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Today In The Gulag Of Manassas Park

By Greg L | 25 October 2008 | Manassas Park | 21 Comments

I guess the powers-at-be in Manassas Park are pretty concerned about Brian Leeper winning a spot on the Manassas Park Governing Board after his endorsement by the News & Messenger, otherwise they wouldn’t have kicked him out of the Fall Festival today.  While other candidates were present and campaigning, Leeper was told that he couldn’t.  When he complained, they told him he had to leave.  Too bad he didn’t call their bluff on this and force the public official that pulled this garbage to tell the police to have him arrested.  That would have been quite a story.

This is a powerful demonstration of precisely why the Manassas Park Governing Board would be vastly improved by having a few potentially dissenting voices present.   If about a week out from an election Manassas Park will try to prevent selected candidates for office from campaigning at public events, there’s hardly any limit to the kinds of shenanigans of dubious legality they’ll be willing to engage in.  If Leeper is viewed as a potential threat to this state of affairs, it’s all the more reason to ensure that he is elected.

Throw the bums out, and vote Ham Sandwich for Mayor.

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  1. Anonymous said on 25 Oct 2008 at 12:35 pm:
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    I just left the event. The Democrats and Independents at the event had each purchased tables. The Republicans had not - they standing inside the entrance to the event. The other candidates paid to be there. The Republicans should have too.

  2. Anonymous said on 25 Oct 2008 at 12:52 pm:
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    And it was nice talking to you, Mr. Leeper. I wish you had gotten a table and stayed.

  3. Brian Leeper said on 25 Oct 2008 at 12:57 pm:
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    I talked to Catherine Morretta, director of Parks and Rec about this and she did explain that, unlike in previous years, there is a charge for the tables this year..and she did offer a table, so given that there’s a couple hours left I’ll see if I can take her up on that offer.


  4. TedKennedysSwimInstructor said on 25 Oct 2008 at 2:15 pm:
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    Who was that hot blonde in black standing behind the table?

  5. Anonymous said on 25 Oct 2008 at 2:58 pm:
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    Which table?

  6. TedKennedysSwimInstructor said on 25 Oct 2008 at 4:14 pm:
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    Manassas Governing Board table

  7. Anonymous said on 25 Oct 2008 at 4:56 pm:
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    Keith Miller’s wife… These people take a beating on this blog, but I think EVERYONE running has been nice, intelligent, with ideas and skills to bring to the Governing Board. They way the story was related here isn’t really what happened at Costello today. Doesn’t the Manassas Fall Festival sell tables? Both the Republicans and Democrats had them there in addition to working the crowd.

  8. Brian Leeper said on 25 Oct 2008 at 5:34 pm:
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    We were indeed asked to leave. When I went back and talked to Catherine Morretta I was told that I could purchase a table. That’s what I did.

    Ideally, the person who told us to leave would have first asked us if we’d like a table for $30. I certainly would have taken him up on that offer. Instead we were first told that we couldn’t hand out literature and then told we couldn’t campaign and then we were told to leave.

    What happened is the result of a miscommunication. There was an opportunity here for the City to get an additional $30 in revenue simply by asking if we wanted a table, instead of telling us to leave. In the end, they got it, because I went back and found out why we were asked to leave.

    Kudos to Catherine Morretta for working with me to solve the problem.

    -Brian Leeper

  9. Greg L said on 25 Oct 2008 at 8:33 pm:
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    Nice that we can so casually throw away our political liberties bit by bit, as the establishment in the park wants us to do. I don’t think a lot of folks fully grasp just how outrageous this is and why.

    Restricting political free speech by government officials in any way is tyranny. Saying you have to jump through some sort of hoop — any hoop — is an anathema to our liberties. Yeah, the poll tax wasn’t so bad, it only cost a few dollars to vote is the same argument that is being used here to require that candidates “buy” a table at a public, government-sponsored event before they are allowed to even be on the premises, which happen to be public property. This is an outrage.

    Thirty bucks one year, a hundred the next. Who sets the price? The electorate? No. It’s some government bureaucrat who owes their job to the same elected officials who are manning tables here. What is to prevent all candidate activity on public property being unlawfully regulated in such a manner that it favors incumbents? What authority is there to regulate this political speech at all? None. Absolutely none. Our Constitution expressly forbids this, but the officials in Manassas Park throw way your Constitutional liberties anyways.

    I would have begged them to arrest me. Yeah, throw me in jail you Stalinist whores and give me a really good reason to bring Judicial Watch or some other responsible public interest law firm down on your heads so fast it’ll make you soil your shorts. You want to prevent political candidates from attending public functions on public property shortly before an election because they didn’t pay you your tribute, you just give that a try. We’ll see how that works out.

    All of you who are so willing to be complacent in the face of this latest atrocity hopefully will find some solace in that it will take many more years for your political freedoms to entirely evaporate.

    “If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams

  10. FormerCOMemployee said on 25 Oct 2008 at 10:53 pm:
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    Greg, even the good candidate Brian Leeper says it was a miscommunication. Please stop looking for the negative in everything. How about looking at the City employee who assisted the good candidate in accomplishing what needed to be done. As long as the playing field is the same for everyone, I really don’t see where MP has done anything wrong. What if they had let the good candidate in without paying and the ones who did pay found out? In a civil society there has to be rules and we all must follow them. You really should calm down a little. However, I agree with you we need to throw out most of this council and start over and I for one will be voting against my own party for new council members come election day. It is time for a change in MP. By the way, nice use of the English language by an individual who appears to be very well educated, and I quote “yeah throw me in jail you stalinist whores…” I would be willing to bet Mr. Leeper has a lot more class than that. While I usually agree with your message, just not how you say it, you have become a sensationalist who believes he is more important than his cause.

  11. Brian Leeper said on 26 Oct 2008 at 12:07 am:
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    I certainly do agree that there are some free speech issues with what happened.

    I would hope that the employee who asked us to leave is counseled about what happened so that they know how to better handle that situation in the future.

    I certainly don’t want anyone to lose their job over this. I also don’t want the city to be the potential recipient of a lawsuit because someone believes their right to free speech was violated.

  12. Tillie said on 26 Oct 2008 at 12:49 am:
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    Kudos to you. You sound like a reasonable person who understands that some underlings like to flex their muscles. As has been said so many times in so many situations: “mistakes were made”.

  13. Rob Smalls said on 26 Oct 2008 at 1:46 am:
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    The city doesn’t appear to heave restricted anyone’s right to free speech. They charged him the same as they charged the others, albeit after a bout of bad communications. There’s nothing in the right to free speech that says you have to be guaranteed a platform to espouse your beliefs at no cost to yourself. The city charging for table space at an event that’s not mandated by law is a far cry from a tax at the polls, which is mandated. Not every setback is a slight against the Republicans. To call it an atrocity is an overreaction.

    I’m voting for you, Brian, but you knew that already. I’m also voting for every non-incumbent on the MP ballot, and writing in Ham Sandwich for the uncontested races. It’s time to clean house.

  14. Brian Leeper said on 26 Oct 2008 at 2:21 am:
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    “The city doesn’t appear to heave restricted anyone’s right to free speech.”

    If they hadn’t allowed me to get a table on the same terms that everyone else got their table, I suspect that would indeed be a restriction of the right to free speech.

    Catherine said she wanted to be fair to those who had paid for a table. That’s reasonable and expected, and, as mentioned, she did offer a table to me on the same terms that the others got their tables.

    “I’m voting for you, Brian, but you knew that already.”

    I did, and I thank you.

  15. porter said on 26 Oct 2008 at 10:38 am:
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    Most public events require registration and often a fee. I would hate to think everytime I went to the park, a county or city event anyone could be handing out pamplets or literture. Would it be great to have the homeless passing out their materials, the hispanics activitist handing out material, the moonies approching your children. There has to be some means of control at the events. I am surprised they offered to let him buy a table the day of the event. A lot of planning goes into successful events and having people just show up can create a mess for others. They were very nice to offer to accomdate

  16. Jim Bob said on 27 Oct 2008 at 8:41 am:
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    Why wasn’t Leeper up to speed on the requirements?

    Did he expect to just show up and be granted a table? It just sounds like Leeper was not prepared - When I need to attend and present at an event, I always make preparations before hand, and inquire as to the requirements of attending.

    Sounds like someone is crying foul, when they did not prepare. Sorry Leeper.

  17. AWCheney said on 27 Oct 2008 at 5:28 pm:
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    It’s not Brian Leeper himself crying foul, Jim Bob…just people like you trying to make hay out of the suggestion that he is. I wonder who actually has the agenda?

  18. Brian Leeper said on 27 Oct 2008 at 7:28 pm:
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    Allow me to quote myself:

    “Kudos to Catherine Morretta for working with me to solve the problem.”

    I’d hope that doesn’t sound like I’m crying foul.

  19. Anonymous said on 27 Oct 2008 at 7:29 pm:
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    I don’t think it was Brian’s fault, per se. The MC/MP Democrats have been there the last two years. I am not sure the reconstituted Republicans are any more organized than the old ones. Brian likely needed a little more organizational support, that’s all. Though I am not a Republican, I hope for the sake of political engagement that the party becomes better defined and visible. The Democrats seem to be headed in that direction.

  20. Brian Leeper said on 27 Oct 2008 at 7:51 pm:
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    “I am not sure the reconstituted Republicans are any more organized than the old ones.”

    We’re trying. We are rebuilding from scratch. So far this year we’ve:

    (1)Been at the 10th district convention
    (2)Been at the VA Republican convention in Richmond
    (3)Built a website: www.manassasparkgop.com
    (4)Had a fundraiser at Clearwater Grill with Congressman Wolf

    To my knowledge there has never been a website before. Nobody from MP was at the 10th district convention 2 years ago.

    After next week I hope to add a (5) to that list:

    (5)Put a conservative on City Council


  21. Anonymous said on 27 Oct 2008 at 8:51 pm:
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    Sounds like you are on the right track in terms of visibility…

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