We interrupt this summer hiatus for a late-breaking Eugene Delgaudio bulletin . . .
It took the Loudoun GOP establishment less than one week to answer the question of whether Eugene will be renominated by the Loudoun County Republican Committee (LCRC) despite the little matter of being censured by the entire all-Republican Board of Supervisors for egregious ethical and financial violations, should he seek reelection two years from now.
And the answer is, “Of course!”
The Washington Post reports that at its committee meeting Monday night, a majority of the LCRC expressed its wholehearted support for poor victimized Eugene, criticized the all-Republican Board of Supervisors for picking on Delgaudio for the little matter of his misuse of public assets for personal gain and “direct violation” (to quote the special grand jury’s report) of the Board’s code of conduct, and said it was planning to issue a resolution calling on the Board to reconsider its censure of Delgaudio.
A clearly appalled supervisor Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run) complained to the Post that Monday’s LCRC meeting was set up like a campaign event for Delgaudio, with billboards for Eugene up on the platform and aides passing out stickers. Local Republican luminaries Dick Black and commissioner of revenue Bob Wertz were among Delgaudio’s most vocal supporters at the meeting, saying they didn’t see anything wrong with anything Eugene had done. Black, who always trumpets his supposed Christian virtues, of course would hardly be troubled by theft, perjury, ethical misconduct, and abuse of female aides, if it’s in God’s work.
Williams was understandably dumfounded that the local party would stick up for Delgaudio even now. It was especially astonishing to Williams, as it is to most sentient beings, that the local GOP would continue to press the flimsy argument that the grand jury report “exonerated” Delgaudio (as Black glibly asserted).
But that’s loyalty for you! What’s a little matter of misappropriation of public resources, abusing county staff, committing a “direct violation” of the rules, and engaging in illegal political fundraising at taxpayer expense when party solidarity is concerned?
If you do read the grand jury report, by the way, it says the following (just a refresher for those who’ve forgotten or, like Dick Black, never bothered to read it in the first place):
* Delgaudio committed a “direct violation” of Board rules by creating a hostile work environment and abusing and insulting his staff, repeatedly calling one female employee (according to subsequent information released by the Board of Supervisors) a “fucking bitch”
* Delgaudio directly ordered his county-paid staff aides to devote nearly all of their time to making political fundraising calls, an action that the grand jury stated would have been a criminal offense resulting in a felony indictment but for the bizarre loophole that county supervisors are considered “part time” officials under Virginia law, and thus the statute criminalizing misuse of public assets does not apply to them
* Delgaudio directly ordered his county-paid staff aides to do work for his outside gay-bashing pseudo-lobby group Public Advocate
* Delgaudio directly ordered his aides, according to multiple testimony reported by the grand jury, not to waste their time answering constituents’ inquiries or problems, not to attend regular Board aide staff meetings, not to talk to other supervisors’ aides, but to spend nearly all of their time fundraising
* Delgaudio directly lied last fall when he claimed that the only fundraising that his staff aides were involved in was for a youth football league; the grand jury reported receiving conclusive testimony that that was not true, that the football league knew nothing about Delgaudio’s supposed fundraising on their behalf, and that the league was not even engaged in a fundraising effort at the time
If the local GOP is determined to hitch its star to Eugene, so be it: here’s hoping voters remember this fall and two years from now what the Virginia Republican Party stands for when it comes to ethics in office: Very simply, they see nothing wrong with using elected office as a paramount opportunity for personal enrichment and self-aggrandizement. (Just ask Governor Bob.)
It says everything that even now the Loudoun Republican Party is not embarrassed by Delgaudio, even though the rest of the world, including even his own colleagues on the Board, are.
Meanwhile, the list of “explanations” Eugene himself has offered for why he was punished continues to grow. He has so far blamed the Washington Post, “liberals” among the all-Republican Board, the fact that some board members don’t like “his style,” the fact that “liberals” “hate Sterling,” the fact that Chairman Scott York (R-At Large) doesn’t like Eugene’s newsletters, and the fact that Eugene “stands up for what he believes in.” He has yet to respond to any of the specifics about his behavior as catalogued by the grand jury; to date his only statement directly addressing any of the charges was a direct lie, to wit that excuse that his aides’ fundraising activities on county time was for the youth football team, not Eugene Delgaudio’s campaign. (The grand jury reported overwhelming evidence, both documents and the testimony of multiple witnesses, that Eugene was flat-out lying about that, and that everything he was doing was political fundraising for himself.)
Delgaudio keeps saying that the reason he hasn’t responded is that he has not been afforded the chance to, even though he was afforded all the time he wanted to at last week’s Board meeting — and declined.
How long will Eugene keep it up? Another two years the way he’s going now, and then . . . another four should voters again sleep through election day as they have the previous four times.