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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com January 5, 2012 at 8:15 am 3,220 76 Comments

Arlington Seeks Contractor to ‘Dump Bodies’ — Updated on 1/6/12 — This article has been corrected. Earlier: Among the “just in case” categories of contracting work for which Arlington County is seeking potential applicants is corpse handling. Listed under the heading “Dump Bodies,” the job would be awarded in the event of a disaster involving mass casualties. [Washington Business Journal]

Local Dems to Require Loyalty Oath, Too — The Republican Party of Virginia has been facing some scrutiny over its plan to require voters in the upcoming Republican presidential primary to sign a “loyalty oath.” Arlington Democrats, however, are planning to require something very similar for participants in their upcoming County Board caucuses. Caucus voters will be required to sign a statement pledging their support for the eventual Democratic County Board nominee. [Ode Street Tribune]

Cap City Launches Sunday Brunch Service — Capitol City Brewing Company in Shirlington is now serving brunch on Sundays. The brunch service, which features familiar brunch fare and “free-flowing” cocktails for a fixed price of $15.95, started on Jan. 1. [Facebook]

Obama to Visit Pentagon — President Obama is scheduled to visit the Pentagon around 10:50 this morning. While there, the president is slated to deliver a speech that will guide the Defense Department’s upcoming budget decisions. The speech comes as the Pentagon faces hundreds of billions of dollars in budget cuts. [Associated Press]

  • In case you’re interested, video from last night’s Arlington County Board Democratic debate is available here.


  • SteveP

    Does anyone know how the Democratic Caucus differs from the primaries (for both parties)? I’m mostly curious about how they are paid for. Taxpayer money or not? I couldn’t find anything in the article or following a quick google.

    • Thes

      Primaries (which are run by the government with taxpayer money) are not permitted in special elections, according to Virginia law. That leaves the Arlington Democrats with the decision about how to choose a nominee themselves. They have chosen a process that opens the decision to all Arlington Democrats, instead of their usual committee of about 200 people.

      You can also see that under state party rules (pdf), Arlington Democrats have no choice about the loyalty oath, either.

      • Burger

        The oaths are stupid. What happens if you don’t vote Democratic/Republican and you signed the oath…um…nothing.

      • SteveP

        Thank you.

        • Bob Platt

          The caucuses are paid by the political parties. For example, the Democrats will pay the normal rent for using W-L HS and Kenmore Middle School. Primaries are taxpayer funded. By statute, they are “open” because in Virginia, voters do not register by party. The Republicans have filed lawsuits in the past claiming that open primaries violate their First Amendment rights. A caucus is a private gathering, while a primary is an official government activity. So, a primary and a caucus are not comparable.

  • NrNy2ArlVa

    Hey Frank and Mike looks like we got a sign worth picking.

    • jack

      Ha! Nice observation. Don’t know if it would fit in their van though.

      • NrNy2ArlVa

        If it doesn’t fit, then lets ship it out to Vegas so Rick can do a restoration.

  • CrystalMikey

    Finally being torn down!

  • Josh S

    This is a joke, right?

    “Dump Bodies?” Did a county employee come up with that headline?

    • KalashniKEV

      It’s all part of Obama Phase II. They’re most likely located near the FEMA Re-Education/ Death Camps. Google it.

      • Josh S

        I did Google it. I don’t know what to say.

      • Wow!

        There’s a lot of people off their meds out there

        • BoredHouseWife

          Arlington Should hire blackwater. I hear they do outstanding work on getting rid of bodies.

          • The problem is, some of the bodies you’d like to get rid of actually work for Arlington!

          • Josh S

            Now known as Xe. (So as to avoid the negative connotations associated with their original name. Sort of like Philip Morris becoming Altria…..)

          • CantKeepUp

            Actually, I believe the mercenaries formally known as Blackwater/Xe are now named “Academi”


          • Josh S

            Dang it. You’re right. I think they should just go ahead and change their name to an un-pronounceable symbol so that we can call them “The Corporation Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken.”

          • KalashniKEV

            Who told you that?

      • Lee-n-Glebe

        I did just Google it. Crazy stuff.

    • Good Grief

      I think I need to watch a Disney movie after reading that..

      • Done and Done

        As long as you don’t watch Bambi. I’m pretty sure it was Marines that shot Bambi’s mother as a prelude to FEMA. . .

  • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

    Please Read this:

    The democrats want YOU to sign an oath but they won”t sign their own.

    The candidates agree that if they loose the January caucus that they won’t run as Independents in the March special election.


    Candidate Bondi refuses to agree that she if she looses the caucus for the special election that she won’t run AGAIN for the regular November election thus forcing another primary. While they are technically two different elections it is disrespectful towards the Arlington voters to think they’d change their mind in six months.

    Apparently what is good for the goose isn’t good for the gander.

    Democratic candidates need to sign an oath that if they do not win the January caucus that they will not run as Independents in March AND that they will not to run (pathetically) again for the November election.

    • AllenB

      Sorry, but I see those as two separate issues entirely. I’m okay with the pledge not to run as an independent.

      But, many things can happen between March and November. The elected board member may not perform well, people may not like their voting record, ethics issues may arise, etc, etc, etc. To pledge not to run in November is, to me, a bit irresponsible. And I agree with Melissa Bondi that she shouldn’t make that pledge.

      • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

        Try this Allenb:
        The senate primary for the democrats is June 12. The filing deadline is April 30.
        IF there was a reason for the dems to hold anoter primary, as described above, for the county board. They would probably also do it on June 12. And the filing deadline would also be in April.
        Sooo things would havE to change between the election on March 27 and April 30 — just 30 days.
        But Bondi won’t agree to this. And the other candidates will agree. What does that say about character?

    • Paco Wellington III

      Maybe Bondi will get a job before November and not have time to provide her superior qualifications (e.g., no job, no real estate, no kids, no experience, but a lot of self-delusional attitude) to the masses.

      Why is the democratic party holding a “caucus” that will be attended by the few, rather than letting the VOTERS decide in an election?

      Candidates self identify their party for County Board positions in a special election, so the “caucus” is just a means to attempt to control the voters. Shame.

      • drax

        The ONLY difference between a caucus and a primary is that you have to go to a different (central) location that might be a little further from your home than if they held a primary. Big deal. The voters still decide.

        Holding an entire election with voting booths and volunteers and all that just for a special election for a county board seat is excessive. A caucus is easier and cheaper.

    • Josh S

      What the parties do is really irrelevant, but I think it’s definitely a bad idea to make anyone sign any kind of oath pledging to step aside and/or hew to the party line. What is this, Soviet Russia? And I definitely can’t see why anyone would actually sign the thing.

      There is, after all, a legal procedure for getting your name on the ballot. I’m not sure that party affiliation or lack thereof has anything to do with that process.

      Primaries are simply the activities of a club. Yes, a very powerful and well-known club, but still – a club. The county government continues operating without a hitch if the Democratic party and/or Republican party fall off the face of the Earth tomorrow.

      Parties are temporary, artificial and illusory and the sooner we realize this and get past the stranglehold that the Dems and Republicans have on domestic politics, the better.

      • LesleyG

        Excellent summary of the situation. The party’s can do whatever they want in their own caucus.

        “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to !”

      • Bluemontsince1961

        “Parties are temporary, artificial and illusory and the sooner we realize this and get past the stranglehold that the Dems and Republicans have on domestic politics, the better.”

        I agree, Josh. And I wonder about this whole “loyalty oath” stuff – it reminds me of the McCarthy era or the old USSR; I’m not comfortable with either party doing that. Since I’m not a Democrat, I’m not supposed to vote in Dem primaries. Ditto Republican since I’m not Pub either.

    • drax

      Your objection is complete bull. Bondi’s doing nothing wrong or disrespectful. No candidate should make a pledge not to run against an incumbent simply because they are an incumbent. That’s downright anti-Democratic. Good for Bondi.

      And learn to spell “lose.”

      • Josh S

        Whether or not it is anti-Democratic, I wouldn’t know. But it’s definitely anti-democratic.

        • drax

          You got me there Josh.

  • Garden City

    I intend to sign their loyalty oath and then vote for whomever I wish in the election. And I’ll do the same thing in the GOP primary. Election loyalty oaths are completely unenforceable. They don’t want voters. They want sheep.

    • John Fontain

      Exactly. There is no record of who you vote for. Therefore, these “oaths” are meaningless.

      • Clarendon

        Any oath is meaningless then. It is always reliant on the integrity of the signer.

    • drax

      Everyone calm down.

      The loyalty oath is nothing more than an attempt to discourage cross-party voting. Virginia doesn’t register voters by party, so they can’t exclude non-party members from their primaries or caucuses, so they do this. It has no legal meaning and can’t be enforced, that’s true – nor is it the least bit outrageous. It’s not unreasonable to ask someone who participates in a party nomination process to promise to support the party even if their first choice of candidate doesn’t win. If you aren’t going to do that, maybe you should just stay home, Garden City.

      • Tabs

        Not outrageous? Yes it is.

        It’s McCarthyism.

        • drax

          Oh, for God’s sake. Don’t insult real McCarthyism.

    • Lou

      What you should do is challenge the person that asks you to sign about the part of the oath that says “I am a Democrat”. Since you are not registered by party in Virginia, you should ask how they define Democrat and how you would know if you are officially a Democrat.

    • Arlwhenver

      In a sane moment, in an otherwise embarassing run up to the Super Tuesday no-choice primary, it looks like the Republicans are getting ready to ditch their version loyalty oath.


    • Bluemontsince1961

      “They don’t want voters. They want sheep.”

      Exactly, Garden City.

  • JamesE

    I demand a blood oath

  • Soarlslacker

    Baa-baa-baa…why don’t they just have an oath and a toll? Forcing people to sign an un-enforceable oath is stupid and a waste of paper/trees. Do they ID check? Demand to see your Driver’s License, Passport, and Voter Registration Card…and verify those docs with testing and database analysis? How about requiring DNA results? Is this just another manner of parties collecting your personal information so that email, robocall and direct mail you to death? I am tired of having to recite my address in front of strangers when I vote. When did my address become public information?
    Do they still force children to say the pledge of allegiance in public schools? If they do, under whose god is this country run? Only the Christian god, it appears.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      “Is this just another manner of parties collecting your personal information so that email, robocall and direct mail you to death?”

      It makes a person wonder Soarlslacker.

    • bemused bystander

      When you register to vote — i.e. to participate in public democratic decision-making — the fact that you’re registered becomes public information, along with the address at which you register. Your phone number and email address may be collected by the registrar only so they can contact you if there’s some technical problem with your registration form. As far as I know, political parties, candidates and ordinary curious people can’t get your phone number or email address from the voter lists. If I remember right, the Democrats don’t require you to provide that data either in order to vote in a caucus. So there still are some limits to intrusiveness.

  • charlie

    i vote in all elections and primaries possible (D and R).
    I sign all oaths. Because as of 7 PM on January 19 that is what I feel. I may change my mind though and I’m entitled to do that. This particular oath is not quite worth the paper on which it is printed.
    And from a moral point of view, this oath it isn’t up there very high up.

    • exactly

      thank you.

    • drax

      So your signature has no integrity, huh charlie?

      I don’t blame you for ignoring this oath, but don’t brag about it too loudly.

      • charlie

        i plan to honor the oath. my plans may change.

  • PotentialSlacker

    Stop with the unrelated pictures!!

    • What kind of photo would you have preferred today?

      • Clarendude

        This would have went well with one of the articles


        • Clarendude

          Actually, the thought for the picture came more from the slightly parnoid “FEMA” comment, more than what the article was about.

      • TGEoA

        Something with tits.

        • Josh S

          Yeah, when is the “Girls of ARLNow Swimsuit Calendar” coming out, anyway?

      • drax

        Dumped bodies?

    • charlie

      do you really think it is unrelated to the “body dumping” article?

      • Fat Zimmie

        I used to dump bodies at that rundown motel. Now, where will I find a similar place to dump bodies?

        And, no Bondi is not just fat zimmerman in drag.

        • charlie

          that gives me chills.

    • OX4

      Stop with the unrelated pictures posts!

      • CourthouseChris

        Stop with the unrelated pictures posts replies!

  • Nicolas

    Another way to view the “loyalty oath” is as a public declaration of party affiliation. While it is true there is no penalty or way to police the oath, that doesn’t mean this oath of conscience is meaningless. I’m sure that party-switching could pose problems for those who want to run for public office in the future (especially in Arlington). While ballots for local elections do not include party affiliation, that doesn’t mean these elections are not partisan.

  • rosslynboom

    where is that picture from?

  • Arlingtonian

    I like the morning notes pictures. They don’t have to be relevant to the news briefs/blurbs. It’s just like a “news briefs” or “digest” page in a newsweekly or newspaper – a random “picture of the week” that’s relevant to the community in some way but doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the news briefs on the same page. I hope you won’t change them – I like seeing the intriguing glimpses of our area that they represent. Maybe a brief line or two explaining what or where it is would be good to satisfy any curiosity.

    And speaking of which … where and what is the motel shown in the picture, by the way?

    • Arlingtonian

      Hahaha … nevermind, I just clicked on it and saw the caption! 🙂

  • Tre

    I am Pro-Unrelated Pictures!

  • Diana Sun

    My apologies for the original incorrect informatio­n that I gave to Mike Neibauer of the Washington Business Journal. The category “dump bodies” refers to dump trucks — apparently this type of major equipment is purchased in components­. All local government­s — including Arlington County — are constantly “leaning forward” to prepare for emergencie­s of all types … but this purchasing category is of a more day-to-day purpose.

    Diana Sun, Director of Communicat­ions, Arlington County, Virginia

    • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

      well that takes the fun out of it. 🙂

    • Josh S


    • Larry

      Diana, this is your quote from the WBJ article: “It is literally to do with helping handling corpses.”

      Were you misquoted?

      • Larry: No, she was not misquoted — she was misinformed.

        • Larry


          Also, the WBJ just published a follow-up that kind of rakes you guys a little for giving him such horribly wrong info:

          “In reporting, as in life, if you have a question, you ask the appropriate authority and then, assuming you’re confident in the answer, you write or repeat what you’re told.”

    • Josh S

      Under “D” is one chilling category: “Dump Bodies.” Diana Sun, Arlington spokeswoman, said “Dump Bodies” falls under disaster recovery. “It is literally to do with helping handling corpses.”

      So he misquoted you?

      • Larry



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