This County Ain’t Big Enough…..

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    ( – promoted by KathyinBlacksburg)

    As I’ve been talking with voters about November’s election, I hear two sentences over and over again:  “I didn’t know we elected a Sheriff.”  and “Is that this year?”  So perhaps some attention needs to be paid!

    Even as much of a political junkie as I am, the Sheriff’s race would have completely escaped my active attention if it weren’t for the Republican and/or Cooper attack on current Sheriff (and Democrat) Stan Barry regarding his retirement.  Naturally, as a Fairfax County resident, I added my name, e-mail and zip code to get the updates about this alleged corruption.  To this date, I haven’t received a single one.  Now, maybe they saw my name (I don’t use a dummy name or e-mail — if I write something or communicate about VA politics, it is always under my own full name.)  Or more likely, there’s just nothing there to say.

    For the record (and because I’m a stickler for accuracy as best as I can — if there is legitimate issues, I want to know.  If this is a false attack, I want to know that too) I took some time to hear from Stan Barry himself about what was being said and what it meant, since I found the website accusations kind of convoluted.  After learning that the numbers they were using were flat out false (they added a false salary and benefits equation — which is strange, since salary and benefits are not used in the calculation of retirement benefits) Barry went on to note that NONE of his retirement money will come until he actual retires, an important point.  Indeed, he will receive only his sheriff’s income — a far more modest number (Fairfax public servants are among the lowest paid in the DC/MD/VA region) than the flashy “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” attack.  More to the point, his retirement package remains the same whether he is re-elected or not.

    So that’s said, let’s get to the brass tacks.  

    Here is what we know about Stan Barry:

    He is running on a platform to keep the jail secure

    He is running on reducing recidivism

    He is running on keeping tight control over money spent in his operation, including more than a million dollars saved taxpayers last year by doing what we’re told only private sector organizations do — reconfiguring work flows and resolving inefficiencies.  

    We also know that he has received the endorsement of EVERY organization that has taken the time to endorse in the Sheriff’s race including some really important ones such as the Fairfax Deputy Sheriffs, the Fairfax Police and the Fraternal Order to Police.  

    Other endorsements including the Fairfax Firefighters, the Fairfax Government Employees, the International Union of Police Associations, and Fairfax Communications Workers.

    Stan Barry has attended 7 debates.

    What do we know about Bill Cooper?

    That he survived a bruising and divisive primary, that cost him a great deal of money.

    His motto “Keeping Fairfax Families Safe” sounds really good, until you remember that arresting fugitives and crack down on gang violence is handled by the police.  But hey, if we want to give kudos to the Sheriff for being part of that team, then let’s keep in mind that gang violence is down and the crime rate in Fairfax is among the lowest (if not the lowest) of all those in the VA/MD/DC metropolitian area.  (Yay Stan!!)

    He talks a good game about programs that cost money, but the only two ways he is looking to save taxpayers money is by locking up “deadbeat dads” (doesn’t incarceration COST money?) and by demanding that the federal government take a more active role in cracking down on illegal aliens.  (Because no one has thought of that before!)

    We also know that he has not attended a single debate.  Considering that one of the top stories at the Republican VA blog COMMON SENSE is “80% of success is showing up” by blogger April Jenny about debates, I’ll let readers draw their own conclusions.

    So there you have it.  Attention has been paid!  I realize there are a lot of races out there, and volunteering and energy is a premium.  If you can help, the easiest way to reach Stan is through his website: www.fairfaxsheriff.com.  And if you take a few minutes to talk to voters about Stan Barry, we we will certainly reap the rewards!