Pardon us for being quaint and old-fashioned, but why is it not an issue that the all-Republican Loudoun Board of Supervisors will be voting this evening to approve a sweeping exception to zoning and planning rules for the direct financial benefit of a project whose backers gave tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to the very officials who will be voting to approve their project?
The investors behind the proposed entertainment and sports complex at One Loudoun — excuse me, the wholesome American baseball stadium, even though the baseball team does not exist and if and when it does exist it will be so minor league as to be uaffiliated with Major League Baseball and barely distinguishable from a high school team — gave at least $67,000 to the members of this Board for their election.
Chairman Scott York (R), who has dropped all pretense of being an objective judge of the proposal and instead has been issuing statement after statement supporting the project, received $25,000. York also invited Bob Farren, the executive in charge of the stadium project, to personally accompany him on an official junket to Germany last spring.
Every single member of the current Board received thousands of dollars in contributions from the backers of the project they will be voting to approve tonight.
The question for Loudoun citizens and believers in honesty in government could not be simpler: how can anyone have any confidence that the Board’s vote to grant an unprecedented exception to existing zoning and planning rules, procedures, and guidelines was not simply a political payoff? How can anyone have confidence that York and co. even considered the interests of the people of Loudoun when they have such a manifest conflict of interest?
Whatever happened to the most basic principles of integrity, decency, honesty, and probity?
By their vote tonight, this Board will have demonstrated more dramatically than any of their actions to date that they simply have none of the above.