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Mark Wolfe Using Illegal Alien Labor?

By Greg L | 23 January 2012 | Illegal Aliens, Crime, Manassas City | 105 Comments

Virtucon alleges this morning that Manassas City Councilman Mark Wolfe has knowingly employed illegal aliens.  That’s not going to help with a convention coming up in Manassas on Saturday where Wolfe is on the ballot.  Not a bit.

My experience with Wolfe is that he’s been strongly in favor of cracking down on illegal immigration, so this comes as quite a surprise.

UPDATE: Virtucon reports on other violations of the law.  This is not Mark Wolfe’s week.

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  1. Yawning Wolf said on 23 Jan 2012 at 11:22 am:
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    Illegal off’s 3 after getting Obama amnesty…


    Get these ‘tards out of my nation!! I pay taxes to be protected! Not to have our fed government circumvent the very laws they have created!

  2. Cynic said on 23 Jan 2012 at 1:00 pm:
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    While waiting to “Get these ‘tards out of my nation!!” please do not hold your breath.

  3. Henry said on 23 Jan 2012 at 1:25 pm:
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    What kind of proof is there that this Baldin is illegal, and that Wolfe “knowingly” employed him?

  4. 99% said on 23 Jan 2012 at 1:30 pm:
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    Mr. Wolf is also in the Metro section (front page below fold) of the WASH POST today for his Manassas Ballet non-profit tax payer funding. It seems like he is Chair or something other of the Arts Committee in Prince William and his wife’s ballet gets major funding from that process. He is also a Council Member in Manassas and the ballet gets major funding from City taxpayers through a different Arts funding process. Seems like he wins in both places, smart guy! This is really starting to smell bad Prince William and Manassas, why are you allowing this to go on?

  5. Disgusted said on 23 Jan 2012 at 1:36 pm:
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    Funny how Manassas Ballet Theater morphs from for-profit to non-profit and back again depending on which government agency they’re talking to. To think that this entity, which occasionally claims for-profit status, is also a major recipient of taxpayer dollars from multiple local jurisdictions!

  6. anonymous said on 23 Jan 2012 at 1:37 pm:
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    are we okay with illegals from russia but not mexico?

  7. Greg L said on 23 Jan 2012 at 2:52 pm:
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    We better not be. The issue is about the rule of law and fairness, and anyone who turns a blind eye because of the nationality of an illegal alien is demonstrating that their motivations have nothing to do with those fundamental issues.

  8. Thor's Hammer said on 23 Jan 2012 at 4:07 pm:
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    You want proof? You can’t handle the proof…

    Here is the documentation that Baldin was not authorized to work in the U.S.


  9. Padre said on 23 Jan 2012 at 6:05 pm:
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    i can see why the City might care. Why should the county give a fig?

  10. JimmyV said on 23 Jan 2012 at 10:38 pm:
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    What am I missing Thor? I can’t find anything in the document you site as proving that Baldin is illegal. Did you post the wrong thing? And how do we know that Wolf knew he was not authorized to work here?

  11. Disgusted said on 23 Jan 2012 at 10:52 pm:
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    Baldin’s visa expires on 3/23/2010 and the next day MBT signs a contingency contract with him. MBT’s work permit application for Baldin is denied on 6/28/2010. Despite that denial, Baldin performs for MBT in Romeo and Juliet May 21-22 2011. If you go to the immigration website and plug in that application number it still shows it is denied, thus Baldin was then and still is an illegal alien.

  12. Maureen said on 24 Jan 2012 at 5:22 am:
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    Well we know DHS won’t do anything about it.

  13. Vogels class said on 24 Jan 2012 at 6:08 am:
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    I’m sure all the native born ballet dancers can barely contain themselves over this injustice. At $400 per week some poor American dancer was really losing out.

    BTW, I understand the MBT is really good.

  14. Doug Brown said on 24 Jan 2012 at 8:14 am:
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    Manassas Ballet is not famous in the Ballet world for its generous pay and employee benefit packages. The contract doesn’t even bother to get Vasily’s sex right. I suspect most Russian dancers, or others from the former Soviet Union, sign with the company simply to get their toes onto the American stage and eventually end up elsewhere.

    If it turns out that Wolfe’s company did knowingly employ an individual without the right to work here, then Wolfe should not be allowed to work for us on the City Council and I would like to see a collective letter from the City Council requesting his resignation. Furthermore, doesn’t the City Council have a law on the books in regard to a company knowingly employing illegal aliens?

  15. Anonymous said on 24 Jan 2012 at 9:01 am:
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    There are no benefit packages for the dancers. No health insurance, no compensation. Nothing. The dancers are considered “Independent Contractors” and are given 1099s at the end of the tax year. As they are told when to work, where to work, expectations, etc., they should be considered employees.
    Look at the contract. $400.00 is not for 52 weeks.
    Anyway, if they’ve hired Baldin illegally, how many others were also hired? There have been many people in and out of the company over the years. I’m sure this isn’t the first time and I don’t want my tax dollars going to support this anymore…

  16. Vogels class said on 24 Jan 2012 at 9:07 am:
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    Resign? Really? This hardly seems to be any kind of systematic and flagrant violation. It’s one guy. I would be more concerned if there were actually a line of local dancers denied employment because of this situation. But I don’t see one forming.

    Now, I don’t claim to have knowledge of ballet pay rates and compensation packages, nor do I have any experience with dealing with INS, DHS, or any of those entities, but from the paperwork posted earlier it seems like a very large headache to try and get a decent dancer to Manassas to entertain those who like ballet. You’d have to be Barishnikov to qualify. We’re all human, and I can see how easily a deadline could be missed or some documentation misplaced. I’m sure it happens all the time on both the gov. side and the applicants’ side.

    So, how is it that some are so wrapped up in this red herring that we’re calling for his head? He was hardly passing out social security numbers or food stamps to those who don’t qualify for them. Wolfe is a guy with character, who doesn’t vote whichever way the wind blows, and for that he has my respect. I believe he wants whats best for the city, and for that he has my support. If there are legal ramifications to come for those involved, so be it. That’s what the system is there for.

    Expending energy to rally council to demand/request resignation of an elected member? We have neither the time nor the virulence to spare on this one. Better to truly try and influence change in the immigration policies at the federal level to allow legal immigration of all the engineers, dancers, apple pickers, and landscapers that our nation seems unable to produce.

  17. Howard Roark said on 24 Jan 2012 at 9:08 am:
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    Even liberal Michael Kinsley argues against public subsidies of rich peoples’ evening at the ballet:


    We’ve known about the conflicts and self-dealing in arts funding in Manassas and Prince William County for years. Now we see our tax dollars subsidizing employment of illegal aliens. When will our “fiscally responsible” Board of Supervisors put an end to this madness? When will the 99% no longer be taxed to pay for the 1% to visit the Hylton Center?

    Enough is Enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. John Smith said on 24 Jan 2012 at 9:40 am:
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    Here’s the bottom line- there are enough discrepancies in the proof provided to look into this further. Is this the only time MBT has done this? Where does their money go? IF they are a true non profit we have the right to know. If they are not how are they receiving our tax payers dollars? How deep does this go? What harm does it do to go in and run a quick audit, or look into these allegations if there is nothing to hide? While you are correct- this is one person proven here illegally, is that it? How far does it go? However innocent it MAY be (although I highly doubt it) when you have a majority of the city council involved in productions and sitting on the board of directors for the ballet there is a conflict of interest. No matter which way you spin it. I say look into it- what happens when you fumigate? While the end result is a clean house, in the meantime you have a big problem with the bugs scurrying around carrying the poison back to the queen, or in this case maybe king.

  19. Vogels class said on 24 Jan 2012 at 9:44 am:
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    While municipal support of the arts is something I’m in favor of, it’s lower on my list of priorities than other things at this juncture. Conflicts and self dealing are another issue entirely, and when malfeasance is brought to light, let the chips fall where they may. From the existing evidence, it seems like our tax dollars subsidized the employment of one illegal alien in this case. The guys subcontracted by the county/city to mow lawns and the like might be another story…

  20. Doug Brown said on 24 Jan 2012 at 10:47 am:
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    Vogels class,

    Вы ничего не об этом знают. This is enough for ICE to raid the place. What’s good enough for Chipolte is good enough Manassas Ballet! Stop the exploitation and trafficing of Ballerinas now!

  21. Mike Lasouris said on 24 Jan 2012 at 12:33 pm:
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    Hypocrisy of the Year… Here’s Mark Wolfe’s own facebook quote: “Time for Virginia to step up on this [illegal aliens]. I’m tired of loosing business and money to firms who rely on illegal labor.” ( May 26, 2011 – 4 days after he himself hired an illegal alien for his own business ! )

    Do we want to be represented by a guy on our City Council who openly breaks the law? Had it been a liberal who did it – even once – the conservative blog would be calling for his head. I’m amazed to read in some of the comments above (and on the Virtucon blog) that maybe one crime would be okay for a guy of Wolfe’s standing in the community. After all, it was just a single ballet dancer – what’s the big deal? … ( “but Dad, I’m only a little bit pregnant! ) In any case, word around town is that this has happened before. Does the City Council have enough guts to get rid of Wolfe, or should we begin to think more critically about the City Council?

  22. Henry said on 24 Jan 2012 at 4:18 pm:
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    Thor’s Hammer wrote :
    Thor’s Hammer said on 23 Jan 2012 at 4:07 pm: Flag comment

    You want proof? You can’t handle the proof…

    Apparently Ahole, you can;t read the truth - this was a petition (aka request) for a “legal status” for twinkle toes -

  23. Robert L. Duecaster said on 24 Jan 2012 at 4:20 pm:
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    The denial of a visa seems to be based upon a lack of substantiation that the dancer had extraordinary ability. In most administrative law situations, a lack of substantiation means that the petitioner has the chance to provide substantiation pending final decision. It does not look like anyone at VV or BVBL might have considered that possibility.

    Incidentally, I’ve watched the dancer in question and would be more than willing to attest to his “extraordinary abilities,” which far exceeded those of Messrs. Nohe and Parrish, and probably anyone blogging here or on VV. He looked better than Plexico Burris even before the shot in the leg.

    Having said all that, if the guy truly does not have authorization to be in this country, Mark and Amy should at least spring for a ticket back to the homeland, or somewhere where his presence is legal.

  24. Mike Lasouris said on 24 Jan 2012 at 4:52 pm:
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    If you look again, you’ll see there were two petitions. Indeed, MTB was given a second chance and still failed to provide documentation (probably because there was none to provide - either that, or MTB wanted the petition to fail). Anyway, the Immigration Department is not concerned with our local and amateur artistic opinion - but with a substantiated artistic track record that would warrant letting him stay in the United States to work. Their requirements are pretty clear. MTB really fumbled this - twice. But why are we trying to second guess the Immigration Dept? That’s not what’s at stake here. The boy was turned down twice - and with finality. He had to leave, according to Immigration, but instead he was hired to dance in Manassas.

    Why are we trying to cloud the issue here with aesthetic nonsense? Immigration says he was illegal, but the Wolfes hired him anyway. If you go through a red light, the judge doesn’t ask you for your opinion of the color. You have to pay.

  25. Anonymous said on 24 Jan 2012 at 8:05 pm:
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    Mark Wolf owns ADCO an HVAC contractor, his wife runs the Ballot, I seriously doubt Wolf ever saw an application or documentation for anyone from the ballot.

  26. Doug Brown said on 24 Jan 2012 at 8:15 pm:
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    Mike L,

    I was once told by a former USCIS adjudicator half-jokingly that running up fees (denials) is actually a way to curry favor with some centers. Maybe this is SOP for MBT.

    I am waiting to see how MBT responds to the virtucon story.

    Who knows maybe Frank Wolf wrote a letter testifying to Baldin’s artistic genius to USCIS.

  27. Doug Brown said on 24 Jan 2012 at 8:27 pm:
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    The Russians make the MBT. No Russians, no cache, no funds, no ballet company.

    Their status is not a minor issue.

  28. saturday delegate said on 24 Jan 2012 at 9:50 pm:
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    Well, it’s decided then. I’ll not vote at the convention for anyone who has danced in the ballet. That was simple.

  29. Thor’s Hammer said on 24 Jan 2012 at 11:59 pm:
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    And that petition for legal status was denied… TWICE, yet the ballet still hired him despite having written notices from the federal government.

  30. Howard Roark said on 25 Jan 2012 at 7:12 am:
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    Anonymous - According to the MBT website, Mark Wolfe is the Executive Director and Amy Wolfe is the Artistic Director. Are you trying to argue that an Executive Director would have no knowledge of nor play any role in something like this in his own organization?

    Oh look - there’s your credibility circling in the water and flushing down the toilet.

    It’s high time the Manassas City Council and the Prince William County Board of Supervisors stop flushing our tax dollars down the toilet also.

  31. G Man said on 25 Jan 2012 at 7:56 am:
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    Do we have Balletgate here? The website also names City Councilwoman Sheryl Bass as “President,” and who is a member of the Board of Directors? Mayor Hal Parrish II


  32. Doug Brown said on 25 Jan 2012 at 9:29 am:
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    G Man,

    Bass as President is hanging out there a little more than the Mayor on the illegal alien issue originally raised here. Both could easily argue that their responsibility and exposure is limited, if almost non-existent, as to the fact that it may have happened.

    However, both need to privately/publically be asking MBT whether it indeed engaged in the practice of hiring an illegal alien which Mark Wolfe condemed on his Facebook page. Failure of either of them to immediately clear this issue up will allow their opponents and critics to tag them with it.

  33. Charles Sutherland said on 25 Jan 2012 at 11:08 am:
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    Let’s give Mark Wolfe an opportunity to clear his name. To exhibit his sincerity on the illegal alien issue, Mark Wolf could take steps by finally introducing meaningful measures in the City Council.

    For example, (1) requiring that all employers certify on their annual license renewals that they have not hired illegal aliens during the previous year, with fines for hiring illegals; (2) passing the equivalent of E-verify on the City level for all employers; (3) passing regulations on the City level effectuating the Virginia state law, Code of Virginia #22.1-3.1, requiring the schools to have ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATES from all new students, with penalties, since most schools are violating this law; (4) introducing requirements for the school system to count the number of illegal aliens in the schools and cease pretending that the Supreme Court decision Plyer v. Doe prohibits even counting them (over 50% of the student enrollment are Hispanics, and 50.7% of the recent 884 students are Hispanic)…so we at least know how much they are costing the City’s taxpayers. (It’s like having cancer, and refusing to count the number of cancer cells.) Not to mention that over 60% of all students receive free or subsidized lunches and breakfasts, and no one know how many of those are illegal aliens. Gail Pope has turned the school system into a bi-lingual welfare organization, and the City Council provides her with $53 Million a year!

    Employment (namely illegal, not tax-paying employment), schools, and low-cost housing are the magnets attracting illegal aliens to the City. Perhaps Mr. Wolfe could show us on paper where his heart and head really are. And, since Jonathan Way has recently claimed to want to address the illegal alien issue, perhaps he (along with Sheryl Bass… also involved) would support their buddy Mr. Wolfe — in order to demonstrate their combined sincerity.

    Charles Sutherland

  34. Mike Lasouris said on 25 Jan 2012 at 11:38 am:
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    Charles Sutherland,

    Uh…let me get this straight. You want a guy who is accused of hiring illegal aliens to demonstrate “sincerity” by doing what?! Isn’t there any little thing you’d like to ascertain, first, about Mr. Wolfe’s own practices … uh, just any little thing at all?

  35. Anonymous said on 25 Jan 2012 at 12:41 pm:
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    Was MBT Appealing the decision when he was hired? If an appeal is in the works is it legal to hire while the appeal is on going I would like the rest of the story

  36. Mike Lasouris said on 25 Jan 2012 at 12:56 pm:
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    According to the Immigration Service (you can enter the case number into the box on their website - no hyphens, just numbers), MBT’s appeal was finished and the whole thing re-denied long (months) before the famous Mayoral-Supervisor-Alien event (should we call this one “Dances with Alien”).

  37. Anonymous said on 25 Jan 2012 at 1:11 pm:
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    MBT is like every other arts organization out there New Your Ballet, Washington Ballet ect scratching for every dollar so they can under pay talented dancers who deserve more. they go to schools and do free shows sponsor military hurt in action. Mark and Amy push everyday for the arts to be in manassas where our children can come and see them and participate. the city, state piss away more money a day then gets donated to MBT or any other arts group in Manassas. Trying to smear a good mans name just to get somewhere in an election is just wrong. If you want to fight the man bring up real issues at Saturdays convention. Like roads, Schools and Over construction in the area

  38. Mike Lasouris said on 25 Jan 2012 at 1:52 pm:
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    Employing illegal alien labor is not a real issue? The GOP seems to regard it as such. Oh well - I guess it’s okay with you, right?

  39. G Man said on 25 Jan 2012 at 2:04 pm:
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    Doug Brown - “Both could easily argue that their responsibility and exposure is limited.”

    Don’t be so quick to dismiss their duties. According to Ray Beverage who indicates on another blog discussing this issue:

    “One addtional question to all this in terms of the Arts Dir, Exec Dir and Board Members is what do their Bylaws say in terms of contracts.

    I sit on a nonprofit Board where our Exec Dir has the authority to hire personnel and sign contracts ONLY AFTER both are reviewed by the Board. All actions are recorded in the Minutes.

    This is tied into the Nonprofit Compliance Rules set in place by the IRS beginning in 2009. The Boards are to no longer be just a bunch of “yes men” (for lack of a better phrase).

    Anyway you look at it, this is a bad situation all around.”

  40. Doug Brown said on 25 Jan 2012 at 2:22 pm:
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    An anonymous defense of a good man’s name reflects poorly on the named and nameless.

  41. Doug Brown said on 25 Jan 2012 at 2:58 pm:
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    An Anonymously Inspired Campaign to Help Mark Wolfe Clear His Good Name:

    Please send the following letter to your City Council Members:

    mwolfe@ci.manassas.va.us, aharrover@ci.manassas.va.us, mayorcouncil@ci.manassas.va.us, sbass@ci.manassas.va.us, maveni@ci.manassas.va.us, jway@ci.manassas.va.us, srandolph@ci.manassas.va.us

    Dear Councilman Wolfe,

    The Virtucon Blog has published documents which show that the Manassas Ballet Theater (MBT), where you are the Executive Director, failed to obtain legal status for one of the dancers who performed for MBT. Do you have any response to the Virtucon story? Are there any additional documents/facts which refute the allegation that you may have used public monies, of which MBT is a recipient, to pay an illegal alien to perform services which contribute to your household income?

    Thank you,

  42. Robert L. Duecaster said on 25 Jan 2012 at 3:11 pm:
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    Sounds like a good question for (a) constituent(s) to put to the councilman. Meanwhile, I look forward to another brilliant performance by the Rusky in question and the rest of the Company in MBT’s Peter and the Wolf in March.

  43. JOE said on 25 Jan 2012 at 3:35 pm:
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    Mr. Duecaster,

    I am surprised that you were so vocal against illegals during the PWC controversy and now you say you can’t wait to watch an illegal dance?

  44. Doug Brown said on 25 Jan 2012 at 4:13 pm:
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    Robert L. Duecaster,

    My family won’t be attending. We have refrained from partaking in the pleasure of attending the MBT performances after observing first-hand, as parents of one the younger dancers, the behind scene management talents of Executive Director Wolfe.

    I look forward to any additional documentation Mr. Wolfe can provide, but not so much his and his company’s living on the public dole.

    Enjoy the Ballet, I love the part where the Wolf ends up behind bars …in the the zoo.

  45. Doug Brown said on 25 Jan 2012 at 4:16 pm:
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    What Mr. Duecaster appears to be saying is don’t be surprised if the dancer is not illegal, even if the documents say the dancer is illegally in the country. Welcome to the total chaos and corruption of our wonderful immigration system.

  46. cajunjoe said on 25 Jan 2012 at 4:36 pm:
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    I’m missing where it is documented that he is an ‘illegal immigrant.’

  47. Robert L. Duecaster said on 26 Jan 2012 at 10:37 am:
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    Thank you, Doug, for clearing that up. Nothing has been shown on this or any other blog that shows me that the dancer’s presence in this country is illegal.

    I would encourage MBT, as well as every other employer, however, to sign up for and utilize E-verify in order to avoid this type of controversy.

    I would also encourage constituents of Councilman Wolfe to inquire of him about this matter.

    Public funding of charities and non-profits will always be a controversial subject. I tend to follow the conservative tenet that if you want your child to learn ballet or play piano or hit a three-pointer, you should not expect your neighbors to fund that indulgence. But as long as governments like the City of Manassas are passing out their contituents’ hard-earned monies, I encourage all to wiggle up to the trough and try to slurp up as much as possible.

  48. Mike Lasouris said on 26 Jan 2012 at 10:56 am:
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    Astounding, Mr. Duecaster. Several times in the course of these comments we’ve been shown how to verify the accusation - here’s the exact instruction:

    go to: www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis

    under “Case Status” (upper left corner), type in Baldin’s case (receipt) number - which you can find in the pdf file we’ve all been reading, but I’ll give it to you - wac10800005189. Click “Check Status”, and you’ll get the result:

    “On June 28, 2010, we mailed you a denial decision notice for this case I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER. The notice explains why the denial decision was made and the options that may be available to you. If you have not received this notice within 15 days of June 28, 2010, please call customer service at 1-800-375-5283 for further assistance.

    During this step the formal decision (approved/denied) is written and the decision notice is mailed and/or emailed to the applicant/petitioner. You can use our current processing time to gauge when you can expect to receive a final decision.”

  49. Jerry Carman said on 26 Jan 2012 at 11:06 am:
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    It’s a pretty standard practice for politicians in an election year to express the concerns of their constituents (illegal aliens ect…) while they have done nothing to solve the problem during their term.
    I’m an more than concerned with:
    Poor education system
    Declining property values
    High taxes
    Illegal aliens in our community are at the heart of these issues.
    I have the intestinal fortitude to do what Wey, Bass, Wolfe and Pope have refused to do.

  50. Doug Brown said on 26 Jan 2012 at 12:18 pm:
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    Mike L.

    I understand your frustration with this issue and Mr. Duecaster’s response. However, we need to keep several things in mind when dealing with the USCIS.

    1. The integrity and competency of the USCIS workforce is thoroughly corrupted, this is something the FBI and other Federal agencies that have jurisdiction have refused to investigate at its source. Why? You’ll have to wait for my book or the belated indictment of several comically inept people.

    2. To rely on information from such an agency as USCIS is problematic. Workers who are not themselves properly vetted are not beyond issuing contradictory or incorrect decisions when vetting applicants. Therefore, a person with Vasily Baldin’s background and skills maybe here legally/illegally. The legal limbo of overstaying a visa is a national nightmare for everyone affected, except the lawyers and bureaucrats who make their living off it, and the criminals and other unsavory characters, like unscrupulous employers (MBT?), who exploit it.

    3. The role of AILA, http://aila.org/, in shaping and distorting the regulations, laws, and institutions that shape our immigration system have made the system all but impenetrable for most Americans to understand and for the cause of common sense.

    4. The role of organizations, such as NumbersUSA, which have emerged to try to fix our broken system and counter AILA’s influence have often confused self-interest and self-promotion with the noble goal of fixing the system and a functional bureaucracy to administer it.

    There are other factors that need to be considered about USCIS, but I hope these address some of your frustrations about Mr. Duecaster apparent obstinacy in light of the documents under consideration.

    @Robert Duecaster,

    I do take issue with your advice to MBT to utilize E-Verify, as if that was relevant in this case, or most of the other cases where they actively recruited these dancers from the former Soviet Union and arranged for the supporting legal services. Please, that is a disservice to these dancers who have been treated by MBT very poorly from what I have personally seen. Again, enjoy the Ballet.

  51. Mike Lasouris said on 26 Jan 2012 at 12:31 pm:
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    Doug Brown, it doesn’t surprise me to hear that a federal agency is corrupted. But if their decision has been made and delivered (and, from the evidence at hand, this decision has been final for some time), then doesn’t the appelant organization have to abide by it? Despite the credibilty of your comments, why would questioning the integrity of the USCIS change the legality of the matter? Can we just decide that we don’t like the color of a stoplight and so just drive right through it?

  52. Doug Brown said on 26 Jan 2012 at 1:03 pm:
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    Mike Lasouris,

    I’ll wait for MBT’s response to this story, not because I trust them but because I don’t trust them and I don’t trust the work of the USCIS…or their contractors.

    I feel truly sorry for Vasily Baldin because I suspect he has been victimized by a criminally corrupt system and taken advantage of by a sloppily managed business with a less than benevolent attitude towards its foreign contractors.

  53. Mike Lasouris said on 26 Jan 2012 at 1:20 pm:
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    Yes, Baldin seems to be the one most deeply hurt in all of this. Everyone involved in the human side of this travesty should be deeply ashamed. Baldin just wants to dance - and not in Russia.

  54. Charles Sutherland said on 26 Jan 2012 at 1:51 pm:
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    I have sent the following email to the Mayor and City Council, and advised them I would send a copy to this blog:

    Dear Mr. Mayor:

    On behalf of yourself and the City Council, could you please explain why City taxpayer funds (most recently $18,000) went to the Manassas Ballet Theater which employed an illegal alien?

    Since you, personally, and members of the City Council are directly involved in and/or are on the Board of Directors of the Manassas Ballet Theater, how many of you were aware of the hiring of this illegal alien?

    Could you also explain whether false documents were submitted, e.g. fabricated Social Security documents, or whether the party concerned was paid in cash to circumvent various laws, including tax laws, and whether Manassas Ballet Theater has had a practice of hiring illegal aliens.

    The new City annual Business License Renewal Application is due by March 1, 2012, and acknowledges that the signing party is aware that hiring illegal aliens is against the law. Can you please acknowledge whether or not this form was submitted to the City Clerk by the Manassas Ballet Theater.

    Are you, or any member of the City Council, aware of any other organization which receives tax-payer financed subsidies from the City of Manassas which hires illegal aliens? If so, please indicate.

    In order to develop some transparency in this matter, I wish you to know that I am providing a copy of this email to the blogs BlackVelvetBruceLi and Manassasopenforum (A Bridge Too Far).

    Your response is solicited and appreciated. If the information is not forthcoming in a timely fashion, I will submit an FOIA request, or take it a step further.

    Thank you very much for your voluntary cooperation.

    Charles Sutherland, Citizen
    cc: Manassasopernforum.wordpress.com; bvbl.net; various citizens of Manassas

  55. Robert L. Duecaster said on 26 Jan 2012 at 4:37 pm:
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    Mike L:

    The dancer’s current status has not been shown on this blog or VV’s. All we know is he applied for a special visa and the application was denied. I see nothing about the legality of his presence in what you’ve referred to. Your assumption that because this application was denied he therefore is here illegally is not supported by what I’ve seen.

    You and I and Doug do agree on the larger issue - the entire problem of illegal aliens in our midst is not the illegal aliens’ fault. They’re doing probably what all the rest of us would do if in their situation. The ones at fault for this problem are (1) the politicians like Frank Wolf who conveniently have refused to address the invasion of this country and, (2) the employers of illegal aliens who profit from these people by virtually enslaving them. Going after the illegal aliens on a one-by-one basis is a waste of time/resources. Our animus should be directed at those two groups.

    You can assert that you are going after members of the 2d group in this case. But again, I ask you, what evidence (not your assumption) is there that this person is in the country illegally? I don’t see anywhere in the docs that he is in an illegal status. Denial of the application does not lead me to that conclusion. Maybe I missed something.

  56. Mike Lasouris said on 26 Jan 2012 at 5:56 pm:
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    You would think that if there were an extension or special allowance (obtained perhaps through Wolf’s office or through another power), that Mark Wolfe would have produced it by now - if for no other reason than to quell this blog uprising during these days directly before the GOP convention. But unless he can show a document that granted Baldin a work and residence permit for the U.S. - valid at the time of the multiple performances in which he danced (there were several different productions) - then the following text (from page 6 of the pdf) must still be in effect:

    “If the date listed on the form I-94 has already passed, this Notice of Decision leaves the beneficiary without lawful immigration status and the beneficiary is hereafter present in the United States in violation of the law and is required to depart the United States immediately.”

    Form I-94 is the temporary VISA (page 5 of the pdf), and the date listed is March 23, 2010.

    But … who knows, and who knows if Wolfe won’t, or perhaps simply can’t reply.

  57. Doug Brown said on 26 Jan 2012 at 6:00 pm:
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    Mike L.,

    Robert is correct, if you read page 12 of the Virtucon documents carefully there is information missing from the documents that does leave the issue of legal or illegal presence in the US open. Maybe I’m missing something or scrolling too fast but it was when I read the decision letter on page 12 that I realized there could and might be additional documents concerning his legal status. Hence, my request to Mr. Wolfe.

    If MBT has the documents they should have released them by now for a number of good reasons, withholding them until the convention may seem advantageous to Mr. Wolfe, but MBT’s reputation for serf like working conditions is not going to go away because they can do it legally and with taxpayer subsidies and Mr. Wolfe’s tendency to overplay his hand should not be underestimated.

    Of course, there’s also the possibility that the documents do point to MBT’s use of an illegal alien…end of Act II

  58. Doug Brown said on 26 Jan 2012 at 6:15 pm:
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    Mike L.,

    Wolfe likes a circus, remember he was chair of Education Forward. Just like at the Ballet he likes to see others scurry around, doing work and then for him to occassionally step in, comment, then motion everyone to carry on. In fact, I use to find it sort of amusing, except for introducing performances, his only other major function at the Ballet that I could tell was making speeches to parents that they had to work harder and volunteer more.

  59. Mike Lasouris said on 26 Jan 2012 at 6:16 pm:
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    Well - there are a number of possible scenarios, and I suppose we’ll know soon enough. I do hope that the Mayor will respond to Charles Sutherland’s request today or tomorrow, and that he will not use delay as a political tactic. That would diminish his credibility as an official elected to serve everyone, not just a few.

  60. Maureen said on 26 Jan 2012 at 9:20 pm:
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    I bet nothing will be forth coming about this situation. The only way we’ll know anything further is if charles submitts his FOIA.

  61. Mike Lasouris said on 26 Jan 2012 at 9:43 pm:
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    In that case, we will know all we need to know about several things - regardless of what the FOIA brings. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

  62. Doug Brown said on 26 Jan 2012 at 10:16 pm:
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    If nothing is forthcoming that would be a sad statement on the politicians connected to the MBT. Already the delay in any response to this story reflects poorly on them, the chaos of the American immigration system may have not touched their lives or fortunes but most Manassas residents, most Americans have not been so lucky.

    If the Mayor can’t give a response to Charles’ letter, or pressure Mr. Wolfe to provide one by tomorrow I think he loses credibility come Saturday whether Mr. Wolfe provides the documenation then or not.

    Councilwoman Bass is in a similiar situation.

  63. taknit2thestreets said on 26 Jan 2012 at 10:37 pm:
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    Frequently the official tactic that is used in this city is delay and deny. Whether it be political or otherwise, the governing powers are weak leaders and thin skinned. It is a disgrace the way the citizenry must beg for proactive leadership in this city government. Let’s see what changes might happen after the convention on Saturday and the May elections. In the meantime a shout out to th elected public servants: lead, follow or resign!

  64. Maureen said on 27 Jan 2012 at 5:17 am:
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    I will also bet you that most of the people at the convention tomorrow have no clue about any of this.

  65. Doug Brown said on 27 Jan 2012 at 9:29 am:
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    Maybe not “most” but there will be a large number. If you combine A Bridge Too Far? with Greg’s views that’s close to 2,000 views, that doesn’t include virtucon’s traffic and whatever today’s traffic will be.

    No response yet from Councilman Wolfe. Again the delay hurts Bass and the Mayor more than Wolfe. Whether the politicians like it or not the online community in Manassas is an extension, i.e., part of Manassas’s larger politicial community. They stand aloof and above it at their own risks and obviously oblivious to the make-up of the polity they claim to represent.

    Don’t these Baby Boomers, know their Marshall McLuhan?

  66. Tyler Durden said on 27 Jan 2012 at 9:34 am:
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    Whacha doin’, Marshall McLuhan?

  67. Doug Brown said on 27 Jan 2012 at 10:30 am:
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    Tyler got the Message.

  68. VERY concerned citizen said on 27 Jan 2012 at 11:04 am:
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    OK- so I am confused. I just happened to stumble onto another blog from 2009 ….. http://www.bvbl.net/index.php/2009/10/16/arts-funding-scandal-in-pwc/

    that is 2 years ago- talking about scandal, Mark Wolfe, and Manassas Ballet… what is wrong with this picture???

    If there are so many questions, and obviously a LOT of people with info on what is going on at Manassas Ballet, WHY IS NO ONE DOING ANYTHING?!?!?! A blog and newspaper article in the Post is a good start, but are you telling me that no official investigations have ever been done?? What kind of world do we live in that local authorities will not step in? Does Mark Wolfe really have these connections? Does a councilman have the mayor and God knows who else in his pocket? I just do not understand. Manassas Ballet is also a school- WITH CHILDREN! Will noone step up for the sake of the kids? As for the dancer- that is a great shame for him. But one thing that keeps drawing my attention- it seems to me that he was legal at one time- then MBT intentionally slacked on the documentation to keep him that way, which caused the denial, then kept him on… was this so that he could repay the costs of the visa by working it off?? Interesting timing. Temporarily remove the current director, Amy- until further investigation is done. Innocent people are the ones who will pay. Why is everyone so afraid of Mark Wolfe?? If he is innocent an investigation would solve everything. If he, council members, his wife and who ever else knew what was going on (possibly office staff??) are guilty take the proper steps. WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE?????????

  69. JOE said on 27 Jan 2012 at 12:02 pm:
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    A local community blog is alleging that a Manassas City council member up for re-election this year employed an illegal immigrant.

    The Virginia Virtucon posted Monday that Manassas City Council member Mark Wolfe, who serves as the executive director of the Manassas Ballet Theater Company, knowingly employed a Russian immigrant with a non-compliant immigration status as a dancer at the local theater.

    Wolfe is facing challengers for his council seat at this weekend’s convention and is being scrutinized for continuing to allow the dancer to perform and receive monetary compensation from the local ballet company even after his Visa expired and a petition for non-immigrant worker status by the theatre was denied.

    Wolfe said in a phone conversation Thursday that the allegations are not true and surfaced at a very “convenient time” prior to the weekend convention when nominees for three council seats will be selected for the May 2012 general election.

    The dancer is question was not illegal at any point of time he was affiliated with the ballet company, Wolfe said.

    Wolfe said that he goes above and beyond what is required to check the immigration status of his employees through E-verify and has sought illegal immigration reform for Virginia.

    “Time for Virginia to step up on this. I’m tired of loosing business and money to firms who rely on illegal labor,” Wolfe wrote on his Facebook wall in May.

  70. Doug Brown said on 27 Jan 2012 at 12:25 pm:
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    Good. I hope he starts going above and beyond in compensating them for their labor as well.

  71. Doug Brown said on 27 Jan 2012 at 1:18 pm:
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    Also look forward to seeing supporting documents, including the original Russian documents which helped to change the USCIS assessment of V Baldin’s talents and standing within the ballet world. Unless MBT relied on some other supporting testimonies?

  72. mike lasouris said on 27 Jan 2012 at 3:08 pm:
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    It certainly would be nice to see Mr. Wolfe’s documentation from E-Verify, refuting the apparent illegal status still shown by the USCIS. Actually, it would be interesting to talk with Mr. Baldin - which should be easy enough to arrange, if everything is on the up ‘n up. Has Mr. Wolfe volunteered his documentation?

    Also, if everything was legal, then Mr. Baldin probably received his pay, like everyone else, in the form of checks. Images of those cancelled checks would be a nice start towards refuting the accusation that he had to be paid on the sly.

    It’s still not clear if Lege Artis Entertainment, Inc. was Baldin’s original sponsor, and, if so (see the VISA image), how that sponsorship was switched to the MBT.

    And, one further point: is the sponsor allowed to recover fees paid to the uscis from the employees wages?

  73. Anonymous said on 27 Jan 2012 at 3:53 pm:
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    Sorry, Mr. Wolfe. Baldin’s visa was expired (and was good only for the sponsoring company), refused twice by the USCIS, yet still worked for MBT. That means he wasn’t eligible to work in the US except for Lege Artists for those specific dates that had already past.

    I believe Lege Artists was the sponsoring company of whatever tour he was on when he decided to stay here in the US. Any foreign performing company is sponsored by an artistic company here in the US. (The Mariinsky Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet use Ardani Artists in NYC). These companies arrange visas for the artists that are valid only for that specific tour, make the tour schedule, handle the details. etc.

  74. Open Lake Manassas Please said on 27 Jan 2012 at 6:48 pm:
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    If the good people of Manassas nominate (alleged) hirer of illegals law breaker and (fact) get over on the taxpayer with city money for my wife’s ballet Wolfe and (fact) do nothing but say nice things Parrish then they deserve what they get. I will be voting for Lovejoy, Harrover, and Way, maybe Bass but her involvement in all this “Balletgate” is troubling as well.

  75. may ferris said on 27 Jan 2012 at 6:56 pm:
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    If you read the contract signed by Amy one day after Mr. Baldin’s VISA expired, you will see language such as “Vasily Baldin shall assume the position of Dancer for Manassas Ballet Theater…” and “COMPENSATION: $400 per week…” Honestly, this is hardly a guest artist contract. It is an employee contract, despite what Mr. Wolfe now chooses to call it. Yes, it is a “contract”, but contracts are made daily between employers and new employees - even where they are unwritten. Baldin appeared in several productions, and stayed with the company far longer than a guest artist for a given production would do. Sorry, but this was a simple hire.

    By the way, did Mr. Wolfe report Baldin’s “1099 earnings” (which, according to the contract, were clearly over the $600 limit for non-reporting specified by the IRS) to the IRS? What was the total? What SS number or ersatz green card, or visa number, appears on the report to the IRS? I think we must be aware that Baldin had long departed his local address by tax time. Do you wonder where Mr. Wolfe sent the copy for Baldin?

  76. citizenofmanassas said on 27 Jan 2012 at 7:12 pm:
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    After reading this it’s not surprising that Mr. Wolfe did not mention fighting against illegal immigration and or illegal aliens in the letter he sent out asking for support for his re-election.

  77. Maureen said on 27 Jan 2012 at 7:41 pm:
    Flag comment

    A new story.


  78. Doug Brown said on 27 Jan 2012 at 7:46 pm:
    Flag comment


    What stationry did it come on? I wonder if he utilized his mailing list from MBT and the academy to send out election material. Would that constitute public funding of a municipal campaign?

  79. Doug Brown said on 27 Jan 2012 at 7:57 pm:
    Flag comment


    Thanks. Notice the Post story said the other dancers provided subsistence to Baldin while his case was on appeal and that was legal according to the Ballet’s lawyer.

    You mean those wonderfully overpaid dancers at the MBT? You mean the Wolfes couldn’t arrange some of their high placed friends and lawyers throw a little subsistence Baldin’s way? Instead, they hit up their employees?

    Thank you counselor for the input… do you have the documents? And how did you finally convince the USCIS that a guy you were going to pay $400 a month met all the criteria for O visa?

  80. Doug Brown said on 27 Jan 2012 at 8:05 pm:
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    Correction: $400 per week. I would hate to make a mistake and not fess up.

  81. Disgusted said on 27 Jan 2012 at 8:34 pm:
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    The law is for the little people.


    Immigration law. Campaign finance law. Heck, why not just break ALL of them?

  82. saturday delegate said on 27 Jan 2012 at 8:53 pm:
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    Wolfe did this to himself. As did the mayor and coucilwoman serving on the ballet board. I guess the allure of the stage and spotlight were too much to resist. It’s a shame. It is shameful. I will support others tomorrow. I have no choice

  83. Disgusted said on 27 Jan 2012 at 9:02 pm:
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    WashPo picks up the story (kind of a drive by) where Wolfe tries to explain it away like this:

    1. While Baldin’s case was being appealed, he was still a member of the company, but they couldn’t pay him.
    2. Instead of paying him they laundered money to him through their legal employees, apparently with the blessing of their attorney.
    3. Finally they had to let the guy go.

    Man, this is some crazy stuff. Wolfe has pretty much admitted to money laundering and violating immigration laws by aiding and abetting the unlawful presence of an illegal alien, which is a felony. This also entirely ignores that Baldin was dancing for MBT months after the final adjudication in this case was completed. Some of the lies here are stupid, but the truth he admits to is utterly stunning.

    I’d love to find out exactly what this travelling dance company Baldin was with before he came to Manassas supposedly was. Looks to me the guy paid a big chunk of money to this Artis Legis frontgroup in order to obtain an initial visa in a classic human trafficking thing and never performed in the US until he was (unlawfully) with MBT.

  84. Disgusted said on 27 Jan 2012 at 9:03 pm:
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    WashPo article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/manassas-republicans-tune-in-to-council-mayors-races/2012/01/26/gIQAIYcPWQ_story.html

  85. mike lasouris said on 27 Jan 2012 at 9:50 pm:
    Flag comment

    My comments submitted on the Post article at 8:51 PM EST tonight

    One is astonished that the Manassas Ballet’s attorney was unable to discern the care taken by the blog contributors to establish facts concerning dates and general documentation in this case - including multiple mentions of and debates about the appeal. The appeal, according to present USCIS information on the web, was denied before Baldin danced his major roles with the company. Furthermore, Mr. Wolfe still has declined to show evidence that Baldin was legally in this country after his initial 7-week visa ran out. The USCIS website says that he was not legal, and a federal letter to MBT makes it clear that Baldin was required to leave the county. Still, MBT signed a contract with Baldin one day after his 7-week visa expired. What odd timing! Wouldn’t you want to know why, or under what privilege?

    Read and judge for yourselves:



    No one wanted this to happen in our county - especially concerning a man who is Chair of the County Arts Council and a member of the Manassas City Council (never mind the possible conflict of interests involved in accepting public money for his own arts company). But neither will we sweep it under the carpet. Unless Mr. Wolfe can show definitive documentation that his hire was legal, we must assume that this episode - and possibly other alleged episodes in the history of this company - need far more attention. In general, we are tired of dissimulation and good-’ol-boy Virginia politics. We want something better for our children and we want to make sure that our arts deserve the funding we give them.

  86. Doug Brown said on 27 Jan 2012 at 10:10 pm:
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    Will opposing candidates challenge validity of Wolfe’s delegates based on Virtucon story?

  87. mike lasouris said on 27 Jan 2012 at 10:47 pm:
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    I would have hoped that the person challenging Wolfe for his seat would have been informed and has the moxie to challenge the man in no uncertain terms. Unfortunately, I do not know his name, nor do I know if he is gutsy enough to stand up and blurt it out.

    Can (may) delegates stand up and shout it out?

    I also don’t know the answer to your exact question about validity. Under the law, one is “innocent until proven guilty”, and no one has truly proven Wolfe guilty [well, what I mean is - his guilt needs to be established in a legal setting]. So … I would venture to guess, “possibly” - how’s that for good old American firmness?! - sorry. Despite the ink spilled, isn’t it all just buzz until the gavel hits mahogany? At least, that’s what Wolfe and his lawyer hope. (Wolfe’s a lawyer, too, as I understand - SMU Dallas, or?)

    Frankly, it will boil down to public sentiment, based upon what one tells them.

  88. Doug Brown said on 28 Jan 2012 at 12:16 am:
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    In the end it all comes down to one simple question:

    Does Paul Ebert have a pair of MBT tights in his closet?

  89. mike lasouris said on 28 Jan 2012 at 12:30 am:
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    do you remember that famous command from a general to his valet just before going into a certain death battle …

    “Orderly, bring me my brown pants!”

  90. Anonymous said on 28 Jan 2012 at 10:20 am:
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    400 dollars that is alot I heard the women start out making a whole 50 dollars a week wonder what labor law that breaks

  91. mike lasouris said on 28 Jan 2012 at 6:19 pm:
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    A FOIA request might be formulated as follows:

    This FOIA request concerns a ballet dancer, Vasily Nikolayevich Baldin. Passport number 633239918 (see temporary visa, page 5 of the attached pdf document)

    The following information is requested:

    1) Was Mr. Baldin legally in the United States from 23 March 2010 through June 2011 and legally employable or otherwise be contractually engaged during that period?

    2) A petition for a nonimmigrant worker was filed by the Manassas Ballet Theatre and denied by USCIS on 28 June 2010 (WAC-10-800-05189, see page 6 of the attached pdf). On the original and appelant petitions, did Manassas Ballet Theatre represent themselves to the USCIS as a “for-profit” organization (as indicated on the USCIS denial of the petition), or did they file as a “non-profit” (501c3) organization?

    3) Would it have been legal for Manassas Ballet to take over his sponsorship, after he originally had been brought to the U.S. by Lege Artis Entertainment, Inc. on a temporary limited visa.

    4) What, if any, further appeals for legal status after the 28 June 2010 decision were made on behalf of Mr. Baldin. When, and by whom? What was the result?

    5) Is Mr. Baldin at present legally in the U.S.?

  92. Greg L said on 28 Jan 2012 at 6:40 pm:
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    Mike, FOIA requests are for documents they might already have in their possession, not for you to compel a government agency to answer your questions. For that you need a subpoena.

  93. mike lasouris said on 28 Jan 2012 at 6:55 pm:
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    As you can see, I’ve never submitted such a request. Perhaps one simply should request copies of all documents pertaining to Mr. Baldin - including the original and appelant petitions by the MBT (it’s important to know why they show up as a “for-profit” organization on the denial). That ought to cover it. Wish I knew more about this procedure.

  94. Greg L said on 28 Jan 2012 at 7:04 pm:
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    The law governing federal FOIA requests is 5 USC 522, and it makes sense to look at that before making a request in order to get an idea bout whether you are wasting your time with a request or not. Usually if you see an obvious exemption, you know what your answer is going to be.

    Here’s the text of the law:

  95. mike lasouris said on 28 Jan 2012 at 7:08 pm:
    Flag comment

    I had hoped that someone with a better background for it would submit the request. Let me check out the link you just sent.

  96. mike lasouris said on 28 Jan 2012 at 7:14 pm:
    Flag comment

    Do you suppose the request would carry more weight coming from a business or organization than from an individual?

  97. Greg L said on 28 Jan 2012 at 7:50 pm:
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    No. You don’t need “heft” in an initial FOIA request. What you need “heft” for is when they (invariably) deny a request. That’s when it’s useful to find an organization like Judicial Watch to help out.

    If you anticipate you need to go down a road like this, I recommend you becoming a member of the organization you may ultimately need to call on. Often that helps.

  98. mike lasouris said on 28 Jan 2012 at 8:11 pm:
    Flag comment

    Save us all a lot of trouble if the City Council would cooperate in policing themselves …

  99. D. Rolman said on 30 Jan 2012 at 9:31 am:
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    FYI: Vasilly Baldin is no longer in Manassas. It is possible that he has satisfied legal working status at this time and is working elsewhere. December is the busiest month for ballet dancers: one word: “Nutcracker”.

    The petitions to have MBT produce documents will likely not be met because 1) it may reveal the other immigration difficulties for this mostly armature company that their directors have monkey wrenched. 2) it may reveal difficulties with using immigration status as a form of indenture. 3) it may reveal problems with their books, where money and donations have gone and how it is being spent. I say the word “may” instead of “will” only because no one can predict the future….I would prefer to use the word, “likely.”

    Lastly, since when do city council people reference themselves as “Honorable”? I noticed this on the MBT board of directors page. Puleez!

  100. Robert L. Duecaster said on 30 Jan 2012 at 10:53 am:
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    The correct FOIA law to look at would be the state law, not the federal one.

  101. Doug Brown said on 3 Feb 2012 at 8:03 am:
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    And still no explanation from Mr. Wolfe with any kind of supporting documentation …

  102. mike lasouris said on 6 Feb 2012 at 1:51 pm:
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    Perhaps he thinks he is home free?

  103. mike lasouris said on 6 Feb 2012 at 4:37 pm:
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    There is a city charter, I assume. In it, would one be likely to find an article concerning transparency and the obligation of a city official to answer any and all charges? (or something to that effect?)

  104. mike lasouris said on 8 Feb 2012 at 12:34 pm:
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    I’ve been through the Manassas City laws online (http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=10932), and while there are plenty of things that the citizenry may not do, I cannot find a single mention of the ethical standards and/or transparency that must be maintained by a council person. I’m sure I’m just not very good at basic reading, or … can it be that they can just do anything they want, don’t have to answer any questions about, and generally are above the law? Which is it, pray tell?

  105. Doug Brown said on 9 Feb 2012 at 9:18 am:
    Flag comment


    Refer to series carried in the WPost over the last few days concerning our federal legislators ethical lapses in regard to passing funding to family related businesses and assorted entities. The rot within the political and economic infrastructure of this country is pervasive, a veritable Prescott House - better not to knock on the front door too hard, the whole rotten structure is likely to collapse.

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