Tag Archives: janet clarke

Board hails failure as success in sign cleanup effort

As one of its very first gifts to the real estate development industry that put them in office, the all-Republican Loudoun Board of Supervisors voted back in January to eliminate the very successful volunteer program that had been cleaning up illegal signs along Loudoun’s roadsides.

A small sample of the fruits of the board's Keep Loudoun Ugly campaign.

At that time, Ken “Ken” Reid (R-Leesburg) provided a classic Orwellian rationale for the board’s action: he explained that the very success of the program was its failureā€”since the 50,000 illegal signs the volunteers had cleaned up had added to the stream of paper, wood, and “paint chemicals” choking the county landfill.

In place of the 100 or so volunteers who were able to attack the problem all across the county and do so on weekends when the developers blanket the roadsides with hundreds of their illegal eyesores, the new “program” the board adopted to replace it consists of a single county employee who devotes one weekday a week (with a break for lunch).

Having defined success as failure, it’s probably no surprise that Ken’s fellow board members have now added the nicely symmetrical argument that failure is success.

County staff reported to the board’s land use committee last week that the new sign cleanup effort had so far bagged a mere 300 signs, versus 1,800 collected under the volunteer program during the same period last year. Continue reading

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Signs, smoke, and mirrors

A new memo from the county zoning office staff to the Ever So Perplexed New Supervisors further points out the absurdity of the phony assumptions and arguments the new supervisors advanced to justify their quick and fact-free abolition of the volunteer program for cleaning up illegal advertising signs posted along the roadways.

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Janet Clarke’s idea of “ethics”

It’s an old rule of politics to accuse your opponents of your own worst sins. No matter whether the accusation has any substance, this tactic (a) distracts attention from your own worst sins and (b) muddies the waters by spreading the vague impression that “everyone does it.”

"It would be a shame if anything was to happen to your reputation"

Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge), who in her first two months in office on Loudoun’s board of supervisors has already shown herself an adept practitioner of the art of political payoff and payback, offered a fine illustration of this tactic with the hatchet job she carried out against a local business owner who had had the temerity to oppose her and the rest of the Purcellville Mafia that has been running the town on behalf of commercial land developers.

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Ethics, schmethics

Why do I keep thinking about this old Yiddish joke these days?

Two old guys are sitting on a park bench. Two hours go by in silence. Finally, one lets out a heartfelt, “Oy.” Other guy says, “If you’re going to talk politics, I’m leaving.”

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