Shawn Williams, vice chairman of the county board, revealed in a statement published over the weekend by Leesburg Today that he has had “multiple arrests” for driving under the influence. He also admitted that he was “taken into custody” after an altercation at his grandmother’s house involving a former girlfriend and that sheriff’s deputies have been called to his home over altercations with a neighbor and with his wife. No charges resulted from any of the domestic calls, Williams said.
Fantastic. Later in the article Williams blames conservative candidate Charles King for starting a "whisper campaign." I don't know about that, but if he did we should all thank him because I'm sure the Democrats, and their candidate who happens to be a woman, would be happy to bring this up in a general election.
That's nice of them. TBE has the full breakdown here. Worth noting that while FCRC voted for the firehouse primaries overwhelmingly, I'm told the members from Sully symbolically voted against it in near-unanimity. Good for them.
This is probably not going to make me any friends, but I think someone has to say this. I don't want to live in a world where the Republican Party of Virginia political apparatus controls the the party in the state. Right now the RPV "crisis" is being used by both sides to talk about how terrible they are, and that is to be expected. But let's be real here, do we really want all the money, donors, lists, and infrastructure coming out of one office in Richmond? I prefer having vigorous unit, county, and congressional committees lead the way in party building, finance, and candidate recruitment. A strong RPV, which is something that too many in the Richmond establishment yearn for, means that the political muscle in the party resides at the top and not at the bottom. When candidates are running for office in Northern Virginia, I want them to raise money and keep it here, and same goes for the rest of the commonwealth. Make the activists closest to the voters do the hard work, not a large party apparatus that we will constantly fight over control of and divide us. What is the point? I'd rather have money raised at home then by a state party apparatus.
This isn't to say there isn't a place for RPV, but I'm not worried about this "crisis." If I were running for office in Northern Virginia, I'd go talk to Barbara Comstock or the local tea party groups before worrying one second about what anyone in Richmond thinks. I imagine that potential candidates, leaders, and activists in other parts of the state feel the same way.
Thus far Susan Stimpson's campaign to unseat Speaker Howell has been admirable but, to me, a one-note tune. Taxes, taxes, taxes. Which is good because she's not wrong. But this ... this... is what I want to see!
Bill Howell keeps putting Richmond special interests ahead of families - this time, giving Dominion more power to hike your electric rates by removing oversight on any rate reviews for the next seven years.
For all we talk about deregulation, we must remember that Virginia's regulations aren't terrbly stringent to begin with and as long as Dominion has a near-monopoly in this state (and the son of the CEO in the House of Delegates), the kind of regulation currently in place isn't terrible tough anyway. This is a naked attempt to raise tax rates without having to answer to it and Republicans should be outraged at this end-around on free market competition. A candidate willing to stand up against the crony capitalism on our own party is worth supporting. See below for her entire statement on this.
If you're a member of Sully (or Mason) District and you are in the Fairfax County Republican Committee and you thought your voice counted … well, get ready to eat shit.
Last night night the FCRC executive committee voted to send the membership of FCRC a proposal that requires a firehouse primary in 7 districts (Springfield and Braddock have a public primary because they have Republican incumbents who get to select the process they want). “But Chris, don’t you love firehouse primaries?” I do, but that’s the tricky deal that is going on here. The SAME people who voted for this were the ones who weeks ago decided they wanted to ask the districts themselves what method of nomination they wanted - Sully and Mason district came back with mass meetings. As I’ve reported on earlier, what this is all about is the leadership of the local party are in the bag for Brian Schoeneman and actively trying to game the system in his favor. They thought that someone who’s lived in the district for 5 days would have the sway to get the magisterial committee to vote his way, which obviously he did not. Sully’s membership voted overwhelmingly (only Brian and his wife voted against it) for a mass meeting.
And before you let Boss Hogg’s mouth breathers tell you this is some primary versus convention debate, it is not. The reason that Sully went with a mass meeting was they were looking at four (now three) candidate race and the party plan does not currently permit any form of run-off election for a primary or fire-house primary. What this is really about is FCRC leadership gaming the system for Brian Schoeneman. It is powerful county Republicans led by Pat Herrity, NONE OF WHOM LIVE IN SULLY DISTRICT, telling Sully district how to nominate their candidate and making it favor someone who has literally just moved there and has endorsements almost solely from outside the district. Sully is being used here. They were asked by the Ex-Comm to tell them what they wanted, and when it came back not in favor of Brian Schoeneman (and when I say not in favor, I don’t mean some down the line vote that was decided by 1 or 2 people - it was an overwhelming repudiation of Herrity and Schoeneman), they said f*ck it, why are we letting 22 people decide this. FCRC figures the 22 residents of Sully who actually give a damn enough to join the local committee, become precinct captains, and try to work on the grassroots level aren’t worthy of deciding who their nominee should be. That’s up to Pat Herrity and FCRC. And damn, if you're going to game the system at least find a candidate who knows people in that district and isn't meeting precinct captains on Facebook for the first time. Both John Litzenberger and John Guevera have endorsed a mass meeting, by they way, and both have lived in Sully since before the NFL playoffs started.
So if you are a member of FCRC and you are going to the meeting next week to vote on this proposal, please consider this. If it can happen to Sully and Mason, it can happen to you. This is NOT about convention versus primary - because neither a mass meeting nor a firehouse primary are exactly conventions or primaries anyways, so that's just a head fake they are throwing at you thinking your dumb and won't see what is really going on. This is how they will dress it up to get you to vote their way. What they are really asking you to do is vote to silence the expressed wishes of Sully and Mason district. And if they can do that once, they’ll do it again. How can anyone at FCRC look its members in the eye and say with any validity that your opinion matters? Why even have district committees anyways?
Does FCRC have any respect for its membership? Don’t wait to find out, if you're an FCRC member go to the meeting next week and make them respect you.
Dranesville Supervisor John Foust (D-Questionable Mustache) made clear early on in his congressional race that there was a war on women, yet little did he know that the women are apparently warring on him. After a 20 point obliteration at the hands of Barbara Comstock that had even the most partisan Democrat giving a "that's impressive" whistle. Losing a congressional race to a Republican in a district that a Republican has represented since 1980 isn't bad in and of itself, but doing so badly that it actually sets the party back. So naturally, one has to question Foust's standing in his own magisterial district.
So after losing a professional women from Great Falls, he now gets another one. Jennifer Chronis has stepped forward to run, and I imagine Foust is having some pretty harrowing flashbacks. I don't know much about Ms. Chronis, though I was semi-taunted that a certain Boss from Springfield is actively supporting her. But I'll leave that up to others to decide and we'll see if anyone else jumps in.
Earlier this session, the Senate passed SB 919, which gives government the right to issue an “administrative subpoena” to collect the phone and Internet records of a citizen. Ostensibly to combat child pornography, abduction and terrorism, the bill authorized the government to conceal the fact of the subpoena from the target if disclosure would “seriously jeopardize” the investigation, i.e. by causing the target to hire a lawyer and challenge an unjustified or overbroad search.
The bill passed 39-1. I was the only “no” vote.
Scary stuff. A lot of Republicans run around talking about limited government, the Constitution, and fear of a large federal bureaucracy. Where are all of you?
Sully District has always been considered the most Republican magisterial district in Farifax County, and for the first time since it was created we have an open election. Readers of the Virginia blogosphere are well aware that the omnipresent Brian Schoeneman was the first out of the gate and applause from everyone not living in Sully district. And while for some there is enjoyment in beating Brian up a little, that isn’t really the story here. The larger story is Springfield Supervisor Pat Herrity attempting desperately to be some sort of 21st century Tom Davis, a Republican boss who can select and fund candidates himself and run the party. Thus fair, whatever he is attempting, it has failed miserably.
First are the candidates, and right now we stand at three. We have John Guevara, a local community activists both politically and non-politically who seems to have the grassroots support. Then there is John Litzenberger, who has run for office before and is currently Mike Frey’s man on the county Planning Commission, usually a stepping stone to supervisor. Brian would be the third. This race hasn’t broken down into the traditionally establishment vs. conservative paradigm one might think because of Herrity’s funding of Schoeneman, who nobody in Sully really knows. Brian’s chief reply to the carpetbagger question is he points out a majority of the delegate district he ran in 2011 has Sully in it. That doesn’t really help his case when reminded that he lost to David Bulova by 20 points. Brian literally moved to Centreville in the last month and announced less than a week after he moved. In an election like this, for supervisor, local ties both in politics and civic associates are more important than almost anything else. Right now Brian has Pat Herrity’s people and contacts, which have done him no favors.
The first skirmish in this just happened, and that was the vote on the method of nomination. The procedure according to the party plan is that the unit committee, in this case FCRC’s voting membership, will select the method of nomination for the local and constitutional offices. The RPV party plan apparently doesn’t recognize the existence of magisterial district committees as separate entities because they don’t exist in most of the state. So by the rules, the county committee can’t actually devolve this decision to the districts. The FCRC e-board made a decision that it would be a good idea basically for each magisterial district to unofficially select what method they want to use for nomination and it would be recommended to the full county committee for ratification. This way the wishes of the districts are granted and aren’t forced upon by the entire committee. It’s actually a clever way of keeping the natives happy within the districts and it’s worked well.
That is, until Boss Herrity (lol) tried to game the system for Schoeneman at the last meeting. Sully voted overwhelmingly for a mass meeting instead of a firehouse primary or standard primary, with I believe the only two no votes coming from Brian and his wife. What was especially embarrassing about this was according to the birdies chirping out there is that Brian nor Patt ever called any Sully activists or FCRC members ahead of this meeting and walked in having no idea how this would go. He was completely blind-sided. The interesting part is Litzenberger, who holds the support of much of the business and professional community in Sully (why Pat isn’t backing him, I’ll never know), is also pushing for a mass meeting. So now Pat and Brian are left in the position of convincing the FCRC membership as a whole to set aside the overwhelming choice of the Sully committee (Mason district as well chose a mass meeting) and put in place a firehouse primary. Guevara and Litzenberger, who represent the grassroots vs. business divide, both agree on a mass meeting. I’m not sure neither Pat nor Brian have that kind of sway, and I’m certainly convinced that members as a whole do not want to pick a needless fight over the overwhelming support of a magisterial district and the candidates. The key, again, is Litzenberger, who’s constituency in this race would naturally be allies of Herrity. Since he is pushing for a mass meeting, it is unlikely we’ll see some long drawn-out establishment vs. grassroots fight over primary vs. mass meeting. And this is all against the backdrop of the Democratic Party having a legit, A-list recruit in Kathy Smith as their nominee. If Brian and Pat can’t find the time or effort to call Sully activists within the committee, how can we expect them to run a real general election campaign against the Connolly/Bulova-backed Smith?
The real story for me is Pat Herrity once again grasping for influence in a county party that he has no sway over. People like and respect him, and he does a good job as a supervisor, but Frey and John Cook get more done than Herrity does as far as the board Republicans go. He tried running for Chairman and Congress and lost both, the latter badly. Meddling in Sully’s open race has angered a lot of activists of both business/establishment and grassroots stripe and has really left Brian hanging in the wind. Doing absolutely nothing to prepare for this race hasn’t helped either, as many Sully precinct captains found out about Brian’s announcement on Facebook and Bearing Drift like that rest of us. One thing Brian and Pat do have going for them is an incredibly sharp campaign manager in Erika Dyer, who comes from BarbaraWorld, but I’m not sure that will be enough. In a way I feel bad for Brian because he’s a good guy, has worked hard for the party (certainly harder than me LOL), and really I think would want to do a lot of good if he were elected. But he got talked into something here that I’m not sure was very well thought out and with zero advanced preparation. Does Pat Herrity really think he can wave a magic wand and make Republicans in Fairfax County do his bidding? What major races has he won, what candidates has he groomed, what major donors does he control? And what is the end game? Fairfax County is Democratic, Gerry Connolly and Sharon Bulova rule it and there really isn’t much we can do about it. The best we can do is create strong unit committees that develop good candidates from the grassroots, from civic associates, and from HOA leadership.
If Herrity is trying to be a Boss like Tom Davis was, he’s doing a terrible job of it.
While, in the old fashioned and bygone eras of the past, it might have been expected that a candidate for public office should demonstrate a commitment to his community before placing his name forward to be their leader or representative, such laughably out-dated notions have no place in our brave new world of the internet age. By sharing your personal opinions on the internet, all diverse people of the commonwealth of Virginia are now your community, and none are foreign to your thoughts and wisdom. Knowing your brilliance, they shall surely follow your lead in the days ahead, as the internet already does.
Alas, you must at times disappoint the waiting throngs of your faithful followers. Despite not being a PTA member, having gone to church just once (with my parents), and having never volunteered for anything other than talking to a cop about a hit and run in my neighborhood; I did feel the pull of public service. However, after careful considerations with my lovely wife Jess and our daughter Abigail, I have decided to pass up running for any office in a county I just moved to and where I hardly know anyone in order to focus on my family and career. To Mayor Hal Parrish, to Del. Bob Marshall, and to Supervisor Peter Candland - rest easy, you need not fear a my potential candidacy any longer. I want to thank the people of Prince William county who don’t know me and did not write me, it was amazing hearing all of the outreach and support. My only regret is there are consultants out there who won’t be able to take all of my money.
God bless you all.
Christopher T. Beer
Husband, father, ex-Fairfax YR secretary, blogger, anonymous commenter, and one-time attendee of Manassas Fall Jubilee