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Pair of 31st District State Senate Endorsements

by ARLnow.com August 8, 2011 at 10:24 am 3,268 70 Comments

There have been two significant endorsements this morning in the Democratic primary battle for the 31st District state Senate seat.

Jaime Areizaga-Soto has received the endorsement of Del. David Englin, a founding co-chair of the Virginia Progressive Caucus, while Barbara Favola received the endorsement of the Sun Gazette newspaper.

In its editorial, the Sun Gazette said that Favola provides “common-sense, middle-ground representation” as a County Board member, while Areizaga-Soto lacks experience.

“As newcomer Areizaga-Soto has no political track record to speak of, we can only judge him based on his platform and public pronouncements,” the paper said. “The talking points are all of the garden-variety ‘progressive’ kind that make many Northern Virginia Democrats largely irrelevant in Richmond’s corridors of power… Favola, on the other hand, does have a track record. It is hardly perfect, but it is strong enough to make her a decided favorite in our eyes.”

Englin, meanwhile, said he “can no longer remain silent” about the way he believes Areizaga-Soto has been treated by Democratic leaders.

As a progressive leader in the General Assembly, I generally do not endorse Democratic primary candidates in districts where I cannot vote, and I’ve been especially hesitant to comment on the 31st District Senate primary because my wife is a paid consultant for one of the candidates, Jaime Areizaga-Soto. However, my simmering anger at how my own party’s leaders in the Virginia Senate are handling this race has boiled over, and I can no longer remain silent.

Jaime Areizaga-Soto is a Georgetown and Stanford-educated attorney and a U.S. Army Reserve lieutenant colonel, whom President Obama appointed to a high-level position at the U.S. Agency for International Development. He served as a White House Fellow — one of our nation’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service, whose alumni include distinguished Americans like Wesley Clark, Colin Powell, and Doris Kearns Goodwin. On top of all that, he’s an Eagle Scout who is fluent in four languages. Yet the retiring incumbent, who just months ago introduced Areizaga-Soto to her constituents as a valued policy adviser, now claims he was a mere intern in her office and accuses him of inflating his resume. Since when does a 41-year-old who is an accomplished attorney, a lieutenant colonel, an Obama Administration appointee, and a White House Fellow need to inflate his resume?

The most senior Democratic leaders in the Virginia Senate continue to attack and belittle Areizaga-Soto, who would be the first Latino elected to the Virginia Senate, because he has the nerve to seek his party’s nomination against their hand-picked choice. They are so incensed by his candidacy that they have spent tens of thousands of dollars to attack him that could otherwise be used to defend their tenuous Democratic majority. This smacks of an earlier era of “good old boy” Virginia Democratic politics that most of us soundly rejected long ago. I have nothing against the other candidate in this race, Barbara Favola, with whom I have enjoyed working on Arlington County issues over the years. But the seat she and Areizaga-Soto seek belongs to the people of the 31st District, not to party bosses or the retiring incumbent to bequeath to the successor of their choice.

I urge Democrats in Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun to vote for Jaime Areizaga-Soto for Senate on August 23rd, both because he will be a thoughtful, progressive champion for our entire community, and to send a message that the Democratic Party is still the open, inclusive party of good government we have worked so hard together to build.

  • John Fontain

    Let me see if I understand this.

    1. Favola takes cash from real estate developers.
    2. The vast majority of the Sun Gazette’s revenue comes the real estate industry.
    3. The Sun Gazette chose to endorse Favola.

    Wow, I’m completely surprised.

  • Lou

    Neither of these endorsements is overflowing with purity.

  • Daniel

    David Englin’s wife is running Jaime’s campaign, so of course he endorsed him.

    • Well…

      True, it’s not a complete surprise, but he did divulge that right off the bat. And hey, spousal allegiances are not always contagious, as Carville/Matlin demonstrate.

      This magnifies what were my slight leanings toward Jaime.

      • MJM

        Agreed. I’ve stood back and watched this fight with mild curiosity, but Areizaga-Soto seems like the better candidate. Favola seems tainted somehow by the real estate dealings. My only qualm was that he went negative first – I’m not sure if that was preemptive or trying to make a slash.

        I’m pretty sure I’m voting for Areizaga-Soto.

        • LyonParkVoter

          MJM. Jaime was the first to have a negative mailing, but he was not the first to go negative. The Democratic Establishment started a whisper campaign against him and donating heavily to Barbara once Jaime decided that he would run and let the voters decide who their candidate should be instead of having one imposed on them. Favola followed that up with interviews where she called Jaime an intern and started belittling his impressive record of accomplishments. At that point, Jaime sent out the mailings. Finally, although the headlines were somewhat sensationalist, Jaime was pointing out the Conflict of Interest issue which is fair game.

  • The Sun Gazette is right-wing Republican all the way, is a big fan of Bob McDonnell, George Allen and Ken Cuccinelli, hates Democrats and “liberals” and environmentalists, obviously supports Caren Merrick for this seat. The fact that the Sun Gazette endorsed Barbara Favola really says it all.

    http://www.bluevirginia.us/diary/4597/progressive-endorses-areizagasoto-rightwing-real-estate-rag-endorses-favola

  • Amber

    I trust David’s endorsement, and it just helped me make up my mind on this race.

  • Josh S

    I had no opinion up until now. The Sun Gazzette is for Favola? I’ll vote for Areizaga-Soto.

  • PikeMan

    As Blue Virginia points out, the Sun-Gazette endorsed George Allen over Webb in 2006, and Bob McDonnell in 2009:

    http://bluevirginia.us/diary/4597/progressive-endorses-areizagasoto-rightwing-real-estate-rag-endorses-favola

    While neither endorsement really comes a surprise, what does stand apart is the frankness of Englin calling out the machine politics that tried to keep Jaime Airezaga-Soto out of the race in the first place, and everything they’ve done since to attack him. Being willing to stand up to party leadership is something we don’t see enough.

    Regardless of the connection from Englin’s wife, which was fully disclosed, the substance of his endorsement and his criticism of Democratic party leadership stands firmly on its own merits.

    • jan

      Pikeman,
      I agree with you.

      This race smacks of machine politics.

  • JimA

    Not a big surprise Delegate Englin is endorsing Jaime, after all, his wife is Jaime’s lead consultant! The question is, what took him so long? Barbara Favola has been edorsed by the Washington Post, the Sun Gazette, retiring Senator Whipple and Senator Howell along with Delegate Brink, the Sierra Club and many others. So, I’d go with the more indpendent endorsements.

    • nauckneighbor

      Exactly. If Jamie wins, his wife receives even more money to run the second half of his campaign. Obviously he is not impartial. His endorsement is like having Barbara’s dog endorse her. The problem is the Jamie’s campaign is all talk.

      If they really believed that the Advanced Towing Contribution was a violation of ethics why have they not filed a complaint with the county board? (which as someone who doesn’t care about this race, still finds that vote disgusting and wishes someone would file a complaint).

      • Thes

        @Nauckneighbor This kind of statement is what’s wrong with America. You anonymously “wish[] someone would file a complaint” about conduct you find “disgusting” and presumably unethical. Why don’t you file the complaint yourself if that’s how you feel? What makes you think that’s someone else’s job? Is it because you’re not an Arlington resident and don’t have standing? Is it because you fear retribution of some sort (if so, what kind of retribution do you think you’d face, exactly)? Or is it because while you can take the time to comment on blogs, you can’t take the hour out of your day it would take to send a letter to the appropriate authority?

        And just in case you wonder why I’m not filing a complaint, it is because although I think Favola should not have accepted the Advanced Towing contribution, I see no evidence that Favola violated any law or formal rule.

        • Louise

          😉

          • LyonParkVoter

            Thes, it is not against the law. But it is a clear violation of the Arlington County Code of Ethics (http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/CountyManager/Documents/file79595.pdf ) that was adopted by the very Board itself and that applies to all County employees.

            Favola keeps focusing on whether in fact it was a quid pro quo for her votes. But that is not needed for there to be a Conflict of Interest or a violation. As you can see in the very Code, one is to avoid even the appearance or perception of a Conflict of Interest. Not only is she not avoiding one, she is flaunting her donations and continues to try and secure more.

            As you can see, this prohibition and obligation to “avoid perceived conflicts of interest” falls under “Personal Integrity.” The Code is meant to regulate behavior above and beyond what the law says since per the Code itself, “Ethics are the core of what we do as public stewards. The Code of Ethics defines a foundation of behavior for all Arlington County employees to ensure public trust.” How does this ensure the public trust?

            This is part of the same conduct by Favola where she just takes for granted that voters will pull the lever for Democrat and she can continue acting this way. Her arrogance extends to her also increasing her part-time salary to 60%. She may have reasons for having done so, but it questions her JUDGMENT at a time when others are not getting similar pay raises, are losing their jobs, are having other areas of the County budget cut, etc..

            Again, if you’ve had enough, be heard on the 23rd!

          • If you are voting for Babs, vote in the 24th!

          • Disenfranchised in Cherrydale

            How do you file an ethics complaint? Can anyone post a link to the information on this? I’d be happy to file it- but have not been able to locate the details.

          • LyonParkVoter

            When I called the County Manager, they said to send it to [email protected]

          • 4Arl

            After reading the ethics document it sounds conflicted and vague, and if it’s used at all for disciplinary action it’s probably interpreted selectively. For example, it includes the statement “all employees are obligated to respect, honor and uphold all federal, state and local laws.” All? Like speeding? Immigration?
            You probably have a better case on the political judgment issue. After all in Richmond she would face a much tougher environment if something similar happened.
            Political judgment may be a factor for a salary increase – do you have any details?

          • LyonParkVoter

            That last sentence is a fairly typical catch all in Codes of Ethics. My company has the same. So for example, eventhough it is obviously illegal to steal, the Code doesn’t break down ever single law out there that could be violated. Believe it or not some employees who commit some form of wrongdoing will later claim that they cannot be fired since they didn’t violate the Code. In that sense I do see what Josh S meant by intermediate steps below. Depending on what exactly was being violated, in your example speeding, you would not be fired in fact probably not disciplined at all. But, in the Conflicts of Interest example, there is clearly more specificity on what is acceptable behavior. Still have not heard from Favola or anyone how she is abstaining from taking actions that could be perceived as a conflict of interest.

            Not sure what else to add on her lack of judgment issue other than having read in the Sun Gazette over the past few years how County employees salaries were frozen, library hours curtailed, Gulf Branch possibly closed, other services scaled back, etc.. In addition, no need to get into what is generally going on in the economy. On top of that, the overal Arlington County fees and taxes have continued to outpace inflation (I believe 6.5% this year?).

            I know Favola tried to explain away the 60% salary increase as raising it to a level comparable to Fairfax, but per the Sun “Arlington board members earn more than local-government leaders in most Virginia localities. One exception is in Fairfax County, where supervisors earn $75,000 a year.” This again is a Part-Time job. I know that although I am fortunate not to have lost my job, most have either maintained their existing salary or if lucky received between a 1-3% raise. Not 60%. So, shouldn’t Favola, and other Board members for that matter, voted either to postpone such a raise or raise it by only 3% or something more reasonable?

        • nauckneighbor

          Um…I work with the Arlington County government and if you don’t think they’d retaliate, you haven’t heard of the Arlington Way.

          Yes, she obviously violated a law or formal rule by personally receiving funds from someone who had business before the board. There are numerous citizen comissions where they constantly recuse themselves for a myriad of reasons. We don’t have full time politicians in this county so conflicts of interest will arise. This was a conflict of interest that she chose not to disclose. That non-disclosure is the violation of the law.

          • Thes

            NN: Fair enough on the retaliation side if you have regular, direct dealings with the County Board. I wonder what LyonParkVoter’s excuse is.

            But as to disclosure of the perceived conflict, don’t we know about this in the first place because Favola disclosed the contribution in her campaign filings?

          • Bemused bystander

            We found about it after the fact. The contribution and her vote were in April, all of five days apart. The disclosure didn’t come until quarterly financial reports were filed in July. Thus at the time of the Board hearing and vote, nobody knew to suggest that Ms. Favola recuse herself. And she didn’t take the proper step of doing so herself.

            Of course the situation will be different the next time something involving Shooshan or JBG or BF Saul or Boeing comes before the Board. Those contributions are now disclosed and people can ask.

          • nauckneighbor

            I have absolutely nothing against Barbara and find she has done great work serving on the County Board. The issue for me is that the vote was 3-2, with Barbara’s vote in the majority. You’re right she did disclose it in her election filings, but is anyone monitoring those receipts versus Board Activity? (Other than Jamie’s campaign of course!). She recused herself from the Marymount University vote recently (I am one of those dorks that watches the County Board meetings from home on tv), She could have easily put the decision on the Board Chair and Chris could have put it to rest as a non-issue.
            I will also state my opinion, I do not believe that $500 or $2,500 (I can’t remember the amount) did not sway her vote one bit. I think just some clarification (even if it is after the election) as to what is acceptable behavior for current elected politicians running for office and accepting donations in Arlington.

        • normal

          Thes,

          I think NN was saying the same thing – that if someone really thinks there is a violation, they should file a complaint (but he/she doesn’t think there is one, like you).

          • Thes

            Nope, NN said he/she “wishes” someone would file a complaint. I’m presuming NN isn’t wishing that someone would file a false or frivolous complaint.

          • normal

            I see NN has confirmed your interpretation.

        • Jim

          of course not — you are clearly a staunch ally of the county board. you either work for them or are in love… whichever, your views on everything is tainted with your love affair with the Arlington County Government.

      • LyonParkVoter

        Nauckneighbor – I urge you to assist Jaime and all other outraged voters on the glaring Conficts of Interest.

        According to the County Manager, you can file a complaint to [email protected] !!!!

        At that time, Barbara and her colleagues will decide whether to investigate the complaint or to turn it over to their General Counsel’s Office.

        But, don’t hold your breath. The fact that Favola’s colleagues have also remained quiet on such obvious and repeated violations of the Code of Ethics (it is not just the towing but the numerous donations she’s received from special interests) and which all County employees are expected to abide by, speaks volumes. I guarantee if an employee did the same he would be fired or disciplined.

        It is up to us voters to send not only Favola, the Democratic Establishment/Machine and the other County Board Members the message that Enough is Enough. Many folks complain about this type of behavior. So, here is your chance. Go vote and be heard. If not, don’t complain about ‘business as usual.”

        • Thes

          @LyonParkVoter You say: “I guarantee if an employee did the same he would be fired or disciplined.” I’m confused. How many County employees have a campaign fund for their state legislature campaign? How would this even come up for a County employee?

          • LyonParkVoter

            Let me be clearer. First, my summary of the process was not theoretical. I did call to complain and asked what the process was, if there was a Hotline or Helpline where one could file anonymously or if you provide your name that it is held confidentially.

            That was when I was told to send my email to the Board! When I pointed out that they are asking me to send a complaint of a violation to the perpretator who then will decide what to do with it, the lady laughed and agreed that it was somewhat absurd but that that was the process. I thus chose not to bother and instead will focus my efforts on voting against Favola as well as getting out the vote. That will be alot more effective in my opinion.

            On the second point, what I meant by others violating the Code of Ethics, I meant any part of it. Not that it would be a campaign contribution. So let’s use a simple Conflict of Interest for NN. Let’s say NN is responsible for purchasing a good or service for Arlington County. One of the suppliers that is bidding on a project takes NN to lunch at Rays the Steaks and proceeds to pay for lunch. NN then selects that supplier. Once discovered, NN claims that the supplier is someone he has now for many years, worked together on other projects and so the selection of that supplier had nothing to do with the supplier paying the tab.

            Again, even if that were 100% true, according to the Code NN would be in violation and was required to avoid even this appearance. NN would have been expected to reject the offer to have his lunch paid. I guarantee that he would lose his job.

            In the current situation, you have a 14 year Board Member, who adopted the Code herself, and yet thinks by trying to explain away through changing excuses her multiple contributions from special interests that she is above the Code of Ethics!!! She should be the one setting the example! But, she takes us all for granted.

            If someone still wants to file a complaint, go ahead. I again will focus on ensuring she doesn’t win this primary and hope others will join me.

          • Thes

            But if Favola loses the primary, she stays on the County Board? Isn’t your concern that she acted inappropriately as a Board member?

            Your basic claim, and that of NN, is that a contribution to Favola’s State Senate campaign is equivalent to a personal benefit such as a paid lunch or gift. I’m not sure I agree with this, since, after all, her campaign fund is not her personal bank account. But based on that presumption, you believe Favola should have recused herself from the vote, and NN believes that Favola should have disclosed her conflict.

            I must admit is curious that Advance Towing chose to give the contribution to Favola’s Senate campaign the very same week they had business before the County Board. And as I stated earlier, I don’t think Favola should have accepted this contribution. But then again, if Advanced Towing’s contribution is successful, Favola won’t be on the County Board anymore. Since she was the tie-breaking vote to raise their rates, isn’t that against their interests?

          • Bemused bystander

            @Thes — if the contribution was legal, and if you don’t think Favola broke any law by accepting it, why in your view should she have turned it down? Are some companies too disreputable to donate to campaigns? Or should Favola be more sensitive to appearances of impropriety even if they don’t rise to the level of clear legal or ethical violations?

            Just curious about what lines and distinctions you see.

          • Thes

            @BB A flavor of both of those, and because the resulting political controversy was predictable and not worth the value of contribution. It’s a vague judgement call sort of thing.

          • LyonParkVoter

            I think Favola needed to reject the contribution or step down from the Board if she wants to continue taking donations from special interests with matters before the Board. It is not just the Towing company, but also others such as the various developers that have appeared in the past and continue to do so now and in the future.

            The Conflict of Interest does not arise only if the money goes into her personal bank account. A Conflict of Interest exists when the individual gains a benefit – i.e money for her campaign. Doesn’t matter whether it is for the County Board or Senate race. It is still a benefit to her and thus a conflict of interest to accept it.

            The fact that she received a significant contribution can reasonably be argued by many to have influenced her decision. $2500 is 10 times the average donation as far as I can tell on VPAP. The $25,000 donation she received from Shooshan alone is over 100 times higher.

            Again, when discussing ethics, it is not sufficient to “be right”, the mere appearance of impropriety is a problem which is why we are having these discussions since the integrity of her decision making is called into question. More importantly, that is exactly why the Code itself requires one to AVOID real OR PERCEIVED conflicts.

            It is not against their interests. They already benefit by what is estimated to be at least a quarter of a millin dollars. In addition, the conflict will linger on once she loses the Senate race and she has to vote again on issues that affect the towing industry. If somehow she is still elected, the conflict remains. For example, what if the State decided to impose a ceiling on towing fees. Do you really think Favola will vote for it? She may have reasons for opposing it, but the fact that the towing industry gave a singificant contribution to her campaign will keep the conflict of interest issue alive. Same goes for all the other special interests donating to her.

          • Josh S

            I’d be careful about “guaranteeing” that someone would lose their job over something like that. There are intermediate steps that could also, and would probably, be taken.

          • LyonParkVoter

            I welcome anyone in the public or private sector to try this and see if they hold on to their job. In the example given, it would be even worse as you would also face criminal liability under the Virginia Conflict of Interest Act.

            Bottom line, she is clearly in violation. And not one elected official, newspaper, etc. has stated the obvious. For her fellow Board members, they obviously don’t want to say anything since they likely also have the same problem and so can’t cast the first stone. For many, it is just business as usual. Time to send a message that these rules apply to everyone and not just the rank-and-file. Same issue one sees at the Federal level too as our Congressmen somehow feel they are above reproach and can do whatever they want.

    • Captain Obvious

      Jaime Areizaga-Soto has been endorsed by Senator Chap Peterson, Arlington Commonwealth Attorney Richard E. Trodden, and Delegates Kaye Kory and Scott Surovell, among many others.

    • LyonParkVoter

      Independent Endorsements? Whipple, Howell and Brink are part of the Democratic Establishment/Machine who decided to anoint Favola as the candidate to the point of shamelessly lying about Jaime’s record and donating tens of thousands of dollars against him instead of helping other Democrats win against Republicans who are running in difficult races. The Post is also part of the establishment and their journalism on this race has been so sloppy and lazy that it is impossible to trust anything they say. Their latest article was full of inaccuracies that a simple 30 second Google search would have given them the correct answer. They even misquoted their own articles?! The Sun Gazette as others have pointed out just want Favola to be the candidate in order for Merrick to blast here with the issues being discussed here. Plus, Jaime robs Merick of her two key running points — she is not a career politician and has private sector experience. Both of which she can’t use with Jaime and Jaime does have public sector experience, including in Richmond, which Merrick lacks. Jaime also has many non-Establishment Endorsements. On the Kojo Nnamdi show, they even made fun of Favola when she claimed to be progressive by pointing out that the Post, Moran and others of the Establishment endorsed her. It is interesting to note that all of the progressive groups have endorsed Jaime and not Favola (Virginia New Majority, Virginia Partisans, Blue Virginia, Not Larry Sabato, etc..).

      • JimA

        Wow, I didn’t know that Not Larry Saboto and Blue Virginia were progressive “organizations” – last I looked they were both individuals who like to blog about VA politics. I guess the Sierra Club is also part of the right-wing estabishment. And only in Arlington would Congressman Moran not be considered progressive. Ah, and the Washington Post, right-wing rag and champion of the Tea Party! It seems many of the people posting here are already confirmed Jaime supporters, so be it. But your arguments are laughably disingenuous. Let’s see, since being on the County Board, Barbara has spearheaded the 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness and as all people who are actually actively involved in making a difference in Arlington know, she has been a champion for many nonprofit agencies providing front-line support to Arlington’s neediest residents. If that’s not progressive, I don’t know what is!

        And your arguments about the General Election are totally out-of-whack. South Arlington wasn’t added to the District – McLean, Great Falls and Eastern Loudoun County all fronting the Potomac River were added to the District – not exactly a hot bed of the kind of Progressive banter so cherished by so many of you all who read Not Larry Sabato, Blue Virginia and articles on Arlington Now.

        • LyonParkVoter

          JimA – I never said Moran or other Democrats were not progressive or that the Post was a right wing champion of the Tea Party. Just the opposite, I said the Post is considered to be part of the Democratic Establishment just as Moran, Whipple, Howell, etc.. So no surprise that they would all endorese Favola. I won’t play semantics won whether my word “group” was interpreted by you to be an “organization.” But the fact is that I am willing to admit that with the exception of the Sierra Club, what other group/organization/blog/etc. has endorsed Barbara that is not part of the Establishment?

          If Favola wants to take responsibility for the 10 Year Plan to End Homelesness, that is fine by me. Last time I looked, the number has basically stayed steady in Arlington. But, Favola has done a good job of gentrifying Arlington. Somehow “miraculously” she is always able to approve whatever plans and variances that developers present before her. She likes to then take credit for the handful of low-income housing that was required, but doesn’t show the net effect which is a significant drop in the total number of housing units — over 19,000 lost. (http://greensofarlington.org/issues/affordable-housing/). These figures come from Arlington County itself and HUD. So big deal if she save a few hundred over the years.

          Finally, on the General Election. I took these key themes from Merrick’s platform (http://www.sungazette.net/articles/2011/04/28/arlington/news/nw80j.txt ). She is clearly assuming Favola will be the candidate when the key takeaways are: ““Those skills from the private sector . . . are missing in the public square,” and I have private sector experience and am not a “career politician.” She also says people want someone new. All targeted to Favola. Jaime again has private sector exprience, is not a “career politician” and is someone new that will bring new energy and new voters to the Democratic party. To be clear, I am not saying Republicans will vote for Jaime, but I do think it will say Independents to vote for Jaime.

  • Runaway Train

    I can’t in good conscious vote for Favola because she accepted a contribution from Advanced Towing. They are the bottom feeders of the towing business.
    “Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation.” George Washington.

  • Homeowner

    If Barbara Favola’s record of medicrity can be equated to “common-sense, middle-ground representation”, than God help us all. Seriously, the only good thing about her representing us in Richmond is that she’d be off the County Board.

    • PikeMan

      at least that is consistent with the Sun-Gazette’s record of mediocre journalism. 🙂

  • Jim Webster

    Two elements of Englin’s statement are evidence of the weakness of the Areizaga-Soto campaign:

    1. He offers only innuendo, not evidence, that “senior Democratic leaders in the Virginia Senate continue to attack and belittle Areizaga-Soto,”

    2. He repeats, from the campaign literature, the claim that “President Obama appointed to a high-level position at the U.S. Agency for International Development.” The fact is that Areizaga-Soto briefly served in a mid-level job at USAID. Presidents don’t appoint lawyers to such positions. An example of resume-padding that affirmed my vote for Favola.

    • PikeMan

      1) Senior democratic leaders have been sending out that evidence themselves, as recently as last week:

      http://bluevirginia.us/diary/4566/mary-margaret-whipple-now-mary-margaret-whipple-then

      2) Presidents absolutely appoint lawyers to USAID, especially their general counsel office, in this case Jaime was a Senior Attorney Advisor:

      http://www.sorenseninstitute.org/newsroom/asides/jaime-areizaga-soto-joins-usaids-general-counsel-office

      • Jim Webster

        PikeMan you prove my point. The letter you cite is from Senator Whipple, not multiple leaders, and it merely sets the record straight rather than attacks or belittles.
        The Sorenson Institute press release acknowledges that he was one of 80-some lawyers, not “a high official” in USAID.
        Q.E.D.

        • LyonParkVoter

          First of all it says 60. These lawyers are career lawyers so it is not a point of reference or comparison.

          To be a Senior Attorney Advisor to the GC is a Presidentially appointed position and that requires candidates to go through a rigorous vetting process. As is common with most administrations, there are hundreds of positions that never get filled due to a lack of qualifications or candidates not being able to get past the vetting.

          What is your source that being an advisor to the GC is a “mid-level” position? Working closely and advising the GC is not what the other 60 lawyers were doing. The position is also listed in the Plum Book if you’d bother to look it up before writing statements that are not based on fact.

          • Bemused bystander

            @LyonParkVoter: Since we’re talking about credentials, what is your connection with Jaime’s campaign? paid staff? active volunteer? contributor?

          • LyonParkVoter

            I am not paid staff. I simply became outraged by the antics of the Democratic Establishment on trying to force a candidate upon us instead of having the voters choose. I have never been active in any campaign in the past either. But, seeing what is going on and what is a clear ethical violation by Favola, I have become more fully engaged for the first time — as have many others. I also think the latest dishonest actions by Whipple and the more desperate smear attacks by Favola definitely further strengthened my convictions that Jaime should be our next Senator and that this primary vote should also serve as a referendum by voters on our disgust of “business as usual.”

            If I didn’t have a full time job, I wish I could volunteer, but at a minimum I did donate what I could to his campaign. But, I am not a developer, towing company nor special interest that has to appear before Favola for any form of approval! 😉

  • WTF?

    She has a track record alright….A record for running around in circles. In my mind, the less experience the better. Say no to career politicians especially ones that sing the same old song and dance.

    • AllenB

      The less experience the better? Then say hello to George Bush and Sarah Palin.

      • Lou

        And Obama, amirite!?

        • AllenB

          Actually, I’m just disillusioned enough with him to agree with you.

          • nauckneighbor

            +20

          • DD

            I have been quite impressed with his jellyfish-like approach to governance.

          • What were you expecting? Hope and/or Change?

            B.O. Stinks

            Hillary was the better man for the job.

          • AllenB

            Actually, I was a big Hillary supporter to begin with…. and still am.

          • SouthArlJD

            Crap! I am SO sick of so-called progressives cracking on Obama, who is the victim of a concerted, deliberate campaign to render anything he attempts impossible. That he’s been able to accomplish what he has – and it’s quite a lot – is a testament to his toughness. PUMAs fantasizing about a progressive Hillary Clinton who never was need to get over themselves. She would have been in the same position as Obama because this is all about the GOP seizing control by making the President a one term President. Maybe they would have been more accommodating to Hillary, but that’s only because she would have been more accommodating to them. For heaven’s sake she talked about seeking input from Alan Greenspan! Have we forgotten that President Bill Clinton presided over a huge cut in Medicare spending, the signing of NAFTA, and assorted other goodies near and dear to GOP hearts? Hillary would not have been able to go any farther than Obama and probably would have been far more amenable to all those entitlements cuts we keep hearing Obama allegedly supports (but without ANY evidence whatsoever). His alleged support is actually just more rumor-mongering from the disappointed lefty lefts, the PUMAs who would rather see a Democratic President go down than support him against a vicious tide of GOP push back.

  • WTF?

    Allen,

    Whenever anyone goes right to the GB card I typically disregard and move on. Especially when you’re comparing the 31st District state Senate seat to being POTUS. GB and so many before him, to include BO, shared the same political report card prior to becoming President. Governor this….1/2 term Senator that. Really? BO spent his entire term running for president. He was as spineless in the votes he cast (when he did) as he is now. To be honest…Hillary was the only worthy one out of the bunch, and I am a republican normally. I say that because I have voted Dem when it made sense to me.

    My point is that we keep putting the same play dough into the same mold.

    • AllenB

      To a large extent, I agree with you… experience matters. But I believe it matters at all levels, not just national.

      See my comment about being disillusioned about BO. And I agree that Hillary was the only worthy one – that’s why I supported her, financially and organizationally, during the primaries.

  • intheknow

    @LyonParkVoter = Shayna Englin team paid by Jaime

    Very knowledgeable, sticks to message, just like Dave.

    • Bemused bystander

      And hasn’t yet responded to direct question asking about credentials. Maybe took the night off …

      • LyonParkVoter

        Hi Bemused bystander! Not sure what question on credentials you are talking about, but am happy to go research it. I did correct someone who misquoted the number of attorneys at USAID which was in the link they cited. I also was not able to find anything to back-up the claim that Jaime was a mid-level USAID employee, but maybe someone will find that. Seeing that it is an appointee position listed in the Plum Book and that the position serves to advise the GC, I doubted that it would be considered “mid-level.” BTW, I know about the Plum Book since I tried to have the new Obama Administration appoint me to a position – any position. Didn’t even get a call back or email acknowledging that I had sent them my resume and application! Doh!

        • Bemused bystander

          LPV — I asked you this earlier tonight: “@LyonParkVoter: Since we’re talking about credentials, what is your connection with Jaime’s campaign? paid staff? active volunteer? contributor?”

          You said below you’re not paid staff. How about being an active volunteer and/or contributor?

    • LyonParkVoter

      Paid? I wish. Yes, I plan to vote for Jaime, but just because I support him doesn’t mean I’m being paid.

      I do take the time to read up on the claims being made by each candidate and call it the way I see it based on the facts. For example, on the Conflicts Issue, not the Post nor the Sun bothered to even read the Code of Ethics (http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/CountyManager/Documents/file79595.pdf). The Post even misquoted its own reporting which they linked to?!

      How can anyone interpret “Adhere to conflict-of-interest rules and AVOID activities with real OR PERCEIVED conflicts of interest” in any other way and claim it is not being violated? Anyone? Intheknow?

      This is factual. Or would anyone like to tell me how else to interpret this clear English? I also happen to have trained employees at my business on Ethics, including Conflicts of Interest which is why I am so certain that this is a big issue and that at my company or in government this is not permitted.

      If there is anything factually incorrect, I’m happy to stand corrected and will be the first to admit.

      PS: Thanks for calling me knowledgeable and recognizing my efforts to read up and research the claims being made. 🙂

  • Charlie

    Get this… I was talking to an affirmed democrat and multiple decade voter in 22207 and she said she had no idea who was running. And I pointed out, but you get a mailer everyday from these two clowns, don’t you. And she said, no, haven’t seen a thing. Amazing.
    Does anyone ver ask why these people spend so much for a thankless poorly paid job? I’m all for public service but……

    • yequalsy

      I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make, but I know this 22207 voter is quite happy he gets to sit this senate race out. I wouldn’t want to have to make a choice in this race.

    • normal

      It’s very simple, Charlie – not all of 22207 is in the 31st district.

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