Another Day, Another Thrashing for Corey Stewart

Since Prince William County Board Chairman Corey Stewart floated the idea of eliminating the cap on real estate tax increases, not a day has gone by without a well-deserved thrashing from his one-time supporters. Here is today’s…

Chairman Stewart: 

In 2006 you strongly opposed Brentswood (the predecessor of the pending Stone Haven and Prince William Station residential developments.)  You pointed out then and for a year or so afterward that “when we approve large developments, we are essentially approving a tax increase” and that the county’s housing boom has “hurt the average person”.  (See: attachment and  BUT NOT LONG THEREAFTER YOU REVERSED COURSE 180 DEGREES AND BEGAN RELENTLESSLY CHAMPIONING RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPER CAUSES, including Avendale and Stone Haven, as well as a major change in direction beginning 2009-10 by the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) on land use that seemed to allow development virtually “anywhere, anytime” and allowed fast-tracked approval of developer land use requests.  (See:

You also talked in 2007 about how you’d been “socking it to the development community.”  BUT NOT LONG THEREAFTER YOU BEGAN AGGRESSIVELY SEEKING DEVELOPER MONEY.  (See:  At last count you’d received $759,841 from them.  (See:

AND NOW, per the 11 December 2014 InsideNova report below, YOU NOT ONLY HAVE APPARENTLY LOST INTEREST IN RESTRAINING TAX RATES, BUT ARE BLAMING COUNTY BUDGET SHORTFALLS, PARTICULARLY SCHOOL SHORTFALLS, ON PW COUNTY TAXPAYERS’ RELUCTANCE (AND INABILITY IN MANY CASES) TO PAY HIGHER TAXES.  In so doing, you have truly retreated to one of the last refuges of political scoundrels:  If only the taxpayers were more generous and the government had more and more money, everything would be so much better — and we wouldn’t have overcrowded schools, etc.  Apparently, taxpayers paying 30-40% of their income in federal, state, and local taxes and fees is not enough for you.  I’m sure it’s very frustrating to you that taxpayers are hesitant to give you more money so you can:  cover up your own policy mistakes of the last 5-6 years, keep giving indirect subsidies to residential developers, and in turn receive more and more campaign funding from developers to further your faltering statewide political ambitions.

It’s interesting that in recent years you have not publicly made mention, in fact have assiduously avoided any mention of the main reason for overcrowded public schools (and roads, for that matter):  consistently tax-negative residential development, caused by you and your predecessors’ pro-residential developer policies that simultaneously overcrowd and underfund both schools and roads and neglect tax-positive commercial development.  (For more info, see: and .)  

Note that early next year Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth (PWCBG) plans to release updated 2015 budget figures on tax-negative residential development.  While a few numbers will change, we expect that the basic story will remain more or less unchanged:  The breakeven value of new houses (where taxes received from the house equal the cost of government services incurred by the house) has been about $450,000, while the average new house sells for about $330,000.  That leaves a tax gap of $120,000 multiplied by the current tax rate of 1.25%, meaning that on average each new house built has been $1,400-$1,500 tax negative per year.  While tax rates change and it looks like the average house is selling for a bit more now (though that trend could reverse if the percentage of townhouses in new housing rises), the breakeven value has also risen.  So we expect that the tax gap will remain similar, likely resulting in at least a $1,200 tax deficit per house per year. 

Highly overvalued developer proffers of empty and often worthless land do not help much in reversing the tax-negative trend.  (See Word attachment above.)

In other words, OVERALL, RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT IN PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY IS OVERWHELMINGLY TAX-NEGATIVE, AND THAT REALITY DOES GREAT HARM TO TAXPAYERS, SCHOOLS, ROADS, QUALITY OF LIFE, AND THE VALUE OF EXISTING HOMES.  Let me remind you that this is the very point that PWCBG has been making to you and the rest of the Board of County Supervisors for almost nine years now.   Surely you could not have failed to hear us all those countless times during that period when we’ve spoken to you directly in person at BOCS meetings or, along with hundreds of citizens, sent e-mails to you reminding you over and over again of all this.  Or perhaps, more to the point, YOUR DESPERATE PLEA BELOW FOR HIGHER TAXES CONCEDES PWCBG’S POINT, IN A BACKHANDED, PERVERSE WAY.

Compounding folly on top of folly, county officials such as you continue to advocate more and more of this tax-negative, taxpayer-subsidized housing — even though there are still ~30,000 approved-but-not-yet-built houses and no housing shortages in the county.

Nor have you or the School Board mentioned the $37-38 million dollars diverted to the school board’s Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center and other frills that were funded even before the basic needs of schools were met.

Your political “principles” change so quickly and so radically that you’re giving me political whiplash.  Let’s hope that your next change is either in the right political direction once and for all or to the political exits.

Ralph Stephenson
Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth

John Gray Calls Out Corey Stewart’s “Survey His Office Conducted For Political Purposes”

John Gray, a past candidate for Prince Willaim County Occoquan Dist. Supervisor and County Chairman, has taken note of some interesting language used by PWC Chairman Corey Stewart in a recent article and is now filing a FOIA request for additional details…

Ms. Horan: In an article published in yesterday’s (Thursday December 11, 2014) edition of Inside Nova titled “Prince William leader floats idea of eliminating real-estate tax cap”, in the third paragraph of the article, Chairman Corey Stewart is reported to have told the reporter Jill Palermo “….as well as a separate survey his office conducted for political purposes….”

Under the authority of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700) I am requesting the following:

1. A complete, unabridged and un-redacted copy of that “separate survey his office conducted for political purposes” to which the Chairman refers in the article.

2. Copies, if available, of any time records indicating time spent by Office of the Chairman County employee staff in conducting that “separate survey his office conducted for political purposes”.

3. Copies, if available, of any reimbursement requested by the Chairman in his capacity as Chairman, on behalf of The Chairman’s campaign or by the Chairman himself individually and personally from the County for this “separate survey his office conducted for political purposes”.

4. Copies of any invoices submitted by and paid, accrued or encumbered to any commercial, non-profit or political organization to the County for the services rendered by any organization (commercial, non-profit or political) in conducting this survey.

5. Quotation as to competent legal authority that allows the Chairman’s office to conduct and expend county taxpayer funds for the “separate survey his office conducted for political purposes” AND competent legal authority for the Chairman’s office for directing his staff to conduct this separate survey for political purposes without the consent or knowledge of the entire PWC Board of County Supervisors.

Respectfully Submitted,

John S. Gray CPA PC

Corey Stewart Commits Political Hara-kiri; Where’s the Tylenol?

InsideNOVA is reporting the following:

Prince William leader floats idea of eliminating real-estate tax cap

Saying Prince William County residents are more concerned about overcrowded classrooms than their annual real-estate taxes, Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart proposed a change in local tax policy Tuesday that would focus more on raising needed revenue for schools and county services and less on capping tax hikes.

Why are our schools and roads overcrowded in Prince William County? First and foremost, the fault for this can be laid at the feet of those who have voted to rezone property from commercial to residential and increase the zoning density for residential properties while simultaneously keeping developer proffers artificially low. This has increased the demand for county services — schools, roads, fire/rescue, police, etc. — without bringing in an equal amount of tax revenues or adequate developer proffers needed to accomodate the demand. That is what we call tax negative housing — homes that consume more in county services than what they pay in real estate taxes. The construction boom of townhomes and apartments (which are actually considered “commercial” property by Prince William County even though people live there) has resulted in an ever increasing disparity in the tax base.

Stewart goes on to defend his proposal by saying,

“Regardless of your political stripes, people are more concerned about their quality of life at home than they are about keeping tax bills so low, I mean 30 percent lower than in Fairfax and Loudoun counties,” Stewart said. “There’s a price we are paying for that.”

The tax bills themselves are lower because home values in Prince William County are lower. People moved to PWC because they could stretch their dollars further than they could in Fairfax and Loudoun counties.  The percentage of tax that homeowners in the county pay on the actual values of their homes, though, is the HIGHEST in Northern Virginia and now Corey Stewart wants that percentage to go even higher. How does all that impact their quality of life at home? That translates to less money for groceries and clothes in the family budget let alone any other luxuries above that baseline.

There is little evidence that the county has cut back its spending on things that are not necessities, whether it be its little-used membership at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club or workplace toga parties where school employees use instruments to measure genitalia. Until the county gets it priorities straight, they should not come back hat in hand begging the taxpayers for even more money.

The Derecho blog had two excellent posts last week on this very issue as it relates to taxpayers. In one, it is shown that “if you apply the tax rate in place at the time, on average, PWC property owners are paying 2.2% more in 2014 actual taxes for properties that have lost 32.7% of assessed value.” That same post also states that “Real Property Tax Revenues as Share of Total FY 2015 General Fund Revenues, Prince William County, 65%, the highest among local jurisdictions, 5% higher than even Loudoun to which the BOCS often compares us.”

The second post by The Derecho demonstrates that “[Per Capita Personal Income] for PWC fell 2.31% for the period 2012-2013.”

So, home values in the county have yet to fully recover, personal income in the county is down, what we are paying in taxes in terms of real dollars is up, the tax rate is the highest in the region (again that means we are paying the highest percentage in taxes on the value of our homes) and the county has the highest reliance upon real property taxes of any jurisdiction in Northern Virginia. That is a recipe for economic disaster.

Prince William County’s fiscal house is a complete mess (its current bond rating aside which has only been maintained by smoke and mirrors) and the ticking time bombs planted by two decades of neglectful public policy are about to go off.

Mind you, Corey Stewart is a Republican and self-proclaimed conservative yet he is advocating eliminating this much needed taxpayer protection mechanism in the county intended to make county government behave more effectively and efficiently. That doesn’t sound very conservative or Republican to me.

It is time that citizens say no more. It is time that we say you are done here. It is time for Prince William County Republicans to say, “ABC — AnyGOPer but Corey.”


Hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I’d like Corey Stewart, our County Chairman, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on his 18th century estate and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, hopeless, heartless, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey excrement he is! Hallelujah! Holy moly! Where’s the Tylenol?


Why Boehner Really Won’t Cancel Obama’s State of the Union Invite

From FoxNews:

Boehner not nixing State of the Union, calls it chance for Obama to be more ‘unpopular’

December 04, 2014

Looks like the State of the Union is on after all.

House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday rebuffed conservatives who had been urging him not to invite President Obama to deliver the State of the Union address, in protest over his executive actions on immigration.

Boehner reasoned that giving Obama the floor would hurt, not help, the president’s cause.

“The more the president talks about his ideas, the more unpopular he becomes,” Boehner said. “Why would I want to deprive him of that opportunity?”

The president last month announced a set of executive actions, including moves to give temporary legal status to up to 5 million illegal immigrants.

Obama Opening Illegal Immigrant Processing Center in NOVA, Hiring 1,000 New Full-Time Permanent Employees

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has uncovered this U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) bulletin announcing a new facility right here in Northern Virginia to process President Obama’s executive amnesty order:

USCIS is taking steps to open a new operational center in Crystal City, a neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia, to accommodate about 1,000 full-time, permanent federal and contract employees in a variety of positions and grade levels. The initial workload will include cases filed as a result of the executive actions on immigration announced on Nov. 20, 2014.

More can be read here and here.

Warner’s Near Loss Already Spooking Tim Kaine

It would appear that Mark Warner’s political near-death last month has seriously spooked his senate seatmate Tim Kaine. After Warner and Kaine both voted against Harry Reid remaining as their Senate Democratic leader (joining only Joe Manchin and Claire McCaskill on that vote), Kaine has given off another signal that he knows Virginia isn’t a safe bet for Democrats running statewide. He is already raising money for his 2018 re-election campaign. Yes, you read that correctly — 2018…

Kaine 2018

Please join Senator Tim Kaine for a cocktail reception in support of Kaine for Virginia on Monday, December 8th, from 6:30-8:00 PM at Diageo House in Eastern Market.

Diageo House
310 Sixth Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003

Suggested Contribution:
Host: $5,200
Sponsor: $2,600
Friend: $1,000
Guest: $500

To RSVP or if you have any questions, please contact Mary Tabaie at (202) xxx-xxxx or Thank you for your support of Senator Kaine.



Police Pop PWC Planning Post Perv

InsideNOVA is reporting that Prince William County’s (apparently now former) assistant planning director Ray Utz was arrested Wed., Nov. 19 on charges of indecent exposure after police received not one, but TWO calls from women reporting that a man driving a vehicle registered to Utz was exposing himself to them at stoplights in Woodbridge and Lake Ridge. He was officially charged with “two counts of indecent exposure and two counts of obscene sexual display.”

Readers of Virginia Virtucon may recall that Virtucon has been writing about Utz’s alleged sexual harassment issues for 5 1/2 years, so the fact that he has been arrested on such charges is not the least bit surprising.


     EXCLUSIVE! – PWC Planning Office Sexual Harassment Scandal EXPOSED!    – 6/4/09

     GUEST POST: Latest Ray Utz Scandal    – 3/13/11

     Culture of Corruption Continues – PWC Fills High-Level Position Without A Competitive Search    – 7/8/14

(My, how prescient that first headline “PWC Planning Office Sexual Harassment Scandal EXPOSED!” was in light of these charges…)

We have detailed sexual harassment claims against Utz dating back to as early as 2006 via a memo written to then-Planning Commissioner Kim Hosen by women who attended an April 23, 2008 Planning Commission meeting who were appalled by Utz’s treatment of her during the meeting and alluded to conditions allegedly faced by female employees in his office over the course of the previous two years. In addition, we published a January 26, 2009 letter to the Prince William County’s Human Resources Dept. detailing “the indignity, humiliation, abuse and non-professional experience [women] have suffered working at the Planning Office under Ray Utz” and that goes on to allege various abuses and unethical behavior in detail as well as corroborating statements and information for the allegations contained in the memo to Hosen.

If these past allegations and the new charges prove to be true, then this would seem to indicate an escalation in this man’s behavior to the point this week where he had become so reckless that he was daring to be caught. He was arrested after he was alleged to have done this during the middle of the day at the intersection of Gideon Drive and Smoketown Road in Woodbridge and the Old Bridge Road at Mohican Drive intersection in Lake Ridge. That would seem to be the sign of a sick, sick individual if this is accurate.

Perhaps just as disturbing as his alleged behavior over the years is the fact that Prince William County was made aware of these problems in 2008 and again in 2009. Not only did they do nothing about it (other than sweep it under the rug and cover it up), but they chose to keep him on staff and then promote him to a plum position without engaging in a competitive search for the post despite both county board Chairman Corey Stewart and County Exec. Melissa Peacor claiming that all vacancies are publicly advertised and filled competitively. Utz was already one of the county’s highest paid employees earning in excess of $100,000 in his previous position before his promotion.

In light of the lengthy public record of allegations against Utz and now his arrest, Stewart and Peacor must be made to answer for their decisions regarding Utz and be held accountable for their actions as well.

Voters should not renominate nor return Stewart to the chairmanship in 2015 (nor should they elect Democrat Rick Smith – formerly known as the blogger “Mitch Cumstein” in the early days of Virginia Virtucon and on the old Too Conservative blog – as he is chairman of the taxpayer boondoggle known as the Hylton Perfoming Arts Center that is at the center of a whole other set of county scandals, but that is another story for another day.)

An interesting aside – according to the InsideNOVA article, Prince William County’s assistant planning director chose to live not in Prince William County, but in Fredericksburg despite being one of the county’s highest paid employees and being able to afford to live in PWC. Obviously he either knows something that the rest of us don’t or else he knows what a lot of us already do and that our county property taxes are too high and our county government wastes our tax dollars with reckless abandon. My guess is that it is a little of both.


Parisot vs. Johnson This Friday In Race To Replace Comstock (UPDATED x2)

This Saturday, Republicans in Virginia’s 34th House of Delegates district will choose their nominee in the race to replace Congresswoman-Elect Barbara Comstock:

The canvass (also known as a firehouse primary) will take place at Colvin Run Elementary School, 1400 Trap Road, Vienna, Virginia, 22182. Voting will be conducted from 10:00am to 2:00pm on November 15, 2014.

Craig Parisot and Al Johnson are working hard to get out the vote before Saturday’s primary to determine who will challenge Democrat Katherine Murphy (who lost to Comstock in 2013) in the January 6th Special Election.

Craig Parisot came out earlier this week with endorsements from Gov. George Allen and Rep. Tom Davis. Said former Senator and Governor Allen:

I’m proud to endorse Craig Parisot in the special election for the 34th House of Delegates district. As a family man, veteran and successful entrepreneur, Craig has the experience and background to help grow our economy and create jobs. Craig will be an energetic and strong voice for Virginia families in Richmond in the hardworking tradition of Barbara Comstock and I respectfully ask you to join me in supporting his campaign.

Al Johnson has the endorsement of his son in a column at National Review:

Putting familial bias aside, anyone in Virginia’s 34th district looking for a representative that upholds Barbara Comstock’s legacy should consider Johnson at this Saturday’s firehouse primary. Comstock and Al Johnson (I mean, dad) have résumés with many similarities: They both have private- and public-sector experience, have raised a family in the district and know the community well, and have been committed conservatives for years.

Johnson’s endorsement by Susan B. Anthony chair Jane Abraham backed up a National Review comment concerning the Johnson campaign polling on social issues. The other comments attacking Craig Parisot and George Allen show how contentious even short campaigns can be.

While the race will come down to turnout, Craig Parisot has an edge on social media with more Facebook likes and Twitter followers while Al Johnson’s Facebook page seems to get the most engagement in Guatemala. While not an exact measurement of enthusiasm or momentum behind races, it’s an odd tidbit with the election being tomorrow.

Check out both candidate’s websites for more information:

Craig ParisotFacebookTwitter

Al JohnsonFacebookTwitter

UPDATE: Fairfax Supervisor Pat Herrity has endorsed Craig Parisot for Delegate:

Now that we have Barbara Comstock elected to Congress, the focus shifts to making sure we have a great replacement for her Delegate seat. Tomorrow, Saturday, November 15th, there is an important firehouse primary election taking place at Colvin Run Elementary School between 10am and 2pm. You must live in the 34th House of Delegates district to participate in the firehouse primary,

I am fully supporting Craig Parisot in this primary. He is a leader in the community and a successful businessman who understands how to create jobs and grow Virginia’s economy.

If you or someone you know lives in the 34th House of Delegates District, which covers parts of McLean, Great Falls, and Loudoun County, please get (them) out to vote for Craig Parisot on Saturday, November 15th between 10am and 2pm at Colvin Run Elementary School at 1400 Trap Road in Vienna. You can check which district you are in at this link –

UPDATE x2: Word in the 34th is Al Johnson’s campaign and surrogates are allegedly contacting potential voters and saying that Craig Parisot is not pro-life and is weak on taxes. There is nothing to back up the statements critical of Craig Parisot — in fact, Parisot’s website is the only one to address abortion:

Having just welcomed my son Jackson into the world, I understand the importance of life. We must work to strengthen our families, support systems and give parents more rights.

Both candidates commit to lowering taxes on their issues pages.

In a short campaign span of a week and a half, misinformation goes a long way. One would hope that campaigns could commit to an honest exchange of idea and discourage smear tactics among fellow Republicans in any election, but there are plenty of elements at play here that go beyond Parisot and Johnson.

Virginia’s Winners and Losers

VV lists Virginia’s Winners and losers from Election Night. Did we miss someone? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below:


1) Dave Brat – Out performed Eric Cantor last time out (percentage wise) and had more votes than any other Republican congressional candidate in the Commonwealth thanks in part to district but also not messing up a sure thing once he had the nomination.

2) Barbara Comstock – Turned a “competitive race” into a blowout. Ran a flawless campaign (good work, Susan Falconer!), weathered the Clintonites coming to town, handled national attention, focused on the issues, stayed positive. Is she the new leading light among Virginia Republicans?

3) Tim Kaine – Mark Warner’s wounded, Terry McAuliffe is Terry McAuliffe, Herring and Northam are runner ups right now, leaving Tim Kaine as the champion of Democratic statewide office. As Warner struggles, Kaine gains.

4) Virginia’s Republican Delegation – Part of this is the national wave, but Democrats were hoping to challenge Rigell and even Hurt yet neither of those opposition campaigns were able to get off the ground. Hopefully the Republican Reps took the opportunity to work on their networks and ground games for future runs because this was live exercise and 2016 will be different.

5) Ed Gillespie – Mark Warner spent millions trying to define him on an issue that most people don’t even remember. Ed’s within a point and well positioned to have run for another statewide office should he want it, even if he would face a challenge from his right.

6) Republican Party of Virginia – It’s been a rough couple of years for RPV. But a solid operation this year helped assist where it could and was absolutely mistake free. Candidates were helped, volunteers were utilized, operations were perfect.


1) Mark Warner – For the most popular and highest approval rated elected official to be this close to losing what should have been a safe seat (and without a macaca moment) is something Warner and his entire campaign should be ashamed of. It smacks of arrogance and a complete disregard for the people Warner supposedly represents. But he still won, so he stays out of the loser category.

2) GOP Grassroots vs. Establishment – Both sides came together for the most part to try and beat Mark Warner and help Brat win the 7th and Comstock with 10th. While the battle isn’t over, see what we can do when we work together?

3) Terry McAuliffe – Barely won last year, did nothing too audacious this year to rock the cart one way or another, he’s just there.

4) Ken Cuccinelli – Absent in Virginia. And after a string of primary losses for Senate Conservative Fund, absent across the nation. But lives to fight another day.

5) Bill Bolling – Also absent on the trail, but rooted for the right guys. Overall electorate showing was less than far right which may give Bill hope for a return, but tread carefully…


1) John Foust – Turned a “competitive race” into a blowout. One of the worst run campaigns this cycle, wasted millions (including half a million of his own money), and set Democrats in the 10th District back quite a bit. And he lost his own Supervisor district by 6 points, meaning he has to watch his tail next year.

2) Democratic Party of Virginia – These guys were riding pretty high after last year’s sweep. But now? Yikes. Talk about asleep at the wheel. These guys were floundering out the gate, showed no messaging, no real effort, really gave up before the gates opened.

3) 7th District Democratic Committee – Is there one? Yes, this is a red district, but Bob McDonnell owned the headlines most of the summer, Dave Brat was an untested general election candidate, and the best they could do was Jack Trammell and not even a lackluster effort even then. Not that this was winnable, but they could have made Brat (and Gillespie) sweat. And they didn’t.

4) Bob McDonnell – Looking at the Gillespie/Warner numbers, one was to wonder how many points McDonnell’s trial took out of the Republican brand. Even if it was 1%, that’s the difference right now.

5) Arlington County Democrats – A jurisdiction that gave over 70% of its vote to Mark Warner chose a Republican endorsee for County Board of Supervisors. That’s an epic fail. When Ben Tribbett can call you a bunch of out-of-touch elitists, and be right about it, you have a serious problem.

6) “War On Women” – Foust tried it against Comstock, Connolly against Scholte, Democrats across the nation. It didn’t move the needle one bit – actually, it may have pushed it to Republicans.

7) Polls – From Cantor’s primary loss to Gillespie’s close race to Comstock’s blowout of Foust, no polling saw any of that coming. Turnout models were junk, methodology was questionable, and the public is quickly seeing polls as what they are: not true measures of public sentiment but as tools to create said sentiment.

Foust Rally With Warner CANCELLED

There was supposed to be a GOTV rally in Sterling tonight with John Foust, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. Yesterday, they cancelled it:


But none of the others across the state. When asked by the Washington Post why the cancellation:

A planned rally in Sterling for Foust and Warner was canceled, with both campaigns saying that they decided to focus on getting out the vote rather than pulling volunteers off the street the evening before the election.

“[W]e made the smart tactical decision to deploy our resources reaching-out to thousands of targeted voters to remind them to vote on Tuesday rather than building a rally on Monday night,” Warner spokesman David Turner said.

Warner and Foust made a tactical decision to schedule the rally late last week in the first place. So what’s changed?

Bearing Drift speculates:

Are Democrats fleeing from John Foust? Or was the unorganized and suddenly vulnerable Mark Warner relying on John Foust’s campaign to set up the event only to find out that Foust is in no position to save himself let alone Warner?

Either way, this is a terrible sign for both campaigns in the 10th Congressional District. Either they’re both so disorganized they can’t get this event together, or they’ve both given up.

Either way, for them to suddenly say it’s a “tactical decision” to cancel is a weak excuse.

Mark Warner’s Final Pitch: “Everything is AWESOME!!!”

Really? Keep Virginia and the U.S. going in the RIGHT DIRECTION?!?!?!?!?

It appears to me that a vast majority of the electorate would disagree with Mark Warner that the country is going in the right direction. In fact, here are the actual numbers — only 27.8% of the country thinks we’re on the right track compared to 66% that think we’re on the wrong track.

Mark Warner has run the most vapid reelection campaign in recent memory. He has begun to remind me of the “President Business” character in this year’s hit “LEGO Movie.” What’s next? Taco Tuesday? A guest appearance on the hit show “Honey, Where’s My Pants?” Maybe we should start calling him “Senator Business” if he’s going to adopt “Everything is AWESOME” as his campaign mantra. (He’s such a fool that he would probably think that was a complement.)

John Foust Again Lies In A Mailer

Last week it was the Fairfax County Democratic Committee trying to claim that John Foust was endorsed by the Washington Post when, oh no, he was wholly rejected by their editorial board.

Now, John Foust himself is sending out flyers that imply that he received the WaPo endorsement while they went on to criticize his opponent, Barbara Comstock:

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 11.40.36 AM

What more do we need to know? How about the rest of the quote about John Foust:

Mr. Foust has been a solid supervisor — he knows the county budget, and he played a constructive role in promoting Metro’s Silver Line extension — but shows no spark as a campaigner and no deviation from party talking points.


So what does the other side of the mailer contain? More of the party talking points that the Washington Post criticized John Foust for sticking to. But what’s best is his claimed “Top Accomplishment”: a balanced budget in Fairfax During last Sunday’s final debate between the two candidates, Foust said he opposed a Balanced Budget Amendment saying you shouldn’t need a law to balance the books, even though he conceeded that he balanced the budget because it was MANDATED BY LAW.

That’s like saying your top accomplishment is that you haven’t robbed anyone. I mean, sure, it’s illegal and all, but hooray for me for not doing it, right? Right?

The rest of the flyer highlights nothing on his side and attacks Barbara Comstock over the same issues that even the Washington Post, who he is proud to highlight the non-endorsement of, has said is not a big deal.

John Foust is losing. He knows it. But he’s continuing his nasty campaign of attack attack attack despite members of his own party begging him personally to stop:

“When I listen to candidates, I just hear complaints about the other side, and I’m left afterwards [wondering] what’s this guy going to do for me, and I would like to know that,” she said.

Foust said he hoped voters were familiar with his stances on issues by now.

“I’m happy to answer any questions you have on issues certainly, but over the next week, it’s not going to be a lot of positive issues,” Foust said. “We’re hoping that that message has sunk in…”

Another attendee suggested Foust include in his messages not just “what Barbara Comstock is against, but…tell what you’re for in maybe the same message.”

Please, John, for the sake of everyone in the 10th District, stop it already.

Election Day can’t come fast enough, even for the Democrats sick of John Foust’s message.

Press already wondering why John Foust lost

It’s never good when then media is already running campaign postmortems before Election Day. But for John Foust, that’s what he’s facing from even previously friendly media outlets.

The Sun Gazette, who has endorsed Barbara Comstock for Congress but had endorsed John Foust for Supervisor in the past, is left wondering “where did it all go wrong for Foust?”:

One presumes that fees paid to campaign consultants are non-refundable, but John Foust – good lawyer that he is – probably could make the case that he has been ill-served by those giving him advice in his campaign for Congress…

What momentum Foust may have had early in the race came to a screeching halt with his now infamous comment that Comstock had never held a “real job.” Again, likely acting on the advice of paid consultants, he declined on numerous occasions to say he’d misspoken and apologize. The Comstock campaign capitalized brilliantly; the race seemed to be over from that point forward.

Another Foust theme, that Comstock is just too right-wing for the district, apparently didn’t sway newspaper editorial boards across the region, which went heavily for Comstock. In perhaps the most painful twist for the Foust team, The Washington Post’s editorial page – which would have been expected to stick the knife in Comstock and turn, turn, turn – stayed neutral. In the game of politics, that was a win for Comstock.


But not as bad as WUSA calling Foust’s “real jobs” comment his “macacca moment”:

An off the cuff remark John Foust made about his opponent Barbara Comstock is over-shadowing his campaign and may cost him women’s votes.

“Of course it was ridiculous and I think he’s sorry he said it,” said Marge Chipouras of McLean.

The remark is being used against him in ad after ad. Foust has apologized and said it’s not what he meant, but a George Mason political scientist says he needs to do more.

Foust has done plenty more. Including a downright vicious and despicable email this week where he enlists help from his wife, Dr. Marilyn Jerome (of “let them eat cake” fame by refusing to treat patients covered by Medicaid while also demanding its expansion), to attack Barbara Comstock in an email entitled “My blood is boiling after yesterday’s debate” (is blood boiling covered by Medicaid?) where she says:

She is a danger to our children and families.

“Daisy” anybody?

Not exactly a confident campaign going into the closing days of the campaign.

Desperate Dems Lie To Boost Foust

It’s been happening for a while. The lies from Democrats to make it appear like John Foust isn’t losing the race for Congress in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District. His supporters have taken to social media to spread false information about Barbara Comstock, the attacks have gotten more negate, more desperate, and further from the truth. John Foust is seeking to destroy everything in his wake in a last ditch scorched earth campaign to destroy Comstock politically, personally, and permanently.

Brilliant, Terrence

It’s gotten so bad that Democratic Committees in the District are mailing out sample ballots that LIE about Foust’s endorsements and even the state of the House of Representatives!


That Washington Post endorsement never happened for ol’ John Foust, saying he “shows no spark as a campaigner and no deviation from party talking points.” OUCH!

Comstock’s refusal to support more unfair tax increases for Northern Virginia makes her untenable for the editorial board at the Washington Post. But the Post editorial board can’t bring themselves to endorse democrat John Foust either,


Then there’s this doozy.


“Electing John Foust could tip the balance in the House of Representatives.” Really? In what Bizzaro World? Democrats are down by 33 seats in the House and a Washington Post poll shows all of the momentum behind Republicans. In fact, Republicans are set to GAIN seats and the Democrats know it, having pulled resources from John Foust to bail out a Democrat incumbent in CALIFORNIA. Sheesh.

All of this fun has been brought to you by the Fairfax County Democratic Committee:


Complete with a union bullet on the bottom.

The election is next Tuesday. Barbara Comstock is poised to win with a comfortable margin.

So, Why Did Mark Warner REALLY Not Run For President In 2008?

Mark Warner made 67 trips to 28 states in preparation to run for president in 2008. He had field offices open in both New Hampshire and Iowa. Barack Obama was on nobody’s radar screens for 2008 at that point. Mark Warner had the entire field to himself as the legitimate alternative to Hillary Clinton. Then he suddenly pulled the plug without warning, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family. Not long after that, Sen. John Warner announced his retirement and Mark Warner, apparently having had enough of his family already, jumped in that race.

So, why did Mark Warner REALLY not run for president in 2008?

That is the subject of this video (which contains Not Safe For Work language from the movie “Primary Colors.”)

This video contains a clue as to the real reason why Warner did not run for president if you are familiar with the book / film adaptation. Feel free to speculate as to what that reason was, but if you are already among those in the know, please refrain from dropping that turd in the punchbowl.

As Comstock racks up endorsements, Foust’s death spiral continues

Terrence Bouldon has a GREAT timeline up at Bearing Drift showing the collapse of the John Foust campaign through October:

Things aren’t looking good for John Foust. The wheels are coming off. While Comstock continues to rack up endorsements across the district, her campaign is outworking his on the ground. She’s winning on the issues just as much as she’s winning in fundraising. And while Foust is cancelling ad buys, the Comstock campaign is still expanding.

With 12 days to go, there’s momentum in the Barbara Comstock camp, and nomentum with John Foust.

Read the whole thing, it’s absolutely worth it. But what stands out the most are the endorsements Barbara Comstock has been racking up this week, all while the Foust campaign is scraping for money and support and canceling ad buys left and right:

October 21stThe Sun Gazette, which endorsed Foust for Supervisor in 2011, endorses Comstock for Congress:

“Throughout the hard-fought campaign this summer and fall, only one of the candidates has shown the potential of living up to Wolf’s legacy and of having what it takes to survive in the rough-and-tumble world that is national politics today. Only one candidate seems comfortable on the stump and in the debate hall. That candidate is Barbara Comstock. Comstock has worked on Capitol Hill – both as a senior aide to Wolf and as a chief investigative counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives. Although that kind of experience isn’t a prerequisite for a member of Congress, she knows what it takes to succeed in Washington. Comstock is familiar with the sprawling 10th District, which stretches from McLean to the West Virginia border and south through Manassas and parts of Prince William County.”

October 21stThe Washington Times endorses Comstock for Congress:

“In the legislature, Mrs. Comstock stood up to the unions by drafting the law that now shields employees from being harassed by labor organizers who improperly obtain worker phone numbers and email addresses from employers. She proposed a bill that would have tied the state’s mass-transit funding to objective performance measures, requiring the bureaucracy to work to get the public’s money. It’s a novel concept, one that ought to spread to Capitol Hill.”

October 22ndThe Winchester Star endorses Comstock for Congress:

“She also knows her way around politics. Her Democratic opponent, earlier this campaign season, said of Mrs. Comstock, ‘I don’t think she’s even had a real job.’ We beg to differ; so does her resume. Among her myriad positions and career achievements: law partner, co-founder of an eponymous public-policy firm, campaign researcher, Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, investigative counsel and then senior counsel to the House Committee on Government Reform, two-term delegate in the Virginia House, senior aide to Mr. Wolf… and wife and mother of three children.”

October 22ndThe Loudoun Times endorses Comstock for Congress:

“In her interview with the Times-Mirror editorial board, Comstock moved beyond touting herself as the polished, political operative. Rather, she cited assets and resources in Northern Virginia as solutions that Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservative alike could embrace in non-partisan decisions. Comstock suggested that she could facilitate agreements around these assets from the state’s technology and business communities, as well as its universities…

“This is why she deserves the nod over John Foust, her opponent from the Democratic Party who currently serves as a Fairfax County supervisor. Foust is a dedicated public servant, but lacks the legislative experience and familiarity with national issues to address the nation’s many problems.”

New Poll Shows Comstock Is Geared Up To Crush Foust

A new poll puts GOP nominee Barbara Comstock up +16% over Democrat John “Hey, ladies, you’ve never had a real job” Foust in the contest to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf in Virginia’s 10th congressional district.

The truly amazing thing about this poll is that the sample gave Democrats a 2% edge in turnout and consisted of an electorate that voted for Obama by 3% despite the district being carried by Romney. What does that tell us? That Comstock’s numbers are likely higher than even that 16% advantage tells us.

Based on the Comstock-Foust poll, at this point I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if two other Republican campaigns — those of Gillespie and Scholte — overperform in Northern Virginia and sneak up to claim upset wins. As we have pointed out here before, in 2006 Jim Webb did not claim a lead in any post-Labor Day poll over George Allen until a poll that was completed on Oct. 23. The number of polls conducted in this year’s senate race (18 since Nov. 2013) has been paltry in comparison to ’06 (41 between Dec. 2005 and Election Day 2006) and in fact no polls have been released in the past two weeks since news of the #BRIBESTORM FBI investigation of Mark Warner broke.

Wendy Davis continues to troll Texas politics

This is absurd:

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 1.38.49 PM

And on multiple levels.

One, this isn’t the 1940s or 1960s anymore. As much as Wendy Davis and Democrats want to scream about Republicans turning back the clock (and, really, if we’re talking social issues, how bad was American society in the 2000s because a lot of what they’re saying they deserve wasn’t an issue only 6 years ago…) they keep going into the wayback machine to try and find ways to attack Republicans that are just absolutely insulting to the intelligence of anyone with awareness above that of a rock.

But this hit is especially insane given that it’s made against white guy Greg Abbott, who’s wife could become the first LATINA first lady of Texas:

While Gov. Rick Perry is bowing out of Texas politics after an unprecedented three four-year terms in office, history could also be made if the Governor’s Mansion stays home to a Republican. If Attorney General Greg Abbott wins his campaign to succeed Perry — and he is favored to do so — his wife would become the first Latina to be the first lady of Texas.

Cecilia Phalen Abbott, 54, has been a regular at her husband’s side as he travels across the state for his campaign. He often talks about how Abbott, the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants, has helped him embrace the culture of a growing number of Texans…


UPDATE: Oh, it gets better! There’s a graphic!

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 1.48.32 PM

Wendy has to be careful here. The way this looks, it appears as if she’s offending that Abbott WON’T defend such an offensive law.

Foust abandoned by Clinton-ites who can’t put their money where their mouth is

Oh, this is fun.

Not only did John Foust lie to the media about his fundraising numbers AGAIN (which we called out as odd when first announced), and DCCC abandon Foust to his own devices, now it looks like his Foust’s biggest supporters can’t lend any dollars to back up their words.

Clinton-ites have spent most of this election cycle attacking Barbara Comstock for her years of work on behalf of constituents and Congress in investigating their pile of scandals in the 90s. In July it reached a head with a hit piece in Politico (have they ever written anything positive of Comstock or critical of John Foust?) where Paul Begala came out swinging with the “little bit nutty, little bit slutty” attack that we’re all sick and tired of. At the time, Bearing Drift took the attack to task:

Leaving to one side the horrifically sexist nature of that attack (no worries, Peter Roff slammed Begala for it in US News and World Report), Begala’s purpose was more than just garnering headlines. He is hoping that the average reader and voter remembers his line, and thus ties Comstock to the Lewinsky investigation – which Democrats are convinced was a political loser for the GOP and anyone involved with it.

Here’s the problem: Comstock didn’t investigate the Lewinsky fiasco. The investigations of which she was a part dealt with DNC fundraising (think Lincoln Bedroom, campaign money raised from foreigners including the Chinese Communist Party, Al Gore and the Buddhist temple, etc.). While the Democrats want you to link Comstock with the sex investigations, she actually focused on the money issues – issues which did not severly wound Clinton, but likely had a role in keeping the Republicans in control of Congress in 1996 (and Gore out of the White House in 2000).

In other words, voters weren’t so blase about the scandals Comstock actually investigated.

Too right.

So about Paul Begala. He’s not only used Politico as a platform, he’s lent his name to numerous fundraising emails for John Foust, each one including more attacks on Barbara and trying to make it sound like Foust is the next best thing for Virginia’s 10th District:


Foust the progressive, the most extreme candidate in Virginia’s 10th, supposedly has Paul Begala’s support.

But does he really?

Go to the FEC website and search for Paul Begala’s contributions to Federal Campaigns. Look to see if he’s contributed to John Foust. Don’t worry, we’ll wait.

SPOILER ALERT: He hasn’t given a dime of his own money to John Foust. Not one red cent. Heck, he gave $500 to Comstock’s opponent in 2009, but can’t bring himself to give Foust any money? OUCH!

Nothing from a Clinton. Nothing from Nanci Pelosi or Madeline Albright, both of whom highlighted fundraisers for John Foust that the press either didn’t cover or weren’t invited to.

So in a campaign where Foust has accused Comstock of being the divisive partisan warrior who’s all talk, it’s his national supporters aiming to score political points in twenty year old battles showing which candidate is truly the all hat, no cattle person in the race.

COMING SOON: Mark Warner and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Two and a Half Weeks of His Political Life

For those Democrats rejoicing that Ed Gillespie has taken his TV ads off the air, enjoy the next 36 hours because after that…

Mark Warner is about to have the worst two and a half weeks of his political life starting on Saturday when Gillespie goes back up on the air with ads targeting Warner’s involvement in #BRIBESTORM where he suggested a quid pro quo of a federal judicial appointment for the daughter of a sitting Virginia state senator in exchange for that senator not resigning and handing the majority to Virginia Republicans. Don’t forget, Bob McDonnell was just convicted on a number of charges where there was not nearly as clear of a quid pro quo as there is in this case.

Warner is refusing to state that he is not a target in the FBI’s investigation of this matter, his internal poll numbers were in free fall even before these revelations came to light, and Larry Sabato is now including this as a “Crystal Ball” factor that could lead to an upset in this race.

Let’s revisit the 2006 polls since 2014 is shaping up to be a mirror image of that year in a lot of ways. In particular, let’s look at the polls from the George Allen vs. Jim Webb race. Jim Webb led in only TWO POLLS all year (and those were in mid-August / early Sept. during the midst of “macaca”) until a poll conducted Oct. 20-23, 2006, whereas George Allen held the lead in 25 other polls and the two were tied in just one. After Oct. 20, Allen only led in four polls while Webb led in eight (and again the two were tied in one.)  Eight years ago today, George Allen led Jim Webb 50-47 in a Zogby Interactive poll.

Get ready for what is about to rain down, Virginia…

Mark Warner Refuses To State He Is NOT A Criminal Target Of The FBI In #BRIBESTORM

The quid pro quo offer from U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) of a federal judicial appointment for the daughter of former state Sen. Phil Puckett (D) in exchange for him not resigning and handing control of the Virginia Senate to the GOP continues to boil.

Via The Washington Post:

Warner refuses to explain the extent of FBI investigation

Has he been subpoenaed to provide documents, phone records for example? His campaign won’t say. Was he represented by counsel during the FBI questioning? Did he provide information orally or in writing under oath? No answer. Quite simply, the voters have no idea whether their senator is in any real legal jeopardy.

But it isn’t just the Washington Post that is pursuing this story. UVA professor Larry Sabato is now factoring it into his latest election calculations.

In Virginia, Sen. Mark Warner (D) has been hit with a nasty story involving the possible promise of a judicial post for a relative of a state senator to keep the official from resigning, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see this contest decided by single digits. Virginia, after all, is a highly competitive state.

John Foust Doubles Down On “Real Jobs”, Continues Nosedive Into Obscurity

John Foust doesn’t know when he’s hit bottom. He seems to think that he can always go lower. Take last night for instance: given an opportunity to back away from his sexist attack about Barbara Comstock never having a “real job”, Foust instead doubles down, dismissing Comstock’s resume and record as something that “won’t contribute” to anything in Washington.

Nevermind Comstock’s record of legislative success in Richmond. Or her bi-partisan work to stop sex trafficking and increase tech investments in Northern Virginia.

Nope, Comstock won’t contribute. Because John Foust thinks working for the DoJ (which his wife does on the side, by the way) isn’t a “real job.” Or political work (which his entire campaign staff does, by the way) isn’t a “real job.” Or being a mother (which John Foust isn’t, by the way) isn’t a “real job.” Or anything that Barbara Comstock has done it’s a “real job.”

Yet he’s the guy who will tell you he’ll be able to work across the aisle in Washington. He’s sure shown his bi-partisan stripes in this campaign with disgusting partisan attacks that do nothing to elevate the level of debate on the issues that matter most. Nope, he’s going to run a scorched earth campaign on divisive social issues and attacking women for not having “real jobs” if they aren’t the jobs he thinks are truly “real”.

November 4th can’t come fast enough.