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John Cook And The SEIU

By Greg L | 12 September 2011 | Fairfax County | 23 Comments

UPDATE: Cook announced SEIU endorsement Sept. 14th.

John Cook is the incumbent Republican Supervisor in the Braddock District, which is in central Fairfax County just south of Fairfax City. He won a special election in 2009 by a miniscule 89 vote margin, so this is his first time he is facing the electorate in a general election. To make it even tougher, Janet “The Hoot” Oleszek has lowered her sights from the Senate of Virginia to the Braddock Supervisor race, and despite a string of embarrassing gaffes in previous races she’s a formidable challenger in a mostly Democrat district.  Cook understandably has to pull out all the stops in order to win this one, but I didn’t expect he might try running against Oleszek from the left.

Apparently Cook’s latest strategic opportunity is to nab the endorsement of the SEIU, even though one would imagine there aren’t a whole lot of SEIU members who can afford to live in this district. In meetings with the SEIU committee that will decide on endorsements, Cook has pulled out all the stops, promising things that even hyper-liberal Arlington County hasn’t even thought of yet. First was the offer that Fairfax government employees (who are largely represented by the SEIU) would get a pay raise greater than what Democrats on the Fairfax Board are recommending. Next would be that he’d push that the SEIU had representation on the committee who will pick the next County Executive. The whopper here is that Cook would push for a change in the form of government for Fairfax County to allow the SEIU to place someone as an adjunct, non-voting member of the Board of Supervisors who could speak up on behalf of Fairfax government employees at any time during discussions of the Board of Supervisors.

Good grief. Isn’t the SEIU powerful enough already?

It’s deeply disappointing to see a Republican of any stripe pandering to the most irresponsible and hard-leftist labor organization in America. The SEIU is a collection of thugs that pushes hard for amnesty for illegal aliensredistribution of our wealth, and the destruction of capitalism. This corrupt organization exists to push leftist politicians into power that will vote to increase government worker pay which gets returned back to these politicians as campaign contributions.

Pandering to these racketeers to try to win an election is horrific.  It might seem like a great political play to nab the endorsement of a particularly leftist thug union from the Democrat who almost certainly would otherwise get the pick, but it is beyond disturbing that any Republican could seriously offer enticements like these that would harm the long-term interests of Fairfax County.



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23 Comments

  1. James Young said on 12 Sep 2011 at 11:56 am:
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    Just so we’re clear: SEIU “represents” no public employee in the Commonwealth of Virginia, as public-sector monopoly bargaining is barred as a matter of law (one written by PWC Democrat Dave Brickley, incidentally). Fairfax County employees may be MEMBERS of SEIU, but they are not REPRESENTED by SEIU.

    As for Cook, with Republicans like this, who needs Democrats?

  2. PWCDiva said on 12 Sep 2011 at 12:43 pm:
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    John Cook is a hack, who needs this seat for his ‘pay to play’ bank account, that’s all it is. He’s no Republican, and certainly no Conservative (didn’t Ken Kookinelli endorse him- Ken Ken Ken.. do your DD for once will you). Power leads to money for hacks like Cook, nothing more. The hack has no principles, never did. He never cared about representing Conservative Republicans in his district, only his personal interests and pocket. Good Grief… when will r’s and Rs stop fawning over hacks in Fairfax…

  3. Stephen Spiker said on 12 Sep 2011 at 1:12 pm:
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    Greg, you’re getting way too far ahead of yourself, and its disappointing that you’ve purposefully gone far out of the way to slam a good Republican incumbent in a tight re-election campaign.

    First of all, let’s establish upfront that John Cook has earned the taxpayers’ trust. He’s consistently held the line on spending and taxes, and repeatedly put principle above the “go-along-to-get-along” mentality that has been prominent in Fairfax County in years past. He deserves far more of the benefit of the doubt than you seem willing to give, which is why its odd you wouldn’t even send out a cursory inquiry for comment before launching this misinformed broadside.

    Second, let’s put the brakes on conflating Fairfax County government employees and the SEIU. Yes, the SEIU is a powerful union with dangerous elements and far-left ideologies. And yes, County employees are members of the union. But that doesn’t mean that Fairfax County is staffed 100% by union thugs. What you’re viewing, perhaps intentionally obtusely, as “enticements” to the union are actually ideas that could improve Fairfax County.

    The first idea was to give employees a pay raise. On the surface, I can understand the objections. But Fairfax is rapidly falling behind Loudoun and Prince William County payrates. This isn’t a handout, it’s simple market principles. If you want to keep good workers, you need to pay competitive to other options that are readily available. If you think this is too much money for Fairfax to spend, I refer you back to my first point, and reiterate that Supervisor Cook has earned our trust on spending matters.

    The second idea also is far more benign than you intimate. The County Executive wields a lot of control over operations, and most county staffers work with his office. It makes sense to give county employees a say by being given a seat on the commission that appoints the County Exec. Cook also wants to give a seat to the Chamber of Commerce and Civic Associations. Note that its the employees, not the union, that would be given representation. I can’t imagine how anyone could have a problem with these changes, unless its phrased in the misleading way that you wrote it.

    The third idea is odd, and one I haven’t heard of before. I’m pretty sure your info is wrong here, and I’d be interested in who told you this.

    The bottom line is that John Cook is proving that fiscally conservative values can also be pragmatic and result in better public services, contrary to liberals’ arguments that anything but massive spending increases will ravage services. It’s possible to be a champion of the taxpayers and still look out for government workers and maintain the services Fairfax constituents demand, by limiting spending in other areas and smartly targeting spending to where they’d be most effective. This is something that should be celebrated, not scornfully mocked.

    And note that while I helped get John Cook elected in 2009, I’m not on the campaign now, and serve only as a big fan of Republicans in Fairfax who truly get it. Maybe your perspective is skewered by the limited amount of exposure you get to issues up here. Hopefully you find time to correct this before misguidedly attacking more Fairfax conservatives.

    As for you PWC anklebiters, stick to your own County and rely on more than just one bad source for your news. If you can’t tell the difference between Cook and a Democrat, its obvious you’ve never even bothered to look at his voting record.

  4. Not James Young said on 12 Sep 2011 at 1:14 pm:
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    Wow you boys need to stick to Prince William. Greg, that third thing there demands some proof. Do you have it on tape, camera, or print? Buddy I think you’ve been played for a stool pigeon, I hope Tribbett and Oleszek took you for dinner before getting screwed. Never has Cook ever proposed anything close to what you claim. Unless you can produce evidence otherwise, stick to attacking Marty Nohe. Cook is the best Republican on the board.

  5. Anonymous said on 12 Sep 2011 at 1:35 pm:
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    How dare you attack John Cook like this. So what if he supports a pay raise, and it makes sense that public employees have a voice in who the next county executive will be. I’ll bet there’s a solid reason behind the adjunct board member idea as well - you ought to talk to Cook before you attack him and find out wh6y he’s doing things instead of slamming him like this.

  6. James Young said on 12 Sep 2011 at 3:27 pm:
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    I agree that public employees should “have a voice in who the next county executive will be”: the same “voice” that every other citizen will have.

    What I disagree with is confusing SEIU officials with “public employees” and giving them a PREFERRED place at the table.

  7. Disgruntled in Braddock said on 12 Sep 2011 at 7:46 pm:
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    Great post BVBL. The Tea Party should pull their support immediately from this guy.

  8. Harry said on 12 Sep 2011 at 7:58 pm:
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    janet-58% Cook 41% other 1%

  9. Stephen Spiker said on 12 Sep 2011 at 8:55 pm:
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    Why does supposed members of the Tea Party think Braddock will be better represented by Janet Oleszek?

  10. Confused said on 12 Sep 2011 at 8:55 pm:
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    Mr. Spiker-

    Can you provide a link to the details you cited on Cook proposing an SEIU, Chamber of Commerce and Community Associations all having a seat on the search board for the next County Executive?

    I ask because I can’t find anything online about that. It sounds to me like you are speaking for Cook if you are discussing issues that he hasn’t made public yet.

  11. Lovettsville Lady said on 13 Sep 2011 at 12:14 am:
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    No one, I repeat, no one, could be the left of Janet Oleszek. Anyone who thinks she will represent them has to be very, very, far to the left and not very bright. I may have met a dumber, more far left democrat, but I would be hard pressed to think of one. I’m sure that anyone who watched Janet on the school board would have to agree with me.

  12. Stephen Spiker said on 13 Sep 2011 at 8:08 am:
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    I’m not speaking for Cook, nor am I part of the Cook campaign. I know people who know what’s going on, which is more than I can say for just about everyone else in this thread, including and especially Greg L.

  13. George said on 13 Sep 2011 at 8:32 am:
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    Greg, i do read your post a lot and i have to totally disagree and say you are reading way to into this. Mr. Cook has been nothing but a great Supervisor. If there are those in Braddock who disagree, then you should actually call him and tell him why. I am pretty confident he will answer you and put you at ease. In a lot of ways i am not surprised by the SEIU’s endorsement.

    Why, because this is exactly what i am hearing a lot from the Left. And i quote “I don’t agree with all of Mr.Cook’s ideas, I’m not even a Republican, but i have to admit he has done great things for the community and that is why i am voting for him” Even the Democrats get it, they are having “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” attitude. In fact, i wouldn’t be surprised to see more endorsements like this. Again it’s because he is a great supervisor, and those who do not live here should not be misguiding people and seeing things that are not there.

  14. Greg L said on 13 Sep 2011 at 9:13 am:
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    If I were an elected official and the SEIU liked me, I’d consider myself a complete failure.

  15. Stephen Spiker said on 13 Sep 2011 at 9:53 am:
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    Greg, that’s retarded.

  16. Confused said on 13 Sep 2011 at 10:06 am:
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    Actually Mr. Spiker, I believe you were writing under a screen name when you were working for Mr. Cook last time, so your claims of not having official campaign ties are quite difficult to swallow. Especially when you are citing inside information not available to the public.

  17. Stephen Spiker said on 13 Sep 2011 at 10:53 am:
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    Yes, I posted as “VA Blogger” back in 2009. I also worked on the campaign back then. Since then, I’ve worked on other campaigns and now work in D.C.; I don’t work in the Supervisor’s office, and I don’t work on the campaign. Your level of difficulty of swallowing easy-to-confirm facts is irrelevant.

    As I said, I know people who know what’s going on. Amazingly, when I read an accusation, I actually asked around to get the whole story, rather than trotting over to a blog with a half-baked claim.

  18. Chris said on 13 Sep 2011 at 11:08 am:
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    Greg, you need to be careful here. Its not often Spiker and I agree on anything but he is dead on here. I’m afraid that you’ve been sold a bill of goods here, and I’m worried people close to Oleszek have hit a nerve that made you post something that you didn’t check.

    First, did you in any way try and contact anybody in the Cook operation to see if these charges are correct or not? They are a pretty open bunch, to be honest.

    Secondly, Ken Cuccinelli has endorsed John (and not either of the other GOP incumbent supervisors) so are you willing to let whoever sold you that story outweigh the AG’s opinion?

    Cook has been a singular thorn in the side of the Democratic majority on this board on every issue from subsidised housing to taxes to the budget in general.

    But Cook is playing right now in the opposing teams stadium. You know me, you know I’m willing to go all in with a conservative even if he might not win. But Cook is the key to a number of races in Fairfax - Williams, Flanary, Culipher, and Schoeneman need a strong Cook showing in this normally Democratic bastion. To a certain degree, Cook has to play their game. For some, that might be unacceptable.

    There is also more going on here. Chap Petersen is attempting to take over the local Democratic operation and Braddock is a key race for him. Trust me, Sharon Bulova does NOT want Janet Oleszek on the board hitting her from the left. At least Cook can be isolated and can be dealt with. Oleszek is vulnerable with independents and Chap is trying to cover that ground for her. But Cook can conceivably get endorsements from the Chamber, the enviros, and the unions in this race. His victory would be a huge blow to local Democrats across the board. I can’t tell you how important this race is, the Dems know how vulnerable Janet is.

    This isn’t Prince William County Greg . . . in large swaths for the county Republicans have to play on the road and by the other teams rules. Its just the way it is . . . if you don’t like that enjoy ruining one of our best potential up and comers and sicking Janet Oleszek and her radical leftist views on Fairfax County. Because if you let that happen to us by baselessly attacking Cook you should really just leave Fairfax alone because with friends like that who needs enemies.

  19. Greg L said on 13 Sep 2011 at 12:50 pm:
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    I take no pleasure in pointing out issues with Republican candidates during an election cycle, and understandably this is an important race to win in Fairfax. I wish posts like this never had to be written.

    I cannot in good conscience stay mute when a Republican starts almost secretly acting in a manner that is inimical to conservative and Republican values during an election however. Strategy is not a substitute for principle, and if we elect candidates who cast principle aside while trying to execute novel strategies the representation we end up with will be problematic at best. At worst, the debasing of principle harms the Republican “brand” giving the opposition long-lived ammunition when they point out how fluid and situational our convictions are.

    Anyone apologizing for the SEIU in this thread really needs to think hard about what they really stand for. The SEIU is, as charitably as one can put it, the opposition. I stand firmly against them. Anyone who leaps in bed with them in order to obtain some temporary political advantage is someone who is at very best fundamentally misguided no matter what race they are in, who is running against them, or what supposed benefit their victory might bring.

  20. Not Disgruntled in Braddock said on 13 Sep 2011 at 4:45 pm:
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    Do Ben Tribbett and the Oleszek staffers posing as conservatives (who somehow support Communist Janet Oleszek??) really think they’re fooling anyone?

    This has to be the most inane attempt at posing as the other side I’ve ever seen.  Ever.

  21. PWCDiva said on 13 Sep 2011 at 5:44 pm:
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    “Anyone who leaps in bed with them in order to obtain some temporary political advantage is someone who is at very best fundamentally misguided no matter what race they are in, who is running against them, or what supposed benefit their victory might bring.”… Amen! I call that the definition of a political hack regardless of party affiliation.

  22. Chris said on 13 Sep 2011 at 7:10 pm:
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    Greg, here is the part of your story I want you to explain:

    “Next would be that he’d push that the SEIU had representation on the committee who will pick the next County Executive. The whopper here is that Cook would push for a change in the form of government for Fairfax County to allow the SEIU to place someone as an adjunct, non-voting member of the Board of Supervisors who could speak up on behalf of Fairfax government employees at any time during discussions of the Board of Supervisors.”

    Have you contacted Cook’s office and ask them if this is true?

    Have you contacted John Cook himself, he’s a pretty easy guy to get a hold of?

    Who gave you this information?

    What proof do you have?

    This is some REALLY damning stuff your saying here and I think you owe it to yourself, your credibility, and those of us who are actually in Fairfax (and Braddock, like me) to come out with more proof than simply this. Come on . . . your saying the most reliable Republican on the BOS who has been endorsed by Ken Cuccinelli is secretly plotting to hand over Fairfax County to the SEIU . . . we need more than simply your word.

  23. Independent Voter said on 19 Sep 2011 at 8:31 pm:
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    Carey Campbell, U.S. Air Force veteran, is the Independent conservative on the ballot. Campbell called for the lowest property tax rates in 2009, and again this year. Campbell is the true, and traditional conservative running in the Braddock district for Supervisor as an Independent.

    Campbell is the only veteran on the ballot in the Braddock District race.

    Campbell has a long record of over two decades of community service. Campbell the Independent (I) is a member of the North Springfield civic association board, Braddock District Council and co-chair of the Budget and Transportation committees on the Fairfax Federation of civic associations.

    If you want a real conservative, vote Campbell for Braddock Supervisor.

    Forget the borrow and spend incumbent.

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