Tag Archives: 2011

Bought and paid for. Deal with it, suckers.

Thanks to Liz for alerting me to the recent obscenity from the Sterling supervisor, in which he rants about the Board of Supervisors supposedly “punishing” business leaders:

The pursuit of profit and prosperity is what makes America a great nation.

To attack free market leaders and business spokesman in Leesburg– our local seat of government– or on Wall Street– is an attack on all our freedoms..

..[T]his board has ochestrated and frequently hosted assaults in public on business leaders and spokesmen and spokesladies who simply come and give professional written testimony about what other business leaders think or say.

Top business leaders have been brought into the public gallows and condemned by members of the Loudoun County board of supervisors by name and accused of crimes, undue influence and illegal acts on a routine basis.

“Top business leaders” like OpenBand spokesman Ben Young, perhaps? He does seem intent on removing any obstacles – like competition – to his company’s “pursuit of profit and prosperity.” The rant is followed by this, about the “top business leaders” who have donated to Eugene’s campaign: “These donors and their companies have been generous on the record and make a very big difference.” Indeed.

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Does Geary Higgins wish that his volunteers would just go away?

The Higgins team is still hard at it, arguing that they should be allowed to go door to door and demand that anyone with a Baldwin yard sign hand over their Chapman signs. Consistent with his out-of-touch letter (I wonder if he cleared that with Geary first), David LaRock is out busily winning friends and influencing people. Not:

Thanks for letting me know there is disagreement with me suggesting Mike Chapman give some thought to separating his signs from Baldwin’s on the main drag in Hamilton, in Baldwin’s front yard or elsewhere where hundreds of people see them every day…

…As we all know, anyone who is part of the Republican team, needs to remember, that allows them to draw from the team and requires they give back to the team. Think about what would happen if Mike or someone speaking on his behalf, knocked on those 5-6 doors to say please don’t use my sign with Baldwin’s. Worst case for Mike is he could lose 5-6 votes… or maybe some of those 5-6 people would stick with Mike because he is a team player, net result for Mike in either case is very small… [emphasis mine]

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Catoctin getting slappy

A couple of weeks ago, Without Supervision alerted us to two remarkably bad letters to the editor attacking Malcolm Baldwin, evidently cobbled together from the results of a FOIA request for constituent emails.

As it turns out, the readers to whom Mr. LaRock and Ms. Mann addressed their concerns are unimpressed by their efforts. Here is a short response:

Dear Editor: I couldn’t believe the letter from David LaRock attacking Malcolm Baldwin, a respected community leader, just because he voiced support for an ordinary non-discrimination rule.

Here’s what I want to know: Why is LaRock so hostile toward people who may be different from himself? Moreover, why is he thinking about other people’s sexual orientation and bodies in public restrooms? I (for one) wish he would stop.

If this is the kind of thing Higgins supporters are interested in, I’ll be voting for Malcolm Baldwin.

Indeed. I don’t think this is the sort of thing Catoctin residents want their supervisor doing, or thinking about, or encouraging others to think about. Yuck.

Another: Continue reading

Guys, signs don’t vote.

I was just going to make a quick update to the previous post, but then I witnessed what has the wacky wing of the Higgins campaign (note my assumption that there is an as-yet undiscovered wing) so scared of Malcolm Baldwin, and why the resulting implosion shows no sign of ending.

The previous post began by calling attention to this comment outing embarrassing Higgins campaigner David LaRock, who was upset at the number of Malcolm Baldwin yard signs next to Mike Chapman signs.

[David] LaRock suggest [sic] Mike go around and take down the signs posted next to Baldwin signs..

Now there’s this admission from the other one, Sally Mann:

Most of the signs are gone now.

Ok, I just swung through Hamilton on my way home, and if “most of the signs are gone now,” I have to ask how many were there before. Just on the main drag I counted five or six yards with both Baldwin and Chapman signs. All but one had no other signs that would help identify the owner as either a Republican or Democratic crossover voter (one also had a Shawn Mitchell sign). One of them was the home of a friend who is solidly Independent, so that’s not much help.

Keep in mind that these geniuses are demanding that the Chapman signs be “taken down.” The signs of their own guy. The Republican. Continue reading

Post-primary postmodernism

Wherein a few loose ends are explored.
(Updated to clarify meaning of terms.)

1. The GOP has a bigotry problem. Those who are genuinely trying to combat it have my sympathy, if not my confidence. A commenter at TC who goes by Muslim Conservative has been patiently doing a lot of heavy lifting in that regard, and has managed to dislodge some damaging admissions, to wit: Former Republican candidate for Sheriff Greg Ahlemann has stated once again that he categorically does not “vote for or support candidates who support or practice Islam.” He also stated that he would never vote for or support “a homosexual.”

That statement might surprise those who read my interview with him on Equality Loudoun back in 2007, in which he talked about Muslim friends and gay friends in a way clearly intended to dispel the rumor that he harbors bigotry. What might also surprise you is that his views haven’t changed since then, and that he doesn’t see any contradiction. He genuinely believes, I think, that these statements do not constitute bigotry, and he is not alone in this view.

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Scott York is Right at Home

It’s a trending observation among Loudoun’s political establishment: Scott York has shifted way back to the right this year. He’s endorsed paleo-conservative clan scion Dick Black, developer-darling Ken Reid, and virulent homophobe Eugene Delgaudio with a now-famous hug. At Leesburg Patch, Jim Barnes distills York’s history and contrasts it with the campaign he’s running today.

This year, York surprised many observers by announcing his decision to run for the chairmanship as a Republican, which means that he will first have to defeat conservative Steve Stockman at the Republican convention to receive the party’s nomination. Another surprise came when York and Delgaudio expressed support for one another and literally embraced one another. Strange bedfellows, indeed!

York has now publicly endorsed Dick Black for the Virginia State Senate. When serving in the House of Delegates, Black was regarded as one of the most conservative members of the General Assembly, known mostly for his crusades and political stunts in opposition to abortion, gay rights, and “pornography” in the libraries.

York also recently secured the endorsement of Black’s son-in-law, Mick Staton, who served on the Board from 2004-2007, and who was a member of the coalition that stripped York of some of his powers. – Jim Barnes

It’s telling that Mr. York sought the endorsement of Mick Staton. Mr. Staton is a man who helped disempower the Board Chair to the point where Mr. York had to seek recourse from the General Assembly in Richmond to restore his authority. It is also telling that Mr. York has spent the past four years endorsing and working with our great Democratic leaders, like Kelly Burk and Mark Herring, only to abandon his principles and friendship in order to secure his right to the Chairmanship nomination from the Loudoun Republicans.

Mr. Barnes is right to speculate, “But I also can’t help but wonder if his endorsements of Delgaudio, Black and others will be hard to digest for independents and Democrats who have supported York in the past, but who may find Democrat Tom Bellanca to be the more appealing candidate in the general election this fall.” Tom Bellanca is a knowledgeable, passionate businessman from the Dulles area, and a long-time member of Loudoun’s community. His quiet, consensus-building leadership is the antidote for the severe, and attention-grabbing shift of Scott York. Or rather, an appropriate answer to Mr. York’s return to his roots on the far right of Loudoun’s political spectrum.

Dave Butler Stands Alone

The Loudoun Times-Mirror carries the story of Jim Magner’s withdrawl from the race for the Democratic nomination in DEL-10.

“First, the creation of this new district offers a real opportunity for the democratic party to make a difference both in Richmond and here in Loudoun County, and I feel that a protracted primary fight would only hinder the party’s chances for realizing that potential in the general election,” he said in a statement.

In addition, Magner, an attorney with Washington, D.C.-based Leiser, Leiser & Hennessy, said a recent victory in Loudoun County Circuit Court has caused a drastic increase in the demands on his law practice and has “left me unable to dedicate the time needed to effectively manage may campaign.”

Magner’s client, Daniel Campos of Sterling, was recently awarded $282,000 in compensatory damages in a case against retail giant Wal-Mart. Campos was allegedly accosted and accused of shoplifting by Wal-Mart security guards.

In his statement, Magner said he is pledging his support for fellow Democrat Butler.

PhotobucketFirst, thank you to Mr. Magner for his efforts to defend the rights of our neighbors, like Mr. Campos, in court. Our community benefits greatly from his service as a defender of those rights in cases like the one cited above. And thanks also for pledging support for Councilman Butler, a man positioned to make a real difference in Richmond.

Dave Butler held a series of kickoff events for his Delegate campaign this past weekend. He traveled from Leesburg to Winchester, the length of the 10th District, making the case for his candidacy. He talked about his family, and his experience as a businessman and father in Loudoun county. He talked about his service on the Town Council, and his experience bridging divides to find answers to difficult questions of public concern. And Dave talked about what was missing. He talked about how our area does not get its fair share from Richmond, and how we can, and should, have a Delegate who will fight for us, and our jobs.

In that, he stands alone as a candidate for the 10th District. While others vying for the seat talk about blame and platitudinous issues that Delegates do not deal with, Dave Butler shares his experience with us and focuses on what can be done, now, to address the needs of the 10th District. We will do well to elect him to the General Assembly on November 8th.

Winning the House of Delegates

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is the arm of the Democratic Party that works to elect Democrats to state (and commonwealth) legislatures. This critical, but little noticed, piece of machinery is responsible for tracking election results for a huge number of elections, every year. Because of the sheer number and variety of races involved, it is a lot easier to draw assumptions about electoral trends from these state legislature races than from, say, a single US Senate or House special election. And the trending for Democrats at the state level this year is a lot better than it was in 2010.

In the last three months, we’ve noticed a startling trend: Since March 1st, Democratic candidates have overperformed in almost every similar special election compared to the Democrats who ran in the same districts in 2010.

This is a truly stunning turnaround. The conventional wisdom says that all else being equal (though it never is), a lower-profile election will produce a more Republican electorate. Therefore, a presidential year like 2008 should see better Democratic performance than a midterm like 2010, which in turn should see better Democratic performance than an odd-year special election.

But ever since the radicalism of the GOP’s assault on working families had a chance to sink in nationally, we’ve begun to see the opposite. Democratic special election candidates are now performing about 9.7% better than the Democratic candidates who ran in the exact same districts in 2010. – DLCC

The DLCC analysis goes on to state that the Wisconsin Recall elections will provide a wealth more data to be added to the analysis. Even without the Wisconsin results, an average improvement in 9.7% in special elections is incredible.

I mention this because here in Virginia Democrats seem to write off the House of Delegates. Even some of my favorite Delegate candidates speak of serving in the minority in Richmond. But by my estimation, there are no fewer than twelve seats in the House of Delegates that would have been flipped from Republican to Democrat in 2009, if the Democrat had won 9.7% more of the vote. That would have easily flipped control of the House of Delegates from Republicans to Democrats. And this is before Redistricting – Redistricting which has added even more seats from Democratic Northern Virginia.

The first step towards winning a majority is starting from the belief that you can (though not necessarily will) win a majority. The analysis from the DLCC shows that there may be a wind at the backs of Democratic state legislative candidates, a wind that will blow into November for us here in Virginia. So let’s start talking like we’re going to win, because we can, and we should, and if we work hard enough to make it happen, we will.

The Burden of Proof

This has been a funny year for Democratic politics in Loudoun. there are a lot of reasons, but none more annoying than the overwhelming preponderance of rumors. This candidate is switching parties (Not True). That candidate is moving Districts (Not True). This person is doing this thing to that other person (Not True). Last I checked, high school is over for most voters – and all active Democrats. That doesn’t stop the flurry of rumors from flying about, however.

Now I know that this kind of intra-organizational gossip is simply a function of being human. What political organizations experience is not different from what dog breeding groups experience, in that manner. (And I was struck by the deep similarities of intra-organizational gossip between the two by being subjected to gossip from an example of each within fifteen minutes of conversations.) What is uniquely frustrating this year, however, is the depth of the rumors and the amount of sheer falsehood therein.
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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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