Home > General Discussion > Who finances Arlington county board candidates

Who finances Arlington county board candidates
  • jg1969 December 6, 2013 - 1:13 pm #95062 Reply

    With a looming election for the vacant county board position, you may want to remember the money behind the Democratic candidates, in particular just elected Democrat Jay Fisette.  This goes to the “golden rule of politics–them that has the gold, sets the rules.”

    Democratic incumbent Jay Fisette in his re-election campaign in 2013, according to State Board of Elections data raised about $106,500 as of Oct. 23, 2013; his leading donors according to VPAC data were from the real estate/construction industry ($5,105), businessmen ($4,210), healthcare ($2,910), and defense industry ($2,200). About $14,000 of Fisette's contributions came from residents who do not live in Arlington; what is their interest in Arlington?
    Read the Virginia Public Access Project reports yourself  http://www.vpap.org/committees/profile/home_financials/2840?start_year=2013&end_year=2013&lookup_type=year&filing_period=all  SBE report: http://cfreports.sbe.virginia.gov/Committee/Index/9da1603d-869f-e111-8def-984be103f032

    Fisette’s largest single donor was Christine Milliken ($2,120) whose husband happens to be a prominent land uselawyer representing many of the large developers operating in Arlington such as Vornado Realty Trust, JBG Companies, Clark Realty, and Gould Property Company. Vornado and JBG own large commercial properties in Crystal City and other Arlington areas. The county board recently allowed higher development in Crystal City despite many neighbors opposition and to the financial benefit of these large developers.  The board also gave some of these Crystal City developers a deal in order to get more funds for Fisette’ swiming pool project at Longbridge.

    Why did Jay Fisette take money from developers, real estate interests and other private business interests with past and possibly future matters before the Arlington County Board? The Northern Virginia Realtors PAC gave Fisette $1,000; does this weigh on his ability to impartially regulate developers in Arlington? Unfortunately Virginia's weak ethical laws allow politicians to accept unlimited business funds.

    Green candidate Audrey Clement raised less than $8,000 with nearly half of this coming from her own pocket, and her other leading contributor the chairman of the Arlington Greens Steve Davis. The incumbent Democrat outraised the Green by about 14 to 1.

    How can we have fair elections in Arlington with corporate and business interests and those of wealthy people tilting the scales of competition?The Green Party bars its candidates from accepting corporate and business contributions. Both the Democrats and Republicans are identical in their dependance and subseverience to the money interests.

    Whatever happened to Abraham Lincoln's Government of the People, for the People and by the People? Today we have government of the rich, for the rich and by the rich.

    Arlingtoon December 6, 2013 - 3:19 pm #95083 Reply

    John Milliken (Christine’s husband) is an Arlington native.  His parents were politically active; there is a park (Herselle Milliken Park) on North Lincoln Street named in honor of his mother, long active in civic affairs in Arlington County.

    He has worked for years on behalf of Arlington County.  I first met him when he worked for then-Congressman Joe Fisher in D.C.  He was himself elected to the County Board; was elected Chairman, and ran (unsuccessfully) for Congress against then-Arlington Congressman Frank Wolf, I think in 1984.

    He was appointed to be Secretary of Transportation of the Commonwealth, and honorably served in Richmond.  He and his family continue to reside in Arlington.

    When he served on the County Board he was a level-headed steward of the public purse; he had an open door for everyone, regardless of political affiliation; he personified what has come to be called “The Arlington Way;” and was consistently polite and courteous to all and sundry.

    Your post may have been intended to be a slam; however for me at least, all it did was remind me how fortunate we have been to have had people like John involved in our civic affairs.

    Dezlboy December 6, 2013 - 4:28 pm #95091 Reply

    jg: So, what else is new?  Business interests that have the most to gain or lose when items come before the board contribute to Dems and Repubs to cover their bases.  You’re fighting a losing battle. Pick you candidate and work for them to get elected.  Anything else is a waste of time.  That’s reality and it’s not going to change.

    Swag December 7, 2013 - 8:56 am #95104 Reply


    Member Since: December 6, 2013              Activity: 1 

    Arlington resident and activist for the past 30 years and Green Party member

    <Edited by moderator>You can slander your opponents and pimp your candidate when we get closer to the election.

    nom de guerre December 7, 2013 - 3:57 pm #95105 Reply


    Member Since: December 6, 2013              Activity: 1 

    Arlington resident and activist for the past 30 years and Green Party member

    <Edited by moderator>You can slander your opponents and pimp your candidate when we get closer to the election.

    Are the alleged moderators not on duty today or are they just ignoring this?  I find it offensive and threatening.  I realize it is Pearl Harbor Day but dropping bombs like this is inappropriate.  Is swag allowed to be the new Nsteve?

    fakenovasteve December 7, 2013 - 7:42 pm #95106 Reply

    "Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace."

    Robert J Sawyer

    Suburban Not Urban December 9, 2013 - 11:17 am #95146 Reply

    NDG I agree, I thought there was a new comment moderation policy.

    Tom December 9, 2013 - 12:04 pm #95165 Reply

    Gotta side with Swag on this one. I, for example, have a lot of crazy and particularly offensive ideas regarding the midterm presidential elections, but I’m waiting until 2014 when they become relevant. (Even then, I’ll probably keep them to D.C. Craigslist rants and raves--I find it much more fun to troll there.)

    Tom December 9, 2013 - 12:05 pm #95168 Reply

    In a semi-related note, hat tip to Arlingtoon for a commendable job of fact checking and non-snarky response phrasing.

    jg1969 December 18, 2013 - 2:23 pm #95802 Reply

    SWAG–resorting to foul language does not prove your point but only makes you look like a fool.  Slander is telling lies about a person.  I reported accurate data from the State of Virginia on candidate finances on Jay Fisette.  I was reporting data published by the State Board of Elections and the Virginia Public Access Project (that gets these public data from the State Board of Elections).  Check out the data yourself.

    As to John Milliken the landuse attorney working for the largest developers and commercial office building owners in Arlington, what he did in a previous life is irrelevant.  IMO, it is wrong for a county board member or candidate to be accepting political campaign donations from the attorney who works for companies that county board regulates and controls such as developers.  It is unethical IMO, although not illegal under Virginia law.

    But Virginia’s ethical standards for campaign contributions is almost nonexistent.  Our current governor indicated that low standard by accepting a Rolex watch and having a company seeking favors pay for his daughter’s wedding.





You must be logged in to reply to this topic.


Subscribe to our mailing list