By Peter Galuszka
Since 1999, Loudoun County voters have strangely backed radical conservative Eugene Delgaudio as Sterling District supervisor despite his eccentric antics.
When not working at his county job, Delgaudio leads a group called Public Advocate of the United States that bashes gays and pushes limited government. The group has been tagged by the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group because of its strong anti-gay propaganda
Never shy about causing trouble, Delgaudio now finds himself involved in yet another controversy. This time it could have serious consequences for him.
Donna Mateer, a former part-time aide on the county payroll, claims she spent her workdays fund-raising for Delgaudio before being fired earlier this year. According to The Washington Post, she has filed a workplace complaint with the county and has been interviewed by the FBI, the Post reports. Delgaudio claims Mateer was raising money for a youth football league.
Delgaudio has been in plenty of hot water before, including a recent lawsuit against Public Advocate of the United States by a gay couple whose wedding photo was allegedly altered and then used in an anti-homosexual political campaign in Colorado. The supervisor has won national attention for claiming that a Florida pirate festival was a secret confab of radical homosexuals, staging 1960s-style guerilla theater performances replete with Delgaudio in bizarre costumes and a Public Advocate of the United States e-mail depicting bloodstains from a murder scene in the colors of the gay rights movement.
In the Mateer case, the FBI will not comment. If Delgaudio in fact used a county employee time for his personal fund-raising, he could be in serious legal trouble.
There also are calls for his ouster, too, but Delgaudio has weathered that kind of storm before. He’s been reelected since he first ran for county office 13 years ago. In last year’s election, he easily beat Democrat Al R. Nevarez.
Voting patterns generally reflect the suburban area’s conservativism, but there are far more reasonable right-wingers available. One was former Broad Run Supervisor Lori Waters, who used to work for limited government activist Phyllis Schlafly and then for a charter schools group. Highly respected, she did not run for reelection last year and has since moved to Florida.
Certainly, there are many other conservatives in the county like her, which makes it it seem even odder that Loudoun, the richest county in the nation and among the best-educated, keeps returning Delgaudio to power.