Delgaudio has 10,000 Reasons to Recuse Himself from OpenBand Vote

Have you heard the one about OpenBand, the wholly-owned subsidiary of MC Dean, Inc.? OpenBand is the cable/Internet provider for some local HOAs, among other things. OpenBand’s service doesn’t exactly engender a lot of positive feelings among many of its customers.

Well, OpenBand’s cable franchise agreement is up for renewal by the Board of Supervisors this year. Franchise renegotiations and renewals like these are on a regular, known schedule. Cable companies, like OpenBand, pay very close attention to these schedules. At times, you can actually see their responsiveness to their customers swell as the deadline for franchise consideration creeps closer.

It is worthwhile to also pay attention to a cable company’s political donations as franchise renewals come up for consideration. For example, here in Loudoun County people affiliated with OpenBand’s corporate parent, MC Dean and Companies, donated $4,500 to Eugene Delgaudio (and $1,000 to Lori Waters) during the 2007 election cycle, and another $5,500 to Delgaudio overall. MC Dean’s OpenBand franchise would be considered by the Board elected in 2007, after all.

Wait a minute, you say, I only see $3,500 to Delgaudio in 2007 at that link and $4,500 overall. What’s the deal? Well, that’s because you didn’t see this link to McDean Inc for $2,000 in ’04, and this link to Marion C. Dean for $1,000 in ’07, and this link to Dean Inc for $1,000 in ’03, and this link to William H. Dean for $1,500 in ’02.

Now, with that kind of input into Delgaudio’s coffers, it’s no wonder that Delgaudio is suddenly NOT a fiscal conservative, at least when it comes to people who have to pay to OpenBand:

Not all supervisors were comfortable with Miller’s request, however, with Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) saying there already is a simple solution for those unhappy with OpenBand’s service: pay an additional $75 a month for satellite.
Leesburg Today

I’m not taking a position on whether the franchise should be renewed. I’m not an OpenBand customer, and not on the County Cable commission (though, in the interests of transparency, I will disclose that I served on the Town of Leesburg’s Cable Commission, and its successor Technology Commission, for two and a half years). That being said, I can, and do, take a position on whether a Supervisor should recuse himself from voting on a contract that directly benefits a major campaign contributor.

I think he should.

40 thoughts on “Delgaudio has 10,000 Reasons to Recuse Himself from OpenBand Vote

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  4. Epluribusunum

    LI, I know that you take issue with some of Andrea’s actions. And I know that this thread is about a conflict of interest issue. But for you to address Andrea and Eugene Delgaudio in the same sentence as unfit for public office, as if there were any moral equivalence between the two, is offensive. The reason that Delgaudio is unfit for office isn’t just the kind of petty corruption under discussion here, or even his penchant for embarrassing our county. It’s a much more fundamental failure of morality in which he regularly denies the full humanity of members of our community. The use of the word “it” was merely his unequivocal statement of that belief, the distillation of all the degrading language he’s employed for years.

    It’s morally unacceptable for any elected official to use that kind of language to describe other human beings, period. It should simply disqualify them from office. Not a single Republican was willing to give voice to their conscience and say what needed to be said about that language, and that includes you. That you continue to make these kinds of false equivalencies tells me that you don’t get this – or you don’t care – and that just makes me sad. That’s all.

  5. Ashdowner

    And don’t forget Telos money being thrown at the BoS and other offices as well! This campaign season is a John Wood attempt to takeover the county. I think Telos money may become as toxic as Dean money…at least in my neck of the woods.

  6. Jonathan


    You’re confusing conflict with expertise. Andrea ran partly on a sustainability platform. Andrea followed through on her campaign promises because she has the contacts and expertise to realize her vision. Andrea operates in the realm of sustainability economics. This is what Woody Tasch would call “slow money”. There is a qualitative difference between corrupt politicians who capitalize on fast money (i.e. Shockey Concrete) and politicians who work to slow things down. Slowing things down is hard work and it can’t be done without a good amount of collaboration.

  7. Leej

    LI you know what I like about you. Well you don’t play favorites you just tell it the way it is with just good old fashion down home common sense.

    And dirty I am curious about the the York thing you just mentioned. York should of stayed a independent. And the connection of Wood and his Telos and Dupree and York is very scary. And the best school system my kids went to was the Santa Monica school system when we lived in California. Loudoun’s school system when my kids went to their last years in high school seemed to teach kids to be followers not leaders like out in California. Just my opinion. I have one son in his mid twenties on his own making a commercial for Southwest airlines mainly because of my friends back in Texas. And the skills and imagination he has was NOT learned here. Some say it comes from me but actually it comes from his mother Dalyn who is extremely creative in her own right. 😉

    LI is correct the next big challenge here is bringing Loudoun’s runaway school system under control. There is a saying “””” throwing money at things rarely makes it better it just makes some very very greedy”””” and that is exactly what has happened to the Loudoun school system and the people that run it.”””””” Hatrick especially is the greediest and power hungry leader I haver ever seen in a long time.

  8. dirtystinkinrotten

    The connection of Delgaudio and Open band will look like boy scouts when the information about Scott York’s brokering a deal between John Wood, Telos and the School Board get’s out. Another stinkin rottin deal by the School Board, except this time it is our Chairman and his favorite contributer and new School Board PAC director who is at the heart of the scam against the public.

  9. The Shadow (redux)

    I neglected to reflect my sarcasm with my Delgaudio meeting comment and no it is never okay to refer to a large group of people as “IT”, especially when you are an elected official.

    I was simply pointing out that when members of several Openband HOAs contact McG’s office for meetings, McG has told or instructed her staff aides to say “I am too busy to meet with them”.

    Conversely Delgaudio simply doesn’t return calls or emails.

  10. Loudoun Insider

    The McGimsey Minions are out trying to prop her up. I don’t like extremisim or incompetence on either side of the political aisle. And I especially don’t like hypocrites. There was nothing illegal about McGimsey’s actions because Virginia has horribly lax conflict and ethics laws, but she has been absolutely hypocritical in the way she conducted her own personal business. Especially after replacing Bruce Tulloch. She seems to have learned a lot from watching Tulloch and Snow so closely. I would love to see some polling on her from her current and her proposed district. She is done, and if she isn’t done yet, she will be by the time the opposing campiagn are done with her. There’s simply way to much bad material out there on her. A video montage of all of her “where are we” “what are we talking about” “what page are we on” “I didn’t have time to read this” and other similar co mments would be all it takes to put her away. I do wish she had performed better, I really do. But she has been an absolute disaster.

  11. Leej

    I want to compliment Stevens Miller this last year for his leadership in finally getting Loudoun on it’s way to spur economic development way into the future, The big one was rezoning rt 28 and it’s two bookends Kincora which will be the fastest and nicest development in Loudoun. because of the baseball stadium. And the other metro bookend Dulles world at the metro. 28 will be the economic engine for Loudoun in the immediate future. And put a express bus system down the middle in the future and we have one extremely powerful economic corridor. Far beyond the metros in most of our lifetimes. The metro is only going to help Tysons and Reston we are way too far out to see much economic benefit from the metro in our lifetimes.

    I still say the metro station should be underground at Dulles but the airport should fund the entire cost not the tolls or residents of Fairfax and Loudoun. And I will harp on this we should have the extremely wealthy Lerner pay for a URBAN interchange for approval for their town center. May not be needed now but it will in the future and who will pay for it then . And forget about our VDOT and how bad they are in designing interchanges just look at the two recent abortions the waxpool interchange at 28 and the Springfield interchange. and countless others. VDOT lives in the dark ages. And finally get shellhorn to connect to sterling interchange at 28 instead of dumping all the traffic into 606.

    oops i need to go now Dalyn just work up and she can hear me type and she just said are you irritating and bothering the good people of Loudoun again????? No precious Dalyn we are moving to Austin this next year. Why would I get involved with Loudoun anymore???? ha ha ha 😉

  12. Leej

    well outsider McG is finished in politics and Cliff who just announced his candidacy will wipe her off the map. If I was McG I would save myself the embarrassment and not even run. The current R’s and D’s in this county have proven themselves a total embarrassment. Only Miller who self destructed the first year or two made a decent comeback this last year. The rest except York are history this next election. And hopefully someone can beat that do nothing Burton. Hopefully there is enough eastern votes in his new aligned district to wipe him off the map. 🙂

  13. outsider

    Your opinion LI is not widely held, except for the few delusional conspiracy theorists that live on your blog. If any of the drivel that you allow to be posted about McGimsey, the PEC and a few others you don’t like were true, it would have been proven long ago. I’d rank your extrapolated fantasies about on par with the birthers and other misguided fools.

    Once upon a time it was amusing to read TC, but you lost your way a few years ago when posts became uncivil, vulgar, and demonizing others (like progressives and environmentalists) became a blood sport. Nuance was no longer tolerated and mindless accusations became the norm. Those who were insiteful and thoughtful posters left and never came back. It’s too bad because you got into the mud with those you’d once despised. So, kettle meet pot. I agree with the moderator of this blog that you should put your money where you mouth is. In my opinion your cabal has nothing but conjecture to crow about………

  14. Loudoun Insider

    Neither Delgaudio or McGimsey are fit for public office in my opinion.

    McG pushed through that energy plan while holding a job in climate change that she never publicly disclosed, and for which wshe had no prior experience for until after Loudoun County paid for her to go to meeting after meeting. And at one such meeting she made her contact for her job. Then later on she put herself on a joint venture for a solar power installation contract with MWAA. You want to tell me she was put on that team for her experience in solar power appartus installation??? And don’t forget the Journey Through Hallowed Ground grant that she pushed through out of sequence because it was for the right people and the right reasons (the same thing she chastised the last Board for on CPAMs and other applications).

    She got into office and pulled the same exact stuff she criticized the last BOS for – that makes her a huge hypocrite in my book. And my opinion is much more widely held than yours, and this is the biggest reason why the LCDC is headed for a disaster of epic proportions in November. This version of the LCDC will go down in history as the most inept political committee ever seen in Loudoun County.

  15. The Shadow (redux)

    From what I heard McG won’t even take meetings with the affected HOAs. That doesn’t bode well for her. At least with Delgaudio one can understand why he or his staff wont return calls or agree to meetings.

  16. Liz Miller

    If you can show that Andrea changes how she behaves based on cash received from interested parties, have at it.

    Delgaudio has certainly shown it.

  17. Loudoun Insider

    Didn’t Delgaudio refuse to sign the Code of Ethics? Not sure what the penalties would be for violating it. Virginia has horribly lax conflict of interest and ethics laws anyway. And of course I think the Code of Ethics is worthless after Andrea McGimsey shredded it with all of her various conflicts with the energy plan and her Climate Prosperity Project job. Oh, I forgot, those conflicts were OK because they were for the right people and the right causes!

  18. Liz Miller

    Here are the essential facts: Delgaudio receives $10,000 from a family and their company, who have a huge financial stake in OpenBand.

    Delgaudio’s statement that paying an extra $75 a month to get a service that they ALREADY pay for is an acceptable solution is completely out of character for him.

    Those two facts together lead to the rational observer’s conclusion that the donations have caused the change in behaviour.

    And I have been informed that the 6 month rule includes both before and after votes.

    Since the Deans, in one incarnation or another, have donated to Delgaudio in all previous races, one can reasonably expect that they will donate in this cycle as well. The vote on OpenBand is in June. The election is in November. That falls easily within 6 months.

    Delgaudio should recuse himself. But he won’t.

  19. BlackOut

    I am sure a seasoned veteran politician like Delgaudio knows that answer, and certainly knows how to exploit it if required.

  20. The Shadow (redux)


    Concerned residents are simply highlighting the suction power of Delgaudio’s McDean/Van Metre money vacuum.

    Delgaudio is neck deep in funds from the same parties who hoodwinked thousands of Loudoun homeowners. Of course Delgaudio can suddenly be afflicted with a severe case of amnesia, but voters remember donations.

  21. Liz Miller

    There’s another election coming up less than 6 months after this vote…I don’t remember, does the prohibition on donations count the 6 months AFTER as well as the 6 months before?

  22. Epluribusunum

    These are two different issues. One is what I’ll call the professionalization of civic involvement. I don’t care who does it; I don’t like it.

    The other is that, yes, Delgaudio gets to vote. The fact that there are many donations over time only shows a history of a mutually beneficial relationship.

  23. Paradox13 Post author

    There’s no forcing going on at all. (Heck, we’re not even dressing up in a pig costume and holding a sign…) This is merely an observation and a request. How a Supervisor chooses to respond to the request is their own business, and it is the business of the voters to interpret that response.

  24. Loudoun Insider

    Shadow, there is no doubt Delgaudio is a political money vacuum cleaner, but I believe current BOS policy requires recusal only for votes taken within six months of receiving campaign donations. I am no Delgaudio fan, but trying to force recusal for donations four years and older is a stretch.

  25. Loudoun Insider

    Liz, D’Onofrio is no longer on the LCRC Ex. Com. He was booted when the Sell regime took over.

    I did just hear that Kelahan resigned as LCDC Comm. Chair – when did this happen and why? Anything to do with this? Since two LCDC Ex. Com. members blog here, maybe they can enlighten everyone.

  26. The Shadow (redux)

    I tend to agree with you. The political finger pointing is a red herring one of many real issues. The clear and present issue is; Delgaudio has received 10s of 1,000s of dollars from the openband parent company MCDean. VA is the wild west of campaign finance, but the 2007 BoS signed an ethics pledge. I hope Delgaudio has enough decency to recuse himself from this vote and his participation on the Finance/Govt Services Committee.

    Interesting fact, VPAP shows Mc Dean Building Intelligence is $178K vested in political capital to protect their cash cow, OpenBand Communications.

  27. Liz Miller

    In any case, the LCDC doesn’t have a vote on this, but Eugene DOES. The LCRC has the Casey Group’s other partner on THEIR exec cmte. Tie game.

  28. The Shadow (redux)

    Sorry I put this post on the wrong thread – it is germane to the openband discussion:f you go to the LCDC’s website – Ben is listed as the Communications Chair.

    The Casey Group is working both sides of the fence for OpenBand. There is nothing in the pubic domain that states Ben has resigned.

    In fact Kalina & Ben have a 20 year history of working for big tobacco.

  29. Loudoun Insider

    Hey, before you Dems get all high and mighty about the Republicans, don’t forget to mention that your LCDC Communications Chairman is also lobbying on behalf of OpenBand.

  30. Ashdowner

    I DO live in Open Band country. This is a sticky situation — a bad contract was drafted and entered into — although it has technically expired, it is not as simple as abandoning it. One way out of this is for the county to take control of the lines and then lease them to other providers…but that is really not the county’s usual business.

    We should watch who the lobbyists are for Open Band and what candidates they also advise. It will get curiouser and curiouser!

  31. The Shadow (redux)

    The Openband franchise is not up for renewal, it EXPIRED in June 2009. How can the County think that they can renewal a contractually expired franchise, this is simple contract management 101.

    It is offensive to think the County would approve a back dating of openband’s franchise. It is even more offensive that it was the county who approved these easements.

    There is a solution, deny the franchise and let the HOAs deal with the legal dog fight with Openband. If the County approves, openband’s franchise they have made the HOAs legal battles that much harder.

  32. Epluribusunum

    Let me see if I understand you correctly. Delgaudio gets a pile of donations from MCDean. MCDean forces its “customers” to pay for a level of service so poor that they must, on their own, find an alternative for which they pay an additional $75 a month. Then Delgaudio uses the fact that they must do this to claim that there is already a “simple solution” to the problem he is being paid to vote in favor of. Do I have it about right?

    Cue Barbara telling me that my problem with this is merely that I “don’t like” Mr. Delgaudio.

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