State Senate Race Gets “Nasty”

by ARLnow.com March 18, 2011 at 10:47 am 2,637 37 Comments

Mud is already flying in the three-way race for a local Democratic state Senate nomination.

Yesterday Arlington School Board Chair Libby Garvey sent out an email blasting opponent Rob Krupicka, an Alexandria City Council member, for the Council’s stance on the relocation of thousands of military jobs to the Mark Center development on I-395. In a letter dated August 13, 2008, posted on Garvey’s web site, an Alexandria official writes that the Council supports what was then still a proposal for the military to use the Mark Center site.

Garvey argues that the lack of Metro accessibility and the likelihood of traffic congestion at the site makes for “a terrible situation.”

“I join with Sen. Webb, Sen. Warner, Rep. Moran and Rep. Connolly in their request to the Defense Department that they delay fully staffing the [Mark Center] facility until traffic mitigation efforts are completed,” Garvey wrote. She then pounced on Kupricka.

“I believe strongly that we should judge public officials by the decisions they make,” she said. “In this case, Rob Krupicka, one of my opponents for the Senate seat currently held by Patsy Ticer, made a terrible decision by giving the DOD a green light to locate the BRAC building at the Mark Center site. His candidacy for the Virginia Senate, like that of all of us running for that important position, should be evaluated according to the quality of our decisions.”

Garvey, Krupicka and Del. Adam Ebbin are running for Ticer’s 30th District state Senate seat.

Krupicka responded with an email of his own, accusing Garvey of “distorting” his “record of leadership on transit and transportation for our community.” The email’s subject line: “Today this race got nasty.”

“This is a race between three good Democrats,” Krupicka wrote. “We’ve worked together over the years, and I’ve considered both opponents friends. So I’m disappointed that Libby decided to go negative.”

The email concludes with a call to action: “P.S. Let’s not let mudslinging stop us from making our community stronger. Can you contribute $25, $50, $100 or $250 today to help us bring new ideas to move us forward today?”

  • John Fontain

    Way to go Libby! Speak out about Mark Center project only after it nearly complete. As any great aspiring politician, you are demonstrating phenominal Monday morning quarterbacking. This is exactly what I look for in a leader!

    • borf

      She’s on the school board, why would she speak out against it before now?

      • John Fontain

        Exactly, she wasn’t involved in the process or the decision making, she likely doesn’t have all the facts, and yet she is Monday-morning quarterbacking like a pro. The best use of any politician’s time is spent constantly looking in the rearview mirror instead of what lies ahead.

        I’m anxiously awaiting her next press release where she decries the development of Ballston Common Mall in 1986.

        • mehoo

          If an average citizen can know all the facts and complain about it, she can.

  • Harry

    Wow. Stating the record is “nasty?” Good for Libby! Those Council members sold us out to please developers. And asking for money as a response is just cowardly.

  • KalashniKEV

    Who would vote for that frightening woman?

    • Bender

      The same sheep who routinely vote for the same lame group of politicians that get elected around here every election.

      • Dan


        • mehoo

          Why don’t you three get together and congratulate each other for being so clever? You can take turns.

          • KalashniKEV

            I didn’t know she was your guuuuuurlfriend!!!


          • mehoo

            I’m rubber and you’re glue. Everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you.

  • Flip Flopper

    From Krupicka’s blog: “I don’t think any of our frustration that the Army chose Mark Center over Eisenhower Valley will ever go away.”

    From a Washington Examiner article dated dec. 2009: “It was a mistake. We should have been decisive,” said Vice Mayor Kerry Donley, who was not on the council when the plan was approved. “We strayed from our development principles. We’re living that mistake right now.” Councilman Rob Krupicka agreed. “Eisenhower had so many other desirable qualities that it was the logical choice, and I think we were all very surprised when we heard the alternative, as VDOT was,” he said.

    Seems like Krupicka has a lot of explaining to do. The City issues a memorandum saying they have no preference re: the site and now he’s acting outraged about the site they chose?

  • Jackie

    I don’t see how that’s nasty. I’d rather hear about a candidate’s record than the actual mud slinging smut like their fetishes and extramarital affairs.

    • alebt


  • Roquer

    Mudslinging by Democrats? How bout’cha? Who on earth woulda ever thunk that??!!

  • Arlwhenever

    Geez Libby, seeing as you are the insightful planner, have great foresight, and make great decisions, how many APS kids will be attending classes in trailers next year? And the year after that? And the year after that?

    • BiArlington


    • Novanglus

      +100 (students in trailers at one school)

  • Ctbeachbm

    Libby’s leadership on APS board leaves a lot to be desired. APS has done an appalling job on capacity issues. When the county continues to issue permits for larger and larger McMansions in 22207, any idiot could have predicted space issues LONG ago!

    • Chris

      Describing Libby Garvey’s leadership on the Arlington School Board as mediocre would be giving credit where credit is not due. I am sure we will hear more from Rob Krupica and Adam Ebbin on this score as the campaign unfolds.

    • borf

      I can see other reasons why the capacity issues should have been anticipated, but why would permits for McMansions matter? They are almost all built where existing homes were torn down. Maybe you were just being colorful.

      • Lou

        They will often build two, sometimes three, new houses on a lot that formerly had just one house.

        • borf

          Ah. That kind. Yes, I know that well.

          That’s not really causing a population explosion though. It’s really just people having kids, and staying in the county to school them.

  • Brandon C

    JESUS F**KING CHRIST. This is not “nasty” politics. This is politics. You want “nasty” check out the hyperbole on the national level. “Going negative” is part of how the game works.

    It’s not news that it turned nasty. What’s news is their differing positions on the issues. Focus on that, for the love of f**k.

    • borf

      Stop being so nasty, Brandon! And please send me money.

    • Thes

      The distinction you make has some validity. Obviously in the political context words like “negative” and “nasty” can have different connotations. I would agree that criticizing a political opponent about their record of official action as an elected officer is not really nasty. But it still is “negative” and therefore somewhat surprising in a northern Virginia *primary* contest.

      Presumably, as Democrats, both Kupricka and Garvey are each prepared to endorse the other in the general election in November, depending on who wins. Any negative attack by one Democrat against another in the primary calls into question their willingness to full stand behind them in that election. So I agree this is news. There is also another candidate in the race, Adam Ebbin. Perhaps if he is the nominee this issue wouldn’t come up.

    • Lou

      The debate(s) should be interesting. If they have any.

  • Chris

    The facts are these: Rob Krupica and the rest of the gang on City Council pushed hard for the Mark Center location. The Eisenhower location was never seriously in the picture as it didn’t meet the legal requirements for selection so Council was desparately trying to find a location inside the City limits. Presto! Mark Center.

    Simultaneously, Jim Moran was supporting the Council’s desire for the Mark Center location by working the federal angle on the site selection process.

    Only after the Mark Center location was announced did Moran and Krupica or any of the other Members of Council figure out – oops! – this will create a complete traffic meltdown on a daily basis. If you read the papers today you would think that Moran, Krupica, et al were leading the charge against this monstrosity. But it was only after they engineered its selection that they then unsuccessfully tried to wipe their own fingerprints off the site selection process.

    Libby Garvey is right on this one. But it is a long race – lets see what other issues surface.

    Oh, and nasty? Since when did holding a public official accountable for his record become defined as nasty?

    • Well said. Especially the part about Moran being a total douche in this matter.

  • FedUp

    I’m voting for Del. Adam Ebbin for state senate. Let the other two fight it out amongst them.

  • charlie

    FINALLY _- someone talking about issues and not just being pretty. Go Libby.
    The whole Alexandria council should be thrown out for voting for BRAC at Mark Center (yes they approved a rezoning to allow the development).
    Nasty? NO.
    BUT FINALLY SOMEONE IS TALKING ABOUT ISSUES instead of pandering and ignoring the man behind the curtain.

  • Clyde

    As a Progressive Democrat, mentored by the Honorable Christopher Zimmerman (D) I contend that Chris is the best person to run for the State Senate. As a firm supporter of UN Agenda-21 that wants all people to move to urban villages like Clarendon that Chris created on his own, his vision of all people living in collective housing and using mass transit is visionary and forthright. Chris also contends that we need to ride more bikes and that we need to make more space for dog parks. Chris also believes everyone deserves a living wage and as a Progressive economist, he will do all he can to limit the profits of corporations and small business so that the owners do not get too rich and live better than their workers. Go Chris – run for the State Senate!

    • I urge Zimmie to run as well. Get out of our hair.

    • brian

      Sounds like plan for failure.

  • Harry

    My kids are in classroom trailers and I’ve yet to see an Arlington Public School plan to rectify the situation. The trailers are purchased, not rented, which does not bode well. How about moving Arlington Traditional to S. Arlington and creating a new N. Arlington neighborhood school? The Williamsburg principal fiasco suggests that the new superintendent may well be a dud. My friends in APS confirm the allegations. Again, no School Board action as far as I can tell. To credit the County Board, when they hired a dud County Manager, they replaced him immediately rather than pretend all was well. To be fair, I don’t know enough about the superintendent situation and my small circle of friends are statistically insignificant. I do know my kids are in classroom trailers!!! I am NOT impressed with Libby Garvey’s leadership on the school board. I too am voting for Adam Ebbin.

  • Undereducated

    Libby Garvey’s leadership is an oxymoron. I still shake my head when I think of her pitiful performance in the Francis/Williamsburg debacle. Anyone who thinks that standing in defense of Murphy demonstrates leadership, is clueless and should not be sent to Richmond.

  • brian

    It appears Libby is crying over spilt milk over the loss of jobs and tax revenues from food sales.

    Why does she care about congestion at Mark Center?


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