novatownhall blog

Where you are held accountable for your convictions and record

Browsing Posts tagged Loudoun County

In yesterday’s election, Republicans swept all major offices in the Loudoun County government (click here and scroll down to see all results).

Loudoun County winners and your key elected officials for the next four years:

SHERIFF: Mike Chapman

Board of Supervisors

CHAIRMAN: Scott York
DULLES DISTRICT: Matt Letourneau

In other races, Dick Black won the 13th Senate District seat; Patricia Phillips fell short in her second attempt to take the seat of Democrat Mark Herring in the 33rd Senate District; Randy Minchew won the 10th District seat in the House of Delegates; and David Ramadan holds a 50-vote lead in his bid to win the new 87th House seat over Democrat Mike Kondtratick – a result that likely will be determined after a recount.

The local results represent a stunning, historic triumph for the Loudoun County Republican Committee (LCRC), which only a week ago was enmeshed in a controversy over a Halloween-themed email. Loudoun voters apparently were far less concerned about that email than about the future of the county.

Congratulations to the LCRC and the successful slate of Republican candidates!

UPDATE: Dave Weigel unearths more about the image that launched a thousand hits (per half hour).

After the recent Halloween unpleasantness the best quick response was that of Shaun Kenney, who asked, basically: “Huh?”

[Note to LCRC: Next crisis, consider hiring Shaun as your first step.]

It’s a fascinating episode for one week out from what had threatened to be a pretty dry election run-up. On one level, you have the mistake itself, magnified by – in its devastating splendor – technology! – for without the means to quickly grab and circulate an image, the newsletter in question would have been before multiple pairs of eyes.

There’s the laughable immediate response from the LCRC, about which there will be PR and communications textbook chapters, mark my words.

And of course there is the usual mock horror from the usual sensitivity police, awaiting with hair trigger reflexes anything that can be construed as offensive. So when something like this episode occurs – a blunder which, coming from an official party committee, would have elicited an explanation even in less superficial times – most public figures are so well trained they race to the denunciation podium. “Most” – thank goodness – not all.

To put it all in perspective, and say thanks to all the public officials who held their voices for a day, here are some images pulled from around the Web out of a quick image search, including great compilations at Zombietime blog and Sodahead.

Because much information from the 1980s is not readily accessible online, facts about Steve Stockman’s record as an elected official in Loudoun County are hard to come by. But not impossible.

To summarize:

In 1984, while homeowners were seeing their real estate tax bills increase substantially, and the new proposed tax rate was at $1.10, Steve Stockman wanted the county to spend even more on government projects that were important to Steve Stockman but definitely went beyond (as he likes to say in his 2011 campaign materials) “what the taxpayer can reasonably be expected to pay.”

In 1988, Steve Stockman joined with the Democrats to raise taxes, raise spending, and increase the size of the Loudoun County government by 12% in a single year.

When he held elected office, Steve Stockman was no champion of fiscal restraint and there is no evidence he was as fiscally conservative as Scott York.

Steve Stockman, a candidate for the Republican nomination for chairman of the Loudoun County board of supervisors, is challenging Scott York, the current chairman.

Mr. York is a conservative who left the Republican Party early in the last decade following an intraparty dispute, and since has been elected to consecutive terms in the chairman’s seat as an Independent. He has rejoined the local GOP for the current election cycle, and has garnered the endorsements of every local elected Republican to make an endorsement for the chairman’s race as well as from many other prominent Virginia Republicans.

Mr. York has served on the board of supervisors since 1996. Mr. Stockman served on the board from 1983-1991.

Mr. Stockman’s main selling point during his campaign of the past two months has been to imply that he is the more fiscally conservative of the two, evidenced primarily by the fact that real estate tax rates have risen during Mr. York’s 15-year term in office and that Mr. York supposedly has shown insufficient commitment to reducing taxes and the size of local government.

Mr. Stockman’s supporters, in particular at this blog, have certainly painted him as the true conservative in this race.

Mr. Stockman has presented himself as a tax cutter and reducer of government spending, albeit with no data to make his case save for that contained in campaign literature circulated by the Stockman campaign in the past few weeks.

For example, a recent Stockman campaign email claimed: “Tax rates were never above one dollar and two cents in all the years Steve Stockman was in office, and it was significantly below a dollar in those years.” Mr. Stockman’s literature gives the impression that he personally stood for absolute fiscal restraint during his terms in office.

Press reports from the 1980s (from the Washington Post archives) tell a different story.

The Washington Post, May 10, 1984

The Post reported the board’s vote approving

…a $71 million fiscal 1985 budget, which includes a 10 percent increase in teacher salaries and a 3-cent cut in the real estate tax rate to $1.10 per $100 of assessed value. The budget represents a 10.6 percent increase in spending over the current fiscal year.

Despite the rate cut, homeowners will still be paying more in real estate taxes next year because home assessments in Loudoun have risen an average of 11 percent. The owner of a home valued at $70,000 will be paying about $55 more in taxes because of higher assessments …

Two supervisors who voted against the budget said they did so for different reasons:

Supervisor Andre R. Bird III, a Republican, said the board should not have singled out teacher salaries for cuts without trimming the county’s general budget as well.

Supervisor Steve W. Stockman said the board did not leave enough in the budget for ongoing capital projects. He cited the county’s commitment to provide the Center for Innovative Technologies with utilities and a landfill project as areas that may be inadequately funded.

Source: The Washington Post, May 10, 1984, p. VA B8

Mr. Stockman voted against the budget – because it reduced county spending by too much – even while the average Loudoun County taxpayer was being squeezed by increasing assessments.

The Washington Post, May 17, 1988

In 1988, the Post reported on the previous day’s vote by the Loudoun County board of supervisors to approve a budget to “raise real estate taxes for the typical homeowner by 23 percent,” resulting in a county budget 32 percent higher than the previous year.

On a 6-to-2 vote, the board boosted the tax rate from 88 cents to 95 cents per $100 of assessed value…

Much of the increased spending has been earmarked for services.

The FY 1989 budget included:

  • funds to buy land for a new county office building
  • purchase of the Claude Moore farm site
  • add more than 100 county staff positions to the 900 then-current employees

One of only two Republicans on the board, Supervisor James F. Brownell (Blue Ridge) voted against the increase, saying, “We’re spending so much money so fast.”

The board’s only other Republican, Steve Stockman (Broad Run) voted with the Democrat majority for the tax and new government spending increases.

Voting for the budget and tax plan were Bos, Chairman Betty W. Tatum (D-Guilford) and Supervisors Alice G. Bird (I-Sterling), Thomas S. Dodson (D-Mercer), Ann B. Kavanagh (D-Dulles) and Steve W. Stockman (R-Broad Run). Opposing it were Brownell and Supervisor Betsey Brown (D-Catoctin).

Source: The Washington Post, May 17, 1988, p. d.05

Those acquainted with Scott York know he is a fiscal and social conservative seeking to restrain the growth of the government, reduce public spending and build the business tax base in Loudoun County – which by most accounts would be considered the “conservative” platform for county policy during the next four years.

Of course, over the course of 15 years, nearly all “conservative” elected officials will commit political or public policy acts that will tick off others, and Mr. York has been no exception.

Those acquainted with Mr. Stockman also know he has conservative tendencies – at least in his talking points – but the record shows that when he was in office he was enmeshed in the same nuances and gray areas as anyone else involved with public policy. To put it more bluntly: The record shows that when he served on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, Steve Stockman voted for bigger government and higher taxes while taxpayers were being squeezed already.

The record also shows – by its sheer emptiness – that since 1991, Mr. Stockman has taken no role in promoting or implementing conservative policies in Loudoun County, even in recent years when many, many elected and unelected citizens, including Scott York, were working publicly to do exactly that.

And now that Steve Stockman is once again talking about public policy, one has to wonder whether he even understands the issues in Loudoun County.

He said recently that transportation is “not that big” of an issue because “You can make improvements around the margins, but people will decide to live and commute based on their own individual choices … You know, commuting, it’s all voluntary.”

That position reveals an aloofness – a distance from reality – that many Loudoun residents should find troubling in someone aspiring to hold the highest elected position in the county. It shows Steve Stockman to be much more a “country club Republican” than a conservative or even just a problem-solver, regardless of ideology.

This is from the Scott York campaign.

Dear Delegate,

Yesterday, Loudoun taxpayers and commuters won a great victory on the Rail to Dulles project. The Airports Authority finally agreed to my demand and cut more than Half a Billion Dollars from its bloated budget by switching from their boondoggle below-ground rail station.

I have worked hard with Governor Bob McDonnell’s administration and Congressman Frank Wolf to force MWAA to scrap the underground station and build the much cheaper aerial station. With this victory yesterday and other cost-saving measures such as privatizing the parking garages and reducing the size of the rail yard, the cost of Rail to Dulles is nearly back to its original projected price tag instead of grossly over budget.

Steve Stockman simply does not support rail to Loudoun. This project is vital to the growth of the commercial development in the Dulles corridor and expanding Loudoun’s commercial tax base so we can lower residential property taxes!

On Saturday, you have an opportunity to support the one Chairman candidate who has been actually doing something to fix our transportation problems – and cut costs. Mr. Stockman still thinks transportation is “not that big” of an issue. (Ashburn Patch, May 24, 2011 candidate interview)

I would be honored to have your support at the Republican convention! Please vote for Scott York to help keep Governor McDonnell’s promise of keeping Virginia moving forward.


Scott York

Michael Farris: Vote For Scott YorkThe following is from Michael Farris, founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and Patrick Henry College. Emphasis added.

Dear Delegates to the Republican Convention:

I have dedicated my life to defending our Founding Fathers conservative principles, and Christian family values. These liberties are under daily assault by progressive liberals in Washington and here in Virginia who would like nothing more than to rewrite the Constitution to suit their own ends. I believe strongly in preparing the next generation to fight for US Constitution in battles at the federal, state and local levels of government.

Right here in Loudoun County liberal Democrats have been pushing an agenda of normalizing homosexuality over the traditional family, stifling religious freedom under the guise of hate speech, and abusing the legitimate stewardship of our environment as a means of expanding their regulatory authority. Some of these liberals sit on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, and this year they must be replaced.

Because of this, I have endorsed Scott York as the Republican nominee for Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, and his re-election in November. The Republican nomination will be decided this Saturday morning at Tuscarora High School, and I urge all friends of conservative values to attend and make your voice heard.

Scott York is a man of solid conservative principles, a deep commitment to the traditional family, and a strong advocate of educational choice. He is not new to our conservative issues, and he brings with him a record of accomplishments that I am proud to support.

Just as important, Scott York’s nomination will enable him to lead our Republican ticket in Loudoun County to what I believe will be a conservative sweep of the Board of Supervisors in November.

Please join me in supporting Scott York, and let’s work together to defeat the Democrat agenda of leftist socialism and moral equivalency.


Michael P. Farris, Esq.

Steve Stockman supporters

Rumor is, the AC will be working, so Steve Stockman’s supporters will be bundled up for a long day of sharing the excitement for their candidate.

Pam the troll, representing Steve Stockman

One of the things we can all thank Steve Stockman for is the gray mist of swill his anonymous supporters brought to this blog beginning just about a week ago. As some of you know I am planning to take a step back from this hallowed forum but because of the barrage of BS from Stockman’s people I will have to make an effort to stick around until just after July 23. It is absolutely amazing that Stockman’s Web presence should consist of this little cadre of typists unwilling to show their support using their real names. Quite a stand-up crew, this Stockman campaign.

Foremost certainly is Pam. With my 8 years or so managing medium-traffic blogs, I have learned some things about online personalities, and here are my guesses and thoughts regarding the Steve Stockman troll called Pam:

  • Pam is a semi-retarded toad obligated to wear a police tracking device, whose mental affliction erupts irregularly, such that her immediate family members are EXTREMELY jumpy whenever they must accompany her in public places. If not for the little bottles of magic in her medicine cabinet, Pam would be in prison.
  • Any cause or organization that Pam supports is worthy of scrutiny. This is not to say the demented sow does not stumble upon the occasional truffle, but any spot those trotters have been digging is a place where rational people should step carefully.
  • Any group that gives Pam a soapbox should be viewed with extreme skepticism. Her mind does not work in a remotely linear fashion, and therefore the more she talks the less sense she makes.
  • Because I believe – from what we have read here – that Pam is playing an active role in the Steve Stockman campaign, I think Steve Stockman is a dangerously misinformed jackass whose talking points regarding local issues are coming from people who won’t allow themselves to be identified in public. Steve Stockman had a number of options for quickly injecting himself back into public life in Loudoun County, and he chose badly.
  • I don’t believe Pam even lives in Loudoun County, but is a Maryland resident who comes here for psychiatric treatment. If such a living, breathing case of epistemological toxicity were to reside in Loudoun, surely we would all know about it by now. Maybe she met Steve Stockman at the CVS while picking up a prescription.
  • I would like to point out that all of the observations I have made here are, in my view, positive appraisals, and therefore everything I am saying about Pam is meant to edify and elevate her, and in the end to make people think more highly of her. That is why I am taking the time to write about her now.
  • Pam is a f–king crazy bitch. Harking back to the bullet point above, I would note that I make this statement, in my own mind, using a 1949 beatnik-era tone of voice, in which “Pam is a f–king crazy bitch” actually means she is a boss chick. So, again, this is a positive appraisal.

Special thanks to Steve Stockman for impacting the level and tone of debate on this blog in such a striking manner. One has to wonder, after 20 years of total public silence on every important issue facing Loudoun County, how someone suddenly makes themselves relevant again – and in a very short amount of time. Finding a bunch of anonymous people to sling mud on one’s behalf is one approach. It might work better, however, if those mud slingers are not total whackjobs.

And “whackjob,” I will have you know, in my mind is praise of the highest order.