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LTE Roundup

By Greg L | 28 October 2006 | Manassas City, Prince William County | 11 Comments

Some interesting letters to the editor appeared in the Manassas Journal-Messenger today, and since few of these will ever find their way onto the MJM website, it’s worth a recap of some of the more interesting items.

Steve Chapman of Manassas leads off with a recap of the recent Stewart/Pandak debate and gives an endorsement of Corey Stewart, where he manages to take a few jabs at Marty Nohe and Maureen Caddigan in the process. He concludes with:

…if you want higher taxes for business (which will be passed on to consumers) possibly higher property taxes (to maintain services), a person who wants to blame Richmond for all of our transportation woes, and who supports homosexual marriage, please vote Sharon Pandak. If you are looking for a proven fighter to keep taxes low, control growth, someone who is committed to work with the delegation and bring more of our money back to Prince William, and lastly, someone who is steadfast in respecting all life and traditional family values, your only choice for chairman is Corey Stewart on Nov. 7.

Jennifer Brooks of Springfield, who identifies herself as a Navy Veteran, writes this about Jim Webb:

…Some believe that Jim Webb’s negative views on women in the Navy is a thing of the past. Previois articles and speeches are dismissed with “that was a long time ago.” However it is important to note that in the present he is falsely taking credit for initiating opportunities for women at sea. This present, misleading conduct does not recommend him to me as a senator.

Joe and Gina Powers of Dumfries have this insight about Corey Stewart and Sharon Pandak:

Recently, my wife and I submitted two questions to candidates Corey Stewart and Sharon Pandak asking what their position is regarding illegal immigration and day labor sites.

Mr. Stewart’s immediate response was: I am against day labor sites and I believe social services should be limited to citizens and legal residents.

Ms. Pandak did not reply.

We will be voting for Corey Stewart.

Bruce Roemmelt of Haymarket, previous and expected future Democratic challenger to Delegate Bob Marshall, defends Sharon Pandak’s refusal to pledge to protect the Rural Crescent, and claims that Sharon Pandak “was one of a small group in the county who had the vision and dedication needed to establish the Rural Crescent.” How an attorney working for the county would actually do this, is unknown. He then claims that because Pandak has lived in the county longer than Stewart, Pandak is more qualified to “defend the Rural Crescent”. Pretty bizarre stuff.

Tom Philips of Manassas, gives the editorial board of the MJM a thorough thrashing for their previous editorial opposing the participation of Manassas in the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 287(g) program. Here’s an excerpt:

That attitude is exactly why there are between 10 and 20 million illegals in America today. The editorial even reaches on the impact the program might have on the city Police Department. Should the city police ignore every future law that requires law enforcement due to a lack of manpower and resources? Or, should it adapt and follow the wishes of the political body that pass the new laws?

We simply cannot ignore the problem any longer. It seems the City Council agrees. I’d rather live in a city that takes that stance rather than a city such as Houston or Denver that has just the opposite stance, and does not allow their police officers to check the immigration status of suspected illegal immigrants.

Seems Tom might agree with this post from earlier this month.

I’m leaving a couple LTE’s out of this roundup that I feel don’t make the cut. The Manassas Journal-Messenger is free to start posting all LTE’s published in the paper online to provide broader coverage and subvert my editorial decisions. RIght now they post a very small subset, which is unfortunate. Posting all these letters, and allowing discussion related to them would probably result in a fascinating community discussion board.

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  1. Citizenofmanassas said on 29 Oct 2006 at 9:46 am:
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    I find the website of the MJM to be very spotty on what they post and what they do not post on their website. The editor blog has not been updated it seems in months, and the editorial section is always a few days behind. They really need help.

    Did you see the most recent Miller Mailing? It points out the differences between his stance on illegal immigration and the stance Jeanette has taken on the issue.

    While I agree with Jeanette’s stance on going after businesses that hire illegals, she ignores going after the illegals. We need to do both, not every illegal in America works, and many who do, are paid in cash. So, in reality, she really does not want to take care of the problem, she only wants to sound tough on the issue.

  2. Big Dog said on 29 Oct 2006 at 11:28 am:
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    Interesting piece in the WaPo this morning by former
    GOP leader Dick Armey -
    “How did we go from the big ideas and vision of 1994
    to the cheap political point-scoring on meaningless wedge
    issues of today - from passing welfare and limited government
    to banning horsemeat and same-sex marriage?”

    Sad to note, but the Dems may not need good candidates
    or ideas to win this year - just more self destruction
    by the Republicans.

    Think Miller’s first two mailing pieces were great -
    he is an attractive, smart guy with a good resume
    and a great family. The last pieces, though, may be
    raw meat for his base, but the shrill negative tone
    is giving some moderate folks second thoughts about
    him in this election.

    Game plan suggestion - base secured - move towards
    the middle and don’t scare the horses.

  3. Anony said on 29 Oct 2006 at 2:29 pm:
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    What is telling is what letters the MJM hasn’t printed. If you look in the print edition of today’s paper, there is a letter from Gae Johnson. She is the wife of the Chairman of the Manassas Democratic Committee Chairman, and, if I am not mistaken, the secretary as well. Of course, the MJM doesn’t mention this. Her letter is pro-Rishell, and gives her partisan take on her candidate’s performance at the Oct. 17th debate. I submitted a pro-Miller letter, on October 19th, and recently resubmitted it with a question as to why the editors haven’t printed it. My letter has yet to appear. Also, several of my friends and family have written letters in support of Miller, Allen, Wolf, as well as letters in support of the Marriage Ammendment. MJM hasn’t printed them. Editorial slant and bias? I believe so.

  4. Anonymous said on 29 Oct 2006 at 5:22 pm:
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    Did you live in the County at the time the Rural Crescent was established or have you learned about the background of its establishment and the inside story about who was behind. If you had, you would know how instrumental Sharon was in that process. For too long, we been getting simple solutions to complex problems from people like who are good at campaigning, but poor at governing. Somebody like Sharon knows the real complexity of government, and what it takes to get something like the Rural Crescent established. She will know how to preserve it.

  5. Citizenofmanassas said on 29 Oct 2006 at 6:10 pm:
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    Sometimes the MJM is slow on printing letters. Some of my letter have been published up to two weeks after submission. So, give it a few more days. I don’t think I have had a letter that has not been printed going back to when I first started to submit them about 8 years ago.

    But, you are right about their bias.

  6. AndyH said on 29 Oct 2006 at 6:31 pm:
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    While I’m generally happier with the current local reporter, their editorial page has suffered since Alfred left. COM is right, it can take forever for letters to get published. I remember pulling my hair out during my campaign because letters supporting me seem to take forever to show up. Maybe just understaffed?

  7. Anonon said on 29 Oct 2006 at 6:43 pm:
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    Andy H - you people on the city council have e-mails? If so, I can’t find them. Help!

  8. S. R. said on 29 Oct 2006 at 7:20 pm:
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    Big Dog, Millers recent mail does seem to be a bit harsh but it is issue oriented and what I like about it is he uses references. Anything he says about Rishell he puts the date and publication of the items that Rishell stated.

    Nothing wrong with pointing out your opponents stand on the issues.

    My neighbor got a mail piece from Rishell yesterday that said she has never supported or proposed taxes, and that Miller is lying about her stand on taxes. I couldnt believe my eyes. This woman will say anything. She got her endorsement from the WAPO strictly because she supports raising taxes for transportation.

  9. AndyH said on 29 Oct 2006 at 8:26 pm:
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    Mine is aharrover@ci.manassas.va.us I think they are all first initial, last name@ci.manassas.va.us but can’t say for sure. Neither can I assure you that all of the council members read their city email. I’ve never really asked. If you want to send an email and ensure it gets there, send it to the clerk: kallen@ci.manassas.va.us She’ll print it and get it to them but it might not be until the end of the week depending.

    Those councilmembers who want their email addresses on the website should have them up there in the near future. I was tired of getting a pile of printed emails so I raised a ruckus about it at the last meeting. Some members may choose not to publish their emails as they don’t want to deal with the freedom of information act headaches associated with the persistent nature of email. To be honest, it is a bit intimidating. I could write an entire post on it.

    Maybe more than you were looking for but…;)

  10. charles said on 30 Oct 2006 at 1:56 pm:
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    Anon, Sharon was the county attorney, and was paid by the citizens of the county to implement the ideas of the board and the executive regarding a rural crescent.

    She did so. She was “instrumental” in the same way that the checkout person at Walmart is “instrumental” in making sure my packages end up in bags and my payment is correct.

    When she DID have leeway to do things “her way”, she implemented a program which cheated unsuspecting homeowners out of thousands of dollars in emminent domain cases, and lost the county millions of dollars in a quixotic campaign against the Parson’s farm, based on what appeared to be a personal animosity she had for the owner.

    And her recent biggest accomplishment appears to have been helping to block emminent domain protection legislation in Richmond, on the behalf of developer clients.

    I want a board chair who has experience in passing legislation, not a person who has experience in doing whatever her clients tell her, especially when her clients seem to have desires quite at odds with most of the citizens of our county.

    I want a board chair who will force the staff to provide a budget based on a reasonable tax rate, not one who thinks the property tax rate shouldn’t be changed when housing prices go up, and thinks that the staff should ask for whatever they want.

  11. Mom said on 30 Oct 2006 at 3:23 pm:
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    Kudos, Charles, I couldn’t have said it better myself. One point left unmentioned, regardless whether she was “instrumental” with regard to the Rural Crescent, it is unarguable that she was “instrumental” in a number of costly, poorly chosen and poorly litigated land use cases on behalf of the county. Though damaging in and of themselves, those losses then provided our recently departed chair with a convenient excuse to allow development projects to be passed with inadequate measures to address their impact, frequently citing the county’s poor record in litigation and raising the spectre of more losses at every opportunity.

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