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Howze Using ‘Issue Buttons’ in Final Campaign Push

Issue buttons to be distributed by Alan Howze's campaignDemocratic Arlington County Board candidate Alan Howze, trying to unseat the first non-Democratic Board member since 1999, is using buttons with issue buzzwords on them to try to generate a new wave of enthusiasm for his campaign.

The buttons, instead of being splashed with the candidate’s name in big letters, instead feature issues Howze’s campaign believes are most important to Arlington voters, like “great schools,” “mobility” and “affordability.”

“We created these campaign buttons after listening to residents express what makes Arlington special and what issues matter most to them,” Howze said in a press release. “From great schools to thinking ahead to open space, the buttons capture essential elements of our community. The buttons are a great way to start a conversation about our vision for the future of Arlington.”

Howze is trailing behind Vihstadt — who won the April special election by a 57-41 percent margin after former Board member Chris Zimmerman resigned in February — in fundraising less than a month before Election Day on Nov. 4. This morning, Howze issued a separate press release announcing his goal of “zero pedestrian and cyclist injuries and deaths from vehicle accidents,” and a plan to accomplish that, including accelerating the Intersection of Doom improvements.

Howze’s plan calls for “complete safe routes to ALL Arlington schools,” expanding sidewalks and increasing police attention toward drivers making unsafe maneuvers for pedestrians and cyclists. He has also recently released campaign plans for improving the Columbia Pike streetcar and enhancing discussion on public land use.

This morning, the Sun Gazette endorsed Vihstadt, saying his months of service on the County Board have proven he’s willing to ask questions other Board members do not:

In another year, Howze might well be our choice, as we think he does want to tackle significant issues.

But the message his election would send to the Democratic oligarchy that has run Arlington — sometimes exceptionally well, but not always so – over past decades is that the public has gotten the anger out of its system, and it’s back to business as usual. That can’t be allowed to happen.

“It’s not divisive to ask questions, and question authority,” Vihstadt said at a recent candidate forum. “If I lose, the status quo prevails.”

He’s right, and while Alan Howze likely would be a fine County Board member — far better than he has been as a candidate – we think it’s the wrong time to turn back the clock. Vihstadt deserves a four-year term.

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Favola Fires Back at Negative Campaign Mailer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Murray Campaigns on the Eve of Tuesday’s Election

It was a whirlwind trip around the 8th District today for Republican congressional candidate Patrick Murray.

With the help of a campaign bus, a core group of staffers and a collection of volunteers, Murray greeted voters in ten different locations around the district, part of his week-long “Road to Victory Tour.”

Murray’s first stop in Arlington was a guest appearance on G. Gordon Liddy’s radio show, which broadcasts from Rosslyn. The two men bantered about Murray’s military service and opponent Jim Moran’s comment that military service does not constitute “public service.”

“I don’t know who this Moran fellow thinks he is, but wow, that really takes the cake,” Liddy said, after rattling off the ranks three children and one grandchild who have served or are serving in the military.

After the Liddy interview, it was off to Clarendon. Starbucks was first on the agenda, for a much-needed caffeine infusion.

(The public appearances had started at 6:30 a.m. at the Huntington Metro station, and weren’t scheduled to end until 7:00 p.m., at the King Street Metro station. “I’ve stopped looking at the schedule because it just keeps going,” Murray said wearily.)

As Murray was getting ready to leave Starbucks, an aide told him he had to make a series of important phone calls. He pleaded for some time to walk around first.

Murray was remarkably unintimidated by the deep blue surroundings: a Whole Foods, a yoga apparel store, an indie rock club. Flashing a big smile, he approached the few people who were walking around Clarendon at 12:15 on a Monday afternoon. The grin was greeted with politeness at worst, and an enthusiastic pledge to vote at best.

Murray always made sure to ask his targets whether they were 8th District voters, but more often than not engaged them in conversation regardless of the answer. Among those who Murray took time to talk to were tourists from Sweden, a group of guys from Maryland and a woman who asked for directions to Starbucks.

Murray’s Army background was a continuous topic of conversation. He appeared most adept at connecting with veterans and family members of veterans.

“Okay, I’ll talk a little louder,” he joked upon finding out one voter was a former artilleryman. “Huh?” the man said, playing along. The man and his family promised to vote Murray.

Later, while walking down Wilson Boulevard, Murray casually picked up a discarded piece of plastic from the ground. He immediately the identified it as fake M-16 ammunition.

“Point 2-2-3 caliber, 5-point-5-6 millimeter,” I think I heard him recite from memory, although he said it too quickly to be sure. He placed the Halloween accessory back where he found it and kept walking.

When a staffer suggested Murray head into Whitlow’s, the candidate balked.

“I don’t like to bother folks while they’re eating,” he said.

Though Murray has decided not to advertise on TV in order to save money (he had just over $100,000 cash on hand as of Sept. 30), he talked about a radio ad the campaign had recently launched. He also explained that his burgeoning corps of high school volunteers required a considerable financial outlay.

“The pizza bills have gone through the roof!” he said, smiling but unsarcastic. He consulted with a nearby aide to confirm the expenditure.

Volunteers are especially vital to Murray’s campaign, given Moran’s huge fundraising advantage.

Volunteers, Murray said, have made 112,000 calls to voters on behalf of the campaign. An internet ad released today bragged about “11,000 yard signs deployed” by  “800 active volunteers.”

Murray, in keeping with the military theme, confided that the “ground component” of his campaign was his secret weapon.

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New Berry Radio Ad Calls Moran “Corrupt”

A new radio ad from one of the Republicans hoping to challenge Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) in November accuses the long-time congressman of being “corrupt.”

It’s the first broadcast spot launched by the campaign of Matthew Berry, who’s running in the upcoming eighth district primary.

The ad portrays a couple discussing a campaign mailer from Berry.

“Ugh, Moran, he’s corrupt and doesn’t represent anyone but himself,” one of the actors says. “Moran’s answer to everything is ‘more, more, more’ — more borrowing, more spending, more taxes and more government intervention in more sectors of our economy.”

Later, the other actor says of Berry: “He’s right on the issues and understands that voters like us are sick of politics as usual.”

The spot will air during conservative talk shows, a campaign spokesperson said.

On his campaign blog, Berry said the ad fulfills his promise to “wage an aggressive effort to unseat Jim Moran.”

“I look forward to continuing to escalate our campaign in the weeks and months ahead,” Berry writes.

Berry, a former general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission under the Bush administration, will face retired U.S. Army colonel Patrick Murray in the GOP primary, held on June 8.

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