McCain-Palin Dude Ducks Democratic Debate


    Remember Chris Wade, the self-described “strong McCain-Palin supporter”? Remember how Gerry Connolly complained that Wade had no serious civic or political credentials qualifying him to run for supervisor, and also publicly cited concerns over Wade’s voting history, notably two recent cases where he voted in Republican primaries?

    Well, that Chris Wade – we’ll call him “McCain-Palin Dude” henceforth – is now running, believe it or not, as a “Democrat” for Braddock District Supervisor in Fairfax County. Yes, I know this is laughable, but apparently, it’s not a joke. Running against McCain-Palin Dude is a real Democrat, Janet Oleszek, who served on the Fairfax County School Board and who was the Democratic nominee against Ken Kookinelli in 2007 (unfortunately, she lost by a narrow 101 votes).

    Well, now Oleszek is running for Braddock District Supervisor, and has been attempting to debate McCain-Palin Dude. Unfortunately for Braddock District Democratic voters, McCain-Palin Dude is refusing to debate Oleszek, except under absurd, bizarro rules that nobody in their right mind would agree to (see Oleszek’s email to the Braddock District Democratic Committee, on the “flip”). Not surprisingly, it appears that McCain-Palin Dude is afraid to be asked questions, publicly, at a Democratic debate, such as “how on earth could you have been a STRONG MCCAIN-PALIN supporter in 2008, and now claim to be a Democrat?!?” I mean, in fairness, I don’t blame McCain-Palin Dude for being terrified of such a forum, as he clearly has no answer for why he morphed overnight from “strong McCain-Palin supporter” to “Democrat,” with no explanation whatsoever. (note: I am NOT against Republicans switching parties — recall that I drafted former Reagan Administration official Jim Webb — but I’d like to hear a coherent explanation of WHY they did so, just as we got from Jim Webb in 2005/2006).  

    Finally, you’ve gotta love McCain-Palin Dude‘s attempt to restrict questions at the debate to people who can prove they live in Braddock District. Again, it’s clear McCain-Palin Dude is terrified of an open forum, with questions asked by reporters or anyone else who cares to do so. The question is, why would any Democrat vote for someone like this?!? (Hint: they shouldn’t!)

    Dear Braddock Committee members,

    I wanted to write you today with some disappointing news.  We will not be having a debate or forum for Braddock District Supervisor during our Democratic primary campaign.  Jim Hickey attempted to organize this for the committee, and I want to thank him very much for the time he put into it.

    Our campaign requested a simple set of rules (below) that are virtually identical to the rules used in two of the statewide primary debates we had for Governor in 2009. There were three features of these rules that were important to our campaign:

    1)  Questions be submitted in writing from the audience to ensure that no one could disrupt or filibuster the event for the candidate of their choice.

    2)  A neutral moderator be selected to run the debate that both campaigns could agree upon

    3)  That candidates be allowed to ask at least one question of each other

    Instead of negotiating details in good faith, my opponent’s representative attempted to add strange language to the rules that would deter participation.  For example, they asked about limiting questions to Fairfax County residents.  While that may sound reasonable, it would require identifying voters at the door and requesting ID.  As you know, Democrats have fought hard in Virginia and many other states against voter ID laws because they disenfranchise voters who don’t have an ID card. We won’t be participating in any debate that attempts to do that- especially in a Democratic Primary!

    Attached below are the rules we proposed (again, virtually identical to rules from 2009 that Virginia Democrats used). I promise you that even though I won’t have an opportunity to appear on stage with my opponent during this primary I will continue to hold him accountable for his actions and positions with the public.

    Janet Oleszek

    • Tom


    • Will Radle

      Dear Janet,

      If you want to discuss issues in a public forum, I would be happy to follow the rules that you outlined.  The rules you suggested to Chris Wade, the Braddock candidate endorsed by Sharon Bulova, seem very fair to me.  It should be fun and enlightening.

      My goal in public service remains creating effective, sustainable solutions to the challenges confronting our community.  I seek to serve Democrats and our entire community.

      Let me know if you are interested.  


      Will Radle