Tag Archives: LCDC

Don’t you agree, Brian?

Brian Allman, Democratic nominee for sheriff

Brian Allman, Democratic nominee for sheriff

Brian Allman is on the November ballot as the Democratic nominee for Sheriff.

As the public gets to know a candidate, it questions the background and policies that the candidate supports and hopes to implement once elected.

Brian is no different.

Last Thursday evening at the Democratic Committee meeting at the fire house, many Democratic Committee members had questions for Brian.

This is an ongoing dialogue the Committee conducts to learn what to expect from a candidate.

The occasion for the discussion was that Brian wanted to join the Democratic Committee as a member.

In order to become a committee member, the candidate must be nominated at one meeting (last week), and then the Committee votes approval (or not) at the next monthly meeting (in June).

Several questions at the May meeting had to do with the number of law suits that Brian has filed himself.

Of course, court is how we settle disputes that can’t be settled any other way.

But a large part of any lawyer’s practice is discouraging litigation and encouraging settlement.  And the job of Sheriff is not only to enforce the law but to be a peace officer as well, to calm rather than to disturb troubled waters. Continue reading

Let Tom talk

Tom Seeman and "S." Mann at the Feb 2011 "LEC" protest. Note: This image has been altered to obscure the back of "S." Mann's head at the request of "S." Mann." She has also requested that we only refer to her as "S." Mann, which we confess to finding hilarious.

I don’t know both sides of the story. I read a letter from LCRC activist Tom Seeman. He attended the July 12 LCDC meeting and reported that Evan MacBeth, chairman of the LCDC asked him to lead the “Pledge of Allegiance” and then booted him out of the meeting. Supposedly, MacBeth called an “executive session” and asked all “non-LCDC and non-Democrats” to leave. Tom was the only person to oblige.

Excuse me, but what’s a “non-Democrat?” Is there a genetic test, ideological test or litmus test? Is Tony Hall, the Democrat who co-authored an anti-gay call for “Christian” insurrection against teh ghay a Democrat? Is there a Democratic equivalent of a Rhino? If Evan did what Seeman says, I’d bet you a dollar that quite a few LCDC members did not approve of the action. Democrats have little political power against the all Republican BoS. Their most potent tool is exposure, and that requires transparency. If the Democrats are going to demand transparency, they’d better practice it, right?

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The W-word

Workers Unite! (Rockwell Kent - Carleton.edu)

Communism 101, capitalists own the means of production. Workers create value by producing products and services. Workers don’t own much of anything. They sell their labor power to their employer. In order to maximize profits, employers squeeze the most productivity out of the workers for the least wages and benefits possible. Capitalists and workers used to be two distinct poles of a dialectic.

Not any more. Republicans, the primary but not exclusive representatives of the owners of the means of production, are winning hearts, minds and elections. Politically, Republicans now also represent the worker. Republicans own the W-word. Take this defense of Bill Dean’s opposition to the now defunct metro phase II PLA. Please note that “[Y]your opinion” in the quote was my assertion that contractors object to the PLA because it reduces their ability to exploit the workforce.

As a merit shop subcontractor who has about 50 full-time skilled workers (it used to be more before the recession) that I consider my friends, family and valuable employees that I have invested millions of dollars in training in the latest safety and construction skills, I strongly disagree with your opinion.

…This project is already subjected to Davis-Bacon wage rates determined by the federal government with or without a PLA, so pay and benefits are a non-issue

The buffoons are holding this project up over a non-issue because they need to pay their union masters back through the corrupt political system that appointed them to the MWAA board.

The writer must think we’re stupid to believe she spent millions to train 50 workers. Really? If she spent $2M, she spent an unbelievable $40,000 to train each worker who earnins from $15 to $23 per hour per the Davis-Bacon Act. Would any company spend that much to train low wage earners? Does anybody believe that “pay and benefits are a non-issue“? If so, see capitalism.

Meanwhile, Congressman Wolf has been working with Virginia Republicans to “screw labor and strip local control” of the MWAA for the past year, or longer. His recent comment that the PLA is “a festering sore“ indicates that he has nothing to fear from the Democrats or labor. He can exhibit outright hostility with impunity.

Where do the Democrats stand? The LCDC web site reports that unions addressed the next to last LCDC meeting, including; teachers and school employees, service employees, flight attendants, AFLCIO, food and commercial workers, communication workers, air traffic controllers, and construction laborers. LUNA, the construction union that represents “5,000 construction workers in Loudoun” lobbied for union protections in the Metro Silver Line Phase II project. Too bad for them. The LCDC just threw them under the Metro train right onto the hot third rail.

After the MWAA killed the Project Labor Agreement (PLA), the message from LCDC leadership was capitulation. We fought hard for our “friends in Labor“, but we lost, and mass transit is more important, and by the way, it was only a 10% PLA bidding bonus for Phase II. Voluntary PLAs will be there, so suck it up, knock on doors, phone bank and get Democrats elected. Go Dems! Democrats may court the unions on the surface but they are not leading anything and are actually preventing inter-union organization efforts from gaining traction. Democrats do not represent workers and they have no choice but to capitulate.

Labor relations are subject to the fragile economics of the industries and broader economic fears. The teaching profession is being de-professionalized by a Democratic administration. The airline industry suffered bankruptcies and political assaults since Ronald Reagan busted the air-traffic controllers. Their union, PATCO was really “an organization of conservative, skilled white men; men with their eyes on corner lots in the suburbs where they could raise their young families.” PATCO endorsed Reagan and Reagan had cause to fire them because their generous contract barred them from striking. Reagan really stuck it to them by refusing to hire them back after the strike. When highly skilled white-collar workers became expendable, the game changed.

The conservative white-collar PATCO is a model for LCDC’s worker friends. The concept that the worker will own the means of production, that the people will be responsible for planning what society produces and how products are developed and manufactured doesn’t exist in the local body politic. There are land-use questions – walkable transit-oriented versus sprawling auto-centric – but Loudoun’s abominable “design” is so auto-centric that the idea that Metro will affect those critical done decisions is ridiculous. The development chaos that built Loudoun was outsourced to the real “corrupt political system”; the system that sells automobiles using images of Craftsman-style bungalows, but no longer manufactures those small well-built American-made homes. It now sells us plastic wrapped colonials with three car garages to house automobiles owned by workers who, while stopped in traffic, dream of returning home to the mythical bungalow that sealed the deal on the car.

Automobile sold by the mythical bungalow in the woods

We live in an endless cycle of dream and myth that never connects the harsh reality that the middle class is shrinking and most production takes place in developing countries where workers and natural resources are exploited. There are workers out there, but we dare not speak of them.

Meanwhile, the Republican black and white thinking unburdens voters from these complicated geopolitical issues. A fertilized egg is a citizen, marriage is between one man and one women (at one time), workers are bad – unless my company employs them, business is good and there is no such thing as pollution. Democrats want the same thing for the workers that the Republicans purportedly deliver, jobs, and nobody seems to want the real change that is required to build a stable, self-sustaining economy.

If “worker” wasn’t the W-word, maybe we could make some progress. For now, Scott Walker won, the PLA is dead, the people voted, and workers had better tighten their belts.

A reminder, a rumor, the RPV, and a round (reposted from Doorbellqueen.com)

A reminder that you’ve got limited time if you want to be a voting member of the LCDC. I don’t really understand why they have the deadline, but there you go.

A commenter on Too Conservative said that Bob Moses is running for Chair along with Evan MacBeth. So at least there’s a choice? If you’re interested in voting?

Personally, I think not allowing on-site registration is a mistake, but it ain’t my party.

The RPV seems to be making their own errors, but at least I can laugh at those.

Last but not least, here’s a little something to lighten the mood:

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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Fighting For What’s Right (Reprised)

In December 2010, I was involved in a wonderful, though provoking debate about the future of progressive politics in the wake of the November loss of the House of Representatives. In the midst of dealing with the realities that election brought upon the nation, (potential government shutdowns, legislative badgering of the poor and female) it seemed to me appropriate, and uplifting, to return to the lessons I took out of that election.

Of COURSE we need to continue fighting for progressives and progressive policy outcomes at the national level. We will all be better off with better policies from Congress and the President. That being said, the wall off 40 (or more) incorrigibles in the Senate represents a very difficult to breach dam holding back hundreds (no baloney there, the House passed hundreds more bills than the Senate in this past Congress) of pieces of progress on the American experiment.

This of course, begs the question of what we, today, here in Loudoun can do to effect better and more Change at the national level. As I see it there are six specific pressure points on which we can act to yield better outcomes in the medium and long-term.

1. President Obama – We can, and should, exert the pressure of popular Democratic opinion on President Obama. This means letters and resolutions. Sure, some will say that such things “have no effect” but that’s not true. These things have no effect in isolation or limitation. One letter, sent once, is a howl at the moon. A dozen letters, sent monthly, is a demonstration of unity and commitment. One LCDC Resolution, issued alone is a symbolic gesture. A dozen County and City committee resolutions, with similar wording, issued simultaneously is a shot across the bow.

(I, of course, assume that everyone venting their bile at our President has had the decency to let the President himself know how they feel in a letter or at least an email.)

There’s more…

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Went out walking with Jennifer Wexton again!

She is so much fun to walk with! We did doors for about 3 hours on Saturday, and then she ran out of lit, so we stopped for the day. I emailed her more walk sheets for Sunday.

Speaking of Sunday, did anyone get an odd message from two of the LCDems lists that day? If you did, please let me know. liz (at) millerhousehold (dot) com.