Monthly Archives: May 2011

Jennifer Wexton Wrote an Op-Ed Piece

You may not have seen it, because it is only in the print edition of Loudoun Times Mirror (and in their e-edition, scroll to page A21). It’s a rather effective critique of Jim Plowman’s role in the scandal of the innocent Vice-Principal. Here’s an excerpt.

Though the summary facts are well known, there are key aspects of the case which have been forgotten, or never publicized, which reflect poorly on Mr. Plowman. First, the original charges against Mr. Oei said nothing about child pornography.

Even the misdemeanor charge against Mr. Oei (punishable only by a fine of up to $500) was based on the mistaken belief that Mr. Oei had not reported the matter appropriately. After it was determined that Mr. Oei had, in fact, reported the incident to his Principal, the Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney assigned to the case agreed that the charge should not be prosecuted, and filed a motion with the court to officially drop the case.

It was at this point that Mr. Plowman became personally involved, ordering the Assistant C.A. to withdraw the motion and continue with the case. Mr. Plowman also communicated to Mr. Oei’s lawyer an ultimatum: plead guilty to the failure to report charge and resign from the school system, or be charged with felony possession of child pornography.

As Mr. Oei’s attorney later stated in a sworn affidavit, Mr. Plowman “threatened [his] intention to pursue a legally and factually unsupportable felony charge” if Mr. Oei did not resign. Mr. Plowman had taken it upon himself — without consulting the Loudoun County Public Schools and despite Mr. Oei’s 30 years as a teacher and school administrator — to determine that Mr. Oei was not fit to work in the schools, and decided to extort him into resigning.

The Loudoun County School Board later voted to reimburse Mr. Oei for the legal fees he incurred defending himself from the baseless charges. Loudoun taxpayers were required to pick up the $167,000 tab for Jim Plowman’s witch hunt.

Mr. Plowman is an elected official, ultimately answering only to the voters of Loudoun County. In this election year, it is important to remember these egregious examples of Mr. Plowman’s poor judgment and abuse of power. – Jennifer Wexton

Since LTM wouldn’t put up a link (for reasons that are not yet known, there have been no new Letters to the Editor posted to the LTM site since February), you can read the full letter at Jennifer’s website!

And while you’re there, why not get involved? It’s time for a new Commonwealth’s Attorney.

(I provided some additional details and text from the letter to expand on this post -P13)

Medicine, Progress, Politics and HIV

An incredible, amazing headline was posted on CurrentTV’s website this morning:

San Francisco Man First Person Ever To Be Cured Of AIDS

In essence, a bone marrow transplant from a man with an incredibly rare immunity to HIV was able to, apparently, cure another man’s HIV. This is the kind of “miracle of science” we’ve become all too used to. We will do well to reflect on where these incredible advances come from.

This incredible breakthrough is the direct result of progressive perspectives and policies, and flies in the face of conservative opposition and backwardness. At each step of the way towards this advancement, progressive ideas made things possible, even as conservative voices decried the emergence of hope or acknowledgement of human need.

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The 10th Delegate Race

It wasn’t that long ago that there was a race for Delegate shaping up between incumbent Republican senior citizen Joe May and the young Leesburg Town Council member, Dave Butler. Dave made his intentions to run for Delegate known before the Redistricting fight in Richmond was over. So, it came as a surprise to no one that Joe May conveniently redistricted his opponent out of his District. And yes, the map in this area was Del. May’s doing. As a senior member of the House of Delegates, with incumbency since 1994 (and a perspective rooted in 1994, as well), it was his hand drawing the lines.

Dave Butler is a candidate that one of the most senior, and historically electorally safe, Republicans in the Assembly, did not want to run against.

After the new lines were drawn, Councilmember Butler started visiting with the voters in the new 10th District. From the Winchester Airport, to Boyce in Clarke, to Middleburg, Leesburg and Goose Creek, he has been walking through neighborhoods, talking to Virginians, and listening to the concerns of constituents who do not feel they’re getting their fair share from Richmond.
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Dan Lloyd drops out of the Sterling race, throws his support to Al Nevarez

May 18, 2011

All Loudoun County Democrats,

I have decided to end my campaign for Sterling Supervisor. During this amazing four-month learning process, I have met great people who care about their community and learned a lot about our local issues and the political process. However, given the pressures of running a small business in a down economy and keeping up with family responsibilities, I have realized that I don’t have the time to devote to beating the incumbent in the fall. Fortunately, Al Nevarez has the knowledge, communication skills and a team in place to take on Delgaudio, and I will help to fully mobilize Democrats and Independents around his campaign.

I thank you for all your advice and support and I will do whatever I can to help our local candidates and the LCDC succeed.

Sincerely,
Dan Lloyd

Thank you for stepping up, Dan, and thank you also for this gracious note about your departure from the race, which I received from a friend within the LCDC.

What Gives With the Republican Candidates?

Weird what is happening in the Republican Party.  When an anti-Sharia demonstration was held in front of LCDC HQ, party members shrugged their shoulders and said, “ no worries,”  just a matter of freedom of speech.  Maybe; but doesn’t a major party have a responsibility to speak out against hate-speech?  None of the party elders, including young Mat Latourneu has stood for proper behavior.   

Passing by the Republican tent down in South Riding the other day sis and I saw Ramadan, and Republicans said this was all much about nothing since  Ramadan isn’t a practising Muslim.  Who knows what his religion is?  But why does it matter if he is or is not?  That’s the problem missed by the Republican mob.  So why would any Muslim vote Republican this year. 

Then there is Delgaudio with his hate speech against gays, and York, then Republican, then independent, and now Republican being hugged by Delgaudio, who voting record isn’t popular with the African-American community.  Weird stuff.  Well, perhaps not weird.  They are all neo-conservatives after all.    Buono is pushing a N-S superhighway that will devastate the environment.   Nope.  Weird cast of characters, from the green behind the ears Matt to the socially challenged Delgaudio, to the “business is all” Buono, to the “I just want to be elected and will do whatever it takes to do it,” York.  Wow.  Real progressives, all.

Valdis Ronis for Loudoun

Memorial Day is fast approaching, and with summer coming, the campaigns will be switching into high gear soon.

Valdis Ronis, candidate for the incumbent-free (and newly created) Ashburn District Supervisor seat, is planning a number of events and fundraisers in the coming weeks, beginning with the Ashburn Farm Summer Kick-Off, and we should all stand behind him and give him as much help as we can this summer and in the coming months.

Valdis’ campaign motto is “Leadership, not Politics”, and it is clear from his occupational and civic credentials that he is and will continue to practice that when he is elected in November. He describes himself as “fiscally conservative, socially progressive and environmentally responsible”, and the three tenets of his campaign are “leadership, accountability and sustainability”, according to his campaign website. Valdis also has a 5-point plan for Loudoun: 1) ensuring the quality of our childrens’ education; 2) managing growth and supporting economic development; 3) improving our transportation network; 4) achieving maximum value for every tax dollar; and 5) preserving our quality of life & protecting the environment. As a businessman and citizen activist, Valdis is uniquely qualified to speak authoritatively on all 5 of those points.

Valdis is also practicing his fiscal responsibility in his campaign by spending only what he needs to on his campaign without incurring a penny of debt, and spending campaign funds only when and where they are necessary. Voters take note – this is how Valdis will operate with the county budget when he is elected.

In total, by being “fiscally conservative, socially progressive and environmentally responsible”, Valdis Ronis is the complete package that residents should be looking for in their district supervisor. But he can’t do it alone; he will need an all-out effort from each and every one of us to ensure victory in November.

Loudoun Out Loud at St. James

Crossposted at Equality Loudoun

Sunday, May 22 at 11:00 am
St. James United Church of Christ
10 East Broad Way, Lovettsville

Loudoun Out Loud, the PFLAG support group, has now been meeting since January (See interview with Lori Stevens here, and Living in Loco has more links). Not only does LOL facilitate two monthly support group meetings – one for LGBTQ youth and one for family/allies – they have also provided appropriate resource materials for use in Loudoun County Public Schools, partnered with locovore eatery American Flatbread to raise funds for PFLAG, collected bikes for Bikes for the World as an Earth Day project, hosted a screening of the film Bullied, and probably more I don’t know about yet.

Lori Stevens and some of the youth will be sharing the stories that have brought them together to create this much needed group – and the public is welcome.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime..

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about “Liberty and Justice for All, Born and Unborn.”

It is not justice to force a pregnant person into involuntary servitude for 9 months, risking her life and health. With no trial. No judge. No jury.

It is not justice to declare that the life and health of a living person is worth less than the fetus she carries. With no trial. No judge. No jury.

It is not justice to withhold life-saving surgery from a living person due to concern for the fetus she carries. With no trial. No judge. No jury.

It is PARTICULARLY not justice to do so when you are also working to allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense birth control.

It is PARTICULARLY not justice to do so when you are also working to prevent accurate sex education.

It is PARTICULARLY not justice to do so when you are working to cut funds to social services, day care, foster care.

…If we truly valued children, we would do everything in our power not to traumatize, deprive, or neglect them…

Until I see this, I won’t believe that “pro-lifers” care about life at all. I won’t believe that “family values” proponents care about families. And I won’t believe that those who seek to “protect” children care about children.
-Matt Kailey at Womanist Musings

Oh! And in case you thought Choice is only about Abortion, here’s a post that will better inform you.

(cross posted at DoorbellQueen)

The Unemployed Generation

I am now thirty-six years old. That means that I really cannot qualify as “young” anymore. Monickers such as “younger than…” might still apply, but on the other side of thirty-five, the single designation “young” is inappropriate. I mention this because I am very lucky to count among my friends a good number of people on the other side of that divide. People who are inarguably still young, by any reasonable measure. And among my friends of the generation(ish) following mine, a single issue stalks their lives and decision-making:

Employment.

Of all the cohorts that the Great Recession pummeled, none were hit harder than young people. Indeed, beyond just the anecdotal evidence of friends moving back in with their parents after graduating from some of the best schools (and grad schools!) in the country, the statistics on unemployment among twenty-somethings are frightening. Even as slightly older workers (like me) find jobs and their unemployment rate creeps below 8%, people aged 20 to 24 see a stubborn unemployment rate of 15%. And that rate has stayed high for years. Students have gone through four or eight years of college without seeing any improvement in the economy for themselves when they graduate. And the news is even worse for those who didn’t go to college.

In 2009 and early 2010, it was chic to write articles about this new lost generation. Eighteen months later, their prospects aren’t any better, but they’re no longer good copy. More than lost, they’ve become forgotten – not even worth reporting about.

It will be impossible for America to address its myriad challenges without first, and foremost, putting the generation who will deal with whatever solutions we implement on a solid economic footing. And that means creating and sustaining good jobs for people who have entered the workforce in the past ten years.

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LEC 9011

Promoted by Epluribusunum – This post is especially insightful in light of yesterday’s developments, in which Supervisor Burton withdrew his support from the CBPO in part because of too much uncertainty regarding which parcels would be affected and how. I note in particular the chorus on the LTM forum decrying Burton as an “opportunist” for taking exactly the position the LEC are demanding. It suggests that nothing could possibly make them happy, and lends yet more support to the theory that LEC is nothing but a Republican campaign organization. A fraud.

Roy Jacobsen, President of the Loudoun Environmental Council marched up to the BoS podium and presented a list of 9011 properties affected by the proposed Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance.   He was quoted in the Leesburg Today.

“Staff was asked for a list of impacted parcels caused by the implementation of the CBPO. They said it would take two to three weeks…Then they said four to six months. Here’s a list,” Jacobsen said. “We had our engineers using the county’s GIS system compile this. This calls to question whether the county is trying to provide this list or not… is it just incompetence or is it a cover up?”

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