Loudoun Government For Sale?

To date, the real estate community has given over $118,000 to candidates in this year’s local races. That may not seem like a lot, but it is 50% more than any other industry.
And there can be no doubt that those donations are going to come thick in these last days. In 2003 and 2007, the real estate business spent over 750,000 in each cycle to see their candidates elected. We live with the consequences of the Board that served from 2003 to 2007 every day, in crowded roads, stuffed schools and a crisis of foreclosures and underwater mortgages. Thankfully, the current Board has helped curb the excesses of that period, and introduced rationality and close consideration to the real estate development process.

These donations, however, are of a kind with others to Republican candidates that beg the question of whether Loudoun County’s government, when controlled by Republicans, is for sale?

Witness (Republican-turned-Independent) Sheriff Simpson’s history of benefits provided to his donors.

Or Chairman York’s vote in favor of every development project presented to this Board, and resulting plethora of campaign cash from the industry.

Indeed, some Republican candidates have taken to actually selling their services in return for political donations.

It begs the question of whether Loudoun’s Government will, in fact, be for sale come November 9th, if Republicans are given control. It’s something to think about.

5 thoughts on “Loudoun Government For Sale?

  1. Yvonne

    One clarification: Yes, MC Dean and OpenBand are definitely “buying” the next Board as their application will be resolved with the next Board. However, to lump them in with all developers and real estate donors is not accurate. In fact, it could be disputed that they shouln’td even be in that catagory.

  2. Yvonne

    I must take exception to this post. You are attacking the wrong donors!

    Va Code § 15.2-2287.1(B) requires members of the Board to publically disclose “Business or Financial Relationships” with the following entities:
    1. The applicant in a case (see below for definition of “case”);
    2. Title owner, lessee, or contract purchaser of land in a case;
    3. Trustee, attorney, agent, or real estate broker of anyone included in (1) or (2).

    Business relationships, as defined in the statute, include gifts or donations of $100 (aggregate) during the 12 month period prior to a hearing, which would include campaign contributions. The law not only requires public disclosure in these instances, but also makes the member ineligible to vote.

    This voter restriction only applies in specific cases however, which are:
    1. Application for a special exception or zoning variance; or
    2. Application for the amendment of a zoning ordinance map.

    The restriction specifically does not apply to the following cases:
    1. Adoption of a comprehensive zoning plan;
    2. Enactment of an ordinance applicable throughout the locality; or
    3. Approval of an application filed by the board of supervisors that involves more than 10 parcels that are owned by different individuals, trusts, corporations, or other entities

    Members of the Board , are required to publically disclose campaign contributions of over $100 (aggregate) during the 12 month period prior to a hearing and recuse themselves from voting when when all of the following 3 criteria are met:

    1. The campaign contribution came from the applicant, title owner, lessee, contract purchaser, or trustee, attorney, agent, or real estate broker thereof in a case being heard by the board/commission;
    2. The case being heard involves the application for a special exception or zoning variance, or an application for the amendment of a zoning map; and
    4. The case being heard does not include adoption of a comprehensive zoning plan, enactment of an ordinance applicable throughout the locality, or an application filed by the board of supervisors that involves more than 10 parcels that are owned by different individuals, trusts, corporations, or other entities.

    This analysis is only limited to § 15.2-2287.1 and there may be other applicable laws that would require disclosure of contributions.

    The real problem is large donors OTHER THAN DEVELOPERS. They can “buy a vote” with no such restrictions as above. It also seems that the $100 limit for developers and attorneys, etc seems punitive. What vote can a $101 donation buy in contrast to thousands of dollars which are unrestricted by any legislation?

  3. Pariahdog


    Can you dispute that the 2003 Board and the Dale Pollen Meyers Board completely sold the county out to what I described in “Why I like Ayn Rand” as an American super-sized version of Stalinist block houses?

    The Democrats, on the other hand appear to have been concentrating on commercial development projects and school construction. What has the Democratic board done that is so bad in your opinion? Seriously, I don’t have a clue as to what you’re talking about. They passed a non-discrimination addition to the county employee regulations, oh my. After all the hate-filled bluster of Delgaudio and Waters, nary a peep of any negative effect.

    Why don’t you write a top 10 list over at TC and link back.

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