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87th House District: Where The Entertaiment Is

By Greg L | 12 May 2011 | Loudoun County, Virginia House, Prince William County | 25 Comments

Redistricting gave northern Virginia a new House of Delegates seat which picks up the northwest corner of Prince William County, runs out through Dulles Airport and ends around Route 7 in Loudoun County.  This new 87th District’s somewhat strange shape so far seems to fit the somewhat strange political theater that has been playing out in recent weeks as novice political candidates start getting their campaigns together.  Political season is always entertaining to political junkies, and when you have such massive confusion introduced by legislative redistricting, prompting novice candidates to vie for an open seat, the entertainment level really starts pegging the meter.

Two Republicans have announced their intent to seek the nomination in the 87th.  Jo-Ann Chase, a conservative political activist and State Central member with ties to the Northern Virginia Tea Party and David Ramadan, an immigrant businessman, television commentator, and LCRC stalwart are gearing up for a nominations process that hasn’t been defined yet.  On the Democrat side of the aisle, homosexual rights Mike Kondratick has changed focus from challenging Delegate Bob Marshall to running for this open seat.  Not only will this be an interesting race to watch, but there’s already plenty of blog fodder swirling as candidates position themselves for primaries.

Of these candidates, I’ve known Jo-Ann the longest.  She’s done yeoman’s work for conservative causes for a long time and been engaged in many of the issues I’ve been concerned with.  She’s been dedicated and tireless, and it has made a difference. She is however one of the most exasperating people you will ever work with, armed with an absolutely unique talent of converting friends into enemies, driving people away from any cause she takes up, and utterly predisposed to perceive enemies and conspiracies where they simply don’t exist.  One minute you think Jo-Ann is a visionary warrior for the conservative movement, the next you wonder if she’s off her medications.

There’s going to be a moment when this campaign is flying high and fast, looking tremendous right up to the point it noses down at Mach 2 and leaves a smoking crater of utterly spectacular proportions.  It will be one of those momentous occasions where friends turn to each other years later and reminisce about the day Jo-Ann Chase’s campaign effectively ended.  I hope that the ensuing collateral damage to the local conservative movement is minimal and short-lived.

I met David Ramadan recently and before agreeing to do some campaign videos for him did a little research to find out what basis Jo-Ann had for incongruously telling me he was a closet radical jihadist bent on imposing Shariah law on Virginia.  I’d long ago learned to suspect anything Jo-Ann told me, but doing some due diligence here on a topic I’m pretty familiar with was definitely called for.  I’ve torn into numerous candidates on both sides of the aisle who had connections to the Muslim Brotherhood and have been pretty relentless about it, and in the process of all that research gained a fair understanding of what the threat is and who the players are.

David did make an early miscalculation that could lead the more conspiracy-minded to wonder.  Having Grover Norquist pimp for your campaign is a huge red flag.  Norquis’s attempt to exert influence over CPAC and his involvement with the Faisal Gill campaign are deeply disturbing, and it’s not at all unreasonable for anyone to question a campaign where Norquist shows up to help.  Beyond that, there’s nothing however.  David Ramadan doesn’t seem to have any of the other connections that would immediately get me started on following a trail that leads to the all-too common unsavory Islamist characters.  As troubling as Norquist is, basing a conclusion that David’s somehow a jihadist solely because the novice campaign made the blunder of having Norquist speak at an event is utterly irresponsible, and that’s the only ‘evidence’ Jo-Ann and her supporters actually have.

I had several hours to work with David during our recent filming saw a much different, and quite familiar story.  I’ve had the great pleasure to get to know some people in the Lebanese-American community in the past, so I know a bit about the culture and the modern history of these people. Lebanon has more in common with France than it does a place like Pakistan and the country was utterly destroyed during a fifteen year long civil war by radical jihadists.  During that time it went from the beautiful “Paris on the Mediterranean” to an utter, devastated horror that is difficult to imagine.  The radical jihadists, and some brave nationalists stayed to try to sort out who would rule over the ruins, and a sizable number of western-oriented Lebanese fled. David Ramadan was among them.

These expatriates are the last group of people who might support Islamic law.  Their education is western (David went to a Christian private school in Beirut), their outlook is thoroughly western, and they have a personal experience with the effects of radical islam we should hope no one else should ever experience.  The jihadists wrecked their once beautiful homeland, were responsible for killing their families, and forced them to flee their homes.  If you want to find anyone more committed to stopping Shariah law, look no further than the people displaced by those who sought to impose it on a westernized nation.  David is even one of those folks radical islamists would consider an apostate, someone subject to summary execution because he was born into Islam and doesn’t practice it.

So here’s a guy who talks about freedom and liberty with the passion of someone who has personal experience with what like is like without it.  Mounted on his wall is a four-point buck which he says is only there because it’s the first one he ever got.  Pictures of him at dove hunts, and with impressive elk hang on his walls.  So what happens when he announces his campaign at an LCRC meeting?  A dozen people from Mike McHugh’s Virginia Gun Owner’s Coalition descends on the LCRC to protest David’s candidacy.  Say what? How many more hunting pictures does David have to hang on his wall in order to satisfy these folks?

I’d call this silly, but that would be giving people too much benefit of the doubt here.  No, this is deliberately stupid.

Of course this kind of bizarre attack prompts David’s campaign to fire back, and he ends up making the situation a little worse.  That’s unfortunately what happens with a novice campaign when things get emotional.  That makes for ready blog-fodder, and long discussions about this have already started over at the blogs that specialize in  Loudoun County politics.  Eventually these campaigns will get a bit more professional.  Until they do, there’s your entertainment value for political junkies.

Although people are currently distracted with these bizarre claims that David Ramadan is somehow the opposite of who he actually is, and his rather imperfect efforts to defend himself from these claims, I doubt that’s going to be what entertains political junkies for much longer.  When a campaign like Jo-Ann Chase’s starts out heavily negative before it defines what is actually positive about Jo-Ann as a candidate, when it bases the entire campaign on a laughably incompetent conclusion, and every activity of the campaign seems to elicit a discussion about mental health issues, there’s where you find long-term entertainment value, at least until the primary is over.

After that, it starts to get even stranger.  Really.



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25 Comments

  1. Steve Thomas said on 12 May 2011 at 11:43 am:
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    Greg,

    Considering the list of players (Mr. Ramadan being the one exception), I wouldn’t classify this cycle as strange. I’ve come to expect this level of silliness whenever or wherever these “conservative republicans” show up.

  2. Loudoun Insider said on 12 May 2011 at 4:02 pm:
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    Looks like Ramadan has co-opted BVBL for the duration of the campaign! Candidates need to get on the BVBL bandwagon before the opposition does!

  3. Greg L said on 12 May 2011 at 4:07 pm:
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    HA! LI you are a constant source of amusement!

  4. DPortM said on 12 May 2011 at 5:15 pm:
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    Is “Steve Thomas” above THE Steve Thomas from the City of Manassas? If yes, what do you mean by “conservative republicans”?

  5. Steve Thomas said on 12 May 2011 at 5:40 pm:
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    DPortM,

    Tis I, the same City of Manassas. I mean “conservative republicans” to describe those who have yet to reconcile the two terms. These are conservatives, who claim to be republicans, but deliberately try to undermine those legitimate GOP nominees, or actively campaign against them, because the nominee doesn’t meet their litmus test for republicans. One of the individuals mentioned above has done this on two occasions. Campaigned against the GOP Nominee for Governor in 2005, and again in 2008, when John McCain was the nominee.

    I know lots of Conservative Republicans. They campaign for conservative candidates during the nominations process, and once the nominee has been selected, they get behind the nominee of their party, or they refrain from actively opposing the nominee.

  6. Loudoun Insider said on 12 May 2011 at 9:46 pm:
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    Hey, Greg, I’ve always said you do great work! May as well start sending out solicitations to the rest of the Loudoun candidates - get me before someone else does!

  7. Lovettsville Lady said on 12 May 2011 at 11:43 pm:
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    Greg, Great post! Thank you for trying to educate the ignorant. If Jo-Ann wins the convention in the 87th, as LI and the democrats hope, it will be a shoo-in for the gay rights guy. Too many people have seen Jo-Ann off her meds, or at least off her rocker. David is a great guy, a great republican, a great worker for our party and a strong, proud, American. His kickoff speech brought tears to my eyes. It’s such a great, American, story. He loves this country so much and is so appreciative of what it has provided him and his family.

    I totally agree about LI, he’s so funny! If he only knew how many people enjoy the many funny stories about him! He’s a near constant source of entertainment. Lots of laughs ENSUE whenever his name is mentioned! And today he’s been particularly funny! When I see you again we’ll have to ”catch up” on all the latest hilarity! I heard a particularly good one at an event last week. Proof positive that he’s as off his rocker as Jo-Ann, and very, very, funny! Everyone was howling! Hang out with us after LCRC on the 23rd and we’ll tell you ALL about it! You’ll LOVE it, guaranteed. No one could make this stuff up!!!

  8. Loudoun Insider said on 13 May 2011 at 8:28 am:
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    Obssessed.

  9. Gnarly said on 16 May 2011 at 3:03 am:
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    “Jo-Ann off her meds, or at least off her rocker” In this environment….I’m not sure that hurts her…I’d love to have the bumper sticker in any case.

  10. Lloyd the Idiot said on 20 May 2011 at 2:16 pm:
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    ” incongruously telling me he was a closet radical jihadist bent on imposing Shariah law on Virginia”

    I’m a little late to the party on this post, but did Jo-Ann really say that? Amazing!

  11. The BulletProof Monk said on 22 May 2011 at 8:32 pm:
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    February LCRC meeting. Glen Caroline at the microphone.
    Voice from the front row (Jo Anne Chase) –” I might be ignorant of the Party Plan on this”.
    Caroline , from the microphone –”yes, you probably are”.

    Ramadan is nowhere near what her clan is insisting he is. And it’s shameful to try to play on people’s ignorance to win a seat. I promised I’d sit back until someone was found to have crossed a line. They did this week, so I’m gearing up to burn their house down. Probably a good idea to stand down, if I were them.

  12. The BulletProof Monk said on 22 May 2011 at 10:29 pm:
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    Lloyd, it’s really all she has. And I agree with everything Greg put in this post. Some days, she appears to be fine…others?? …..well… :rolleyes:

    Nice piece you did on TC regarding where the outrage ought to be directed. You’re becoming the glue that holds that trainwreck together.
    I see bigger venues for your wit.

  13. Loudoun Insider said on 23 May 2011 at 9:28 am:
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    Watch out Lloyd, you’re being recruited for the blog where only other posters comment on each others’ posts!

  14. The BulletProof Monk said on 24 May 2011 at 7:32 pm:
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    Hey, mister thin-skinned/ liar/world-revolves-arond-me… I said he has bigger venues. I never elaborated. Talk about fixated.
    As to the numbers, our traffic tops yours three to one. Not everyone posts there, but it’s widely read- as are all of the Jeffersonaid platform. Across Virginia.
    Unlike TooLiberal, where the same three folks post in all the threads.

  15. The BulletProof Monk said on 24 May 2011 at 7:35 pm:
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    Back “on-topic”, I was delighted to see Ron Wilcox and Ramadan have a decent exchange, as I’d heard that Ron was critical around a week ago. Sitting down with David seems to eliminate those woes…
    Now, with all of this background noise out in the open, Ramadan can actually focus on the positions and issues of the campaign, and not empty rhetoric that got proven to be false.

  16. Loudoun Insider said on 24 May 2011 at 8:43 pm:
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    The whole liar meme again, which has been hatched to cover up for other liars. The world definitely doesn’t revolve around me, you’re the one who loves to throw out his worthless endorsements. Your traffic numbers are bullshit, and no one cares anyway abuot your fixation with me and traffic numbers. No one talks about what you have to say. Please realize that no one thinks you are as important as you do.

  17. The BulletProof Monk said on 26 May 2011 at 6:12 pm:
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    Thus your valuable time in replying. Thanks dude. It means alot that you think I’m worthy of replying to EVERY time.

  18. Lovettsville Lady said on 27 May 2011 at 2:28 am:
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    Every. Single. Time.

  19. Constitutionalist said on 1 Jun 2011 at 5:59 pm:
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    So, excuse me for wanting a clear picture on this and maybe, you know, wanting the truth; however, I have yet to see anything that corroborates BVBL’s claim that JoAnn or anyone from her camp actually stated what BVBL claims they did. Sounds a little like Alinsky tactics to me. What surprises me is that the lot of you are taking this guy at his word. Someone that is being PAID by Ramadan’s camp. Let’s see some proof BVBL, else, its simply a case of he said, she said.

  20. Greg L said on 1 Jun 2011 at 8:31 pm:
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    You want me to prove the content of telephone conversations? Sorry, I wasn’t tapping my own cell phone that day. Check with the NSA, maybe they have a transcript.

  21. The BulletProof Monk said on 2 Jun 2011 at 4:16 pm:
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    Oh, she’s running the show, alright Constitutionalist. And I’m not being paid by anyone.

  22. Constitutionalist said on 2 Jun 2011 at 9:54 pm:
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    @Greg L: So this was a private conversation, in which you claim, she told you that David Ramadan is ” was a closet radical jihadist bent on imposing Shariah law on Virginia.” No way to corroborate it, and yet despite being on Ramadan’s payroll, you want us to believe this hands down? You must really think little of your readers.

    @Bulletproof Monk: “Ramadan is nowhere near what her clan is insisting he is” Again, I have yet to see any proof that anyone in her ‘clan’ is saying ANY of this. Where are you getting your information? Seems to be all conjecture and hearsay, which, doesn’t hold an ounce of water from what I can tell.

    My point is, we take liberties with the first amendment when we become bloggers; we are pseudo-journalists and in that, we should at least in some respects be held accountable for what we say. Have some meat behind your words if you want your opinions to be taken seriously, else you just look like a mouth piece for someone else.

    I, for one, look for truth in what I have been told. It is this truth that tells you of a person’s character. You both may be right, but so far I’ve seen nothing to back up what you say.

    In a similar incident, during David’s speech at the last LCRC, David openly said that he was being accused of being:
    - A friend of Quadaffi
    - A member of the Muslim Brotherhood
    - Supporter of Sharia law

    The first two I haven’t seen anywhere in the news or blogspheres. Who is saying this exactly? He hasn’t said. He’s only said that “some people” Again, sounds like Alinsky tactics. Making up stories to make yourself look like a victim. Sounds like something a liberal would do. Perhaps he was just trying to take the high ground and not name names. That’s a possibility. I think it would be great if he provided examples afterwards perhaps on his website or something.
    The third one, I remember the protesters on the night of his announcement. They were a small group and don’t remember any of them publicly stating they were a part of Jo Ann’s ‘clan’

    Again, accountability. We expect that out of our current elected officials, so why not those running?

  23. Greg L said on 2 Jun 2011 at 11:04 pm:
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    If you question the veracity of what I’ve said — and there’s nothing wrong with that by the way — I’d encourage you to talk with Tony Kostelecky, the chairman of the Manassas City Republican Committee. He had a very similar experience with JAC providing people with inaccurate information and it caused a lot of unnecessary heartache. Vice Chairman Steve Thomas was involved with that incident as well, and would be able to provide good background.

    Someone else I would recommend checking with that is in the know here is Joe Budzinsky who is at novatownhall.com. One of the fairest people I know, and he has been following Loudoun far longer than I. Not sure what his connections with JAC might be, but he’s the straightest shooter I know in that county and has a wealth of information to share. I really have no idea what his take would be on this, but whatever it would be I would take it very seriously.

    Fair ’nuff?

  24. Constitutionalist said on 2 Jun 2011 at 11:16 pm:
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    Thank you, Greg. Yes, fair ’nuff

  25. Jonathon Moseley said on 8 Jul 2011 at 9:17 am:
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    David Ramadan put his own signature, next to a lobbyist for Moammar Qadaffi, promotiing an Islamic “victory mosque” at Ground Zero. What more do you want to demonstrate his attachments?

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, fighting for the First Amendment, blah, blah, blah. The number of people fooled by that = 0. Who are you kidding? When someone goes out on a limb — WAY out on a limb, by the way — promoting a “mosque” (but not really a mosque, an all purpose cultural launching pad) — right next to the ruins of the World Trade Center, you can’t then pretend to not be part of that entire effort.

    And how many people happen to know the former lobbyist for Moammar Qaddafi and put their own signature next to hers?

    Does Ramadan have a right to promote a victory mosque at Ground Zero? Yes, he does.

    Does Ramadan have every right to run for office? Sure, you bet. And if he were unopposed for the GOP nomination, I would support him and work for him against any Democrat to win election.

    But after signing his own namne, can he then turn around and say “WHO, ME…? What are you talking about?” Well, no, not really.

    If I were a Japanese-American 10 years after Pearl Harbor, I would be very proud of America that every American citizen would have the right to run for office and put their name in front of the voters… even a Japanese-American only 10 years after Pearl Harbor.

    It should make no difference.

    However, if I had also publicly campaigned for a Japanese memorial floating right next to the wreck of the USS Arizona, where American sailors killed by the Japanese Imperial Navy still lay entombed, I might not expect to win a lot of friends and influence people.

    While I would celebrate the freedom of America for everyone who is a citizen like Mr. Ramadan to run for office and compete for votes, I might not be terribly surprised if the voters gave me a chilly reception ater I was promoting a Japanese memorial right next to the USS Arizona memorial of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

    Similarly, Mr. Ramadan has every right to ask for the votes of Virginia voters. He has every right to advocate for a victory mosque at Ground Zero. He has every right to try to fool us into thinking that he is only talking about religious freedom, when we are all smart enough to see through that political / sales job hogwash.

    But if voters say, YOU KNOW… maybe a guy who promotes a mosque at Ground Zero doesn’t really represent what I want in the General Assembly… the voters have that right, too.

    Some things to remember: (1) Special government action was necessary to CHANGE the law in New York City to clear the way for the victory mosque (2) parts of the airplane and parts of body parts actually crashed into that building. So the building in question is, in effect, a crime scene, and should have been a memorial of hallowed ground to the dead. Lord knows if some prominent Muslim living 8,000 miles away had a dream about the spot, the Muslims would be claiming it as sacred ground that no Jew could walk on. So should we consider that the building actually contained body parts of the dead and parts of the airplanes? (3) there are plenty of other mosques in New York City and no need for this one other than for the Islamic world to do a victory dance in the end zone. (4) It is NOT a mosque planned there, but a full-scale cultural outreach to promote Islam, (5) Once a mosque is placed there, the Islamic imperialist mentality will claim that it can never be touched and can never be defiled by any Jew or Christian and it is now a holy, sacred place FOREVER.

    So while the US Constitution guarantees the right of everyone to the free exercise of religion, it also allows voters to evaluate the judgment, mentality, and political philosophy of whom the voters choose to elect to represent them.

    Would David Ramadan promote Shariah Law if elected? Heck, I don’t know. He says no. Nobody knows.

    I am worried instead about what he actually has promoted over his own signature than speculating about what he might do some day.

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