Big Trouble in Loudoun County

The Washington Post reports:

Federal prosecutors have launched a far-reaching investigation into potential public corruption in Loudoun County, where officials have overseen billions of dollars’ worth of development projects in one of the nation’s fastest-growing areas. …

The investigation and board action come after reports by The Washington Post last month that detailed how major land-use decisions in Loudoun have been dominated by a small network of public officials and their allies in the development industry. Developers, landowners and others profited as they coordinated with public officials to influence land-use decisions in the county, e-mails and other records showed.

Share this article


(comments below)


(comments below)


31 responses to “Big Trouble in Loudoun County”

  1. Reid Greenmun Avatar
    Reid Greenmun

    Gee … and no one really ‘knew’ this was going on???

    We have the same situation here in Tidewater/Hampton Roads. I suspect if every IDA was investigated you’d “discover” the same thing!

    NOW y’all better grasp the reason we taxpayers and advocates for good government are so adamant about NOT standing up unaccountable authorities – especially all-appointed REGIONAL Authorities!

    If you read the language in HB 3202 you will find that the new regional authorities seek to create sovereign immunity for any decisions made – ever wonder WHY that language finds its way into such bills?

    My guess? Because “the plan” is to create an unaccountable forum where such corruption is protected – – and business as usual can continue with impunity.

    I hope the Feds blow the lid off these cozy scams called IDAs!

    Please send ‘em, down South once they clean up NORVA!

    And remember – to find the corruption – follow the money – it is all about the billions in tax free bonds … and the law firms that handle such transactions.

  2. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    same deal with Spotsylvania a few years back.. Pro-Growth BOS.. huge-impact rezones… FBI got involved.. then “poof” it all went away.

    Reids right… follow the money. Consult with the VPAP – Virginia Public access project for lobby money, personal finance discloures, and gifts of which the TW elected are tops in receiving.

    I agree also with Regional Authorities. Not all of them necessarily but certainly the ones that control roads… one more step away from voters eyes… very complicated processes for decisionmaking… and information records not often provided upon request or even with a FOI.. they end up charging you big bucks to discourage access.

    But I disagree with Reid on the need for functional Regional cooperation and how it could be accomplished if Regional Authorities are done away with.

    This is like advocating that we get rid of VDOT because we don’t trust the way they do business …

    Maybe… but be sure of what you wish for…. Somebody has to be responsible for the roads even if you don’t like the current methods.

    having no one in charge has it’s bad impacts too….

  3. Groveton Avatar

    The whole state seems to be for sale.

    Look at the campaign contributions for the Fairfax County BOS members – builders, developers and Dominion.

    In fact, I believe that George Allen’s wife Susan was appointed to Dominion’s Board of Directors while he was US Senator from VA. Did she have the quals?

    Even if she did have the quals, it just doesn’t look right – does it?

  4. Eileen Levandoski Avatar
    Eileen Levandoski

    What’s happening in Loudoun has nothing to do with its IDA. It’s all the corrupt BOS.

  5. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    It’s an institutional culture and it’s not something that Virginians, and especially conservative Virginians should be proud of.

    I actually think that places that have citizen referenda are better off even if some of the ballots get a little crazy. At least in those state, the citizens ultimately can throw the rascals out in they misbehave.

    All that happens in Virginia is that we throw out a few roaches who are immediately replaced by their brethren.

    And think about Reid’s attitude toward Regional Authorities. This is not a minority opinion. It’s pervasive with many citizens.

    They essentially do not trust our government to do what is right.

    It fosters a destructive attitude towards government in general.

    i.e. when you balanced the potential benfefits of Regional Authorities verses the reality of how they operate… it confirms people’s worst fears.

    NO MONEY is the cure for institutions that have lost our trust.

    Loudoun and the Dulles Greenway are the proverbial tips of the iceberg.

    The reason we have bad/poorly planned development and roads that function to spur growth rather than relieve congestion is because the foxes are literallyin the henhouses.

    Now does anyone want to ask me how I “really” feel? 🙂

  6. Anonymous Avatar

    Larry Gross is right, Follow the money. Up to a point. If you do follow the money as I have, you will find that the building industry and their lobbyists bankrolled the campaigns of the supervisors being investigated. It takes only a view minutes on VPAP to figure this out. And then you are left with a big So What? and What’s Next?

    The short answer: the building industry (names on request) bought the election. Ok? Next question?

  7. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    It’s the next step that is the problem.

    Where do candidates/challengers come from?

    Well.. the short answer is that they often come from either the local Democratic or local Republican party where they are “home schooled” in the art of dealing with special interests and how to garner their support and money to win the election.

    Loudoun is not unique. Bascially they had some bad luck. WaPo got suspicous then the FBI. Others doing the same thing evade scrutiny.

    Citizens CAN effect change if they put their minds to it.

    Use the info from VPAP and also the center for Public Integrity to develop local websites that contain the financial info found on VPAP.

    This would include for challengers their Statements of Economic Interests which they must file as candidates.

    Then look for “clean” candidates to run against the one’s who VPAP shows have financial conflicts.

    Then show up at public venues and ask candidates about their VPAP profiles.

    The advent of the Internet, email and BLOGs give citizens opportunities that they never had before to actually have an impact on local elections.

    We did do this in Spotsylvania and we have some good folks on the BOS now – not perfect – yet.

  8. Reid Greenmun Avatar
    Reid Greenmun


    I do not advocate throwing out the baby with the bath water.

    I SUPPORT regional cooperation.

    I SUPPORT regional PDCs and sister MPOs – for planning, research, and fact finding.

    I do not support all-appointed regional authorities that are designed to provide political cover for corruption and endless “unpopular” tax & spend “solutions” (which are diverted from traffic congestion relief into unfettered speculative so-called “economic development” “projects”.

    My 10-point white paper outlines a better solution for making better use of the General Assembly and our local BOS/City Councils instead of creating another layer of government – and another “political subdivision” to hide bond debt under and to usurp the voice of taxpayers, residents, and voters – while providing decision-making controlled by local business lobbies.

    IDAs and my city’s Virginia Beach Development Authority are simply a political sham designed to remove the public from any real role in the backroom “deals” made between the business lobby/Growth Lobby – and the people they “invest in” that are “elected” to the BOSs/City Councils.

    Our voting members of our Virginia Beach Development Authority are a whos who of all-appointed bankers, developers, and dominion power senior managers.

    Come on – there are billions in bonds to be “controlled” – it is a feeding frenzy of self-serving business “leaders” that are appointed as “decision-makers”.

    Citizens don’t even have a voice in the city government appointment process, nor do civic organizations or taxpayer organizations.

    But the Chamber of Commerce and the other wealthy business organizations – they have all the access their money can buy.

    PDC = Planning District Commission (state creation)
    MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization (Federal creation)

  9. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    Jeeze Reid… MPOs DO .. already make decisions about how both Federal and State gas taxe revenues will be spent.

    I’m not sure what a “sister” MPO is but MPO’s are, regional multi-jurisdictional agencies.

    They are who both Fed Highways and the EPA deal with on issues regional.

    This is MORE than cooperation. This is a functionality that involves funding and decisions about how to allocate that funding.

    I don’t see how you “undo” this.

    Other Regional Authorities… like jails, water/sewer, libraries, also have to expend funds to accomplish their function.

    HOw would you do this differently?

    When a Regional Library buys a book… do you want the decision and the money to be done on a per locality basis?

    How about when the book is checked out… can only folks from the jurisdiction that bought it check it out?

    I don’t see what you are suggesting to replace regional functionality … like I said.. this is much more than “cooperation” and “fact finding”, research, etc.

    I’m “with” you on the risks and abuses with regard to Regional Authorities but I think if what you want to do is make them go away

    1. – it’s unrealistic… hugely so

    2. – you need to put on the table something that replaces them that functions to accomplish effectively what they now accomplish.

  10. Toomanytaxes Avatar

    It’s called “elections.” We need to require that members of these regional authorities stand for election. As I’ve noted before, we could vote from the existing supervisors and city council members as appropriate. But we need to vote.

  11. Reid Greenmun Avatar
    Reid Greenmun

    Larry – I have put a better plan ‘on the table’ – I have been working with the GA to get it moved forward since 2003.

    I have explained my white paper here on bacon’s Rebellion already. But – here’s another stab at it:

    Basically it continues a forum for conducting regional conversation between member localities – but it requires the member locality BOSs and/or City Councils to conduct a roll call vote for each regional decision at a regional PDC/MPO monthly meeting.

    Members of the GA within the region are also seated at the table – they contribute, but do not vote. They can place items on the agenda.

    Each “Regional” vote of the PDC/MPO is a directed vote based on the majority vote of the member PDC/MPO commissioner at the table.

    Each 1 member from each locality in the region has a weighted vote based on population. This is much better than the arbitrary voting (number of commissioners) now allowed.

    This allows us to have our local government BOS or City Council decide what is best for our local city or county – and then vote on regional issues. There vote then becomes a directed vote for the next regional PDC/MPO meeting.

    The PDC and MPO would still exist, but the process used for making decisions would revert BACK to local governments – and each vote would be on the record.

    Citizens could speak on regional issues placed on their local government agenda, just like any other issue placed on their local BOS or City Council agenda.

    A quorum for any regional vote would require 100% of the member localities to have 1 representative present to vote. It is only 1 meeting a month and any member of the BOS or City Council could go as a representative – because their vote is a directed vote, and not their own discretion. This places the authority to make decision BACK where it belongs – with the local elected government, not some person they picked that is free to do whatever, without requiring an VOTE by the local government elected body – all of them. This puts all of the local elected representatives on the record on regional matters. No more get out of jail free cards on regional taxation.

    During each monthly regional roundtable PDC/MPO meeting, whatever elected member attending the meeting for their city or county will take notes and report back to their respective local BOS or City Council as to what transpired at the meeting – and what will require a vote the following month. This will be placed on the agenda for public comment.

    The non-voting GA members are there at the regional meeting to help the local governments develop plans that will actually work in the GA. This is better government cooperation between the state and the local governments of a given region. Imagine our state and local governments actually working together on regional issues! Wow, what a concept!

    This approach is a better use of the government we already have and does not create another layer of unaccountable bureaucracy. An all-appointed regional bureaucracy.

    The whole concept is to promote regional cooperation – not regional dictatorship.

  12. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    Reid.. lots of words…

    is a “directed” vote one that is what each local jurisdiction voted?

    For instance, the local BOS votes 4-3 and send a rep who votes yes?

    Then if they had 3 votes at the Regional level – it would be 3 “yes” votes.. right?

    This is the way it works up here already.

    The reps to the Regional authority meet with the BOS to receive their “directed” vote.

    Note also that the VRE commuter rail was recently changed to have members by population as you advocate and then the votes are jurisdictional directed as you also advocate.

    If your folks are not doing this – you need to turn them out at the next election.

    But I like TMT’s approach also.

    In other places in this country, there are elected commissioners (BOS), elected school boards and elected road commissioners…

    But that would require a state-level change

    … WHICH… By the Way.. the feckless HD guys since they don’t have the guts to raise taxes up front could have come out ahead anyhow… if they came up with Regional Plans that work the way that Reid advocates.

    They could have EXPOSED Kaine and the D’s as too “close” to the special interests to “trust the people” but alas the HD guys are not really interested in success either…

    can you imagine the R GA guys returning home to their specific Regions with Regional Authority reform… that put them 2 steps up from their D challengers??

    just another example of special interests with a stranglehold on decision-making of taxpayer funds.

    bah humbug

  13. Ray Hyde Avatar

    Isn’t EVERY interest a special interest? How do we know that what we have got isn’t the best we we could have done with the circumstances at hand, or at least pretty close?

    Look around at other states. Is there one that is so much better that we would want to emulate it? If we did so, are our conditions close enough to their conditions that we could expect he same results?

    Look back at your own life, at your own key decisions. Undoubtedly you will find some that you might have made differently, knowing what you know now. But, at the time, you did the best you could with the tools and choices in front of you. Not all of them were totally in your control.

    No doubt there are people and organizations out there trying to use government for their own benefit. Isn’t that part of the process?

    Reading these posts, what I hear is anger that they are better at getting what they want than we are.

    Rather than arguing with each other, maybe we should be working together to defeat these clowns.

    Of course, if we did that, then we would be classified as a special interest.

  14. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    We can change the phrase “special interests” to something more precise if you wish but I think you do a huge diservice when you posit that they are all the same.

    Special Interests not perceived by most people to describe ..say an environmental group seeks to tighten up pollution laws verses homesbuilders seeking to curry favor with legislators by giving them thousands of dollars.

    The “special interest” environmentalists are not doing what they do for their own financial bottom line.

    Can you say that about the other “special interests”?

    So.. let’s change the phrase to “financial special interests” to suit.

    I find the “everybody does it” repugnant and insulting to ethical people and businesses who seek opportunity on their own without resorting to back room deals and manipulation of government affairs to give them advantages that benefit them personally at the expense of others – often taxpayers.

    I pay money out of my own pocket to support organizations like the Virginia Project for Public Access BECAUSE developers and other “special interests” essentially pay money to legislators in hopes of influencing them to take actions that will financially benefit them.

    Please tell me out of all the business interests listed by VPAP as contributors to legislators
    .. how many of those business interests ALSO contribute to VPAP?

    Would you be suprised if the answer was a big ZERO?

    Why would that be? Why would those who say they are for good government not support public disclosure of money contributions?

    When we compare a land-speculator who donates 50K to the campaign of a legislator to a an environmental group who not only doesn’t contribute the 50K but whose sole interests are a cleaner environment as equivalent because they both are “special interests”

    all I can say is that in polite terms that there is massive confusion with regard to ethical behavior and motivations associated with that behavior.

    Where are the citizen groups that donate 50K to legislators to SUPPORT adequate public facilities?

    Why do you think that ONLY the housing industry donates money to OPPOSE adequate public facilities?

  15. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    my prior 5:52 post may have had a personal tinge to it that I regret.

    Ray – could I convince you that there is a difference in the special interests by illustrating that there IS a connection between the 500K that Dominion pays GA lobbyists and Dominion’s ability to essentially dictate to you the the terms of transaction that put your own financial interests at risk?

    Do you think the appropriate answer to this circumstance would be for you and others to band together to match Dominion Powers money at the GA level?

    If you did do that – what would that say about our legislative process?

    Would it then be correct to say that it was “for sale” to the highest bidder?

    What if Dominion could not obtain legislation that favored it and instead the legislation favored you and insured that Dominion would have to approach you as a willing seller/willing buyer?

    “Special Interests” are what keeps this from happening and what insures that those with enough financial resources can, in effect, legislate their right to take away from you.

    I’m quite sure you do not support this .. right?

  16. Ray Hyde Avatar

    Don’t all special interests make donations and rovide other support for the candidates of their choice? Don’t they expect the candidates to then see their view of things? Isn’t it a goal of some environmental groups to get others to pay for what it is they want done? Where are the citizens groups that are willing to pay for adequate public facilities which will be required by adequate public facilities laws? (See todays paper.)

    I don’t take anything personally, or mean anything personally: lets face it, we all have our own special interests.

    I just observe that it is a special interest when you don’t agree and a civic organization when you do, much like a subsidy is an incentive you disagree with.

  17. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    Ray – do you think the guy that has a piece of land to develop and he contributes thousands of dollars to the decision-makers benefit – that – that is the same as a group of environmentalists who offer no money to a legislator and expect to make no money off of the decision..

    do you think these two things are equal?

  18. Ray Hyde Avatar

    You don’t think environmental groups contribute to campaign funds? How is it that Loudoun went from no growth to pro growth and back?

    No, I don’t think they are the same, I think the developer is more honest: he is willing to pay for what he gets. Environmental groups frequently want something for nothing, and just as frequently what they want belongs to someone else.

    Furthermore, the developer puts his own assets at risk. Once he pays to support the campigns of people he thinks might help him, he still has to go through all the regulatory hoops, with the distinct possibility he will get nothing.

    If he does get permission, he puts more of his assets on the line to produce a product he hopes someone will buy. If they do buy, the strong likliehood is that in a few years the new owner will make as much money on the property as the builder did.

    I’m not convinced it is a bad deal for the public at large. Compare the per capita incom and per capita real estate assets of Loudoun vs Fauquier, and then tellme Fauquier officials are doing their constituents a favor.

    If you subtract the two Fauquier figures from the two Loudoun figures, and add in the difference in commuting costs, then you have the per capita cost of the difference in life style between Loudoun and Fauquier.

    Some people claim you cannot put a price on the Fauquier lifestyle, but there it is, in black and white.

    I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I believe that the environmental movement will have far more success when they begin to emulate the success of developers: pay for what you get, sell it to the public for a profit, and in such a way that the public can clearly see that they get their money back.

    As it stands now, I put them in the same category as Dominion Power: They want something they claim is for the greater good of the general society, and then have the unmitigated gall to claim that since it such a huge benefit to everybody concerned, well, what the heck, who cares if we steal just a little bit from good old Larry Gross. He’s got more than he needs, he’s got more than he is using, we’ll just take it. While we’re at it, let’s wipe out a few hundred other landowners.

    It simply seems to me, that if it is that big a benefit, then it should be no big deal to make at least a token payment for it.

    The county openly claims, that I’m saving them $2700 a year for every house I don’t build.

    Isn’t that nice.

    What they don’t say is that it costs me that much every two months. If they paid me 5% interest on what they claim I’m saving them, I’d shut up.

    So tell me, if the savings to the general citizenry is more than offset by the loss to one citizen, where is the value proposition? Where is the public benefit? More importantly, where does it come from? It comes from stealing, as far as I can figure.

    Before Anon Zora, and EMR go off about people with ulterior motives, all I can say is this: I don’t even want to build a house, but, not having the opportunity to, ande having others freely advertise that they are profiting from the situation certainly sharpens your viewpoint as to what is really going on.

    I’d suggest that they look in the mirror.


    I’m not exactly on the beaten track, even with six lanes of highwya out front. When a stranger comes to the door, he is likely lost or broken down. Next come the hunters, looking for a place to shoot, then the religious proseltyzers. Then the developers. The hunters and the developers generally offer to pay for wht they want.

    I have never had that experience with an environmentalist.

    And, having worked in the field for eight or ten years years, I’ve been in the nitty gritty. I know that you cannot paint over venality with green. I’m not convinced that every environmentalist is lilly white, or that money isn’t an object.

    Really, have you ever seen a developer camped out in a tree, in order to prevent a woodpecker from living making his living? You ever see a developer out driving ceramic spikes into the tires or tv sets of an environmentalist? You ever see a developer out setting fire to a conservation easement? Give me a break.

    I consider myself to be an environmentalist. I’m a trained evironmental chemist. I know how to identify trace contaminents in the environment at the parts per trillion level. I also know how many barrels of chemicals it takes to do it.

    I spend a good deal of my resources taking care of a chunk of land that is likely to return me very little for the effort. I do it because it is the right thing to do, and also because I don’t have any choice.

    I find I am as irritated by the latter as I am gratified by the former. I know it is supposed to be a labor of love, but I call it as I see it.

    I think we can do better by negotiating fairly than we can by creating enemies through unfair demonization, or worse, by stealing.

    I’ve told this story before but it is worth repeating. I had a close friend whose wife died around the same time my first wife left me for a younger man. When I saw him I expressed my condolences, and he responded in kind, with deep feeling.

    “Gee”, I said, “I don’t think it is really the same, my ex is still alive, at least.”

    “Yes”, he said, “But at least I don’t have to think my wife did it on purpose.”

    As environmentalists, we could learn a lot about putting ourselves in the other guy’s shoes from my friend.

    Do I think what happened in Loudoun was despicable? Yes, but not for the same reasons expressed above. I think it is despicable because the winner take all mentality caused such unnecessary gyrations in the political pendulum, and probably with a result that was less than it could have been—- for both parties.

  19. Ray Hyde Avatar

    Yeah, yeah, yeah.

    I can hear it coming now. The developer didn’t sit in the tree to prevent the woodpecker from making a living: he just cut it down for profit, with the same effect.

    OK, you win, it was a bad example. But at least some good came out of it. The woodpecker will eventually kill the bugs ANDthe tree.

  20. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    Ray, I am amazed that one would consider payments to legislators as a cost of doing business.

    These are basically legalized bribes in my opinion.

    Ray, environmental groups almost always never contribute to legislators and you can find this out yourself at the VPAP website where in addition to confirming that environmental groups DON’T contribute -you will see a huge list of businesses that DO contribute.

    Ray – we have a system where folks who get money from “REAL” special interests have huge advantages over challenges who refuse to take money from special interests.

    This is what is wrong with our current system.

    All business have a right to pursue oportunities in the marketplace and yes, I agree, there are too many and too costly regulations that are not needed and an impediment progress but don’t confuse legitimate costs of doing business with essentially legalized bribery.

    What you apparently believe is that environmental and public interest groups also “bribe” legislators and what I would ask you is.. even if this were true (and it is not) what would be the outcome?

    The outcome would be that the legislators that proved their vote could be bought by the highest bidder – would have even more money to campaign against challengers who have much less.

    Is this the kind of government that we want to encourage rather than keep trying to roll it back to where it really ought to be?

  21. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Reid, Could you e-mail me your white paper (referenced in your comment of 6:08)? Send to

  22. Reid Greenmun Avatar
    Reid Greenmun


    Sure – no problem. I’ll email it to you today.

    BTW – this is unchanged since I wrote it back in the spring of 2003.

    Any help in moving towrds this direction would be most welcome.

  23. E M Risse Avatar

    As Reid explains the idea, it is a step in the right direction, but…

    There are Regional and Subregionl interests that are not in the short-term best interest of any municipality.

    As we know from places like Fairfax County there are even bigger problems at the sub-municipal level.

    Fairfax covers 9 or 10 Beta Communities. These organic components have nothing to do with the borders of the supervisory district boundaries. For example, Greater Tysons Corner falls in three different districts.

    It is clear that the vote at the municipal level would not reflect Regional, Subreginal or Community interests.

    In addition, it would not reflect the interests of the citizens in the Villages, Neighborhoods and Clusters of which those Communities are made up.

    Sorry, there is no alternative to Fundamental Change in the number and borders of the components of the governace structure.


  24. Reid Greenmun Avatar
    Reid Greenmun


    I’m not sure I totally understand your point – but it sounds as if the current political subdivisions as defined by the General Assembly don’t adequately ‘work’ for the interests of the citizens – if I grasp you point correctly you seem to be stating that the current Fairfax BOS of City Council doesn’t “Subreginal or Community interests, nor does it reflect the interests of the citizens in the Villages, Neighborhoods and Clusters of which those Communities are made up.”

    My point being that Fairfax does have a local government with elected representatives that have all of Fairfax’s constituents “representated” – does it not?

    If the answer is “yes”, then there isn’t any issue with my concept for regional cooperation – not another layer fo regional government.


  25. I can’t believe tht anyone on this blog thinks that more layers of government is a good way to save money on human settlement patterns, let alone provide a path to building better ones.

  26. “What you apparently believe is that environmental and public interest groups also “bribe” legislators “

    Yes, I believe that. Anyway, what do you call proffers but legalized bribes?

    Let’s clarify this. Bribe comes from a French word that means a little gift. It is geven and accepted with the undersanding that a change in behaviro will result.

    Then ther is extortion. Extortion is a bribe that is solicited from a position of power. It is no different from soliciting sex from your employees.

    So, if a proffer is required, is it a bribe or extortion? If a conservation easement is required, as a precursor to building permits otherwise allowed, is that a bribe or extortion?

    I simply don’t believe that environmental groups almost always never contribute to legislators: I’ve seen it in action. More precisely, what I have seen is businesses posing as environmental groups lobbiying for the pubic interests in their own interests.

    Besides, there are two issues here.

    Suppose you are ethically opposed to making campaign bribes.
    your only option is to approach the people directly, with an ad campaign desined to change their opinion, and hopefully, their behavior at the polls.

    Now suppose you are not ethically challenged. you can have an ad campaign, AND make campaign contributions. The campaign contributions will be used to change opinions and, hopefully, behavior at the polls.

    I’m not sure I see much difference in the end.

    That is why I promote the dea of direct allocation. Put the budget ont he back of your tax return 9at a gross level). Let the taxpayer allocate HIS money where HE wants to see it spent. Limit the legislators to fiddling at the margin, plus or minus 15%.

    End of argument. The people pay for what they want, and the legislature goes along, within reason.

    Do you suppose that if you are a contributor of either ilk, that you will waste nearly as much effort to move the margin 15% one way or the other? Do you suppose that if conditions in one rea of the budget get particularly dire, that the citizens won’t respond?

  27. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    “What you apparently believe is that environmental and public interest groups also “bribe” legislators “

    “Yes, I believe that. Anyway, what do you call proffers but legalized bribes?”

    WE have major, MAJOR confusion here Ray.

    Your first point.

    Have you gone to VPAP to confirm your assertion?

    You will find that many environmental and public interests groups are C3 501(c) – which cannot, by law do what you claim they do.

    And you’ve obviously never belonged to one of them or else you would realize just how little money most of them have.

    On your second point.

    What are proffers used for?

    Are they given to the individual BOS members for their campaign funds?

    You don’t seem to care who gives the money nor who receives nor what purpose it is used for.

    So.. in that context.. legal bribery seems to be fine with you.

    Proffers don’t go to campaign funds – they build schools.

    Equating them with bribes is truly bizarre.

    Ray, how can there be a rational dialouge about WHY supervisors in Loudoun are being invesigated by the FBI if you think 501 non-profit groups bribe legislators and that proffers are bribes also?

  28. Anonymous Avatar

    According to VPAP, these were the top five political contributors to Loudoun Supervisor Bruce Tulloch in 2003. Tulloch is a figure in the FBI and U.S. Atty. probe. All top five contributors are in the building industry:

    $5,500 NOVA Building Industry Assn.
    $2,782 Tom Grannas of Charron COnstruction Consulting
    $2,500 Urban Engineering & Associates
    $2,500 Washington Homes Inc.
    $2000 Bowman Consulting Group.

  29. “Equating them with bribes is truly bizarre.”

    I’m not alone in this. My county supervisor has publicly equated them with bribes. I happen to think that extortion more closely describes what is going on.

    What you say about 501c’s is correct. That only means they cannot contribute directly. It says nothing about mounting parallel and coordinated campaigns to promote those they support.

    The “hit lists” against those they oppose are legendary. That is part of my problem with them. they spend far too much energy and money working against what they don’t want, and almost nothing to support what they do want.

    The reason developers have so much more money is that they have more paying customers. Environmental groups could learn something from that. Provide something of value, instead of just canned negativism.

    We can end this argument right now. Put a short budget on the back of each tax return and have the taxpayers tell you where they would prefer to see it spent.

    It might very well turn out that neither of us would like the answer, but I would go along anyway, knowing that when conditions are bad in a certain area people will change their priorities. Unfortunately, we can’t count on the parties to be so pragmatic: they are too heavily invested in dogma to see reality.

  30. Anonymous:

    That is very interesting. I am not supporting Tulloch in any way, but I have to ask, how much did Tulloch raise in total, and of the Total, how much came from the top five?

    I don’t doubt that your aspersion is correct, I just like to see ALL the numbers.

Leave a Reply