January 2009

Steele, baby, Steele!

By VA Blogger

Sharon Bulova: Still in Search of Substance

By VA Blogger

In response to my endorsement of Pat Herrity below, Anonymous is a Woman set out to establish Sharon Bulova as a “candidate of substance”. Unfortunately, her two posts since I wrote mine have continued the unbroken streak of Bulova, her staff, and her supporters of not providing any specific detail in what Bulova actually plans to do as Chairman.

AIAW says that Bulova’s substance is derived from her 21-year record on the Board of Supervisors. Fair enough, but that’s not a vision for the County. That’s not a platform. It’s not a statement of issues. It’s a story.

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Speaking of new websites…

By VA Blogger

Jim LeMunyon, who is challenging Chuck Caputo in the 67th, recently launched his site: www.lemunyon09.com

And if you haven’t already, check out Mason Conservative’s new digs.

Pat Herrity: The Best Choice for Chairman, the Only Choice on the Issues

By VA Blogger

Unsurprisingly, the Washington Post endorsed Sharon Bulova. What was interesting is the positive things they had to say about Pat Herrity, and the hesitations they listed about Bulova. The central thesis of the editorial is this:

Mr. Herrity … would certainly shake things up. It’s unclear, though, that the well-governed county is in need of such upheaval.

That’s it. If you think the County could be doing things better, vote for Pat Herrity. If you think the County is doing the best it can, vote for Bulova. I can live with that.

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Connolly: “To make anything out of it is partisan politics.”

By VA Blogger

The Washington Post finally got around to addressing the Connolly video Ben broke and has been featured on over a dozen local and national blogs, as well as Sean Hannity’s television show. Said Connolly’s spokesman as a response:

“It was nothing more than a joke. Everyone in the room laughed. To make anything more out of it is partisan politics.”

Right. And telling a room full of Democrats at a Democratic committee meeting celebrating the inauguration of a Democratic President by rallying support for Democratic candidates and joking about giving the other party the wrong date of the election is… what? The essence of bi-partisanship? Or as Sean Hannity might say, “Working across the aisle, Connolly-style”.

Connolly “jokes” about suppressing the Fairfax Republican vote

By VA Blogger

Ben at NLS breaks the story with this video about Connolly, with Sharon Bulova standing at his side (where else would she be?), rallying a crowd of Democrats by encouraging them to give Republicans the wrong date of the election.

What’s telling about this video, aside from how politically tone-deaf Boss Connolly is to this sort of thing, is how scared Connolly must be that he isn’t going to retain the seat by installing his puppet, Bulova. Why would he even need to joke about trying to suppress the Republican vote in blue Fairfax County if he wasn’t? Its been clear for a while that the Herrity campaign has been outworking Bulova on the ground, and there’s a lot more excitement for Herrity from Republicans than there is for Bulova from Democrats.

They both flubbed it

By VA Blogger

Just as a comment to the video down below, and the scores of partisans on both sides (not on this blog) who are making a big deal out of it, the chain of events is such: 1) Obama started repeating the oath before Roberts was finished; 2) Roberts then transposed the word “faithfully”, forgetting it then tacking it onto the end of the sentence; 3) Obama realized the error and stuttered, but was a good sport and recited Roberts’ mistaken version.

Did Roberts cause Obama to stutter? Did Obama’s initial flub cause Roberts to forget the word? Does it matter in the slightest? If anyone should be mocked, it’s Senator Diane Feinstein of California who, moments before, clearly called it the “oaf of office”.

Fairfax School Budget & Assistant Principals

By VA Blogger

Last week when the Fairfax School Budget was announced, I asked what would happen if we cut one Assistant Principal from every school. Kiel Stone, who is editor of Bacon’s Rebellion’s E-zine and sits on the Education Committee for the Fairfax Federation of Citizens Associations, has been going through the school budget and let me know of some interesting numbers he found:

Fairfax County has 432 Assistant Principals for 174,365 students for a ratio of 1 AP for every 403.6 students. This is way out of line with surrounding localities:

Arlington: 33 for 18,517 students (a ratio of 1 to 561.1)
Prince William: 124 for 72,654 students (1 to 585.9)
Loudoun: 103 for 57,317 (1 to 556.4)
Montgomery: 247 for 139,000 (1 to 562)

According to Stone:

For the sake of argument let’s take the average ratio of those four, which is 1 to 566. If Fairfax were to meet that ratio we would need only 308 principals, 124 fewer than we have currently. With an outlay of $43,056,674 on Assistant Principals the average salary for that position is $99,668. Reducing the number of Assistant Principals by that 124 number would result in a savings of $12,358,860.

In the proposed budget the cuts in Elementary ($9.51 million), Middle ($3.47 million) and High ($6.61 million) core instruction total $19.59 million, or just $7.2 million more than what is gained by bringing the Assistant Principal ratio into line with the surrounding counties.

Stone concedes that it is possible there is a good reason why the numbers are out of line, though one hasn’t been readily presented to the public. Nonetheless, this is a clear path to save $12 million without touching in-classroom resources. This is the kind of thing the School Board needs to be doing.

Fairfax Dems dig up dirt on Tim Hugo

By VA Blogger

The FCDC “Red-to-Blue” campaign (original title, guys) is targeting the last three Republican delegates in Fairfax, including Tim Hugo in the 40th. Here’s what their vaunted opposition research team uncovered about Tim Hugo:

 Delegate Hugo has a long history of supporting conservative causes and opposing transportation investments.  Along with Delegate Dave Albo, he was a signatory to Grover Norquist’s Anti-Tax Pledge from 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 – a pledge signed by only 22% of Virginia’s legislators.  He voted for Abuser Fees (before proposing to repeal them) and opposes a woman’s right to choose.  His primary supporters are the Republican leadership and corporate interests.

All this time, Tim Hugo is actually an anti-tax, pro-life Republican supported by his party and the business community! Egads! Nothing gets by the FCDC!

Except the results of the last election, which they included for Tom Rust and Dave Albo but seem to have forgotten to include for Hugo. Maybe because Hugo laid a Wolf-esque smackdown against a candidate who had nothing but Feder-esque hype.

Anyone know who’s wasting their time running against Hugo this year?

Highlights from the Bulova-Herrity Debate

By VA Blogger

I attended the Chamber of Commerce debate between Chairman candidate Sharon Bulova and Pat Herrity, at the NVCC in Annandale. Fortunately, so did Teddy over at Blue Commonwealth, and he posted an extremely thorough and even-handed recap of the debate (aside from his opinions in the last paragraph) that pretty much gives the gist of what went down.

There are some key moments missing, however. Throughout the debate, when pressed on specifics, Bulova would deflect or lash out, while Herrity offered specific examples of what he talked about. (more…)