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Vote Mike May

By Greg L | 29 January 2007 | Prince William County | No Comments

Tomorrow voters in Occoquan will go to the polls and select a new county supervisor. Republicans have nominated Mike May, who is running against Democrat Jeff Dion. The candidates campaigns have been positive, although not terribly informative insofar as providing the voters with enough comparitive information. The media has done nearly nothing to help identify the differences between these candidates. As a result, this election risks becoming a party label contest instead of a referendum on the respective qualities of the candidates themselves. That’s unfortunate, as Mike May should clearly be the preferred choice of sufficiently informed voters.

Mike May is the only candidate with any experience in county government, having served on the county planning commission while a number of controversial and difficult development proposals were made. While Jeff Dion inaccurately depicts Mike May’s service on the commission as a surrender to developer interests, it’s pretty clear that this experience has matured him beyond the simplistic and unrealistic sound bytes on development issues that have become a staple of the Jeff Dion campaign. While it might sound good for Jeff Dion to promise to stop all development rezonings and raise proffers, you can’t get proffer money without a rezoning, and halting all rezonings indefinitely would put the county at great risk of becoming a defenant in a lot of costly litigation. Clearly there’s a benefit to experience, and Mike May is the one with all of it in this contest.

Jeff Dion’s campaign has ducked with the coopperation of a compliant local media a number of troublesome issues. Despite his pledge to not accept money from developers, he has received financial support from Gerry Connoly and Sharon Pandak who obtained a significant portion of their money from developers. Instead of accepting developer money directly, about $4,000 in campaign contributions gets laundered by several local developer-friendly Democrats. I’d call that a technical violation of his pledge.

Jeff Dion also has received several thousand dollars of support from the Gay & Lesbian Political Victory Fund, which has endorsed him as well as the Virginia Partisans Gay & Lesbian Club, and to the extent they can, so has homosexual advocacy group Equality Prince William. Dion hasn’t spoken about what parts of their agenda he plans on helping move forward, just as he hasn’t explained how a gay man living his gay partner squares with being a cub scout leader, or why his campaign statements in regards to where his children reside appears to be a careful misstatement of the facts. I’m concerned about what Jeff Dion’s real agenda may be, as so far he hasn’t explained anything but the politically popular issues such as crime, development and transportation. The media has given himn a complete pass, from the local Manassas Journal-Messenger which hasn’t even mentioned that Jeff Dion is gay, to the Washington Blade which didn’t even ask questions about the issues it’s readers often are passionate about.

In the eyes of many voters, this is a contest between two candidates trying to look and sound most like PWC BOCS Chairman Corey Stewart. We saw that sort of thing before in the Governor’s race where both Republicans and Democrats adopted a no-tax-hike platform only to see the elected Democrat abandon that pledge within a week and propose over $2 billion in tax hikes. Perhaps that’s the new strategy of the Democrats — act like Republicans in order to get elected, and then cast off the costume soon after an election and govern like a liberal Democrat. Do they really think that voters are going to fall for this again?

Mike May clearly deserves the support of Occoquan voters tomorrow.  His strong stance on illegal immigration, solid experience in county government, and strong relationship with members of the Board of County Supervisors will make him an effective and representative supervisor to fight for Occoquan District residents.  With Mike May, you don’t risk being surprised by mid-February.

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