Friday, August 11, 2006

Squish Search and Destroy Mission

Well, as one might expect, the anti-Republicans at Sean Connaughton's Cult of Personality ... er, "Too Conservative" (for whom, I wonder? Raging Maoists?) are continuing in their efforts to attack anyone who dared to stand up against Chairman Sean's tax-and-spend ways.

Never mind that Chairman Sean ran in 2003 attacking those whom he alleged were in the pockets of developers, such as Republican Mary Hill, and turned around in 2005 and funded his failed campaign for the GOP nomination for Lieutenant Governor with developers (i.e., pro-tax increases) money. Never mind Chairman Sean's own record of tax increases.

Now, however, the pseudonymous cowards over at TC are attacking Corey Stewart because he dares to hold a fundraiser at Tim's Rivershore Restaurant. In his patented belittling style --- one even gets a whiff of his dime-store psychology --- "NoVA Scout" criticizes Corey for holding a fundraiser at "Tim’s Riverhouse in Dumfries."

Of course, "NoVA Scout" reveals in his misnomer just how ill-informed he is; though I've never eaten there, even I know that it's actually "Tim's Rivershore." But "NoVA Scout" reveals in his misrepresentations just how desparate he is to disparage anyone who stands up against higher taxes, as Corey has consistently done.

You see, "NoVA Scout" misrepresents the facts with broad generalizations. Here's what he says:
Tim’s and the County have been locked in a nasty spat over code violations for some time now. The attitude of Tim’s Riverhouse strikes me as defiance of demands for compliance with County building and health codes. If you go to the Tim’s Riverhouse Website, you get a strong flavor of how fervently the owners have seen this as a political issue. Despite the political pressure, the county marched ahead with its enforcement activities. The County’s legal position was upheld this past May when Tim’s owner, Mr. Bauckman, was convicted and given some stiff fines by the court. Mr. Bauckman is appealing those convictions. I’ve heard that County officials still regard Tim’s as being non-compliant with certain site and sanitation requirements.
Now, if you read that, you might get the impression that eating at Tim's might give you a good case of food poisoning. Witness the reference to "sanitation requirements." There is a later reference to "health, safety and building codes," and the general suggestion that Corey Stewart isn't really interested in law enforcement. It is almost reminiscent of far Left imprecations that "children would die" if the GOP Congress were successful in slowing the increases in socialist welfare programs during the Clinton regime.

Of course, a minimal Internet search will tell you otherwise, which is perhaps why "NoVA Scout" doesn't bother with any links. One could, for example, go to Supervisor Maureen Caddigan's website, and find reprinted a column by James Simpson in the Potomac News that discusses the controversy, and reveals that it is only about the safety of the decks at Tim's.

And while I normally don't believe the Post, a Washington Post article on the controversy reveals the truth of the matter:

County officials said they took the action June 9 because the restaurant's owner, Tim Bauckman, rebuilt and expanded the outdoor seating area without proper permission after Hurricane Isabel heavily damaged it. They say Bauckman then refused to cooperate with county officials and went ahead and rebuilt his restaurant his way.

Of course, what makes Sean Connaughton's Cult of Personality ... er, "Too Conservative," so charming is that it will predictably parrot whatever Chairman Sean says, even when --- as is frequently his wont --- he misrepresents the facts. Here's what Chairman Sean was quoted (emphasis added) as saying at the time, making the same misrepresentation:

"We have a 1960s-era waterman's hangout that has now turned into a 300-seat open-air restaurant," said board Chairman Sean T. Connaughton (R). "I can tell you very sincerely that the county wants to see Tim's operate and get it legal as soon as possible. The owners just have to start working . . . to make sure the building, site plan, sewer and water and safety issues are addressed."

What this contoversey mainly seems to have been about is the fact that it tends to belie Chairman Sean's claims to have streamlined the bureaucracy to make Prince William County a "business-friendly" location. At least for long-established, un-gentrified businesses.

I'm not going to re-hash the entire controversy here. My point (and I do have one) is that one gets an entirely different understanding of what it was about if one makes the mistake of relying upon the post at TC. But understanding the controversy is, of course, not their point. Denigrating Corey Stewart is.

I almost commented about this over there. But casting pearls before those cowardly swine increasingly appears to be an utter waste of time. After all, in trashing Corey, the author demonstrates his de facto support for Corey's opponent, John Gray.

Of course, John Gray has experience in running for office. He was a candidate for Occoquan District Supervisor in 2003. Oh, yeah. It was for the Democrat nomination.


MOM said...

It's hard to believe that I would yearn for the days that TC actually ran the blog but the recent behavior of those purported adults administering the site now, is nothing short of reprehensible and certainly of the sort of divise, "extremist" behavior they purport to abhor.

Protestations aside,little has been written that can dissuade me from the opinion that several contributors are indeed elected PWC officials or at least their mouthpieces.

For their own political survival, I hope they consider the recent troubles at BVBL as they tread ever closer to the libel/slander line, particularly as it applies to professional reputations in the Commonwealth.

NoVa Scout said...

After reviewing what you wrote, James, I don't find that you disagree with my statement of the controlling facts (I assume you're not putting a great deal of weight on Riverhouse, v. Rivershore. I always was bad with last names).

You apparently mis-read the post, Jim. The question is whether it was a good idea to hold a fund-raiser at a site where the owner and the county are locked in an ongoing legal dispute over compliance with local building standards and other requirements. These requirements and their enforcement are core county functions. This is a dispute that is not going well for Tim's. I think it's that simple. In my opinion, Tim's is using Stewart and he needs to avoid people manipulating him like that. This choice of venue is a bad idea, and has nothing to do with Connaughton. (Still don't understand why you see him behind every bush). It has to do with whether the County position is meritorious and whether this has the appearance of aligning a candidate behind someone who seems determined not to comply with local ordinances. I don't attack Stewart, but suggest that it was a blunder to appear to be supporting Tim's against the county by having a fundraiser there. I don't know diddly about Mr. Gray and would not support him even if I lived in the County. I strongly suspect that he is not the best candidate for the job. I suspect the same of Mr. Stewart. But I take comfort in your prediction that a quick fuse convention will draw out the widest possible choice of candidates.

My distant experience with the food at Tim's is that it's just fine for this type of eatery. The county's perception of continued non-compliance on the sanitary side relates to sewage disposal, as I understand it.

MOM: I think the facts as I described them are accurate. I impugned no one's professional reputation. Not my style.

Anonymous said...


It is pretty sickening that you, a purported Fairfax resident, have nothing better to do in your miserable life but malign Prince William leaders, and now, a Prince William landmark. Either move to Prince William and become part of the community or stay in Fairfax and clean up your own back yard.

NoVA Scout said...

Oh, I gave up on Fairfax a long time ago. PW has been the only bright spot in the region for the past few years and I have a lot of friends and family there. Hope they can keep up the good work. I hardly ever say anything but positive things about the leaders down there. Indeed, that up-beat trait of mine seems to annoy our host.

Charles said...

NovaScout, you are a smart person, so I am a little shocked at your purile attempt at deflection.

Your post clearly warned us that people attending Corey's kickoff might get sick and change their opinion for the convention on the 19th.

Now maybe you can explain how not having the proper permit to build a deck is going to make people sick. Go ahead, it should be fun.

Otherwise, you should just own up to your attempt to mislead your readers in order to attack a republican you don't like.

NoVA Scout said...

That's clearly not the Charles I know. This one has reading problems. Go back and look at it again. I said that Tim's was locked in a bitter struggle over code violations with the County. I also said that things had not been going well for Tim's in what I view as an attempt to make compliance a political issue. I further asked whether it was a mistake to use the venue or, if it was intended to send a message, whether it was a message that someone who wanted to have high office in the county shouldn't send. I further indicated that the County continues to believe that the establishment is not in compliance on code issues. James was the one who brought food into it. Talk to him about it. I was referring to building code and sewer disposal issues. I have no reason to believe that people get sick there and certainly said nothing of the sort. I viewed the County complaints to be focussed on safety of the decks and the sanitary/environmental situation that attaches to the sewage issue. I have never heard anyone say that there were cleanliness issues in the food preparation end of the business. I haven't been there in years, but the place does have a certain rustic charm. But I think the County has every right to enforce code standards rigorously and uniformly. I don't have a lot of sympathy for Tim's position on this. And I have very little sympathy for any supervisor who would get compromised on an issue like that.

Charles said...

As I explained over at your blog, I wasn't the only person to think your reference to "sanitation" problems was meant to convey a food issue. Your first commenter made the connection, and was the source for my comment about people getting sick at the fundraiser.

You didn't correct his apparent misreading of your comments, so I had no reason to believe you weren't making those claims, as your reference to "sanitation" issues implied.

However, I do have to own up to spelling "puerile" wrong, which was an uncharacteristic mistake for me (I spell things wrong all the time, but I usually try to get my "unusual" words right).

NoVA Scout said...

Well, now you know, Charles.

I don't allow commenters to make their opinions mine. The idea is to maintain a bulletin board where you get a lot of different views. I probably diagree with about 40% of everything I read on blogs (depending on the blog).

I don't read those comments assiduously or in real time, but that commenter probably should not have been concerned. In looking at it, I think there was an element of jest there, but one never knows in the blog world.

If you are concerned about food safety at Tim's (or any other restaurant in Prince William), you can find the health inspection reports at the Prince William County Government site. It's organized so that you can type in the name of the restaurant and find out if there have been any infractions. Tim's is in there and you can decide for yourself if you, Jim Young or others should be concerned. Personally, I have no particular concerns about the food. For me, it would more be the site code compliance issues. You guys can draw your own conclusions. As you know, it's not uncommon for even some very good restaurants to sometimes fall short on these inspections and they clean up their acts. The important thing for the consumer is that the local governments are tough and fair about the inspections.

Never you mind about misspellings/typos etc. I make typing errors all the time. And being called "puerile" is not the worst thing that can happen to a guy pressing 60. I don't feel that "boyish" most of the time.