Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Stealth Campaign in the 11th CD

My Burke blogging colleague from the right, Bwana, had a great post up, decrying the lack of activity in the 11th CD race for Congress. Indeed, he termed our district the "Stealthy Eleventh." Actually, I'm beginning to see some activity.

Driving up Route 123 on Sunday I saw a bunch of Gerry Connolly signs. Although there seems to be much fewer Fimian signs, they're bigger. Also, I've gotten a robo-call from a Heather about Fimian and a couple of door hanger pieces asking "Where's Gerry?"

I'm not sure why Mr. Fimian can't find Gerry Connolly - perhaps it's because he needs a map of the district he hopes to represent - but I've seen Connolly around quite a bit. In fact, I've never met or seen Keith Fimian except for in a picture on his website. And while I was pulling into a parking space tonight, a nice looking young man who was hanging the lit on doors brushed past at a lightening speed. Normally people smile or stop to chat a minute when you find them near your door.

Meanwhile, Gerry's website has a rather humorous post that apparently shows that he and Fimian do have some scheduled debates and meetings together. In addition to the Prince William Committee of 100 hosting a candidates' program on September 18 at the Montclair Country Club, with Channel 8's Matt Brock serving as moderator, check out the following:
There are also debates scheduled with the League of Women Voters, Prince William Chamber of Commerce and various and sundry other organizations. I imagine each of these groups will be working to raise “awareness” for their respective events in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, the one thing I actually couldn't find in any of Fimian's campaign literature, road signs, or even from Heather's robo-call is any mention that he happens to be a Republican. Contrast that with Gerry, whose signs state plainly what his party affiliation is.

Connolly's not ducking but Fimian is running away faster than an Olympic sprinter from his affiliations both as a Republican and as an acolyte of radical theocrat Tom Monaghan. Speaking of who is hiding more, Fimian has yet to answer how he feels about separation of church and state and a woman's freedom to use birth control.


Anonymous said...

I have one simple question? What is the big deal if Fimian does not run on his political affiliation? Fimian seems to be wanting to run on issues. If you talk about the issues then you must ask yourself, where is Gerry?

Tonight there is a forum put on my the Fairfax County Bar and at the last minute ironically Gerry backed out of appearing. Now I am a very concerned citizen of Fairfax county and I can not find Gerry anywhere except at the board of supervisors meetings. If you went to the Centerville Parade this weekend, like I did you would of seen Fimian out talking to voters shaking hands as he walked down the parade route, yet Connolly was sitting in a Benz just waving. Telling to all the voters how far separated from the average voter.
Lets talk about the issues right? How about the county budget? What is up with that? They will be $430 Million dollars in the hole. Now I understand that the county is trying to cut costs (15% from every department) but how did it get that bad? Did the county lose $430 million from last year? I don't think that they did. Gerry Connolly leaves the board of supervisors meetings abruptly after the meetings are over, avoiding many questions from citizens, as well as not answering e-mails to his office. In fact Connolly goes so far as to leave during some votes by the board to avoid his opinions being known.
I do not vote as a republican or a democrat but as a citizen. I vote on ideas. Connolly is just trying to use the hype from Obama and Warner. In fact he only has about two paid staff, using just the Obama/DNC staff to do his work. Even using the DCCC to send out a slanderous attack add against Fimian. How about we, including yourself, start talking about the issues. Try it and you will find new ideas.

Frank said...

I don't object to Connolly ducking debates. I object that he has trashed Faifax County's budget and that is going to mean a 15% cut in school funding.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Ok, let's start with Frank's charge that Connolly trashed the Fairfax County budget. Not only totally false but also totally mendacious on the part of Fimian and his supporters when they blame Connolly for the budget shortfall. Do you guys actually know anything about budgets and the economy?

Thought not.

Most municipal budgets are based on a revenue stream that comes from property and sales taxes. That's true in most places not just Virginia. Guess what's happened in the last year?

We've had a burst bubble in the mortgage industry (just in case you haven't been paying attention since Monday that's what led to the rest of the meltdown now destroying the banking and insurance industries and rattling Wall Street investors). In addition, gas prices and food costs have spiked, both in Virginia and nationally. So, between mortgage foreclosures, the collapse of the housing market - which by the way led to tax assessments on property being lower too - and higher gas and food bills, most people also aren't doing a lot of discretionary spending. So, sales tax revenue and property taxes and assessments are all down, causing a shortfall in the revenue stream. Fairfax is moving to close that budget shortfall. The test isn't in the crummy hand the Fairfax Board of Supervsiors has been dealt, it's in how they cope with it. And they are trying to do that as responsibly as they can while causing as little pain to ordinary citizens as possible. But that doesn't mean there will be no pain.

However, have you looked across the Potomac River at one of our neighbors, PG County? They are talking about two week furloughs for county employees because they are in a much bigger budget hole than Fairfax is.

Although Fairfax County has been consistently rated by the Chamber of Commerce as one of the best run counties and one of the best places to do business, Fairfax is still part of the rest of the U.S., whose economy has been wrecked by 7 plus years of Republican mismanagement at the top. Yet just the other day, John McCain was still claiming the economic fundamentals are still strong.

Actually, they are not. The national economy is collapsing around our ears. And Republicans just don't get it yet. And that brings me to why it's important that Fimian is hiding from the Republican label, at least within the 11th CD.

Although he hews to the GOP's orthodox message on the anti-regulatory free market philosophy, even he knows the Republican brand is tarnished. (In fact, even Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke have admitted that it was lack of proper oversight that led to the mortgage and banking collapses)

Fimian is sneaky through and through. Won't tell women what he really believes about birth control, falsely accuses Connolly and the rest of the BOS of mismanaging the economy when he knows the problem is far larger and deeper than just Fairfax County, and hopes voters won't notice what party he belongs to.

You know the greater issue is would you buy a used car from this man? If not, why would you vote for him?

Shaun said...

Do you have the audio to the robo call?

If so, I'd love to get it as I'm keeping a database of robo calls for the 2008 election at StopPoliticalCalls.org and my blog.


Shaun Dakin

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Sorry Shaun, I didn't think to save it. Also, in my line of work, I actually want to get all those political calls. When I hear of something amiss, like the misrepresentation of facts and of candidates' positions, push polls, and other irregularities, I want to be able to report them on this blog. To do that, obviously, I can't shut off my sources, which are precisely the calls the campaigns send out to the public.

I also wonder why you are just targeting political calls for your Do Not Call database? I find calls from so called charitable organizations to be much more intrusive. I've actually been threatened by some supposed fundraisers for these charities. And some of them are extremely misleading. In addition, unlike a political call, which may just state a campaign message (an unwanted political commercial on your phone) or a call asking the public to get out and vote, these charitable calls frequently ask for donations and request the call recipient's personal identifiable information (PII) including social security numbers and home addresses.

There are a lot of elderly people, who are confused and lonely and so give out this information and make themselves vulnerable to fraud and identity theft. Many of the charities are actually fraudulent as well. Let's face it, on a phone, you can say you are anybody and there's no way to check the truthfulness of your claims. To me that's more abusive than most political calls. And it doesn't have a shelf life of a few months; it goes on constantly year in and year out.

I think people should be able to opt out of this as well. In fact, I find those calls far more offensive than I do the political calls and they have a potential to be much more harmful in the long run.

Anonymous said...

Lets talk about this claim that you don't believe that Connolly has mismanaged the budget. Well I agree that they can not tell how back or how good the economy is going to be, but they can do other things to stop a budget shortfall. Things like not giving themselves a raise? Wow what a concept, BOS positions are not full time jobs, they all have jobs, or are retired form jobs outside of the BOS and so why then should they get raises. They should not. Connolly lead the push to get a raise for not only the BOS but for himself. He lead the raise fight by wanting to get a percentage raise, for everyone, and since he makes the most as chair, he got the biggest raise. Even worse, he refuses to answer on if he is going to look into getting himself a raise next year, even though the budget is over $400 Million in the hole. Also you stated how gas prices have been rising, and that is important, but then why did Connolly support a higher gas tax? If that is his solution to solving the budget crisis then he is mismanaging the economy.
Connolly is running, in fact the other day at the budget meeting, a public hearing, Connolly was forcing his cohorts to sit in front of a citizen trying to video tape the meeting. In other words he was trying to disrupt a citizen trying to express his freedom to information. Connolly was sending hand motions on which way to lean to block the camera? Now is this the type of person that we want in congress? One who runs from citizens trying to hold him accountable for what he says? I think not. You can hit on Fimian about being a woman hater, but give me one quote from him, or someone on his staff, or an action he did that would prove this. Don't just give me the BS that the DCCC put out. Lets try to be fair, I have seen the attack adds that Fimian has put out, but I am not quoting them, so how about you don't just sit here and quote the DCCC attack adds.
Connolly is running, face it. He is not what America means and not what America wants.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

First of all, I have never called Fimian a woman hater. Most people who want to deny women the freedom to use birth control don't hate them. But those people are theocrats who want to impose their religious views and morals on others. In fact, Tom Monaghan and the Ave Maria crowd, to which Fimian belongs, also oppose the right of men to use condoms. They aren't men haters either. And they are entitled to hold their beliefs and to practice them. What I object to is their attempting to make me and others who don't share their religious beliefs also live by them.

As for Gerry's behavior at a meeting, blocking a citizen who was videotaping, I can't respond to something I haven't seen. Do you have any proof of this behavior? Did you witness it? I do accept eyewitness accounts as proof - but I'd also need to know your identity if you wish me to judge its accuracy. I also do keep confidential sources confidential. But you are free to not reveal yourself. It just makes it difficult for me to judge how much weight to give that report - unless you can send me a link to a newspaper or blog that reported it.

As for what the BOS is doing about the budget shortfall, they are making funding cuts. After all, they announced it rather than attempting to hide it, or waiting for the media to point it out. BTW, since I pointed out that PG County was furloughing employees, Montgomery County also announced it would be forced to do the same thing because of budget shortfalls. So once again, this is not just a Fairfax County problem. It's nationwide.

If there was no large excuse and Fairfax was bucking a trend in having a budget shortfall while other places were flush with cash, I'd agree that the BOS had mismanaged the budget. But the situation is just the opposite. Fairfax County - indeed the commonwealth of Virginia - does not exist in a bubble separate from the economic chaos affecting the entire nation. I suspect we are actually in better shape than some of our neighbors.

I will need to research your charges about the BOS voting themselves a raise after they knew about the shortfall and if it's true, find out their rationale. But if it is, in fact, true, then they should rescind their raises. If there's to be belt tightening, it should be shared.

But until I've found out more about that, I still think Gerry has been a good Chairman of an effective BOS.

Anne said...

I looked at Gerry's blog and I keep hoping these groups with upcoming debates will publicize them more widely. Montclair (I actually had to google map to find it) was definitely way too far away for me to be able to get to after work.

I believe candidates for office in both parties (and those who are independents, too, of course) owe us an opportunity to hear them engage in plenty of lively debate.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...


Even though we might not agree on political policies and issues, I agree with you about this. I think there will be other debates, I'll keep an eye out and try to publicize them here - but I've been so busy that I'm behind on things I want to post and even basic housekeeping on my blogroll. But I'll do my best!

Anne said...

Well, we all benefit from lively debate. Truly, that's the best part of elections to me. I love debates (probably in part because I am a lawyer).

Last cycle I went to an at-large school board candidate debate and I was saddened by how sparsely attended it was. It was worth going to for me. The sparse attendance meant I got to ask three questions. I was undecided coming in about where two of my votes would go; I came out with a decision.

james wilkins said...

Between mortgage foreclosures, the collapse of the housing market - which by the way led to tax assessments on property being lower too - and higher gas and food bills, most people also aren't doing a lot of discretionary spending. So, sales tax revenue and property taxes and assessments are all down, causing a shortfall in the revenue stream. Fairfax is moving to close that budget shortfall. The test isn't in the crummy hand the Fairfax Board of Supervsiors has been dealt, it's in how they cope with it. And they are trying to do that as responsibly as they can while causing as little pain to ordinary citizens as possible. But that doesn't mean there will be no pain.
james wilkins

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