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  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f8XDSKrNzs).  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: http://pwcbg.org/SupervisorPositions.html#FastTracking)

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:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f8XDSKrNzs).  At last count you’d received $759,841 from them.  (See: http://vpap.org).

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:  http://pwcbg.org/SupervisorPositions.html#Proffers and http://pwcbg.org/MediaReportsOnBalancedGrowth.html#Reports .)  

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.”

clark-griswold[1]

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?

 

Corey Stewart Versus………????

Chairman Stewart has all but announced his intentions to run for reelection, holding his annual Fall fundraiser last month. Chairman Stewart who is a powerhouse at fundraising has the advantage of name recognition, and the power of incumbency.

However Corey has caught some slack lately, and has been painted as a tax raiser. In fact, in one Board meeting fellow Supervisor Democrat Frank Principi proclaimed:

Corey you’re looking more and more like a democrat everyday

No doubt if there is a challenge mounted against Corey, he will be painted as going too far left, and abandoning his Conservative base.

Enter Supervisor Pete Candland, who according to sources met on Saturday morning with several well-known political players who approached him about running against PWC board Chairman Corey Stewart. They represented several conservative groups who were upset over Corey Stewarts running of the board, and more specifically his financial policies.

Furthermore they have committed to financially backing Supervisor Candland if he decides to challenge Chairman Stewart.

Supervisor Candland is said to be discussing this possible venture with several other local activists and most importantly analyzing the impact of a county wide campaign on his family.

Whoever the nominee on the GOP side will be, they will likely face liberal activist Rick Smith. Grab your Popcorn folks this is getting interesting.

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Nohe to Support Lawson for Brentsville Supervisor; Will Stewart Follow?

In case there was any doubt about Coles Dist. Supervisor Marty Nohe’s allegiance to the Republican Party, let’s put that to rest right now. I had the opportunity yesterday to ask Marty about the situation that has developed in the Brentsville race with Scott Jacobs bolting the party to mount an independent campaign leaving Jeanine Lawson as the sole qualified Republican candidate for the nomination. Here is how it played out:

RILEY: Now that Jeanine is the only GOP candidate in the Brentsville race and will officially become the nominee tomorrow night, are you going to issue an endorsement, statement, etc.?

NOHE: Thanks for asking. First of all, let me say that I am not so vain as to think that there is anyone in the Brentsville District who is waiting to decide how to vote in December based on my recommendation. But as a member of the PWC Republican Committee, and a Republican elected official, I always support the Republican nominee.

There you have it. Nohe always supports the Republican nominee and tonight Jeanine Lawson will claim that title at the Brentsville mass meeting. That’s good enough for me.

Now let’s see how long it takes PWC Chairman Corey Stewart to clarify his stance on this race. You can bet that even if he does publicly commit to supporting Lawson as the party’s nominee that people will still keep a very close eye on him to make certain that he is not offering any behind the scenes support or assistance to Jacobs. Given how his 2013 Lt. Gov. campaign played out, such vigilence should not be surprising.

Scott Jacobs Launches Independent Candidacy — Is He a Tool or a Fool?

How’s this for being such a loyal Republican? You screw up the easiest thing a candidate has to do — stick a check and a letter in an envelope, place a stamp on it and drop it off at the local post office to be postmarked by a specified date — and then you start to whine and claim victimhood status when you don’t own up to your mistake and take responsibility for the action (or lack thereof) of your own campaign. You then bolt the party to launch an independent candidacy because your campaign was so inept as to prove itself incapable of mailing a simple letter.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 30, 2014

JACOBS LAUNCHES INDEPENDENT CAMPAIGN FOR SUPERVISOR

Jacobs: “Every voter deserves a choice in a fair, open election.”

Nokesville, VA — In a closed-door meeting last weekend, three party insiders on the nominating committee voted to stop Scott Jacobs, a candidate for Brentsville District Supervisor and Nokesville native, from participating in the party’s nomination process. This move by party insiders cleared the pathway for their friend and activist, Jeanine Lawson, to become the Republican nominee despite the widespread support for Scott Jacobs in the Brentsville District.

As a result of the decision, Jacobs, who is being endorsed by over 100 local small businesses and the Prince William Association of Realtors, has announced that he will continue his campaign as an Independent candidate.

In a statement, Scott Jacobs wrote:

“What they’ve told Republican voters is, ‘You don’t deserve to pick your candidates – we do.”

“I believe every voter deserves a choice in a fair, open election. I believe in democracy and my commitment to serve the citizens of Brentsville has never been stronger. That is why I’m going to give voters the choice that they deserve and that they are being denied.”

“This election isn’t about party allegiances; it is about which candidate can best facilitate the changes necessary to bring high-paying, professional jobs to the district as well as a higher quality of life for all. That is why over 100 local businesses have announced their support for my campaign, and why more are doing so every day, they know that I can get the job done.”

“During this past year, I have enjoyed the opportunity to meet with many people who believe we can build a stronger local economy, stronger schools, and stronger families right here in the Brentsville District. These citizens deserve a leader who will put it all on the line. Now voters will have a chance to cast their votes at the ballot box, fair and square. I look forward to finishing the race I started as I look forward to the future, encouraged by citizens who want to build a welcoming district full of economic opportunity and a prospering community for all.”

“That’s why I’m proud to keep fighting for a stronger Brentsville and will continue my campaign for Brentsville District Supervisor as an Independent candidate this December.”

###

Background: As a result of the nominating committee’s decision, Scott Jacobs’ name will not appear on the ballot for his party’s nomination process, nor will he receive the Republican Party’s endorsement. At this time, without a Democrat candidate announced, Jacobs expects to face Jeanine Lawson, an activist and the party’s presumptive nominee, in a special election on December 23rd.

Scott Jacobs is a native of Nokesville, a small business owner, husband, and father of two.

What a load of crap and every one of Jacobs’ supporters needs to understand that it was their own candidate’s fault he did not qualify for the ballot. The requirements were as clear as day, posted on the local county GOP website, so easy even a caveman could do it as GEICO commercials used to say and they STILL couldn’t do it. IT WAS SCOTT JACOBS’ AND HIS OWN CAMPAIGN’S FAULT AND THEIR FAULT ALONE THAT THIS FIASCO HAPPENED. Now he wants people to believe that he fell victim to some party insider shenanigans. Give me a break.

I had thought better of Scott until this email arrived. He struck me as someone who, had he handled this right, could have built up good will within the GOP for a future run for office. (Heck, the next primary for this seat will be held in June 2015, only six months after the special election.) Instead, he listened to his tone deaf consultants who have given him nothing but bad advice throughout this campaign so they can continue to line their own pockets as well as to the residential developer community who are backing him to the hilt so they can continue with their rampant exploitation of the county to maximize their profit margins at the expense of taxpayers by building more tax-negative housing.

It is now time to lay the cards out on the table for the other members of the Board of Supervisors. Where do Chairman Corey Stewart and Supervisor Marty Nohe stand on this race? They are both Republicans. Do they support Jeanine Lawson, the Republican nominee, or do they support Scott Jacobs who is running as an independent candidate against the Republican nominee? What about other Republican office holders at the state level who endorsed him or were helping him behind the scenes? Will they abandon the Jacobs ship now that he has abandoned the party? Jacobs has certainly placed all of them in an incredibly awkward position.

So, which is it? Is Jacobs a fool for listening to his consultants or is he simply a tool of residential developers?

UPDATE:

School Board Chairman Milt Johns is the first elected official out of the gate with a statement:

Scott Jacobs has just posted on Facebook that he will not be the Republican Candidate for the Brentsville Supervisor Special Election in December, but that he will run as an Independent candidate. Republican Committee members, and especially Republican elected officials, need to come together now to support the only remaining candidate for nomination on Wednesday night, Jeanine Lawson, and then as she prepares for the December special election. We know that there will be an Independent candidate, and there could still be a Democratic opponent.

Virtucon’s own Terrence Boulden, who is also the county YR chairman has announced that he has resigned from Bull Run Stategies in order to keep in line with the party plan and remain as YR Chairman, stating that he had absolutely no part in this fiasco and like a good Republican, he follows the rules.

Austin Haynes, another prominent county GOP activist, called Lawson as soon as he read Jacobs’ release and endorsed Jeanine. Austin previously had stayed out of taking sides in this contest because he likes them both. He even spoke to Jacobs and tried to talk him out of running as an independent.

PWC Chairman Bill Card has sent out the following message:

“We’re not upset that Mr. Jacobs has chosen to run as an Independent. However, I’m greatly disappointed that Scott has decided to criticize the Republican Party and our nomination process. From the beginning, our process was fair and open. In fact, Scott and his campaign were a part of deciding the process from the very start. Mr. Jacobs actually agreed with a Mass Meeting and the filing details at the June 23 meeting that the Committee decided this nomination process.

“His victim attitude and refusal to accept responsibility is unbecoming of a Supervisor. I hope Mr. Jacobs retracts his comments about our Party and process. In Prince William County, we value responsibility no matter what our Party affiliation is.”

And presumptive GOP nominee Jeanine Lawson has issued a statement:

September 30, 2014
For Immediate release

Jeanine Lawson statement to supporters

The Brentsville Special Election Republican Mass Meeting Nominations Committee will report at the Wednesday Mass Meeting that Jeanine Lawson is the sole qualified candidate

Dear Brentsville District Supporters,

I regret that I need to inform you of a very important action which will affect the Republican Nomination Meeting scheduled for October 1st. The other person who was running for the Republican Nomination did not meet the simple filing requirements, placing a check and form in the mail by the required deadline. Because he did not qualify as a Republican nominee, he has now announced he will run as an Independent.

I am confident we have the overwhelming support and would have won if this former Republican could have succeeded in filing properly. The Prince William County Republicans will still hold the meeting tomorrow night.

It is very important for all my supporters to attend, we do not know if the other side will try to disrupt this legitimate meeting.

I am very honored to have your support and I cannot wait to see you tomorrow night!

OCTOBER 1st
PATRIOT HIGH SCHOOL, 10504 Kettle Run Road, Nokesville
7:00 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. Check-in to vote-you have to be in line by 8:15 in order to receive a ballot
Please read the Call for more information on the October 1st meeting: http://pwcgop.org/wordpress/3083/brentsvillespecial/

Did Corey Stewart Pay A Bribe To Secure An Endorsement?

Uh, oh. The reverberations of Corey Stewart’s failed 2013 Lt. Governor campaign continue. An investigative blog known as the Louisville Courant takes note that the alleged “bagman” in an endorsement for sale scheme involving the 2012 Iowa GOP caucus also received a $10,000 payment from Stewart’s campaign just two days before he received an important endorsement that raised many eyebrows after it was issued. Now the question is being asked whether Corey Stewart paid a bribe to secure that endorsement – something that for everyone’s sakes I hope is not true.

Corey Stewart Feeding Democrats’ Caricature of Republicans

Prince William Co. Board Chairman Corey Stewart steps in it . . . again. Really? Sharing this on Facebook? How stupid is that?

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Go ahead and insult half the electorate in one fell swoop and then add insult to injury by demeaning the problem of mental illness.

As Democrats make the false claim that Republicans are “waging a war on women” (never mind the despicable treatment of women by such Democrat luminaries as Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy), it is dumb things like this that Corey Stewart did that continue to feed the caricature of Republicans they are trying to paint.

Corey Stewart and his ilk just need to go away.

Corey Stewart’s Next Big Lie On YFT & UACs

Can you still call it someone’s next big lie if you expose it before it is uttered and you wind up pre-empting it?

Whatever.

Here’s what Prince William Co. Board Chairman Corey Stewart’s next big lie will be regarding the housing of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) at Youth for Tomorrow facilities in the county – the Commonwealth of Virginia made PWC give money to YFT.

Let’s rewind things 3 1/2 years to then state Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli’s opinion banning state grants to charities as unconstitutional. Following this Virginia could no longer provide direct grants to any charities not controlled by the state. The system that was put in place in order to meet constitutional scrutiny allows localities to award grants to charitable organizations on a competitive basis.

So, there you have it. Any attempts by Chairman Stewart to claim that Virginia forced or directed the county to give grant money to YFT is pure bunk. In fact, grant money provided by the state to the county was sat on by the county for quite a lengthy period of time before the county made the decision to award it to YFT.

Again, we have no quarrel with YFT itself or its Christian mission. The last thing that we want to see is this organization harmed by someone so willing to throw them under the bus in order to preserve the tattered remains of his political career.

What did Corey Stewart know about UACs and when did he know it?

Black Velvet Bruce Li has done quite the expose on Youth for Tomorrow’s program of housing illegal immigrant children for the federal government. Greg Letiecq lays out dates, specific federal grant awards and the amounts of those awards tracing the roots of this program back at least as far as June 2012. It appears that things really began to ramp up in January 2014:

On January 23, 2014 personnel from YFT and the Virginia Department of Social Services toured five off-campus properties to determine whether they would be suitable for expanding their program.

Why is this date important? Because later that same week the U.S. Department of Homeland Security put out a bid for “Escort Services for Unaccompanied Alien Children.”

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January 2014 is also important because multiple sources have stated that Prince William County Board Chairman Corey Stewart was informed directly by individuals working at Youth for Tomorrow during that month about this program to bring illegal alien children to the county. Stewart then attempted to weasel out of this by stating, “Without providing the County any notice, the Federal Government is now placing illegal immigrant children at private and perhaps federal facilities in our county” and then saying that he was informed by Youth for Tomorrow “more than a week ago.”

Take note Stewart just says that the Federal Government never provided the County with notice. There is enough room to fly a planeload of Unaccompanied Alien Children through that statement. That leaves open that he could have been informed by YFT at an earlier date, which in fact he does admit to in his “more than a week ago” statement. Technically, January would have been “more than a week ago.”

So, it is with heavy hearts that we must ask the questions asked in every scandal since Watergate – what did he know and when did he know it?

A Freedom of Information Act request must be filed asking for Prince William County to produce all e-mails between Stewart, County Exec. Melissa Peacor, School Superintendent Steven Walts, and Youth for Tomorrow’s officers, directors, trustees and other personnel from January 1, 2014 through July 14, 2014. We should get some very interesting reading out of that…

Stewart Skips Out On Closed Board Session To Go On Drive-Time Radio

Prince William Co. Board Chairman Corey Stewart apparently thinks that going on evening drive-time radio to promote himself is more important than presiding over a closed session of the Board of Supervisors he leads. Stewart appeared this afternoon on WMAL’s “Drive at Five” just after the 5:30 p.m. news to discuss the issue of Unaccompanied Alien Children being housed in the county. The problem is, the BoS was still in closed session until just before 6 p.m. (their second closed session of the day.) I have confirmed that Stewart in fact left the meeting early in order to go on the radio.

Perhaps he should aim to be a radio show host instead of County Chairman – he might actually be better at that than he is at his current gig.

Corey Stewart Expresses Shock That There’s Unaccompanied Alien Children In PWC

Prince William Co. Chairman Corey Stewart has expressed his utter shock and dismay that there’s Unaccompanied Alien Children being housed in his county:

The crisis at the border has again reached Prince William County. Without providing the County any notice, the Federal Government is now placing illegal immigrant children at private and perhaps federal facilities in our county. Although no County facilities are being used to house the children, I will ask the Board tomorrow to direct the County Executive to attempt to find out more about the location(s) where these children are being held and whether there is anything that the Board can do to stop it. While it may seem cold hearted, it is important that these children be sent back home since letting them stay simply entices even more children to attempt the long and dangerous journey to the United States.


I’m shocked – shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.

Your winnings, sir…

Oh, thank you very much.


I’m shocked – shocked to find that Unaccompanied Alien Children are being housed here.

Your campaign contributions, sir.

Oh, thank you very much.

Take note that Stewart uses weasel words in his statement. “Without providing the County any notice, the Federal Government is now placing illegal immigrant children at private and perhaps federal facilities in our county.”

Stewart just says that the Federal Government never provided the County with notice. He never says that he was unaware that they were being placed in the county or that he wasn’t informed by some other source such as Youth for Tomorrow or the Greater Prince William Community Health Clinic that is run by Woodbridge Supervisor Frank Principi.

Quid Pro Quo Results in Unaccompanied Alien Children Being Shipped To Prince William Co.

As if the political situation for Prince William Co. Chair Corey Stewart wasn’t bad enough already, we’ve been handed this smoking gun by one of our regular confidential informants…

Recall several years ago during the budget battles, Corey fought against and got all the Youth Shelters closed, ostensibly to save a few hundred thousand dollars. Pure [expletive deleted]. It was a quid pro quo to Gary Jones, the longtime Executive Director of Youth For Tomorrow and the YFT Board for donating bunches of money to Corey’s campaigns. Those kids had to go somewhere. They did. All the troubled youth in PWC were and continue to be placed at YFT. It was and remains an exclusive source contract. (source redacted). YFT has grown substantially as a result of this sole source contact. They aren’t just on Bristow Road anymore. They have eight locations in PWC, the others being single family residences.

Long story short, these troubled kids, not just the recent UAC’s, when placed at YFT have to have medical attention as they are all essentially neglected in every way. The kids qualify for Medicaid and YFT arranges for these kids to be medically cared for at, guess where: The GPW Community Health Center, (source redacted). All of this is completely legal and of course, above Board.

But here’s the tie-in to Stewart: the YFT Board has a sole source contract with the Virginia state Board of Social Services also. Over the last month to month and a half, YFT has had about 120 of these UAC’s placed with it, meaning being housed in their facilities and every last one of them have come to the GPW Community Health Center to be medically treated. (source redacted) I want to be explicitly clear it is not the responsibility of the CHC to confirm or verify legal status of any youth sent over by the YFT to be medically treated as the contract is with YFT, not these individual UAC’s. But the fact is YFT is fully aware these children are UAC’s and I have to wonder if being YFT has a sole source contract with the County if the County knows of these UAC’s being housed by the YFT. In the course of the (source redacted), I said “[expletive deleted], can you image the political embarrassment Corey Stewart would get if people found out the County is directly responsible for these 120 UAC’s being in PWC?”. Well, now I wonder if the County is in fact aware of all this, what the political and career risks are to Melissa Peacor too!

While Stewart has no control of this, his “actions” have directly resulted in these UAC’s being placed with YFT here in PWC. He rants about illegals being released back into the general population yet his own actions are directly resulting in about 120 UAC’s being housed in PWC.

[Expletive deleted] indeed!

Corey Stewart Reaches New Heights in the Art of Beating Dead Horses (and Getting His Hand Caught in the Cookie Jar)

The headline of PWC Board Chairman Corey Stewart’s email yesterday said it all.

Fox & Friends Tomorrow! Again!


The key part of it being “Again!”

When I first heard yesterday that Corey was going to be on Fox & Friends, I thought it was perhaps an old email regarding his appearance on Friday, July 11. Alas, it was not and why the operative word “Again!” was used in the email header.

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Dear James,
Guess who is going to be on Fox & Friends tomorrow? Again!
Tune in bright and early to Fox & Friends at 6:15 am, while you are enjoying your Sunday coffee, as I discuss Prince William County’s renewed fight with the Federal Government over the disposition of the 7,000+ criminal illegal aliens our law enforcement officers have apprehended and handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Sincerely,

 

Corey Stewart
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Paid for by Corey Stewart for Chairman

While I caught Corey’s Friday appearance, I wasn’t motivated enough to wake up for it this morning to find out whether the weekend hosts of Fox & Friends asked Corey about his high dollar donors who are operating facilities in Prince William County where Unaccompanied Alien Children are being housed. From the Sheriff of Nottingham in Prince William County’s blog:

The Sheriff has learned that Chairman Stewart gave permission to Youth for Tomorrow, a taxpayer-funded non-profit serving at-risk youth in Prince William County, to open their doors to house children for Homeland Security that have been flown to Prince William County from Texas and other areas on the southern border.

Secret meetings were held several months ago, and the entire Board of County Supervisors were briefed on the program and asked for their blessing.  Stewart specifically directed that it should not be brought to a vote, but handled quietly.

As the Sheriff stated, one cannot blame the operators of Youth for Tomorrow for engaging in their Christian mission to help children in need regardless of their immigration status. However, if this is true that Corey has known about this for months, gave it his blessing, ordered that it be kept quiet, and then goes out to make political hay out of this on Fox & Friends, then he is toast.

Corey Stewart – The Return of the Illegal Immigration Publicity Hound

Fresh from the ol’ email in-box…

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Dear James,
Guess who is going to be on Fox & Friends tomorrow?
Tune in bright and early to Fox & Friends at 6:15 am as I discuss Prince William County’s renewed fight with the Federal Government over the disposition of the 7,000+ criminal illegal aliens our law enforcement officers have apprehended and handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
I will also will be on the Laura Ingraham Radio Show at 10:30 am discussing our efforts to protect our community from these dangerous individuals.

Sincerely,

 

Corey Stewart
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Paid for by Corey Stewart for Chairman

Yeah, that’s all well and good, but exactly what will the county DO with this information IF they get it from the Federal Government? I get it that, for whatever reason ::cough:: he’s got nothing else to run on ::cough:: Corey wants to find out what happened to the illegal aliens that were apprehended in PWC and turned over to ICE. However, what good is that information to the county and what could they even use it for? No one has really articulated that yet.

The only use I see for gathering this information is to score political points since that information can’t be used by the county to send out the police to round them up or anything. Just how much of our tax dollars are we talking about spending with regard to the FOIA request and possible lawsuit? And exactly to what end? Those are the questions that need to be answered.

I’m not opposed to deporting those individuals who were arrested for committing crimes and then turned over to ICE. I’m not even opposed to finding out whether this is all just a big dog and pony show where ICE is simply sending them on their merry way and are trying to keep us in the dark. This is not, however, something that falls within the ranks of what a county government should be doing.

About the only thing the Board of Supervisors did do right on this yesterday was include a paragraph in the motion that directs Corey to send a letter to members of the county’s congressional delegation since this is really a matter of congressional oversight of ICE.

Culture of Corruption Continues – PWC Fills High-Level Position Without A Competitive Search

The following is a guest post from a long-time VV reader, The (Fringe) Observer:

When Prince William County Gainesville Dist. Supervisor Pete Candland raised the issue of ghost employees to pad the budget, PWC Chairman Corey Stewart and County Exec. Melissa Peacor both claimed among other things that all vacancies are publicly advertised and filled competitively. Stewart said that at least on one occasion during a Board meeting.

At the same time Stewart and Peacor were making this claim, they quietly promoted Ray Utz to Assistant Planning Director. As Long-Range Planning Chief, Utz was already being paid in excess of $100,000 per year and was one of the County’s highest-paid employees. They did not advertise the Assistant Planning Director position. Senior level, high-paying planning jobs like this one are highly sought after. Jurisdictions normally not only advertise locally for candidates, but also in the job vacancy listings with the professional associations, and their journals and websites. Had PWC followed that normal procedure, we would have had a boatload of good candidates from which to choose. Finding someone far superior to Utz would have been a cinch.

Stewart and Peacor did this despite Utz’s well-documented incidences of gender harassment and mismanagement. The new Planning Director, Chris Price, has not been as much of a rubber stamp for the developers as was his predecessor. Utz has always done as he was told, and was protected despite his behavior because he has always carried out instructions from Stewart and Peacor.

My guess is that Chris will be pushed out at some point and Utz installed as Planning Director as a payoff to the developers who fund Stewart, Nohe and other Board members. The “national search” for a County Executive a few years ago was nothing more than a figleaf designed to provide cover for Stewart to hire Peacor, which he had already decided to do prior to the search. In the recent case of Utz being promoted, they must have figured that no one would be watching and that they could get away without even the pretense of a competitive process to fill the job.

Score one more for corruption at McCoart and developer interests, and one more loss for taxpayers and honest citizens.

RUMOR: Feds May Relocate Illegal Aliens To Prince William Co. Fairgrounds – UPDATED!

UPDATE:We have been informed by a credible source that 120 unaccompanied alien children (UACs) have already been placed in Prince William Co. over the past month and a half. The Virginia State Board of Social Services, which has sole source contract with Youth For Tomorrow, has been placing these childen in YFT housing facilities in the county. These children are being treated for a variety of maladies at the Greater Prince William Community Health Center, which has been informed that they could see more of these UACs being treated at their facility.

This just came across my Facebook feed and while it remains unconfirmed, this bears watching given recent events across the country. It isn’t just Texas, Arizona and California where they are relocating illegal aliens. They’re in Oklahoma, Massachusetts and there has already been one attempt to locate them in Virginia.

URGENT: Just rumor, but they may be re-locating illegal aliens to Prince William County Fairgrounds. We need to:

1. Stop the internment of people like Democrats did in WWII

2. Defend our community from the tyranny of the obama

3. This may be your day, you up for it? I am

4. Let’s roll

Why would they try to intern them in Prince William Co. the way that they did Japanese-Americans in California during World War II? As has already been written here:

When the kids are apprehended (in reality, willingly surrender) at the border, they aren’t being shipped off to states at random to be housed. They are being sent to states where they have family waiting. That is why the Feds wanted to send kids to the small town of Lawrenceville in rural Southwest Virginia to be housed at the closed St. Paul’s College – their parents and relatives are waiting for them here in Virginia from the last wave of illegal immigration a decade ago when the U.S. economy was booming.

japanese-internment[1]Japanese-American Internment Camp during WWII (Photo from the National Archives)

Prince William Co. was ground zero in Virginia for the debate about illegal aliens nearly a decade ago, so by this logic it would make sense to bring these kids here. Even if their families are no longer in the county, they are most likely nearby.

One also has to wonder if placement of illegal aliens in Prince William Co. might not be a direct slap at County Board Chairman Corey Stewart who has made illegal aliens his political bête noire in his campaigns to cover-up his tax and spend ways and is gearing up to do so again for his 2015 reelection. Later today, Stewart plans on bringing a motion before the board to fund an expensive FOIA lawsuit against the federal government to find out what happened to the illegal aliens the county detained and turned over to ICE. Can you say “publicity whore” boys and girls? I knew you could…

 

Corey Stewart Predictably Learns The Wrong Lesson From Eric Cantor’s Loss

How can you tell that you’re entering into an election cycle in Prince William County? Board Chairman Corey Stewart trots out the illegal immigration issue in an attempt to save his declining electoral prospects.

Just a month ago, we reported that Stewart was obviously gearing up for what promises to be a bruising Republican primary driven by his support for tax increases and the lack of quality jobs created in the county under his watch. Now, the Washington Times reports that Stewart is seeking the deportation data on those illegal immigrants arrested in the county.

It certainly is no coincidence that this is being raised again not even a week after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his congressional primary amid claims that he supported amnesty for illegal aliens. This was totally predictable that Stewart would learn the wrong lesson from Cantor’s loss and rush headlong back to his go-to campaign issue. (In fact the only reason why I didn’t already write another post calling it in response to the Cantor loss was a lack of time on my part – and maybe a desire to see how fast he would fall into his own trap.)

The fact of the matter is, whatever Cantor did with regard to immigration was secondary to his problem of putting his Washington / congressional constituency and ambitions ahead of his duties to the 7th congressional district of Virginia.

In this sense, Stewart has the same problem that Cantor did. Stewart has the baggage of his failed 2013 campaign for Lt. Gov. as well as his 2009 bid for that office and his 2012 bid for U.S. Senate. It is clear to everyone that he can’t wait to get out of Prince William County government and Republican voters are ready to grant him his wish – just not in the way he would prefer.

Stewart can tell himself all that he wants that his tough stand on illegal immigration will differentiate him from Cantor. His real problem, though, is that he can’t undo these three campaigns for higher office that he has embarked upon over the past five years or his abysmal record on taxes, spending and quality job creation. That combination will ultimately lead to his downfall in just 51 weeks come the 2015 GOP primary.

STEWART

Corey Stewart Previews His 2015 Primary Campaign Theme

Prince William County Board Chairman Corey Stewart appeared on WMAL’s “Mornings on the Mall” radio show this morning to discuss illegal immigration. I guess we know what he’ll be using as his main campaign issue in next year’s Republican primary when he seeks reelection.

Stewart certainly can’t run on cutting residents’ tax bills, creation of quality jobs in the county, reducing wasteful spending, limited government or any other conservative ideal, so he’s going back to the same well again that he has since 2007. I have a feeling that well has long since run dry with primary voters fed up with his antics and those of several others on the Board of Supervisors.

From the rumblings I’m hearing, those voters will have an excellent conservative alternative to Stewart next year, although it has yet to be worked out which one of the two potential high-profile challengers will ultimate take up the challenge. (Stewart shouldn’t pin his hopes on it being a three-way race with his two opponents splitting the anti-incumbet vote because those two are of the same mind in the need to remove him as chairman – only one of them will run.)

Stay tuned!

STEWART

PWC Passes Massive Tax Hike

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors last night passed a 4.5% tax hike for FY ’15 and a massive 22.5% tax increase over 5 years. When was the last time you got a 4.5% raise?

Here’s how they voted on the tax hike:

Yeas: Stewart, Caddigan, Nohe, Principi, Covington, and Jenkins.

Nays: Candland and May.

Sad thing – Republicans allegedly have a 6-2 majority on the Board, yet 4 of those 6 voted with the two Democrats for this insane tax hike.

Once again, we have a failure to prioritize spending, a failure to grow our commercial tax base (especially when you separate out apartment complexes which are deemed commercial and not residential, yet consume residential services), and a failure of basic oversight. Enough is enough.

Woodbridge Supervisor Frank Principi (D) said during the meeting to Board Chairman Corey Stewart (R):

“As I said to you the other day, you’re looking more and more like a Democrat every day. I appreciate it.”

I would suggest that those four Republicans-of-convenience apply for membership in the Prince William County Democratic Committee, but I’m not sure that Democratic Committee Chairman Harry Wiggins (who is actually a reasonable and amiable person) would want them.

You can bank on Principi’s quote being used in campaign ads and mailings against Stewart next year should he choose to seek reelection and pursue the Republican nomination.

(Hat tip to The Sheriff of Nottinghamd in Prince William County for the graphic.)

PWC Supervisors Need To Cut More Red Tape and Fewer Ribbons

The Sheriff of Nottingham in Prince William County blog posted about a ribbon-cutting event that took place earlier today in my community.  In full disclosure, I was invited to participate in this as the then-president of our HOA when this project was first conceived and undertaken.

Jim, Xxxx, and Xxxxxx,

I hope this email finds you all well. I am happy to report we have completed the Swan’s Creek Stream Restoration Project! Next Friday, November 15 at 9:15 a.m., we would like to host a ribbon cutting to officially open the area. If possible, would you be able to join us? I have attached an event brief for your review.

We have invited Supervisor Caggigan [sic] and Chairman Stewart along with Prince William County Staff.

Thank you,
Jamie C. Breme
Community/Public Affairs Manager

Fluor-Lane 95, LLC
6621-A Electronic Drive, Suite U
Springfield, VA 22151

However, I declined to participate first, because never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that fixing a ditch deserved a ribbon-cutting — Tada! The re-graded slopes surrounding an outdoor creek are now open! The waters may continue to flow! (But in a way that will no longer cause erosion of property.) – and second, I had actual work to do at my job.  In my book, in cases like this you simply fix what needs to be done and clear out.  No need for pomp and circumstance.

This entire project was conceived and undertaken between Fluor-Transurban, VDOT and Southbridge with no county involvement whatsoever. Fluor-Transurban came to us to brief us on the I-95 EZ-Pass Express Lanes, asked us if we had any environmental issues that needed to be addressed since they were looking for projects in nearby communities in order to satisfy part of their agreement with VDOT, and we told them about the Swans Creek erosion problem. (We had previously brought this to the attention of the county public works department, but they never took any corrective action beyond putting it on a to-do list.)  Fluor-Transurban then looked into it more closely, determined that part of the problem was storm water run-off from I-95 as it currently existed, and worked with VDOT to get this project done.

Nevertheless, there was indeed a ribbon cutting and I can understand why Fluor-Transurban would want to publicize their good environmental work.  I can even understand why Gov. McDonnell showed up at the last minute by helicopter given his deep involvement with the I-95 Express Lanes project that will be one of his lasting legacies as governor.  But to have county officials who played no role whatsoever in this project, who probably had no clue that this was even taking place until they were asked to attend, who most likely had no understanding what this was even about and when in fact the county had let this project languish for years, is just plain silly.

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(L-R Gov. McDonnell, PWC Chairman Corey Stewart and Potomac Dist. Supervisor Maureen Caddigan)

Exactly what were they cutting the ribbon for?  This…

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photo 3

photo 4

Take note that these photos were taken AFTER the ribbon cutting ceremony.  (Not exactly open for public enjoyment.)  Also note the sign for the project.  There is no county role indicated whatsoever. That was also the case with the press release issued for the event:

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), along with 95 Express Lanes partners, Transurban-Fluor and Federal Highway Administration, would like to host a ribbon cutting and photo opportunity to mark the completion of the Swan’s Creek Stream Restoration in Prince William County associated with the 95 Express Lanes Project.

Now for the irony.  Just a few hundred yards away from today’s ribbon cutting ceremony stands our community’s new pavilion that was completed last month. This is more than a simple covered structure, it is a prime example — no, a MONUMENT — to the red tape that our elected county officials should be concerned with cutting.  This is its story…

photo 1The New Southbridge Pavilion – Occupancy Load 79 according to Prince William County

My homeowners association decided last year to construct a 28-foot pavilion adjacent to our pool and tennis complex.  We thought it would be nice to have a place with picnic tables that residents could use near our main playground.  It is only a decorative metal roof with eight columns supporting it and at most would take two and a half days to build.  Little did we realize building a house is easier in this county.

In January, we requested a copy of the site plan for this parcel from the county in order to obtain a building permit.  After reviewing all their files, the county determined they could not locate it.

We considered commissioning a new site plan, but that was cost prohibitive.  However, it was too late to cancel the pavilion since the materials had already been delivered.

In February, we inquired if there were any other options, but the county insisted on having a site plan (despite them having lost the original).  We finally located an archived copy that one of our contractors used for a different project.

With plan in hand, we applied for the permit in early March.  After completing the paperwork and paying a $298 permit fee, two weeks later the county requested additional items. We immediately supplied them and the plans were approved on March 20 by the Land Development Division.

Almost a month later, we finally received notification of initial approval, but other departments still had to weigh-in.  A pre-construction meeting was held in early May and paperwork was issued by the county’s Transportation, Public Works Watershed Branch, and Information Technology/GIS departments. We paid another $179 for the Site Development Permit Fee, an $80.15 filing fee, and received a plan number.

By now, it was approaching Memorial Day and the opening of our community’s pool.  The county informed us that despite these approvals, we still needed a Special Inspections Approval.  However, the county does not have inspection engineers who handle metal/steel so we were forced to hire a third-party engineer.  (Of course, the county provides you with a list of their “preferred” engineers — wink, wink, nudge, nudge, know what I mean?)  It was mid-June by the time a firm could be retained and the required letter of engagement delivered to the county.

The rest of the summer was spent filing more paperwork, paying more hefty fees, and answering ridiculous questions such as how many windows, doors and bathrooms would this open air pavilion have in it.  The county finally issued an “Occupancy Load” of 79 for it, which would be akin to a circus clown car.  Finally, in early October, construction began.  It only took two days.

Unfortunately, this sort of thing is not an isolated incident in Prince William County.

The SweetFrog frozen yogurt shop opened in nearby Southbridge Plaza on September 14.  On July 3, they posted on Facebook they would be opening soon.  Their page for the store was started in February and in late May they posted about upcoming grand opening celebration promotions and hiring notices in June.

During a visit to the store after it finally opened, patrons heard a manager say that they should have been open in June, but the county delayed them.  That’s right.  Our so-called “business-friendly” county cost a frozen yogurt store an entire summer’s worth of business.

The SweetFrog on Smoketown Road in Woodbridge similarly posted twice to their Facebook page in early May that issues with the county were holding them up.  That store did not open until June 7 even though they were fully staffed by mid-April.

Just think if our local elected officials were as interested in cutting red tape as they were in cutting ribbons (something any pre-schooler with fine motor skills can do).  Maybe then businesses wouldn’t find our neighboring counties of Loudoun, Stafford, and Fairfax more attractive places to locate. Our Board of Supervisors needs more workhorses who want to cut red tape and fewer show horses who want to cut ceremonial ribbons.