Tag Archives: 2011

This is what hate speech encourages.

Photo credit: John Wright at The Dallas Voice

This is what hate speech gives people with violent inclinations license to do. When they are erroneously told, by someone like hate group leader Eugene Delgaudio, that gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people are threatening to something they value, such as their children or their right to worship freely, such people feel justified in resorting to violence. They are fearful, and feel that they are acting to protect something of great value.

Engaging in hate speech is not illegal. Lying is (usually) not illegal. But when hate speech is used to motivate people to make donations or to vote in a particular way, there are unintended (or perhaps intended) consequences. Anyone who engages in such behavior is unfit for public office, by definition. Such a person does not serve the public, by definition.

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A “new, dark legacy” that should be decisively rejected

The following letter is online at Leesburg Today. It presents even more troubling information about the threatening political climate that came spectacularly into public view with the exposure of two violent images sent by Loudoun Republican leaders.

This is the first I’ve heard about the threatening phone calls to League of Women Voters members, or the harassment of the Electoral Board.

Where are our investigative reporters?

Like Sarah Palin’s bull’s eye on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’s congressional district, the Loudoun County Republican Committee’s image of President Barak Obama with a bullet hole in his head adds to the violent imagery that has increasingly taken over public discourse in this nation.

This is not a single, anomalous event in recent Loudoun politics. A significant factor behind the Loudoun League of Women Voters cancellation of a candidate forum for this election was threats made to LLWV members by phone at their homes by advocates of concealed weapons, and the League’s concern about the cost and adequacy of security for what has been a regular voter education event.

Sterling District Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio’s bloody handprint in literature denouncing homosexuality is another item to add to the pile.

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One more problematic image: The case of Ting-Yi Oei

With all the focus on images lately – from witlessly offensive to intentionally menacing to so hilariously unexamined that the possibility of sabotage has been raised – it’s no wonder that Governor McDonnell didn’t stay longer for a photo op with Loudoun Republicans.

There’s another image for voters to keep in mind. It’s an image that a man had cause to upload to his phone one day in the course of doing his job – and he paid dearly for it, due to an inexplicable series of actions taken by Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman.

TOLD THAT a judge was dismissing all charges against him, Virginia educator Ting-Yi Oei had just one thought: “Hallelujah.” Given his nightmarish prosecution on child pornography charges, it was an understandable, even restrained, reaction. What’s not understandable is why criminal charges were ever brought against an unassuming assistant high school principal who was just trying to do his job. Loudoun County residents are right to wonder about the unsettling circumstances of this case and to demand better answers.

-A Nightmare in Loudoun; Why was a respected educator subjected to baseless child pornography charges? Washington Post, April 30, 2009.

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Mark Herring Stands With Veterans

Mark Herring does so much for us here in Loudoun from the Virginia Senate that many of his accomplishments for the wider commonwealth get under-reported and under-appreciated here in his home county. Given some of the things in the news, I thought it might be nice to post something positive for a change, and Sen. Herring’s service to Virginia’s veterans seemed an obvious choice.

Virginia Guard recognizes top units, receives resolutions from General Assembly

Sen. Herring Awarding the Virginia National Guard a Commendation Resolution.


For example, Sen. Herring is the Co-Chair of the Virginia National Guard Caucus in the General Assembly, and has been instrumental in making financial help for veterans easier to provide. During the 2010 Session, Senator Herring sponsored and passed legislation that exempts payments to individuals from the Virginia Military Family Relief Fund from state income tax.

He has stood up for the rights of our veterans and their families. In 2008, he sponsored and passed the Virginia Military Parents Equal Protection Act, which protects military parents from losing important child custody and visitation rights as a result of their deployment out of the Commonwealth. And in 2011, he sponsored and passed a bill to enhance the Military Parents Equal Protection Act by allowing deployed military parents to delegate their visitation rights with children to a member of their family while they are stationed overseas. Indeed, Sen. Herring supports the service of all military families.

Now those are Virginia family values.
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Unfit for office, unfit for endorsement

I could never, had I been asked to imagine the most ridiculous and easily verifiable lie that Eugene Delgaudio might invent, have imagined something as ridiculous and easily verifiable as this:

When contacted by the Loudoun Times-Mirror for comment about the exposure of his “Blood Door” email, Mr. Delgaudio told the reporter that the Photoshopped image he had sent to his mailing list was the original and that his image had actually been Photoshopped, by the very people who caught him in this behavior, to make it “look like blood.”

Side by side image comparison by the Loudoun Times-Mirror

When the reporter told me this, I said I thought that was interesting, and suggested that she search on Google images for “blood door.” She did.

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Free Market

It's free!I think we may finally have some insight into what Mr. Delgaudio means when he says the “free market.”

Supervisor Miller has reported this news:

I voted with a total of eight supervisors just now to deny the request from OpenBand to renew their video services franchise in Loudoun county. There was no comment from any member voting with me. The only vote to renew was that of Eugene Delgaudio, who, in the last week alone, took over seven-thousand dollars in campaign donations from OpenBand’s owner.

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An unfortunate omission

I was very impressed with the airy above-it-all tone Joe was able to summon about “the recent Halloween unpleasantness” until I saw his images, images that were apparently the point of the post.

The thing is, there’s nothing new there. We already know that there are people on the outer fringes of good judgment and civility, enough of whom might actually be dangerous that we need a Secret Service whether our president is a Democrat or a Republican. What I fear is that this post is a – I hate to say it – deliberate attempt to pretend that the images at issue in Loudoun did not come from an official Republican Party Committee and a Republican elected official, and hope that no one notices. I’m sorry, but someone did.

From the official Republican Party Committee

From the Republican elected official

Is this acceptable to you, LTM?

A second update (the first one appears at the bottom of the post): This is the original image that was photoshopped by Loudoun Republican Eugene Delgaudio to turn the blood “rainbow,” which he then lied about to the Loudoun Times-Mirror. This was found by a commenter via google using the search terms “blood door.”

Image included in the header of an October 25 fundraising letter sent by Eugene Delgaudio

Editor: Please direct the following to all individuals with input into political endorsements at the Loudoun Times-Mirror.

Is this what the Loudoun Times-Mirror editorial staff had in mind when you said of Eugene Delgaudio “his view on social issues is unsettlingly conservative and his antics distracting”? The attached image of the GLBT rainbow symbol in the shape of a pool of blood, complete with a gruesome bloody handprint, was sent to the presumed supporters of an elected official to whom you just gave your endorsement for reelection. While it could be described as unsettling, especially if one has been witness to such a crime scene, I don’t think that “conservative,” “distracting” or “antics” would apply.

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What is OpenBand buying?

Another excellent, informative letter published at Ashburn Patch. Especially interesting are the laundered contributions to Dick Black. I look forward to hearing more about what they’re expecting for that expenditure.

We would like to update your readers on the issue of the ongoing campaign contributions to several Loudoun County Board of Supervisors candidates. One thing to keep in mind; OpenBand’s video franchise with the county expired two years ago and OpenBand currently has an application before the Board for a new franchise, which makes the following campaign contributions troubling.

In our previous letter to the editor, dated October 7, 2011, we provided details on campaign donations from OpenBand’s parent company. We showed monetary contributions made by OpenBand’s parent company and its officers to the various Loudoun County Supervisor races. Since then additional contributions have been made. This data is publicly available by the State Board of Elections and VPAP. Below are the updated campaign contribution totals:

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Integrity Matters

Hey all, I’m back for a moment, from my perch here in resplendent Reston, to weigh on on something.

The Loudoun Times-Mirror made some endorsements today in their on-line edition, one of which was endorsing Republican Ralph Buona over Valdis Ronis for Ashburn District Supervisor. Now, endorsements alone don’t amount to a whole hill of beans, but some people who don’t pay close attention may rely on them for a decision. So I just wanted to point out a bit of a conflict of interest I’m seeing here.

Back in June of 2010, the Times-Mirror and the Loudoun Independent merged. The owner of the Independent was Bill Dean, who also runs M. C. Dean, a multi-faceted business based in Sterling. They happen to operate OpenBand, which provides cable, internet, and telephone service to many residents in the Ashburn District (of which I am a former resident). As part of the merger, Mr. Dean was given a seat on the Times-Mirror Board of Directors.

Fast forward to 2011. Loudoun Chamber of Commerce Chairman Ralph Buona throws his hat into the ring for the supervisor seat being vacated by Lori Waters, opposing Valdis Ronis. Mr. Dean, either directly or through M.C. Dean, Inc. contributed $5,500 to Mr. Buona’s campaign this year (as of September 30, 2011).  Interesting, because there are 2 Homeowners Associations in Ashburn District who are taking legal action against OpenBand regarding their franchise renewal. The next Board of Supervisors will undoubtedly have to make a decison on whether or not to grant OpenBand a franchise renewal, and Mr. Dean’s campaign contributions to Mr. Buona raise serious conflict of interest issues.

Now, today, we see that the Loudoun Times Mirror has endorsed Mr. Buona in the supervisor’s race. As I said before, it’s just an endorsement, and in the grand scheme of things isn’t earth-shattering, but it brings into question why the Times-Mirror would even go there. At the very least, they should have explained the connection and refrained from making an endorsement.

Integrity matters, and it is becoming apparent that Mr. Dean, Mr. Buona, and the Loudoun Times-Mirror are lacking in that regard. Valdis Ronis has shown throughout his campaign an impeccable level of integrity. Please vote of November 8th for my friend and former neighbor, Valdis Ronis, for Ashburn District Supervisor.