Op-Ed: Janis has been a consistent in a profession with a flighty reputation

Op-Ed from Zell Milliband of Hanover County in response to the Virginia Right post “How Bill Janis Lost My Support In The Virginia Senate Race”:

I have only been in politics for several years, but I have never seen or heard of a political conversion as sharp and as stark as that of Tom White. That’s sad because I looked up to him as an even-handed grandfatherly political sage in the area. Mr. White’s endorsement of Janis would have made much more sense as recently as three years ago, but since then, Mr. White’s politics has taken a distinctly angry and even conspiratorial turn.

In spite of the V.M.I. connection (I have some college classmates whom I like personally but wouldn’t vote for them for dog catcher), these days, the initial endorsement of Bill Janis smelled like pots of chitterlings and collard greens slow cooking at the same time. It almost seemed like Mr. White was setting up Janis for an eventual endorsement retraction in much the same way as Lucy with Charlie Brown’s football. In his screed, he puts out a laundry list of reasons including the use of Ray Allen as a consultant and a missed committee vote. All of his complaints were common knowledge for a long time to anyone who has followed Bill Janis’ career in the slightest. Anyone who claims to be shocked was paying very little attention. Mr. White goes on to say the tipping point came when Bill Janis failed to answer a debate question to his satisfaction. That goes to show the weak Mr. White’s support was from the beginning.

When I was growing up, we would call people who change their minds on a whim “flighty”. When I came to observe Mr. White in the very beginning I never thought I would be describing him this way in any context. I do not know Bill Janis that well, but his political philosophy has not changed. He does not buy into factional politics and calls things as he sees them come what may. Based on Bill Janis’ voting record on his conduct during the time I have been involved in politics, he has been remarkably consistent in a profession with a flighty reputation. Isn’t it ironic that Tom White is more flighty than the politician?

PWC Planning Post Perv Found Guilty on Two Counts – UPDATED

ray utzDisgraced former Prince William County assistant planning director Ray Utz (a.k.a. The PWC Planning Post Perv) can now add convicted sex offender to his pedigree after being found guilty of two of the four charges against him.

On the first count of indecent exposure (GC14014821-00) Utz was found guilty, sentenced to 30 days which was suspended and ordered to pay court costs of $96.

utz courtOn the first count of simulated masturbation (GC14014822-00) prosecutors agreed to dismiss the charges (nolle prosequi).

On the second count of simulated masturbation (GC14014823-00) prosecutors agreed to dismiss the charges (nolle prosequi).

On the second count of indecent exposure (GC14014821-00) Utz was found guilty, sentenced to 30 days which was suspended and ordered to pay court costs of $96.

So, a total of 60 days in jail — all of which was suspended — and court costs of $192 along with the convictions on his permanent record. I’m still not convinced that the average Joe Schmo who did this would have gotten off this lightly, so it still leaves the question open as to whether PWC is in the big leagues or just another corrupt backwater county. That will have to wait for another day, but at least in this one case County Executive Melissa Peacor wasn’t able to engage in yet another whitewash and coverup for one of her employees as she has done in the past.

UPDATE: Apparently, Utz will NOT be placed on the sex offender registry per Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert.

Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert stated that the judge assigned a $2,500 for each count ($5,000 total) and 30 days of jail time for each count (60 total) as sentencing in the case – but Utz may not be required to pay the fines or serve the time.

“The jail time and fines were suspended, [contingent] on his mental treatment. If he successfully completes the treatment, that’ll be the end of it. He won’t have to pay the fines or serve 60-days,” said Ebert.

When asked, Ebert stated that Utz will not be placed on any kind of sex offender registry and that he is currently receiving mental health treatment.

I guess we do have our answer. Prince William County IS a corrupt backwater county. A good start in changing that is dumping Paul Ebert and his “cut-a-deal” crew of prosecutors.

Will the PWC Planning Post Perv Finally Show In Court Tomorrow?

We’ve been covering the saga of former Prince William County assistant planning director Ray Utz (a.k.a. The PWC Planning Post Perv) since the story broke last November about his “extracurricular activities” that resulted in his arrest and four criminal charges against him (two for indecent exposure and two for simulated masturbation).

To no one’s surprise, this case has been continued five times so far. We’ve got our own theories on that here. (Heck, we still don’t even have Utz’s mugshot as the media used his official county photograph instead in their reporting.)

pee_wee_herman_mugshot[1]ray utz

(If we can get Pee Wee Herman’s mug shot for doing the same thing, why can’t we get Ray Utz’s?)

As we previously reported (and apparently no other media outlet covering PWC has bothered to), Utz’s next court appearance is scheduled for tomorrow, May 20. We now know that the hearing is set for 9 a.m. in Courtroom 4 of Prince William County General District Court located at 9311 Lee Avenue, Manassas, VA 20110-5586.

Tomorrow will go a long way towards telling whether Prince William County is truly in the big leagues or just another corrupt backwater county. If the media actually shows up to cover the hearing, if they get photographs of Utz walking into the court building and if the judicial system finally moves forward on this case, we will know that PWC is on the right track.

But if the media continues to carry the water for the county government by sweeping this under the rug (and this wasn’t Utz’s first run-in with trouble) and the court system punts on this case once again, it will be all too clear that the county is no better than many Third-World nations when it comes to government corruption and the equal application of justice.

We’ve already seen the county torch the First Amendment in recent days when it comes to political dissent by sending the police after a local blogger who was critical of the county executive (and hints that it was just the first part in a larger campaign.) Why should we expect this case to be any different?

The Dangers of Cold Emailing For Endorsements

Here’s some advice for aspiring candidates — don’t just email every website you can find asking for their endorsement.

My name is Joe George and I am currently running for the Neabsco District’s position on the PWC School Board.  I am seeking endorsements from various groups and am interested in hearing what is important for you, so that I could earn that endorsement.  I can be reached at the email provided or via my cell phone (703-xxx-xxxx).  I look forward to hearing from you and potentially meeting with you.

v/r

Joe George

Mr. George then went on to provide his campaign website, which we found to be very interesting, but perhaps not for the reasons Mr. George thought we would.

joe georgeD’OH indeed…

Mr. George’s website has a banner for every school in the Neabsco district on a rotating basis at the top of his campaign website. While that looks nice, that surely violates county rules regarding the usage of official school logos and slogans — particularly since this is being used for political purposes.

That’s the end of the first class on Politics 101 for Mr. George. Thanks for playing, but you don’t get to come back tomorrow and you don’t even get a lousy copy of our home game.

Figures don’t lie, but liars figure

An Examination of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office 2014 Budget
Guest Post: Sally Mann

Sheriff Chapman has implied on his Facebook page, in the Washington Post and in public forums that although he was forced to revise his 2013 budget, he has since “returned” that extra $4.3+ Million he was given by our Board in 2013; and he suggests he has used increased efficiency and better management to lower costs in order to “return” these $4 million. The County’s reconciled budgets do not agree.

It is well known that in 2013, Sheriff Chapman got into trouble with the Loudoun Board of Supervisors for not abiding by his adopted budget, as described by various news stories at the time. The Sheriff’s Office adopted budget in 2013 had to be “revised” upwards with an infusion of $4.3+ million.

In 2014, the Sheriff’s Office adopted budget was $76,390,474. Again, this budget had to be revised upwards to $77,344.343.61 (an addition of approximately $1 Million.)

In reviewing “savings” in the 2014 budgets, is important to understand that in 2014, the Board of Supervisors changed its “vacancy savings” policy for all agencies, intentionally over funding all salaries and benefits, but expecting savings to be returned. In years past, the Board had withheld a vacancy savings from all agency budgets (except the Sheriff’s Office, who got special treatment in 2013) based on the statistical estimation of an 8% employee turnover rate for each agency, and a 3% routine savings in unpaid salary, benefits, etc. This action in 2014 to fund 100 percent of salaries and benefits (knowing 100% was not necessary) removed the special treatment the Sheriff’s Office had gotten the year before, when vacancy savings were not withheld from the Sheriff’s budget.

Changing the vacancy savings policy allowed the Board to give the Sheriff’s Office in 2013 and all of its agencies in 2014 a few million extra dollars, more flexibility in spending, and made expected “vacancy savings’ easily applied to other expenses. It also allowed the Sheriff ~or any agency~ to deliberately leave positions vacant for political budget cover, not have the boots on the ground required for public safety as expected by taxpayers, and spend the vacancy “savings” on other budget over runs.

A close look at the FY14 reconciled budget shows: first, the original adopted budget had to be revised upwards by about a Million dollars ~ demonstrating an expected shortfall. Second, salaries that were not used due to employee turn over amounted to $2,280,150.47 while overtime pay (time and ½ pay) continued to soar, reflecting an inefficient use of funds. Further savings resulting from vacancies and turn over were benefits that did not need to be paid out, such as FICA, retirement, health insurance, life insurance, long term disability, etc. These savings approximated another $800,000. Vacancy savings for unspent salaries and benefits plus the $1 million “revision” in the LCSO budget add up to more than $4 million.

When we also consider that the Sheriff had access to funds other than in the budget, use of at least $396,479.22 PY Fund balance… it becomes clear that he overspent his expected spending in 2014, and did not actually “save” anything.

Lots of other details in the 2014 budget will give a flavor of how the numbers are manipulated. For example, the Sheriff’s office paid $200,000 less in taxes than they requested in their budget ~ how could they not know the exact number for the amount of taxes they would pay? Little items that no one would pay attention to drew my attention, like the category of laundry, and housekeeping, where the adopted budget asked for $193,058, then in the revised budget the Sheriff wanted $210,838.06 but he only ended up spending $120,166.17? Courthouse security also resulted in approximately $200,000 unspent? The original budget asked for $2,203,162 for replacement of minor machinery, and then it was revised upwards (because you would assume they found a need) to $2,795,077.80 but then the Sheriff spent less than the original requested amount.

Did the Sheriff ask for more in these categories, padding expenses, intending to over spend on things like uniforms, knowing the Board would not question taxes or courthouse security, but they would question hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on new uniforms (when the old ones were in fine shape)?

In the end, Mr. Chapman has not returned any money due to efficiencies in his management. Any suggestion that he has adopted efficiencies to “save” 4 million dollars is simply a deception and not supported by the real facts. The truth is that Mr. Chapman has not been able to manage without manipulating numbers every year ~ even when his adopted budgets needed to be revised upwards.

Justice Delayed Once Again in PWC Planning Post Perv Case

Former Prince William County assistant planning director Ray Utz was arrested Nov. 19 and charged with four counts — two for “indecent exposure” and two for “simulated masturbation.” Details on the case can be found here and here.

Utz was set to be arraigned Dec. 2 on all four charges and was scheduled to have a motion hearing on Jan. 8, but there are no publicly available records beyond that on what actually transpired on those dates. Hearings on Jan 22, Feb. 19, and April 16 have all been continued with his latest court date now set for May 20. Meanwhile, InsideNOVA.com / Prince William Today have gone radio silent on the case – no updates, never a published mug shot.

Does anyone honestly think that any other pervert of this ilk caught doing the same thing would get such treatment? Of course not — those losers would have been convicted by now and probably done serving their time. But since Utz was a former high-ranking county employee both the local court system and media outlet sweep this under the rug and hope that residents will forget about it or will laugh it off.

The behavior Utz is accused of is that of a sex offender and people should be concerned about that, regardless of what the county’s “good ol’ boy” system thinks.

GUEST POST: 5 Reasons Not to Vote for Prince William Board of Supervisors Incumbents this Primary

By Tom Whitmore

Remember if you want truly effective government that serves the citizens well, you must Vote based on Performance not Personality. Don’t be roped into another “There you go again” moment!

-PWC has the highest county taxes in NOVA, period. They are among the highest few in Virginia. The PWBOCS tries to lull you with median and average tax bills of houses that cost more, but that’s B.S. The high R.E. tax rate is driving away big business and quality jobs to surrounding counties and we have to drive long commutes to get to them, 146,000+ of us daily.

-PWC is the only county with its own road building department in VA. Problem is you are already paying VDOT to build the roads but the PWBOCS is impatient so they charge you twice and do it themselves.

-PWC spends the least number of dollars per student of any other NOVA jurisdiction, 20% to 40% less, and it shows. Our kids have the lowest ACT, SAT and SOL scores.

-PWC has the most overcrowded schools in VA. Over the last decade we went from about 20 students to a staggering 31 per classroom because there weren’t enough funds to build enough new schools. Where did the money go, after all, we have the highest taxes? Roads, roads and more roads resulted in more houses, and more kids, which made our problems even worse. Ever heard of “Catch 22”?

-PWC has the lowest average wages paid in NOVA at $840.00 per week, well below Virginia’s average of $939.00, while Fairfax is at $1580.00, Loudoun is at $1244.00 and Arlington is at $1669.00 per week. PWC’s high R.E. tax and BPOL tax keep high paying employers from locating here.

The PWBOCS record is very clear. They brought us the highest taxes, worst schools, longest commutes, lowest wages and least opportunity, resulting in the lowest quality of life. We can and must do better! Do you really want more of the same, if not for you, how about for your kids?

Don’t be a prisoner. Break free of the Incumbent Re-election Protection Racket. Vote for really Lower Taxes, more High Paying Jobs, more Schools and a Brighter Future for Your Kids and community.

Now is the time when we must forget Right VS Left or Left VS Right and focus on Right VS Wrong!

Ummm… Yeah. Not quite, Don…

scoggins

I guess “maverick Republican” means a Republican who voted for Obama.

Scoggins says he’ll remain in the Republican Party despite his vote for Obama. “I’m not going to be driven out by people who shouldn’t be in the party in the first place,” he says. “Blacks looked up to the party when it was the party of commerce. But the party,” he adds, “has totally gotten away from that. It’s now about abortion, gay rights and guns. It’s frustrating.”

File Under “For Real?” In Virginia’s 12th

There’s a four way fight for the Republican nomination to replace Walter Stosch in Virginia’s 12th District. Former Delegate Bill Janis seems to be the candidate with the largest bullseye on his back given his past representation in part of the district and being the only candidate with elected experience. Vince Haley is making some great noise and appealing to a lot of the Tea Party groups and his Newt Gingrich associations aren’t too bad either (though he did get a ding for not voting in last year’s Cantor/Brat primary). Edward Whitlock is also running and not much is really known about him but in a divided field there’s a lot or room to sneak through and surprise people.

That leaves Dr. Siobhan Dunnavant, who is trying to carve out a position somewhere between Janis and Haley. She repeatedly beats the drum on typical Tea Party talking points: Obamacare bad, boo Common Care, and no Amnesty! Which isn’t a bad thing, even if it sounds canned and like she’s just checking off all of the boxes.

But with Janis being the elephant in the room, she’s taking an interesting approach by attacking “career politicians.” For example:

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 8.14.35 AM

Just one problem with this line of attack: She’s from a political family herself. In fact, it was the focus of coverage when she entered the race:

But Dunnavant — an obstetrician/gynecologist and West End mother of four who also runs a small health care business with her husband — is not a newborn in the Republican political nursery. She is the sister of Del. Christopher P. Stolle, R-Virginia Beach, who is also a physician. Another brother, Ken, is the sheriff of Virginia Beach and a former state senator.

No to career politicians but hooray for political dynasties?

Now, there’s nothing wrong with having a political family. But can a candidate who will be the third member of this generation of her family to serve in the General Assembly really attack “career politicians” with a straight face?

Personally, I’d love to see her take a strong stand on issues such a life and women’s health. Dunnavant is an OB/GYN and would be a strong counterweight to abortion loving Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam who loves to brag about being a doctor so knowing better on the range of issues from Obamacare to Women’s Health. She mentions pro-life values on her issues page but as a bullet point.

There’s a lot there for Dr. Dunnavant. But these canned approaches and “career politician” attacks that ignore her own family history don’t do her justice.

GUEST POST: The State of the County – A Factual Review of Prince William County

Guest Post by Tom Whitmore

The State of the County a Factual Review of Prince William County

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors paints a rosy picture of the state of PWC. Let’s take the tinted glasses off and look from a factual perspective. Over the past decade our county has drifted into a very serious decline by most meaningful measures. Whether it is higher taxes, lower wages, lack of quality jobs, low VA DOE composite scores, out of balance commercial to residential development, high classroom populations, low SOL and SAT scores or traffic congestion to name a few, the PWBOCS has failed it’s citizenry miserably.

The Board claims our Real Estate taxes are 30% lower than the rest of NOVA. True, if you are comparing a PWC median value house of $319,000.00 against a Fairfax median value house at $500,300 or one of Arlington’s at $627,200. In reality the PWC tax rate including fire and rescue is higher at $1.22 per hundred of valuation, Fairfax is at $1.09, Arlington is at $0.996 and Loudoun and Alexandria are at $1.135 and $1.043 respectively. This claim gives a false sense of security while the county picks the citizens pockets. Additionally, this high tax rate poses a very real impediment to attracting large employers to PWC.

Most people buy as much house as they can comfortably afford in the location that is right for them and suits their requirements and priorities. A $319K home in PWC with a $3663 tax bill would be taxed $3270 in Fairfax and only $2988 in Arlington, with Loudoun and Alexandria incurring lower tax bills also. The truth is our tax rates are among the highest in the entire commonwealth.

The Board is proud of the high median household income in PWC, currently at about $95,000.00. Looking closer we find it is not a result of their efforts but rather a lack thereof, resulting in the necessity for 146,000+ of the 200,000+ workforce to commute outside of the county each day for jobs and be able to earn those higher paychecks. PWC has just over 116,000 jobs mostly service related and lower paying. Of these approx. 60, 000 are filled by commuters from other jurisdictions. The average wage in PWC is about $840 per week while the average for Virginia is at $939 per week. The other jurisdictions in NOVA are substantially higher with Fairfax at $1580, Arlington at $1669, Loudoun at $1244 and Alexandria at $1368 in weekly wages.

One may think that the Cost of Living in PWC might be lower since home prices are less, but there is only a slight difference. With the U.S. average COL index at 100.00, Arlington comes in at 137.7, Fairfax at 135.4, Loudoun at 133.6, Alexandria at 136.7 and PWC has a 132.5 COL index. This high cost of living forces many households to have two or more wage earners just to get by, which of course also helps to boost the high median household income.

A December 2014 George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis study notes that for a jurisdiction to maintain a healthy economy and be able to provide necessary core services without over burdening the residential taxpayer it must have a substantial part of its tax base in commercial properties. They state that commercial property is revenue positive as it only uses $0.35 to $0.40 in services per revenue dollar, while residential properties are revenue negative since they consume $1.20 to $1.60 in services per revenue dollar. In Arlington the commercial/residential ratio is 49.5/50.5, in Fairfax it is 21.1/78.9, in Alexandria its’ at 42.5/47.5, Loudoun is at 25.4/74.6 and PWC has a 17/83 ratio.

GMU notes that these residential numbers do not include multi-family and apartment units as most jurisdictions report them on the commercial side. To get an accurate picture of revenue positive/negative mix and demand for services they should be included with the residential properties. PWC has 95,700 single family houses, town houses and condos along with 35,000 apartment and multi-family units which represent 28% of the total housing units. This high percentage of multi-family and apartments effectively reduces PWC’s actual ratio to 14/86.

Many experts assert that a commercial to residential ratio of 30/70 or better is ideal, making it easier to fund the schools and core services. Obviously PWC falls far short of this which has resulted in higher tax rates and road congestion as citizens look outside the county for jobs.

The Board often mentions the 56.75/43.25 % revenue share arrangement with the school district as being a positive, but actually it has a negative impact on funding other core services like fire & rescue, police and public welfare. The NOVA jurisdictions with a higher percentage of commercial property are the ones with lowest revenue share percentage with the schools and the highest per pupil dollar allocations which result in lower student classroom populations and higher test scores. Arlington shares 45.9 % of revenue with the school district which equates to $17,041 per student annually, Fairfax has a 52.7 % revenue share at $ 13,519 per student, Loudoun shares 46.00 % at $ 12,195.00 per student while PWC’s 56.75 % share only yields $10, 365 per student.

No wonder PWC has the highest classroom populations, having gone from approximately 20 students to 31 students on average per class over the last decade and the lowest ACT, SOL & SAT scores in the NOVA region.

The Virginia Department of Education “ability to pay” composite score affirms the unhealthy state of PWC’s economy. Arlington has a score of .80, Fairfax is at .68, Loudoun is at .56, Alexandria comes in at .80 and PWC follows the pack with a .38 score.

The Board often speaks of the myriad road projects it has financed, yet traffic still backs up, as so many of the projects opened up new areas for more residential development which just added more traffic and additional burden on schools and services. Quite often this additional traffic has made it necessary to do improvements on existing roads to handle the increased traffic at even more expense and inconvenience to the taxpayers.

The Board is especially proud of having the only road building department in Virginia aside from VDOT. Paying for both PWC and VDOT to build roads is a very expensive proposition and not very wise. Suspending the PWC road building program and allowing VDOT to build the roads, then using the saved revenue for the schools to catch up on their building program, thereby reducing class sizes and hopefully improving test scores is the more responsible thing to do.

Building more developer friendly roads and increasing the tax base with residences while hoping to relieve school overcrowding and road congestion is akin to trying to put out a fire with gasoline.

The Citizens of Prince William County are faced with some serious decisions this election year, do they vote for more of the same failed leadership or take their chances and vote for some new and hopefully more responsible leaders? Do they vote for more roads leading to higher taxes and more congestion and school overcrowding or do they vote for more jobs and smaller classroom sizes so their kids have a chance for a bright future?

Steve Chapman worries non-Repubicans might walk away from Republican Firehouse Primary on Saturday

This Saturday, Prince William County Republicans will choose their nominees in a series of firehouse primaries across the county. When they arrive, they’ll be asked to sign a statement of intent which simply says, “hey, you are choosing to participate in the Republican nominating process so it’d be nice if you’d pledge to support the actual Republican nominee come this November, whether or not it is your guy.” More or less.

To one candidate in particular, that is a bridge too far:

Steve Chapman, who is running for the Republican nominee for Woodbridge supervisor, said he’s concerned voters could be turned off by the “statement of intent.”

“It would be terrible for the party if a bunch of people come in and feel disenfranchised because they have to sign a blood oath to the Republican Party or be turned away,” Chapman said. “That’s un-American.”

“Un-American,” he says. Like a Constitutional right to free association granted to political parties not by a Supreme Court decision or the highest document in the land but by our Creator himself?

Or how about the well documented series of great “American” acts like adultery, threatening a 9 year old girl, and just being a jerk as documented regularly by BVBL?

Mr. Chapman, Steve if you will, Steve-o if I may, who exactly are you trying to get and come vote for you that would be offended to say they’ll support the Republican nominee in November even if it isn’t you?

Also, you do realize it’s non-binding, right? No pin prick, no knife and bowls, no ceremony of any sort, no one checking your ballot come November and hauling you off to a reeducation camp for voting the wrong way (Republicans don’t do that, Democrats do /snark).

Get over yourself, Steve-o. And be ready for the people of Woodbridge to elect Lee Price to be the Republican on the ballot in November – and the next Supervisor out of Woodbridge.

And I do hope you’ll vote for him in November, Steve-o.

Corey Stewart Highlights Editorial Endorsement That Should Drive Conservatives Away From Him

From Facebook:

coreySince 2006, we’ve watched with growing admiration (and sometimes shock) as the former die-hard has moved from naysayer to pragmatist.

. . .

He’s shown a willingness to bend, to grow and to improvise

Those words alone, which Stewart wholeheartedly embraces on his own campaign website, are the very reasons why Corey needs to go after 9 years as County Board Chairman. Whenever a publication that tends to disagree with you says that you have “grown,” watch out. He is too willing to “bend,” too willing to “improvise” and too willing to go along to get along. That has resulted in increased spending on non-core functions of government and increased tax burdens on families. Our schools are more crowded and our streets are more congested than when he took office. Our commercial tax base is still anemic at best (and that is only propped up by counting apartment complexes as commercial and not residential.)

Prince William Times is wrong. Our county needs new leadership who is willing to stand on principle to redirect spending from luxuries to necessities so we have the necessary resources to reduce class sizes, increase teacher pay and hold the line on families’ tax burdens.

That person is Chris Crawford and that is why Virginia Virtucon has endorsed him in the April 25 Republican firehouse primary.

Why PWC GOP Incumbents Don’t Have A Leg To Stand On With Their Lawsuit

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Arlington Circuit Court Judge Paul Sheridan ruled Friday that Prince William County Republican incumbents Corey Stewart (Board Chairman At-Large), Maureen Caddigan (Potomac Supervisor), Marty Nohe (Coles Supervisor) and Glen Hill (Sheriff) are not entitled to their choice of a primary for their method of nomination because County Republican Committee Chairman Bill Card did not file the requisite paperwork with the State Board of Elections in a timely manner per § 24.2-509 of the Code of Virginia.

I have to disagree with my friend Steve Albertson over at The Bull Elephant who argued that Sheridan got the decision wrong. In fact, Sheridan got the decision exactly right and here is why:

§ 24.2-516 Each chairman shall file timely written notice with the Board whether or not a primary has been adopted and identify each office for which a primary has been adopted. The requirement to notify the Board of the adoption of a direct primary shall be satisfied when the Board receives by the deadline (i) written notice from the appropriate party chairman or (ii) a copy of the written notice from an incumbent officeholder to his party chairman of the incumbent’s selection, pursuant to § 24.2-509, of the primary as the method of nomination.

That’s right, per the emphasized section the authority to notify the Board of Elections is NOT vested solely with the party chairman, but the incumbent officeholder also has the authority to notify the Board per the process above. These incumbents are equally at fault for not sending their notifications to the State Board of Elections and now they are attempting to sue their way into a primary.

Sorry, you had two bites at the apple — you could have kept on the party chairman to ensure that the paperwork was filed timely and you could have filed a copy of your written notification to the party chairman of your choice of a primary with the State Board of Elections yourself. You did neither, now you must live with those consequences.

DENIED!

This just in, the Prince William County Board of Elections has denied a request from a handful of Republican candidates to be included on the June 9 state primary ballot after the PWC GOP missed the Feb. 24 filing deadline with the State Board of Elections to request primaries in those races. Some of those candidates are now considering suing to be placed on the ballot in lieu of having to battle it out in so-called firehouse primaries run by the Republican Party.

The candidates impacted by this decision are Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart and Supervisors Maureen Caddigan (Potomac), Peter Candland (Gainesville), Marty Nohe (Coles) and Sheriff Glen Hill. While Candland would probably do even better in a firehouse primary than in a state-run primary if he were challenged, Caddigan and Nohe would be in great danger of losing in such an atmosphere (Nohe faces Paul O’Meara and Caddigan is currently unopposed, but this may draw out a challenger).

Even Stewart faces a greater threat in a party-run nominating contest as he has angered many party regulars with his non-election year antics of tax increases, cronyism and unrestrained residential growth — issues that Chris Crawford is using to go against him for the nomination. Hill’s GOP primary opponent, however, is a perennial candidate who was the right-hand man of the previous Democratic county sheriff.

For a county that likes to talk about “The Rule of Law” quite a bit, these folks make it appear that such a phrase is “for thee, but not for me.” The deadline was missed. There are consequences to that, even if they were not the cause. Furthermore, if one is truly a small government Republican, they he or she should welcome the party running its own nomination process and paying for it rather than saddling the taxpayers with the cost of a state-run primary.

Steve Chapman Rides Again!

You may recall former candidate for Virginia Delegate Steve Chapman’s disastrous 2006 campaign. We certainly do. In fact, going back through Virtucon’s archives, we’ve found some photos from his kick-off event:

And more here:

And who could forget him seeking “sponcers” for his campaign? Or him missing the filing deadline to run? That was a classic that Scott Jacobs’ recent imitation of was but a pale copy.

Well, Steve Chapman rides again and is now running for Woodbridge Supervisor and wouldn’t you know it, his old nemesis Black Velvet Bruce Li is back as well. Last go round, Chapman sued one of the bloggers behind that site and that case was ultimately dismissed. It appears that didn’t make him any friends with BVBL as it is roaring back with a vengeance with a series of posts about Chapman that starts off with “In today’s installment of Are you smarter than a bag of hammers?

Go make some popcorn. This is going to be a long show…

Whitbeck Slams Stimpson Campaign

Earlier this week, Susan Stimpson’s campaign for House of Delegates against Speaker William Howell sent out an inflammatory  email accusing the Republican Party of Virginia of endorsing Howell in their Primary.

A response to Susan Stimpson:
Susan,

Yesterday you alleged that RPV staff acted to secretly support a candidate in a nominating process. These allegations are not true.

As you know, the RPV has not endorsed either candidate in your primary and I have said repeatedly that neither I nor the Party will pick sides in a nominating process during my tenure. I vehemently reject your assertion that donations to the Republican Party will go to support tax increases. I have said that the RPV must stand for something, and in this case, that “something” is the Virginia Republican Creed. Any donations from any source will be put towards that effort.

As you are aware, the RPV has sent out legislative district surveys for years. These surveys aren’t about getting anyone elected, they are about holding elected officials accountable. These mail pieces that ask constituents where they stand on issues. We want our GOP leaders to be responsive to their districts — that’s why we send them to Richmond. It may be easy for a legislator to ignore a phone call or email, but when RPV brings the opinions of several hundred constituents to a legislative office at one time (prior to the legislative session, no less) the impact is unmistakable.

I think your email should have contained the entire survey so I’ve attached the whole image below.

Not every legislator works with RPV on this project. The ones that do meet a strict standard. No mail is sent after the General Assembly Session convenes, and this particular mailing met that standard despite the post office delivering it several weeks late. The mailers contain no electioneering material, and they’re returned to RPV. That ensures that they will wind up in the hands of the legislators in question, and not be shunted off to some third party to harvest email addresses. Completed surveys are delivered during the General Assembly session for a reason — so our GOP members will have the thoughts and concerns of their voters in front of them when it matters most: while they’re casting votes.

While I disagree with your characterizations and the wrong information in your email, we will be revisiting existing standards for mail at our next Executive Committee meeting next week.

John Whitbeck, Chairman
Republican Party of Virginia

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Breaking : Geddes will not be a Candidate for office in 2015

Gerald Geddes wrote this wonderful email on this Martin Luther King Day, making it clear that he will not be a candidate for office.

Many in NOVA  exhaled in relief .

 

Happy MLK day, My Dream, Tax help, Open House 2/5/15
View this email in your browser
I am rededicating myself to my tax practice.
In 2014 my friends Jim McIntyre and Bob Patten handled most of my workload.
On April 11, 2011 I had life saving emergency surgery that inspired a dream in me. My dream is to use my extensive knowledge of taxes and taxpayer behavior to try to formulate a better U.S. tax policy. I took time off to write the Strategic Tax Reform Incentivizing Valuable Employment tax plan, a.k.a. the S.T.R.IV.E. for America tax plan. I printed a flyer of the plan and handed it out to 1,000 attendees at the 2012 Republican Convention in Tampa.
In order to try to get some interest in my tax plan I sought the Republican nomination for Virginia’s 11th Congressional District. I have been active on twitter and have over 12,000 followers at @lesstaxingcpa
I will not seek public office but I am not giving up on my dream of improving U.S. tax policy. I am putting the dream on hold to serve existing and new clients during this and God willing the next 15 tax seasons.
So if you need help with your taxes I’ve got the time to take on a whole lot of new clients. My daughter Megan is getting married in September so I need to pay for the wedding!
National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson released her 2014 Annual Report to Congress, which expresses concern that taxpayers this year are likely to receive the worst levels of taxpayer service since 2001.
If you need help with your taxes please consider hiring me.
I have been preparing tax returns since I graduated from Georgetown In 1981. I passed the CPA exam in November of 1981 and have been self-employed since 1991.
I purchased my office condo in December so If you live nearby: I am having an open house on Thursday February 5, 2015, 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm at 9695 Main St, Suite C, Fairfax, VA 22031. Please r.s.v.p. to lesstaxing@gmail.com.
If you would like a tax organizer I have a very thorough one that I would be happy to email to you.
For any clients that were serviced by Jim McIntyre or Bob Patten you can stay with them or return to me.  If you want to return to me please let me know and I will be sure to get your 2013 files from them.

 

 

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What’s Up With PWC’s Web Domain Address?

Prince William County government. Gotta love it if for nothing other than the entertainment value.

Want to find out more about it? Head on over to the county government’s official website at pwcgov.org.

What’s that you say? I mistyped their web address? It should be pwc.gov?

Well, one would think so, but apparently no one in the county government’s IT department ever bothered to apply for a .gov domain. In fact, to this day, that domain has gone unclaimed.

Our neighbors in Loudoun County have loudoun.gov, Fairfax County has fairfaxcounty.gov, and Stafford County has staffordcountyva.gov. Even Fauquier County has fauquiercounty.gov.

Apparently the OIT in Prince William County was too busy engaging in bid-rigging, fraud and embezzlement back in the 2000s to get around to registering .gov like everyone else was doing at the time. I suspect someone in the county was watching a Super Bowl half-time show when a sexy GoDaddy.com commercial came on and they decided to register the county its domain name. To their dismay, they discovered that not just anybody could register a .gov web address, so they registered pwcgov.org instead and hoped that nobody would notice.

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Why hasn’t anyone rectified that situation yet? (After all, you CAN have multiple domains that all point to the same website without having to duplicate any content whatsoever — see Stafford’s .us domain for example.) Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that things have improved much over there at OIT according to this post on BVBL:

If the county is actually paying $1,000 per office chair, $350 for a friggin’ telephone and an astonishing $2,500 for a 12 port network switch (that should cost less than $60), we have a much bigger problem in the county than where supervisors have their offices.  We’re actually running dedicated fibre lines to supervisor offices (costing $5,500 to install them) instead of signing them up for Comcast or Verizon internet service for about $60/month, which could also provide them with phone service through a VOIP provider?  Either there’s another massive embezzlement or bid-rigging scandal just waiting to be uncovered at the Office of Information Technology, or these figures are outright lies.

The more you look under the rocks in Prince William County, the more of a complete joke you see it to be.

UPDATE: BVBL has turned over some other county IT rocks as well — this time relating to the website for the Brentsville District and the latest county attempts to screwover new supervisor Jeanine Lawson.

Ray Utz Court Dates Set

In November, we wrote about former Prince William County assistant planning director Ray Utz’s arrest Nov. 19 on charges of indecent exposure in two instances (as well as why we were not the least bit surprised about it.) Since the initial article that appeared on InsideNOVA.com about the arrest, there hasn’t been a single mention of the incident (we didn’t even get a published mug shot, just his county headshot.)

Well, thanks to an article on InsideNOVA today about another indecent exposure incident, I decided to track down where things stand in the legal process for Utz.

Case # Defendant Hearing Date Hearing Time Charge Action
GC14014821-00 UTZ, RAYMOND ERNST 04/16/2015 09:00 AM INDECENT EXPOSURE
GC14014822-00 UTZ, RAYMOND ERNST 04/16/2015 09:00 AM SIMULATED MASTURBATION
GC14014823-00 UTZ, RAYMOND ERNST 04/16/2015 09:00 AM SIMULATED MASTURBATION
GC14014824-00 UTZ, RAYMOND ERNST 04/16/2015 09:00 AM INDECENT EXPOSURE

Now, here is the interesting thing about it. According to court records, Utz was set to be arraigned Dec. 2 on all four charges and was scheduled to have a motion hearing on Jan. 8. Hearings on Jan 22 and Feb. 19 have already been continued until April 16.

We’ll be keeping our eye on this since justice in Prince William County can be of a questionable nature to put things kindly…

Maurer is in for Rock Hill

In Stafford County Wendy Maurer has announced her intentions to seek the Republican nomination for the Board of mauerSupervisors to represent the Rock Hill District.  Last week, current Supervisor Cord Sterling announced he would not be seeking re-election to the seat.  It was widely speculated that Maurer would become a candidate and heir apparent to the Rock Hill district on the Stafford Board of Supervisors.

No other candidates have yet come forward to seek the Republican nomination.  There have been no Democrats rumbling their intention to seek the seat.  A frequent visitor and speaker at public meetings in Stafford County known for colorful speeches during public comment time at a number of boards and commissions appears to planned to make a run at it.  Paul Waldowski who often dresses in costume, t-shirts with clever quotes and hats with messages announced at a recent School Board meeting that he will be running in the Rock Hill district this year.  Over the waldolast several months he has set his sites on 2019 to run in as many as three districts simultaneously (legal or not).   With the vacancy created by Sterling’s departure Waldowski’s plans to seek public office have accelerated.

Maurer currently sits on the Economic Development Authority in Stafford County.  She is a small business owner and has served on a number of boards and commissions in the county over the last 13 years.  Maurer and her husband have three children that attend Stafford County public schools.

Maurer should be a strong candidate for the Republican nomination, and considering the Rock Hill district is a solid Republican district the general election should already be set to likely Republican.

Fredericksburg.com and Potomac Local have more on Maurer’s announcement.