I spent some time down at the Registrar’s office looking at the campaign finance reports filed by Prince William County supervisors, seeing who is listed as vendors to several campaigns. Under the new “ethics” rules adopted by the Board of County Supervisors, there’s a lot of individuals and companies who can no longer be paid with taxpayer funds. I wonder why these supervisors are so eager to fire members of their own staff?
County staff who appear as vendors on Chairman Stewart’s Campaign Finance Reports:
- Kerry O’Brien, Assistant To Chairman Corey Stewart
- Kevin McNulty, Assistant To Chairman Corey Stewart
- Laurie Cronin, Chief of Staff To Chairman Corey Stewart
- Stella Krull, Administrative Support Assistant to Chairman Corey Stewart
John Jenkins crafted this ridiculous proposal, which makes it rather surprising that he’d want to fire his own people this way.
County staff who appear as vendors on John Jenkins’ Campaign Finance Reports:
- Dorothy “Dottie” Holley, Aide to Supervisor John Jenkins
- Devon Cabot, Assistant to Supervisor Frank Principi
Now here’s a partial listing of some of the firms that have provided products or services to the campaigns of county supervisors, and whom are now not allowed to be paid using county funds:
- United States Postal Service, Federal Express
- Walmart, Best Buy, Bloom, Shopper’s Food Warehouse, VA ABC, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Sam’s Club, Wendy’s, Dixie Bones, Panera Bread, Bob Evans and Wegmans
- Staples, Office Depot, Verizon, AT&T, Radio Shack, Party City, Dollar Tree, Mailbox Junction, Yahoo! and HHGregg.
- Home Depot, Harbor Freight Tools, and Lowes
- Kitchen Gourmet (the required vendor for all catered events in McCoart)
- Prince William County Government, Prince William County Historical Foundation, Greater Prince William Health Center, and Virginia State Board of Elections
- Burke and Herbert Bank, TD Bank, and PayPal
- Media General and The Old Bridge Observer
- A vast number of churches, high schools and local restaurants
Prince William County will now be required to track every business in the county to see if it has ever provided products or services to local political campaigns, and ensure that if that specific business has worked (even unwittingly) with a political campaign that the payment be blocked. Frank Principi can’t submit a reimbursement request for a Verizon cell phone bill, but John Jenkins can, but Jenkins can’t pay AT&T. Caddigan cannot buy postage stamps from the United States Postal Service, but because Chairman Stewart always reimburses his staff for miscellaneous expenses rather than paying the USPS directly, he can. I can only imagine the nightmare this will cause in the county’s finance department.
So far I haven’t seen any supervisors pay electric utilities directly from a campaign account. That should be fun, if some supervisors are blocked from having electricity in their office because NOVEC or Dominion Power provided electric service to a campaign office.
Legislate in haste, litigate at leisure. I don’t think this idiocy will survive long enough for someone to file a lawsuit however, as the county staff must be going berserk as they mull through what this senile proposal will actually mean for them. If for some reason it does stand for any length of time, I can certainly see some serious litigation opportunities here. Not only has the General Assembly not authorized localities to bar companies from doing business with local government simply because a supervisor ate a hamburger in their joint or bought a pen in their store while campaigning for office, but such restrictions probably run afoul of the First Amendment
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.
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