Saturday, May 13, 2006

"Too Conservative," or "Too In Bed With Chairman Sean"?

Well, I just got a call from Corey Stewart, who wanted to set the record straight on a story which appeared in today's Potomac News. It is also the subject of a comment posted over at "Too Conservative."

It seems that Vince is upset over what he calls "an incredible display of hypocrisy" by newly-elected Prince William County GOP Chairman Tom Kopko. Why is Vince so upset?

Well, he says that Kopko should be criticized because he:
held a joint press conference with the Prince William Democratic chair and two Democratic candidates for the Prince William Board of Supervisors, Gary Friedman who is running for chairman and Ernie Porta, who was recently elected mayor of Occoquan and has told people he is running for supervisor next year for a long held Republican seat.
Vince goes on to claim that:

The press conference turned into a bashing session against the Republicans in Prince William, Richmond, and Washington. Kopko stood there and reportedly nodded in agreement. An article in today’s Potomac News describes the debacle.

Due to Kopko’s actions, he has now given credibility to these Democratic candidates and energized the Democratic party which has lost most contests in the county until now. This move legitimizes the Democrats.

According to Stewart (who, unlike Vince's source about Kopko "reportedly nod[ding] in agreement," wants to be cited as the source), Kopko's press conference was held separately from that by Bras and Porta. Moreover, contrary to a comment that I made on Vince's site, I have since been reminded that the County Republican Convention adopted --- by a wide margin, though not unanimously --- a resolution calling for rejection of the Brentwood project.

I don't feel particularly strongly about this project, and haven't worked particularly hard to learn about it. Development issues are a strong fault line among conservatives, since the right to develop one's property as one sees fit is certainly a conservative principle, while the conservatives are rightly skeptical of developers who believe that the taxpayers should bear the burden of developing public facilities to support their developments.

However, I am certainly skeptical of Vince's attack on Tom Kopko. Vince made clear early on that he was a fan of ousted GOP Chairman Brian Murphy, and certainly supported his candidacy on his site. Moreover, it is not mere coincidence that I have a link to the right to "Sean Connaughton's Cult of Personality": Vince started his site while a paid staffer of Connaughton's abortive candidacy for the GOP nomination for Lt. Governor, and posed as though he were some kind of disinterested/objective observor.

Now, I'm not sure what is "hypocritical" about Tom's behavior, but I certainly have no problem with his actions publicizing a position taken by the County GOP Convention, the ultimate authority of the County GOP. Doing so with prominent Democrats might have been a mistake, though Corey notes that it wasn't with Bras and Porta. And it's difficult to believe that Corey Stewart would be rising to Tom's defense if he were concerned about, as Vince reports, Porta's stated intention to run for Occoquan District Supervisor next year.

So one wonders, is the criticism over at Too Conservative application of an objective criteria to criticize errant behavior, or convenient situational ethics in the service of an ideology/commitment to a politico?

Funny, but I can't remember a single word of criticism by Vince over Chairman Sean's actions in voting with Democrats on the Board to raise PWC property taxes.