Exposing the Weintraubs' Lies
UPDATE: Read my accompanying letter at the Loudoun Times-Mirror Web site here. Read David Weintraub's "assuming readers have a very short memory" response here. Compare the facts in the latter column, printed Sept 24, with the article below.
The recent behavior of David and Jonathan Weintraub, prominent Democratic activists from Lovettsville, illustrates how clinging tenaciously to a position you know is wrong can get you a little unhinged. (They are also bloggers.)
The Weintraubs are liberal, pro-illegal alien advocates .... a formulation which, I sincerely believe, most Americans are soon going to recognize as a contradiction in terms. "Construction company owner" pro-illegal alien advocates, or "poultry processing magnate" pro-illegal alien advocates each make perfectly good sense. But "liberals" advocating to redirect funds from disadvantaged Americans and reduce wages for American workers makes absolutely no sense.
Staggering under the burden of this predicament, David Weintraub lashed out in a letter to the Loudoun Times-Mirror, and Jonathan chimed in with a comment, with plucky, yet ultimately feeble, attempts to shift public attention from their plight.
Bizarrely, both Weintraubs denounced certain local people by stating outright lies about things these people allegedly said or did at recent events - without even bothering to check whether there was a reviewable record of what actually occurred. As it turns out, there is. And while it will bring me great pain to lay out all of these facts and corrections, I feel compelled to do so as a service to the Weintraubs, in order to help them take the first difficult steps back toward intellectual coherence.
A Shameful Start
David got the ball rolling with the letter, modestly titled "Shame on Mr. Budzinski".
First of all, shame on Mr. Joseph Budzinski, spokesman for Help Save Loudoun, for trying to claim that La Voz is engaging in improper political activity. Mr. Budzinski knowingly made this misrepresentation.
Now, this is a direct assertion that I said a specific thing, made even more unambiguous by the second sentence, that I did so "knowingly." Presuming to know what I know, David probably should have gone the extra yard and hazard a guess about what I might do, which is to fact-check him.
David is referring to a public statement I made about two weeks earlier about Laura Valle and the organization for which she serves as executive director, La Voz of Loudoun. Ms. Valle had been featured in several recent media reports about opposition to the Loudoun Board of Supervisors' July 17 resolution on immigration enforcement.
Two of the reports linked Ms. Valle with Mukit Hossain, executive director of the Virginia Muslim Political Action Committee, with the Post article stating the two of them would be "rallying" people to attend the Board's next meeting.
My statement was made during an interview with reporter Jason Jacks in a front page story of the August 24 edition of ... the Loudoun-Times Mirror. Since it is the same newspaper, it's not a stretch to think someone might go back and read it. But apparently David's zeal overcame his reason, and he left himself a tad exposed. Because it has an online edition, we can see exactly what was in Mr. Jacks' August 24 report:
What's more, Joseph Budzinski, spokesman for Help Save Loudoun, a group that thinks local governments should enforce immigration laws, said he questioned the public money because La Voz's interim executive director, Laura Valle, has been acting like a political "activist" of late rather than the head of a nonprofit.
"It appears to me that some of what La Voz does goes beyond that of a 501(c)3 [nonprofit]," he said. "I think there are some questions to be answered about this. ... It came as a surprise to me to learn how much money they get from Loudoun..."
Note the word "activist" is in quotes, indicating something I said, but the word "political" is not. I have requested the editors of the Times-Mirror ask Mr. Jacks to check his record of our conversation, because I am pretty sure I did not use the word "political." My primary reason for questioning La Voz' funding was because I thought Ms. Valle seemed to be providing services for and advocating for illegal aliens, and against the citizens of Loudoun County - which is fine for her to do, but not with public funding.
But let's assume Mr. Jacks used the word "political" in his question and I responded without a correction, or let's even assume I used the word somewhere in my reply: What I said is that because of how Ms. Valle has been "acting" and what "appears" to be going on, I thought the question needed to be asked whether La Voz should be receiving public funding - asking this question was the action by Board member Eugene Delgaudio that I was being asked to comment on. Affirming there is a "question" is not the same as to "knowingly" "claim that La Voz is engaging in improper political activity." This is a deliberate misrepresentation.
But wait, there's more. Shortly afterward, Mr. Jacks quotes Ms. Valle:
With respect to political activism, she said La Voz "is pretty light" compared to other immigrant groups ...
Ms. Valle here admits that La Voz does engage in political activism. So in the article David Weintraub used as evidence for my "misrepresentation" - the only person who makes a "claim" that La Voz engages in political activity is ... the executive director of La Voz.
David Weintraub apparently lives in a world where people can say all sorts of crazy nonsense and no one ever asks for citations or bothers to check the record. It is my mission to deliver David from that world.
A Note About Laura Valle
In case you are wondering why anyone would give a rat's patoutie about public funding for this nonprofit organization called La Voz, some background:
Though I had met Ms. Valle once, briefly, after television interviews in Leesburg, my first extended introduction to her occurred when I read a provocative July 23 column on the Times-Mirror Web site (which I encourage everyone to read), in which she compared "so called anti-illegal immigrant activists around the country" to Adolph Hitler. The only "ranting and raving" party named by Ms. Valle in the column was Help Save Loudoun, the local citizens' group for which I am a spokesman. Help Save Loudoun is the only such group mentioned by name in Ms. Valle's column.
Ms. Valle wrote that Help Save Loudoun's members
....will preface their outrageous statements by saying that this 'is a nation of immigrants' or that 'my Grandmother came from Italy', etc. They say these things to counter the accusations that they are bigoted, discriminatory, or anti-immigrant.
After labeling Help Save Loudoun as "anti-immigrant" and putting the above phrases into our mouths, Ms. Valle proceeded to launch into a breathtaking display of obfuscation, invoking further caricatures to say that people who are concerned about overcrowded houses are "making an assumption about a person based on the color of their skin or the language they speak."
Then, from her sheltered aerie out in Lucketts (in western Loudoun County), Ms. Valle delivered a tidy slap in the face to the residents of Sterling and those of our neighboring state:
Do these people not realize that if every undocumented person in this county were deported they would still have overcrowded houses with unregistered cars parked in the drives, they would still see people peeing outside (on a side note - I most recently observed that behavior on a private golf course when a golfer had had too much to drink, apparently could not make it to the restroom in time, and instead used a tree). When all the illegals are gone and their neighborhood has still not returned to what it once was, well, what issue will they hide behind then? And if overcrowded, run down houses with cars parked on the lawns are an indication of an 'infestation of illegals' then I am afraid we might have to check the papers of a significant percentage of West Virginia's residents!
The above paragraph perfectly represents the sanctimonious perspective of the elite illegal alien advocates. It is no surprise that the Weintraubs, hailing from Lovettsville, display a natural kinship with Ms. Valle's sneering appraisal of the citizens of eastern Loudoun County who simply want the rules in their neighborhoods enforced. How unsurprising to learn Ms. Valle deems her experience at the golf course in any way proportional to what so many residents of Sterling have to deal with from the house next door.
Memo to the Weintraubs and Ms. Valle: The reason the tide has turned in America is because millions of us who live in regular neighborhoods now have firsthand experience with the negative effects of the influx of illegal aliens into our communities. We do not have the benefit of a ten mile cushion of farmland between our homes and the new suburban reality. Many of us do not even play golf.
After reading her column, a number of people had the distinct impression that Ms. Valle was unfairly targeting Help Save Loudoun, which had prided itself on NEVER ranting and raving nor making broad statements about illegal immigrants. Our primary focus of action, in fact, was on illegal employers. Many of our members took exception to her broadside, which seemed disingenuous, and were surprised to learn she was taxpayer funded.
Shortly after this column appeared and she was featured as spearheading the rallies against the Board, it came to light that Ms. Valle's organization receives over $25,000 in annual funding from Loudoun County taxpayers.
On August 15, La Voz held a public meeting in Leesburg to discuss illegal immigration. Ms. Valle stated the following in response to the question: Does La Voz use taxpayer money to provide services to illegal aliens?
How do you deny somebody the opportunity to learn English, or to help their children that are in the schools - we don't have the capacity, I don't think we have the will, and I don't think it's in anyone's interests to do so.
In other words: Yes.
The final exhibit in our discussion of La Voz is an extremely revealing letter by Ms. Valle printed in the September 4 edition of the Times-Mirror.
Ms. Valle takes a moment to explain how her organization got its name:
The name La Voz (The Voice) was chosen in 2002 by a group of concerned citizens during a community meeting. We have always hoped that it would communicate the message that we are an organization that cares for immigrants.
Why would she bother to spell this out? She had to because she got called on it.
The name La Voz' leaders decided on matches that of another organization which was already prominent in 2002 and, along with the Mexica Movement, is one of the most notorious ideological entities engaged in the illegal migration debate: La Voz de Aztlan.
La Voz de Aztlan exemplifies everything that the most shrill, apocalyptic and paranoid anti-illegal advocates might warn you about, and then some. La Voz (de Aztlan) celebrates anchor babies and unabashedly promotes the reconquista of the southwest U.S., proclaiming Los Angeles the "Capital of Aztlan."
This La Voz also gleefully promotes the agendas of America's enemies. The death of NFL player-turned-soldier Pat Tillman draws snide remarks; the beheading of journalist Nick Berg is portrayed as taking place in Abu Ghraib prison; Osama bin Laden is viewed as the modern Pancho Villa; and, in case there was any doubt about La Voz' sympathies, their Web site even reprints the infamous blood libel against the Jews, Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
La Voz (de Aztlan) takes a benign view of Nazi Germany:
This acceptance of the jew history of Germany would be laughable when one studies the true dogma of the Third Reich. Consequences of internalizing jew lies and acting on them, as we Aztecas, like others, have had led to a misinformed and erroneous view of Nazi Germany. If the jewish depiction of Nazi Germany was true, Hitler would not have supported Francisco Franco in Spain, Mussolini in Italy or have aligned himself with Emporer Hirohito's Dai Nippon (Great Japan). Himmler's Waffen SS was the most perfectly multinational combat organization in the war. Arab civilians prospered more under the Axis than British/jewish occupation. We must be careful not to accept as fact the lies which are published and broadcast about Nazi Germany. We must remember at all times that the jew media censors what gets aired and printed and what most people read, see or hear has been censored to assure it conforms to the zionist agenda.
In sum, La Voz de Aztlan is the type of odious organization that any reasonable American would run away from as fast as our feet could carry us. To the contrary, La Voz of Loudoun adopted their name. This would be akin to the founders of Help Save Loudoun deciding to name our organization the "Ku Klux Kaptains."
Ms. Valle's letter goes on to note
... a bullâ€™s-eye painted squarely on our backs. For what? For helping people. It has been a challenge to navigate through the minefield that is this issue, all the while trying to keep my own opinions and emotions at a healthy distance. It has been a tremendous learning experience, and though I have stumbled along the way, I am proud of my work and the work of the Board of La Voz of Loudoun....
The Board of Directors, volunteer members, and paid staff of La Voz of Loudoun wants it known that we will continue to stay on the high ground. We hope that others will join us there.
Let's all be clear about this: La Voz (of Loudoun) only got a "bulls eye" on their back because they compared Loudoun citizens asking for better law enforcement to Nazis. Claiming "the high ground" in the debate is a pitiful attempt to deflect attention from what Ms. Valle has actually said and done. She admits her "stumble." Good. But this is misdirection, plain and simple, unartfully employed and completely transparent.
The reasons some people might have questions about public funding for La Voz (of Loudoun) have nothing to do with alleged improper "political" activity, but with the organization's aiding and abetting of illegal migration and working against the interests of Loudoun County's citizens.
Crazy Over Greg Ahlemann
The Weintraubs' unstable ground gets even shakier when they discuss Greg Ahlemann, the Republican candidate for Loudoun County Sheriff. Democrats and
turncoat Republicans Independents are noticeably freaked out by the Greg Ahlemann candidacy. Ahlemann is such an excellent public speaker and exemplary individual, and has such a compelling vision for the Sheriff's Office that the other two candidates pale in comparison. This has supporters of the trailing candidates very, very scared. Their only resort is to disinformation.
Unfortunately, that pesky public record stands in their way.
David Weintraub's letter continues:
He was present at the Sterling informational forum that Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio refused to attend, and he knows that the only person there who had to be reprimanded for political campaigning of any kind was Greg Ahlemann, candidate for Loudoun sheriff.
And Jonathan said this in the comments:
Joe Budzinski lied about my community on his Nova Town Hall blog and collaborated with the local anti-gay industry.
Now we see the most transparent political stunts, like sheriff candidate Greg Ahlemann politicizing a La Voz forum and then testifying to the BoS that their funding should be cut because their forum was politicized.
[As to the first sentence, I would say simply: Prove it, Jonathan. My statements about your "community" and my collaboration with said "industry" should be easy enough to cite if such evidence exists. Of course, the way you've framed it, just about any statement could be presented as about a "community" or "industry."]
Let's turn first to the newspaper report:
During questions and answers, Republican Loudoun sheriff candidate Greg Ahlemann, a former Loudoun deputy, said police can detain someone for something as simple as "running a red light" if they are not carrying identification.
He also recounted an incident of an illegal immigrant from Sterling who last year hit and killed a Herndon man with his car. The driver, Jose Santos Sibrian Espinoza, had been cited by police at least a dozen times for traffic violations before the incident.
"I support the 287(g) program," Ahlemann said.
After Ahlemann's comments, Christ the Redeemer's Father C. Donald Howard reminded Ahlemann that the meeting was not a political forum and asked him not to speak again.
This confirms that Mr. Ahlemann was reprimanded, although the evidence of his "campaigning" or "politicizing" is quite absent.
As luck would have it, I have audio recordings of everything Mr. Ahlemann said after he introduced himself.
After one of the panelists had talked about the 287(g) Immigration and Customs Enforcement training program for local law enforcement, during the questions and answer session, Mr. Ahlemann raised his hand and was handed the microphone. He said "My name is Greg Ahlemann and I am running for Loudoun County sheriff" and he proceeded to provide the following information about 287(g). The first recording begins with the interpreter translating Mr. Ahlemann's first words which were before I got out my recorder:
Shortly thereafter, an audience member was called on, and had a question for Mr. Ahlemann, which he answered as follows:
At this point the priest stood up and said Mr. Ahlemann was no longer allowed to talk. They went back to Q & A, and the next question was for Mr. Ahlemann. When the interpreter explained that Mr. Ahlemann was no longer allowed to answer questions, three or four other hands that had been raised went down and there was an audible sigh of disappointment from the audience.
When the event was over, Mr. Ahlemann was surrounded by a crowd of at least 10 audience members, and he spent 15 solid minutes speaking with them.
After listening to the recordings, which are raw audio captures of the event, you will see that Mr. Ahlemann did not do ANY campaigning. The only reason he was "reprimanded" is the priest did not want him speaking - despite the fact that the audience clearly wanted him to talk more. Mr. Ahlemann had direct knowledge of things the people wanted to know. School board member Warren Guerin - who is also a candidate for office - was allowed to speak without reprimand.
But hey, maybe I doctored the audio. Anyone who was at the August 26 event can listen to the recordings and, if truthful, will tell you that is exactly what was said. But maybe it's a conspiracy. Well, we do have another test.
Jonathan Weintraub claims Ahlemann testified about La Voz "that their funding should be cut because their forum was politicized" to the Loudoun County Supervisors on September 4.
WHOOPS! Wouldn't you know it, but there also happens to be a very public record, which is totally incontrovertible, of exactly what Mr. Ahlemann said in that forum. It turns out the Loudoun government has this newfangled thing called a "webcast" on the Internet.
Go to the Loudoun County video archive on this page. Scroll down to the "Board of Supervisors' Business Meeting" of Sep 4, 2007, and click on "Watch."
On the right side of the page, scroll down till you can see item #III, "Public Comment" and click on the link This will skip you ahead in the recording. Then grab the little bar under the video window on the left side of the page and move it as close as you can to 54:38. There you will get to hear and watch Greg Ahlemann's speech verbatim.
For your convenience, in case you cannot watch it, I have transcribed Mr. Ahlemann's September 4 speech below:
My name is Greg Ahlemann. I reside in Leesburg. I appreciate the opportunity to come before you today to speak. I will say that some politicians and power players within politics don't care for me very much, because I'm very outspoken about what I believe. I also believe that's what elections are for. That's one of the reasons why I'm here today.
I'm quite concerned with the fact that we can use county tax dollars to provide services for illegal immigrants, who are in this country illegally, and reward contracts and donations to groups like La Voz who provide services for illegal immigrants when we can't afford to pay our deputies and our teachers enough to live in this community.
I look at the deputies at the back of the room, the deputies in the lobby that are here today. I venture to say that many of the new deputies that come to work for the Sheriff's Office don't live in Loudoun County. Some of them don't even live in the state of Virginia. We can't afford to get them shift differential.
But for people that are in this country illegally we can take our tax dollars and provide services for them. While we neglect the people whose very lives our deputies are paid to protect. It seems like a problem to me.
Our deputies are not members of our communities, many of them. Their kids don't go to our schools. Their not part of our neighborhoods because they can't afford to live here, all while we're sending tax dollars to fund illegal immigrants. Is this really what we think is best for our county and for our communities?
I've spoke to you before about contracts. And I've read just briefly what the attorney had to say about the contracts here. I can tell you, car washes and things like that, we're going to have studies and these things are going to go on long past the election. We could have studies on this for years.
I could tell you, personally, if elected sheriff, I'm not gonna need a study to tell me that our deputies can wash their own vehicles until the Board of Supervisors can decide whether or not we will pay for illegal immigrants if they're working there and send our tax dollars there. I will take a stand on that.
Unfortunately, since January of 2004, when the Department of Homeland Security contacted the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office to invite them to participate in the ICE program, nothing's been done about it. It took until May 1 of this year when I sat in this room and listened as the Sheriff's Office talked about how they were gonna look into the ICE program. During that time, there have been accidents, there have been people killed, like the gentleman that was in Herndon who was killed by someone that the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office had in their custody.
How long do we need to have studies to enforce the law? These things are no brainers. And I also wonder how sincere are our elected officials about really doing something about this. The programs that you guys will decide, and our elected officials will decide on, will only be as effective as the sincerity of those enforcing it.
There is, to put it mildly, substantial evidence against the Weintraubs. Without putting too fine a point on it: Their claims are blatant deceits.
Greg Ahlemann did not say a single word about cutting funding for La Voz "because their forum was politicized."
The Weintraubs are lying. The evidence proves it.
Pro-illegal migration "liberals" are in an untenable situation because they have pitted themselves against lower- and middle-class Americans who should be their natural constituency. For a number of years they have employed terms like "compassion" and "civil rights" to justify illegal employment practices without any thought to the other people who might be deserving of compassion, namely their fellow citizens, nor the historical population of citizens who truly have been victims of civil rights abuses, such as African Americans.
The common definition of a progressive activist does not include "facilitator of corporate corruption," but we are living in an unusual time, an ellipsis in American political history. Major social and economic structural changes have occurred during the past two decades, and the political end result is still a long way off. At the moment, we live in an environment of contradictions.
Country club Republicans and self-proclaimed "liberal" elites, who do not live in the communities most affected by illegal migration, are lined up with bad-citizen business owners to encourage the influx of unskilled workers from other countries.
This corrupt elite has a definite constituency among profiteers and illegal migrants, but is solidly opposed to the best interests of most of the legal residents. What is happening in American today is, the citizens have begun to push back.
When illegal migration was only a trickle, the impact was minimal and localized. Today, the effects are broad-based. The local situation serves as an instructive example.
Over the past few years, legal residents of Sterling could be excused for becoming cynical after assuming the county government would take action on businesses hiring under the table, commercial vehicles on their streets, businesses run from homes, single-family houses turned into multi-family residences, drivers without operators licenses or proper insurance, and an assortment of other infractions for which citizens felt they would be held liable but for which illegal migrants seemed to enjoy a lower level of scrutiny and enforcement.
To protect the illegal employment establishment, government agencies seemed to have a policy of looking the other way on infractions by illegal aliens. The general approach has appeared to be: The feds won't take them, and we do not know what to do with them, so we will just let them go.
Now that so many communities have been affected by the influx, legal residents are demanding a different approach. When the problems were largely confined within Sterling Park, the rest of Loudoun County's residents had the luxury of viewing illegal immigration as a theoretical matter. Today, the problem is recognized almost everywhere east of Rt. 15.
For many of us in this county and this country, the problem is right next door. Citizens have seen their livelihoods impacted by corrupt employers who game the system, their local governments' budgets strained by increased demand for social services, and their neighborhoods blighted by unenforced local regulations because authorities are inclined to look the other way.
This is where Help Save Loudoun comes in. We are the advocates for legal immigrants and legal residents. We believe the illegal migration problem is directly rooted in corrupt business practices, and the only way we are going to turn the corner on this problem is by enforcing the law on employers who hire illegal aliens.
We believe that solving this problem must begin at the local level. Just as local police are permitted to catch bank robbers for the federal crime of robbing banks, local governments can take specific steps toward enforcing immigration laws. We also believe that our local and state governments can end the don't ask/don't tell policy toward crimes committed by illegal aliens.
We believe our local government officials have wide discretion to ensure the safety and security of our communities, and they need to exercise it.
If our local, state and federal governments would simply do what they are supposed to do, the majority of illegal aliens would leave - self-deport - and companies would be forced to become good citizens and do what it takes to hire and house legal workers (hey, guys, check out the eastern regions of North Carolina - bet you could find some laborers there), and people like the Weintraubs would have an unambiguous calling to work for the betterment of our least fortunate citizens, remember how to tell the truth, and go back to being classical liberals again.
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