Mark Kelly Takes to the Airwaves

by ARLnow.com October 29, 2010 at 9:46 am 2,760 59 Comments

Republican county board candidate Mark Kelly has started running an ad on local cable television.

The ad emphasizes the “diversity of opinion” Kelly says he would bring to the board. Arlington viewers started seeing the ad on cable TV shows on Wednesday.

“We’re trying to use every means available to reach people,” Kelly said after a debate in Highland Park last night.

Kelly’s opponent, incumbent Democrat Chris Zimmerman, says he has no plans to air any TV ads, although he has done so in the past.

“I’m not buying cable ads,” Zimmerman said, adding that cable viewership is down. “Cable doesn’t have the penetration it used to.”

Zimmerman said that his campaign was based on a 12-month strategy, not a short-term strategy.

  • Seriously?

    Gee Scott, why should anyone pay for advertising on the site, when you’ll treat political ads as “news?” I’d react the same way if you did it for any candidate, but this is really disappointing. Where’s your article about last night’s debate?

  • PGFDE121

    Zimmerman’s 12 month campaign was spending all our tax money on bs projects. Reference previous story on $12,500 signs. Have to agree with above comment though as this seems somewhat biased to include as news when there is nothing on the debate.

    • We’ll be doing a debate story later. All three sides will be heard.

      • Also, we’ve done several county board-related stories in which we quote Mr. Zimmerman but don’t get a reaction from Mr. Kelly, as might be the standard for journalism school purists. In the end, it comes down to relevancy and overall fairness, not short-term “objectivity.”

      • There was too much to get to today, so we’ll be doing the debate article on Saturday.

  • DT

    Zimmerman should have just told the truth. He doesn’t have to advertise because there will be a “d” next to his name on the ballot and that’s all that matters in the People’s Republic of Arlington.

    • Chris

      There’s actually no party affiliation for County Board and School Board races in Arlington.

      • Lou

        School Board, no. County Board, there absolutely is party designation on the ballot.

        • Thes

          You’re mistaken, Lou. There is no “D” next to Zimmerman’s name on the official ballot: http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/voterregistration/images/SampleBallotNov2010.pdf

          • Lou

            I was going by the County’s own website:


            The disclaimer is BS, just pointing out the inconsistency.

          • Westover

            Well the “sample Ballots” that the Arlington Democrats will be passing out in front of the polls on Tuesday will make it crystal clear that Zimmerman has a D across his name. The political monopoly in this county due to the at-large seats of all board members is disturbing and not providing a true representation of the residents of Arlington.

        • Chris

          well I haven’t voted yet, but I’ve heard 3 times now that there is no party affiliation for the county board race on the ballot. Time to investigate myself i guess.

      • Doug

        No “D” associated with his name? I received a rather large post card from him in tonight’s mail where he talks about “A record of accomplishment for Columbia Pike.”

        On the card, right below his picture (w/spouse), it says “A Democrat, Chris has served on the Arlington Country Board since 1996, and on the Metro Board since 1998.”

        Sounds like he’s a DEM to me.

  • alebt

    I disagree that highlighting this ad is not news or is in some way a biased presentation of the news. There has not been an opposite party member on the Board for over 10 years. I believe it has been that long since Mike Lane held a seat for a short period of time. The ad is well done and, while admittedly short on specifics, it highlights the fact that there is a choice to be made on November 2. And the point is made in a positive way and is not bashing a specific person or program.

    • Skeptical

      I’d agree with you if there were only a screenshot of the ad, but I think it’s stretching neutrality a little to give the ad extra “airtime” by linking to the whole video. I don’t know that ARLnow intended to help Kelly out, but that’s the net result. And again for the record, I am no fan of one party government in Arlington.

      Also, I note that Kelly has more than one “opponent;” Kevin Chisholm is running as a Green and promotes his campaign as a change from one-party hegemony, opposing development for development’s sake, the Pike trolley and other favorite toys of the current Board. What about asking for his comments as well?

      • Jim

        on-line political stories will almost always link to the ad in question. this is completely appropriate and commonplace.

  • shirley

    when it comes to politics, ads are apparently forbidden.
    but a profit making business with a cute, but expensive love story — that’s ok?

    I think politics are much more important to my daily life than a love story. And that Kelly has the money to access cable — i want to know that. He is actually and finally a credible republican running.

  • Chris

    No party affiliation on County Board race.

    See the Arlington Sample Ballot from the county website: http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/voterregistration/images/SampleBallotNov2010.pdf

    • Burger

      Not to point out the obvious, but in the front page of the website is s Zimmerman ad that says “Democrat.” So please spare me people won’t just mark Zimmermnan because he is a democrat. A majority of Arlingtons will check the box for Zimmerman, move on with life and then complain 6 months from now that the county board is not listening to the people of Arlington and won’t make the connection with one-party rule.

      • Lou

        This is why it was a somewhat big deal when Sally Baird put the Democrat label on her signs. It broke with the overall structure for parties backing School vs County board candidates.

        I think it’s questionable of Arlington to list party affiliation on their website page for the election.

    • Per state law, party affiliation does not appear on the ballot for any local candidate, just state and federal candidates.

      However, county board members are nominated by a party, as opposed to school board members who get on the ballot independently (but can still be “endorsed” by a party).

  • Leaving

    Wait, this is news?

  • Vinh An Nguyen

    Is the new Republican philosophy that elections don’t matter if Republicans don’t win? That seems to be the case with their harping about Obama and the Arlington board. Seems to me, if the electorate isn’t choosing your candidates for office, it means they don’t like what your platform says. If the voters of Arlington want a Ken Cuccinelli on the County Board, they’ll vote one in. If they don’t, they won’t. So stop your whining.

    • Westover

      The problem is the at-large seats do not allow for any political minority representation of ideas. We all know and accept the fact that there are more Democrats in Arlington as a whole. However, there are sections of the county that are predomidently Republican, these people are not getting represented on the board. There is a reason that the U.S. House of Representative is not filled with at-large seats.

      • Texas Wahoo

        Although wouldn’t it be great if you went to the ballot and were asked to vote for 435 separate at large House members?

        • Westover

          In Virginia, we would only have to vote for 11, but Texans and Californians would be at the polls all day!

          • Texas Wahoo

            Assuming you’re only making it at large for each state. Why not go all in and make them all at large nationally!

      • Alan H

        Westover – where exactly are those predominantly Republican sections of Arlington that you speak of? Take a look at the 2009 Governor’s race results – https://www.voterinfo.sbe.virginia.gov/election/DATA/2009/37C2EDEB-FACB-44C1-AF70-05FB616DCD62/UnOfficial/00_p_013_41C57304-C645-42F9-B344-968D3EE33B12.shtml – and you will see that the Republican candidate did not win a single precinct in Arlington. There are certainly precincts where Republicans do better than others – but there is no section of the County that Republicans consistently win. The problem isn’t at large seats vs district seats, its that the Republican party in its current incarnation isn’t appealing to Arlington voters – at the local, state or federal level.

        • TGEoA

          Pass the joint.

          • Alan H

            Or how about lowest unemployment rate in the state? Or best schools in the state? Or best recreational network of trails, facilities, etc? Or most stable home values? Arlington’s Democratic elected officials have consistently chosen to invest in our community, and to plan for the future – and it shows. The Republican philosophy of disinvestment in public works, public transportation and public education would leave us all poorer in the long run – unless you are in the top 1% (Koch brothers) then Republicans want to give you a massive tax cut.

          • Greg

            Oh please. No one is talking about turning over the County Board to Republicans. It’s one seat. You think any of the things you mention will be different if one seat changes? But the benefit is there will be someone on the Board that isn’t a Democratic party insider. Even if it only serves to make sure that a different viewpoint is heard, a new voice on the Board would be a good thing.

          • el fat kid

            still kind of torn on this one… I think Kelly is deceptive about his conservative credentials – they don’t put a moderate in charge of coalition building at AEI. However, I strongly dislike the current county board and the politburo atmosphere created by one party control.

            Kelly is kind of a twit on commercial taxes, development issues and makes every challenger’s most-regretted promise of supporting term limits. However, chances are he won’t be powerful enough to do much harm on the many issues where i disagree w/ him. He will however have access and hopefully shed some light on what has turned into a pattern of deception and recklessness by the current Dem controlled board.

            Still not sure Zimmerman should be the one to take the fall, but someone needs to start raising some hell over there.

  • Thirsty

    Blah blah blah Kelly blah blah blah Zimmerman blah blah blah Kelly blah blah blah Zimmerman. Oh, poor Kevin Chisholm.

  • Jim

    Arlington consistently votes 30-35% republican… but yet only has Dems on the board. that’s not true representation.

    Kelly would be a great, balanced voice on the board. Hopefully Kelly can push for just a little accountability and transparency in Arlington politics.

    • Maggie T.

      Our elections are winner-take-all in the US. It is not a parlimentary system.

      • Westover

        You are correct for our executives, but should that really be the way our local representatives are choosen? But then again, here in Arlington County, our At Large Board picks our County Manager, so we sort of have a parlimentary system as well….

        • Greg

          The Dems just want to stomp Republicans. It isn’t about reasonable governance or representation of the views of the entire electorate. It’s a schoolyard game to prove who’s bestest.

          And let me say I disagree with Kelly on many issues. But as a whole, our County is worse off because 30% of the population doesn’t have a voice.

      • Burger

        This is not even true in the least and at every level of government – federal, state and local, numerous jurisdiction have varying degrees of how they determine winners. For example, Nebraska doesn’t award all the electoral votes to the winning candidate but by voting percentage. A majority of jurisdictions are winner take all but some are also first past the post type (generally at the local level) but many jurisdictions including the one across the river have district elections, so that local issues are addressed but also DC wide councilmembers spots.

      • Jim

        @maggie T – ah, i think i understand the electoral system of the US.. the point is that with all 5 county seats being at-large… 51% of the people election 100% of the representatives. that’s not representative. district-based voting would provide more diversity of ideas.

  • Runaway Train

    We need balance on the board, Mark Kelly would help accomplish that. I am a registered democrat and will be voting for Mark Kelly. I don’t agree with everything he says, but if anything he will be devil’s advocate for the current all democratic board. The current board needs to be kept in check.

    • Bluemont John

      Me too. Big-time Dem who campaigned for Obama and is going to vote for Mark Kelly. I don’t know or care what his views on social issues are; he’s not running for Supreme Court. (And I suspect he’s mostly a fiscal conservative.)

      The current County Board–including Zimmie–is not interested in anything that doesn’t promote affordable housing, “vibrancy,” or massive infill development, regardless of the views of local residents. In exchange for building more affordable housing and condos, the developers get to destroy perfectly nice older housing stock and replace it with hideous, oversized McMansions, thanks to umpteen zoning variances.

      If nothing changes, then in 20 years, that’s are all we’ll have in Arlington.

      In the meantime, it takes years for a neighborhood to get sidewalks or speed bumps, the schools are overcrowded, and all the while, our property taxes keep rising.

      • Foolish Teabagger

        I don’t know or care what his views on social issues are…And I suspect he’s mostly a fiscal conservative.

        So you don’t know or only suspect what his agenda is, but you’re going to vote for him anyway. And we wonder why our democracy seems doomed.

        • Bluemont John

          No, I said I don’t care *what his views on social issues are.* I don’t care whether he’s pro-life or pro choice or what his views on capital punishment are, because no one at the municipal level has any influence over those types of issues.

          We need someone who will make the County government more responsive to citizens than developers–and he’s worth a shot.

        • Chris

          Oh my god, you can’t possibly vote for someone to County Board that might disagree with you on an issue that only the federal government has the ability to change.

          How exactly did “teabagger” become acceptable terminology for public discourse? If you are actually ignorant of the terms meaning look it up on urban dictionary. What’s next? It’s only inches away (pun intended) from c***sucker.

          • Party, bag, what’s the difference

            Someone casting a vote should have some idea of what the person they are voting for stands for, regardless of whether you “agree” with them or not.

      • Baby Boomer

        + 1

        • Doug

          + 2

    • Tonia

      You need more than just one differing opinion. If Kelly wins (and I venture to say he won’t), most votes will be 4-1.

      • Lou

        It’s not as abstract as simple math. Don’t underestimate the change in the Board dynamics from just one person with a differing opinion. The public meetings are essentially the Board on its dais vs the people down at the podium. If a person speaking before the board could actually find one sympathetic voice and force the board to actually debate something, in public, we would all be better off.

    • cj

      If you’re a “registered democrat” you don’t vote in VA. There’s no registration by party here.

      • Vinh An Nguyen

        Maybe they mean “self-identified Democrat”.

  • Let’s Be Free

    Chris Zimmerman has up to 24/7 exposure on AC’s cable channel network including specially produced videos highlighting his programs and policies. It would take thousands of mentions like this on Arlnow to get Kelly anywhere near the exposure.

  • John Snyder

    I am going to vote for Chris Zimmerman because he is doing a good job, and shares my goals for my community, Arlington at large and the DC area. Chris is in constant contact with the residents of the Pike community, he has supported our efforts to promote the kind of development we like, improve transit and the quality of life in our neighborhoods. He worked at it for many years before even thinking of running for the county board. I speak about the Pike community not because Chris is ignoring the rest of the county–he is not–but because I see it personally. The improvements in the Pike community since Chris joined the board are remarkable. And the work he is doing to ensure that it remains the kind of place where we want to live is done in constant collaboration with the Pike residents. So make your “witty” put downs, but I live here. I take this election seriously. I am going to vote for Chris.

    • Baby Boomer

      John Snyder, If this is really true, than why are real estate values in 22204 down from other Arlington zipcodes? It’s because our land is more valuable than preserving existing houses. So it’s become profitable to tear down and build twice the number of houses and twice the size of the house. And now they propose to extend the Form Based Code into the neighborhoods for further development. Oh, and forget about the trees and green spaces…thanks alot Arlington Board! I am voting for Kelly.

      • John Snyder

        Baloney. Nobody is talking about expanding the Form Based Code into single family home neighborhoods. That is just plain false. The Form Based Code LIMITS the size of buildings and requires ground floor retail so we get more and better businesses to shop at. That’s what we mean by the kind of development we would like to see.

        • Baby Boomer

          NOT BALONEY _Read the documents of the September 27th, 2010 Columbia Pike Land Use and Housing Study Plenary Group Meeting with Chris Zimmerman as guest speaker:

          To accomplish this we will endeavor to extend the Form
          Based Code to encompass the existing residential areas
          on either side of the commercial nodes already planned

          • John Snyder

            I know what it says. I was there. The document, and the presentation and the study apply to the areas where there are existing apartment buildings, not to single family home areas. Nobody is planning or even considering applying the Form Based Code to single family home areas.

          • Baby Boomer

            Penrose is the neighborhood that would have the Form Based Code extended from S. 9th St. to S. 6th Street. Yes, there are single family homes in that area contrary to both your statements.

  • Linc Cummings

    Mark, your cable TV ad is great! Arlington needs you. Win or not another donation is in the mail.


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