News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, June 7, 2012

As the Silver Line Turns: Union Bust Gives Project a Boost (Maybe)

sad construction worker.JPGNow that the airports authority has decided to drop the much-reviled labor agreement from Phase 2 of the Metro Silver Line project, all's right in the world, and we can just count the days until we can hop on a train at Wiehle and be whisked off to the fertile particleboard fields of Ashburn to... uh... we dunno, shop for $14 chicken cutlets at Wegman's, right?

Let's hope so. But the move was seen largely as appeasing Gov. McDonnell, who has flip-flopped on the state's $150 million share of the project, and as reactions to the decision came in, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, who will make a decision about supporting the project by early last month, were notably absent. Guess they're awaiting further orders from their corporate overlords Tea Party backers constituents.

Still, Loudoun’s supervisors have not given clear indications of whether they will vote to support the second phase of the project and to put in the county’s share of construction costs, which, according to the latest estimate, are expected to total about $270 million. The board is expected to take a vote July 3.

Loudoun Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles) said the MWAA’s vote was welcome news — but by no means a guarantee of Loudoun’s support.

“The PLA was a barrier to entry to even have a discussion,” he said. “The way I would characterize it is that the chances now go from zero percent to fifty-fifty.”
We're sure Letourneau's constituents are relieved that union thugs will no longer threaten to hold up the line in Wegman's as they buy their "cold cuts," or whatever it is union thugs eat for lunch. Actually, given that one of them showed up at a hearing wearing a Viking helmet, maybe they are.
Bob Costantino approached the microphone wearing a Viking helmet and said, that during their time, Vikings were known for pillage, plunder, and thievery.

“It’s my contention that Metro Silver Line Phase Two, in the context of Loudoun County, is virtual railway robbery,” Costantino said.
Speaking of plunder, between this decision and all the fun in Wisconsin, this hasn't been a good week for labor unions. Of course, the same cabal of billionaires was heavily involved in both decisions, including a fun robo-calling project targeted at the minivan moms of Loudoun County.
Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group that was founded with support from David and Charles Koch, and advocates for lower taxes and smaller government, are encouraging residents in robocalls to tell their supervisors they don’t want a tax increase to pay for Metro’s extension.

“Loudoun cannot afford this bail-out to rail-station developers,’’ according to the script. “If the Loudoun County board opts out, the rail will still be built to Dulles Airport, and commuters will still be within five miles of Metro. Come tell the board of supervisors to opt out and save taxpayers billions of dollars.”
Fortunately, as salaried, skilled, white-collar wage slaves "information workers," we don't have to worry about such petty things as "labor unions" and "living wages." They're relics of an industrial era, or at least for people who aren't lucky enough to live in the DC area, where the high-paying jobs will constantly flow, and we have far more in common with the right-thinking billionaires attempting to destroy the middle class create jobs. Wait, what's that?
Exxon Mobil is relocating its Fairfax County operations to Houston beginning in early 2014, taking 2,100 jobs out of a region already experiencing a slowdown in hiring as employers brace for cuts in federal spending.

The loss of private-sector jobs — many of them high-paying, white-collar positions — comes as Lockheed Martin and other defense and government contractors are eliminating headquarters positions in anticipation of Pentagon budget cuts.

In recent years, Fairfax County has been especially aggressive in its push to attract major corporations, but even the 1,200 jobs created by familiar nameplates such as Volkswagen, Hilton and Northrop Grumman are not enough to offset the latest loss.


  1. Loudoun County supervisors, being the 50/50 lot they are, are known for being 50% optimistic on everything.

    For example, the 50/50 perspective on comprehensive immigration reform, as seen through the eyes of a typical Loudoun County supervisor:

    "Now that Obama and his evil socialist devil-spawned democrat minions in his administration have agree to execute on spot every suspected illegal alien in Sterling, I'd have to say that support among my fellow Republicans on the Board of Supervisors for immigration reform has gone from near zero to 50/50. Killing all the suspected illegal aliens in my Sterling district is a step in the right direction, but it obviously doesn't go quite far enought to really solve the problem, since the government paid executioners, although their services will be greatly appreciated by my red blooded bible-thumpin' gun totin' Islam-hatin' constituents, will be operating under a PLA with ungodly union benefits. Get rid of the PLA, then perhaps we're 50 per cent of the way there, as long as 100 per cent of the executioners are non-union members of a nationally recognized hate group identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center." -- Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (Sterling District)

  2. Restonian, I used to enjoy reading your articles and the commentaries of others from Reston.

    These days, you have allowed your blog to degrade to a puerile pile of pooh.

  3. I agree anon 5:03. The former “witty’ has a harder left-leaning edge nowadays it seems.

  4. I'm a Republican and shed no tears for unions or liberals. But it's still embarrassing to see the LoCo folks fall over themselves to embrace a position that will hurt their county. Since when is economic development a left-leaning position?

  5. Folks, you problem is that you have all forgotten what a true liberal stands for. When I think of "left wing" I think of those 60's guys, the Weather Underground! Har! On the other hand, I distrust tea partiers and conservative republicans as much as anyone can, regardless of where they live in Virginia, not just Loudoun County, if only because because the extreme right is self-righteously ugly in both its rhetoric and prespectives. Now that the world is safe once more from union "thugs" ( god, I love it when ppl say that! It is just so stoopid!), we can build the big rip off that is the Silver Line, likely at a higher cost.

    The Restonian blog may be "puerile pooh" to our right-wing fascist friend Anonymous, but you can always hold your nose and enjoy the read. Collective bargaining may be unfashionable to some, but so are the governor's ties. Next stop, trying to unwind the minimum wage....

  6. I always wondered what "a true liberal" stands for and now I know.. a person that holds anyone that disagrees with them to be a "right wing facist". Thx for the clarity Master.

  7. “The PLA was a barrier to entry to even have a discussion,” he said. “The way I would characterize it is that the chances now go from zero percent to fifty-fifty.”

    I so loved this statement. It sounds so much like Hamas, "We can not engage in peace discussions until Israel stops any and all work on the settlements in the occupied territories. Until then, we will continue to launch rockets at Israel."

  8. Well, Anon. While it hasn't happened here YET, it seems to be a favorite rhetorical tactic to compare the left-minded amongst us to Socialists or Communists.

    Sauce for the goose, and all of that, you know.

  9. If Restonian discusses local issues and stays current with the news, it is not puerile, which is a synonym of "childish" (unless you have children covering local events, which is entirely possible given the current state of print journalism and its pension buy-outs ...but I digress). As for the political leanings, his ribbing of the right (Loudoun, Herndon) is countered by his snark for the old-school lefties who run this overgrown HOA so very well. It's just that the right wing has been in the news a bit more, lately. But a site such as this, where all is fair game and little is sacrosanct, tends to become a mirror for the reader, reflecting what you are or are not. Best not to dwell on it: if you explain the magic trick, it might not be fun anymore.

  10. Master Of All That Is JavaJune 8, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    If the shoe fits, ya gotta wear it. Nuthin' up my sleeves, except that juicy tat. Gawd knows I am no liberal, but I sure ain't one of them other critters, either.
    And ditto with the conservative right-- "In your heart you know he's {extemely} right"-- as in AuH20. So much for today's history lesson in political obscurity, kids.


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