC = LCRC to be so literal.

    It was good to see you, too, despite the setting. Hope to talk soon.

  7. Epluribusunum Post author

    Alex, can you please provide an example of a “personal and hateful attack” on anyone? She has been invited to provide one herself, by the way. She is not banned here.

    As I’ve said over and over, I have concerns about the CBPO and I’m not lobbying for it. If LEC has better solutions to offer, and if LEC is what it claims to be, why wouldn’t I end up supporting it once I understood the truth? Why don’t you show me that my criticisms of LEC are groundless?

    And why are you equating LEC with a list of anti-civil rights organizations, some of which are hate groups? What are you saying?

  8. Epluribusunum Post author

    You don’t seem to understand. If we had been welcomed as skeptics who could be convinced that our criticisms of LEC are unfounded – as the LEC people who attended the Sustainable Loudoun summer party were welcomed – we would have indeed made a donation, if only as a courtesy. I think that’s the right thing to do in that circumstance.

  9. BlackOut

    George, as irrational as your fears are, I believe that is why security guards with concealed weapons were protecting the elite. The perimeter was secure even if the crazed intruders dressed as the innocent attempted to attend were not going to get in. The women and children were protected.

    I am still curious to hear if others were repelled from entry. I sure hope it wasn’t just the Weintraubs as that looks very suspect.

    ILL, even if the dangerous repelled intruders had a check, it sure would have looked bad to take the money and then kick them out of the event. Maybe they could have gotten a biscuit with some barbeque on it from the back door to justify the cash acquisition. Additionally, what self righteous “environmental” group would not want support from all views on the environment? I know the answer and it’s because the LEC has NOTHING to do with the environment. I can’t think of any other reason that “environmentalists” would not be allowed to join.

  10. Epluribusunum Post author

    I can’t either, and I expected that even if all of my worst suspicions were correct, they would at least make an attempt to have it appear otherwise.

    In contrast, Sally Mann is a member of the Sustainable Loudoun listserv, and when she expresses her views on the CBPO there, people – including myself at times – converse with her very respectfully. She could have extended the invitation to the other people on the list, but didn’t. It’s a very good question. You would think that would be exactly the group of people an organization such as LEC would want to reach out to.

  11. Eric the 1/2 troll

    I think I sense a new career path for Counselor Mann. Fund raising for a cause she claims no one gets paid to promote.

  12. Jonathan

    Wow! The fourth commenter reaches for his Winchester. I think that’s a record. Typically we have to wade through a bunch of chaff before the “George Thomson’s” of the world reach for their guns. I don’t know if this should be called progress or just efficiency. Thanks George. You made my day.

  13. Monkey Business in the Piedmont

    Folks, what this is all really about is the extremist radical wackos are threatened by LEC. Clearly “BO”, the “Troll” and “Epluribus” above are all the wacko extremist radical enviro-warrior terrorists – the crazies that go around trying to bomb electric plants and chain themselves to prevent mining because they believe barbaric tactics are environmentalism. These are the same wackos that believe in bogus conservation easments to the tune of billions of dollars and because of them our children are given $30 million dollars less to Virginia schools.

    Be afraid wacko enviro-radicals! because the LEC are true environmentalists and the bleeding of Virginia tax dollars on fraudulent conservation groups is going stop. Corruption is being exposed all over the piedmont in the counties, in the supervisor’s offices, in the zoning offices and most of all with the land trusts that control billions of dollars.

    LEC believes in transparency, rational environmentalism and protecting conservation values in Loudon in an ethical manner and this mission strikes fear in the “dark side” because it is foreign to their unethical dubias ways.

  14. Ref

    Wow, Mr. Thomson. You sound like a maniac.

    These two phrases are contradictory:

    “As an independent observer…”
    “…environmental radical extremist wackos like the PEC”

    Allright, put it all out there sir. You may not agree with the goals of PEC, but to paint them as “radical extremist wackos” is not at all aligned with reality. The staff at PEC are, believe it or not, normal human beings with widely ranging political perspectives. Likewise for their donors. They operate above the table. They provide their yearly donors list free of charge if you just ask them. This isn’t the ELF we’re talking about. If there’s a shadowy front group posing as environmentalists while consistently attempting to obscure their real goals, it’s the LEC.

  15. Ref

    Can you please provide a link or otherwise direct me to some of LEC’s “environmental solutions”? Simply opposing the CBPO is not a solution in and of itself.

    Also, helpful hint: if you love Loudoun so much, you should at least care enough to spell it correctly.

  16. Ref

    If this is satire, bravo. You have summoned my first belly laugh of the day.

    Why can’t any of you LEC folks spell Loudoun correctly?

  17. Barbara Munsey

    David, I’m glad that on your other thread about the LEC you link to the previous threads about LEC (a bit obsessive, it seems) which detail the direct funding connections between PEC and the Loudoun Clean Streams Coalition, both of which will be at an event at the Unitarian Church (tax exempt) in Sterling this Sunday, to promote support of the CBPO (politically advocate).

    Please tell me if the following is true: when you and Jonathan were asked to leave by the property owner, did Jonathan really suggest she call the Sheriff to enforce that, after which you suggested that the two of you would simply leave?

    I don’t think it was prescience on Jonathan’s part to ask where you would eat “after you were thrown out”.

    Was he sad that you weren’t able to be thrown out by uniformed armed public safety officials, which may therefore explain the need to claim a “rumor” of armed guards?

    The story, as one commenter notes, is how upset your political side is by the opposition.

    What a good story it would be now if the hostess HAD called the police, eh?

  18. Ref

    Haha. The creative spelling would suggest as much. But the failure to call LI “LIar!” would be a significant deviation from his MO.

    Is that you, Ken Reede?

  19. Eric the 1/2 wacko extremist radical enviro-warrior terrorist

    Alas, Monkey, I can not adopt this non de plume – it is simply too long….

  20. Barbara Munsey

    David, “correct” and “true” are two different things, as I’m sure a wordsmith like yourself is aware.

    What is correct, and what is true?

    Did Jonathan reference the Sheriff in any way, and in what context?

  21. BlackOut

    Barbara, maybe this will take a little horse trading. Why don’t you offer up your source in return for David’s response?

  22. Barbara Munsey

    BlackOut, in light of a careful re-reading of David’s post, it apears he was in conversation with Kristen, Tom and Dean when “Jonathan tapped me on the shoulder to let me know that Sally Mann – whose patio we weren’t quite on – wanted to talk to me.”

    IOW, perhaps David did not directly witness some of Jonathan’s other conversations, because he (David) was talking to three other people, and therefore does not wish to comment on or attempt to provide context to something he did not personally witness?

    That seems reasonable, just as “not correct” seems somewhat cryptic. At least IMO.

  23. Epluribusunum Post author

    Monkey, do I understand you to be saying that you think I engage in some sort of terrorist activity? If you don’t mind my asking, do you live in Loudoun? (The name has two ‘u’s, by the way.) Do you know anything about Loudoun politics? LOL.

  24. Epluribusunum Post author

    That’s ok, BO. My previous comment as David was made from a mobile device, and I failed to use the same word.

    Barbara – no, that is not true. I’m sorry that misrepresentation was made to you. Was it “S.” who made it?

  25. Barbara Munsey

    As I noted there, it appears Jonathan did reference something about the Sheriff, in that you said he thought she was “chomping at the bit” to call.

    In light of that, I can see how it was neither correct nor true of me to ask if Jonathan had suggested it to the hostess, when in fact from your remarks there it appears it was a (perhaps rhetorical) concern he expressed to you, in what grammatical form I don’t know.

    What excatly did he say about the Sheriff, and to whom?

  26. Sorry Jeffrey

    They certainly were on private property and suggest they were not quite on the patio. The hope to mislead the reader is repugnant and telling. It was clear this was a fundraiser for the LEC that the couple does not support. I would not be surprised to find the duo crashing funerals assaulting the mourners— then they could pretend they are outraged when asked to leave in hopes of getting attention. The contrived outrage is a joke and transparent. Shame on you. The conduct is in very bad taste unlike the great food at the pig roast. By the way, I sure am an Independent.

  27. Tom Seeman

    Good grief! I see Jonathan and David approaching and I followed my friend Kristen out to meet you, where we all had a nice chat. I never though of myself as “taking up a position” anywhere. Kristen and I had no idea “S.” was going to come over and ask you to leave, and we bowed out when that happened.

    But no worries. It is good that we can be friendly with one another. As I mentioned at the time, although we are on opposite sites of almost all issues, we are in the same business.

  28. Liz Miller

    When an event is posted on a website, location, time, and date, and the words “food , drink, and fun for all..” and is hosted by an organization supposedly created to educate the public, one would reasonably expect that the public would be allowed in, even if the event were being held at a private home (which the invitation doesn’t mention, not that that is an important fact).

    One would NOT expect bouncers at such an event…especially an event ostensibly asking for money from the attendees.

    Having been at many activist events at various locales, both in private homes and places of public accommodation, I can say with certainty that no event that I attended that was for the purpose of educating, celebrating, or fundraising, ever turned anyone away at the door…even when we expected trouble from some attendees (like for NARAL and Equality events).

  29. Loudoun Patriot

    Tom- dont blow-up this awesome story they have fabricated around us. I was just on the verge of getting the newly created “Mad Hen” award at the meeting thursday… which includes a free ride on the Tax Pig for me and 10 friends followed by dinner at Santinis!!

  30. Epluribusunum Post author

    Tom, no one is suggesting that you or Kristen were responsible for this bad decision. I believe you when you say that you were as surprised as we were. As I said over at TC, given that I have been very critical of LEC, it would have been completely reasonable for a representative of LEC to question us about why we were there. I wouldn’t have had a problem with that at all. No worries here.

  31. Country Ham

    Is LEC registered as a nonprofit in Richmond? Because if they aren’t, they are taking a page from the CPR book and improperly fund-raising. Thing is, if you want to fund-raise, you have to be registered as a PAC or a nonprofit. Course, if you register you also have to report, which seemed to be what CPR apparently never wanted to do. Darn that bunch was hard to pin down. How about it, LEC, are you registered to fund-raise legally, and if so, how? Because the consumer protection office gets interested otherwise.

    Somebody might want to send that LEC invitation down to the office in Richmond that registers nonprofits. Couple of phone calls should clear it all up.

  32. Sorry Jeffrey

    Journey Through Hallowed Ground fund raised and got millions from the gov’t and never registered with VDAC. Perfectly fine for JTHG not to register. I suspect Country Ham received such a notification letter that you were violating the law and subject to criminal charges if you KNOWINGLY continued to violate the law by not registering. JTHG was in violation of the law as they joined ranks with the Loudoun County Public School School camp program and all was fine.

  33. Henry Hale

    David/Jonathan
    The two of you do excellent work and are always very respectful. What we see from some defenders of this misnamed group on this thread is a complete lack of ability to discuss an issue from a position of intellect. Instead, they reach down into the vocabulary of the absurd and show why this country has moved from No. 1 in the world in intelligence to No. 30.

    Also, I’d really like to see some of these “tough” guys go into the city and talk that BS. We’d see most of them act like little girls.

    Keep up the good work and know you have many allies in the area.

  34. Barbara Munsey

    Their website states they are organized as a 501(c)4, which allows them to politically advocate (unlike 501(c)3 organizations, such as the PEC).

    Equality Virginia is organized as a 501(c)4.

    Is this their first fundraiser? If so, that will be a bit before it shows up in a report.

  35. HorsemanJoe

    When you get to be my age (smile) you realize there is a grain of truth to most things even if that grain is microscopic. There must be a reason the Piedmont Environmenntal Council is distrusted so much.

    Why is the PEC in the middle of so much scandal? Why is PEC believed to be associated with corruption? Why is PEC distrusted by so many? Why is the public being warned to not place farms in conservation eaesments with the PEC? Why is PEC embroiled in so much controversy all the time??? Why are PEC’s easements under scrutiny and why is the IRS and government being asked to investigate?

    It does make one pause and question PEC’s agenda. Frankly, I would personally consider it a huge risk to place our family farms in an easement with PEC given all the negative publicity, litigation and black cloud that is constantly over PEC. Apparently PEC is in litigation with farmers in Hume because according to PEC if you have bathrooms or a kitchen in your barn you have an “illegal residence” and are living in your barn. Bathrooms and kitchens have been in barns centuries. PEC is now the “Zoning & Ordinance Police”. According to PEC, thousands of barns are in violation of zoning. God help us! Virginia is going to hell with this kind of litigation.

    Folks not all land trusts are evil. In my opinion, all this scandal, litigation, bad decisions and controversy swirling around the PEC just doesn’t appear stable. There are far too many other land trusts that don’t seem to have PEC’s general lack of community trust and support and that are not in constant turmoil. Easements are a serious proposition and you don’t want to tie your horse to anything unstable.

    The pursuit of conservation, preservation and environmental solutions is very important to our communities but we must not assume that all organizations proporting to promote these values are equal and we must be critical of groups like the PEC when they are embroiled in so much turmoil and distrust by the community.

  36. Jonathan

    Kristen,

    No, not mad hen. Mama Rooster

    It was good to see you, and Tom who exhibited Border Collie behavior. Please don’t consider our observations to be an insult, we like our hens and our roosters and Border Collies too!

  37. Epluribusunum Post author

    No you’re not. I know who you are – you do realize that, right?

    Would you like to explain exactly how anything I have reported here is inaccurate, or did you only visit in order to make a fool of yourself?

  38. Ref

    Maybe you should visit PEC and get to know the staff there. The absurd accusations and insinuations bouncing around about them are because other special interest groups – namely CPR/LEC and their developer cronies – see them as a threat to being able to suburbanize everything from Leesburg to Charlottesville. Believe it or not, these are normal human beings that care about life and the environment in Northern Virginia, not bolshevik agitators. Imagine that!

    Secondly, you are misinformed. PEC cannot litigate over zoning. They can report zoning violations, but if they are litigating it is likely over an easement violation. If one of their easements is out of compliance, it is their DUTY under FEDERAL LAW to ensure that the property owner comes back into compliance. Without monitoring easements, property owners could completely wreck the conservation value of the easement, thus completely defeating the purpose. If anything, they are a better land trust for not turning a blind eye to easement violations, as failure to do so could cause the property owner to lose their protected status and be on the hook for whatever tax breaks/credits they received. You want to act as if PEC is this big brother figure trying to tell random citizens what to do, when you know damn well that easements are a voluntary agreement that must be upheld by both the property owner and the land trust.

    The only controversy PEC is “embroiled” in is the controversy being manufactured by those who feel threatened by land conservation and smart growth in northern Virginia. They aren’t waging lawsuits for fun against everyday citizens. Perhaps you’d be happier if utilities were stealing private property for unnecessary, gigantic monopole transmission lines through Aldie and Lovettsville and Disney had successfully constructed another Disney World in Haymarket? The nonsensical insinuations against PEC are getting really, really old.

  39. Chill Pill

    Ref – RELAX.

    With all respect intended, I did not read the Horseman’s post as negative at all against land trusts or conservation easements at all. In fact, he said he is a supporter of conservation values and that “all land trusts are not evil” and the poster appears to be telling folks to put their farms in conservation easements but to be careful to “hitch their horse” to a stable land trust. Seems reasonable to me, but heck I didn’t get to eat any pig so what do I know.

    I realize this is all very sensitive to folks, but please lets not personalize everything or view every statement as a personal attack. It seems like Horseman is saying to folks just because we have one bad apple (PEC) doesn’t mean the entire bushel is rotten. I think it important that the community continues to support environmental solutions and isn’t it better that folks know there are other land trusts out there othat don’t have a heavy black cloud hanging over them or that aren’t “embroiled in scandal and controversy” like the PEC?

    These are just my humble opinions and no disrespect is intended. Just think it makes sense to me but that is what I got out of Horseman’s post.

  40. loudon or loudoun

    I am an exchange student working and schooling to learn the environment. This all makes me sad in my heart. I came too bring back knowledge about beautiful conservation values in your beautiful city (sorry misspelled). But there is so many problems. Other parts of the world, there are limited resources. I don’t understand politics seems like every one wants same things: conserve resources and protect evironment yet so many crisis. makes me sad in my heart.Why do you fight over the little things? United States is leader in preservation but seems lot of money time spent with judges fighting and not on your beautiful resources. makes me sad. sorry. I hope will change. so beautiful here. Thank you for this beautiful city and I wish peace come to you soon.

  41. Ref

    I’m just trying to clear up misconceptions, and Horseman’s post was rife with them. These “controversies” that PEC is supposedly embroiled in are manufactured. PEC is actually one of the more responsible land trusts out there for a lot of reasons… their easements generally conform with local planning ordinances and documents, they are careful about the easement donations they accept, and they actually do expected due diligence in enforcing the terms of their easements (a requirement of state and federal law that is sometimes shirked by other land trusts). I don’t view what anyone has said as a personal attack on me – I don’t work for PEC, I’m not affiliated with PEC, but I think they’ve done a lot of really great work that they are either attacked for or not given credit for. It’s damn frustrating to listen to the lies being thrown around.

    Do me a favor… tell me how PEC is a “rotten apple” without referring to typical LEC talking points about land grabs and other nonsense. I’m interested to hear why you think they are a bad example of a land trust. (You might consider, before posting, that PEC staff are invited to travel all over the country to inform other land trusts about their organizational model. Seems other land trusts don’t see them as the wrong way to do things)

  42. Barbara Munsey

    Ref, I’m sure PEC’s easements DO conform to local ordinance–since they help write so many of them. See Gem Bingol’s county appointments. I believe they’re up to five now.

    I’m sure PEC IS invited all over the country to discuss their model–no doubt other organizations would like to have the same success in political influence while retaining a 501(c)3 tax designation.

    Please go to Guidestar, which can be joined online for free, and reference their 990 forms for the years 2004 and 2005.

    Their top five highest paid employees for 04 included Andrea McGimsey, who was paid $65K total compensation that year to direct the Campaign for Loudoun’s Future, even through she did not publicly identify as a PEC employee until mid 2005 when those 990s for 04 were filed.

    CLF was their most effective local political astroturf group to date.

    Regularly appearing in their 990s among those top five highest paid is the Director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth–another poltical astroturf group.

    Now no longer live online were payment links for these groups and others that directed any check to support either CLF or CSG to made out to the Piedmont Environmental Council.

    When that was challenged, the groups briefly posted an explanation along with the link saying that since they were just a “grassroots” group, PEC was kind enough to “do their bookkeeping” for them.

    I guess so, if they’re going to claim the salaried employess on their tax forms.

    Those are a few of the easily documented reasons I think of them primarily as a political organization hiding under the green cloak of a nonprofit.

  43. Barbara Munsey

    For the record, David: I am not one of those you reference for sockpuppeting, correct?

    All of my posts to your site have been under my full name, using the same email address, from the same IP, correct?

  44. Chill Pill

    Many different users can access the same IP address or portal or even computer for that matter – as in a classroom, work computer or public computer in a school or library.

  45. Sorry Jeffrey

    The PEC is everywhere in county governments, filing briefs in court cases and bringing lawsuits based on unfounded “abuses” to easements . Malcolm Baldwin is a former PEC board member undoubtedly well funded. The Journey Through Hallowed Ground is a companion organization to the PEC based in Waterford. The PEC easements even partially base their validity based on the JTHG designation and proximity to the corridor. Chris Miller is a Waterford Foundation board member. Nancy Doane is the Executive Director of the Waterford Foundation, former aide to Sally Kurtz. What influence do they still have over Sally Kurtz? Mayor Lazaor was until recently a PEC employee and Scott York’s aid. Did the county attorney used to wok for the PEC too?

  46. Barbara Munsey

    Thank you David. I know we agree on using our names.

    Given the proximity to my previous last post, and the passionate nature of the discussion, I simply wanted there to be no implicative associations not explicitly stated in the record.

  47. Chill Pill

    We are studying now the use of social media to promote environmental awareness. What is really interesting is that so much of what is out there is a lot of complaining but not a lot of educating or providing real solutions on a local level by any “side”. I don’t have a dog (or pig) in this fight just offering an observation. Does anybody know where I can find the amount paid to private individuals for conservation easements placed on land as well as the dollar amount of tax credits and the appraisal it was based on? Folks, we aren’t looking for PEC easement farms in particular, we are learning about conservation in Virginia and would like to understand what all the controversy is about. I would really appreciate it if someone could send a link or point me in the right direction. Can’t find this info anywhere. Thank you.

  48. Breaking News: New PEC Scandal

    These “high” standards this author keeps blogging about are bogus and do not apply to the PEC.

    PEC is advertising their Spring Meeting and it is an open invitation to all to attend and guess where it is hosted? It is at the house of John Snyder and who is John Snyder my friends?

    John Snyder is on THE BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS IN ORANGE COUNTY

    Shame on you John Snyder as of 5 minutes ago PEC has not pulled a permit for this event as required nor have you obtained a permit 200 PLUS PEOPLE YOU ARE HOSTING FOR PEC!!! Plus neither Snyder nor PEC has obtained food permits nor even contacted the Office of environmental health department.

    Now mere mortal citizens would take days or maybe even weeks to get these permits after much scrutiny. Lets see how fast PEC and Snyder get their back door permits now that this scandal has been released.

    Mr. Snyder is a government official and on the board of zoning appeals for the county and he knows he is required to adhere to zoning requirements and obtain a specil event permit AND he is affiliated with the PEC and neither PEC nor Snyder have pulled ANY appropriate permits.

    This is DISGRACEFUL and here Mr. Author of this blog is another example for you. Do you just drink the PEC koolaid blindly? I have supported PEC but come on! All of your talk about zoning requirements and PEC’s ethics and this happens!

    This is mud on the face of PEC. SHAME SHAME SHAME falls on PEC again again. DOUBLE STANDARDS Double Talk. This is why Virginians hate PEC and want restitution for all the wrongdoing. When is it going to stop?

  49. Breaking News: New PEC Scandal

    The permits for PEC’s Spring Event should have been obtained BEFORE this event was published and how embarrassing that John Snyder’s farm is the venue for this event and he did not obtain a permit.

    A permit is REQUIRED because this event is PEC’s SPRING MEETING and must have ample bathroom facilities, handicap access, trash requirements, substantial parking, the office of environmental health’s blessing and a special event permit and health dept involvement, requirements for tents and much more.

    Lets see if the author deletes this scandal – so much for his “I don’t work for or lobby for PEC and they have done such wonderful things, blah blah blah” so much for equal journalism.

    The rules do not apply to the PEC. It is this kind of bad behavior that places shame on the enire conservation movement and is typical for the PEC

    PEC is charging $25 per peson for this event and there will be multiple “stations” around the farm as well as lunch served all on board of zoning and appeals farm owned by JOHN SNYDER – but NO PERMITS!

    What do you have to say now Mr. I Love PEC Blindly?

    (540) 672-4347 Office of Zoning Orange County phone number available @ county site.
    The address of the event as broadcasted by PEC and invitation is on PEC’s website:

    Date: Saturday, April 30, 2011
    Time: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
    Address:
    12574 Chicken Mountain Road
    Orange, VA 22960

    I’m sure I’ll be blocked now from using this site for speaking the truth and revealing this embarrasment and scandal – one of many from the PEC double standards and “selective” easement enforcement.

  50. Sorry Jeffrey

    It must be nice to be exempt from the law as a PEC board member. In Albemarle, it is a criminal violation to contradict the zoning ordinance. Does he have permits for tents and from the health department? A BZA member is appointed by the Circuit Court and those decisions are presumed to be reasonable. This is disgusting and heinous.

  51. Epluribusunum Post author

    Well, I’m certainly not going to ban you for being unable to understand the topic of this post.

    It could be that you’ve wandered in by mistake and are lost. I am the person to whom you seem to be addressing your remarks, but my post is not about PEC, nor have I said anything about PEC. More careful reading would, I think, do wonders for your credibility.

    This has gone pretty far off the rails, due to the (apparently) out-of-town commenters who were solicited (by “S.”? Say, where is “S.”, anyway? This may be the only blog in Loudoun on which she is still allowed to comment) to leave their cut-and-paste content attacking another organization. Out-of-towners are of course welcome, but let’s try to keep to the topic, please. This is a mostly Loudoun-centric blog, and this post is about the (IMO) very foolish decision on the part of LEC/LCRC/Sally Mann to publicly promote an event at which members of the public were not actually welcome.

  52. Epluribusunum Post author

    Do you think that they would throw out a member of the public who attended the event because that person had criticized them?

    It must be impossible to come up with a defense of LEC/LCRC’s behavior, because this is what you’re doing instead.

  53. Monkey Business

    Chill Pill, My guess is the records of the value and credits are kept with the easement holder. Look at Ovoka Farm and Liberty Hall in Fauquier. The values have been stripped and gutted. The tax commissioner will give you the data sheets. The Department of Historic Resources holds easements and is subject to FOIA. Maybe you could FOIA them. The Virginia Outdoors Foundation has been under investigation by the IRS for inflating values and passing the “credit” along. You can FOIA them too. Some of their meeting minutes discuss the concerns the tax assessors in their approved group have and the calls from the folks that donated the easements that have also come under IRS investigation. Loudoun County holds some easements on property in Waterford, owned by V. Friend along High Street. She apparently also got credit from the County to not develop the land. Yet, the field is used for non-agricultural purposes for parking so the Waterford folks can charge $20.00 per person to walk around the de-funct town on public roads. The use of the field for a parking lot and ticket sales center is not a defined use in the Loudoun County OSE. The County turns a blinds eye because these guys have a stranglehold on Ms. Kurtz, their elected official. Chris Miller is the PEC president and he sits on the Waterford Foundation board. Part of the problem is that the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the PEC are not subject to FOIA and there is no telling what they are doing and who is getting what. It is an expensive secret.

  54. Sorry Jeffrey

    I think they would find a way to ruin their lives as they have done to many. And yes, they would throw you out.

  55. Breaking News: New PEC Scandal

    No disrespect is intended to the author of this blog. I am sorry that PEC is now in a fish bowl and everything they do is scrutinized. PEC has held the public to unreasonable standards and now the public is researching to make sure PEC is held to the same standards, laws and ethics. It also does not help that folks are busy researching every facet of conservation in Virginia. This is very relevant here Mr. Author as you are pointing a finger at LEC’s charity sponsored event and the PEC is a 501(c)3 with an open invitation to the public to attend a “spring meeting” for a fee of $25 at a BZA’s farm. Don’t throw stones at glass houses. Mr. Author, you opened up this pandora’s box by preaching on your soap box about the almighty PEC and all of its glory.

    PEC planned this “Spring Meeting” months ago and a lot of hard work went in to planning the agenda, providing the speakers, ordering all the food, tents, etc. and because PEC has the BZA in their pocket, PEC doesn’t have to get a permit. Wow! This is ham all over the face of PEC.

    If PEC is truly as wonderful and ethical as this author believes, PEC should immediately remove the posting for this event off the PEC website and post an apology to the public as well as send an appology to the massive email list mailing they sent the invitation to explaining how months ago they planned this event with out first obtaining necessary permitting and how JOHN SNYDER from the BZA owns the venue for this meeting for full disclosure.

    The fact that John Snyder’s farm is zoned agricultural does not give him or PEC the right to have over 200 people for a meeting of this proportion, serve food in boxes from an outside vendor with out taking in to consideration the local laws. This is an outrage of epic proportions. But this is not the first time PEC has used the Board of Zoning’s farm with out first obtaining the proper permits. Lets take a good lock at Snyder’s easement while we are at it and see more selective enforcement.

    This is a conflict of interest of epic proportions and smacks of double standards. If John Snyder doesn’t need a permit, they are creating a huge problem because every farmer is going to go out and have “meetings” of this size and proportion and charge $25 entrance fees and then point at John Snyder of the BZA and PEC and demand equal treatment. In fact a farm event is being planned now with 200 people, tents, food and “meetings” on the exact same topics and lets see what happens.

    If PEC fails to appologize or answer to this gross violation of zoning as well as cloud of conflict of interest, then in my opinion PEC has lost all credibility. Oh, I forgot, the impression of conflict of interest or adhering to local laws apparently does not apply to the PEC.

    To answer your question, yes PEC has barred individuals from PEC ubs and made the mistake of putting it in writing.

    PS: What kind of farming do you do John Snyder of the BZA on your farm zoned agricultural and how exactly does this “PEC Meeting” excuse you from getting special permitting? Isn’t the health and safety of citizens an important consideration? After all zoning requirements are for the safey and protection of the public.

  56. Epluribusunum Post author

    I would tell you to prove it, as that would at least be tangentially on topic, but the fact is that a legitimate organization doesn’t behave that way, period.

    This post is not about your personal hatred of PEC, so I will once again warn you to stay on topic. If you can’t discuss the topic of the incident at the LEC pig roast or at least something of relevance to that, take your discussion somewhere else.

  57. Epluribusunum Post author

    As I said to others attempting to derail the thread: If you can’t discuss the topic of the incident at the LEC pig roast or at least something of relevance to that, take your discussion somewhere else. Thanks.

  58. Ref

    LOL. As I said before, grasping at straws. Apparently a pre-ordained zoning violation is “an outrage of epic proportions”. I’ve been to these meetings. 200 people is a stretch. It’s not freaking Woodstock, and it’s not difficult to get a permit for an event like this anywhere. Considering the event isn’t for more than 2 more weeks, I’d say your outrage is a little premature. The feigned indignation from you LEC folks is really hard to take.

  59. Epluribusunum Post author

    Would it help if I put up a post to talk about PEC? Then it wouldn’t be off topic. Or one of you could write a guest post. That’s what we have that for.

  60. PIGS in the Blanket

    PS: Yes please start a Post to talk about the PEC. Thank you.

    BTW: in response to the “outsiders” comments, folks do work, go to school and attend professional programs in other parts of Virginia and then go home to Loudoun ya know. :) just fyi

  61. AFF

    Please do a post on the PEC. I find most of the outspoken detractors of this fine organization to be absolutely ape shit crazy and a sick part of me likes looking at weird stuff people post on the internet.

    Why on this very thread we have HorseJoe who’s telling us that barns have had bathrooms and kitchens in them for centuries. Centuries? The barns had running water and flushing toilets before residential housing? Houses didn’t have attached kitchens because of the fire risk but barns full of livestock and hay did? This revelation has helped me visualize Jesus Christ himself comforting an orphaned dinosaur.

    Like I said, I can’t get enough of the crazy. If you do a post on the PEC, they will come.

    On a serious note, I’d like to thank Jonathan and David for their continued contribution to discourse in our community. You guys write thoughtful letters and you put yourself out there. I don’t have it in me personally and I’m glad there are those who do.

  62. Epluribusunum Post author

    Well, that’s unfortunate.

    If someone is interested enough to do it, write a guest post about PEC. That’s why we have that option. People who want to do so can then discuss PEC to their heart’s content without derailing other posts.

  63. Epluribusunum Post author

    You are very kind, sir.

    I just put out a general invitation to write a post and start a PEC thread, hopefully we will get some thoughtful posts.

  64. Barbara Munsey

    Sure you have it in you, aff. You are just one of the individuals who does it with a user ID, as do many on the internet.

    David, a post on PEC would be very interesting.

  65. Epluribusunum Post author

    After all the back and forth, I think this boils down to one question (still unanswered).

    Who was actually in charge of this event?

    Officially, it was sponsored by LEC – at least, that’s what all the publicity and the invitation said.

    As far as I’m aware, there has been no statement from LEC defending or explaining the decision to eject us from the event. The statements defending that action seem to have all come from LCRC people.

    Even if they claim that the decision was the homeowner’s to make, LEC is still ultimately responsible IF the event was actually the organization’s, and not a private party thrown by Sally Mann.

    So which was it? A LEC fundraiser? An LCRC candidate meet and greet? A private party? Or all three?

  66. Barbara Munsey

    David, regardless of who was “in charge”, since it was on private property and the homeowner chose to ask you to leave, I don’t know if any of the organizations or groups you have been conflating for some time now “need” to make any official statement. Especially since most of the people I’ve talked to who attended were entirely unaware that you were ever even there, or that there was any kind of incident involving you.

    I can see how it will be useful in adding to the narrative to now complain about a lack of official response, however.

    Keep the meme alive.

  67. Epluribusunum Post author

    Is that your final answer? That it was actually a private party, and not a “LEC fundraiser”?

    Of course, I don’t see what would give you the authority to make such a statement, but maybe there’s more we don’t know yet.

  68. BlackOut

    I think the serial bannedit has found a surrogate for cut and paste activities. The similarities are stunning.

  69. Barbara Munsey

    David, you are so funny! It is precisely my point that I DON’T have any authority, and that maybe you don’t have any recourse to seek the authority to gain a STATEMENT, and that perhaps as any of the groups you continue to conflate were ALSO on private property that maybe (actually YES) THEY have no matrix to complain, other than in the continuing dance of the narrative.

    You want any of the groups to make the gesture?

    Since it is entirely your contention that it IS really the LCRC, why should they acknowledge something you have yet to prove by issuing an apology about someone ELSE’s event?

    Should CPR re-form, and issue an apology, since you said they are also really the group?

    I think you can certainly continue to state that groups you have chosen to conjoin in print should issue you some kind of statement, but if they aren’t joined, conjoined, or whatever, you will be waiting a long time.

    Have at it, though.

    As to your update that you got a “detail” “wrong”, and really brought cash instead of “we wrote a check and drove down there” as you originally wrote, that is much more than a “detail” in political finance, as you are surely aware in being the founder of a local chapter of a 501(c)4.

    It makes any potential opportunity with the check pale in significance, as cash is a no no at fundraisers.

    Good for you to correct it, for whatever reason, and thank you: I feel much better asking whether Jonathan said the word “sheriff” at all, at any time on the property, in any context.

  70. BlackOut

    LI, interesting to read your link. This quote from Loudoun Lady caught my eye.

    “Here is my battlecry – open up yer wallets and go to this event (LEC Pig Roast) and others to get the ball rolling. This group and individual candidates need not only the party structure but citizen activists to make change.”

    Loudoun Lady is a well known LCRC loyalist. Very revealing to hear her battlecry connecting the LEC success the party structure. So much for the whining about how bi-partisan the LEC is supposed to be. A revealing slip.

  71. Barbara Munsey

    Unless she was urging fellow party members at a Republican blog to also support that group.

    If one group supports another, are they thus proven to be one and the same?

  72. Barbara Munsey

    p.s.–nice touch here: “but maybe there’s more we don’t know yet”

    Yes, I am secretly the controller of all of the above! BWAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

    You’re better than this, David, or at least you present the determined image of trying to be.

  73. Epluribusunum Post author

    What 501(c)4 are you talking about? A “local chapter”? Huh?

    This is another example of you seemingly just making things up.

    The question is simple, no matter how much you want to parse it and worry it to death:

    Was the event a LEC fundraiser, an LCRC candidate meet and greet, or a private party?

    And I don’t expect you to be able to answer that because, as you say, you’re not in a position to.

  74. Barbara Munsey

    David, Equality Virginia, as you know, has both 501(c)3 and (c)4 arms.

    Are you not one of the founders of Equality Loudoun, which would make it perhaps reasonable to refer to you as a local chapter of Equality Virginia?

    Your website at Equality Loudoun states that you are in partnership with Equality Virginia on this “About” page:

    http://www.equalityloudoun.org/?page_id=258

    “■Partnership with Equality Virginia and other regional GLBT organizations”

    As the following does not make clear whether you are organized as a (c)3 or (c)4
    “■Information about the opponents of equality in Loudoun and beyond
    ■Advocacy with elected officials
    I agree I could be wrong about your local affiliate of Equality Virginia being organized as a (c)4.

    I think it’s an honest mistake on my part, given your passionate political advocacy, which is not in keeping with a (c)3.

    However, dismissing it is “another example of you seemingly just making things up” really is beneath you, as you know doubt know.

    It ceratinly appears to me, just my opinion, that worrying a word game to death is ENTIRELY the point for you, in light of what sounds like a huffy accusation of lying, or rather “just making things up” and not saying exactly whatever may be the perfectly acceptable set of words at the moment.

    As you say above in your update about cash, “carry one”.

  75. Epluribusunum Post author

    Equality Loudoun is an independent, local community group. It is not a “chapter” of any other group, period.

    The term “partnership” refers to the fact that Equality Loudoun members sometimes participate in the annual Lobby Day in Richmond that Equality Virginia organizes, as do members of “other regional GLBT organizations.”

    This is just one more in a long, long list of assertions you have publicly made about me without knowing what you are talking about. I’m not faulting you for making a mistake, but for not checking facts before making your assertions.

    And if you came to an Equality Loudoun event after having asked this question, we wouldn’t kick you out :)

  76. BlackOut

    Obviously not Barbara, but LL is not known to have much influence over anyone with an R on their chest. Even she knows it. She’s the definition of an insider.

  77. Barbara Munsey

    David, you’ve made a number of inferences about me, and on some occasions assertions.

    I don’t expect you to do “homework” on whether I belong to the LCRC before implying I’m a spokesperson, or a member, or an activist with that group.

    But it would be very nice if it wasn’t part of your continual game to imply it, then hide behind the fact that you didn’t explicitly make any such STATEMENT when challenged or corrected by me, about me.

    Just as it would be nice if it were possible to talk to you without doing extended research, apparently only doable by checking with you personally to see what words should be used, in what order, and how, before attempting to engage in “dialogue” at all.

    I understand that it is a game, and thank you for saying you wouldn’t kick me out of any of your group partnering with the state group’s outings or events. Don’t expect me anytime soon though, because I’d only want to come to anything as me, and not want to parse all possible iterations of any words, gestures or appearances while there, nor worry it to death afterwards endlessly about what I REALLY meant when I said ___________, or chose to sit where, or looked like when offered ________________, or declined ____________.

    As I said to you at tc, “dialogue” “in good faith” shouldn’t be such hard work among those who ostensibly share a common basic language.

    Unless actual dialogue is not the point, but merely a continuing contested point in a match that only one side intends to play, while refraining from admission that it IS a game.

    It’s all just good faith, I know.

  78. Epluribusunum Post author

    I have to say, all of what you express here resonates very powerfully. In fact, it is exactly the way I feel when interacting with you – that any poorly chosen word I (or even my husband) might have uttered 10 years ago will at some point appear in an insinuation on a blog about something unrelated, for the sole purpose of trying to discredit me. It’s annoying behavior, and if I have made you feel this way also, that explains a lot.

    If we both think it shouldn’t be this hard, that’s a good sign.

  79. Barbara Munsey

    I’m very sorry to hear you say you feel that way whenever we speak.

    I’ve enjoyed speaking with you–if I didn’t, I wouldn’t greet you by name, sit down, and talk.

    I would still greet you by name, since I know who you are and acknowledge you, but I wouldn’t sit down and talk to you about the dentist, or what a pain my teenagers are sometimes, or what’s on the agenda at a meeting we are both waiting to attend, or birds, or anything else.

    That’s why I feel comfortable challenging you on some of your narratives, and on some of your methods for constructing and defending them.

    I’m TALKING to you. A person I’ve met and spoken with before. I won’t say I KNOW you, because obviously there’s a lot more to both of us than either knows or ever will, and that’s okay too.

    That really SHOULDN’T be so hard.

  80. Tom Seeman

    I’m going shopping for a Border Collie costume for Halloween. Know where I can get one cheap?

  81. Sorry Jeffrey

    Just because LL unilaterally decided to post the event on an R-blog, does not mean the LEC is R-based. As for the suggested efforts to manipulate the perception of the LEC and intertwine it with the LCRC, would be transparent and divisive. If the intent of LL was to create such a climate and perception, I am sure she would be called out and her integrity would be questioned and agenda would be viewed as deplorable. I am an Independent and support LEC

  82. Leej

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/nba/lakers/2011-04-13-BRYANTSLUR_N.htm

    it could be worse. a 100,000 dollar fine for a …………………………………crazy

    Rodney King said it best “can’t we all just get along”"”" We all say things at times we regret. only a small fraction of the world is truly prejudice. yet that small fraction can wreck havoc on the other 99.9% of us. please Kobe being homophobic, not a chance.
    should of he said what he said in the public arena, of course not. and i bet “S.” regrets how she handled Saturday.

    my point some people in the world just go just a bit too far in their sensitivity. we have witnessed this right here on this blog. are we trying to be toooo politically correct these days???????? i know some here will say I am blaming the victim, and perhaps I am a bit. look at don rickles, he has made a great living at it.

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