Supervisor Cook's Race-Bating Inaugural

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FCDC Chair Scott Surovell, has come out swinging against Virginia's newly inaugurated Supervisor, Republican John Cook.

Well, Cook has spoken. He spoke at his swearing in ceremony. You can watch it here. The sheepskin has come off of the wolf.

It’s amazing how easily The Washington Post Editorial Board was so thoroughly spun. This speech was dripping with the same Republican Snake Oil that we’ve been listening to for twenty years. It is full of “you can have your cake and eat it too” promises and nice sounding sloganeering with no actual REVENUE to back it up. It is exactly what the voters rejected on November 4, 2008.

Race Baiting to Make His Point
At 16:00 in the video, Cook goes after boarding houses calling them a “moral outrage,” and says “I’m coming after you with everything I’ve got and we’re going to SHUT YOU DOWN.” He then says “I pledge to bring that same problem solving spirit to the countywide issues we face.” No question that boarding houses are bad and no one wants them in their neighborhood. However, demonizing them with law and order demagoguery was Corey Stewart’s favorite tactic until he destroyed Prince William County’s reputation with his race baiting bombast. Illegal boarding houses a problem when they happen, but they are not the biggest or even one of the biggest problems facing the County right now. Singling this specific issue out in a swearing in speech is anything but non-ideological and is Corey Stewart code language to the Republican base.

Surovell is completely correct. This John Cook is as much a right wing extremist as Cory Stewart or any of the out-of-control zealots who make up the Roadblock Republican caucus in the House of Delegates. Surovell rightly destroys Cook's extremism:

Cook is focused repackaging the typical Republican anti-tax, anti-community, anti-government ideological agenda into some new snake oil. The Republican Party has now proven that it is capable of repackaging all of its discredited ideas into a nice guy with a smile so the newspapers can promote “idelogical diversity.” Hopefully, they and the voters won’t fall for it again.

It's no wonder the public has no faith in the traditional media these days. The fourth estate has become a lapdog puppy farm. pitiful

love the pic scott used

the wolf in the sheep skin is awesome

Great posting by Scott

Dead on with the boarding houses, Fairfax County. I know many in the VA blogosphere were behind Leslie for the 11th CD primary but one of the main reason's why I voted for Gerry was after reading in disbelief about what has happening in PWC on the internet while deployed in Iraq, I saw this: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/22/AR200710....

p.s. you beat me by like 45 minutes, man I am slow with formatting, lol.

Apparently Scott ran out of Xanax

Scott, it's a shame you didn't start paying attention to this race until the day after Election Day. If you had, you would have known that John Cook didn't say anything in his inaugural speech that he didn't also spend the previous month talking about, at debates, public forums, meet and greets, in his mailers, and door to door. And at the end of the day, the Washington Post, and the voters, chose the path he was offering. You can cry about the election results; hell, you can post an angry, drivelling rant about them, but Cook didn't pull the wool over anyone's eyes. He told voters where he stood, and they responded. Perhaps Democratic candidates in the future should try that, instead of following the Connolly/Bulova/Moon tactic of refusing to take a public stand on anything.

While it may grab attention, there's nothing remotely "race-baiting" about Cook's speech or his positions, including his opposition to illegal boarding houses. I like how you even say they are a problem, so your only issue with Cook is that he thinks they're a bigger problem than you do. And that makes him a racist? As I responded to you on Not Larry Sabato, putting John Cook and Corey Stewart in the same sentence together doesn't mean they have anything in common other than party ID, no more than if I put Eliot Spitzer and Barack Obama in the same sentence. You can't find any substantive similarity between them other than the fact that John Cook has come out against an issue you yourself admit is a problem in Fairfax County.

Finally, Cook's pledge against not raising the tax rate does not make him ideological or partisan. While I think it's funny you apparently believe that all opposition to more and higher taxes is a "discredited gimmick" (and I'm glad you've taken the position that taking more money from constituents is the only solution to any problem), you might want to do your homework before you make such silly claims. At the Braddock District Council debate, Ilryong Moon staunchly agreed with John Cook that we should not raise the amount of property taxes people pay over last year. I can provide the video footage if you like.

Apparently, Scott, you're leading the charge to hike taxes on struggling homeowners in the middle of a recession, but even your endorsed candidates aren't following your lead. You should speak to the candidates in your own party and get your stories straight before you spout off another addled-minded, meandering diatribe about your sour grapes.

Supervisor John Cook won an election of his neighbors and families to serve as their representative, based in part on his experience as President of his Civic Association, his work with the Kings Park PTA, coaching his daughters' softball team, and doing it well enough that Democratic Supervisor Sharon Bulova singled him out as "Communtiy Champion of the Year". Yet you, the chairman of a partisan organization, have the gall to call him "anti-community". What have you done for your neighbors lately, Mr. Surovell? Cook has worked with Bulova in the past, and has pledged to do so in the future. If there's any luck at all in Fairfax County, Chairman Bulova will not follow the example of exteme partisanship that you advocate. Being a centrist doesn't mean abandoning principles, it means bringing people together and talking rationally about the issues. That's what voters voted for in November, and it's what they voted for on March 10th. You've proven yourself unable to do so, so for the sake of the rest of the County, please find a quiet hole to disappear into and let the more mature of us handle solving the problems.

Nice Ad Hominem Headline

Mr. "Va Blogger"

While I'm sure you'd like to turn this into a discussion about me or Mr. Moon instead of instead of Cook's bait and switch and election only non-partisan gloss that isn't going to happen.

Comparing anything in Fairfax County to one of the most notorious public housing complexes in United States history is race baiting.

The Democratically controlled County Board actually dropped several million dollars into boarding house enforcement last year. The problem is being dealt with. Attacking illegal boarding houses while the economy and budget is imploding and we have a huge budget crisis is a cheap stunt and a distraction - aka demagoguery. Here's the definition from Websters:

"1 : a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power." http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/demagoguery

Cook just got elected to help run our government and then gave a speech where is said government isn't the answer about ten times. Attacking government is anti-community. I don't know about you, but I don't believe in putting vegetarians in charge of butcher shops. They don't really have their heart in it. People will find that Cook doesn't have much interest in solving problems either.

You all can continue to pretend that a guy who hates government, talks about Fairfax County becoming South Side Chicago, and promises to solve all of our problems without paying for them as being "centrist."

From my "hole" in Fairfax County that I've lived in for 37 years of my entire life, I call it right wing ideological chicanery and I intend to call Cook or anyone else on it as long as they continue to peddle it in my County.

It's also funny

That you posted this comment about me "not doing anything for my neighbors" while I was out coaching girls soccer this afternoon.

Your inability to read makes this conversation difficult.

I didn't say you did nothing; I asked what you had done lately.

And I fully addressed what you refer to as Cook's "bait and switch"; for whatever reason, you either didn't read it or ignored it. I pointed out that Cook talked about the same issues in his inaugural speech as he did every day on the campaign trail. No one could have possibly been "fooled", as you hypothesize. Instead, they listened to what he had to say and made a decision to support it. Just because you disagree with the voters of Braddock District doesn't mean there was any deception.

I'm aware the County Board is spending money on the issue. I'm also aware that the County created highly-touted "Strike Teams" from their zoning enforcement department to go on these raids, but rather than create new positions, they simply depleted the rest of the department, reducing their ability to handle other zoning complaints. It's not a good thing or a bad thing, nor is it a partisan matter (for the record, Republican Pat Herrity and Democrat Jeff McKay were the key forces behind expanding the Strike teams). It's a matter of emphasis and priority, and John Cook has made it very clear from the outset that his intention, if possible, is to put more resources into the program. Apparently, in his opinion, it's not being dealt with as well as it could be. You are free to disagree; however, the voters of Braddock District voted to support his view.

That is neither a "cheap stunt" nor a "distraction" nor "demagoguery", or however many other terms you wish to come up with in an attempt to invalidate Cook's opinion, and the opinion of Braddock District voters.

There are many areas were Republicans believe government is not the answer; this is, understandably, a massive point of contention between Republicans and Democrats. It is one that has existed for a long time, and will continue to exist. Why you're choosing this moment to scream your head off, as if you're just now discovering that Republicans, generally speaking, believe in less government and Democrats, generally speaking, believe in more government, is unclear to me. One would think you couldn't rise to the position you're in without paying at least some attention to politics.

However, this does not mean Republicans are anarchist, or believe in absolutely zero government, or even relatively zero government. We simply believe there are proper areas for government intervention, and other areas where the government should stay out. For instance, John Cook, Pat Herrity, myself, and many others believe government shouldn't be in the business of buying, maintaining, and renting out housing units, creating a large housing bureaucracy.

Therefore, Republicans and Cook are not as you say "anti-government", nor are any of us "attacking" government, nor do any of us "hate" government. We're simply trying to determine the best way to govern. I don't know why, rather than engaging us in a debate on that front, you'd rather just assume our motives based only off your own naivete and bias and then write us off. And you're the one complaining about a lack of "centrism"?

Finally, I can't possibly imagine you could say with a straight face that someone who is President of his Civic Association, which was selected by the Braddock District Council as "Best in Braddock", and who was honored by Sharon Bulova as a "Community Champion", who turned out the vote in Kings Park (widely viewed to be crucial in his election) based on the strong responsiveness he exhibited as President, "doesn't have much interest in solving problems". Have you ever even met John Cook? Shook his hand? Talked to him? You're entering into this conversation intellectually with one arm tied behind your back. You should really take some time and study up on these things before you feel like you're in a position to seriously respond.

Of course, if you truly do have an inability to read, then I'm sure I'll just have to correct another slew of factual inaccuracies in your next post. C'est la vie.

VA Blogger misunderstands job descriptions.

Part of the job of Scott's job is to call out the Republicans on the positions we disagree with. It's Sharon Bulova's job to build a bipartisan consensus on the Board of Supervisors.

And please stop talking about what "the voters of Braddock District" believe, as if 50% plus 89 voters equates to some sort of overwhelming mandate.
About the boarding houses: yes, it is race baiting whether Cook talked about it before or after the election. Nobody would give a damn if it was white people and they kept the exterior of the house clear.

Finally, since you've identified yourself as a Republican, I think you should defend Cook's statements instead of hiding behind the thin veil of 89 extra votes.

And Frankie misses my point

It's one thing to call out Republicans on positions he disagrees with. It's another to blanket the comments section of a blog with factual inaccuracies and gross mischaracterizations of policy based only on an intent to obsfucate the truth. To call John Cook a racist, to say all Republicans are anti-community, and to say addressing an issue he himself agreed was a problem is demagoguery doesn't satisfy any end, except to allow Scott to vent his displeasure in losing an election.

If that's what you guys believe makes an effective party leader, then more power to it.

I will continue to say "the voters of Braddock District" as long as you guys continue to say "the country voted for ______ on Nov. 4th". I never claimed it was a mandate, but given the partisan lean of the district and the uphill battle Cook had to overcome to win, clearly his message resonated with the electorate.

However, I'll tell you what's race-baiting: Assuming Hispanics and blacks are the only people who live in boarding houses and the only people who have messy front lawns. This from a supposed "progressive". It's not race-baiting to enforce the law, one that is intended to protect and strengthen neighborhoods. If you don't like the law, work to change it. And while you're out there working, actually talk with the people who live in Kings Park, in Ravensworth, and many other neighborhoods in Fairfax County and tell them that illegal boarding houses aren't an issue. Tell them to their faces that they're just bigots.

I'm not John Cook and I don't work for him, so I'm not interested in defending everything that comes out of his mouth. However, I think I've done a good job of addressing the complaints against him so far. Is there any issue in particular you want to learn more about?

Aww, you called me Frankie.

You must really like me.

You can't get around the fact that when someone complains about boarding houses, they're conjuring up these stereotypical images of large Latino families with lots of cars out front. Of course it's not just Latinos, but they're using these images to play upon the fears of primarily white voters. That's race baiting.

Here's something that I haven't heard anyone talking about: how about we change the zoning laws to prevent those stupid gigantic ugly houses with the fake facades with arches and columns, from being built at all? You know what's worse than having a boarding house on your street? Your neighbor's house being torn down and replaced by a giant cardboard box that'll fall apart in five years.

That's some really swell logic

So because YOU think of Latinos when you hear the words "illegal boarding house", John Cook is a racist for taking a strong stance on the issue?

Jeff McKay has been a prominent advocate for the Strike Teams as well. Is he race-baiting?

Frankie, let me ask you: do you even own a house? Do you live in a neighborhood that has one of these houses on it? On one of the streets? If not, I imagine it's pretty easy to sit back and imagine all the scared white people who deep down must be racist if they're concerned about what's going on down the street. I would think if you have, you'd understand the problematic effect it has on property values, on health and public safety, and on community unity.

It may not be a serious issue for you, but John Cook dealt with it first-hand as COA President, and he's adopted it as his pet issue. He spoke of it everywhere on the campaign, and people responded to it. If you want to believe that everyone who is concerned about these houses are really just racists, I suppose that's your right.