Thursday, August 22, 2019
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Video: “We Hate to See People In Need,” Says Fairfax County...

by Cindy At the July 16th Fairfax County Board meeting, Supervisor Pat Herrity (R) moved to draft an ordinance that would prohibit “any engagement of...

Fourth Democratic Candidate – Edythe Kelleher – Announces for Fairfax County...

It's hard to keep track of all the candidates running this year in Virginia. Here's one - Edythe Kelleher - who just announced for...

Tonight’s Debate in Centreville; Tea Partier John Guevara Attacks Democrat Kathy...

Tonight I attended the debate between Democratic School Board Member Kathy Smith and Republican Tea Party Member John Guevara, candidates for the Sully District seat on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Sitting on the western edge of the county alongside Dulles Airport, with about 130,000 residents, Sully is one of the most rapidly growing and changing parts of the Commonwealth. This race is a chance for Democrats to pick up an open seat in a district currently represented by a Republican, retiring Supervisor Michael Frey -- who also was the debate moderator.

I have to say that I was surprised when the debate turned ugly, thanks to Mr. Guevara's comments (which I will address later). For most of the time things were relatively civil and Guevara came across as a polished candidate who seemed committed to a drama-free event. But I guess he couldn't resist throwing some red meat to his supporters so, as they say, the gloves came off.

Supervisor Frey remarked on the large crowd, which neared 100 people -- quite a feat for an obscure political debate taking place before Labor Day. I doubt that there were many undecided voters in attendance. This appeared to be an exercise in candidates and parties getting their supporters out. Us Democrats had a good crowd, with elected officials and many top party activists in attendance. The Republicans clearly had sounded the alarm for the Tea Party folks to come out.

In Fairfax’s Mason District, Mysterious Newcomer vs. Reliable Incumbent

Have mercy on my mailbox!  It has in recent weeks been carpet-bombed by slick flyers, most of them from a young lady named Jessica Swanson -  also known as "who?"  

Well, a few things about her are clear - she badly wants Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross's job and is willing to say lots of nasty things about Gross to win it. And she clearly has a ton of money and political consultant resources to back up that desire. Hence the mystery...

But that mystery has been clearing up lately, as Gross' team has finally begun to fight fire with fire and send out its own flyers clarifying where Swanson got that cash - a record $87,221 of it from an organization known as Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE).  LEE is described in an American Prospect article as a sort of PAC for the Teach for America / school privatization crowd.  

Now, I don't focus much on education issues and wouldn't be the best person to comment on the battles over how best to save our schools.  But if this is Ms. Swanson's agenda, she is not even mentioning it - all she talks about in regard to education is upping the county schools budget (and blaming Gross for cutting it).  

For that matter, despite her withering criticisms of the incumbent, she proposes very little in the way of substantive policy changes.  Most of the issues page on her website consists of bland statements like "I believe in listening to the community's input in a real way."  After attacking Gross for taking contributions from developers - the main source of campaign funds for nearly every local official - Swanson makes no pledge to refrain from such donors herself.