Virginia politics, policy and entertainment from the Greater Richmond-Washington Metro Area perspective.

Despicable? You Know What I Find Despicable?

despicable

Talk about your total political meltdowns.  Yesterday’s Prince William Board of County Supervisors meeting was one for the ages.  Supervisors are discussing various proposals for the FY 2014 budget ranging from flat tax bills advocated by Chairman Corey Stewart and Supervisor Pete Candland to significant tax hikes put forward by Supervisors John Jenkins and Frank Principi.  Rational people can disagree over the size and scope of county government as well as its priorities without descending into slugfests.  But this is just plain bizarre.

However, Candland found himself involved in another conflict on the dais, when Potomac District Supervisor Maureen Caddigan delivered an impromptu speech condemning Candland’s citizen’s committee.

“You talk about your budget committee,” said Caddigan. “They are the bloggers; many are associated with your office. These are the people who have crucified our county executive and defamed each member of this board. We do know them by name. We do know who they are, and it is disgraceful that they are going to twist our arms, get us out of office, so they can get people who can support Candland, so he can run for chairman. I don’t mean to be a small person here, but your budget committee is despicable, and I will not be listening to your budget committee.”

(You can view the full rant here.)

Despicable? Really? Citizens volunteering their time and talent to try and find cost savings and efficiencies that will benefit all county taxpayers? The only blogger I know of on Supervisor Candland’s budget committee is Al Alborn who is one of the most calm, sedate, rational voices in the blogosphere.  In fact, he is now a Contributing Editor for PotomacLocal.com, a local news website covering eastern Prince William and Stafford counties.  Alborn by his own count has served on at least four budget committees, so he brings experience to the task.

Caddigan was dead on when she described what she was about to say as something coming from “a small person” because she deviated from policy and politics and turned this personal. Small people talk about other people. Great men and women talk about ideas, policy, and philosophy. I can honestly say that in the nearly 12 years that Caddigan has been my supervisor (the first 9 or 10 of which I was a strong supporter of hers who volunteered on her campaigns, held events for in my home, invited to address my community on multiple occasions, and defended from the right including on this blog) that I have never associated her with ideas, policy or philosophy.

I will not stoop to the level of making this personal about her, but I certainly will offer critiques on her actions in office and public policy. Let’s talk about what is truly despicable.

Misuse of taxpayer funds

$5,000 to the Hylton Performing Arts Center

$600 for commemorative bricks at the Marine Corps museum

$300 on a political campaign advertisement

Using staff on county property during business hours for campaign work

All while poo-poohing a 32% tax increase on businesses as no big deal.

And let’s not forget the conversion of campaign funds into personal funds funneled through her husband

You know what else I find despicable?

Violating your word

When you run on the Republican Party line in Virginia, you pledge to support the party’s general election nominees.  Apparently, such pledges mean little to her given Caddigan’s repeated support for Democrats and independents over Republican nominees. (Of course, most of the time she just completely ignores the rest of the GOP ticket and doesn’t lift a finger to help them one bit.)

And another thing that I find despicable –

Turning a blind eye to possible corruption

Quashing an internal audit of the VRE despite the fact someone later pled guilty in a separate case to receiving $200,000 in kickbacks

Finally, one last item that is just as despicable…

Hypocrisy“These are the people who have crucified our county executive”
Our county executive. That would be Melissa Peacor who was promoted from within county government by the BOCS in 2009.  I seem to recall back around that time Caddigan telling me that she opposed Peacor for this position (and voted against hiring her, along with one other supervisor whose identity I shall keep to myself, during the Board’s closed session straw poll — thus violating the confidentiality of Executive Session by telling me that), that she thought Peacor didn’t dress appropriately for such a position, that Peacor’s personality was somewhat flighty and did not have the gravitas required for the post, and that she wanted the out-of-state candidate for CXO to be tapped to fill the role.  Apparently Caddigan was for crucifying Peacor before she was against it.  The two of them deserve one another as far as I’m concerned.  (Someone please make sure that Ms. Peacor is informed of all this — particularly about her being a bad dresser and flighty.)

Claiming she had nothing against the former name “Dumfries” for her district when in fact she had gone around for years badmouthing it and its namesake town.  Then there was her flubbed subsequent attempt at revisionist history to try to claim credit for the new name of “Potomac.”

Yes, there is much that I find despicable about my supervisor’s official actions and what that says about her character and fitness to hold office.  But these criticism are based upon ideas and policy, not the realm of the personal.  If she cannot distinguish between the two, then she has an even thinner skin than I thought.

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19 Responses to “Despicable? You Know What I Find Despicable?”

    • The Derecho

      As one of her constituents, Riley is a lot more diplomatic than I would have been to her ladyship. That being said, Riley, since she is thus your problem are you going to do anything to knock the Queen from her ivory tower? If she had this low an opinion of the Gainesville District residents, I shudder to think what opinion she has of her own district residents.

  1. PugHenry

    I am also a constituent and I too also supported her and then changed my view. Riley nails it once again on Queen Caddigan. I hope his plan includes what I think it does. I am in full support and will help in any way I can.

  2. Ken Reynolds

    Great job Maureen………..Candland and his colleagues, including those that facilitated his entry into politics, have been trying to trash the county and its infrastructure for years. I iwsh there was some way we could split up the county into two. The Eastern end of the county put up the dollars from very thin pocketbooks over the past 15 years to pay for the infrastructure for the Western end. Now, the Western end supervisor is trashing the east end…….Maureen has the guts, knowledge and background for preserving the county against the renegades and other rogues trying to do us in. Keep up the great work you are doing Maureen!!!

  3. Patty

    Riley, this is a little off topic but I would expect Supervisor Candland to pick those who live in the Gainesville District to be on his committees. I understand Al Alborn does not live in the Gainesville District. After all, Supervisor Candland represents those of us in the Gainesville District and I think we should have a say. There are many qualified people is this District that could have served on that committee. I know of some who live in my neighborhood. I’m not bashing anyone. If he had appointed those who live in this Gainesville District I think he would have avoided controversy. Just my two cents.

    • Patty

      p.s. I’m not saying anything bad about Al. I do respect him. I really do. I’m just saying that I do believe Supervisor Candland should have picked Gainesville residents to serve on his committee.

  4. Ken Reynolds

    You’re right Patty. He is picking a bunch of creeps who are trying to tear things down………………i would do anything to spin Gainsville off into its own county…….

  5. Patty

    Would have been interesting if Supervisor Candland appointed John Stirrup to serve on that budget committee. I don’t think Mrs. Caddigan would have said what she said if John Stirrup was on that committee. Just sayin……

  6. Al Alborn

    Patty asked that same question on my blog. I know Patty, and consider it an honest observation. I’m sharing my reply here.

    Patty, as I’m sure you know I don’t live in the Gainesville district. That being said, I agree that there are plenty of qualified people in the Gainesville District. I remember when Supervisor Candland announced his budget committee; he opened it up to everyone and solicited volunteers. I was surprised just how few people stepped up. You would be welcome to join us. Just send a note to his office asking for our schedule.

    Six of the nine members are from Gainesville. I believe the number of Gainesville residents probably exceeds the number of residents on any other budget committee in Prince William County (I saw the list of committees, and we were in fact the largest).

    While this is my fifth budget committee “technically”, it’s the first real budget committee in which I have participated, and perhaps the first in the history of Prince William County to actually turn in a complete alternative for a five year budget. In the past, Staff drove the budget process. The adjustment to a Supervisor who actually formed a working committee that spend hours going over the budget process, past budget decisions, and considered reforms has sent shockwaves through the FY2014 budget process.

    I am one of many folks that Supervisor Candland reached out to for advice. I think he noticed that I am active in local politics and “did my time” as a citizen volunteer on various groups. I have served on four previous budget committees (such that they were), two Strategic Planning Teams (including the one that just included), and graduated from the Prince William County Citizen Police Academy and the Leadership Prince William program. This gives me a broad perspective on County Government, its functions, its good and bad points, and its future (since I helped write the strategy for the next five years).

    While your point about representing Gainesville, there’s no rulebook that says who serves on a budget committee, what they do, or how they are managed. I was added to bring my domain expertise and fiscal conservative philosophy to a diverse team, which was dominated by Gainesville residents.

    Decisions are made by people who show up. Six Gainesville residents showed up. When I understood what Candland was going for, I agreed to sign up. I’m glad I did. A couple of other folks not in the Gainesville District signed up because they believed in what Candland was doing, and wanted to be part of it.

    No matter what the outcome of the budget negotiation process to establish the FY2014 tax rate, Candland’s budget committee moved the ball a bit towards fiscal conservatism and reform. We all signed up for the next three years, as progress isn’t easy. I’m proud to be a member of the Gainesville District Citizen Budget Committee, and our contribution to the future of Prince William County. I don’t plan to go away any time soon.

    I guess like all things, it’s about people who showed up. The nine members of this budget committee showed up, and worked our butts off every Sunday, occasionally one week night, and doing lots of homework for the past few months. People are free to agree or disagree; however, at least we stepped up and put something on the table to discuss.

    Patty also mentioned John Stirrup on my blog. My reply was

    Patty, That’s a very good idea. On the other hand, John Stirrup could have volunteered to participate like any other Gainesville Resident if he chose to.

  7. charles

    I think it’s sad that a supervisor would attack citizens for providing inputs, even if she hates the input they give. I think it is unfortunate that an anonymous blogger like the sheriff can be used to smear the committee, and detract from the opportunity we had.

  8. Bill Card

    I have been absent from this discussion being preoccupied with first a National and now a State election. However now that it is blasted all over our GOP Facebook page I feel compelled to respond.

    If those concerned purport to back Supervisor Candland’s political and fiscal conservatism, then I would strongly recommend that they also support his equally conservative ethics as they relate to political discourse. Supervisor Candland was concerned enough about the level to which this discourse has sunk that he penned this article (11/9/12) which I heartily endorsed at the time and recommend that all review now:

    http://www.insidenova.com/news/opinion/article_6e17ff7e-2aa7-11e2-b5ec-0019bb30f31a.html

    I have recently spoken to Supervisor Candland and I sensed that he is as repelled by this as I am. I have also spoken with Supervisor Caddigan and certainly she prefers a more civil dialog.

    To those whose immediate response is “But she called me dispic. . . . . . . “ I would refer you to the past several months of diatribes which at times have been . . . . . well . . . . despicable.

    What I want for Christmas is for all to reset the level of discourse and leave the politics of personal destruction to the people who invented it – Liberals. Our pursuit of political objectives shouldn’t overwhelm our exercise of common decency.

    Bill Card
    Chairman, PWCRC

    • Riley

      I completely agree, Bill, which is why I kept this post focused upon official and campaign actions, not personal actions. One need only look at the subject of this to see who is the one engaging in the politics of personal destruction.

  9. Patty

    Al,

    I’m on Supervisor Candland’s mailing list and I must say I don’t recall him requesting volunteers for his budget committee. If that’s the case then John Stirrup would not have heard about it either. I could be wrong but as I said I’m on the mailing list and I do not recall solicitations for his budget committee.

  10. Patty

    Al, I’m on the mailing list and I did go back to July and I did not see any solicitations for volunteers for his budget committee.

  11. Patty

    Al, let’s put it this way. If he was looking for volunteers he didn’t do a very good job of advertising it.

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