novatownhall blog

Where you are held accountable for your convictions and record

Browsing Posts tagged Stevens Miller

Why is Loudoun County considering spending a fortune on rail? Proponents claim it will bring business to our county. But at what cost? What will happen to property taxes? How much debt will Loudoun incur? What is Loudoun’s part in subsidizing WMATA? These questions cannot be answered yet as the needed information, for an informed decision, does not yet exist.

The eye-popping figure of $2.5B to $3.5B is the price for a commuter line to Loudoun with stations at Dulles Airport, Old Ox Rd. and Ryan Rd which is only Part II of the program.

Who currently owns properties that will benefit most from these public infrastructure upgrades? Moorefield Station will be zoned for 1500 units without rail. With rail, it will be zoned for 6000 units. The people of Loudoun are being used to finance these capital improvements. Normally a tax district for such public works is established so that those who benefit the most will bear some of the burden directly. York and some on the BOS prefer instead to cut from one program so that he can the throw this venture’s costs onto the back of the Loudoun taxpayer. The figure may grow if union set asides are not rejected. Yet, with all these unanswered questions and no tax district, Chairman York claims this is good for Loudoun?

The debt service for WMATA is currently unknown. Wolf has called for an audit, the report is due in May. York is resolved to give WMATA Loudoun’s buy-in by July despite not knowing what will be our share of this debt burden or its size? The MD-DC-VA Metro system is 35 years old, it is falling apart, the reports of escalators failing and trains breaking down are but the tip of the iceberg. The BOS does not know the overhaul cost of the system. The BOS should not sign on until after the price tag has been explained and the public been given time to determine if the service is worth the price. On April 17th WMATA makes a presentation at 7PM to the BOS to address some, but not all of the issues. Public input follows in May and a vote has to happen by July? The rush is reminiscent of the CBPO boondoggle, where York jumped ship.

If Loudoun has to raise $300M in bonds to pay for its share of the Silver Line costs, it will cost $17M per year to service the bond, assuming a 30-year bond at 5%. Such a bond would lead to a two cent hike in the property tax. The total price tag could be far higher. Currently bond service is divorced from ridership for all of Metro. With a population of 310,000, Loudoun does not have enough potential rail commuter demand to justify all these potential expenses. Currently, Fairfax subsidizes the cost of the rail lines to the tune of $0.58 for every dollar spent. Given Fairfax has 1.1M people, it is likely the Loudoun subsidy will need to be far higher. York, who claims this is a good idea, has not yet exercised proper due diligence in this matter. MD-DC-VA-Metro rail has been a money pit since its inception. How is Loudoun’s joining that failed venture a good idea? How is an increased tax burden going to bring business to Loudoun?

Driving the Dulles Toll road, you can see office buildings on both sides of the road from Tysons to Reston to Herndon. Loudoun has become the bedroom community for Fairfax. The Dulles corridor was built up without the help of a rail line. In Reston town center you will find bus stops, but no train station. Rail is coming to Reston and Herndon. First came the roads, then the office buildings, the town center business parks and the restaurants and shops to service these enterprises. Then comes the rail. This robust development is the result of professional community planning that is logical, has vision, and adds the most expensive elements once there is a business base in place to shoulder the cost.

We are 20 years behind Fairfax because, under Chairman York, the BOS’s engaged in unprofessional and unpredictable community planning. First came the homes without roads. Then came the Democrat-dominated board in 2007, that was actively hostile to business. These Democrats were publicly endorsed by Chairman York. This last board raised business taxes, resulting in a loss of businesses in Loudoun. With the business community collapsing, the York protegees decided that the most pressing business was to enact the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance? Today you can see where the Fairfax County border is on VA28 and US50 very clearly. It is where the office buildings and business parks suddenly end. Such is the legacy of York’s leadership the past 12+ years as Chairman of the BOS.

Will York stop the current rush to Rail? First Loudoun needs some solid community planning, a business friendly climate, and a professional, predictable process for business development. When the Greenway from Dulles to Leesburg begins to resemble the Toll Road corridor between Reston and Herndon, and when VA28 north of Dulles has the office density that one sees in Chantilly, then it will be time to consider Metro rail. Right now, Mr. York, that consideration is still years away.

The time has come: As most of you know, I am now taking a step back from NOVA TownHall, will no longer be managing or administering it and have no ownership in it whatsoever. I have run this blog for 5 years and 11 months, and it’s time to give some other folks a shot.

I probably will still blog and comment on occasion, here and elsewhere, but I can’t say when or how much. What I do know is I have exited the office for the final time, locked the door and left my keys on the desk.

To that end, effective immediately, ownership of NOVA TownHall is being transferred to a consortium of eco-friendly manufacturing firms, headquartered near Shanghai, who have discovered a remarkably inexpensive technology for producing baby formula and need a communications outlet to appeal to potential investors in the conservative community.

Oh, whoops: Did I just mention something about “a consortium of eco-friendly baby food companies”?

Forget I said that; what I meant was: Some of the current bloggers are taking over NOVA TownHall. Why would I sell this blog to the makers of “Magic Baby” for nearly $5 million in cash and stock options? That would just be silly.

The blog itself is going to keep right on going – I was going to say “down the same path” but if anyone can define for me what is happening here I would love to know. But there is a fine, dedicated, interesting group of people who have put a lot into this Web site over the years and have become a community of sorts around it.

Because of the time they have put in as bloggers and/or commenters, they have a stake in continuing and improving the blog. The neighborhood is not going anywhere.

Blog posts will probably just keep coming from the usual crew, actually, so you may see very little difference at all. The policy on “guest blogger” access and what sorts of comments will be considered problematic are both now up to the new owners. Those were my deals, and they do not transfer necessarily. If you are having problems getting something to post just be patient, please, and you should find out what is going on and what you will be allowed to do here.

I believe NOVA TownHall will remain a forum for different points of view which, if anything, is what has made it unique. It will continue to vary widely in the nature of its content – that I am certain of. It will definitely evolve along with the times as well as with the personalities of the new bosses. There may be mustard gas attacks. Because of the goodwill we have developed with so many people in the community, it seems likely all the various disputes will settle down and the hurt feelings will scab over and heal eventually, and that the whole forward-motion-of-history thing will remain at work, with every thesis and antithesis being resolved into a higher synthesis – which itself becomes the next thesis, and so on until the dawn of the perfect age is wholly upon us. But mustard gas – probably in there somewhere.

If you want to contact or get information about the new executives, don’t ask me. We are going to put up a contact form for them (something I should have done years ago) so you can easily send questions and requests. Give that a day or two and it should appear in the sidebar. They will make themselves and their roles known as they see fit.

If you wonder why I am stepping down, there is no great mystery. It is not so much that a few times a year we all re-enact the courtroom scene from “The Devil and Daniel Webster.” It’s more because when this project started my situation was different. I had a built-in revenue stream from doing things that did not encompass all of my interests, and this was a way to have an outlet for indulging other interests as well as blowing off steam in a public place as is the God-given right of every English-speaking man.

Now, I’ve changed that financial model so the revenue stream has to be completely regenerated, which leaves no time to manage this blog. Related is the fact that “blowing off steam” is no longer a major part of my lifestyle toolkit.

Running a blog has its downsides, especially if it not set up to accept advertising. Free work requires further explanation most of the time. Not that it’s bad, but it needs to be justified. In this case, the policy of openness eventually made for a lot of babysitting. There are people who think that taking a crap in the community pool enough times will eventually make it their pool. That’s sociopathic delusion, of course: Messing up what has been opened to the community will just get it restricted or closed by the owners. There is a burnout factor that comes with managing such a situation (and I imagine the new owners here will find the same thing, and ultimately adopt a more sustainable policy than I was able to put in place).

The other major life-shortening aspect of this has been the fact that we are a mostly political blog. That by itself opens the door to some unpleasantness. And let me quickly point out that we had almost zero of what I would truly call “trouble” as a result of battles over political issues with our ideological opponents. We got little grief from liberals and Democrats: That part was mostly a lot of fun and I made some friends as a result.

The problems arose from the fact that being on the same “side” as someone else in politics does not make them your ally in life. Just like everything else related to human nature (and I imagine this will apply to the Democrats in precisely equal measure), what we say we are concerned with, and what we really are concerned with, are often two different things:

Much of what passes for “politics” is nothing more than personal conflict played out on a bigger stage. High school is over, and wherever we as adults move on to, is where we shall manifest our self-centeredness and proclivity for petty grudges and backbiting. Give us command of the neighborhood pool party, we’ll make sure “you know who” has nothing to do with the desserts. Get us involved in a church, we’ll see that the new committee understands how things work. Put us in a company, we’ll put our stamp on the department.

And if you let us glom onto a political movement or organization, we can convert that into a cauldron of seething rivalries and pointless effort in no time at all, thank you very much. That’s what we do.

The so called “Tea Party” phenomenon here locally is the example par excellence.

If a higher being from another realm were to land in Northern VA for a few days of R & R and ask, “So, I haven’t been to this sector of the universe in nearly a century, what is this new ‘Tea Party’?” – we would have to answer “Which one?” And the higher being would nod sagely and say “Ah, I see. Like the Methodist Women’s Auxiliary of Brunswick. That was a sad case, also.”

Any public project that tries to brand itself as “Tea Party”-related should be subject to immediate scrutiny and skepticism, because what the people behind it say they are concerned with, and what they are really concerned with, are almost certainly two different things.

Whatever the concept of this blog, the intra-party types of battles have become a major premise behind much conversation here, which adds more edginess than many blog managers would be comfortable allowing (just take a survey of comment policies elsewhere and you will see quickly how such matters are usually handled – I think TC is the only local forum that has the same libertarian approach.) It creates a level of emotional intensity here at times which does wear on a person, and for that reason I think the new bosses should consider some term limit provision: No one will be allowed to manage the blog for more than, say, 18 months or 32 months, because our public health system simply cannot handle a continuous stream of nervous system disorder cases.

But don’t pay too much attention to my complaints. I am a grumpy old man, as you well know. Every job eventually has downsides, and I shouldn’t let my jaded nature color the overall picture.

These disputes and others, between you (the collective readership) and me (me), I wish to put to bed. Let us be plagued by them no longer.

By far, running NOVA TownHall has been a positive experience. The Loudoun County Republican Committee contains many, many people I will always consider friends. We are extremely lucky to have outstanding individuals willing to run for office from this area, and such dedicated, competent volunteers running the LCRC. Across the board, Loudoun County is a great place to be a Republican because there are a lot of Republicans holding office and having thrown their hats in the ring whom we can all be proud of.

The Democrats and Independents I’ve gotten to know are also a good group. Some folks who were quite in the “opponent” category at one time, such as BlackOut and Laura Valle, are now people I consider sharing so much a common temperament with me that I have to be reminded about where we differ. The Stay Puft Marshallow Man quickly turned out to be a truly decent individual with whom I did not have nearly as many differences with as I originally thought, once the Devil and Daniel Webster scenario had cooled off; I am grateful to still be in contact and I hope to remain so.

Overall, because of this blog, I am now on a first-name basis with a ton of people I would never have even met because of my innate anti-social aspects. Our many readers and of course commenters represent the highest strata of human evolution as a species, which is nice and, frankly, the level of company I prefer.

As my last formal act as blog manager, I want to put forth a few wishes and thoughts:

  • For my co-bloggers – we happy, sometimes bitchy, possibly inebriated few: You all have been a huge blessing, so I thank you sincerely for the time, creativity and effort you continue to expend here. That’s all, because I don’t plan on saying any final goodbyes to you all anytime soon. We’ll be seeing each other plenty; I just needed to express my gratitude right at the top here.
  • For LI and the Monk, listen: It’s all been downhill since that Garden of Eden fiasco, so trying to trace back where any relationship really was damaged, and by whom, and who said what and all that is futile. This person thought that person meant X so they responded with Y and that stirred everything up for good, but of course if you look at the parents and grandparents they all contributed to the personality issues we see today, and the GREAT GREAT grandparents: Well, now they were real pieces of work, I mean Otto von Bismarck had nothing on them … you see how it is? There’s no point in arguing who started what. What we need here is a “Reset” button – and not the Obama Administration version which because of incompetent translation actually says “Now All People Explode” – but an actual do-over that goes back a couple years. You guys agree on just about everything. Leave the other political actors out of it because they all have their own agendas, of which you are not an integral part. Forget the past, continually. All of Loudoun yearns for this.
  • For Stevens Miller, I hope you keep blogging. You are a natural in the medium, with wit, honesty, self-deprecation in appropriate amounts and a knack for knowing what of your daily slog might be interesting to other people. Whatever you end up doing next, you should be a blogger. However you should open up your Sitemeter stats: Yes, it stings at first, but it shows you’re serious and comfortable in your skin.
  • For Zimzo, I hope everything worked out for you. Thank you for all the time you put in here.
  • For Pam, I think you should get a cat.
  • For the Weintraubs, I hope you find an accommodation with the legal status quo some day, through a combination of affecting the latter and moderating your goals. You both are nice guys and it would be good if at some point you could carve out enough breathing room on that one issue to lighten up about it, and maybe write some posts about gardening or something. (I’m sure I just broke yet another cardinal rule of gender-related propriety there, so please accept my apologies in advance. And if you want to Photoshop a graphic of me as a Southern plantation owner – which is the direction I would take it – I’d be happy to provide head shots from different angles. You have my email address.)
  • For all the political candidates I have said unflattering things about, I apologize if any of it was truly uncalled for. In 99.9% of cases there were people supporting you who were being completely obnoxious and I could not resist joining the fray. It is to my shame, I know. But there are also candidates who can attest that I avoid the low road and work hard to be fair. That is, except with regard to certain officeholders in Washington DC, of whom it may be said that the burning coals I have heaped upon their heads were delivered with the sureness and rightness of Archangel Gabriel himself, such that the smoldering of their shame should be seen by all of creation through all eternity. But for the other instances, sorry if it went too far.
  • For the guy who threatened to sue me over the “Tea Party” comment thread, I’d like you to meet a young lady I know: Her name is Pam. A coalition of doctors, police and failed political candidates has determined that Pam should never be allowed near a keyboard again, so she could use some companionship right now. She lives in Maryland, but I think you two have a lot in common. You ought to go on a long, driving vacation somewhere.
  • For Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, the Most Honorable, I join all of humanity in the chorus: “There’ll always be a Eugene!” You have done more work for this community than anyone gives you credit for, and you are the best friend Sterling has. We need you on the board of supervisors. Thank you for everything, sir.
  • And to everyone who took me seriously simply because I shot photos and posted them on a blog; well, I appreciate it, because it was good for me in getting to meet people and hear interesting conversations, but it’s really very easy. But it was nice of you all to make it seem like a big deal.

We humans are susceptible to the belief that we have an unlimited amount of time, even that we have much of it simply to burn – and that’s not the case. The single, only certainty we have about the future is that our personal one on this earth will come to an end with total finality, just as likely sooner as later. And even if much, much later, that brick wall is not far down the road at all, in the grand scheme of things.

I think everyone eventually realizes that the hours of life are like droplets tumbling down a waterfall, and at some point you say to yourself, they’re falling away too fast, much too fast.

Blogging time is just about over for today, but I can’t let another day pass without noting the impending retirement of Stevens Miller from the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. (Another post on the topic from Supervisor Miller here).

Reviewing Board actions and public statements, my appraisal of Mr. Miller would be mixed because our political philosophies are different. Thus ends our review of his term in public office.

What I can say a little more about is that he used the blog medium pretty darn well for an elected official. It did what an office holder’s blog should do, which (as with a company blog) is to provide a glimpse behind the scenes to give readers a better understanding of what they see though the normal channels. I hope he keeps the blog going now that he has the knack for it.

A cursory skim of our NVTH Stevens Miller oeuvre shows that Mr. Miller is among the reasonable number of folks on the “other side” that I personally get along with. He is someone with whom one can discuss differences of opinion – at least in a personal setting. So from what I know of Stevens Miller, he has my respect.

And for the record, if I held a public office I would definitely look forward to the day it was over. Too many scheduled events, too many days wearing a suit, and way too much mandatory time spent talking to other people, who despite their various good qualities can become tiresome in excessive doses.

I thank Mr. Miller for his service, and congratulate him on his return to civilian life.

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has voted 5-4 to accept a revised redistricting plan which apparently is the one which will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Loudoun Insider has a good overview and discussion here. (Earlier discussion here).

The redistricting plan-which-shall-not-be-named is a revision of one of the options detailed early in the process by Supervisor Stevens Miller, who comments here on the new version.

Further discussion, and comment by Liz Miller, here.

By now, some readers may have noticed there is no Democrat I have linked to or mentioned more often than Loudoun County Supervisor Stevens Miller, even before he had his own blog, and most of these references have not been negative. For one thing, I happen to be able to communicate with him because he is usually pragmatic, in conversations he will consider different points of view regardless of the ideological underpinnings, and he has a self-deprecating sense of humor. These traits set him apart from the caricature I have in my mind of the typical liberal. In addition, he is an articulate tech guy – not a common specimen.

As our readers certainly know, civility has always been the coin of the realm here at NOVATownHall (and now more than ever): It is a standard I try to foster. Not much over a month ago, in fact, Mr. Miller and I shared a pleasant exchange. All well and good.

But I must say, I was somewhat irked to see that the good Supervisor has gone ahead and launched a unilateral salvo of goodwill which caught me completely off guard, stating “Budzinski …. Insults are beneath him.”

Of course, the statement is completely true – save for rare, uncharacteristic and utterly forgotten references to certain national political figures, certain local political figures, certain late-night commenters, and representatives of a certain government agency which, ahem, sometimes delivers letters.

Insults: I barely understand how they even work, much less can I formulate them.

Yet how am I to respond, to keep pace with this exhausting regimen of friendly banter and well-deserved praise emanating from my now-archrival in conjuring up totally appropriate compliments?

Mr. Miller: Is it your belief, sir, that I have somehow tapped into a bottomless well of good-tidings? Do you imagine that the cup of my vocabulary over-runneth with synonyms for “love”? Is the entry for “thesaurus” in your dictionary, sir, accompanied by a drawing of Joe Budzinski? Do you imagine, sir, that I live in the land of unicorns and rainbows where the weather is always mild and our hearts perpetually bathed in the warmth of a golden light?

Well I stand here to inform you, sir, that I do NOT live in that land. I live in Sterling. And I have a mortgage. And my landscaping is sub-optimal. At best.

Yes, I absorbed your preliminary artillery barrage of professional amity. And while I admit it has left me bruised and battered, I am far from defeated, and you mark my words, sir: I shall restock my cache of positive adjectives, I shall reload, and I shall rise to fight another day.

LI has some observations worth reading.

I have not weighed in on the redistricting issue partially because of time limitations but also because when I last checked we had a Democrat-controlled Board of Supervisors who are solely in control of the decision and no one has explained to me why any of them would give a rat’s patootie what any Republican anywhere thinks about this matter. I suppose if a conservative were to craft an argument to win the hearts and minds of the Loudoun populace that would be one thing, but I for one am not up to that task.

I agree strongly with BlackOut’s comment in the thread linked above that it seems silly our BOS is allowed to set as one of their priorities for designing the new districts that BOS incumbents will be protected. That just strikes me as bad government all the way around; but I guess the fact it is stated baldly in the redistricting “guidelines” is supposed to make it ok with everyone. Like if someone were to craft a “10-point Plan For Starting A Business In Loudoun County” for the Economic Development portion of, and Number 4 was “Steal a truck,” everyone would be all right with it since it was posted on the county Web site.

It is amusing to consider LI’s suggestion that Supervisor Andrea McGimsey may need a district as far away as possible from her current constituents in order to have a chance of being re-elected. If I were running against her, in whatever far-flung part of Loudoun County she finagles as her new district of residence, I could imagine putting up “Missing” posters all over the neighborhood streets, just for the fun of it.

UPDATE: Supervisor Stevens Miller gives a reasonable explanation of why the Board agreed to make protecting incumbents one of the guidelines. In essence, this policy protects against hyper-partisan gerrymandering by the majority. Point taken. However, my personal bias against “protecting incumbents” is not because of fear of a nefarious majority but because of desire that magisterial districts reflect actual communities contained therein – a belief that the ideal boundaries should leave communities as whole as possible rather than broken apart to keep a supervisor in office. Admittedly, that is an ideal. As a longtime supporter of reality, I will take Supervisor Miller at his word that the guidelines are intended to guarantee fairness.

UPDATE II: It has just been brought to my attention that there is a very good reason for the LCRC to put forth a redistricting plan. All plans submitted to the Board of Supervisors will be submitted to the U.S. Justice Department as well, so that when DOJ considers the proposal from Loudoun County they will also have the alternatives for reference. It would be irresponsible for the LCRC to not put forward its own suggestion.

Prompted by LI’s post, I had an email exchange yesterday with Supervisor Stevens Miller. Long story short, we are both posting the exchange on our blogs because it was interesting, but also because civil dialogue across ideological divisions is too rare nowadays, so this can serve as a modest example that such a thing is possible locally.

From: Joe Budzinski
Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2011 12:36 AM
To: Miller, Stevens
Subject: Good luck, Stevens

Your announcement on the blog was well-stated.

Unless you switch parties, or unless the Democrats change, I won’t be supporting you; but I respect your intelligence and the fact you do what you think is right. I think what you are doing on your blog is far and away the best of any local elected official.

If I happen to comment on any future race you are involved in, I will do my utmost to be fair, and I invite you to chastise me publicly if I am not. I pledge to always post your comments uncensored.


From: Stevens Miller
Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2011 10:46 AM
To: Budzinski, Joe
Subject: Re: Good luck, Stevens

Thanks, Joe.

In the course of my term, I’ve met quite a few Republicans and unaffiliated conservatives whom I respect and who are willing and able to work with me on projects that will help build a better community for everyone. In the much smaller realm of the online world, however, I see you as maybe the last remaining example of sense and honesty among my critics who support the agenda of the political right. If you float your cursor over the NoVa Town Hall entry in my blogroll at Without Supervision, you’ll see I’ve publicly taken notice of this.

As a candidate and public servant, I try hard not to make a big deal out of my own beliefs or theories, focusing instead on what I will try to do if I get the chance. After all, what the Hell difference does it make what I “believe,” when the question that matters is, “what will I commit myself to accomplishing?” That said, I do believe our two-party system, in all its adversarial glory, serves us better than if, somehow, we only had one political mainstream, with no one ready to offer at least a choice to those who would be marginalized. Instead, we have two political mainstreams, constantly testing their theories in the endless experiment of American democracy. Everyone gets to watch, see the results, and make their choices at the polls accordingly.

But it only really works well when each side makes an honest case about its goals, methods, and results. I respect people like you who adhere to that kind of honesty, and leave the lies, spin, and name-calling to lesser folk. When the better party, the better candidate, or just the better idea wins, America wins. When the side with the better line of bull wins, then the bull wins. I see people like you and me as having at least one fundamental quality in common: we want America to win, not the bull. Because of that, I’m actually grateful that a guy like you is active in the political arena, even if we rarely agree on anything else. Without an honest debate, fully delivered for its best effect by both sides, real choice isn’t possible at all.

See you down the trail.


P.S. I should admit that I don’t read many blog posts, which I’ve lately learned really irritates some people. But, I have read yours and I liked what I saw. Keep it up.

From: Joe Budzinski
Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2011 8:53 PM
To: Miller, Stevens
Subject: Re: Good luck, Stevens

“Two political mainstreams” is an intriguing way to look at it. Sometimes I have thought there is one, and at other times a whole bunch like the many waving arms of Vishnu. But from a purely functional standpoint you may be right.

We share a view of how political debate should be conducted. I have not always lived up to the standard but do make a constant effort to remain outside the circle of party animals on my side of the fence.

By the way, love your use of the title attribute! I knew how that worked but never thought to implement it as a way of adding information – thanks for the lesson. I appreciate general articulateness in a public official but tech-savvy also goes a long way in my book.

Thanks again. It will be interesting to see which district you end up in.


Granted, it’s not the Missouri Compromise, just some quick emails sent back and forth, but I was gratified by Supervisor Miller’s lengthy, thoughtful reply to someone who has been critical in the past. He and I have had a few conversations since his 2007 election, and he has always been frank and serious.

I think we create missed opportunities when the level of rancor shuts off the possibility of meaningful discussion with those with whom we disagree ideologically. Namely, we don’t get to find those minor areas of agreement, which may be remote from matters of current public debate but which I think are significant and worth seeking out. You don’t get to find the first smidgen if you never converse. For that reason, I find it just as interesting to talk to my opponents as to talk to those on my side, and I appreciate when an elected official is willing to do so.

Like many of you, my highest loyalty is to principles and the policies that follow from them; party comes further down the list. Although I take a back seat to few people in terms of combined time and money given to Republican candidates and GOP organizations each year, I don’t do it for the team but to try and make the world a better place. To that end, I value dialogue as highly as the “us vs. them” campaign posture.

I appreciate Supervisor Miller’s “America wins” philosophy, and his appreciation of the fact that despite my opposing positions on many issues we are on the same page regarding the ultimate goal. I look forward to continuing the conversation.