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Developers Donate to Favola’s Senate Campaign

by ARLnow.com April 18, 2011 at 10:34 am 4,288 40 Comments

The list of donors to Arlington County Board member Barbara Favola’s state Senate campaign is raising a few eyebrows among local political watchers.

More than half of the nearly $60,000 raised by Favola has come from local developers, including a whopping $25,000 from John G. Shooshan, chairman of the Arlington-based Shooshan Company. Shooshan has had business before the board recently, related to the company’s massive Founders Square project in Ballston.

Other big contributors to Favola’s campaign include Preston Caruthers, who donated $5,000, Mark Silverwood, who donated $2,000, and Thomas Shooltz, who donated $1,000.

Caruthers, a developer, is supporting Favola, a Democrat, despite the fact that he’s a big contributor to Republican causes. Caruthers is a noted philanthropist and recently gave $100,000 to the Arlington planetarium.

Silverwood is the president of the Silverwood Companies, a Northern Virginia development and property management firm. The company manages several properties in Arlington County, including the Quebec Apartments on Columbia Pike. Shooltz is a part-owner of Ironwood Realty Partners, whose developments include the currently under-construction Garfield Park at Clarendon Village project.

Public records show that Favola received just shy of 100 individual campaign contributions from Jan. 1 to March 31.

County Board members have avoided taking contributions from developers for their board campaigns, to avoid the appearance of impropriety. Favola said that practice does not extend to campaigns for higher office.

“Traditionally County Board members have not asked for contributions [from developers] for their County Board races. I am not running for the County Board, I am running for the state Senate,” she said. “So they’re actually contributing to get me off the County Board.”

“Everything here is reported, there is nothing illegal about what I have received,” Favola continued. “My vote can’t be bought in the state Senate. People are contributing to me because they respect me and have confidence in me. They also have valued my contributions on the County Board.”

Favola is currently the only candidate to formally announce for the 31st District state Senate seat, which is being vacated by the retiring Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple.

  • Arlwhenever

    Her donors partiularly like her vote on the East Falls Church project. Developers are lining up for rights on the EFC property controlled by VDOT. Right, her vote cannot be bought.

    • Jack

      The EFC project has nothing to do with developer money and everything to do with the fact that it is a good idea, consistent with the way Arlington has tried to develop for the past 25 years. Transit oriented development creates jobs, increases property values, contains and may even reduce traffic. And the plan improves parks and bikeways and walkability. What is not to like?

      • Daniel


      • Arlwhenever

        Geez, and here I thought that the Washington DC Metro area had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation among major metro areas because of the flood of military and domestic program spending. Thanks for letting me know that is due to Barbara Favola and John Shooshan. I’ll be sure to write them a note.

        Ya, and for reminding me that Shooshan’s imposing Founders’ Square project in the traffic gridlocked Ballston area, why sun blotter creates livability, walkability, bike lanes — sure.

        But the reality is I wasn’t born yesterday. Development reduces traffic is a BIG LIE!

        EFC is a wonderful neighborhood as is (for residents that is, not developers). It ain’t going to stay that way.

        • Thes

          Why don’t you ask Prince George’s County why they have all the same advantages as Arlington (in terms of proximity to the seat of government, etc.), but do not have the high employment, low crime rate and low tax rate Arlington has? Oh, and they have worse traffic, too. Perhaps it is because they do not have the same extent of transit-oriented development.

          • Arlwhenever

            Oh now I know why Arlington wasn’t the epicenter of Murder Inc., was able to bystep the crack cocaine wars and has a totally different racial and demographic make-up than PG County. Why it’s MetroRail. Thank you! If only PG County had been criss-crossed by MetroRail then everything would have been different. They could be Arlington too.

            And there must be something pretty amazing going on in Loudon County, where the average homeowner is taxed signficantly less than in Arlington, and serious crimes (despite a much more rapidly growing population) are dropping faster than in Arlington. Maybe when MetroRail gets exended past Dulles we can export some of our crime and high taxes.

  • Brendan

    Will someone please run against this goon?

    Will donate time & money to anyone who mounts a legit campaign.

  • G. Clifford Prout

    Well, FAN MY BROW!

  • Surprise, surprise, surprise.

  • Bluemontsince1961

    In other breaking news, the sun rose in the East this morning, water is wet, and the North Pole is cold.

  • love how she can rationalize this.

    • Lou

      “They also have valued my contributions on the County Board.”

      There you have it.

      • Suzi B

        “value,” literally.

  • TuesdaysChild

    Ahh, more “density bonus”!

  • shirley

    why oh why are developers always singled out? their money is green too. So is the money of the arts groups that tricked the County into doing Artisphere. So are the countless civic association muckity-mucks who come before the board on issues of no importance…
    if you live or work in arlington — you must thank a a developer for building that building.

  • Anyone But Barbara

    She should resign from the County Board immediately rather than put herself in a clear position of conflict of interest. This is a truly egregious violation of Arlington County government’s own ethical standards. Anyone but Barbara!

    • Ernie

      If she’s going to focus on running for another office – she should resign her current position.

    • FedUp


    • Truthi

      You mean continue to put herself in a position of conflict. Ms Favola works for Marymount university. So how many of their projects got approved???

      • Bluemontsince1961

        Ain’t that the truth!

        • justasliberalastherestbut

          Girls really. Marymount is a really, really awful thing to have in our neighborhood. Please-if you wanted Mayberry and its godawful unemployment and post graduate opportunities, maybe you should have moved there. Y’all whine, whine, whine. It’s gross.

  • Arlwhenever

    Nice deception job there Barbara, blanking out the city name for Shooshan. But we know how to look up ZIP Codes. Great idea to drive your campaign off the financial foundation of a fellow who lives in Potomac, MD.

    • Wayne Kubicki

      In all fairness – that may not have been intentional. I believe it may have something to do with VSBE’s financial disclosure software.

      • Arlwhenever

        Nope, try this one out, from Favola’s filing as well.

        Eccker Patricia – 7734 Laurel Leaf Dr. – Potomac – MD – 20854

        Same ZIP Code as Shooshan. By the way, no occupation given for Eccker. I guess it’s a software problem as well that her occupation as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Paradigm Real Estate Development couldn’t be reported. Obviously not.

        Mr. Kubicki, these people are sleazes. They are not your friends.

  • John Fontain

    “My vote can’t be bought”

    Who is more likely to get a private 1 hour meeting with her to discuss some issue of interest, someone who donates $25,000 or an average Joe who makes no contribution?

    • Bluemontsince1961


    • Aaron

      No, you don’t understand — that was a $25k contribution for her STATE race, which is totally unrelated to her performance on the County Board and for which she does not accept cash from developers.

      • Creebs

        I am a VERY average Joe who lives in South Arlington who Ms. Favola has sat down with three times for an hour each over the last 3 years to discuss some issues in our neighborhood. She has also had staff responsible for these issues at each of the staff meetings. It is also worth pointing out that she is the only Board member that even replied to my letters/messages.

        • South Arlington Ready

          Actually, she’s the only one on the County Board that I wish would stay. The remaining two are either bullies or spineless. I won’t point out which is which.

      • SA Resident

        Campaign finance laws are very loose. When she loses the Senate race, she can use what’s left over in that war chest in her next County Board campaign. “No money from developers – uh, TODAY, i mean.”

  • Jimmy

    She is basically a crook. She is/has been obviously leveraging her current position in order to move up the totem pole. Just because she isn’t running for the same exact position doesn’t make it any less criminal.

  • Lou

    Westlee Condos near EFC are another Silverwood property.

  • Bought and Paid

    This Board has no shame and they should have plenty of it in recent years. Barb needs to leave the Board now and focus on purchasing her Senate seat. Maybe Barb and Susan Bell can share a “retirement” party. Here’s hoping the good voters of the 31st District outside of Arlington will have better sense than to vote for Barb.

  • Harry

    Rob Krupicka got at least half his contributions from developers as well and there’s even more crazy handouts to developers happening in Alexandria than Arlington like the BRAC stuff, Waterfront development and the add-on tax. Is arlnow going to write about that too?

  • NArl

    let’s vote them all out this year, they all suck the life out of this county and have for years.

    • Bluemontsince1961



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