Tuesday, July 14, 2020
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Evan Macbeth to Be New LCDC Chair? Coup Attempt vs. Bruce...

After the third straight year of disastrous elections for Democrats here in Virginia, you'd expect a great deal of ferment among Democratic committees, including DPVA. In the case of the DPVA, of course, we're not seeing that, as the culture of non-accountability for failure is deeply entrenched there. Bottom line: at DPVA, it's much more about who people "like," maintaining their exclusive club, racial/gender/regional politics, etc., than about competence and merit. In other words, DPVA seems well beyond hope.

At the local committee level, though, we're seeing a bit more ferment right now. Over at NLS, Ben reports that "In York/Poquoson, the new Chair is Jake Evans, a 21 year old local student." Congratulations to Jake, talk about a youth movement!

On a far less pleasant note, Ben reports that "Party switcher Chris Wade who ran for Supervisor as a "Democrat" this year (voting in his first Democratic Primary for himself) was elected Co-Chair of the Braddock District Democratic Committee." Now, to be clear, I have ZERO problem with party switchers from "R" to "D." Recall that I "drafted" one of them  -- Jim Webb for Senate in 2006 -- and worked for his campaign. So what's the difference between Chris Wade and Jim Webb (other than that Chris Wade is NO Jim Webb in any way, shape or form)? Simple: Jim Webb explained, repeatedly and persuasively, the thought process that led him to move from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party. In Chris Wade's case, there STILL, believe it or not, has been no explanation for how he went from self-identified "strong McCain-Palin supporter" in 2008 (3 years ago) to suddenly a "Democrat" today. So, what's Wade doing as a Democrat, and what in bloody you-know-where is Wade doing being ELECTED to a Democratic Committee?!? What I'm hearing is that, for whatever reason(s), Wade is seen by certain "powers that be" as a potential Democratic candidate in the future. Why, I have no idea, but it's certainly not based on Wade's efforts for Democrats over the years, that's for sure. Terrible choice by the Braddock District Democratic Committee.

In other news, I'm hearing that Evan Macbeth (pictured with Mark Warner above) is highly likely to be elected the next chair of the Loudoun County Democratic Committee on January 7 (he was the only announced candidate as of a few days ago, after Andy Resnick pulled out of the running). I think that's great news, as LCDC is in desperate need of having strong, energetic, dynamic new leadership, which Evan will provide. Evan's challenges basically involve picking up the pieces -- actually, more like rubble -- from the Mike Turner years as LCDC chair. That includes a 9-0 Republican Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, former LCDC members running around endorsing against their own party, and general dysfucntion all around (come to think of it, LCDC isn't that dissimilar to that other Macbeth - Shakespeare's, including the intrigue, backstabbing, deceit, etc.). I wish Evan Macbeth the best of luck in pulling together all the REAL Democrats in Loudoun County and in reenergizing the LCDC!

Lots more on the "flip," including the coup attempt against Bruce Roemmelt and the wackiness in FCDC that needs to be stopped.

One real bright spot

With all of the dark notes about yesterday's election, I want to take a moment to flesh out one of the victories I am especially pleased to see -- that of Ryan McElveen to the Fairfax County School Board.

To put this into perspective, I have to dredge up some old division.  (Yes, I DO have to!)  The school board races for the Democratic nomination this year were, to put a point on it, DIVISIVE.  They were angry, and heated, and there were more than a few accusations thrown around about who was a "real" Democrat and breaking rules and back room deals, some of which was going on right up until election day.  It was one of the ugliest battles I've had to deal with as an FCDC member, and one that I'm not proud of.

I was there the night that Ryan was first defeated.  I'll be honest, I came into that room not a Ryan supporter.  I think, like a lot of people, I knew very little about him, and I knew a great deal more about the other candidates.  But I was very impressed by the way he accorded himself.  One the second ballot, I voted for him.

But here is what I ESPECIALLY appreciated.  When Ryan did not receive the nomination that night, he was a candidate to be proud of.  He was gracious, and committed.  He IMMEDIATELY released a statement that said that he was not only supporting the three candidates chosen, but was proud to have been considered.  It was a model statement.

When the chance came for him to run again, he worked extra hard getting speaking to our committee and taking extensive questions.  It was not a surprise to me at all that he managed to pull off a victory against, again, a better known candidate for the nomination.

Now we get to the general election.  So many people wrote Ryan off.  He was too young.  He was too inexperienced.  In an election where reform mattered, he hadn't been a vocal reformer as some of the other candidates had been.  Indeed, the Washington Post barely acknowledged him.

But once again, he showed us what a great candidate can do.  His signs were among the first up, and were well distributed throughout the county.  He continued showing up a Dem meetings and event, always with a smile, a firm handshake and a hopeful spirit.  He knocked on doors.  He sent out mailers.  He kept smiling.

And when he won yesterday, it was particularly sweet.  And I just thought it was worth taking a few minutes to remind ourselves that great candidates DO come along, sometimes out of nowhere, and we should be grateful for them.

Oleszek Finishes Strong, Outraises Cook 3:1 in October

In the race for Braddock District Supervisor, Democrat Janet Oleszek is finishing very strong, outraising Teapublican John Cook by a 3:1 margin in late money (see VPAP -- it's actually  $99K-$33K in October and early November). Also, note that raising close to $100K in a district Supervisor's race in one month - let alone a CHALLENGER - is unheard of. Impressive.

Meanwhile, Janet Oleszek's mail program (click on the images of her superb mail piece #5 to "embiggen") has been, by all accounts - including John Cook's! - superb (in his recent email attacking Sharon Bulova, Cook noted that Oleszek had run "a great ad campaign"). Ha.

In contrast, everything I'm hearing is that Cook's mail campaign has been pathetic, low-quality, uninspired, ineffective, amateur hour (in the worst sense) basically. I'm hearing that the reason for this, in large part, is Cook's incredible arrogance, utter unwillingness to take any advice, and other fine personality traits like loving the sound of his own voice and really believing he's got a great deal to tell the world (and that the whole world NEEDS to hear it - lol!).

Given all this, it's no wonder that all eyes will be on Braddock Tuesday night, looking for a possible stunning upset victory by Janet Oleszek over the "borrow-and-spend," Ken Kookinelli/Tea Party-backed faux "moderate" John Cook. This should be a fun one to watch - stay tuned!

Sharon Bulova, Janet Oleszek and Megan McLaughlin: A Great Combo for...


Any further questions? If so, there are two more images you should see on the "flip." :)

Fairfax Police Endorse Janet Oleszek for Braddock District Supervisor!

There are no two ways about this one (see press release from the Oleszek campaign: below), it's a HUGE endorsement for Janet Oleszek. That the Fairfax Police, arguably the most respected organization in Fairfax County (along with the firefighters and Fairfax Sheriff Stan Barry, who have also endorsed Janet), and a group which endorsed Republican Ken Cuccinelli (over Janet Oleszek) in 2007, has now endorsed Janet Oleszek over Republican John Cook, speaks volumes. For one thing, it demonstrates how much Janet's improved as a candidate since 2007. It also, as the endorsement states, stems from their confidence in  Janet being "exactly right on the current issues facing the police department."

Finally, I'd just add that although this endorsement is entirely positive FOR Janet, the subtext is that the Fairfax Police are clearly expressing their LACK of confidence in the incumbent Braddock District Supervisor, John Cook. That's got to be painful for Cook, as well it should be. So sad for John Cook, so great for Janet Oleszek! :)


Oleszek sweeps endorsements from Police, Firefighters and the Fairfax Sheriff

Janet Oleszek is proud to announce the endorsement of the Fairfax Coalition of Police (Local 5000).  In response she issued the following statement:

"Fairfax County Police are known nationwide for their accomplishments and I am thrilled to accept their endorsement of my campaign.  The next Supervisor in Braddock District must be committed to public safety- especially as we consider the budget.  Supervisor Cook has voted against public safety when he has voted against Fairfax County's budget."

Mike Scanlon, President of Local 5000 made the following statement:

"We were proud to endorse Janet Oleszek, who has always been a friend of public safety.  Janet is exactly right on the current issues facing the police department.  Police spend their years on the force building relationships in the community that help us solve crimes and keep the public safe.  We need a Supervisor who understands the importance of protecting the promises Fairfax has made to our police with their compensation and pension.  Otherwise we will continue to lose officers to other law enforcement agencies, costing the taxpayers millions in new training."

Fairfax Firefighters, Paramedics Strongly Endorse Oleszek, Blast Cook as “irresponsible”

See the following press release for great news on the endorsement front for Janet Oleszek!! This endorsement is especially impressive when you consider how rare it is for the Fairfax firefighters to endorse a non-incumbent in a County Board race.  In fact, the last time they did so was 1999, when Cathy Hudgins defeated incumbent Bob Dix. Also of interest: apparently, there is no record, at least in the past 20 or so years, of any Fairfax County Board incumbent opposed by the firefighters being reelected. Should John Cook be getting worried? It sure seems like it, but frankly, as a Janet Oleszek supporter, I'd rather see our Tea Party/Kookinelli-supported friend continue along the overconfident, arrogant road he's been on. Heh.

Public Safety Emerging As Key Issue In Braddock

Janet Oleszek is proud to announce the endorsement of the Fairfax County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics (Local 2068). In response she issued the following statement:

"Fairfax County Firefighters are known worldwide for their accomplishments and I am thrilled to accept their endorsement of my campaign.  The next Supervisor in Braddock District must be committed to public safety- especially as we consider the budget.  Supervisor Cook has voted against public safety when he has voted against Fairfax County's budget."

Oleszek also noted that during the last debate she used one of her rebuttal opportunities in response to Supervisor Cook questioning the need for a 4th firefighter on Fairfax ladder trucks. "This has been an issue the fire and rescue department has identified since a 2001 internal review.  The lack of a 4th firefighter on ladder trucks creates safety issues for the other firefighters and paramedics.  I was appalled that John Cook still doesn't seem to understand this".

John Niemiec, President of Local 2068 made the following statement:

"We were thrilled to endorse Janet Oleszek, who has always been a friend of public safety.  Janet is exactly right on the current issues facing the fire and rescue department.  Our firefighters were shocked to learn that Supervisor Cook continued to publicly attack a policy that the fire and rescue department has identified as a way to make our jobs safer. We will not stand for politicians that try to save a buck by putting our citizens or our personnel in jeopardy. Supervisor Cook's position is irresponsible and unacceptable".

Oleszek Endorsed by Fairfax Education Assoc.; Cook Fundraises with Anti-Education Governor

There's a stark contrast here: 1) on the one hand, a dedicated and effective advocate for public education in Fairfax and beyond (that would be Janet Oleszek); 2) on the other hand, a Tea Party/Kookinelli favorite (that would be John Cook) who's busy fundraising with a governor who's slashed education funding - and hinted at more to come.  If you care about public education, the choice here couldn't be clearer: Janet Oleszek for Braddock District Supervisor!
Governor McDonnell Comes to Fairfax To Fundraise For John Cook

Oleszek demands to know John Cook's position on McDonnell's cuts to public education

Tonight- Governor Bob McDonnell is hosting a high dollar ($500-$5,000) fundraiser for Supervisor John Cook.

In response Janet Oleszek- endorsed this week by the Fairfax Education Association- released the following statement:

"Governor Bob McDonnell has spent his first two years in office cutting state support for public education and making local taxpayers in Fairfax pick up the bill.  In 2010, Governor McDonnell called for $730 million in public education cuts- before eventually winning $646 million in cuts.  Earlier this year, Governor McDonnell called for another $50 million in cuts to public education as well as announcing a $140 million dollar sales tax diversion that Politifact reported would have almost certainly come from public schools.  

Yesterday the Governor attended the State Board of Education meeting and hinted at even more potential cuts to come next year.

John Cook needs to put our Fairfax County Public Schools first- not himself.  I call on him to reject any money raised from this event until the Governor will pledge no more cuts to public education in his upcoming budget."

Sharon Bulova, Janet Oleszek Blast John Cook on Pension Funds

I was at the Braddock District supervisor's debate last night, which was packed with 100+ people, mostly Cook supporters from what I could tell from bumper stickers in the parking lot (note: this was Cook's home turn, as NLS explains). As for John Cook, I'd never seen him in action before, and my first impression was that I can see why he's most definitely a politician (in all senses of that word) -- slick and glib, but fundamentally without much "beef" there (unless you like Cuccinelli-supported Teapublicans pretending to be "moderates"). Cook also makes mistakes, despite being able to rattle off facts and figures, as the following press release from Fairfax County Board Chair Sharon Bulova, along with Democratic nominee Janet Oleszek, explains. I'd just add that if you're looking for "slick and glib politician," then by all means support John Cook for reelection. If, instead, you want someone who's clearly not a politician at heart, but is a real person who cares about her community, and who shares the values of most people in Braddock District, then your choice is also clear -- Janet Oleszek. Finally, if you really want a (self-described) strong fiscal conservative, you can always vote for the independent candidate in the race, Carey Campbell, who is running hard against (in his words) the "borrow and spend" incumbent.
Today the campaigns of Sharon Bulova for Chairman and Janet Oleszek for Braddock Supervisor released the following regarding the pension plans discussed in last night's Braddock District Supervisor debate:

"John continues to misunderstand how Fairfax County maintains the stability of its pension funds", Chairman Bulova said. We are following the guidance of our financial experts with whom I work every day and maintain a level of funding that helps to protect our retirees and current employees from being hurt by market fluctuations. His claim of being the one on the board to stand up is right, but he is standing up against good financial advice and the expertise on the boards of trustees of all three pension funds.

"I think Sharon Bulova has been doing an excellent job managing an extremely complex budget", Janet Oleszek said.  "It's actually laughable that John tried to compare himself to Sharon at one time during the debate, while attacking her record of fiscal leadership in another part of the debate.  If John wants to make this election a referendum on Sharon's leadership of Fairfax County then I accept."

Photo courtesy of Clifford'sPhotography

Janet Oleszek Thanks First Responders for Response to Floods, Hurricanes, Earthquakes,...

See below for an excellent, timely statement by Janet Oleszek, the Democratic nominee for Braddock District Supervisor against Tea Party favorite John Cook. I certainly join her in deeply thanking the region's first responders for their outstanding work through all kinds of crises and disasters, natural and human-caused (e.g., 9/11).
Janet Oleszek, Democratic nominee for Braddock District Supervisor released the following statement today:

"In the past month, we have faced an earthquake, a hurricane and now massive flooding in Fairfax County.  In each of these events, our outstanding police and fire fighters have responded with consummate professionalism, working long hours and extra shifts to save countless lives of our citizens and pets and to protect our property.  On behalf of all the citizens of Fairfax County, I want to recognize and thank them."

"This weekend brings the 10th anniversary of September 11th.  In that event - as they have done so many times - our first responders in Fairfax County were some of the first people on the ground in Arlington to assist in a regional crisis."  

"The past few budgets have been tight with the economic downturn.  Since 2008, our police and firefighters have not received a raise from Fairfax County- or even a cost of living increase.  This is unacceptable.  I promise the voters of Fairfax County, if I am elected that our first responders will receive a regular cost of living increase in addition to any money for across the board pay raises that the board can find."

Virginia LGBT Democrats Unanimously Endorse Janet Oleszek for Braddock District Supervisor!

Great news from the LGBT Democrats of Virginia PAC, which has unanimously and strongly endorsed Democrat Janet Oleszek for Braddock County Supervisor over the other candidate, the one I call "McCain-Palin Dude" (because he said he strongly supported McCain-Palin for president and vice president in 2008, and also because he's been a Republican his whole life, has never been involved with Democrats, donated to them, volunteered for them, etc.). As the Virginia Partisans LGBT PAC endorsement says, Janet Oleszek "has consistently stood with the LGBT community, refusing to compromise her principles in favor of politics." Go Janet!
LGBT Democrats of Virginia PAC Endorses Janet Olsezek for Braddock Supervisor

Fairfax, VA (Wednesday, August 10, 2011) - The Virginia Partisans, PAC of LGBT Democrats of Virginia, today announced the unanimous endorsement of Janet Oleszek for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to represent the Braddock Magisterial District. VA Partisans President Tiffany M. Joslyn praised Janet's commitment to equality, stating "Janet has consistently stood with the LGBT community, refusing to compromise her principles in favor of politics."

Responding to the endorsement by the PAC Board, Terry Mansberger, LGBT Caucus Chair stated, "Janet has been a long time personal friend of mine and the LGBT community for many years and was a leading advocate for safe schools for all our kids as an At-Large County School Board Member. I'm thrilled to see the VA Partisans PAC return that support and look forward to Janet's strong progressive voice for full equality on the Board of Supervisors for Braddock District and our Fairfax area LGBT community!"