Dems Sweep, Bonds Pass as Arlington Remains Deep Blue

by November 3, 2010 at 8:59 am 5,605 127 Comments

Arlington Democrats won a decisive victory Tuesday, pulling off a clean sweep on a night where voters kicked many of their national colleagues out of office.

Congressman Jim Moran, county board member Chris Zimmerman and school board member Sally Baird were all re-elected. All four proposed county bond issues, each supported by the Democrats, passed. No bond received less than 62 percent of the vote.

At the Democrat’s victory party in the Westin hotel in Ballston, Moran declared victory early, but tempered his remarks with a warning about challenges that lie ahead for the party.

“It appears pretty clear that we will have won tonight,” he said. “But the victory is bittersweet — this is going to be a tough night for Democrats nationally.”

“We are going to work with the president for the next two years to fight efforts to take this country backwards,” Moran added. He said a “lack of civic involvement” and “extremist Tea Party views” were the downfall of his opponent, Republican Patrick Murray.

Zimmerman said the victory reflected Arlington’s values.

“I recognize that this is not simply a personal victory, but a statement about governance — an affirmation of the progressive values that I and my colleagues have worked to put into policy,” he said. “Arlington is a great community, and together we are making it even better.”

Arlington County Democratic Committee chairman Mike Lieberman credited volunteers for keeping the faith in a down year for Democrats.

“We worked this place,” he told the large and noisy crowd.

Several blocks away, at Patrick Murray’s campaign party at Bailey’s Pub, the crowd — large by Republican standards in Arlington — was also boisterous. After Murray’s concession speech, a continuous stream of Republican congressional pickups helped liven the mood.

Murray, who was hoping for a closer race in Arlington and Alexandria, said his campaign fought hard in a district engineered to be safely Democratic.

“We ran a great race, the best race that has ever been mounted against Jim Moran,” Murray said. “It’s just a very tough district. I’m very happy with the effort we put out there.”

A close Murray aide summed it up with a football analogy.

“We left it all on the field,” he said.

Mark Kelly, Zimmerman’s Republican opponent, managed to keep Zimmerman under the 60 percent mark for the first time in his county board career, with some help from Green Party candidate Kevin Chisholm.

Zimmerman received 57.4 percent of the vote, compared to 35.9 percent for Kelly and percent for Chisholm.

Kelly won a plurality in Crystal City and Aurora Hills, where he lives. He won a majority in the Madison/Old Glebe neighborhood in North Arlington.

“It’s still an uphill climb here in Arlington,” Kelly said at his campaign party at Clarendon’s Hard Times Cafe. “I thought we ran a great campaign. People saw the Republican party out there… we made a good case as to why we should have at least one seat on the board.”

Moran’s final margin of victory was 61 percent to Patrick Murray’s 37.3 percent. Independent Green party candidate Ron Fisher received 1.4 percent of the vote.

Sally Baird claimed 74.5 percent of the vote to Green party candidate Miriam Gennari’s 23.5 percent.

Arlington Democrats will gather at noon today at the Nam Viet restaurant in Clarendon for a post-election lunch.

  • MB

    So, fellow ARLnow commenters, now that Arlington has (again) demonstrated that its leaders are in line with a strong majority of its citizens’ political preferences, can we please drop the continuous and childish sniping at every.single.thing the County Board does? It’s made ARLnow’s comments sections nearly unreadable, and accomplishes little.

    • Zoning Victim

      You’ve got to be kidding. When the Arlington County Board’s spending increases another 80%+ over the next 10 years and property taxes are so high only rich people can afford to live here, you won’t be so smug. Anyone who thinks electing board members at large is a representative form of government needs to re-read this article.

      • Eponymous Coward

        Indeed, my taxes are unbearable. I think I’ll move into the District, where surely the tax burden must be more reasonable.

        LOL @ “…at Patrick Murray’s campaign party at Bailey’s Pub, the crowd — large by Republican standards in Arlington — was also boisterous.”

        Ouch. At least both of his guys had a good time.

        • Zoning Victim

          If you have to compare our county to Washington DC in order to justify the direction Arlington has gone in the last 10 years, then you are basically admitting that there is a huge problem here.

    • Lou

      Yeah, love it, or leave it! Losers need to shut up.

      Seriously though, you can’t tell me you agree with every.single.thing the Board does. Or maybe you do.

      • MB

        Reading is fundamental, Lou. I didn’t say I agreed with every.single.thing. I said I was tired of the constant whinging here about every.single.thing. See the difference? No? Okay, carry on.

        Yes, North Adams, I’m a total shill. Just look at what I’ve posted here over the past few months. Go on, I’ll wait for you . . .

        • Lou

          I don’t see the word tired in there.

          We all need breaks from the internet now and then though. It can be a healthy thing.

        • NorthAdams

          MB, sorry. It is my right to disagree or agree with my elected officials from 1600 Pennsylvania to 2100 Clarendon. if I don’t agree, everyone will hear about it.

          • MB

            It’s also my right to call you a moron. But do I? Should I? No. See, there’s a difference between having a right and wisely exercising it. So far, you, Jim (a totalitarian state!), and a whole lot of people here don’t seem to understand the concept. And yes, I know that puts me in a minority of commenters here. That’s fine enough, and it won’t affect my life in the least. But I do think it’s sad that – in a place as smart and community oriented as Arlington – the best source for online local news is also a cesspool of ignorant aggression in the comments.

          • NorthAdams

            let the name calling begin. THanks MB. I knew eventually you would stoop.
            Just because you do not agree with me and others does NOT MAKE US IGNORANT.
            My points are valid and I believe correct.

    • Jim

      43% of Arlington county doesn’t agree with the direction of the county. That’s amazing and should shake the county board, but it won’t. Until we have district-based board members (instead of 5 at-large members) – there won’t be any real voice for a significant portion of arlingtonians.

      and MB – just because you are in power doesn’t mean you silence the voice of the minority. that’s called a totalitarian state.

      • Alan H

        Jim – Kelly only won 3 precincts last night – two in Crystal City and the Madison Precinct in the north corner of Arlington. The mythical Republican District that you keep pushing for does not exist – Kelly voters were spread across the County and likewise Zimmerman won with strong margins all across the County. Kelly didn’t appear get much more than the R base plus a few.

        • Zoning Victim

          Well, that really depends on how you draw up the districts, doesn’t it?

          • Alan H

            No – it wouldn’t matter how you draw the districts – that’s my point. One north arlington precinct and two crystal city precincts does not make a district in a county with 51 precincts (even setting aside the fact that they are geographically opposite corners of the County). Even with a large Republican wave, neither Kelly or Murray was able to garner more than 35% of vote.

        • Jim

          ah – gerrymandering is legal at the local level as well. and if you don’t want to go that direction, then make it proportional representation. however you do it… the current system disenfranchises a huge minority of voters.

          • Alan H

            @Jim – Disenfranchises? I don’t think so – they have the same franchise right to vote as every other citizen. Our democratic system protects minority rights to express their viewpoint, but it reserves for the majority the right to make decisions and to allocate the collective resources (taxes) of the community. That’s the way it is at the local, state and federal level – and I suspect you’re not crying for all of those “disenfranchised” Democrats whose candidates lost House races yesterday. And the point of my earlier post is that you couldn’t even gerrymander a Republican district in Arlington – Kelly didn’t win in enough precincts to make a gerrymandered district possible. Why not try running candidates that can actually win – and in winning claim that they represent a a majority or plurality of the voters?

          • Westover

            Even without funky Gerrymandering removing the pure At-Large board system could help bring about better diversity of ideas. The five board members only have to get the votes of the same person who voted for all the other guys, they don’t need to get out much, or at least not all over. A non-D candidate could really campaign on the ideas that matter to a certain part of the county, not have to try to get cross-overs from all over in a campaign of watered down ideas.

          • Alan H

            @Westover – it could also lead to a parochial focus rather than on what is best for the County as a whole – and a whole host of other unanticipated consequences. Just because the opposition party can’t garner more than 35% of the vote in elections does not seem like a good enough reason to change the structure of our government. Especially in a place that by any reasonable measure is a good place to live and has a government that is doing a good job to providing services (education, public safety, etc).

          • Zoning Victim

            I don’t agree that passing a nearly $1 billion budget, raising property taxes 10 percent during a recession and then having to resort to deficit spending (which is what bonds are IMO) to fund education equals doing a good job. Everybody seems to be forgetting there used to be a Republican majority on the County Board and until 1995 always had at least one seat on the Board. During that time Arlington was still lauded for their intelligent growth. Much of what makes Arlington a great place to live was decided during those years where there was Republican representation, including the biggest boon for Arlington, the metro. So the “Arlington is only great because the Board is all Democrats” argument is far from accurate. That said, I agree that the Republican Party hasn’t put up a serious fight here in Arlington and could probably get some representation on the Board if they picked a moderate and well funded candidate who is capable of going against the party line on social issues.

      • Just the Facts

        The fact that 43% of the County voted for someone other than Chris Zimmerman should “shake the Board up”? Are you kidding? What do you want, Saddam Hussein-like 99% election wins? 57% is an ass-kicking in what is effectively a two-person race.

        • Lou

          It was the lowest percentage he has ever received. I imagine he took note of that.

          • Westover

            It was essentially a 45% disapproval rating of the entire board, not just Z.

    • SArl2

      To MB: I think the County Board should read the ArlNow posts and consider the subjects/complaints. If they listened to their constituency then people wouldn’t gripe so much. Thank you Arlnow for providing the venue. MB you should take a reading break if you don’t like the discussion. Not everyone agrees with your idea of Arlington Utopia.

    • CrystalCity’er

      Wholeheartedly agree with your comment, MB. Every post on this site regarding an action by the Arlington County Board never fails to turn into an all-out ComplainFest. And those complaints (which often sound more like crazy rants) make me wonder where exactly these people are from, since I’m used to my neighbors being educated folk who express their opinions quite thoughtfully.

    • Doug


      Let’s just face it, more DEMS live in Arlington than REPUBS.

    • Arlanon

      I completely agree. I love the news on this site, but its so tiresome to read nothing but negative comments about everything posted. I have lived in Arlington for 13 years and find it to be an extremely well run and pleasant place to live. I find it interesting that this site seems to attract the small minority of disgruntled residents (I’m this statement will spark even more negative remarks… oh well). I’m always amazed that no matter how mundane or esoteric a news report is, there are always comments about how much people “dislike” fill in the blank, with very few positive comments. So, to my actual point. Does anyone know another good blog site about Arlington where the readers actually seem to LIKE the county?

      • Lou
      • charlie

        Arlanon, i think your point is good.
        For me, Arlington leaders and some of the associated never-ending devotees on this website think Arlington is the next best thing since slice bread.
        Arlington is pretty awesome.
        But, it isn’t as hot as it should be.
        Why do we have such ugly buildings (they get designed by committee, and sometimes by board members, despite high paid and well respected architects).
        Why are our roads in such bad shape with potholes, poor markings, bad signage and yet we spend tons in certain neighborhoods and little in others.
        Does anyone stop and ask if we need three new high schools or could we just do major renovations of our existing ones (we could)?
        My tax payment on my dwelling has gone up 5x since I’ve owned it while my income has only gone up 3x and quite frankly I’m not totally sure what I get for it. I really don’t ask because I like Arlington.
        The Arlington process encourages civic associations to be active, but most of the items that go before the County Board from my small neighborhood have clearly been decided. While the board may listen (and some of them pretend better than others) the decision has been made by a group of people who are tight with the board and controlling how you live.
        Why are we paying $400,000 for affordable apartments on Columbia Pike when the building next door has units for sale for $250,000?
        Why do the Zimmie lapdogs say that 57% is a STRONG MAJORITY of the vote when it is actually the LOWEST percent of any elected democrat, much less an incumbent?
        I think a sign of good government is to challenge it to be better and do better. And on this forum it is a great opportunity.
        Plus someone has to provide a balance to the gadfly’s of the establishment who inhabit this corner of the internet.
        Some do it more constructively than others, but who is to judge?
        oh yeah, and now several folks on this blog will opine and pick my points apart (as they are known to do), one by one by one, because that is what they are paid to do.

        • North Arlington

          well said

  • NorthAdams

    MB: only when you stop being a shill for them. I don’t think 56% is a “strong” majority.

    • Thes

      Who said anything about 56%? The Democrats in Arlington got 74.5%, 63.3% and 57.4%. The Republicans/Greens got 35.9%, 34.4%, 23.5%, 6.0%, and 1.9%. They were crushed by margins of between 21 and 61 points.

      • Arlington Voter

        And only half the registered voters turned out. The GOP had more incentive to vote this time, so the 36 percent the GOP/Greens got (and you really have to put the Green vote on the Dem side because they’re super liberal) actually overcounts the opposition. Large numbers of people support the incumbents and did not feel it was worth their time to vote. If this were a presidential year, Zimmerman would have gotten 75%.

      • Jim

        Thes – 56% or 57%… the same difference. the fact is, 43% of Arlingtonians don’t agree with the direction of the county government. that should make you very, very worried.

        • Arlington Voter

          Actually 50% of Arlingtonians, most of whom support the government, did not vote.

          • Westover

            You can not say that the fifty percent that did not vote support the governement, at best you can say they are indifferent to the government.

        • Thes

          Not worried at all. We live in a democracy where majority (or, actually, plurality) rules. In a year where Republicans swept the country, they couldn’t do much better than a third of the vote here. This is a clear mandate for more of the same good governance from Arlington Democrats. Charlie/Shirley/North Adams can use his “opinion” to shave of a point or two from the hard numbers, but this is another sweeping victory for common sense in Arlington. I will be “worried” on the first vote where it is the Democrats, and not their combined opposition, who get 43%.

          • Jim

            Thes – when are you finally going to admit you work for either the county for the arlington county democrats??? 🙂

          • shirley

            Thes, please don’t associate me with others or confuse my gender for me. i’ve got enough issues without your wild and inappropriate assumptions.

            That said, John McCain received 29,000 votes in 2008 — a supposedly high point for republican votes. And yet those are less that Zimmie won.

            Republicans are for all intense purposes unable to win in Arlington. And they have themselves to blame by constantly putting up weak and unknown candidates.

      • NorthAdams

        early in the evening blogger ARISTIDES posted 56%. so it has settled to 57%.
        that is a pretty low percent. Sure it is a victory. But sort of pathetic for an incumbent in a absurdly democratic community.
        I’m glad that THES is on the ball this morning and dickering about 56 vs 57%.

  • Arlington Voter

    It’s 57.4 percent. I can certainly affirm that 36 percent is not a majority.

  • Patrick

    I sure am glad the genius voters of arlington county approved the parks bond so we can have a waterfall for dogs to play in. I dont think the residents of this county have ever seen a spending increase they didnt agree with.

    • AllenB

      Insulting the voters… yeah, that’s a sure way to get them to come around.

      As for the dog park, well, I voted for the school bonds though I don’t have children to send to the schools. I did this because I’m not selfish enough to vote only for the things that impact ME ME ME. I see the value to the community and to others. If you don’t want to/need to use the dog park, that’s fine, don’t. But belittling what others clearly want ain’t going to win you many friends, besides the small, whining echo chamber you belong to.

      • NPGMBR


      • david

        I don’t think that people have a problem with spending money on a dog park but to spend 1.3 million on a dog park where one already exists is a bit extreme.

        • JamesE

          Exactly this, millions of dollars for a dog park is excessive. Especially when the majority of the dogs can fit in a purse. I think they need to start having a personal property tax on dogs.

        • AllenB

          A dog park really doesn’t exist there. It is basically a mud pit. Any dog owner will tell you it is a horrible place but they go there because there is no where else close by.

          And if you look at the plans, this won’t be just a dog park. It will be a park for humans (for lack of a better word) with a part of it for dogs.

          • Alan H

            And the $350k for the dog section of the park is not being paid for out of the bond fund. The rest of the park improvements (for people) come from the bond funding.

          • Tater_Salad

            What makes that dog park unbearable is not itsphysical condition but rather the aggressive dogs and their moronic owners who are happy to sit by and watch smaller dogs be terrorized.

          • Skeptical

            Why anyone thinks that anyone other than dog owners would want to hang around a dog park is a mystery to me. If you are not a “dog person,” they are nothing but a source of noise, stink and constant fear for your physical safety.

            So, yes, it is a dog park. Period. Ordinary, non-dog-owning humans cannot expect to enjoy it.

          • AllenB

            Okay, Skeptical, have it your way. Yes, it’s a dog park, and as a dog owner, I’m going to LOVE having a $1.3M park for my dog to play in. All the better if people like you stay away. Actually, stew over it a bit, get really angry about it… and I’ll just laugh and enjoy it all.

            Have it your way. And I’ll enjoy mine. 😉

          • Westover

            A million plus for a DOG FREAKING PARK! Is the next Health Care Bill going to include pets along with 26 year old children who the insurance companies will be required to cover on the family policy?

    • Robert

      I don’t have a dog but absolutely support an improved dog park. Healthy for the people, healthy for the dogs, healthy for my own pee damaged lawn…
      People/kid parks are great but in this very dog friendly and highly populated dog town I think a fun park for dogs to call their own is a county benefit that adds to the quality of life in Arlington.

  • Courthouse Resident

    Thank goodness the elections are over. Now the holiday ads can takeover our tv’s!

    • Jezebel

      + 1

    • Cat


  • JamesE

    Dog parks for everyone !

  • PGFDE121

    I think we’re overlooking the point that some people see certain key words and think “hey, great idea.” However, when they actually look at whats contained within each bond or the fact that we’re spending $12,500 on neighborhood signage, then you start to see questions being asked. Or not, apparently according to the results last night. Most voters have no idea that street repaving should have been paid out of the general fund, but instead the board has diverted that money into other projects. Whether you agree with those projects or not, I think its pretty clear the board hasn’t been as transparent as many would like to see. Now, if only we could start collecting all the personal property taxes from all those people who live here but don’t transfer over their tags…

    • Alan H

      PGFDE121 – until about 10 years ago paving was paid for through bond funding – which is perfectly appropriate since paving is a long-term investment and the bond terms can match the life cycle of the asset. The County’s stated goal is to get to a 15 year paving replacement cycle. The County then moved from financing paving from bond funding to using PAYGO (General Fund maintenance). This year, the County moved back to paying for paving through bonds. It provides a more stable and predictable funding stream and addresses the concern that many felt about the condition of local streets. The decision to move paving back to bond funding was not some effort to disguise funding but to address a real community need in a responsible way.

      • Tater_Salad

        Paving should be a long-term investment but sometimes that simple fact eludes Arlington County, as seen in the three or four rounds of paving to hit Lee Highway between Kirkwood and Highland over the past 24 months.

        • MB

          Lee Highway is maintained and paved by the state. Arlington County has no control over that.

      • PGFDE121

        Then what happens to all the money from the general fund that was paying to pave the roads? Does that now go to pay off the bond? There are plenty of jurisdictions that function quite well with the pay as you go system. I question why, with our tax base, we are floating more bonds and increasing taxes again. Seems to me that we should be able to fund these projects and core services from our tax revenues. And if not, someone needs to explain where the money is going! There is a fine line between complaining and simply holding the board accountable for where and how our tax dollars are being used. I appreciate that we live in a great area (although it would be interesteing to see the top 10 counties and whether they are all Dem or Rep…) and am prepared to pay a bit more for things, but lately some projects seem excessive, especially in light of the economy.

  • DT

    Nice to see the Politboro is still intact and there isn’t any dissension that might hinder their uber-liberal agenda. I think they should hire and fire more county employees at their leisure. What they really need to do is use eminent domain to take over the homes of people who voted against them and turn them into dog parks.

    • Foolish Teabagger

      Great idea. Why don’t you set an example by offering up your house as the first.

  • Robert

    Arlington is one of the most educated counties in this country (if not the most). It is precisely because we are an educated and informed group politically that we tend to vote democrat – not because someone has a D in front of their name. Critical thinkers are unable to be taken in by the tea party and republican tactics of lies, fear and hateful speech. It really turns us off.
    Arlington is in the top 10 best run counties in the country list. That doesn’t happen by accident. No it’s not perfect but our elected leaders are clearly doing something right. Our budget shortfall is something only other jurisdictions can envy as we’ve weathered the recession far better than most.
    Congrats to Chris Zimmerman, Jim Moran, and Sally Baird. You’ve earned it.

    • CW


      For those of you who have never read a single Forbes/CNNMoney/etc. article on best places to live, areas with lowest unemployment, jurisdictions with highest median income, highest percentage of college-educated citizens, or any other measure of quality that could ostensibly be gleaned from a demographic survey, Arlington is a pretty darn nice place to live.

      The county didn’t just end up this way, and I’d conjecture that it would not have ended up this way were it run all along by a bunch of self-serving closed-minded misers that only cared about pinching their own pennies and who threw the public good and any sort of community-building measures to the wayside. I know that correlation is not causation, but, looking at the historical demographic information for this county, I’ll take my chances.

      No, nothing is perfect, and, yes, a vocal few (mostly the 80-year-old holdouts with lawns full of broken-down old cars who lament the loss of the lifestyle they had here in the 50’s) will complain. But I think the populace spoke pretty clearly again last night.

      Those of you who are fortunate enough to own a piece of property in this county to complain about the taxes upon are free to sell it, take the tremendous profit, and go buy 3 or 4 times as much property almost anywhere else in the country.

    • Banksy

      +1000, Robert and CW.

      Ever since ARLNow’s launch, I’ve been surprised by the relatively high number of conservative comments on this blog (not that it’s ARLNow’s fault). Glad to see that this tilt wasn’t reflected in last night’s election results.

    • Westover

      You have to be kidding. Education means you vote Democratic? Come on now. I would say McLean is better educated as a whole than Arlington is and they vote Republican. The Republican ideas and the Democratic ideas are both well thought out and logical platforms, that does not mean that one has to be “well educated” to agree with one or the other. They are both theoretical plans for running things and outside forces end up helping and hurting them in random ways, just as things work in the rest of the non-political Universe. One side see government influence as having the most positive impact on the lives of individuals, while the other see business opportunity as having the best chance at positive results for the average citizen. Both sides get more right than wrong, one can logically and intelligently choose either side. It is “the other side is just dumb” rhetoric that has put us in the mess that we have been in since 1992. Guess what, a lot of smart well educated patriotic Americans lost their jobs on Capitol Hill last night, and a few average folks too. But they will be replaced on January 2nd with a lot of smart well educated patriotic Americans, and a few average folks too.

      It is not a educated dems vs. uneducated repubs thing here in Arlington. It is a tradition of laborers trending towards the D which is what Arlington was full of though the 60’s to the 90’s compared to the management/professionals which trend toward the R who settled in the old outer suburbs. Those old D’s attracted the younger D’s in the late 90’s and new Millenium, and so it reinforced the situation in Arlington.

      As for the general R consternation over the election results, it is not because anyone thinks that the GOP way has a full place at the table in Arlington, but rather it is allowed zero place at the table. Arlington is a great place to live with great schools, nice parks, clean safe streets, etc. But the schools are a result of parents that care about their kids, much more than the role the school board or county board plays. The parks are mostly the result of neighbors getting involved. Arlington is great, but it could be greater with a little more diversity of opinion allowed at the County Board meetings.

      Zimmerman and Moran did not earn anything this go round, they coasted right back into their seats because they had no real primary challanges, again.

      • CW

        McLean is not a county. It’s basically a purely residential subdivision or one giant gated community, unless you’re actually referring to Tysons as part of McLean, which is somewhat ridiculous. If we’re subdividing beyond census designated levels, I can make up all kinds of funny statistics. I’m sure there’s a block somewhere in Arlington that is 100% republican.

        • Westover

          Yep, CW, and Arlington is essentially a medium city, not a county, in any other state. But Arlington and the general area known as McLean are essentially the same make up in size and in residential to commercial ratio.

          • CW

            So let me recap a few of your points. McLean is mostly Republican, Arlington is mostly Democratic. Since you say that “Arlington and the general area known as McLean are essentially the same make up in size and in residential to commercial ratio”, then you must be including Tyson’s as part of McLean.

            Doesn’t that statement in itself prove my point? Tysons, ostensibly, per your logic, the product of Republican thought, is a sprawling, ugly, gridlocked hell, where running even the smallest errand requires an hour wait in traffic, whereas is one of the most liveable, accessible, well-planned places to live in the nation.

          • CW

            *Arlington is

          • Westover

            My only point is they can be compared on an education basis, and McLean was choosen as it shares a long border with the Arlington. Only the the 2008 election for President shows a bias of high level education in voting to lean Democratic. Most all previous studies show the opposite. McLean vs Arlington shows the opposite. Yes the political boundrys make it tough to do a true direct comparison using the two, but that is because Arlington is a very unique County being the smallest self-governed county in the Nation. My point is that it is wrong to try to say that Arlington is a majority Democratic due to the education level here. Anyone that really thinks that does not know the history of the area.

      • Suburban Not Urban


      • el fat kid

        there is a quantifiable correlation between education and voting liberal.

        • Westover

          That has happaned in only one presidential election in at least the last hundred years.

        • QPNorth

          Just like there is a quantifiable correlation between people who depend on the government for their money vote liberal (whether as teachers, government employees, or welfare recipients), versus independent business owners who take initiative to earn/create their own money vote republican. The Arlington board is lucky about the demographics that chose to live close to the federal government – it has little to do with their ability to govern that Arlington is successful. But all liberal utopias eventually have to pay the bills – and this will come to harm Arlington in the not so distant future. A million plus dog park – are we fucking serious?? And you cut the hours of the water parks for our kids during the summer – the Board’s priorities are misplaced.

      • PikeHoo

        I always get a good laugh when I read about Republicans complaining about lack of diversity.

        • alebt

          It would be fine with me to elect a gay, black, disabled Republican. Any three out of four of those categories would diversify the current County Board.

          • Skeptical

            Unfortunately, in the Republican party we currently have, a depressing majority still belong to the “save the ‘babies’ and cure the queers” wing. You are unlikely to see them nominate a gay person, although many Log Cabin Republicans have done yeoman service in Arlington.

    • Dan

      “Arlington is in the top 10 best run counties in the country list”

      Just where might I find this list ??

      • CW

        Not sure; I’d be interested to see that list myself.

        But the 4th paragraph of the wikipedia article is a pretty good laundry list of accolades, and, unless you figure that the county just ended up that way by happenstance, one could probably attribute the success of the area at least in some part to those who have governed it and charted its direction.

        • Lou

          Happenstance in this case meaning we are right next to the seat of the federal government.

          The board gets way too much credit for things like unemployment numbers. For the self-appointed highly educated, I sometimes wonder how much thought people give to conclusions they are willing to voice in public.

          • CW

            No, Lou, I agree that we’re insulated in an extremely unique manner due to our proximity to the federal govt, the massive number of contractors located in the county, the pentagon, etc.

            Yes, at this point, it’s a rolling snowball effectively. Wealth attracts more wealth, democrats move in because the area is heavily democratic, sure. And people come here because it’s a great place to live, and then work to make it even greater.

            But at some point, the ground was laid for what we have now, everything from Metro to walkable streets, to public works and education. Yes, this area is blessed by its location, but some credit needs to be given where it is due. If the county were just allowed to grow haphazardly and all decisions were made myopically, based on the immediate situation at hand, I don’t think that the past 30 years or so would have gone as well as they did.

      • rcw

        Here are a few reasons why you could consider it among the best run counties in the country:

        “ARLINGTON, Va. – For the tenth consecutive year, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch Ratings, and Moody’s Investor Services all have given Arlington County’s debt the highest rating: AAA/AAA/Aaa. Arlington is one of only 35 counties in the United States to carry the coveted triple-A bond rating from all three rating agencies.”


        An unemployment rate consistently below the national average currently at 4.1 %


    • 240gawlf

      Lol, what liberal arrogance… drawing an equivalence between education and a strong support of Democrat policies/representation. If education and being informed is “precisely why we tend to vote Democrat” then why do cities and neighborhoods that have the highest rates of poverty and crime and lowest rates of education always vote Democratic en masse? Why do urban ghettos with miniscule rates of college graduates ALWAYS vote Democrat? Surely, their overpwering electoral preference for Democrats is a shining representation of thier intelligence and grasp of the issues. Yet, why do their neighborhoods continue to languish in the dual deathgrips of crime and poverty?

      Here’s some news for you and your smug little blue bubble that you’ve created for yourself (and yes, after last night its surely a bubble asvast swaths of our Nation made their preference known for precisely the antithesis of the policies you espouse) …

      I.) Arlington is such an economically prosperous area solely because of its immediate proximity to the DoD and Federal center of gravity, and all the lucrative opportunities it brings to the neighboorhood. All the major contracting firms employ folks and rent or own facilities in the area. THAT is a major engine of business and profit NOT ‘progressive’ policies espoused by mini-dictators on the County Board.

      II.) Your idea of an ‘educated populace’ is in reality a mass of thousands of urban yuppie refugees from places like PA and NY who went to school on their parents’ dime and obtained thier bachelor degrees in ‘political science’, modern ‘literature composition’ or ‘creative writing’. Some are now obtaining their graduate degrees in ‘international conflict resolution’ or some other limp wristed field consisting of dogma espoused by a bearded, bald professor at GWU or elsewhere.

      The sad truth is that bulk of the populace you refer to are the sad, pathetic, 20 something types who dont have the knowledge or wherwithall to change a flat tire, hook up a trailer hitch, or operate a moving dolly. these are the types that will wait stranded on the sid eof the road because their liberal daddy’s never taught them how to jack up a vehicle and mount a spare.

      III.) Finally, the aforementioned 20 somethings above dont have children or own property, so its very easy for them to be generous with other people’s money when voting to increases taxes and expenditures. Thier main concern in life is to throw on their sandals and crowd into one of the local taverns to run $1 a glass swill down their throats. So when the local apparatchiks decided to raise taxes, thats no sweat off their back, they will hardly notice the couple of less downloads they have to sacrifice on iTunes or the few extra rounds they forego at Whitlow’s. Its not like they have children whom they need to provide food and clothing for, propety taxes to worry about, or a new driveshaft for the truck.

      And that above is why Arlington is so blue. So you may deride the Tea Party’s “fear and hateful speech” and smugly pat yourself on the back for being so cosmopolitan and progressive, but the sad fact that you probably recognize deep down but will never allow yourself to admit openly is that you reap the benefits of a Potemkin village erected by the presense of the DoD and Federal agencies and basically immune to the destructive whims of the Democrat controlled County Board.

      Thankfully, most of the rest of the country is now engaged and energized and while Arlington will remain blue for a long time to come, it has no been relegated outside of the mainstream of the majority of the Nation.

      • M.O.

        Arlington will remain blue for a long time to come, it has no been relegated outside of the mainstream of the majority of the Nation.

        Thank goodness for that!

      • rcw

        Interesting. I am from NY. My parents paid for my education in International Affairs. I got a masters from GWU in European Studies (Unlike your assertion most of the professors weren’t bald. They were women, here on B1 visas, teaching adjunct while working at the World Bank or IMF). I don’t own a car I don’t have kids. I certainly don’t download off ITunes. I illegally pirate music to my Macbook sporting my brown flip flops and drinking a 5 dollar latte, on a Tuesday while I “work” from home. I bought my Macbook at the overpriced Apple store because I have a ton of disposable income.

        Far from being a sad and pathetic “20 something” I am happy because I chose to live in a place that supports my ideological belief system. And by the way there are a lot of “me” here in Arlington. We are civic minded, engaged in the issues and we vote… You can cry into your beer all day long but you can’t have your county back.

        • 240gawlf

          Fantastic for you. Believe me, I’m not crying in my beer. Also, I don’t want your county, you can envelop yourself in its liberalness till you grow old and gray. I’m merely here for a limited time. When my career progression steers me away from Arlington, I will leave without looking back. However, what I do take issue with is the guy who so cavalierly assumes that people that don’t agree with him are intellectually inferior. Here’s a good article detailing how universities serve as liberal gulags, indoctrinating useful idiots:

          Lastly, I realize there may be a lot more of ‘you’ in Arlington, but let me assure YOU, there are a lot more of ME throughout the U.S. You can have your county, I’ll have my Country.

          • GoREDS

            I agree with your points, father of 3, own a real house. I’ve given up on the county a long time ago, but I’m glad to be getting my country back!

          • Tess

            Your country is the same as mine, right – USA? I sure got tired of being told that I was not patriotic and asked “why do you hate your country” – because 1) I opposed the president’s actions, and 2) I am a Liberal – a proud Liberal at that. I’m not sure who you THINK “stole” your country, but we’re all in this together. Although, I’m not being told I’m not patriotic anymore and that I don’t love my country. I didn’t love the direction it was heading – as I hear many complain of today – but I ALWAYS loved my country. “F” this “take back our country” – you never lost it.

      • CW

        I’ve been fishing, camping, hooking up trailer hitches, changing flat tires, chopping firewood, and using moving dollies, amongst other activities that you apparently consider important per your circa-1900 success barometer, my whole life, so don’t paint with such a broad brush.

        I challenge you to a moving dolly race, right here, right now.

    • Clarendude

      There are fairly current studies that indicate a correlation between education level and party affiliation.

      As with these things, its probably more a more complex relationship than the basic numbers would imply.

      • 240gawlf

        Yes, you are correct in your assertion. However, as a general rule of thumb, I think it can be taken as fact that the eduction vs. party affiliation graph is sort of a bell curve: the woefully undereducated (possessing less than a HS degree) skew overwhelmingly Democrat, HS degree and bachelor’s holder skew a little more to the Republican side, graduate degree and doctorate holders tend to skew to the Democrat side.

        Regardless, the youth vote that is so prized by Democrats is far and wide acknowledged to be a collection of ignoramuses. Here is an interesting article from the Chronicle as well:

        • Zoning Victim

          Okay, this is not a “study.” This is an opinion piece based on an opinion poll run by one of the most liberal newspapers in the country during a period where two unpopular wars were being fought and the economy was collapsing. Furthermore, this was not a poll about party affiliation, but a question about who they were going to vote for, specifically. In other words, it basically asked something like will you vote for McCain or Obama, not are you a Republican or a Democrat. The author incorrectly takes it upon himself to rewrite the data to mean that more educated people are Democrats. Then, astoundingly, the irresponsible author decides that Republicans will now try to prevent people from getting an education so they can win the elections. An actual study was done on this and showed that from 1955-2004 Republicans are/were “significantly more likely” to have a four year degree. Advanced degrees were evenly split. Search the page at the link below for the word “Education” and you can read about it.

    • Zoning Victim

      Wow, you are so wrong it is almost unbelievable. So the Republican Party is the party of the rich and pro-business, two things that liberals bash them for, and yet they’re also the uneducated? Does that even make the slightest bit if sense to you? Here, are the actual facts:

      “Self-identified Republicans are significantly more likely than Democrats to have 4-year college degrees.” From here:

      So does your post constitute the same “tactics of lies” and “hateful speech” you are referring to, or is it okay because it wrongfully implies that people you don’t agree with are uneducated? Please send me links to the hateful speech you are referring to, because I don’t remember anyone running for office from either side giving hateful speeches. I don’t care what party is in power; I simply believe that they are spending too much money and the rate at which they have been increasing spending is ridiculous.

      Arlington is pretty well governed because it’s in a state that’s very well governed. In fact, the Pew Center ranked Virginia second out of all of the states in the US. Last I checked there were Democrats and Republicans running the state. Just because Arlington is a nice place to live doesn’t mean that everything here is perfect, and it’s not a nice place to live simply because the County Board is made up of all Democrats.

  • BoredHouseWife

    I find it funny that the republicans are angry that Arlington remains liberal. You guys got the house. Now we can enjoy another 2 years of gridlock. Yay us.

    • Zoning Victim

      Well let’s see. The Republicans had all the control for a while and they spend us blind. The Democrats get all of the control and they spend us blind and saddle us with a program that’s guaranteed to make the budget balloon, which they didn’t fund. Yeah, yea us because I’m ready for a little gridlock before we end up $20 trillion in debt.

  • Newt G.

    Don’t ya’ll know that when Republicans lose an election, no matter by how much, they whine that they need to “take back” what is rightfully theirs, and when they win, no matter how narrowly, it is a “mandate” for their tired policies.

  • Andrew

    The people of Arlington have spoken and have chosen Democrats. Again.

    So be it. Although I disagree with some of their policies, I don’t doubt that Zimmerman & Co. mean well and do the best job they can. Face it, there is no rioting in the streets, cholera outbreaks, violent crime waves or famine in Arlington — so they are doing something right.

    What I worry about, though, is “groupthink” and its effect on county laws and ordinances. Look to Capitol Hill to see where that situation leads us. A groupthink among Republicans led to not one, but TWO, endless wars — and record high spending sprees. Groupthink among Democrats have led us to an unprecendented takeover of the health care system — and record high spending sprees.

    We need more healthy debates on the Board. Heck, any real debates would be welcome. Right now, debates seem to be between choosing “blue” and “light blue.”

    We need debates among blue, red, green, black, white, plaid, rainbow, purple and and every other hue — to make smarter policy decisions, represent all Arlingtonians, and make our beloved county an even better place to live.

    • CW

      In ancient Greece, maybe it worked. Unfotunately, in this country, it comes out to be zero sum. You either have one majority or the other getting its way, or you have gridlock.

      • Dan

        “In ancient Greece, maybe it worked.”

        They dumped it as well after a few years.

        Plato, as I recall, only rated democracies in the middle of the pack as a form of governance as I recall.

      • Westover

        Newt and Clinton did a pretty good job of getting the economy flying in 1995-1997. Just think, if Clinton had not hooked up with the chubby girl then lied about it and Newt’s backers had not smelled blood, how far they could have taken things!

        A divided government does not need to mean gridlock, in fact, when the parties share a little power and credit we have done great!

        • History Major

          Newt was screwing around too. The only difference was he was forced from office.

          • Westover

            He stepped down when he failed his party, even though they did not lose the House. Think Nancy will do the same?

            Yes he was messing around, turned out the apparent successor was too, what was going on with that generation of southern politicians?

    • Frenchy B

      This pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter.

    • Greg

      Couldn’t have said it better.

    • Eponymous Coward

      A very sound point Andrew, but I would not necessarily assume that diversity in parties leads to diversity in thought, or that homogeneity in thought will arise from homogeneity of affiliation. (Who was it who said, ‘I don’t belong to an organized party; I’m a Democrat’?) Vote for people, not parties. If 20th century American politics taught us anything, it is that no party has a monopoly on wisdom, or, for that matter, critical thinking.

      • Andrew

        Will Rogers, I believe.

      • Westover

        That was said about the Democratic Party about fifty years ago! 😉
        The Arlington County Board is only diverse in there degree of the beliefs and ideas, unfortuantely they all seem to have the same ones. I just want them to question each other from time to time.

    • Westover

      Andrew, group think did lead us in to Iraq unfortunately. However, terrorists who attacked ARLINGTON COUNTY, lead us to Afghanistan. It is sad how fast some forget something so close.

      • Andrew

        Oh, I haven’t forgotten. But I think — 10 years into it — we’ve lost sight of the original mission: Dismantle Al Qaeda and kill Osama bin Laden,his lieutenants and Taliban. Now we’re in full-fledged nation buidling with construction projects, involvement in elections, holding and securing territory etc. Groupthink has contributed to this situation.

        • Westover

          Keeping the Taliban down requires nation building. The abandonment of Afghanistan after the Soviets left is what opened the door bin Laden and the Taliban. I am not saying that it has been well orchestrated war, but it has been a required war that everyone should have expected from day one would be a very long term commitment. That said, it is embarassing that we let the dirtbag get away at ToraBora and that we allowed Iraq to distract us and divert resources for so long. Group think has not kept us there, reality has.

    • DT

      The board needs at least one voice of dissension. It has not had one in over ten years.

  • Westover

    One sad note about all of this is that the local election did not save the jobs of hundreds of Democratic Staffers in the House that live in Arlington County. How many will not find employment in the short term and move back to where they originally came? How many young Republican Staffers will move in to replace them? How many of them registered to vote, or even registered their cars here in the Commonwealth?

    When working in politics, having your team lose power is always a kick to the stomach, losing ones job due to that election when all the other job opportunities disappear with yours is devastating, but can often open greater opportunities in life. I hope all the young staffers, and even the middle aged ones, take the time to reassess what they really want to do when they grow up before they start the resume distribution. This could be the best thing to ever happen to them!

  • Kathy on Columbia Pike

    You said “II.) Your idea of an ‘educated populace’ is in reality a mass of thousands of urban yuppie refugees from places like PA and NY who went to school on their parents’ dime and obtained thier bachelor degrees in ‘political science’, modern ‘literature composition’ or ‘creative writing’. Some are now obtaining their graduate degrees in ‘international conflict resolution’ or some other limp wristed field consisting of dogma espoused by a bearded, bald professor at GWU or elsewhere.

    The sad truth is that bulk of the populace you refer to are the sad, pathetic, 20 something types who dont have the knowledge or wherwithall to change a flat tire, hook up a trailer hitch, or operate a moving dolly. these are the types that will wait stranded on the sid eof the road because their liberal daddy’s never taught them how to jack up a vehicle and mount a spare.”

    Who knew? You should not label and generalize so much. Sincerely, from a 53 year old chemical engineer from LSU (a southern state school) who mostly paid her own way and who has changed flat tires. Actually I have a whole bunch of tools and know how to use them. Also like camping and fixing stuff. Any yes, despite not having any kids, voted for the school bond becaue I believe education is an investment worthwhile for all kids who are the future of our community and country.

    • Twentysomething Limp Wrist

      Old hag.

  • joe_gop

    “Dad’s too classy to say it, but it looks like we trounced this guy,” said Mary Moran, the Congressman’s daughter and campaign manager.

    How classy is it to refuse to take your opponents concession call. May work for the 8th district of VA, but from last nights results, people are looking for something a little more civil. It’s true democrats own the 8th district by a landslide, but there has to be a better democrat to represent the area. How about change from with-in the democratic party, a new fresh voice. Can anyone say 2012 DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY please 🙂

    Moran Survives GOP Challenge in VA-8
    November 2nd, 2010 Zac Morgan

    And here I thought that the VA-8 liveblog was dead! Apparently, it wasn’t enough for Congressman Moran to heavily defeat Colonel Patrick Murray and dash the hopes of GOP pipe-dreamers. He also had to refuse to take Murray’s concession call.

    That’s right, if this is true, once he was out of the harsh spotlight of the voters for only a couple of hours, Moran quickly resorted to one of the more classless acts achievable in politics.

    For once, the Fox News characterization of the Democratic incumbent feels right on the money: ”The same congressman who refused to accept military service as public service has also refused a concession call from his opponent he previously insulted.”

    • Sean

      Joe — Murray wallowed in the mud with the likes of Mike Lane and Teri Howser all the while claiming honor and integrity. I salute Mr. Moran for refusing the call from a failed opponent who spent the last days of the campaign faking outrage over an edited video.

    • DT

      Don’t bother Joe. They can see past their noses or the letter “d” next to the man’s name on the ballot. I’ve been embarrassed by Republicans and refused to vote for them. Nothing Moron can do will make his constituents any less transparent. I guess this is where one of them tells me how much smarter they are. Moron is one of the biggest jerks in Congress which is an amazing feat.

  • MC

    People who love political parties are losers. Parties are broken vestiges of a previous century. Mob rule masquerading as democracy.

    Real reform can only happen if supposedly like minded people (party-hacks) actually have to compete with each other for the votes of free-thinking, non-indoctrinated people. If we had a system where all seats were open at once, any everyone got to choose 2 out of however many candidates had sufficient signatures to run, we might have a competitive process, instead of the rigged nonsense we have now.

    • Thes

      You have just described the method by which Alexandria elects their City Council. Not seeing noticeably better results there. Indeed, once elected the Council members are often loath to cooperate too much because in the next election they will be in competition.

      • charliembtessshirleynorthadamspurpleflipflopzoningvictimwestover

        alexandria tends to have the same unanmious vote that arlington likes. even their republicans are in line with the status quo. wants some numbers?

        • Zoning Victim

          Actually, they have a Republican and an independent on their board, and even the Democrats on the board refused to hike property taxes. I see that situation to be very different than what’s happening here in Arlington, and frankly don’t care how Alexandria s run because I don’t live there and don’t want to. A lot of people want to make this an R versus D issue and it’s not. It’s a dollars and cents problem and I don’t think raising spending by 80% over the last 10 years or taxes on families by over $300 per household per year this year a good choice, especially during a recession.

  • North Arlington

    The county can’t even get the car tax bills sent to the right address for a tax that was supposed to be eliminated, and now can’t get the decals that neighboring jurisditions have done away with out before they are required to be on windshields. When you can’t even collect the money correctly, there is a problems at the top.

    • Aristides

      one of my several cars has a zero tax liability and I have to pay $30 for a sticker to say I paid a tax that is zero. user fee.

      • North Arlington

        funny, ain’t it? Fairfax County’s stickers were $5 when Arlington’s were $20, then last year they had the decency to eliminate them all together. Why the Board feels they can scam those with the most affordable vehicles this way is beyond me.

    • South Arlington

      On an unrelated car tax note, do leased vehicles carry a personal property tax liability?


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