The June 14th Democratic primary for Arlington County Board is just 2 1/2 weeks away, and the tempo of endorsements, mailers, etc. is increasing. Yesterday, for instance, the smart growth website Greater Greater Washington (GGW) strongly endorsed Erik Gutshall “in his efforts to unseat incumbent Libby Garvey.” GGW had good things to say about Gutshall — having a “forward-looking” vision for Arlington (unlike Garvey), on housing affordability and transportation — but the gist of the endorsement was a loooong explanation for “Why you should not vote for Garvey.” I encourage everyone to read the entire thing, as it’s all spot-on, but here are a few highlights (bolding added by me for emphasis), with my comments.
- Garvey is “surprisingly poorly versed on policy issues and has not built consensus toward solutions.” (I’ve seen this since the first time I interviewed her, back in 2005, and also when I interviewed her in 2011 — she simply has no understanding or interest in most issues, also apparently no core beliefs. Whatever else you want to say about her ally, Republican John Vihstadt, I don’t think anyone denies that he’s smart, on top of the issues, well-prepared, etc. Garvey? Not so much.)
- On numerous issues, “[Garvey’s] statements worked as political sound bites but were logically nonsensical.” (GGW cites Garvey’s continued nonsense about what she erroneously refers to as “Bus Rapid Transit,” a phrase she occasionally replaces with the less-inaccurate “enhanced bus” or whatever. To me, Garvey’s lack of understanding regarding what “BRT” is and is not indicates either carelessness, lack of rigor, intellectual dishonesty, cluelessness or all the aforementioned. None of those qualities, of course, are what we want in a County Board member.)
- Instead of offering real transportation solutions, GGW slams Garvey for claiming that “there’s a magic transit solution out there which only they have the courage to implement.” (Of course, 1 1/2 years after completing their work to kill the streetcar, Garvey et al have not delivered the “magic transit solution” she had promised would be a cheaper, quicker alternative to the streetcar. Shocker, eh?)
- Finally, GGW hits Garvey for “votes…against funding affordable housing are troubling,” part of a “dangerous trend in Arlington of affluent neighborhoods turning against funding for projects, whether transit, housing, or others, in less-wealthy south Arlington.” (That one speaks for itself.)
GGW’s conclusion is the same as mine and many other Arlington Democrats – Del. Rip Sullivan, Del. Alfonso Lopez, Sen. Adam Ebbin, Former Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, School Board member Reid Goldstein, Clerk of the Court and former County Board Chair Paul Ferguson, and many more, as well as the Arlington Education Association PAC: the clear pick for Arlington Democrats on June 14 is Erik Gutshall. (Now, if only hordes of Republicans don’t turn out for the Democratic primary to vote for their pal Libby Garvey…)
With that, here’s Gutshall’s latest mailer, which charges that Libby Garvey has made “rash suggestions to send kids to school as early as 5AM, ending the day for others as late as 11PM,” as the school overcrowding “crisis moves into its sixth year.”