BREAKING: Loudoun Times-Mirror Uncovers Republicans Supporting Republicans

Republican members of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors are all supporting Republican candidates in the November elections, which means none of them are supporting the Independent candidate for chair, the Loudoun Times-Mirror has revealed. The only Board member who is not supporting the Republican candidate for chair is Shawn Williams, who left the GOP last month when making plans to run as an Independent and is supporting Scott York, also an Indepedent, for chair.

The Loudoun Time-Mirror labels this turn of events a “curious political dynamic.”

Since the local press, god bless’em, provide fuller coverage of retail openings and closings than of local politics, far be it from us to dampen their enthusiasm when they do venture down this weird, perplexing road. We should, however, be willing to help smooth the path when possible.

These political parties are, in some respects, mysteries wrapped in enigmas wrapped in press releases, and thus inscrutable. In other ways, however, they are simple.

Let us attempt to untangle the Case of the Curious Dynamic.

A Mystery Surfaces

The roiling controversy did not spring up ex nihilo this week, mind you. It was actually born long ago, in the faint, hazy past of earlier this month.

Trevor Baratko of Loudoun Times-Mirror
HELP ME OUT HERE: Loudoun Times-Mirror reporter (right) attempts to get a handle on how Republicans could be supporting the Republican candidate for Board chair.
At the Republican “unity” event in Leesburg on June 5, during the interview portion, the Loudoun Times-Mirror reporter noted the Republican supervisors were standing in support of Republican nominee for chair, Charlie King, instead of current chair, Scott York, the Independent. The reporter asked why they have “switched gears” to support King, when in the past they have praised York’s work on the Board.

Supervisor Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin) took a stab at it: “Because we’re Republicans.”

Not so easily turned aside, the reporter pursued: “That’s it?”

After a pause of two seconds that felt like 20, Supervisor Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge) mercifully chimed in with a critique of York that went a bit beyond what Charlie King had covered in-depth ten minutes earlier, getting time moving again and the reporter off the hook.

How That Pledge, Such As It Is, Works

Since that lesson apparently did not sink in, we shall review the main requirement of campaigning under the Republican label.

Despite what we have already established about the overall bogosity of the LCRC pledge, one part is less bogus than the others, and that is where if you are a Republican candidate for office, you don’t publicly support non-Republicans running against Republicans. Nobody would likely go through the trouble of getting the GOP nomination if not prepared to jump through that particular hoop.

Republicans are going to support Republicans publicly, almost every time. That is not a piece of shocking news. Any Republican candidate doing otherwise would be shocking, not to mention enormously inconvenient for the candidate.

That’s what would constitute a news flash.

And anybody bothering to read this political blog is probably saying to themselves, “Well, duh.” (Except at the LTM, where I imagine the reaction is: “The hell you say!”)

To be sure, there are curious aspects to the 2015 campaign for Board of Supervisors, in that the local Republican Party was split over the sheriff primary contest last month, and one faction in that battle is tied closely to the campaign of Charlie King. Oaths were uttered, suspicions raised, charges of treason tossed around, and some say bridges might have been burned. But that is inside-inside baseball. Even in that cloudy picture, most of the GOP will be pro-GOP for public attribution. If you want to report that story, you will have to dig deep into a thicket of anonymous sources.

But the question of whether any Loudoun Republican nominee, anywhere, is going to publicly support Scott York, is about as newsworthy as mosquitoes biting in summer.

Yes, we reported last week that York is supporting several Republicans this year. But he – above all people – likely knows it would be a man-bites-dog story if any were reciprocated.

When it comes to public endorsements, the “I” also stands for “Island,” which is what Scott York is on.

“Urgent Message of Truth!”

Janet Clarke2012Here’s the text from Loudoun’s Blue Ridge district supervisor Janet Clarke’s Facebook page:

Urgent message of truth! Folks, it has come to my attention that Supervisor Letourneau and Delegate Ramadan are misleading the community again regarding facts related to roads in my district. Please watch the following two videos regarding the Loudoun County Parkway and look on my County webpage for my prior newsletters that show the construction dates and County funding allocation as well!, Cut and paste each link into your browser if you cannot open them from Facebook. I and the entire Board campaigned on making sure the LC parkway got completed and we have focused our attention on this missing road segment in my district. Apparently you cannot count on Ramadan and Letourneau to put out the facts and you should question why. Although we are going into an election year and I am not running for re-election, but certain others are. More information to come.

Not long ago, chairman Scott York was declaring his all-Republican government to be, “a board united.” Then reality occurred and that all fell apart. Now, with York looking at another independent run, and outgoing supervisor Janet Clarke pointing fingers, the united board that barely kept its promise to bring Metrorail to Loudoun (five-to-four, thanks to Ken Reid) is in a state of disarray.

Supervisor Letourneau and Delegate Ramadan are misleading the community again

Astonishingly, with Reid’s sometimes abrasive personal touch, Geary Higgins’s appalling attendance record, Clarke’s decision not to run, Suzanne Volpe’s support for Eugene Delgaudio, Letourneau’s conjoined politics with David “there should be no restrictions on guns” Ramadan, Ralph Buona’s insistence that he be allowed to vote in favor of applications brought by his biggest donors, and Eugene Delgaudio’s persistent decision to continue to be Eugene Delgaudio, the local Democrats have so far found only two candidates to run against this bunch (Tony Barney for Sterling, and Andy Resnick for Algonkian, with the open possibility that Al Nevarez will force a nominating contest with Barney, while seven other seats are still looking for challengers).

Rumors are everywhere, of course, including some about a challenger to York, but only an elected official really has a chance at taking the chair and, with no Democrats on the current board, there are precious few of those in Loudoun to turn to. Buona, Higgins, Delgaudio and Volpe should be vulnerable (Letourneau and Reid seem not to have made any major mistakes, and Shawn Williams is a clear shoo-in for re-election). Yet, with four vulnerable, one open, and two at least competitive seats, over a month into this election cycle, only two have declared challengers.

Clarke’s urgent message of truth, that she doesn’t trust some of her fellow Republicans, should be an urgent call to arms for the local Dems. If they heed it sometime in the next few weeks, or if someone steps up to run in some of the winnable district races, change may still be possible. If not… well, the fierce urgency of now isn’t much use, once it has been allowed to become the fraught urgency of too late.

All But Clarke Will Run Again for Loudoun BOS

In a virtual footnote, the Loudoun Times-Mirror reports that eight out of nine (all but Janet Clarke) members of the current Loudoun Board of Supervisors will run for re-election. This bit of news is buried in the middle of an article reporting that consideration of a pay raise for the next board has been dropped:

The current board first broached the issue over the summer. Since then, supervisors — all but one of whom are seeking re-election — have expectantly been assailed by the public for floating the idea.

Just for the drill, the “24%” raise that the supervisors have “been asssailed by the public” for proposing would have been the first increase in their pay in eight years. By the mathematics of compounding, that would have put their new salary at the same level it would have reached if it had been increased by 2.7% each year (but without the actual pay increase being included in their checks for each of those eight years, which makes the effective percentage even smaller).

Now, the next time this comes up, it will have to be the first increase in (at a minimum) twelve years, which would be the same as if they had increased the annual pay by only 1.8% (assuming the next board again considers a $10,000 jump). Rest assured, though, that the press will run the same headline:


And we will further diminish the candidate pool towards nothing but the wealthy, the retired, the unemployed, or the just plain crazy.