Friday, June 10, 2005

Who Supports You Says a Lot About You

As GOP Primary Day approaches, it's useful to consider who, exactly, is supporting Sean Connaughton for Lt. Governor. Tom Davis' fair-haired boy and stalking horse for the latter's statewide ambitions (ambitions which, by the way, I might even be willing to support). To be sure, Chairman Sean has more than a fair number of local sycophants and pissboys who are enthusiastic behind his candidacy.
One would expect Coles Supervisor "Big" Marty Nohe to support him. After all, Connaughton got a Republican incumbent thrown out of office to make way for Nohe. Never mind that this wasn't the original plan. You see, Connaughton originally backed Tom Burrell, who then infuriated local Republicans and embarrassed Chairman Sean by announcing as an independent, and then by withdrawing from the race entirely. Nevertheless, when Burrell did so, Chairman Sean threw his support to Nohe, demonstrating that the pitfalls of a successful political movement is that you can get any idiot elected to public office, and frequently do.
That's one reason why Chairman Sean holds me in such disregard. You see, I blew the whistle (in my late, unlamented Potomac News column) on Burrell and his dishonorable tactic. When I did so, there was a furious exchange of e-mails between myself, Chairman Sean, former Occoquan Supervisor Ruth Griggs, and former Prince William Taxpayers Alliance Chairman and gadfly Ella Shannon, among others. Out of this little exchange came the revelations that Burrell was Connaughton's candidate, part of his vendetta against former Coles Supervisor Mary Hill.
Connaughton even has some respectable support. Congressman Tom Davis is a big backer. Some local supporters, like Clerk of Court Dave Mabie and Brentsville Supervisor Wally Covington, I even like and respect, and forgive them of their indiscretion. I assume that he's paying former County GOP Chairman Bill Kling, and that Kling isn't giving him a discount for his services.
But then you look to other supporters, and you just have to scratch your head.
There's Jonathan Pick, who appeared at a press conference last year to support Chairman Sean's proposed budget, a model of profligate spending, and announced his support for Chairman Sean's statewide ambitions. Well, perhaps not a model; it was every bit as bloated as every other County budget during Sean's tenure. An Internet search at the time revealed that Pick was a Deaniac, supporting Howard Dean's campaign for the Democrat presidential nomination. Well, maybe it wasn't the same "Jonathan Pick." 'Cept this one was from Woodbridge, Virginia. A more recent search lists him (of Woodbridge) as a member of the "Tim Kaine for Governor" meetup on meetup.com, and the only individual who actually showed up at a meeting. But I'm more certain that he authored two or three letters published in the Potomac News in support of homo "marriage."
Whysoever would Pick support a self-styled "conservative" Republican like Chairman Sean?
Then there's the neighbor of mine. Now, while I don't know this neighbor's name, I do know his or her vehicle. It is one of the few in the neighborhood with dependably Lefty bumperstickers. The most recent has been "Another Family for Peace," popular among anti-Bush far Lefties. But another one appeared recently: "Connaughton for Lt. Gov."
Whysoever would an anti-Bush Lefty support a self-styled "conservative" Republican like Chairman Sean?
The third is more dubious. A member of the church that I attend has always impressed my as someone not especially politically active but, if anything, a Democrat. Yet I noted on this individual's car a "Connaughton for Lt. Gov." sticker. Indeed, this individual once showed up at last year's May meeting of the Prince William County Republican Committee where, in a fit of pique over his embarassment at losing a straw poll at the previous month's County Convention, Chairman Sean tried to seize control of the County Committee by packing a meeting with people who had never shown up before. Precious few returned, too.
Whysoever would Democrats support a self-styled "conservative" Republican like Chairman Sean?
And then, of course, there are the Connaughton sycophants --- call them Connaughtonites --- in Prince William County: the appointees; the hangers-on; the people who've never risked anything to take a stand for principle in their lives, probably because they have none; the people who expect a payoff when Chairman Sean realizes his ambitions. Not all Connaughton supporters are such people. As much as it pains me to say so, Ella Shannon is not among these less-than honorable types (there are other reasons for her vile rhetoric, now enlisted in Chairman Sean's cause), nor is Southbridge Homeowners Association President Jim Riley. But they seem to be particularly thick among the blogosphere (see below for their comments).
Yeah, you can sure tell a lot about a candidate by those who back him. And aside from the usual types who hope to gain advancement from their association with Chairman Sean, there are enough people who make it quite clear that conservative Republican is not a claim that can be sustained.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does anyone support you? When will you be running for office?

RobertLangDirect said...

Connaughton won't get my vote for lieutenant governor

Sean Connaughton, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, says he is running for lieutenant governor so he can make Richmond live up to the expectations of Virginia, an admirable goal. I should wish him well.

Prince William County is poised to initiate a 12.6 percent increase in its budget. While new revenue streams, such as additional homes and increased commerce, finance 5.9 percent of this increase, the remaining 6.7 percent comes from the actual increase of property taxes.

Yet Connaughton says he has steadily driven down the highest tax rate in Virginia. While this may be true, the county has repeatedly raised the assessed value of our properties, and in doing so, Connaughton presided over record tax increases.

Given that he is facilitating an $80 million boost in the size of the county government, I find his tax talk to be disingenuous, at best, if not outright misleading.

I suppose Connaughton would tell us to be happy--at some time in the future, should I sell my home, I might see a windfall profit. But I am just a simple man, and I place little value on wild assertions of future riches.

Where I place my concern is in the present situation. Connaughton did not run the county more efficiently, did not cut waste, and did not hold the line on increased taxes. While he can claim to have lowered the tax rate, the 6.7 percent tax increase exposes the perfidy of such talk.

Connaughton failed to live up to my expectations. All Virginians should take note.

Robert Lang

Triangle

Larry Sabato's Left Nut said...

Oh wise sage, enlighten us with where Bolling goes now against Byrne.....

John Peterson said...

You really are pathetic. Having failed in your attempts at political office, you can only lash out at those who have succeeded where you could not. Thanks for your efforts in making the Republican party look backwards and stupid. I'm sure the Democrats enjoy your work tremendously. Here's hoping that, when the pendulum swings back the other way in favor of sensible Republicans, it hits you squarely in your fat ass!

James Young said...

John,
Perhaps the fact that I don't know who you are (presuming you are using your real name, which I do) indicates the contributions that you've made to the GOP.
Failed? Yes. It is, of course, noteworthy that I failed in the same district in which your god, Sean Connaughton, resided (then, as now), and that his contributions to GOP victory in the 90s (you know, when we were actually taking seats away from Dems) were non-existent.
As for the notion that those who oppose tax-and-spend policies "mak[e] the Republican party [sic] look backwards [sic] and stupid," there's a word to describe individuals who believe in such tripe: Democrats.

James Young said...

And BTW, John, nice personal insults.

John Peterson said...

Just following your lead on the insult front. You've more than earned 'em.

James Young said...

"Following [my] lead." What "lead" is that? Calling liberal policies "liberal"? Calling attention to individual's records? Calling those who hurl their insults behind a cloak of anonymity "cowards."

Well, OK, maybe the last. But it remains a legitimate surmise.

Funny, but I never engage in ad hominem attack ("pathetic," "backwards and stupid," not "sensible," "fat ass"). That I don't even know who you are precludes me from doing so, anyway. That you know who I am -- and feel the need to comment -- speaks volumes about my influence.

As for whether "Democrats enjoy [my] work tremendously," I doubt it. But at least a few respect it. Lee Stoffregen (whom I frequently described as wanting to become "the Boss Hogg of PWC") told me that he thought (probably some of) my criticisms were fair. And Virginia Stephens' husband, who was Dave Brickley's operative (can't remember his name; must be a middle-aged moment), once told me that my YRs were the "best youth political operation" he'd ever seen.

James Young said...

And LSLN:
That is a truly and creatively vile handle. ;-)
Had dinner with Larry at Middlecourt a couple of decades back. Wonder what he would say?
Will respond with a post, when I'm not quite so busy.

Larry Sabato's Left Nut said...

Larry Sabato's Hairpiece was already taken, so I couldn't use that name.

James Young said...

Just be careful. The eternally earnest might call you "disgusting," or a "potty-mouth." Wit is lost on them.

James Young's Saggy Ballsack said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cooter's Cooter said...

You've just got to live with the name you were born with!