News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, June 7, 2019

How Much Is A Seat On The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Worth? Apparently At Least $420,000, Or $25 Per Vote

Totally normal thing to see atop a county-owned garage in a totally normal local election with totally normal local candidates.

Ahead of Tuesday's primary, the five candidates running for the Democratic nomination for the Hunter Mill seat on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors have raised at least an eye-popping $421,702, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. Banner-happy Comstock employee Maggie Parker is responsible for the lion's share -- nearly $260,000, more than $100,000 of which came directly from Comstock or Comstock-related individuals or organizations, not all of whom have, shall we say, left-learning affiliations.

That's a lot of money for... not a lot of voters, at least historically. Looking at county voting records, Hunter Mill district turnout in the 2017 and 2018 Democratic primaries hovered around 15 percent (last year, only a small number of district voters were in the boundaries of the 10th Congressional district, but the percentage of voters was still right around that level). The Hunter Mill board seat wasn't up for grabs either time, so let's be generous and assume all the fancy banners, mailers, and filthy "web logging" about this primary bumps up turnout a little and 20 percent of the eligible voters in Hunter Mill actually Pokemon Go to the polls on Tuesday. If our slide rule calculations hold up, that means for each of the 16,950 expected voters, the candidates will spend at least $25 per vote -- and $15 of that will be from Parker's campaign alone.

It's almost as if a giant developer someone has a financial stake in the outcome of the election! Almost. Actually, we'll give Parker and Comstock credit for falling squarely in the DGAF camp, taking naked advantage of the grey area involving privately owned and operated "public spaces" and providing only the curtest of responses to voter questionnaires. No one can claim to be surprised about what they're voting for, that's for sure, but we're still shocked at the cynically brazen tactics.

Meanwhile today, Fairfax County Chair Sharon Bulova all but threatened legal action against Comstock to allow other candidates to campaign on Reston Station property, saying the company's actions are "clearly wrong and cannot be tolerated."

Unfortunately, since it's the close of business on the Friday before the election, Comstock can claim it didn't receive the letter until the 11th hour and promise, through their director of marketing, that they'll work hard to make sure that First Amendment activities are protected in "the future," once they have their candidate on the board and it doesn't really matter any more.

Filthy neighborhood "web site" Nextdoor took space away from its constant stream of urgent alerts about kids ringing doorbells and distressed furniture sales to post an informal poll, although it only had 70 respondents late Friday afternoon, so take the results with a grain of salt:

Like we've said before, we've always taken comments about the current supervisor being a puppet for developers with an equally large grain of salt. After Tuesday, we may no longer be able to say the same.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe after the election when she gets her arse handed to her by the fed-up residents of Reston Maggie the Maggot can seek new employment running the paid parking system at RTC.


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