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UPDATED: Another Sweep for Arlington Democrats

by ARLnow.com November 6, 2012 at 8:15 pm 16,026 140 Comments

(Updated at 1:25 a.m.) Exuberant local Democrats are celebrating the reelection of President Barack Obama and yet another electoral sweep in Arlington. All local Democratic candidates and ballot questions have emerged victorious in the county.

“It’s a great night to be a Democrat!” reelected County Board member Libby Garvey told an enthusiastic, capacity crowd at the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse on Columbia Pike. Shortly thereafter, the room exploded with jubilation as CNN called the presidential race for Obama.

“Four more years! Four more years!” the crowd chanted and people hugged and jumped in the air.

Garvey, an incumbent, defeated Republican Matt Wavro and Green Party candidate Audrey Clement. With all but absentee ballots counted, Garvey has 58 percent of the vote, while Wavro has 28 percent and Clement has 12 percent.

Garvey will now serve a four-year term on the County Board. She first joined the Board following a special election in March. Garvey said her message of independence from the four other Democrats on the County Board — including opposition to the Columbia Pike streetcar — resonated with voters.

“We’re strongly Democratic… [but] I think people want an independent voice,” she said. “I think we can have an independent voice within the Democratic party. We don’t all have to agree all the time.”

Despite losing the race, Wavro said he was encouraged by the response he received while meeting Arlington voters. He said he hopes his campaign helps to encourage more earnest participation in and official consideration of the county’s civic processes.

“I think we’ll see more of an eye towards individuals expecting their public input to be public input and not just a part of a process toward a foregone conclusion,” Wavro said.

Despite a criminal investigation involving his son and former campaign field director, Democratic Rep. Jim Moran has defeated repeat Republican challenger Patrick Murray. Moran has 64 percent of the vote in Virginia’s eighth congressional district, to Murray’s 31 percent. This will be Moran’s 12th term in office.

“I just hope that with this 12th election for Jim, that he finally sees it as not a mandate to act and say anything with impunity, but to finally put people over partisanship and do something that is helpful for the country and helpful for the district and not just himself,” Murray told ARLnow.com.

Murray said he was happy with his campaign’s effort but disappointed with the outcome. He conceded that it was an uphill battle from the start.

“We’re in a difficult district that is gerrymandered specifically for Jim Moran. We worked so hard, almost from the end of the last election in 2010, but it is a tough, tough district,” Murray said. The retired Army colonel hinted that he might pursue job opportunities in the private sector instead of preparing for another rematch with Moran.

Independent Jason Howell is in third place in the congressional race, with 3 percent of the vote, while Independent Green hopeful Janet Murphy has 2 percent. Howell did better in Arlington, capturing nearly 5 percent of the vote.

Voters have said yes to all four Democrat-supported bond referenda. Three — the Metro, schools and community infrastructure bonds — are blowouts, with 73 to more 81 percent of voters saying yes. The results are a bit tighter — about 61 percent in favor to 39 percent against — for a parks bond that contains funding for a proposed $70+ million Long Bridge Park aquatics and fitness center. The center has drawn criticism for its high price tag.

Statewide and national races also came up roses for Arlington Democrats.

President Obama won 69 percent of the vote in Arlington to Mitt Romney’s 29 percent. The president is winning Virginia by 51 percent of the vote to 48 percent for Romney.

U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine (D) defeated Republican George Allen in Arlington by a margin of 68 percent to 31 percent. Statewide, Kaine won 52 percent of the vote to Allen’s 48 percent. The projection for Kaine’s victory was announced earlier to wild applause at the Democratic victory party at the Drafthouse, which spilled over to P. Brennan’s Irish Pub across the street due to capacity issues. Democratic officials estimated a crowd of nearly 650.

Mike Lieberman, chairman of the Arlington County Democratic Committee, told ARLnow.com that Arlington residents trust Democrats to lead the county through good times and through “new challenges” like an upcoming budget crunch and ongoing school capacity issues.

“I think what this says is that Arlington values and appreciates good government,” said Lieberman. “I think Arlington is everything you aspire a community to be: low unemployment, good schools, low crime, good management of the budget. People continue to elect Democrats who deliver that good government as a validation of the job that they’re doing.”

Congressman Moran, in a statement, said this election was a “vindication” for Democrats.

“Tonight was a vindication of the President’s efforts to get our country back on track after the worst recession in our nation’s history,” he said. “Tim Kaine will be our next Senator, a good, decent man who will serve the commonwealth with great distinction. Our nation faces major challenges that demand solutions. We owe it to the American people to come together and work towards reaching the kind of compromise necessary to get the country again moving forward.”

The closest electoral contest in Arlington is one of the two proposed amendments to the Virginia constitution. By a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent, Arlington residents voted in favor of amending the constitution to make it more difficult for local governments to seize private land through the use of eminent domain. The amendment is passing by a margin of 75 percent to 25 percent statewide.

Democrat-affiliated School Board candidates Noah Simon and incumbent Emma Violand-Sanchez, who ran unopposed for two board seats, have both been elected.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, a total of 117,474 votes were recorded in Arlington in the presidential race. That makes for an 84 percent turnout among the 139,740 active registered voters in the county. Local election officials say they did their best to keep up with the massive turnout at polling stations.

“A large number of Arlingtonians exercised their right to vote today,” said Charlene Bickford, chairman of the Arlington County Electoral Board. “There were some places where the turnout was big enough to cause long lines… In my experience, it was the largest crunch we’ve had in a while.”

Bickford said officials will likely be discussing ways to reduce lines during the next presidential election.

“We’re definitely going to have to look at the number of [voting] machines we have,” she said.

  • Duh

    Oh I love the diversity of Arlington and it’s board

    • travel agent

      allow me to avail you of my services

    • Terry Carter

      Oh, this tired old “lack of diversity” argument again? The board reflects the electorate of the county. They’re elected, not appointed. Cry me a river. Or just move somewhere else. We’re consistently voted one of the stop places to live in the country so you’re welcome to leave if you want.

      • Banksy

        +1 billion

      • Not Me


      • DCBuff

        Oh, I love tbe tolerance that is so rampant here. If you disagree, leave! All that does, other than make one sound like an inane middle schooler, is prove someone else’s point. In Arlington at least, the prevailing political view is of liberal Dems. Should we segregate out those that have differing ideas? Might be the Arlington Way, but it certainly isn’t the American Way.

        • Not Me

          Yeah, but they bitch about the fact that they are a minority. Whah whah whah.

          It is what it is. Deal.

          • Runner

            I suppose we could make that argument against any minority group. We’re looked down upon, however, when we do.

          • Josh S

            Not exactly.

            If you bitch about Yankees fans in Boston, you wouldn’t get any grief for it….

      • Joe

        Carter: Arlington has proximity go DC going for it, and that’s about it. And if the board reflected the electorate, it wouldn’t be all left wing Dems.

      • southie

        “The board reflects the electorate of the county.” Yes, arrogant, entitled, and eager to spend other peoples’ money.

    • SteamboatWillie

      “its” board. You’re welcome.

  • novasteve

    Arlington = Non thinking robots

    • Tommy

      Terry Carter’s remarks apply to you, too, Steve.

    • Captain_Obvious

      agree, how could all 4 Arl county finance projects pass ?

      • Josh S

        I remember when I was 8 or 9 and the Raiders beat the Vikings in the Super Bowl. I was devastated – I hated the Raiders. I stood looking out the window wondering who would ever beat the Raiders again…..and how it could have been that the Vikings lost…..

        It’s reality. Face it.

        • Captain_Obvious

          Horrible comparison. I know its reality, I get it. I just don’t think the people who voted yes for all 4 understand where the $150+ Million is coming from…

          • drax

            You think a majority of voters in Arlington have no idea what they were voting for?

          • novasteve

            Yes. They prove it constantly by voting the way they do.

          • drax

            Stop insulting everyone who disagrees with you, steve. People can have a different opinion from yours and not be stupid.

          • Runner

            Drax…pot, kettle, and all that.

          • Captain_Obvious

            I think some didn’t have a clue. How can people continuously cry poor and vote yes on $150 Million projects that are wants and not needs ?

          • Josh S

            Yes, I know it’s not a particularly good comparison. But it popped into my mind and I, at least, found it mildly amusing.

            By the way, after interest, it’s a lot more than $150 million.

            I’d contribute $5 to commission a poll of Arlington residents to see if they understand that “contracting for a bond” (or whatever the language is) means to borrow money. I’m guessing that over 50% do understand that.

      • Runner

        Because voting the party line is easier than thinking!

    • SteamboatWillie

      But you’re leaving, right? Please don’t be a stranger on this site – your musings are comedy gold to us robots.

    • drax

      Stop it, steve.

      Insulting people and calling them idiots just because they don’t agree with you is pathetic. This is why people don’t listen to you. Have some respect and maybe you’ll get some respect.

      • Captain_Obvious

        dynaroo…pot, meet kettle.

    • You lost

      Ha ha. You lose.

  • Greg

    I would be willing to bet that if the Long Bridge Park pool was put on separately it would not have passed. But uneducated voters are for parks and rex without a price tag. Democracy failed.

    • douglas park resident

      “Uneducated voters are for parks and rex without a price tag…” Give me a break. Greg – you are entitled to your opinions, but let’s not judge others or call them ‘uneducated’ just because they don’t see agree with you. I can assure you the many very well educated people supported the parks bond.

      • Williamsburg

        I believe he’s stating that they are uneducated on what the bond money is actually being spent for; not that they are uneducated in general. I agree with him.

        • Josh S

          Same answer. You’re still condescending in the worst way….

        • WeiQiang

          It’s funny. I didn’t see the vote-against-the-“Luxury Pools Center” signs until last night. To call me uneducated when that tripe is being thrown around smacks mildly of hypocrisy. As for knowing on what and how the money will be spent, I’m good, thanks. For the record, I did not vote for all of the bonds.

      • SomeGuy

        As much as you can “assure” us that many “very well-educated people supported the parks bond,” I can assure you that many people, regardless of their formal education, supported the parks bond with a general touchy-feely “I like parks” mentality without understanding that they were supporting the construction of a lavish aquatics facility at Long Bridge Park.

        Would you dispute that?

        • WeiQiang

          I’ve been following the planning for, progress on and sometimes-disappointing execution of Long Bridge Park for years. I like the concept and I believe in the long-term viability and value to the County, to its citizens, and to the region … especially from the aquatiques centre . I’m looking at the Park and the aquatiques centre site right now. Within sight are also some of the most iconic images in the world and I think there is value in having a facility that is consistent with that … over and above the functional utility for the people who said they wanted and those who said they want to pay for it. Sometimes “touchy-feely” works as a component of the entire value; look at “Good Will” on a balance sheet.

          As for the mentality on which many people [is that 50 people or some large percentage of the people that voted for the bond?] voted, you’re guess is as good as mine. Given what I read from the Friends Of Luxurious Cement Ponds (facetious), I think that many of them and I don’t comport with your vision.

          • WeiQiang


            … your guess …

          • SomeGuy

            WeiQiang, I appreciate your recognition that my guess is as good as yours. That’s really the point I was trying to make in response to douglas park resident‘s (dpr’s) “assurance.” DPR assures us that some “educated” people voted for the referendum, and I’d concur that many likely did. The flip-side of that argument, which was Greg’s point, is that many who voted for it were likely NOT educated on what they were voting for. DPR’s tone attempts to dismiss that idea.

            I maintain my suspicion that a majority of people who voted for the general referendum, “Do you support bonds for parks?” (which reads like “Do you think puppies are cute?”) are not as astute about the specific park plan as you appear to be.

            I think that describes what Greg was getting at.

          • DCBuff

            I actually think SG hits at least part of it. There is an element to the “uninformed” (not “uneducated”) voter as well as the general sentiment favoring parks. Some of the comments on yesterday’s threads bear this out–the voting was taking longer in part because people showed up unaware/uninformed of the two state constitution amendments. Similarly, I expect a sizeable portion of voters did not fully comprehend the financial issues concerning the Luxurious Cement Pond, but voted based on favoring parks more generally.

          • WeiQiang

            SG & DCB: I’m feeling you both. It would be an interesting – if academic – exercise to parse the reasons behind the votes, both for and against. Anything to lead me to some clues about how we can help improve fiscal responsibility on a continuing basis, rather than only periodic votes.

            I’m wondering [genuinely] how pervasive this is throughout the bond issue spectrum. I see elsewhere in this thread about libs and their spending in ArlCo. I think the spending votes on the bonds is more bipartisan, because people connect the spending to their neighborhoods (parks/infrastructure) and kids (schools bond) more than they do to their party affiliation. I live in Arl Ridge and our CA is aMAHzing at procuring streetlights, sidewalks, and decorative rocks (to prevent cars from rolling out of parks and killing pedestrians, which really happened). Arl Ridge is quite purple, politically. I think residents red and blue vote for their neighborhood parks and their kids before they think bigger picture. That’s my guess, but I’ll be interested to see the precinct breakout of the election results.

        • Josh S

          First of all, your argument is damaged by the use of “lavish.” The use of the adjective there detracts from any kind of potential objectivity in posing the question.

          Second, what’s wrong with a “general touchy-feely ‘I like parks’ mentality?” The value in parks is almost all “touchy-feely”, plus maybe health and environmental quality.

          • SomeGuy

            Josh S, first of all, your argument is damaged by the suggestion that my comment implies that the referendum question should written exactly how my comment was written, verbatim.

            Second, I didn’t make judgement about the value of “touchy-feely.” I stated my suspicion that many voters are not as astute about bond specifics, and could be influenced to vote on a specific referendum when they’re presented with the touchy-feely generality.

            Are you attempting to dispute that?

          • WeiQiang

            Do you think that there are as many voters who vote AGAINST bond issues who don’t know the specifics as voters who vote FOR bond issues who don’t know the specifics?

            If you’re saying that the process could be improved if we knew the answer and a more effective information campaign would improve the bond voting process, I’m game. If it’s all about your “suspicion that a majority of people who voted for the general referendum … are not as astute about the specific park plan as [ I ] appear to be”, I’m thinking that you’re not going to try to assuage your concerns and you’ll be forever suspicious. I just picked up on the ‘not as astute’ part. As explained elsewhere, I think the phenomenon has more to do with self-interest on the part of the [pretty astute] voters than with a lack of astutitude, tcf.

          • SomeGuy

            I think it depends on the issues and the phrasing. In this particular case, the wording of the parks/rec referendum seemed pretty touchy-feely (see my “Do you think puppies are cute?” hyperbole above.)

            Also, consider how easily the eminent domain referendum passed. Even though the Dems’ sample ballot encouraged a “No” vote (presumably because it would make it harder for the state to exercise eminent domain), when the voter doesn’t know what the specific change to the law is (“Does this amendment make it harder or easier for government to steal my property, and to what end? Who should I trust? Uh oh, there’s no D/R next to this one on the ballot!”) and merely reads it as “we’re codifying our eminent domain laws like so,” it passes overwhelmingly because people have a knee-jerk reaction to having their property taken except for in very strict circumstances.

            Voter “astutitude” matters. So does context. So does phrasing. I don’t have hard numbers to say to what degree each matters. But I’m willing to bet that high astutitude is not always the primary factor.

          • Josh S

            In general, you’re pointing out the difficulty of how to word a ballot. I think that Virginia, like other states, words the ballot as neutrally as they possibly can. Which is as it should be. I think that any complaining about the ballot language reveals more about the internal biases of the complainer than it does about any actual biases in the language.

            Also, it is definitely incumbent upon the individual voter to educate themselves. Which is definitely not easy to do, based on the complexities and hidden consequences of so many ballot initiatives. In Michigan, for example, voters rejected an amendment to the state constitution that would have required state utilities to generate 25% of their electricty from renewable sources by 2025. Predictably, the utilities and various business groups spent a lot of money against it, claiming it would cost too much, etc. But interestingly, at least some environmental groups also campaigned against it because they feared that the utilities would turn to burning biomass (instead of solar or wind) to meet most of the increased requirements, thus worsening things like local pollution, global warming, etc. Many people would not ever have thought of that. But there’s no way to build it into the language of the ballot itself. Same thing for Arlington’s bonds and Virginia’s two amendments yesterday.

          • SomeGuy

            Great, Josh S. So in the same thread that you’re telling me my arguments ring hollow, you’re writing 2 long paragraphs agreeing with me that ballot wording can influence a vote and that not every voter makes his/her referendum decision from a reliably informed standpoint.

            Makes sense.

          • Josh S

            Not as astute as who?

            No, I wasn’t making any assumptions about what you thought about how the referendum question should be worded. I just was pointing out that the very fact that you even included the word “lavish” tips us off to your own biases and so your complaining about other people’s biases (liking touchy-feely stuff) rings hollow.

          • SomeGuy

            Any bias you’re alleging I have/had has absolutely nothing to do with whether I think that fewer than 100% of voters are as astute about Long Bridge Park as WeiQiang.

            Your nit-picking makes your overall argument ring hollow, and I’ll be happy to develop a bias against reading and responding to your comments if you’re going to ignore the broader arguments I’m making in favor of quibbling over my use of a single word.

            Would you have felt better if they’d used the county’s own words, “state of the art?”

          • Josh S

            Now it’s fewer than 100%? Could that be 99%?

            Ballot wording can influence votes, no doubt. But I don’t know that you have demonstrated that the wording on yesterday’s Virginia ballot should have been different. It seemed to me to be as neutral as it could be. Certainly changing the language about the parks bond to specify that money from the sale of those bonds would be used to build a “lavish” park would hardly seem to be moving things into a better place, would it? (Same argument for “state of the art.”)

          • WeiQiang

            you forgot “worlde-classe”

          • SomeGuy

            Josh S., note that I didn’t attempt to quantify the exact proportion of voters who are uninformed, so there’s no need for you to try to look smart by challenging that. If you review how the discussion started, you’ll see that I was objecting to a commenter’s complete dismissal of the concept that some voters, perhaps even a significant number of them, make decisions based on not having a firm understanding of what they are voting for. You don’t appear to be disputing that directly except to nitpick at my word choices.

            Which leads to the other point I was making in which I said that a general feel-good proposal, worded as “Shall Arlington County contract a debt… for local parks & recreation, and land acquisition for parks and open space” says nothing of the specific projects this will fund. “Dog park sprayground” or “$70 million state of the art aquatic facility at Long Bridge Park” might have had a lesser chance of being approved, but cloaking those projects under such general wording can make it more palatable because there’s nothing to specifically object to. It becomes a soft and fluffy, “do you or do you not think parks are worth funding” question to a significant portion of voters.

            I’m pretty sure you’re wise enough to see this point, whether or not you’ll admit it.

      • Greg

        My point is that many people who vote don’t read up on what are typically BAU rubber stamp issues. The County Board intentionally buried a 72 million dollar pool. I know more than 1/2 the people I talked to didn’t know about it.

        What the County Board did is like your kids asking you if they can have a couple friends over while you’re gone but actually throw a 100 person party. It’s wrong and your kid knows it’s wrong but it’s their only hope of you saying Yes.

        • WeiQiang

          Buried? Where … under the deep end? [bad attempt at snarkitude]

          The scope of and details about surveys and design reviews and public meetings and ArlNow discussions and ArlCo Citizens Commission (or whatever Mr. Kubicki’s group is called) recommendation and website info – not to mention whatever is available on the bond itself – are prolific. Beyond living novasteve’s wet dream and forcing all citizens to read all the background info, I don’t know what else would constitute due diligence. I think the voters knew as much as they thought they needed to know and voted consistent with the 8 yrs or so of info floating around.

          While citizen astutitude could be lower than I imagine (on that we’ll just have to disagree … and mine is not 100% even on the Luxury Cement Pond), I still believe a bigger influence on the outcome is the voters’ individual connection to the bond issues involved. School bond = my kids or my neighbors’ kids. Parks = my neighborhood park. Infrastructure = my streetlights and sidewalks.

          Just like with Federal money, everyone is against it until there is risk that I might not get my share. As I stated up top, knowing the numbers behind the vote might help us better modulate this mentality in an austere budget environment and enable us to make better decisions … if we decide that we want to vote beyond our own short-term interests.

    • drax

      Sore loser.

      • Greg

        I see you’re a person who is happy to resort to subterfuge in order to win. You and I are cut from a different cloth.

        • drax

          Subterfuge? Huh?

          • Greg

            Definition of SUBTERFUGE
            1: deception by artifice or strategem in order to conceal, escape, or evade

        • drax

          BTW, I voted against the parks bond, so what’s this about “winning?”

        • Josh S


          Please elaborate, thou whose feces does not emit foul odors….

        • WeiQiang

          sub·ter·fuge – noun – \ˈsəb-tər-ˌfyüj\: a device for enriching uranium for use in a submarine

          • SomeGuy

            I’m impressed by your lavish vocabulary.

            Or rather, if I were asked the ballot question, “Do you concur that at least one component of WeiQiang’s overall skillset is not subpar,” I would answer yes.

          • WeiQiang

            it’s only lavish if you count the words i make up … and answer = no, but there’s no paper record of my vote.

  • Dr_Klahn

    Whew! America still works….now about that Crazy Horse memorial….

  • novasteve

    Wow I hope the arlibs put a trolley on Barton street to celebrate. In fact trollies for all!

  • Abe Froman

    The fiscal responsibility is staggering. While I voted for local Democrats, I couldn’t vote for tens of millions more debt when the county is facing a $50 million short fall next year.

    • DLGlenCarlyn


      • Mike

        Actually, isn’t it + $72,000,000 ?

    • drax

      Agree – I voted against the pool bond. It won by the smallest margin, but it still won. We need to slow down.

  • Alex


  • Sam the Cat

    Go Trolly!!!!!!!!

  • Bicyclist

    What a beautiful morning! Thank you, America!

    • 120

      +1 Oh, what a beautiful day…

      • Captain_Obvious

        Oh Yes !…Lets spend everyone else’s money on wants and not needs.

        • novasteve

          I want the Barton Street Trolly! I’m sick of having to walk or take the bus.

          • WeiQiang

            use the democratic process. get developers and voters on your side. then you’re golden, steve.

        • 120

          America has spoken.

          • Captain_Obvious

            Yes they have and apparently they don’t care about the economy.

        • Paul Simon (special to Capn Obvious)

          I am a rock
          I am an iiiiiiisland

          • Id

            and a rock feels no pain and an island never cries (what the hell does that mean?)

          • Paul S

            I’m so glad you asked.

            It means I am a rugged individualist, capable of pulling myself up by my own bootstraps, standing on my own two feet. I need no handouts. I don’t need no stinking government assistance which causes me to become weak and dependent.

            On the other hand, as I point out subtly using poetic lyrics, this also renders me heartless, incapable of emotion, and cut off from my fellow man. I wander lonely in society, unable to connect with others because I stubbornly cling to my John Wayne / Davey Crockett fantasies, unaware that the prairie has long since been paved over with McDonald’s and Walmarts from sea to shining sea.

          • WeiQiang

            That conjures a memory of the anti-pollution commercial from the Clean Air Act days in which the Native American sits on his steed on a hill, overlooking the trash-strewn highway and smog-filled sky … and weeps.

  • Runner

    Yes…a beautiful cold, gray, threatening morning.

    • DCBuff


  • novasteve

    Can Wilson/Clarendon Blvd get a trolly too? The metro escalators are often broken and nthe handicapped can use the metro in that case. A trolley would be better than the shuttle bus, no?

    • Bon Air

      The escalators in the metro are broken all the time. What a joke, worst metro in the USA

      • Nial Ism

        What would life be like if everyone had this mentality all the time?

    • Sam the Cat

      All roads in arlington should eventually have a trolly vice actual road for cars. Oh, and there should be space for bikes too. No matter the cost.

  • Kowalski

    Oh, I love a splashy pool, I’m glad I only pay part of a rent instead of property tax.

    • novasteve

      Unfortunately you pay property tax in your rent.

      • WeiQiang

        is that unfortunate? should renters not pay for some portion of the property taxes on the properties in which they live?

        • drax

          Unfortunate for Kowalski’s theory that he doesn’t pay for it, that’s all.

          • Kowalski

            My true point was that a renter may have just arrived here and may be leaving the county soon, they are transient. It will be left up to us property owners to pay for their vote in rising property taxes.

            I wonder what the interest rates will be on these “bonds” (let’s call them what they really are – a LOAN) and which (foreign?) bank will finance them?

          • Josh S

            A) It wouldn’t be too hard to research the interest rates and who will be buying them.

            B) I’m not sure you have a point re: voters who rent their homes. You can’t possibly be implying that renters should not be able to vote? I believe that sort of thing was done away with about 235 years ago…..

          • drax

            Well, no, because the owners of the rental property will pay property taxes, regardless of who occupies their property.

  • PL25rd

    I’m a Democrat, but I voted against the parks & rec bond. I just couldn’t swallow the idea of a $40 M swimming pool, when it appears there is going to be a deficit in the County next year (and when we have big school capacity issues). I just wish more people would have done the same.

    • Alex

      I agree that it would be wise to be more restrained with spending. I don’t think that reality will become politically attractive until we see more severe budget problems unfortunately.

  • BallstonNOTBoston


    Another 4 years of mediocrity!

  • Malaka

    Perhaps congress can now work on something other than assuring that Obama is a one term president.

    • DCBuff

      Hope you’re not counting on that one.

    • Old Yeller

      I hear Mitch McConnell’s new top priority is making sure Obama doesn’t get a third term.

  • Dr_Klahn

    Is there an election results special at Sam’s Corner?

    • DCBuff

      Yes. Drinkers, er voters, voted to expand O’Sullivans.

  • Wooderson

    I’d be curious to see the breakdown of who voted for who between people that drive automatic vs. manual transmissions. Slice and dice it between smokers/non-smokers too if you please sir.

    • DCBuff

      I understand automatic drivers often flip-flop on their vote.

    • GC2

      Would love to know the FICO scores, and how they voted.

  • Bon Air

    When is “Bond to pay for Posse for Homeless Round Up” gonna get on the ballot?

  • dang!

    I vote for all the bonds and don’t give dang what the money is spent on.
    Those Bonds are a goooood deal and support my plans…
    borrow away ArCo !

    • Id

      you obviously don’t pay property taxes

  • JohnB2

    So how did Major Pup McPuppo do?

  • ImSmartToo

    arlington should definitely wait to borrow money will the economy recovers and interest rates are higher

    • DCBuff

      Or–here’s a concept–they could not borrow (so much) at all!

  • arlmimprov

    We really need to merge the republicans and independents—which would have overtaken Garvey together.

    AC needs a change. The Board works as its own entity. No checks and balances here anymore.

    • Ballston

      Reading their essays, I didn’t see a whole lot of differences between the people running for county board.

      • ArlKat

        They held several debates where you could have gotten to learn about them personally. They have very different personalities and ways of dealing with the public, even though they all ran to “be a different voice.” Unfortunately the candidate debates were poorly publlicized. You may have gotten the word from your Civic Association, but there wasn’t enough information generally.

    • Joe

      Yes, things need to be shaken up one way or another.

  • Douglas Lark

    “Garvey said her message…including opposition to the Columbia Pike streetcar… resonated with voters.” … Whatever! I felt her statements on the trolley were fairly wishy washy. I wish I had entered “Street Car” on my County Board ballot.

    • Ballston

      All 3 candidates were opposed to the streetcar, so it’s a bit odd for her to say that’s what put her over the top

  • R

    I voted against the parks bond, but I don’t think Arlington voters’ decision show they are idiots. Most Arlingtonians can afford the cost of living here and a $79 million bond issue isn’t going to break the county or cause huge spikes in property taxes. I’d prefer not to spend the money, but the voters here are obviously happy with the way the County Board spends their tax dollars.

    • Greg

      Each taxpayer will bear a cost of over $500 plus whatever pro rate share of maintenance. That’s real money. Just because you can afford something doesn’t mean you buy it. Otherwise, you will keep buying until you can’t afford it anymore and then you’re screwed.

      • R

        I get that. But, obviously the voters of Arlington are willing to bear the burden. My point is just that I don’t get the hand-wringing over it. In a democracy, we live with the decisions are fellow citizens make.

      • drax

        Yes, Greg, he just said he voted against it.

  • ArlWhat

    I’ve been hearing and reading the same doom-and-gloom prognostication and same generalized disrespect and disdain for the Democratic-run Arlington Country board for three decades now, in some cases from the same people in the same forums, and y’know what? The Democratic control, the county itself, the supporters, and the whiners are all still here. The only thing that changes is the volume of the wingnuts gets a little bit louder each election cycle.

    The county continues to gain in national and international recognition, the citizens apparently continue to be satisfied with services received for taxes levied, and yet we’re supposed to be convinced by the opposition party that, somehow, it’s all an unmitigated disaster. Is it all just cathartic whining or have you detractors been sitting on evidence of a multi-generational coverup, just waiting for the right moment to spring it on the rest of us?

    • Josh S


      Please save that text. You’ll have cause to paste it in here at least 86,472 times over the next four years.

    • Joe

      Arlwhat: the fact is that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and Arlington is a good example of that.

      • drax

        How exactly is Arlington corrupt? Please explain, without completely redefining the word “corrupt” to suit your whims.

  • EmptyChair

    No pics from RiRa?

    • There are numerous photos from RiRa in the article

  • Rick

    So after the bonds passed I’m now stuck with a larger tax bill — How can I reject it and pass the increase to the ones that voted for the bonds?

    • Clarendon Cruiser

      + ($79M + interest + Finance Fees + Transfer Fees) * 6.244 ~ = 500 Chinese Yuan (at today’s rate)

      • Josh S

        I imagine you’ll be first in line for Red Dawn when it comes out?

        • Kowalski

          Didn’t she sing with Tony Orlando?

    • ACDC Hack

      Just put them in a manilla evelope and send them them to Drax and Josh S care of Arlnow.

      I am sure that their enthusiasm for all things Arlington would lead them to gladly write your a check !!

  • jackon

    “That makes for an 84 percent turnout among the 139,740 active registered voters in the county.”

    Regardless of how you feel about the outcome, 84% voter turnout is AMAZING! Go Arlington! We have very passionate, informed people here who understand the importance of taking part in the process!

    In comparison, the average voter turnout across the United States in the last presidential election for 56.8%.

  • ArlKat

    Here’s an idea to help Arlingtonians better understand the bond questions:
    After selecting “Yes” to each bond, the electronic polling machine would provide a message:
    “Thank you for voting Yes to [Parks, Schools, Long Bridge Aquatics etc]! Please swipe your credit card to proceed.”

    Then we can see how the “73 to more 81 percent” of Arlingtonians react.

    I love the services that Arlington provides; but thinking in terms of my personal budget – I wouldn’t volunteer to go into debt for all the luxury goodsI wanted, just because they sound good on paper. We need to be slightly more discerning when it comes to wants and needs in Arlington.

  • JnA

    If local media were fair and unbiased there would be a real discussion of the tax-borrow-spend bubble and its present and future consequences. But the local media are dependent on ad revenue and access to the pols who tax, borrow, and spend. So there can never be a serious discussion of consequences, only a continuing endorsement of the status quo.

    • drax

      Sore loser. Blame it on a media conspiracy.


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