Favola Fires Back at Negative Campaign Mailer

by ARLnow.com June 30, 2011 at 2:44 pm 6,875 50 Comments

State Senate candidate Jaime Areizaga-Soto is pulling no punches when it comes to criticism of his Democratic primary opponent, County Board member Barbara Favola.

An Areizaga-Soto campaign mailer sent to local homes this week accuses Favola of “[selling] her vote to real-estate developers.”

“Barbara Favola thinks it’s OK to get paid for her votes,” the mailer says. “Favola took $25,000 from developer John Shooshan after she voted to allow construction on his multi-million dollar project.”

“Favola takes campaign cash wherever she can get it,” the mailer added. “One of [her] developer contributors also gave thousands of dollars to right-wing Republicans like Ken Cuccinelli and Bob McDonnell. Preston Caruthers is a real-estate developer who has given over $175,000 to Virginia Republican campaigns and committees. Barbara Favola has also taken thousands of dollars from Caruthers while serving on the Arlington County Board, where he does business.”

Areizaga-Soto has previously said that Favola should return the developer donations or resign from the County Board.

The Favola campaign, in turn, is firing back at what they call a “negative attack.”

My opponent has decided that the only way he can win is to peddle untruths, distort the facts and use personal attacks. In a recent mailer, Jaime Areizaga-Soto makes the inaccurate claim that my votes are for sale. That’s just not true. Here’s the truth.

I have always been transparent on where I stand on the issues and I have always been loyal to my values. I have never sold my vote to anyone, ever.

Since I am not independently wealthy, I need donations from members of the community to fund this campaign and am humbled that so many individuals, from all walks of life, are supporting me. I have always declined contributions from developers who would appear before the County Board and have done so in this Senate Campaign. However, I’ve learned that when you fight for children and families, safe communities, progressive environmental policies and good paying jobs you need every sector of the community with you.

I think this Democratic Primary should be about our real records, hopes and visions for the future.

The mailer features an ARLnow.com photograph of Favola. The Areizaga-Soto campaign did not ask for nor receive our permission to use the photo.

  • D W

    The Favola campaign doesn’t really respond to the substance of the accusation: that she is accepting money from developers who in fact have past, current and future business before the Board – and that at least one of those developers is in a position of responsibility on her campaign.

    Instead, she says that an allegation of fact is a “negative attack”, says it’s untrue, offers no evidence to that effect, and then simply lies about whether her senate campaign is accepting money from an entity that has business before the Board.

    With Democrats like these…

    • TGEoA
    • Charlie

      Unless you know facts about Ms. Favola . . . you are being vicious. She is a very ethical person who I have known professionally for many years. Here we go again . . . could you stick to the issues instead of lowering yourselves to mud slinging and to your “assumed” accusations about things you know nothing about. It does not occur to you that tarnishing people’s reputations based on assumptions and not facts is as unethical as taking bribes would be?

  • Captain Obvious

    Her statement that she has “always declined contributions from developers who would appear before the County Board and ha[s] done so in this Senate Campaign” is demonstrably false.

    Another lovely item: A local developer who does business before the County Board (“of Supervisors,” as Favola likes to call it) is not only a large dollar donor to Favola’s campaign, but is also the Chair of Favola’s Fundraising Committee.

  • Arlwhenever

    Truth be known, there is a glaring omission in Areizaga-Soto’s circular. Favola contributor Preston Caruthers is also a major donor to Corey Stewart down in Prince William County. Stewart is the county board chairman who has received national attention for driving illegal immigrants out of the county and who has pushed for an Arizona-style immigration law in Virginia. Gotta love the company that Barbara keeps.

    • Lou

      He also donated a lot of money to the Arlington Planetarium.

      • Arlwhenever

        But it’s no fun to mention that.

        • Lou

          Unless he’s an alien. Has he ever denied being from outer space?

      • Ann of Tan Gables

        Charles Keating donated to Mother Teresa. The point is not simply whether someone has ever done anything admirable; the question is whether someone has philosophical positions that voters might be uncomfortable with.

      • Arlwhenever

        Oh, by the way, I neglected to mention that Caruthers directed millions of dollars ($3 million if memory serves me right) Favola’s way in her other job — development director and lobbyist at Marymount. The lady is a morass of conflicting interests, a perfect representative for Arlington County.

  • nauckneighbor

    Does Arlnow plan on requesting that they no longer use your image and charge him for it? Stealing from a website doesn’t say much about the ethics of this candidate. Also, has he disclosed who his contributors are?

  • KalashniKEV

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… that’s one sexy pic.

  • Captain Obvious

    nauckneighbor, all candidates are subject to the same disclosure rules for donations. Areizaga-Soto doesn’t have any information about his donors available online yet because he entered the race after the last disclosure deadline. Favola accepted the massive developer donations prior to the last reporting deadline–I can’t wait to see who she’s taken money from since then! Today is the next reporting date; all donor information will be public on vpap.org once they get the information and get it up on their site.

    • nauckneighbor

      Thanks for the info!

  • SustainableArlington

    Money win elections. If it didn’t we would have Josh Ruebner or John Reeder of the Arlington Greens on the County Board. They do not take corporate donations, the can’t buy campaign ads, so as close as they may come money wins elections. As they say you get what you pay for, get out your checkbook there is another election around the corner.

  • Andrew

    I have no opinion on either candidate, but if I owned the image that was used without permission, I’d probably sue the person who stole it for copyright infringement.

  • yequalsy

    Causality on these sorts of deals tend to run exactly opposite of what Areizaga-Soto wants to claim. Favola didn’t become pro-developer because she got money from developers. She got money from developers because she was pro-developer. You can’t buy someone who’s already bought.

  • Captain Obvious

    yequalsy, the County Board has a policy of not accepting developer money, and they have that policy for a reason: The appearance of impropriety can often be as bad as outright evidence of it. Favola’s logic is that she’s now allowed to abandon that pledge because she’s not going to be on the County Board (“of Supervisors,” as she frequently calls it, somehow not knowing what form of government we have in Arlington despite being on the Board for 14 years) anymore, because she thinks it’s obvious that she’s going to win the primary and win the election. And why wouldn’t she think that, with Dick Saslaw threatening everyone who contemplated running against her?

  • Joe

    In my view, the Arl County Board is as sleazy as it gets. So what’s new?

    • RosRes

      Seriously? You clearly don’t get out much. Try visiting IL. In Cicero alone I think the last few mayors are doing time. Then there’s the governors. Not mention our illustrious across the river neighbor.

  • FedUp

    It’s silly to complain about whether the opponent asked to use that picture. The picture looks like it was taken at a public board meeting, so it’s probably in the public domain. She is a public person and has to expect stuff like this.

    • Eponymous Coward

      Merely because a photograph is taken in the public domain does not deprive the photographer of his or her copyright. The lawsuit over the iconic Obama “HOPE” painting that was so popular in 2008 involved a photograph taken by a photographer of Obama at a public event in Washington (with George Clooney, IIRC).

      It isn’t Favola who has any rights in the picture; it is ARLNow’s photographer. It is absolutely not in the public domain.

      • brendan

        a couple comments on this..

        ArlNow rocks a 7D eh? nice camera…

        There is nothing about this photo that gives it public domain status as EC has thoroughly explained. However, despite the authoritative sounding rant by user Karon below, it is not an open and shut case of copyright infringement and ArlNow being legally entitled to compensation. Far from it.

        I am not a lawyer but i do know that in the world of political campaigns, the reuse of media generated material is generally considered okay under the whole ‘fair use’ banner. If the campaign were to print out the picture and put it on a t-shirt to sell, that’s more of a commercial use and fair use principle no longer applies.

        Regardless, it should have been credited and probably wouldn’t have been a bad idea to seek permission as well.

        • To be clear, we’re just stating that we did not grant permission in case there was any question of whether we’re making in kind donations to a campaign.

          • brendan

            understood. the compensation stuff was mostly in reference to Karon’s comments.

            It was pretty lame of them to not credit or seek permission tho. Unfortunately this mistake happens quite often, especially with rookie campaigns. Hopefully they’ve already reached out to you since.

  • FedUp

    Oh, never mind. It’s arlnow’s picture..

  • John Fontain

    “My opponent has decided that the only way he can win is to peddle untruths”

    Am I reading her statement correctly to say that she is denying she has taken contributions from developers bringing matters before her?

    • nauckneighbor

      She’s denying that her vote is for sale, not that she accepted donations from real estate developers. What does everyone have against real estate development? I for one want to see more development along Columbia Pike and in Nauck to revitalize those neighborhoods. What’s so wrong with that?

      PS- I’m thrilled that the new Giant just opened in Penrose Square!

      • John Fontain

        This has nothing to do with being for or against development. It has to do with her being independent in both fact and appearance (something she knows she has an obligation to do).

        Let’s say I want to expand the permitted enrollment in a private, for profit preschool and this matter is going to the Board for their consideration. Do you really not think it would be a problem if one of the Board members took a “donation” from me?

  • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

    it is in fact the County Board of Supervisors. They don’t use those terms unless trying to seem important.

    • really?

      You are wrong. They are not “of Supervisors”–that has a different legal meaning (that they represent a particular area, vs ours, which are all at-large members, meaning they can be voted on by every resident in the County, regardless of where they live). They are the Arlington County Board. Period.

    • FedUp

      No, it is not. Arlington’s form of government is a County Manager Plan. Under this plan, the elected officials are called County Board members. Under a County Board Form, they would be called Board of County Supervisors.

  • Greg

    “Barbara Favola thinks it’s OK to get paid for her votes.”

    That’s really a low statement for a candidate. I just shook this guy’s hand at my front door last week. I wish I’d have seen this then.

    • John Fontain

      Him saying this is worse than her taking the money?

  • Eponymous Coward

    I’m the first to think that our campaign finance laws need reform, and I have no views on this particular race, but some of this criticism of Favola is utterly ridiculous.

    She received a contribution from a developer after she voted a way that the developer liked. If that is grounds for resignation, every member of Congress should resign. Everyone gets contributions from people who like how they vote on things that are before them. The oil companies contribute to people who vote in favor of ANWR drilling. The agrobusinesses contribute to people who vote in favor of farm subsidies. The defense contractors contribute to appropriators before, during, and after their contracts are receiving appropriations. Who should people contribute to, but for the representatives who vote in their interest?

    Surely, no one says, for example, “I think Jim Moran’s an idiot, and he never votes how I think he should vote, but I’m going to give him money anyway.” Jim Moran’s contributors are people who agree with how he votes. Not only is it natural for some of his contributors to have benefited from his votes, it should be expected.

    Now — if you have a problem with this, that’s cool. But recognize that you have a problem with all private campaign finance. Full stop. That’s not necessarily an unreasonable position to take, but it means that virtually anyone with an election certificate who takes independent contributions, left or right (and that’s nearly all elected officials these days), is permanently tainted.

    • Thes

      EC: Serious question for you… why do you think most members of the Arlington County Board in recent years have voluntarily refused to accept campaign contributions from developers?

  • jjbug

    Consider the donkey, symbol of this Democratic party. Here you have a real donkey in Areizaga-Soto who is happy to bray loudly about anything! I’m so glad he featured the Arl News photo of Barbara who is beautiful! as well as thoughtful and intelligent. Her credits are without dispute among Arlington Democrats (donkeys!). Earlier mailings from Areizaga-Soto show him with assorted unnamed women – perhaps he hopes we will award his manliness as a credential to serving as a State Senator. He intends the vote on this office to allow him to jump experience at 2 levels he has not experienced, or has not revealed his experience if he has had some. Maybe he has done great things in Fairfax but he does not write about them! What has he done except serve in the military? Does he know much about the elephants?

    An elephant, not a native being in the US, has delicate feet able to step without producing a hole in the ground as you would expect because he is so fat! This animal must be admired because one elephant can enjoy messages from others that humans have only been able to hear in this recent decade. The elephant does not bray or make a sound indicating its mood. This is not a dog! Please enjoy Shana Alexandris’s study of elephants. The elephant is not found in North America except from import. The elephant has no experience outside of a zoo in procreation! Isn’t that funny to read as you consider the contest between this Jaime and our own Barbara.

    I wish so much that Arlington – even other states considered their mascots.

    The donkey and the ass are often confused. One has height greater than the other and only one has the ability to gift a spouse with a child.

    Jaime choses being a donkey. Now he is not just braying loudly, but spitting on others who, actually, have held jobs in civic life he has not had. He screams at those in his donkey group! Did you hear anything he said that he has experienced dealing with elephants? Do you see here his ideas on how to deal with elephants?

    • derp

      purty dum.

  • AngryArl

    I, for one, was NOT impressed with these negative campaign flyers. It’s a shame, too – I had what I thought was the pleasure of meeting Jaime the other day. At the time, I considered him an articulate young man with good ideas. These vaguely sexist attacks (come on, a woman for sale?! REALLY?) are frankly offensive to me. Jaime can take his negativity somewhere else. I’m not interested.

    • Oh, please.

      Barbara and her thugs have been attacking him behind his back with a dishonest whisper campaign for months. I for one am glad he’s taking her to task.

    • Oh, please.

      And: his campaign manager, his direct mail consultant, and his campaign consultant, who would have been the three people putting this piece together, are all strong, feminist women. The sexist reading you’re ascribing to this mailer is ridiculous.

  • Truthteller

    It isn’t negative if the accusations are true. And actually I know two of the women who are in the prochoice mailer Jaime sent and they are active in Arlington Democratic politics and know who they are supporting and why. And if you check with the activists of the ACDC VERY FEW of them support Barbara who really does not connect very well with the Democratic base and acts as if she’s entitled to the seat and is offended that anyone deigns to challenge her for her seat.

    • Greg

      Who gives a crap about who ACDC activists support. I’m so sick of the party politics here. Like when Dean announced he was running against Theo the first criticism was “we haven’t seen him at any ACDC meetings.”

      Who cares. If these self-important people are not the kingmakers they think they are then good.

      • Truthteller

        The activists are the volunteers who knock on doors, man the phone banks, do the lit drops and the GOTV. If you don’t care what they think then enjoy having a volunteerless Democratic GOTV if Barb is the nominee where anything that you don’t pay for doesn’t get done while the Republican candidate throws a million dollars in to the mix. This would put a solid Democratic district into jeopardy and divert resources from must hold State Senate seats elsewhere. But if you want to take a chance on Virginia becoming another right wing lab experiment like Wisconsin by turning the Senate over to the GOP, your approach is very sound

  • brendan

    “Since I am not independently wealthy, I need donations from members of the community to fund this campaign and am humbled that so many individuals, from all walks of life, are supporting me. I have always declined contributions from developers who would appear before the County Board and have done so in this Senate Campaign. However, I’ve learned that when you fight for children and families, safe communities, progressive environmental policies and good paying jobs you need every sector of the community with you.”

    Roughly half of her donations are from out of state – didn’t know Potomac, Maryland was part of our community. They have no interest in arlington beyond their own financial investments, one of them being Favola.

    Favola should immediately return all out-of-state donations.

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  • FW

    Yes, but who is getting the Robert Atkins endorsement?

  • Karon

    ARLnow should send an invoice via registered mail to the Jaime Areizaga-Soto campaign for use of the image. If it is ignored, the invoice and flyer can be used in small claims court to recover payment. If the image is also being used on the campaign website either alone or in the form of the flyer an invoice should be sent to the site contact info. If that one is ignored, a DMCA takedown notice should be sent to the ISP hosting the site.

    It is a shame, everything else about Mr. Areizaga-Soto looks very favorable to me but as a photographer, copyright infringement is a key issue that impacts me more that questions of city development. I imagine this is a case of yet another person thinking if it is online it is public domain but ignorance of the law is no excuse.

    • Truthteller

      If you feel strongly why don’t you contact the campaign? Make them aware and my bet is they’ll respond appropriately

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