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Beyer, Chatman Lead Fundraising in Congressional Race

by Ethan Rothstein | April 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm | 508 views | No Comments

Don Beyer (photo via Friends of Don Beyer)  Lavern Chatman (photo via Facebook

Don Beyer and Lavern Chatman are the early leaders in fundraising in the June 10 Democratic primary to replace retiring Rep. Jim Moran (D).

Beyer, the former Virginia lieutenant governor, has a sizable lead over the rest of the field. Beyer has raised $668,497 in contributions so far, spending $218,617 and holding onto $449,636 cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission filing records. Separately, Beyer said he plans to follow fellow Democratic candidate Del. Patrick Hope’s lead in releasing his most recent tax return, on May 15.

Chatman, the former director of the Northern Virginia Urban League, has raised $278,197 in contributions — thanks in part to a fundraiser with talk show mogul Oprah Winfrey — and spent $84,729, leaving her with $213,467 cash on hand. Another Alexandria-based candidate, Mayor Bill Euille, is in third place in fundraising, with $214,571 in contributions, $41,062 spent and $173,509 cash on hand.

The Arlington-based candidates are led by Sen. Adam Ebbin, whose district includes parts of Arlington and Alexandria, with $178,591 in donations and $62,943 in expenditures. He has $114,878 on hand.

“The funds we have raised will enable us to wage the kind of grassroots, neighbor-to-neighbor campaign that has won Adam multi-candidate Democratic primaries before,” said Michael Beckendorf, Ebbin’s campaign manager, in a statement.

Hope is fifth in fundraising, having raised $176,534, spent $47,800, and has $138,733 on hand.

Among the other five candidates — Charniele Herring, Mark Levine, Derek Hyra, Bruce Shuttleworth and Satish Korpe — only Levine and Shuttleworth have more than $100,000 cash on hand, thanks to loans of $250,000 and $275,000 respectively.

“This is a people powered campaign,” Levine, a liberal talk radio host, said in a press release. “People from across the district and across the country are excited about my candidacy. Voters want an aggressive progressive voice that will stand up for progressive principles in the House.”

Korpe, the last Democrat to enter the race, has not filed any campaign finance reports with the FEC.

Photos via Friends of Don Beyer and Facebook

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | April 16, 2014 at 9:05 am | 1,539 views | No Comments

Rainy night on the Pike (Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick)

Arlington Has Highest Tax Burden for the Poor — Arlington County has the highest tax burden for low income people in the D.C. area, according to a new study. In response, County Board Chair Jay Fisette suggested that the higher taxes go to providing more services, like affordable housing and better public schools, compared to other jurisdictions. [WAMU]

Op-Ed: Lower The Tax Rate — Local fiscal watchdog Wayne Kubicki says that the the County Board should reduce the property tax rate by 1.5 cents by utilizing part of the $37.1 million in unspent funds left over from Fiscal Year 2014. Kubicki suggests calling the tax rate reduction a “Vihstadt Dividend.” [InsideNoVa]

National Issues Didn’t Help Dems in Local Race — Democratic County Board candidate Alan Howze and his allies tried to corner opponent John Vihstadt on issues like Medicaid and his past support of Republican candidates. But it didn’t work, and Vihstadt was elected in a virtual landslide, the first non-Democrat on the County Board in 15 years. Concludes “Our Man in Arlington” columnist Charlie Clark: “Superimposing state and national ideological issue tests on genuine local disputes won’t trump voter focus on the individual candidates’ qualifications and clarity of message.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Venture Fund Founder on Crystal City — Paul Singh, founder of the new $50 million Crystal Tech Fund, which will focus its investments on post-seed stage tech companies, talked to a reporter about why he chose to locate the fund in Crystal City. He said Crystal City is an “attractive” location for tech company founders because of Metro access and airport proximity, along with “great restaurants and great living environments.” [Washington Post]

National Airport Cab Fares May Rise – The cost of taking a cab from Reagan National Airport may rise starting in September. The Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is considering raising the dispatch fee for cabs picking up passengers from $2.50 to $3 per trip. The board is also considering a requirement that all cabs accept credit cards. [InsideNoVa]

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

Hope Calls for Higher Taxes on the Wealthy

by Ethan Rothstein | April 14, 2014 at 4:35 pm | 1,813 views | No Comments

Del. Patrick Hope (D) calls for higher taxes on the wealthy in front of the D.C. IRS headquarters(Updated at 10:35 a.m.) One would expect that most demonstrations outside IRS headquarters in D.C. involve calls for lower taxes. This afternoon, however, congressional candidate Del. Patrick Hope (D) held a press conference outside the IRS to call for higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

Hope, who’s one of 10 Democratic candidates running for the congressional seat of the retiring Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), said he supports the budget put forth by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which raises taxes on Americans making more than $250,000 per year and creates a new, higher tax bracket for those making more than $1 million. It would also close corporate tax loopholes and tax individuals making more than $100 million annually at 48 percent.

The budget also would eliminate the tax difference between long-term capital gains income and regular income from salaries and wages. It also would reverse the effects of the sequester, which would mean more jobs for federal workers. Hope circulated a petition trying to draw support for what he calls the “Millionaire’s Tax,” and said he gathered 33,000 signatures.

A tax hike on the wealthy “solves our revenue problem very simply, by bringing in more revenue,” Hope said. “Our future is at stake in the upcoming Congress. Will we pass a grand bargain that cuts our social safety net? Or will we close the loopholes and demand the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans pay their fair share? That’s what the 2014 election will be about all over the United States — and that is where we have our biggest differences in our primary in the 8th District.”

The higher tax rate could hit residents of the district Hope seeks to represent particularly hard. Arlington has consistently ranked among the five richest counties in America in recent years, even landing at No. 1 by some metrics. Hope’s campaign, however, argues that a relatively small number of Arlington residents are in the very high income bracket that would be impacted by the Millionaire’s Tax.

Hope, a resident of Arlington’s Buckingham neighborhood, also released his tax returns and called upon his opponents in the June 10 congressional primary to do the same. Hope, who works as a healthcare attorney in addition to his part-time duties as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, earned $231,197 last year — $197,621 from work as a lobbyist for a nonprofit healthcare association, $28,176 from the Commonwealth of Virginia and $5,400 from Johns Hopkins University. He paid $38,645 in federal taxes, or 16.7 percent.

“Transparency is something that is very important in politics,” Hope said. “The people we seek to represent deserve to know everything about us.”

Vihstadt Sworn in as County Board Member

by Ethan Rothstein | April 11, 2014 at 4:30 pm | 2,925 views | No Comments

John Vihstadt, the first non-Democrat elected to serve on the Arlington County Board since 1999, was sworn in to his new position this afternoon.

In his first remarks as a County Board member — filling the seat that Chris Zimmerman vacated when he resigned earlier this year — Vihstadt vowed to introduce an “audit function” to the Board, rein in spending and “break down silos” in county government.

“Our victory was not a victory for one candidate or one person,” Vihstadt said from a podium in the County Board room, “it was a victory for the people of Arlington County.”

Vihstadt, who ran as an independent endorsed by the Republican and Green parties, defeated Democrat Alan Howze on Tuesday by a 57 to 41 percent margin. The two will face off again in November’s general election, on the ballot with the race for Sen. Mark Warner (D)’s seat and the congressional seat of retiring Rep. Jim Moran (D).

Vihstadt campaigned against projects like the Columbia Pike streetcar and Artisphere, a message that resonated with the majority of the 22,209 voters on Tuesday. Friday afternoon, Vihstadt promised to follow through on his campaign platforms.

“I’ll question county spending decisions and ask ‘do we need it? How do we pay for it?’” he said. “It’s time county government lives within its means.”

Vihstadt also said he wants to reform the county’s bond process and the wording of ballot items, both measures that could reduce Arlington’s capability for large community investments.

County Board Chairman Jay Fisette introduced Vihstadt, whose father held the bible during the ceremony, and explained why the ceremony was pushed back to Friday when it was originally scheduled for Wednesday. Virginia passed a law in 2012, Fisette said, that required any provisional ballots to be reviewed by the Friday after an election before the results could be certified. There was one provisional ballot cast in the special election.

“Many of us have worked with John, and I certainly have on a variety of things over the years,” Fisette said. “I look forward to getting back to work with John as one of the five of us on the Board.”

Del. Patrick Hope (D) was in attendance, as was Board member Libby Garvey and Commonweath’s Attorney Theo Stamos, both Democrats who endorsed Vihstadt’s campaign. Board Vice Chair Mary Hynes was attending a regional meeting and Board member Walter Tejada was late, leading Fisette to comment that Tejada was “running on Latino time.”

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | April 11, 2014 at 9:45 am | 1,389 views | No Comments

Springtime in Shirlington, in front of Signature Theater and the Shirlington Branch Library

Advice for Vihstadt — Dave Foster, a Republican elected to two full terms on the Arlington School Board starting in 1999, has some advice for the newly-elected County Board member John Vihstadt. In order for Vihstadt to win re-election and a full term in November, he will need to practice “thoughtful and independent decision-making, hard work and constant community outreach,” Foster said. [InsideNoVa]

‘Brave’ Moran Loses Two Votes — Retiring Rep. Jim Moran (D) is taking some bold but symbolic stances in his last term. Moran was one of “two brave Democrats” who voted for a doomed interpretation of President Obama’s budget, as floated by House Republicans for the express purpose of getting Democrats to vote against it. Moran also lost his bid to raise pay for members of Congress; the proposal died in committee. [Washington Times, Associated Press]

Road Closures for Parade — Parts of Walter Reed Drive, Four Mile Run and George Mason Drive will be closed Sunday morning and afternoon for the Carnival de Oruro Parade. [Arlington County]

Library Extends DVD Renewals – Arlington Public Library is now letting patrons renew DVDs twice, meaning the maximum rental period is now 21 days. [Arlington Public Library]

Del. Brink Finds 13 to Be Unlucky – Was it a coincidence? Arlington’s Del. Bob Brink (D) was 13th in seniority in the Virginia House of Delegates this year. And as he was putting his “13″ specialty license plate on his car (such plates are issued to lawmakers annually by the state), his pliers slipped and gouged a deep cut in his finger. One fellow lawmaker, however, opined that the bad luck was actually because Brink had just, by virtue of timing, introduced House Bill 666. [InsideNoVa]

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | April 9, 2014 at 11:00 am | 1,556 views | No Comments

Flowering tree in Rosslyn

Ex-Marine Convicted in Murder Case — Former Marine Jorge Torrez has been convicted of first degree murder in the killing of fellow Navy petty officer Amanda Jean Snell at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. The trial will now enter the sentencing phase, with federal prosecutors seeking the death penalty. In a separate case, Torrez was previously convicted of rape in Arlington County and sentenced to life in prison. [Washington Post]

Dems Now Regretting Special Election Schedule? — Arlington Democrats may now be regretting the timing of yesterday’s County Board special election. Because departed County Board member Chris Zimmerman pushed back his last day in office, the special election was held after the filing deadline for nominations in the general election. That leaves Alan Howze as the sole Democrat on the ticket, despite the large margin of his loss Tuesday. [InsideNoVa]

Wardian Wins North Pole Marathon — Prolific Arlington marathon runner Michael Wardian has won the 2014 North Pole Marathon. Wardian finished the marathon, held in sub-zero temperatures, with a time of 4:07:40. He “described it as the toughest race he’s ever run.” [Facebook]

Major Delays on Orange Line This AM — Orange Line riders faced significant delays this morning due to a signal problem outside Stadium-Armory. One rider told ARLnow.com via email that the line was “seriously f–ked,” with “delays and overflowing platforms.” [Twitter]

East Arlington Remembered — East Arlington, a long-standing African-American community that was razed to make way for construction of the Pentagon and its road network in the 1940s, were remembered in a program hosted by the Arlington Historical Society. [Falls Church News-Press, YouTube]

UPDATED: Vihstadt Wins County Board Special Election

by ARLnow.com | April 8, 2014 at 7:40 pm | 10,983 views | No Comments

(Updated at 11:35 p.m.) For the first time in 15 years, a non-Democrat will sit on the Arlington County Board.

John Vihstadt, a Republican who ran as an independent with the endorsement of the local Republican and Green parties, has won the special election to replace Chris Zimmerman (D) on the Arlington County Board.

Vihstadt captured 57 percent of the vote to Democrat Alan Howze’s 41 percent. Independent Green candidate Janet Murphy and independent Stephen Holbrook each captured about 1 percent of the vote.

“We won the race by a higher margin than my most aggressive expectations,” Vihstadt told supporters at his victory party tonight. “The most exciting and gratifying measure of our victory was that it was north to south and east to west. There really is one Arlington, not two Arlingtons.”

Given that the race hinged largely on the hot-button issues of the planned Columbia Pike streetcar and Long Bridge Park aquatics center, the result is likely to be viewed by many as a voter rebuke of the County Board’s major capital spending projects.

“People want cost-effective, results-oriented solutions on the local level,” Vihstadt said.

Vihstadt touted his “true rainbow coalition” of supporters. Those supporters included all three candidates for County Board in 2012: current Democratic County Board member and fellow streetcar critic Libby Garvey, Republican ARLnow.com columnist Mark Kelly, and frequent Green Party candidate Audrey Clement. Also supporting Vihstadt was Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos, a close friend of Vihstadt and his wife, Mary.

“It was an easy call for me,” said Stamos, a lifelong Democrat. “He’s a good man and we need to sometimes think outside the box.”

“This is a victory for good government,” Garvey said. “I’m going to get choked up, this is Democracy at its best. This is the way it’s supposed to be.”

“The people have spoken and the County Board needs to listen,” Garvey added.

Vihstadt, whose yard signs were purple to represent a blend of red and blue politics, said he plans to “work in a collaborative fashion to get things done for the county.”

“This was a victory not for one person or one party, but for Republicans, Democrats, Greens, Libertarians and people with no party,” Vihstadt said. “I’m not going to be a captive of any political party, any person, any ideology — I’m going to call issues as I see them.”

Voter turnout today was relatively light, which benefited Vihstadt. With no state or national-level races energizing the Democratic base, its appears that many party-line Democrats stayed home. Total unofficial turnout was 22,209, or about 16 percent of registered voters.

Vihstadt will be the first non-Democrat on the Board since Republican Mike Lane served briefly after winning a special election in 1999. Lane lost in the general election several months later. Similarly, Vihstadt is expected to face Howze again in the November general election, when a U.S Senate and a House of Representatives race will be on the local ballot.

Howze told dozens of his supporters at the Democrats’ election party at Whitlow’s in Clarendon that he continues to believe infrastructure and education investments are the core values of Arlington voters.

“The special election is behind us now, and I look forward to continuing this conversation into November and moving Arlington forward,” he said. “There’s a lot at stake.”

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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | April 8, 2014 at 9:00 am | 845 views | No Comments

Coast Guard helicopter (Flickr pool photo by J. Sonder)

Voting Now Underway — Voting is underway in the special election to fill the County Board seat vacated by Chris Zimmerman. Four candidates are on the ballot: Alan Howze, John Vihstadt, Stephen Holbrook and Janet Murphy. The polls will close tonight at 7:00 p.m. [Arlington County]

Special Olympics Championship Goes to Overtime — The Special Olympics division championship basketball game between the GMU Patriots and Arlington Blue went into overtime on Sunday. The annual tournament was held at Marymount University. [InsideNoVa]

Historical Society Lectures to Be Broadcast — The county’s Arlington TV channel will now film and broadcast Arlington Historical Society lectures. The lectures are held monthly at Arlington Central Library and feature topics of historical significance to Arlington County. [Arlington Historical Society]

Flickr photo by J. Sonder

Oprah Attends Political Fundraiser in Crystal City

by ARLnow.com | April 7, 2014 at 1:35 pm | 1,151 views | No Comments

Ophrah Winfrey and congressional candidate Lavern Chatman (photo credit: Allison O'Brien/aobphoto)Entertainment icon Oprah Winfrey spoke at a fundraiser for congressional candidate Lavern Chatman (D) Saturday evening.

The event was held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott at 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway in Crystal City. Tickets for the fundraiser started at $150. At the high end, a $2,600 donation to the campaign came with reserved seating, admission to a VIP reception and a photo with Winfrey.

The fundraiser was closed to the press. The Chatman campaign issued a photo (above) and the following press release following the event.

Democratic congressional candidate (VA-CD8) Lavern Chatman hosted a campaign event Saturday night in Arlington, Virginia.

Chatman has run effective nonprofit programs and organizations. She is the former CEO of the Northern Virginia Urban League, she founded the Grandfathers Group mentoring program for at-risk young boys, and co-founded the Nova Coalition an organization focused on increasing voter participation, voter restoration, and civic engagement. Personally, Chatman has a group of 15 young women she mentors called the “Fab 15,” and all 15 women attended.

“I will continue to be a champion for Virginia women,” Chatman said. “I am pro pay equity, pro-choice and pro women’s health. I have been in the trenches working with and mentoring young women and girls and I want to keep making a difference for my community in Congress.”

Chatman serves as a “host parent” for one of the graduates of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls – South Africa while the student is studying in the United States. Philanthropist and global media leader Oprah Winfrey appeared at a campaign in support of her friend.

“Stedman and I came here tonight to support Lavern Chatman,” said Oprah Winfrey. “I’ve seen how Lavern embraced with her whole heart being a host mom to one of my girls, who recently graduated from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa. Lavern makes people feel like they matter, and I see that Lavern is happiest when she is serving others.”

“This was a great event for our campaign and to advance the conversation about what we can do to champion issues that impact women and girls in Virginia,” Chatman said. “Oprah and I share a strong commitment to making a difference for future generations.”

Lopez Drops Out of Congressional Race

by ARLnow.com | April 4, 2014 at 3:00 pm | 1,152 views | No Comments

Alfonso Lopez speaks at the Democratic victory party on Columbia Pike

Del. Alfonso Lopez (D) announced this afternoon that he’s ending his campaign for Congress.

Lopez was one of nearly a dozen candidates in the race to replace the retiring Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) His campaign issued the following press release today.

Thanking supporters and pledging to continue his work to expand opportunity, Delegate Alfonso Lopez announced today the end of his campaign for Congress:

“I got into this race because even though on paper the economy is doing well, too many people are still struggling to make ends meet. Everyone deserves the opportunity to build a better future.

I am proud of how my campaign resonated with many voters in the Eighth District, especially new Americans, and that we assembled a coalition of many generous supporters. However, after we closed the fundraising quarter, I took the time to evaluate, with my team, the position of my campaign. It is clear to me that I do not have the resources necessary to run the campaign we wanted and that the people of the Eighth District deserved. With that in mind, I do not want to ask my supporters to continue to make the sacrifices of time, treasure and talent that they have so generously made thus far.

Although my campaign for Congress comes to an end today, my work to expand opportunity for all Virginians continues. In the coming weeks, I will lay out a new plan for my work to expand opportunity here in Virginia. We must do more in Richmond to ensure that everyone has a chance at the American Dream.

The voters of the Eighth District have many qualified and talented candidates to choose from on June 10 — many of whom I know well. I am confident that our next representative will fight for the progressive values of Northern Virginia.”

Lopez’s fellow local Democratic member of the Virginia House of Delegates, Del. Patrick Hope, is also running for Moran’s seat. Hope issued the following statement this afternoon regarding Lopez’s decision.

Alfonso Lopez has been a leader for environmentalists, gun safety advocates, and for new Americans in Richmond and during this campaign for the 8th Congressional District. I want to publicly congratulate him for running a strong campaign. I’ve seen Alfonso’s tenacity when we served together in Richmond, and we are lucky to have him as part of the Arlington County delegation. Alfonso has a bright future in politics, and I look forward to continuing to work with him in the future.

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | April 3, 2014 at 9:05 am | 1,008 views | No Comments

Flags with Rosslyn buildings in the background (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

Najarian Tries to Get on Ballot — Democratic candidate for Congress Nancy Najarian is trying to get on the ballot after authorities said she did not submit enough valid signatures to qualify. [Blue Virginia]

Winter Shelter Closes for the Season — Arlington’s emergency winter homeless shelter has closed for the season. More than 450 individuals stayed at least one night at the shelter over the past five months. The emergency winter shelter will reopen on Nov. 1. The county’s new year-round homeless shelter is not expected to open until some point next winter. [InsideNoVa]

Library Plans Bicycle Tour — Arlington Public Library’s seventh annual Tour des Bibliothèques is scheduled from the morning of Saturday, April 19. The event brings library staff and community members on a bicycle tour of seven Arlington library locations. [Arlington Public Library]

Arlington’s Affordable Housing Investment – Arlington makes a significant investment in affordable housing compared to some of its neighbors. Arlington County devotes 5.2 percent of its budget to affordable housing, compared to 0.9 percent for Alexandria and 1.3 percent for Fairfax County. [Falls Church News-Press]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

Alexandria Republican Joins Race for Moran’s Seat

by Ethan Rothstein | April 1, 2014 at 11:45 am | 991 views | No Comments

Republican Congressional candidate Dennis BartowA second Republican has entered the race to replace Rep. Jim Moran in Virginia’s 8th Congressional District.

Dennis Bartow, 39, announced yesterday that he will be vying for the retiring Moran’s seat, facing Micah Edmond in a Republican convention, set for April 26 at Bishop O’Connell High School. Bartow, a U.S. Army veteran and founder of two companies, lives in Alexandria with his wife and son.

Bartow announced his candidacy in a press release, in which he says he served in the military in Iraq, Kuwait and Kosovo. He also founded Bartow Imports, which distributes wine to 10 states, and a federal government contractor. He is running on a platform of economic development and “smaller, smarter government.”

“The neighborhoods and communities that make up Virginia’s 8th District stand at a crossroads today in how we are governed,” Bartow said in the release. “I’m running for Congress because Americans are tired of the gridlock and pessimism. I believe we can work together to create policies that will spur job growth and prosperity again – so that every American has the opportunity to share in our great nation’s promise. I will reinvigorate the district and our nation with the business experience and entrepreneurship that helped me launch two successful businesses and create jobs.”

The filing deadline for the election was March 27. The field for the primary includes 11 Democrats — Adam Ebbin, Alfonso Lopez, Patrick Hope, Bill Euille, Charniele Herring, Bruce Shuttleworth, Lavern Chatman, Don Beyer, Mark Levine, Satish Korpe and Derek Hyra. Nancy Najarian, who had announced she was running in March, only secured 549 signatures of the required 1,000 to qualify for election, according to the 8th Congressional District Democrats’ website.

The Democratic Primary will be held June 10. The 8th District has been a Democratic stronghold for decades, with local and national Democratic candidates consistently winning more than 60 percent of votes.

Courtesy photo

County Board Candidate: Opponents Will ‘Burn in Hell’

by ARLnow.com | March 31, 2014 at 11:00 am | 6,035 views | No Comments

Stephen Holbrook at the County Board candidates debate 3/4/14Independent Arlington County Board candidate Stephen W.C. Holbrook doesn’t like a plan to use public land for affordable housing, and made his opinions known in a strongly-worded email to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York.

Holbrook wrote the email, a copy of which was also sent to ARLnow.com, following his participation last week in a forum for County Board candidates organized by the faith-based social justice group Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE).

The forum, held Thursday at St. John’s Baptist Church on Columbia Pike, was intended “to call on the four candidates in the April 8 special election for County Board to commit to a bold a bold new plan for using public land to develop 1,000-1,500 units of affordable housing on a 3-5-year timetable for families earning $30,000-$50,000 a year,” according to VOICE, which collected more than 10,000 petition signatures for the plan.

In his letter to Dolan, Holbrook, a retired FBI agent, let it be known that he thought the plan was not in keeping with church teachings.

“GOD’S house is a place to talk to your GOD and not a place to gather people to form a plan to lay out how you will steal from other people,” Holbrook wrote. “I am a Catholic and that meeting in that church was the first time I ever went into a church and came out feeling dirty and that there was evil in that church. I thought that God was going to send down a lighting bolt unto those church leaders and their people and I didn’t want to be around them.”

“It took me two days and several baths to get the smell of greed and sin off of me but the other people there will go to hell for what they do and their church leaders are to blame,” Holbrook continued.

Asked by ARLnow.com to clarify his remarks, Holbrook suggested that those who vote for his three opponents – who support the creation of additional affordable housing — will be guity of theft by association.

“The voters that will go to HELL are the ones that trade their vote for stolen assets and those assets did belong to a person and or group of people that collectively did not want those assets given away,” he said via email. “GOD gave us all the TEN COMMANDMENTS. One of those Commandments was ‘Thou shall not steal.’ When you take assets for example from a group of people that did not want to give those assets away… [those] who gave their votes for them are just as guilty for receiving those stolen assets as the person that stole those assets.”

In his letter to Dolan, Holbrook requests that Catholic churches in Arlington read to its congregants and employees a speech he had prepared for the VOICE event but was not given the opportunity to read. That speech also took aim at the Arlington Education Association — Holbrook blames the teachers group for the county’s increased spending on public schools, which he opposes.

“The teachers’ union has already bitten the forbidden apple by showing their willingness to take unearned taxpayers’ assets for their vote for the Democratic candidate here and they will burn in Hell for their sinful deeds,” he writes.

The full prepared speech, after the jump.

(more…)

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | March 19, 2014 at 8:35 am | 2,275 views | No Comments

Courthouse Plaza (Flickr pool photo by Keithhall)

Noise Ordinance Approval Delayed — The Arlington County Board decided to delay approval of an update to the county’s noise ordinance after hearing concern from swim clubs that the ordinance could make cheering at swim meets illegal and punishable by fines or jail time. County staff will now try to craft an exemption for the summer swim leagues. In addition to strengthening prohibitions on loud TVs and music, the noise ordinance update calls for a “quiet period” in single-family home neighborhoods that would impact morning swim meets. [InsideNoVa]

Chatman Addresses Fraud Conviction — Fresh off the announcement that Oprah Winfrey would headline her upcoming fundraiser in Arlington, congressional candidate Lavern Chatman is trying to downplay word that she was found liable for $1.4 million in damages in a decade-old fraud case involving a D.C. nursing home operator. Chatman called the case a “nightmare” and said she “didn’t pay much attention to the details” when she agreed to provide a loan to a “trusted friend” — a friend who ended up withholding the wages of nearly 300 employees of the nursing home company. [Blue Virginia]

Arlington Honors ‘Women of Vision’ – Arlington County’s Commission on the Status of Women has announced the winners of the 2014 Arlington County Women of Vision awards. They are political strategist and Young Democrats of America president Atima Omara, Dominion regional manager Deborah Tompkins Johnson and Bowen McCauley Dance founder Lucy Bowen McCauley. [Arlington County]

Chamber Honors Hospitality Workers — On Tuesday the Arlington Chamber of Commerce honored more than 80 “frontline” hospitality workers at its 10th annual Hospitality Awards. One winner was Gadisa Bulla, who rescued a co-worker’s son from a fire across from the Sheraton hotel on Columbia Pike. [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]

Rosslyn Company Scores Angel Investment Encore Alert, a Rosslyn-based social analytics startup, has raised a $390,000 seed round from the local investment group NextGen Angels. [Washington Business Journal]

Flickr pool photo by Keithhall

Oprah to Attend Chatman Fundraiser in Arlington

by ARLnow.com | March 18, 2014 at 11:30 am | 2,491 views | No Comments

Oprah Winfrey (Photo courtesy Alan Light via Wikipedia)Entertainment icon Oprah Winfrey will attend a fundraiser in Arlington for congressional candidate Lavern Chatman (D) next month, Chatman’s campaign announced this morning.

Winfrey will headline Chatman’s fundraiser, which will be held somewhere in Arlington on Saturday, April 5, according to the campaign. The event will also “feature several prominent leaders speaking on women’s issues, globally, nationally, and in the 8th District of Virginia.”

“Oprah is a good friend and we both share a passion for empowering women and girls for leadership,” Chatman said in a statement. “I’m delighted she is coming to town to help with my congressional campaign.”

Chatman is the former President and CEO of the Northern Virginia Urban League. She held her campaign kickoff event at Arlington’s Army Navy Country Club on Feb. 12.

So far, the Chatman campaign says it has raised $200,000 in the race to replace Rep. Jim Moran in Congress. The race includes nearly a dozen candidates vying for the Democratic nomination.

Photo courtesy Alan Light via Wikipedia

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