In our last episode, having been caught in the act of deliberately hiding the notorious extremist background of the right-wing loony he secured an appointment for on the Loudoun Library Board of Trustees, right-wing loony supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) announced he was “withdrawing” the nomination and Board Chairman Scott York (R-At Large) told outraged constituents who contacted him that the Board would “rescind” the previously unanimously approved appointment at its next business meeting.
A little problem: under the Virginia statute governing library boards, a member of a library board may be removed only “for misconduct or neglect of duty by the governing body making the appointment” (Virginia Code 42.1-35). In other words, it looked like the Board was stuck with Delgaudio’s handpicked choice, one Andrew Beacham — known (now, thanks to the Washington Post‘s reporting) for tearing pages out of the Koran in front of the White House, being arrested for disrupting a Senate hearing, calling President Obama a serial killer, and issuing obscene and violent threats about gays and liberals.
But demonstrating what a political tool of Delgaudio he obviously was all along, Beacham last night obediently submitted his resignation, thus tidily resolving the embarrassment.
None of this would have happened had not the Washington Post broken the details about Beacham’s “colorful” past, none of which were included in the resume Beacham and Delgaudio submitted to the Supervisors in support of his nomination to the Library Board. The Virginia statute also requires that the governing body making appointments to Library Boards do so “with reference to their fitness for such office.”
It is completely typical of our all-Republican Board of Supervisors that they did not even make a pretense of giving a damn about the fitness of an appointee to a position of public trust and responsibility. Not only did neither Beacham nor Delgaudio reveal a word about Beacham’s confrontational activism: the “resume” Beacham supplied was a joke on its face, offering not a single detail about his work or educational history, simply stating that because his parents were educators and he was a “fine artist” and “videographer” he cared a lot about libraries and “classical” education.
Our all-Republican supervisors have similarly filled other boards and committees with political hacks with no obvious qualifications, tried to appoint to the Historic District Review Committee a notorious right-wing troublemaker who has made it her life’s career to harass neighbors and government officials and abolish all historic districts, and succeeded in appointing a man who used his position to get approval for a garish McMansion on a hilltop within a designated historic district; and filled the “Government Reform” commission with developers who rewrote rules to make it easier for them to bend zoning requirements in their favor in the future.
The utter lackadaisical contempt for even caring about discharging their legal and constitutional responsibilities and to be stewards of local institutions is manifest in the fact that our supervisors unanimously approved Beacham’s appointment without even caring an iota about the legal requirement that appointees be chosen “with reference to their fitness for such office.”
But if your basic attitude is contempt for government, and your attitude toward political office is to view at as an opportunity for self-promotion, self-enrichment, and political demagoguery, why would you care?