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Gary Friedman Resigns From PWCDC

By Greg L | 14 October 2007 | PWCDC, Prince William County | 39 Comments

Courtesy of RazingKaine:

Dear Sirs:

Effective immediately, I am herewith resigning my membership in and all support for your committees, for reasons made clear below.

Prince William Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert’s decision to announce today, three weeks before an election, his plans to appoint a special prosecutor (Potomac News online 10/12/07: “Legality of Stewart mailer questioned”) to look into a mailer sent to county citizens by Chairman Corey A. Stewart is - there is no other way to say it - political thuggery at the worst level I have ever seen in our county .

I have lived in this county for nearly three decades. During all that time I have watched Mr. Ebert time and again construct and maintain a firewall between the political arena and our judicial system. During those many years, Mr. Ebert has protected our judicial system when clearly politically motivated “campaign complaints” have come to his office by competing campaigns. I have always agreed with him, and sometimes it has not been easy to do so, that no matter how outrageous the alledged campaign offense may be, he could not and would not allow the judicial system to be compromised by political motivations, especially in close proximity to an election. If he has erred in the past, it has always been on the side of keeping politics out of the judicial system. Until now. His announced decision represents a 180 degree reversal of his long standing practice. As such it is a dark and ugly stain on an otherwise distinguished career in public service.

Why would Mr. Ebert violate his own decades old policy? The only possible explanation is political motivation. Mr. Ebert is a long standing, senior member of the Democratic Party. He has been a major campaign contributor to Corey Stewart’s opponent, Sharon Pandak, in both last year’s special election and in this year’s general election. It is these reasons, no doubt Mr. Ebert will assert, prompted him to appoint an outside investigator rather than have his own office do the work, and he is right to remove himself and his office from the complaint. But, Mr. Ebert also knows that the mere announcement of an official investigation, three weeks before an election, is designed to have, and may have the effect of politically damaging the object of the investigation. This is clear and obvious abuse of process for political purposes. Every arm of the The Democratic Party should be outraged by Mr. Ebert’s conduct.

If Mr. Ebert were to serve justice, he would have accepted the complaint, had it sealed immediately, and he would have waited until after the election to make any public statement whatsoever regarding the complaint. That is what consistency with his long standing practices would have demanded. But, it seems clear Mr. Ebert’s interests were somewhere other than in serving justice.

Mr. Stewart has said that he will ask federal prosecutors to look into whether Mr. Ebert’s actions are lawful. He should. He should also ask the Virginia Attorney General to do the same. There needs to be an examination for possible violation of laws or rules preventing this sort of conduct from public prosecutors. Further, Mr. Ebert should be brought before the Virginia Bar Association to have his conduct examined, to determine which rules of professional conduct he may have violated, and to determine if he should be allowed to continue to keep his license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Mr. Ebert has said he made the decision because “It doesn’t smell good”, (of Mr. Stewart’s mailer). If that is true then the timing of Mr. Ebert’s public announcement reeks most foul. I cannot see how his announcement can be viewed as anything other than an improper, intentional abuse of our judicial process motivated to improperly influence the outcome of a lawful election.

Nor, it must be said, are Sharon Pandak’s hands clean on this matter. During a candidates forum, on the day of the mailer complaint, it was obvious to me that Sharon Pandak and Woodbridge Supervisor Hilda Barg, were acting in concert. (Apparently Ms. Barg was the complaintant.) If Ms. Pandak is so desparate to win an election that she will collude with Ms. Barg in getting her good friend and supporter Paul Ebert to overturn his own policy in the Commonwealth’s Attorney office, to make a carefully timed announcement intended to damage her political opponent, then none of them are fit for public service of any sort. How can anyone trust such a candidate?

As to my continued membership in the Prince William County Democratic committee structure, I cannot allow my name to be associated with any organization that either condones or promulgates such fundamentally unethical and, at its core, unAmerican conduct, or whose most senior representatives or candidates engage in such activities. Unfortunately, the conduct of these three individuals all too accurately reflects the prevailing culture inside the Prince William County Democratic committee structure these days, and I will not be a part of it. Shame on Paul Ebert, Sharon Pandak, and Hilda Barg for compromising the integrity of our judicial system and for fouling the honor of our political arena in Prince William County.

Gary C. Friedman

Gainnesville

October 12, 2007

This is someone who previously ran for county office as a Democrat, but who has been working closely with Chairman Corey Stewart.  Partisan politics?  Perhaps, but I’d like to see someone address the issues Gary brings up in this letter.



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39 Comments

  1. blue_dog said on 14 Oct 2007 at 3:11 pm:
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    I am sure that there is great cheering and back-slapping in Democrat-land over this news.

    Gary Friedman has been a very divisive member of the local Democrat Party. I hope he takes his followers out the door with him. Once he and his ilk are gone, perhaps the Prince William County Democratic Committee can begin to function again. It will be interesting to see how much of the Old Guard still remains.

    My comments have nothing to do with Paul Ebert and everything to do with the way Gary Friedman conducted himself with the Democrats, and the good people he has driven out.

  2. Anonymous said on 14 Oct 2007 at 4:46 pm:
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    WOW!! Breaking News, he was wearing Miller and Fitzsimmonds stickers at the Committee of 100 debate
    a couple weeks ago.

  3. Craig said on 14 Oct 2007 at 5:03 pm:
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    Yeah, Friedman effectively left the party last year when he lost the nomination to Pandak and decided to help sabotage her chances of winning. Now he and Stewart seem to be BFFL’s. Not only did Stewart appoint him to the Planning Commission but Stewart hired him to work in his office. The “outrage” Friedman claims is quite comical coming from someone who is practiced in the art of political BS. Of course it is hard to take someone so serious when they ran and lost three times, spent almost a year running for Chairman and could only raise $12,000 and got beat by a candidate who announced only weeks before the caucus, and was only kept from being run out of the PWCDC because some people felt bad for him. From what I understand the PWCDC was just waiting until after the election to try kicking him out again. Sounds like he finally did them a favor!

  4. Peace said on 14 Oct 2007 at 5:30 pm:
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    Yes, now local Democrats can all sleep better at night. Too bad the Republicans got him. He’s their problem now.

  5. Loudoun Insider said on 14 Oct 2007 at 6:17 pm:
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    A little off-topic, but what happened to the Goodbye Faisal ad? And its not even listed in the blogroll? Are Kopko and Stewart leaning on you even more about that? I’m adding it to the TC blogroll to help compensate. No matter how “Republican” Gill and these others say he is, Gill is an absolute disaster of a candidate.

    [Ed note: this was purely a business decision. Bandwidth and server hardware aren’t free, you know. GoodbyeFaisal was never on the blogroll, and wasn’t removed. ]

  6. Michael said on 14 Oct 2007 at 6:23 pm:
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    What a cry baby.

  7. es_la_lay said on 14 Oct 2007 at 6:29 pm:
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    The Demonrat party. True to their core. Ya gotta love it!

  8. Anonymous said on 14 Oct 2007 at 6:41 pm:
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    Wow,
    You liberal democrats have no problem slamming one of your own when he makes a moral stand. Couldn’t you have waited for the ink to dry on his letter before you started the character assassination? Guess if he was saying something just the opposite you would be singing his praises. Some of you guys are so hypocritical and partisan that you could not see a truth if it slapped you in the face. You should be embarrassed about your elitist, hypocritical, closed minded and immature approach to an important issue such as this. I supposed we should be used to it, but it never ceases to amaze me how quickly you can turn on one of your own and smear the reputation on not only your political foe, but one of your own party when he stands up to expose the truth about this abuse of power for political reasons.

    I wonder what you would be saying if the shoe were on the other foot. Never mind.. I already know.

  9. Anonymous said on 14 Oct 2007 at 7:24 pm:
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    He left the party…he’s not one of our own. And he’s been a pain in the butt for years. The only sad thing about it is this ridiculously long, whiny letter. Good riddance.

  10. Anonymous said on 14 Oct 2007 at 7:58 pm:
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    He must have forgotten about Debra Wilson.

  11. Anonymous said on 14 Oct 2007 at 8:01 pm:
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    Don’t ever let Gary get on your bad side. He’ll attend your meetings and go back and squeal to your opponents.

  12. dolph said on 14 Oct 2007 at 8:27 pm:
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    Anonymous 6:41

    Get off your high horse. No one is turning on Gary Friedman over this latest caper. The turning happened long ago. I will say publically that he is the major reason I became an independent. I am sure that those he stabbed are getting the last laugh. He will not be missed.

    I assassinated his character long before his ink was dry and also told his campaign workers to remove his sign from my yard that they so presumptuously planted.

    I am curious, how does disliking Gary Friedman make one a LIBERAL democrat…or is that demoncrat?

  13. Tom C said on 14 Oct 2007 at 8:36 pm:
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    Why does this site butcher the links to other sites? Urinal Messenger? RazingKaine?

    You’d have more credibility if you concentrated on your content instead of cheap tactics.

  14. Turn PW Blue said on 14 Oct 2007 at 8:43 pm:
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    Friedman “one our own”? Pub-leezw. As Craig stated a little earlier, Friedman has been in bed with Stewart for some time now. As for the tactics he’s opposing, this is the Gary Friedman who is the “brains” behind a new “non-partisan” PAC that seems to have been formed expressly to provide some cache to candidates who can now say they are endorsed by the Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth (much like the bogus claims that spurred the Ebert investigation).

  15. Anon said on 14 Oct 2007 at 8:56 pm:
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    “Perhaps, but I’d like to see someone address the issues Gary brings up in this letter.”

    Interesting. Once again Greg L misleads his readers by pretending there hasn’t been a response to Mr. Friedman’s letter. Greg, I do believe that the issues brought up in Mr. Friedman’s letter where addressed directly by the recipient of the letter, Peter Frisbie, Chair of Prince William Democratic Committee.

    Greg, can you please explain to your readers why you would only put up one side of the debate, and inexplicably attempt to pretend that no one has addressed the issues in the letter?

    You can hardly pretend you didn’t know there was a reply from Frisbie, you linked to it over at RK.

  16. Anonymous said on 14 Oct 2007 at 9:53 pm:
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    I thought the lib. dem’s usually say that the rep’s are not inclusive, and do not have room in the party for people who don’t think in lockstep. Looks like it is really the reverse..lol

    Funny how in situations like this, peoples true colors start to shine through.

    The light of truth shines brightly on the hypocrat’s words and deeds.

  17. Scott said on 14 Oct 2007 at 10:53 pm:
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    Again this illustrates that the Democrats are allowing the Party to be hijack by people whose sole mission is not the advancement of Virginians but the sole advancement of an ideology rooted in division. If these people could not create, yes create, practices by which they seek to keep people divided and at odds with one another as a means of securing political points my guess is they would run out of gas. Its the division they seek on every single issue facing the community and the illegals are just pawns in game of exploitation. Their only answer is to point toward Republicans and tell people they are to blame for everything and yet never seem to put forth any solutions themselves except to try and dig up controversy or create it where it isn’t to further their causes. Do’nt be fooled by the need for change campaign, change for change sake brings you nothing more than the example set forth by the current Congress. Your local government will impact the quality of your life more so than Congress and one should take a hard look at the kindof people behind these campaigns because they will be the ones in the end controlling agendas should they win election.

  18. John Light said on 14 Oct 2007 at 10:54 pm:
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    Anonymous said on 14 Oct 2007 at 9:53 pm: Not the first time the Democratic party would be hypocritical. Look at the comment by the black Democratic member of Congress who stated that his workers should get their shots before going to Talladaga!!! The ONLY reason I pointed out his race is because the liberal media DEFINITELY would if the rolls were reversed (look at the hoopla surrounding Sen Thurmond’s passing and the remarks said by him by various collegues).

    Sadly, though, hypocracy, those it owns a home in the Democratic Party, sometimes does take vacations with the Rs. As far as Friedman is concerning, it would have been nice if Anon had posted a link to Peter Frisbie’s response (if there is one) to back his claims. It’s always good if you are going to attack someone to show the proof, especially to those of us not knowing where to look (or just too lazy :-)).

  19. Anonymous said on 14 Oct 2007 at 11:56 pm:
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    You guys don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t know how many of you are on the PWC Republican Committee, but for those who are, how would you like it if you had someone who claims to be a member attended your meetings, then went back and immediately told the Democrats what you said at your meeting? How about when you’re trying to have a general business meeting and this guy says, “Mr. Chair, I don’t think we have a quorum here and I insist that we have a head count,” stopping all business to satisfy the requirement of this one person, even though the room was full of people. Yet, when he came to the committee to get a vote on a resolution for the proffers and green space, he insisted that we vote on it, without a quorum and without having read the resolution — time was a-wasting and he didn’t care that time if there was a quorum present or not. Too bad, but we did care and refused to vote on it.

    No, this guy is just a huge troublemaker, and if the Republicans want him, congratulations, because he’s all yours.

  20. Anonymous said on 15 Oct 2007 at 12:02 am:
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    “Its the division they seek on every single issue facing the community and the illegals are just pawns in game of exploitation. ”

    What have you been smoking, man? Republicans are the party of divide and conquer, ala Karl Rove.

    Corey Stewart and the PWCRC are the ones looking for division. Stewart wanted to rile you people up, pretend to be the leader of your crusade, and win himself another election. The problem is that many, many people in this county don’t see this issue the same way you guys do, and they’re not going to meekly follow along.

  21. Anonymous said on 15 Oct 2007 at 2:06 am:
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    Friedman’s been a joke for a long time, and the Democrats need to shed some of the old guard deadwood like him if they are ever going to amount to anything again in the county. Friedman ran a good race back in the late 1990s for supervisor, but he has been getting worse and more irrational ever since. He walks around with a huge chip on his shoulder, has an incredibly high and misplaced sense of his own political skills, and is ridiculously jealous of all the attention Bruce Roemmelt gets out in the Gainesville area. His leadership and organizational skills are terrible. The only thing he is any good at is disrupting things. His resignation is good news for the PWCDC. The only thing better would be if he joined the Republican party.

  22. Anonymous said on 15 Oct 2007 at 2:18 am:
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    This is classic Friedman. What a self righteous, arrogant ass?

  23. freedom said on 15 Oct 2007 at 8:34 am:
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    Smiling big….sounds like a few some of us know in the PWCRC. :)

  24. Bryanna said on 15 Oct 2007 at 9:50 am:
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    Friedman is on Corey Stewarts payroll, how can he possibly be objective.

    This is no different than Kopko being on Gill’s payroll.

    They both SMELL!

  25. Dem resigns over Paul Ebert’s “Thuggery”; Ebert to be target of Fed. probe? « Virginia Virtucon said on 15 Oct 2007 at 10:12 am:
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    […] Ebert to be target of Fed. probe? Posted on October 15, 2007 by Riley H/T BVBL (source Ranting Kids - get your own link) Dear […]

  26. Anon said on 15 Oct 2007 at 10:54 am:
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    Stewart was wrong to send the mailer at taxpayer expense. It is the crux of his campaign and he should be sanctioned in some way. To attack Mr. Ebert for responding to a valid complaint is a joke. Accusations of thuggery should be aimed at Stewart and his cronies regardless of your party affiliation.

  27. dolph said on 15 Oct 2007 at 10:55 am:
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    Gary Friedman is certainly not what I would call Old Guard. He was a johnny-come-lately in the grand scheme of things. Somehow the word ‘insurgent’ comes to mind when thinking of Friedman. If he ran such a great campaign, why was he never elected?

  28. anon said on 15 Oct 2007 at 11:57 am:
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    Here is the response from the Raising Kaine, Greg linked to.

    Gary,

    I am reviewing my email now and I cannot say that I am surprised by this at all. Over the past two years you have continually violated the oath you took to support Democratic candidates in this county. As an Eagle Scout I was always taught to be true to any oath I took and anytime I give my word to do something to take it seriously. To do anything less is unethical in my own opinion. You are doing this as well because you realized that there have been a number of individuals calling for your removal from the Democratic Committee for violating your oath and because your employer, Mr. Stewart told you to do so.

    Mr. Friedman, you have openly supported Republican candidates and are a paid aide to Corey Stewart. Republicans now say that you are his gatekeeper and the individual who helps him on all of his policies and activities. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    You also have many facts wrong in your letter to me that should be addressed.

    • First it is your employer, Mr. Stewart who has skirted the law and played fast to the truth over the years he has been in office.
    • You should also know that to my knowledge it was not an individual associated with any political party that contacted Mr. Ebert’s office on this matter first. This was done even before the individuals you have mentioned were even aware of Mr. Stewart’s political advertisement paid for with county taxpayer’s money.
    • Mr. Stewart took $30,000 from his discretionary fund to send out a postcard to residents. This is money that in the past has been used to help local charities in noteworthy causes. What is this saying to those in need in our community? I firmly believe that the only person Mr. Stewart cares about is himself and his own political future. This makes him unfit to continue to serve has our county’s Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.
    • The wording on the letter is far from neutral. Did Mr. Stewart ask the County Attorney for guidance in his language on the mailer?
    • For your information, Tuesday’s meeting is not a public hearing. It is a normal Board of Supervisors meeting. If it is to be a public hearing, it calls into question whether the county guidelines are being followed and whether it is even legal to have a vote on Tuesday.
    • Your employer’s office did not use the Prince William County Government’s print shop to produce this clearly political mailing. I wonder why this is. Instead Mr. Stewart asked for three bids from outsides vendors. I would like to know who the three bids were and if this actually happened. Also what was the additional cost to taxpayers by not using the County’s print shop? This is clearly a breach of public trust and misuse of taxpayer funds. Was this done so no one in the county government outside of Mr. Stewart’s circle of aides, including yourself, Mr. Friedman knew about this? This clearly looks to any unbiased observer to be unethical behavior.
    • Also the bulk mailing permit number on the mail piece happens to be the same one used on some of Corey’s and the Prince William County Republican Committee’s political advertisements in the past. This mailing permit belongs to Executive Press.
    • Who is Executive Press? Well, it happens to be owned by Rebecca A. Stoeckel who also happens to be the Chairman of the 11th District Republican Committee. Executive Press is located in Fairfax County, why didn’t Mr. Stewart help a small business in Prince William County with $30,000 of taxpayer’s money? This is the company that printed all of Mr. Stewart’s campaign materials in 2003 and quite a number of his materials in 2006. In 2003, Mr. Stewart racked up high bill with Executive Press that went unpaid. There is some debate now whether this debt has been repaid. There is also some question as to whether or not the unpaid balance was properly declared on his campaign finance forms. Could it be that the reason this company was chosen was to continue to make up for the unpaid debt and to smooth over that relationship? Couldn’t be could it, because that clearly would be unethical and a violation of the public’s trust and a gross misuse of taxpayer funds.

    Any Commonwealth’s Attorney should investigate this because it looks unethical at its core. To do anything less would be irresponsible regardless of what political party they belong to. The number of phone calls and emails in opposition to Mr. Stewart’s political mailing with taxpayer money have been overwhelming. I hope that federal prosecutors look into this because I strongly believe that they will side with Mr. Ebert and look into all of Mr. Stewart activities over the past year.

    There are a number of distributing instances of Mr. Stewart openly threatening to remove business licenses of small business owners with his own hand, who place Democratic signs on their property. This sir is nothing less than intimidation by a public official and is illegal. I hope that the Justice Department looks into this as well.

    Also you recently worked with two Republican operatives to form an organization called the Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth. This is nothing more than a front group created to provide local Republicans, particularly Corey Stewart, cover for their utter failure to address the important issues facing our County

    Even a quick google search of this group would reveal the following facts:

    • That this group is absolutely NOT non-partisan.
    • That this group consists of two individuals and only two individuals.
    • That one of these individuals, Bob Pugh, is a long-time Republican Party operative.
    • That this group refused to notify several possible Democratic participants until less than 24 hours before their scheduled press conference.
    • That this group was created only after extensive discussions with Corey Stewart on how he can best use the organization to help him win this fall.
    • That this group grossly misrepresented the facts throughout their presentation
    • That this group has failed to register as a political action committee as required by law.
    • That this bogus press conference was only attended by four individuals. Three of these four individuals were either reporters or bloggers. The only other individual in attendance was a member of the Prince William County Democratic Committee who was only there to try (in vain) to keep them honest.
    • That Mr. Stewart and yourself have a long history of creating and using political action committees and front organizations like this group and Voters to Stop Sprawl. They use these groups to further their own agenda and to dupe voters into believing that they have wide-spread support for their positions.

    You also notified me that your letter is a public letter well after the initial email you sent me so you can make all of the publishing deadlines for tomorrow’s papers. Yet again another questionable and highly unethical move on your part. Another one in a series of unethical activities by yourself, Mr. Friedman. I hope that the media takes you for what you are- nothing more than a paid spokesperson for Mr. Stewart.

    In conclusion I wouldn’t be surprised that you didn’t even write this letter, in fact I believe that Mr. Stewart’s campaign manager wrote this for you. Mr. Stewart has been called out on his unethical mailing and is looking for ways to limit his political damage. So he picks the closest targets, Mr.Ebert and the Democratic Party. Mr. Friedman, you are nothing less than Corey’s puppet and I wish you the best with your employer, Mr. Stewart.

    It may pain you in a few weeks that you have left the Democratic Party now, when we have our most successful election in many years. Voters throughout Prince William County are tired after 15 years of Republican dominated governance in our county and in our state legislative delegation. Our county’s residents’ quality of life has diminished during these years as elected Republicans cared only for themselves and those of their closest supporters. It is high time we bring back integrity and responsibility to our elected leadership, here in Prince William County.

  29. BAtson D. Belfrey said on 15 Oct 2007 at 12:16 pm:
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    “It may pain you in a few weeks that you have left the Democratic Party now, when we have our most successful election in many years.”

    I hope someone is close by to administer the Heimlich Maneuver, when the election returns come in, and he chokes on these words. Most successful election ever? Pandak’s campaign is spinning it’s wheels. Fitz is giving Colgan a run, Stirrup will win by a huge margin, Rishell’s campaign is being crushed under the weight of the lies she has been caught telling.,and the only shot they have at a pick-up is in the 51st, but this is a result of Kopko’s short-sighted choice to back a political croney, and fix the nomination process, and not because Nichols is such a strong candidate. What makes him strong is the fact that he’s not associated with terrorists. Chris Royse has a great shot at winning as well.

    So, if this is the Democrats “A” game, they are in for a big dissappointment.

  30. anon said on 15 Oct 2007 at 12:27 pm:
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    They haven’t picked up an open seat or a challenged seat in 15 years so even if they pick up a seat or two, it would be successful.

  31. Anonymous said on 15 Oct 2007 at 12:50 pm:
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    Corey had some big signs out on the Prince William Parkway near the McCoart Building last week but they’re not there now. They are too big to have been “stolen.”

    The wheels are coming off Stewart’s wagon, folks, and he’s going to take anyone connected with his campaign with him. I’m beginning to hear the chatter.

  32. Batson D. Belfrey said on 15 Oct 2007 at 1:46 pm:
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    “I’m beginning to hear the chatter”

    Better go see the “talking doctor” again, and have him up your meds.

  33. k. o'toole said on 15 Oct 2007 at 2:08 pm:
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    Anonymous - Very large Corey Stewart signs were vandalized over the weekend in the Manassas area by apparently very large, sharp objects - machetes, perhaps?

  34. Bob Pugh said on 15 Oct 2007 at 5:05 pm:
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    Just to set the record straight - I am not a “Republican Operative.” In fact, because of the pressures of family, professional and business responsibilities I have not been active in any campaigns this year. I resigned as Treasurer of the PWCRC a long time ago, and also notified the PWCRC Executive Committee that I was unable to carry out duties with the Finance Committee because of those conflicting responsibilities.

    Ralph Stevenson and I put together Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth over a year ago to organize citizens against the proposed Brentswood Development. Hundreds of people of all political persuasions joined us in door-knocking, literture distribution, contacting BOCS members and other activities to stop BOCS approval of that comp plan amendment and rezoning. PWCBG was and is not associated with either party or any candidate. Ralph has never even been a member of the PWCRC nor involved with any PWC candidate’s campaign.

    We have been tracking and studying balanced growth issues, and the Supervisors’ positions on them, ever since. We are not endorsing anyone - just studying all track records. Our web site is www.pwcbg.org. We’re going to continue maintaining and building that web site, including tracking BOCS votes on development issues in the future.

    Neither Corey Stewart nor Gary Freidman approached either of us about holding a press conference. In fact, we contacted Corey to complain that the BOCS had failed to pass the revised proffers earlier this year. Ralph and I don’t control the BOCS agenda. We scheduled our press conference to coincide with the vote on proffers tomorrow.

    As with the opposition to the Brentswood Development last year, we welcome Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Many from both Parties and independents joined us then. We were very happy when Sharon Pandak emailed us stating her support for the proffer package the BOCS will consider tomorrow.

    “Republican Operative”? Hardly. I’ve been swamped for over two years with family, business and professional matters and anyone on the PWCRC will tell you that I’ve barely been seen, much less active. Ralph and I hardly had time to organize the press conference last week. However, we made time to come out in support of an issue about which we feel strongly.

    We are confident that a deluge of comp plan amendments and rezonings will come forward after the election, including most likely a reappearance of Brentswood. Prince William County needs balanced growth that creates jobs, strengthens our tax base, and preserves open space and environmental and historical resources. Moreover, we do not need massive building of new residential units to increase supply and further supress the value of the homes we own already. If you care about growth and development issues in Prince William County, regardless of your political ties, please contact us.

  35. anon said on 16 Oct 2007 at 8:07 am:
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    Bob,

    Be honest this is a new group and you said so yourself on October 8th per Craig’s Musings.

    “I am delighted to invite you to the kickoff press conference for our new organization, Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth (PWCBG) at the McCoart Building at 1:30 on October 9. The purpose of this group is to promote policies in our County that encourage development of business that will create high-paying jobs for our citizens while strengthening our tax base. “

  36. Turn PW Blue said on 16 Oct 2007 at 10:41 am:
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    Come on, now, Bob. That’s a little bit of revisionist history or outright lying. While PWCBG may have grown out of the effort to stop the Brentswood development (and even that is a bit of a stretch), the organization certainly wasn’t founded then. If it was, why have the October 9 press conference touting the creation of this *new* group?

    Your organizations “Report Card” is a joke. You give Corey Stewart all 5s across the the board (a 100% rating), including an “Excellent” for “Minimizes Developer Campaign Contributions” even though according to VPAP.org, Stewart has collected over 33% of his current campaign contributions from the real estate/construction industry. Your group then give Sharon Pandak a 49% rating (with a “poor” for “Minimizes Developer Campaing Contributions) even though only 25% of her contributions come the real estate/construction industry. So, that begs the question of how the heck you guys come up with your grades. Is it done on a curve?

    More interesting is that Pandak even makes the chart. Where’s Chris Royse? Where’s Corey Riley? Where are all the other challengers to incumbents? Pandak is the only challenger to get a report card. Why is that? Could it be because PWCBG is really just a shill organization created to lend some semblance of legitimacy to Corey Stewart’s claim that he has lived up to his campaign promises to fight sprawl and encourage smart growth?

  37. Bob Pugh said on 16 Oct 2007 at 11:08 am:
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    Anon:

    Ralph and I launched PWCBG with a press conference in the spring of 2006 to oppose the Brentswood development. You may be able to Google some of that reporting from back then but I have the material. If anyone is interested, I can be contacted through the addresses posted at www.pwcbg.org and can email scans or PDFs. We’ve been low-key since then working on compiling the information for our web site. To us, this is a “new” organization. We’re trying to broaden its focus beyond opposing a single development, however. No one else that we know of is working on compiling a detailed record of how the BOCS deals with development issues so we are taking on that task.

    I was criticized by Republicans last year for inviting Democrats to join us at the press conference on Brentswood. Then, however, the Democratic Committee, as well as the Republican Committee, passed a resolution opposing Brentswood. Vic Bras, then chair of the Democratic Committee, joined us along with other Democrats. Now, the Democrats decline to participate and call us a Republican “front” organization. I guess that comes with the territory of trying to accomplish something positive in the community.

    Pete Frisbie, current chair of the PWC Democratic Committee wrote, “this group (PWCBG) refused to notify several possible Democratic participants until less than 24 hours before their scheduled press conference.” He also wrote, “this group is absolutely NOT non-partisan.” This is simply not true. We sent the invitation to all BOCS members and candidates on October 4 for the press conference on October 9. We’ve made very clear that all are welcome. Gary Friedman (yes, we spoke with Gary but there was no conspiracy as some allege) told me that he invited Pete and other Democrats as well. I would have provided the information and welcomed any Democrat, Republican or independent to the press conference. I was, frankly, disappointed that so few Democrats participated but it appears that some are more concerned with attacking Republicans than they are with addressing balanced growth issues.

    Pete writes further, “this group consists of two individuals and only two individuals.” Actually, there are three of us including Ralph Stevenson, Chad Hansen who helps with technical issues on the web site, and me. We don’t need more people than that on an ongoing basis because we are involved in research and informational activities rather than political campaigns. As I noted in the post above, however, we mobilized hundreds of citizens around the Brentswood issue in 2006. Such an effort may be necessary again in the future and we would welcome everyone’s participation. I’ve already addressed Pete’s allegation that I’m a “Republican Party operative.” Moreover, PWCBG is not obligated to register as anything. We accept no donations, we contribute to no campaigns, and we do not work on behalf of or endorse any candidates. We are citizens exercising our First Amendment rights to speak out on issues that we care about.

    Pete writes, “this group (PWCBG) was created only after extensive discussions with Corey Stewart on how he can best use the organization to help him win this fall.” Again, simply not true. Ralph and I created PWCBG in 2006. We were very dismayed that the BOCS failed to implement staff’s recommendations on proffer revisions a few weeks ago. We felt that we needed to get involved to promote BOCS approval of the revised proffers at today’s meeting. Neither Ralph nor I had discussions with Corey Stewart to plan the content of the press conference, beyond asking for his support. Corey’s office provided us with contact information for members of the media, and suggested the time of day most likely to be convenient for those media representatives. Perhaps that is what Pete considers “extensive discussions . . . .”

    Corey Stewart was not consulted in any way regarding the content that is on our web site, or anything we said at the press conference. Nor did he offer any input.

    Finally, Pete writes, “this group grossly misrepresented the facts throughout their presentation.” We said the same things at the press conference that we have posted on our web site, www.pwcbg.org. I invite readers here to visit that web site and decide for themselves.

    Prince William County faces serious problems from past, misguided economic development policies. BOTH Republicans and Democrats helped create those problems. BOTH are now needed to solve them. The BOCS has for years approved virtually every residential comp plan amendment and rezoning that came before it. We had to fight tooth and nail to stop Brentswood. The result is a weak tax base that has the County facing serious budget problems. BOCS policies have made us vastly too dependent on tax revenue from residential real estate. PWCBG does not oppose residential development, per se. However, the BOCS must stop accommodating virtually everything the developers want, and promote policies that bring some good jobs and commercial development. The Innovation business park is an example of good BOCS policy. In addition to strengthening the tax base and creating jobs, we must preserve open space, and environmental and historical resources.

    Moreover, PWC has a glut of residential housing and plummeting home prices. PWC has about 30,000 to 50,000 new residential units already approved and in the pipeline. Most analysts don’t expect the housing market to improve anytime soon. The last thing we need now is BOCS approval of more residential rezonings.

    We appreciated the bi-partisan support we received last year. The problems are not going away; in fact they will be getting worse. Instead of attacking three people who are trying to do something about it, the Democrats should go back to the bi-partisan approach, putting the interests of the community ahead of politics, that they practiced last year on Brentswood. Stop flinging mud and join with us again to take constructive action.

  38. Ralph D. Stephenson said on 18 Oct 2007 at 5:25 pm:
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    The “Turn PW Blue” posting above from 16 October is a weird one. Not surprisingly, it comes from an anonymous writer: If I’d written something like that, I’d be ashamed to put my name to it, too.

    I wonder how “Turn PW Blue” could know what Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth’s first supervisor balanced growth report card would look like before PWCBG itself knew. As we stated clearly at our 9 October 2007 press conference and on our website, PWCBG was not going to post its first supervisor balanced growth report card until 17 October, after the proffer reform vote by the Board of County Supervisors.

    We’ve now posted our first report card. Please take a look at it and the rest of the website at http://pwcbg.org or http://www.pwcbg.org and judge for yourself.

    While this should go without saying, nevertheless, considering the hyperventilations of “Turn PW Blue” above, maybe it needs to be said anyway: Anything that is not clearly posted to our website, but that is attributed to us as being posted to our website, is either fabricated or fraudulent. For all we know, hackers and/or “Turn PW Blue” may have even illegally hacked in and taken a template off our website and manipulated it to suit their anonymous purposes.

    I’ve noticed in politics that when people run out of arguments they usually just change the subject. For us, the subject remains land use.

    Regrettably, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors [BOCS] made a poor decision when it voted in the early morning hours of 17 October against proffer reform. In other words, a majority of the BOCS voted against residential developers paying more of their fair share of what residential development actually costs the county government. So, as a county taxpayer you will continue to pay much of this cost, which in effect means that you will continue to indirectly subsidize the residential development industry.

    That is the subject: land use. We will remain focused on it, and we will do our best to be civil and keep our facts straight as we address it. We urge those who have made postings above about us to do the same.

    Ralph Stephenson
    Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth

  39. Michael said on 30 Oct 2007 at 7:30 pm:
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    Just to let you know, there are two Michael’s now on this blog. The one above is not me. I’m the one who writes diatribes and seeks impartial wisdom to hold illegals accountable to the existing law, and accountable for what it’s doing to our country, our financial security, and our national culture and sovreignity.

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