One of the more remarkable lapses in the local media coverage of perennially ethically challenged Loudoun supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) is the way the press has bought into Delgaudio’s self-serving myth that he is a “conservative activist” or “pro-traditional family.” Delgaudio and his lawyer have repeatedly made the claim that it is these “controversial” political positions of his that is actually behind the effort of “liberals” to have him thrown out of office for corruption.
But the truth is that Delgaudio has never been a political activist: he has merely used politics as a stage to make money. His “Public Advocate of the United States,” a non-profit supposedly “educational” organization, takes in just over $1 million a year in donations. Yet it operates no actual programs, does not lobby on issues, does not in fact do anything but send out constant tearful fundraising appeals from Delgaudio warning about non-existent pieces of legislation (the “Gay Special Bill of Rights,” the “Homosexual Classrooms Act”) and, in the mode of sleazy TV preachers we all know and love, constantly warning that he “may be forced to shut down and close our doors forever”—unless the recipient sends $25 right away.
So what does he do with that cool million?
In 2011 Public Advocate paid to “Delgaudio & Associates,” an organization with exactly the same address as Public Advocate, $133,187 for “management.” (You can download a copy of Public Advocate’s 2011 IRS statement here).
It spent the rest of the million bucks on mailing, postage, and printing costs for his constant fundraising appeals (about $450,000) along with some incredibly dubious other reported expenses, including $139,251 for “creative and coordinating” costs and a truly remarkable $181,375 for “Internet expense.” That must be some website designer he has, or he is the only person on earth whose ISP charges per e-mail sent.
Delgaudio’s “educational” activities consist almost exclusively of letters and e-mails asking for money. These provide a fascinating window on Eugene’s rich fantasy life. A constant theme is that he is being stalked and persecuted by “homosexual assailants.” In October 2013 he sent out an appeal (in which he began, as he has many other appeals, “this is the hardest letter I’ve ever written in my life”) warning that a “vast network of radical agents” were “placing my family in harm’s way from pro-homosexual special rights assailants.”
In November 2013 he provided a gripping account of a physical assault on him, which seems to have left no trace on either his person or local police files:
“I’ve been putting off sending you this letter for a while because I didn’t want to worry you. But late one night while sorting through pro-Family petitions from supporters like you, a thug crept in through a door, threw a blanket over my head and pummeled me with a rock. Thankfully, one of my volunteers heard when I yelled for help. I thank God that when he came running into the room, this goon was startled and ran off. I wasn’t seriously hurt. I’ve gotten death threats before — nearly two dozen this year alone — and I never take them lightly. But when they go beyond threatening and actually try to kill me, it’s a whole different story. There’s more my friend. They harass my family and neighbors trying to turn them against me. Radical homosexuals recently littered my entire neighborhood with hateful flyers filled with terrible, false accusations I dare not repeat — I was out until 4:30 in the morning going door to door gathering them all up so my children wouldn’t see this trash. I am still shaken from the latest attempt on my life.” He concluded with an appeal for “$5, $10, or $35.”
It turns out, however, that Delgaudio told this exact same story back in 2011 in an earlier fundraising letter. And asked about it back then, he explained he never said the attack had just happened recently, telling a reporter who inquired, “‘You act as if I said this happened last night; I didn’t say that.”
The reporter noted that the Fairfax police confirmed no such assault was ever reported.
So perhaps we can drop the pretense that Eugene actually has positions on anything. He’s just a simple scam artist, running one of those all-too-familiar direct-mail fundraising mills that spends most of what it takes in just cranking out more fundraising appeals, and puts whatever’s left over in his own pocket. If it wasn’t anti-gay politics it would be saving orphans or helping disabled veterans or telling you you’ve won the UK lottery.
Meanwhile, we’re all looking forward to seeing Eugene at his first court-ordered appearance tomorrow, where he gets to show cause why he should not be thrown out of office for corruption!