Loudoun Independent Party?

By Loudoun Insider

There is quite a bit of consternation in political circles of all stripes in Loudoun County about a unified independent slate of supervisor candidates in 2007. Both traditional political parties are worried that this would create an unknown dynamic, and special interest groups are worried that such a development could make reaching their electoral goals more difficult and uncertain.

Conventional wisdom holds that independent bids are a huge uphill battle, but Loudoun County has two established Independent supervisors in Jim Burton of the Blue Ridge District and Chairman Scott York. Both started out in the Republican Party but left over growth issues. The Republican Party is in trouble electorally over growth issues, but the Democrats seem to want to continue to commit electoral suicide by nominating left of center candidates with an over emphasis on non-local issues. LCDC Chairman Thom Beres seems overly giddy in recent quotes, while Suzanne Volpe (where’s LCRC Chairman Paul Protic?) seems totally out of touch with reality in her public professions of a Republican sweep.

Several well qualified moderate candidates are currently struggling with where to run. While the LCRC operates as a closed private club, the LCDC is more welcoming. However, Loudoun County is generally conservative and the Dems are struggling to contain their own fringe elements.

Does Scott York have big enough coattails to lead an Independent slate? Will the LCRC and LCDC move to capture the center and these candidates, or will they continue to play hard to their bases leaving the majority middle unclaimed?


Comments

  • NotHarrisMiller says:

    A independent slate did awfully well down here in Roanoke. It can work with the right candidates and the right organization.

  • The Voice says:

    I’ve been wanting to talk to Thom for some time. I’ve heard him speak at the public input sessions, so I know that local development is on his radar. I hope the democrats are ready to understand that this local race will be about traffic, unfair taxes brought about by overdevelopment, and more traffic.

    ANYONE who misses that signal is out of touch with the majority of the voters in the upcoming election.

  • jaqui says:

    Bring on some good, qualified, voter-loyal Indep. candidates and they’ll take over the BoS. They’ll get my vote! Unless the incumbents can convince us they are FOR the voters 100%, they are toast. In any event, Tullock and Del-gotta-Go will be gone. Maybe Staton will be packing his bags along with them.

  • Wow, 2006 is turning into a Contract for America for Independants.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    Your post raises the larger issue of whether local GOP units like those in Loudoun and Prince William have in effect separated themselves from the real politics of the community and have instead become, as you suggest, small clubs controlled by like-minded people. There’s a place for such gatherings, and there would be nothing harmful in it if these people were not the gatekeepers on who runs and who doesn’t. So you have communities of several hundred thousand citizens very dependent on the quality of the process by which core groups of a 100 or so in each party choose their nominees. Virginia election law very much assumes that the two political parties will control the political process, particularly at the statewide level. But if these large, fast-growing jurisdictions are not getting the types of leaders they need from the process of the two parties, independent candidacies will break out. Of course the check on this decline within the two-party system is that one party tries to take advantage of the other by raising the quality of its own nominees. The out-manuevered party then has to follow suit or risk a lot of time out of power. In our case, the Democrats often compound the problem by running their one-dimensional ideologues against our one-dimensional ideologues. We’ll win our share of those battles in Virginia.

  • Excellent input as always, NoVA Scout!

  • I think NoVa Scout and others nail the problem. Most people don’t care about the idealogical wars that drive the activists of both parties.

    If the average person were that passionate about abortion, for example, we would not have had Allen and Gilmore, two pro-life governors, followed by Warner and Kaine, two pro-choice governors (although Kaine is actually anti-abortion, he is not a threat to a woman’s right to choose in the way that the two former Republican governors were).

    If Virginians have spoken about this issue at all in their votes, it’s that even though they may care, other issues matter more to them.

    Most Virginians, especially in Northern Virginia, want good government, leaders they can trust to put the voter’s interests first, and efficiently run government.

    Voters do care about values. They don’t want crooks in office. They want people with good character to run. But they want moderates who are more concerned about good government than fringe issues.

  • Independent Republican says:

    I think York has plenty of coattails, but are not needed.

    The people of Loudoun are fed-up with the extreme sides of both parties. The independent candidates will be victorious in many districts due to the fact that party labels and previous actions with the developers from the “Builder Board”, rising taxes, etc will bring forth a new Loudoun County.

    Lori Waters should dump the LCRC before they dump her, Burton and York will be vitoriuos as usual and George Hidy could be an independent as well.

  • PerfectTiming says:

    The time may just be ripe for a Loudoun Independent Party!

    There are many voters who would be attracted to solid, moderate candidates who aren’t beholden to the building industry, understand that growth means higher taxes, and are actually aware of the issues that the average voter wants addressed. Of course, add decent human being to that, and you have a winner!

    Somehow the Democrats now believe that they won with Poisson/Herring because they are Democrats. When in reality they won because of two superior candidates, who have a clue about growth management, and who prioritize what is important to the average voter. I don’t think that vote was based on the fact that they were Democrats. They just were much more reasonable men than who their opponents were. However, the local Democratic Party is very full of themselves these days.

    And the stranglehold on the local Republican party is stiffling for even a decent candidate. Zealots and paranoid politicians seem to be their leaders. Money from the builder’s associations and developers fills their coffers. Property Rights has become a mantra. They actually kick out members who don’t agree to their all narrow precepts. Ronald Reagan’s “big umbrella” is no where to be seen or felt. None of this bodes well for anyone they would nominate.

    So – it’s perfect timing – for some Independents to rise and shine!

  • t says:

    Purity, purity, purity.

  • The Voice says:

    Perfect timing….. could never have said it that well.
    You are obviously following the pulse of the county well.
    Shame 4 Supervisors don’t heed the people who tell them the same thing. One of the four has actually changed his drive in the opposite direction after seeing a poll that was commissioned, but he’s still on the wrong side of things.

  • Anonymous says:

    Both parties are full of them selves, and fullof something else, too.

    The Republicans have no environmental ethics, and the Democrats have no property rights ethics.

    There must be a middle ground somewhere.

  • Ben Dover says:

    Loudoun Insider raises a really interesting question: Has the Loudoun Electorate become so disenfranchised with the actions (or inactions) of its elected leadership that a group of mainstream Independents could emerge and win in 2007? Have we hit the tipping point where disaffected voters, tired of what seemingly is an ineffective two-party system, push Independents into office, essentially expressing that they are, “Mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore?”

    Only time will tell, but my own sense is that this outcome is very plausible, assuming that the Independents who emerge are indeed better options than the candidates put forth by either the Republicans or Democrats. Regardless, 2007 will be a very interesting year.

  • Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but I don’t see Democrats in Loudoun as thinking that Poisson and Herring won just because they are Democrats. What is that assessment based on?

    My personal view is exactly what Perfect Timing is saying: they won because they were the far superior candidates. It just happens that the Loudoun County Democratic Committee recruited, nominated and supported these superior candidates. That’s how you win elections, as I understand it. So do Democrats get no credit for doing that? I don’t understand quite what you’re getting at here.

    This seems to be a projection of an expectation that Republicans will win simply because Loudoun is “red,” i.e., there are enough people who vote for the straight party ticket without the need to seek further information. That’s just lazy. Anyone from any party with that expectation deserves to lose, IMO.

  • As an example, if Steve Snow does not run again as anticpated, is Barabara Munsey the candidate to win the seat for the Republicans? Probably not in my opinion, but she would probably easily gain the LCRC nomination over several other mentioned possibilities. These people could then be pushed towards independent candidacies.

  • sibyl says says:

    Lets not forget, we arent novices here, its not just about good candidates. Getting elected requires the ability to (1) raise money and (2) recruit masses of committed volunteers. The “party system” is set up to facilitate these efforts.

    Im all in favor of fresh thinking, but running as an independent is running up hill all alone.

    In rare instances we see successful “I’s” but they almost always have a pre-established base of supporters “borrowed” from one party or another due to a past affiliation. Think about it.

    Waters may be able to pull off an Independent bid if the party ousts her (lets hope that doesnt happen), but the newcomers will find it extremely difficult. York could have a coat-tails effect, but itll be no tobogan.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    great thread, guys.

  • -Disappointed LCRCer says:

    Poisson and Herring (and Caputo) won because the Republicans in our ongoing infinite wisdom went with candidates who have become unelectable.

    As for York, I don’t see him with big coattails; I think he is regarded as competant, but I would not go with “wildly popular” either.

    Of everything I have seen on here, Sibyl comes closest to my thinking – you need a strong base and solid support to win as an Independent anywhere, and generally that support migrates mostly from one party. York’s was and still is moderate Republican, and if you look at the 2003 result, you get a better idea of where the Democrats REALLY are in Loudoun County.

    With that said, we are doing a fine job of blowing our advantage.

  • t says:

    t SPEAKS.

    It does no good to win if we do not do so with committed conservative pro-lifers. Instead of waisting our energies on “moderate” pantywaists, let’s creatively concoct innovative and imaginative ways to sell our conservative heros to the general electorate.

  • jaqui says:

    -t “Committed conservatives” aka Black, Staton, et al, were clobbered and their equally conservative buddies, Tullock, Snow, Del-gotta-go, will be clobbered in 2007. You will need to be really innovative and imaginative to convince us moderates to vote for your candidates. I’m pro-life but I’m also concerned about traffic, education, uncontrolled growth, taxes, etc., and if the GOP in Loudoun runs one-topic agenda candidates, I’ll vote for the person who is committed to a broad agenda.

  • PerfectTiming says:

    Voice -

    Can you tell us more about this poll that was commissioned? What were the results and what did it cover? I heard about it being done and then not much more.

  • I don’t have the details, but the poll apparently showed that development and traffic were much bigger concerns of citizens than abortion, gay marriage, and other religious conservative issues. Of course this was me with much consternation by the LCRC and would obviously not be publicized. The development issue is going to kill the LCRC and they refuse to address it at all in a meaningful fashion.

  • -Disappointed LCRCer says:

    And it goes further than just the LCRC…Lt. Governor Boling spoke to the committee last night and said absolutely nothing about transportation or development, but he did remember to devote a substantial portion of his talk to the anti gay-marriage amendment.

    So you can get a sense of how out of whack the VA Republican establishment’s priorities are when constrasted with those of the average voter, who I am sure also do not support gay marriage, but aren’t thinking a whole lot about it during their two-hour plus commutes.

  • BlackOut says:

    t — I find your strategy of “creative concoctery” very enlightening. This strategy will only work if you think the electorate is gullible and unable to see through the veil of a snow job?

    I can assume this new strategy, promoted by t, is admitting that the one trick pony of social issues is no longer going to win elections. Therefore, the one agenda candidate (s) needs to concoct (Definition: to make up something artificial or untrue) a different persona for the electorate. Sounds deceiving to me.

    A pig is still a pig even with lipstick on it.

  • HopesforReturnofIntegrity says:

    R25 Exactly. The last thing the LCRC needs is a bunch of candidates pretending to be one thing, when in fact they are another. That kind of thing can really hurt you in the long run.

    There are plenty of good Republican candidates out there. They just aren’t the usual suspects. The LCRC needs to open it’s arms to get them though.

  • Independent Republican says:

    “t”

    Once again you prove the point as to why the LCRC will be no more after the 2007 elections. One sided national issue does not excite the voters. What the people of Loudoun care about was verified with “Dick” Black and “Black-Lite” (Staton—son-in-law pul my puppet strings) not being elected to such inportant postions. Staton even lost his home district.

  • t says:

    The only reason Satesmen Black and Staton lost is because the Country Club Rinos sat on their wine and cheese derrieres rather than work to get these heros over the finish line. t will remember this the next time a Rino gets the nomination.

  • BlackOut says:

    R28:

    “Satesmen” Is that a freudian slip? Statesmen without the “t”.

  • novamiddleman says:

    it was all Warners coattails

    Kaine rode them to victory

    Kilgore and Black had very similar percentages

    I’m back startup again after labor day too bad VC is leaving teh blogosphere

  • Anonymous says:

    Id be a Republican if they weren’t so dogmatic, A Democrat if they weren’t so whacko, and economically stupid.

    Anyone for a Rationalist Party?

  • jaqui says:

    Black lost because the voters were sick of his one-topic obsession. Staton lost because of his relationship with his puppet master. Black was one of the worst performers in the VA House of Delegates and was not respected by his colleagues in Richmond. Don’t blame RINOs for their defeat, Black and Black-lite were not listening to the needs of the voters, period.

  • t says:

    Black gave t a preborn baby (simulated) that was 12 weeks old (the age many babies undergo abortion). t will never forget that experience. The baby’s head was almost bigger than her body, indicating a sentinent creature that could experience pain.

    And you have the audacity to criticize Black? What have you ever done for unborn babys?

  • jaqui says:

    My husband and I adopted two otherwise unwanted children and loved and nurtured them. We support right-to-life groups and vehemently oppose late term abortions. However, I and many others sent Dick Black to Richmond to represent us in issues which can be addressed in Richmond. The VA House of Delegates is not the US Supreme Court.

  • Disappointed LCRCer says:

    Yeah, I do have the audacity to criticize Black. He was a lousy legislator who didn’t care a whit about what his constituents elected him to do. You can argue a lot of Loudoun is pro-life, and I’ll buy it, but most of us are spending too much time in traffic tryng to get to work so we can spend too many hours trying to make enough money to pay our property taxes to think about it very often.

    Even though Poisson and Herring have done zero to fix these problems, they at least have convinced enough voters they care about them. If the Republicans can produce a candidate who will approach the office with a comprehensive approach to issues voters care about, said candidate will do well.

    I saw somewhere on this website where someone suggested perhaps Black was still electable because he got roughly the same result as Kilgore in his district. Did that poster consider the possibility Black, not our weak top of the ticket, drove the turnout in that area? Kilgore won MY precinct, but then again Bob Marshall, who is as pro-life as Black, understands his constituents.

  • Lori Waters will be an interesting test case as far as the LCRC goes. She is solidly pro-life and very fiscally and scoially conservative, but has generally broken ranks from the other Republican supervisors when it comes to growth issues. Would Dick Black and his followers support or abandon Waters purely over growth issues?

  • The Voice says:

    Yes. That was an obvious question. You were asking rhetorically, right?

  • The question above was would Black and his cohorts support or abandon Lori Waters over growth issues.

    There is an excellent article in the WaPo Opinion section today on the rise of Independents.

  • GStone says:

    Independent Candidates and parties for that matter are a compulation of politicans who for the most part are comfortable pandering to both sides. Those who spend their political lives living in the middle of the road have to be worried about getting hit from cars in both lanes. They are also by and large lazy and very self serving. Lazy in that they lack the intestinal fortitude to move, influence or change either party from within.
    Some have said they lack a political soul. I would agree.

    My take is independents leaving a party after a primary lose are simply sore losers who believe they are are far more important than the party or the process. The party via whatever process used to nominate candidates simply got it wrong and therefore they must continue on as an independent. It is frankly allot of self serving crap.

    Do not get me wrong, I am not your typical Party Guy. I do however believe that the best way to effect change is to raise hell from within.

    Independents like many moderates enjoy compromise for the sake of compromise. Hence they are perfectly comfortable in that muddy middle. They enjoy painting in pastels. The more shades of gray the better.

    However, some of us still believe that one half of a stupid idea is still a stupid idea.

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