Hold the blessings, thank you

The new all-Republican Loudoun board of supervisors has certainly been fulfilling its promise to run things in a more businesslike manner, at least when it comes to placing the county’s business on a firm cash basis.

As noted in previous posts, for a mere $8,950 in campaign contributions you can get yourself appointed to the Government Reform Commission, as Scott Hamberger did; for $1,000 (what a bargain!) you can get a spot on the water and sewer board, as developer Hobie Mitchel did (very convenient if you’re a land developer and want to influence where new lines run); and for $460,000 you get to have a whole package of new laws passed on 9–0 votes in the very first month without even troublesome public debate, as the commercial land developers and real estate industry did.

Would you buy a slightly tainted benediction from this man?

And then for $6,500 in donations you can even land a paying job with the county, as Homemaker Callie Chaplow (at least that’s how she listed her occupation in state campaign reports) did, becoming Geary Higgins’s (R-Catoctin) new administrative aide.

Ms. Chaplow, who previously was Dick Black’s legislative aide (he who memorably explained to the Virginia legislature how he was upholding family values by voting against making spousal rape a crime, since if a woman was wearing “a nightie” in bed there was obviously no way to convict her husband of sexual assault) was a tireless worker for the Higgins campaign, writing letters to the editor in which she pretended to be a political naif who had just “discovered” horrifying facts about Higgins’ opponent, Democrat Malcolm Baldwin.

Chaplow revealed in these letters that she had unearthed the truth that Baldwin was a member of an extreme fringe “outside the mainstream of political thought.” The evidence for this was (a) Baldwin supported Barack Obama for president (making him part of that fringe of 69 million people who elected Obama president in 2008) and (b) “In a Dec. 3, 2011, article published in the Loudoun Times Mirror announcing his candidacy for supervisor, Baldwin proudly touts his association with Ralph Nader in the environmental movement.”

The second of Chaplow’s discoveries was part of a well-orchestrated fabrication of the Higgins campaign, repeated in a scurrilous mailing and other last-minute dirty tricks coordinated with developer-funded robocalling former-very-close-protégé of Eugene Delgaudio’s Donny Furgeson.

Never mind that Chaplow obviously got the date of the article wrong, since her letters appeared in October 2011; the more important point was that there never was any such article at all. She just made that up. And Baldwin never “touted his association with Ralph Nader” for the simple reason he never had any association with Ralph Nader. (For the record, here’s the actual article in the Loudoun Times Mirror in which Baldwin announced his candidacy in 2010. If you search “Ralph Nader” in the newspaper’s archives, you’ll find a grand total of two references: both of them letters written by the Higgins campaign repeating this fabrication.)

Ms. Chaplow in her new role as Higgins’s aide has been signing her official correspondence with the closing, “Blessings.” Aside from the presumptuousness of bestowing benedictions on those who write to raise a point about zoning regulations, isn’t there something in the Bible about bearing false witness against your neighbor, not to mention simony? But as unfortunately seems to be the case in much of politics these days, it’s quite sufficient in certain quarters merely to parade one’s religiosity and sanctimony: no need to follow the actual substance of the teachings of the founder of your faith.

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