Monthly Archives: February 2012

Signs, smoke, and mirrors

A new memo from the county zoning office staff to the Ever So Perplexed New Supervisors further points out the absurdity of the phony assumptions and arguments the new supervisors advanced to justify their quick and fact-free abolition of the volunteer program for cleaning up illegal advertising signs posted along the roadways.

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Still waiting for that ethics policy

As the Blue Ridge Leader points out in an excellent editorial (amazing how the only paper we have left covering the substance of county government is run on a shoestring), the failure of the new Republican board of supervisors to consider imposing on itself an ethics policy has already proved to be most convenient.

Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge), as mentioned here yesterday, has been the leading manufacturer of creative interpretations of the term “ethics”; in her case, she seems to believe that (a) no ethics policy is required for the Board of Supervisors but (b) an ethics policy, with “ethics” defined as fealty to Janet Clarke’s political positions and not saying anything mean about her friends on the Purcellville Town Council, is required for citizens serving on volunteer boards and commissions in the county (because they are “representing the  . . . image” of the county). Clear?

The Blue Ridge Leader editorial mentions two votes Clarke has participated in already that would have been directly barred by a (real) ethics policy — such as, for example, the policy adopted by the previous board and signed by all supervisors except the ever-reliable Eugene Delgaudio (R-Alpha Centauri).

In both cases Clarke voted to approve measures directly affecting and directly sought by campaign contributors. There’s more of this ilk to come.

CORRECTION   Unlike the pope when promulgating doctrine on faith and morals or the new all-Republican Loudoun County Board of Supervisors when evaluating its own ethical standards, this blog is fallible, and in yesterday’s post it incorrectly stated that Janet Clarke was on the Purcellville Town Council at the time the council executed its “Quick Take” condemnation of land last spring for the new “Southern Collector Road,” and at the time of her friendly little visit last summer to vineyard owner and land-grab opponent Stephen Mackey, during which visit she told him how worried he was about his reputation, and what a shame it would be if anything was to happen to it. Clarke was in fact on the council only from 2006 to 2008 (appointed to fill a vacancy, she was never elected to the post); since then she has merely played the role of unofficial henchperson and enforcer of the Purcellville Mafia’s pro-developer juggernaut.

Her role as a key proponent of the annexation and condemnation of Crooked Run Orchard does however date from her time on the council; in 2008 while on the council she tried to obtain as part of the settlement of Purcellville’s lawsuit against Loudoun County (over the location of a new high school) the county’s agreement to the town’s (probably illegal) annexation of the land for its new “Collector Road.” The county refused. Ms. Clarke’s took care of that with the snappy 9–0 vote in closed session last week by the Board of Supervisors that ended the county’s efforts to halt the town’s (probably illegal) annexation.

Again, for full details, see the estimable Blue Ridge Leader, here.

Janet Clarke’s idea of “ethics”

It’s an old rule of politics to accuse your opponents of your own worst sins. No matter whether the accusation has any substance, this tactic (a) distracts attention from your own worst sins and (b) muddies the waters by spreading the vague impression that “everyone does it.”

"It would be a shame if anything was to happen to your reputation"

Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge), who in her first two months in office on Loudoun’s board of supervisors has already shown herself an adept practitioner of the art of political payoff and payback, offered a fine illustration of this tactic with the hatchet job she carried out against a local business owner who had had the temerity to oppose her and the rest of the Purcellville Mafia that has been running the town on behalf of commercial land developers.

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Keller Williams Realty: Laws are for other people

“Throughout the world, the more wrong a man does, the more indignant is he at wrong done to him.”—Anthony Trollope, The Way We Live Now

Keller Williams float at the Leesburg Halloween parade displays the company's commitment to illegal signage


A fascinating insight into the mindset of those behind the brand-new Republican Board of Supervisors’ decision to abruptly end the illegal-sign removal program was offered the other day by a representative of one of the chief violators of the sign law, the real estate and development industry. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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