Monthly Archives: April 2012

Who Suzanne Volpe really answers to . . .

"I solemnly pledge to faithfully serve all of my campaign contributors, so help me God"

By the way, apropos of today’s earlier post about Suzanne Volpe, here’s a selection of the leading contributors to her election campaign who just happen to be from the commercial building and real estate industry (thanks to VPAP for this data):

 $8,500   Citizens for Virginia’s Future  (a PAC bankrolled chiefly by “citizens” Jon M Peterson, a Fairfax real estate developer; the Brambleton Group homebuilders; McLean-based Lammot J. Dupont and DC-based Hossein Fateh of the real estate investment trust Dupont Fabros; Great Falls-based real estate developer Norton Scott LLC; Midlothian-based, and extremely litigious, contractor David J. Sowers)

$8,000   William H Dean (of Chantilly-based general contractors M C Dean)

$1,500    Virginia Association of Realtors, Dulles Area

$1,000    Hobie Mitchell (that ubiquitous Loudoun commercial developer and political string-puller par excellence)

$1,000    Nova Building Industry Association of Chantilly

$1,000    Virginia Investment Partnership (one of the groups involved in the Kincora project)

$500   (what a cheapskate) James A. Brabham (also employed by contractor M.C. Dean)

$500   Bahman Batmanghelidj (McLean-based real estate developer)

Makes one wonder why all of these commercial developers from outside of Loudoun were so interested in a little old county supervisor election, doesn’t it . . .  though no doubt it was just an expression of their civic mindedness, and it’s just our suspicious minds that would think they expected anything in return beyond the satisfaction of having done their patriotic duty.

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More stupid illegal-sign tricks from the board

Back in the days of innocence, businesses that didn’t like being regulated tried to block or repeal regulations. Then they wised up. Far better, they realized, to have toothless regulations that provide the illusion (to the public) of doing something while letting the businesses do exactly what they wanted all along.

And so it is with the Loudoun Board of Supervisors’ continuing attempts to kowtow to the development industry while pretending to be responsive to the citizenry.

As one of its very first acts upon taking office back in January—you didn’t know that this was part of their election platform, did you?—the all-Republican board voted 8–1, with virtually no discussion and a heap of completely fabricated arguments, to eliminate the very successful volunteer program that cleaned up the roadside junk in the form of advertising signs dumped on our county every weekend by Beazer Homes, Toll Brothers, Selma, and their kin.

The Board clearly believed it would be able to slip this one by Continue reading

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Be a county supervisor, and see the world

It’s certainly fun being a Loudoun County supervisor.

This week Supervisor Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge) and Chairman Scott York (R) are demonstrating their highly efficient fiscal responsibility by . . . traveling the world.

It’s all strictly official business of course. Clarke is in Korea “marketing Loudoun” and also, she explains, looking to “uncover what the commonalities and differences between the two regions” are and “how it might be beneficial for the two of us to work together in that fashion.”

York is meanwhile tending to the people’s business in Germany where, Clarke explained, he will be exploring “multifaceted” aspects of Loudoun’s relationship with its “sister city” Main-Taunus-Kreis, which you can find on a map if you’re interested.

Our busy chairman will not get much of a break, however: no sooner does he return from Germany than he will be jetting off again, this time for Taiwan (“to explore the opportunities available to us”).

Glad to know that all the money the supervisors saved by axing the Urban Horticulture Program, the Loudoun Drug Court, funding for arts, literacy, and cultural organizations, not to mention whacking $22 million out of the school budget, is being put to such good use.

After all, how could we ever “uncover” the commonalities (or the differences) between Virginia and Korea without our very own supervisor on the scene to investigate for herself. We’re looking forward to a full report.

Spraying our parks for fun and profit

This just in: The CEO of Blake Landscapes, Inc., which (weather permitting) will this week be spending thousands of your taxpayer dollars to carry out the Board of Supervisors’ public relations stunt in which hundreds of gallons of toxic chemicals are sprayed on 9 county parks in order to pretend to be doing something, however ineffective, against Lyme disease, would like readers of realloudoun to know that no politics was involved in awarding the spraying contract to his firm.

Although (a) the CEO of Blake Landscapes donated to the election campaigns of Supervisor Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge) and Chairman Scott York (R); and (b) his firm promotes on its website the identical fear-mongering about Lyme disease that the Board has found so politically useful; and (c) he quotes local GOP poohbah–Christian homeschooling/creationism guru–and Lyme nut extraordinaire Michael Farris declaring that Lyme disease is (this is a real quote, folks) “the greatest threat of our time,” he would like to make clear that everything was strictly kosher. He writes:

The spraying contract was awarded after a competitive bidding process conducted under state and local purchasing regulations by professionals in the Loudoun County division of procurement.  No one in our company had any contact whatsoever with any elected officials regarding the request for proposals or award.

John Niccolls, Chief Executive
Blake Landscapes, Inc.

In other words, whipping up hysteria over Lyme disease is just business, not politics, as far as his company is concerned. Which we never doubted for a second.

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By the way, along with creationism- and Christian-home-schooling advocate “Dr.” “Chancellor” Michael Farris, one of the major cheerleaders here in our fair county promoting panic and hysterical overreaction over Lyme disease happens to be the very firm selected to douse nine highly scientifically selected county parks with hundreds of gallons of chemical pesticides starting this week.

Blake Landscapes—whose CEO also just happened to donate $319 to the election campaigns of supervisors Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge) and Scott York (R-At Large), not a bad investment for a $20,000 spraying contract—prominently quotes “Dr.” Farris on its website declaring that Loudoun County’s “epidemic” of Lyme disease is “the greatest threat of our time.” That would place it, I presume, ahead of HIV/AIDS, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke—and even the epidemic of stupidity that seems to have gripped our elected officials.