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On County Supervisors, Corners and Paint Buckets

By Greg L | 8 August 2012 | Blogs, Prince William County | 23 Comments

Recently Chairman Corey Stewart complained to the Washington Post about “conservative bloggers trying to paint him into a corner” in regards to ethics reform on the Prince William County Board.  For years this same segment of the electorate were among his most dedicated and reliable supporters.  When he wanted to get something done, these were the opinion leaders he counted on to help him succeed.  Suddenly they’re “accusing” and “arm twisting” elected officials towards trying to do something Chairman Stewart doesn’t seem much interested in doing.

So why this sudden change?  Have bloggers gone mad?

First, let’s set the record straight on what’s going on here.  One, it’s not “conservative” blogs that have decided to heap criticism on the Board for clinging to their privileges of ladling out taxpayer “discretionary” funds to political supporters, or for handing over taxpayer money to entities where supervisors or their families have a fiduciary responsibility to those entities.  It’s all the blogs of every political leaning, and each and every one of them not only thinks this is a problem, but a big one.  Democrats, conservatives, libertarians, all of them all agree are clamoring for reform and all of them are appreciative of the one actual conservative on the board who is leading the charge on this — Peter Candland.  Seriously, you have hard-core, pro-abortion, welfare-statist, illegal alien loving, spread-the-wealth-around leftists saying lots of nice things about Peter Candland.  The only ones trying to defend these conflicts of interest are the ones seeking to get taxpayer money for their pet projects.  That’s it.  Everyone else amazingly believes that conflicts of interest are bad things.  Go figure.

Second, this hasn’t been the case just recently, but consistently, for years.  I’ve been bitterly complaining about these very issues at the state and local level since 2006.  Blogs that have come and gone, and who have supported Democrat challengers to Republican supervisors consistently agreed with conservatives on this issue.  The problem didn’t generate a whole lot of media attention because there wasn’t anything blatantly outrageous to complain about — just mundane, garden-variety thievery of the public coffers for personal political interests — until Supervisor Wally Convington did something so outrageous, so brazen, and so utterly offensive that it finally garnered the attention of the mainstream media.  Having someone willing to carry the torch for reform has helped enormously on this issue, and that’s where this has gone from just complaints about bad politics to a widespread desire to see as many sitting supervisors as possible indicted for criminal offenses, prosecuted with vigor, and subjected to the harshest penalties for their behavior that the law allows.

It would be difficult enough to have a spirited policy debate with strong disagreements about what county policy should be in regards to diverting taxpayer dollars to friends and political allies, but in the end, after that debate concluded, strong emotions such as we see now wouldn’t be so widespread.  What has instead happened was that the veteran supervisors decided to throw gasoline all over this long-smoldering fire by quite openly trying to punish Supervisor Peter Candland for trying to reform county government.  The more they try to punish him for doing what they should have had the moral courage to do themselves long ago, the more they cement their position in the public eye of being thoroughly corrupt plutocrats interested in little more than stealing money from taxpayers, holding on to political power at any cost, and making the residents of the county feel like the butt of a very bad joke.

We’ve had supervisors use taxpayer money to promote their political campaigns.  They’ve helped friends and family members gain influence by directing taxpayer dollars to charities controlled by their friends.  They’ve directed taxpayer money towards entities that have financial dealings with their own business interests.  They’ve sent taxpayer dollars to third parties that turn around and give that money back to their political campaigns.  All of these are criminal violations of the law, and the Board of Supervisors is fighting tooth-and-nail to make sure they can continue to behave this way.

Am I accusing you, Supervisors?  You better believe it.  So is everyone else.

The uncomfortable corner that you feel you now inhabit is not one of my creation.  You did this on your own, thinking that somehow no one would ever notice what you’ve done.  If you were stupid enough to think that no one would ever discover the terrifying depths of your corrupt political corpses, you exercised no better judgment than your former employee Maneesh Gupta of the Office of Information Technology.  If you were so stupid as to think that the appropriate response to recent events was to punish Supervisor Candland and inflame public opinion, you apparently have never heard of Richard Nixon.  If you really think you can survive being on the wrong side of this issue in the face of near-universal moral outrage, you haven’t heard of Jeff DionJeanette Rishell, and Omar Omeish.

Whining about “conservative bloggers” “painting you into a corner” is not the way out of this mess you’ve created.  If you really think that’s the problem here, pretty soon we’re going to make that corner a whole lot tighter and a lot more uncomfortable.  It’s well past time to stop whining like a bunch of misbehaving five year-olds begging for their eighteenth My Little Pony toy from Walmart and start demonstrating some adult behavior.  Now.  We’re sick of this.

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  1. Done with 'em said on 8 Aug 2012 at 8:10 pm:
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  2. Riley said on 8 Aug 2012 at 8:25 pm:
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  3. PWC voter said on 8 Aug 2012 at 8:30 pm:
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    Here! Here! Well said. We’re sick of it and we’re not going to take it anymore!

  4. Loudoun Insider said on 8 Aug 2012 at 9:05 pm:
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    Stewart has completely lost his mind. Way to tell truth to “power” although we can hope he and his fellow GOBGN members lose their power as soon as possible.

  5. Chester said on 8 Aug 2012 at 9:08 pm:
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    Marty Nohe’s wife made a complete fool of herself showing up at the BOCS with her boxer shorts all twisted over this matter.

  6. Loan Arranger said on 8 Aug 2012 at 9:23 pm:
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    Well said!

  7. DJRippert said on 8 Aug 2012 at 9:37 pm:
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    Too bad Fairfax County doesn’t have the same level of anger against opaqueness that’s evident on this blog. It’s time for all of NoVa to rise up against the grossly incompetent and culpably negligent representation we are getting at both the state and local level.

    Keep up the good work.

  8. Loudoun Insider said on 8 Aug 2012 at 10:07 pm:
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    Maybe we’re at a regional tipping point. We’ll see. I continue to doubt that enough people pay attention or care, but maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  9. Chester said on 9 Aug 2012 at 6:59 am:
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    Checkout this Nohe jem from the News and Messenger:

    Karen: I think you may want to change the wording below - these funds did not come from the Supervisors - they came from the taxpayers. Several other park projects also received funding, including $140,000 for the creation of Rollins Ford Park from Brentsville Supervisor W.S. “Wally” Covington III and $100,000 from Coles Supervisor Martin E. Nohe to open up the county-owned Dove’s Landing tract for passive recreation on the Occoquan River.

    Other items include $27,887 from Occoquan Supervisor Michael C. May for the creation of a dog park in Lake Ridge and $40,000 from Gainesville Supervisor Peter Candland for Catharpin Park, which was postponed in the county’s 2013 Capital Improvement Plan to a 2017 opening.

    Marty Nohe: Thank you Karen, that it a a really important point. The funds to open Dove’s Landing to the public are funds returned to the budget from my office operating account, but they are certainly not “my money” nor is the park being paid for “by me”. The citizens of the county are paying for the improvements, and importantly it was the citizens who initially purchased the land many years ago. I am very grateful to able to play my small part in making this beautiful piece of land available for the enjoyment of the community that owns it, but certainly would not want anyone to misconstrue the citizens’ investment in this park as being my investment.

  10. Just the Facts said on 9 Aug 2012 at 7:26 am:
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    Excellent, Greg. I agree completely and have nothing to add.

  11. Robert L. Duecaster said on 9 Aug 2012 at 8:42 am:
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    The Gang of Seven deserves high praise for one thing - uniting the activists in the County. I never thought I’d be on the same side of an issue with people who once caricatured me by photocroping my picture on to a Nazi SS uniform. Politics indeed makes strange bedfellows (just a figure of speech - don’t get excited, ladies).

  12. Mom said on 9 Aug 2012 at 9:19 am:
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    I would encourage more arm-twisting at:


  13. Anonymous said on 9 Aug 2012 at 4:31 pm:
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    We elect a bunch of good ol’ boy yuck-a-pucks, then we act suprised how they take care of themselves? Did you really expect anything different?

  14. Chris said on 9 Aug 2012 at 5:43 pm:
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    I can’t remember seeing a faster political implosion than Corey Stewart. Last year, people were seriously pushing to support him for the US Senate (me included) and now he’s taken such a bizarre turn on an issue that really is quite simple. I would be shocked in he finishes in the Top 2 in Richmond next spring at the Convention

  15. Benton said on 9 Aug 2012 at 8:34 pm:
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    Mr D. I agree.
    This issue superscedes party and all kinds of “labels” and gets to the core of a person. Those with strong convictions that act on the strength of them will meet up with similarly strong people regardless of barriers that some elect to narrow their their worlds. It’s a good lesson to keep in mind before generalizing in the future. We “know it when we see it”. We all have the same glasses on.

  16. Done with 'em said on 9 Aug 2012 at 9:17 pm:
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    If Corey is wise (do I hear laughing) he’d gracefully withdraw…but this would take some wisdom where none may reside…

  17. Doug Brown said on 11 Aug 2012 at 11:21 am:
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    If Manassas and the Manassas Ballet conflict of interest is any indicator of what will happen, expect them all to be re-elected, with maybe, maybe one or two being offered up as a scapegoat.

    Robert don’t expect your new allies to mothball the SS uniform, but at least you’ll always have the Ballet :-)

    Watching Virginia politics is like being stuck in a time machine watching the implosion of Republican and Conservative New York State politics from 30 and 40 years ago.

  18. Anonymous said on 11 Aug 2012 at 9:51 pm:
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    Recalls will take time. Elections are too far away. Take away the brains of the operation, who allows them to manipulate the budget at will for their benefit. Peacor has provided more than enough reason.

  19. anon said on 12 Aug 2012 at 2:01 pm:
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    What else has mike may done?

    Just a dog park proposal?

  20. Anon2 said on 13 Aug 2012 at 12:11 pm:
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    As to Mike May it appears he is not accurately disclosing groups which he is affiliated with…see the Sheriff of Nottingham site.

  21. Harry said on 17 Aug 2012 at 1:10 pm:
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    Greg, this is a good government issue not owned by conservatives or liberals.

  22. Anonymous said on 17 Aug 2012 at 3:54 pm:
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    With what we know of the “carryover” process now, and the multimillions that apparently are typically left over, has anyone considered that the county should have more than adequate funds to pay for the in car cameras that the Deane claimed were essential to the PD’s actual implementing the BOCS original immigration resolution? Did the BOCS including Stewart) use the “lack of funds” for the in car camera as political cover to water down the resolution, when they would have known full well that the money would have been available in carryover funds. The costs associated with the in car cameras were around $6 million as I recall, yet the PWC budget surplus (read carryover!!) for 2007 was $27 million. The money was there, the political will was not. Alternatively, if Deane’s dept wasn’t bleeding so many officers during that time period, the money would have been there in saved personnel costs alone. Stewart is all about political cover…. and Peacor and Deane play along

  23. anon said on 17 Sep 2012 at 9:31 am:
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    Many tea party groups and C4L and RLC groups are meeting and grooming candidates as we speak, so reform is on the way.

    We just had a meeting with about twenty local activists this weekend. We are already dividing up districts and recruiting volunteers.

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