We Don't Need No Steenking Pledges

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As all of our regular visitors know, few institutions are more effective at ticking me off than the Republican Party. So now get this:

I just heard a report that, this week, Mark Albright - the Republican candidate for the Blue Ridge supervisor seat - was seen by the side of the road picking up Greg Ahlemann signs and throwing them into the back of his truck!

While I don't have hard evidence the actions took place, I do know that Albright held an event several weeks ago, and invited Steve Simpson and introduced him to the audience. No big deal - except he had not invited Greg Ahlemann (Ahlemann go wind of it and showed up).

So putting these reports together, I tend to give some credence to the report of Albright stealing the signs.

Which means apparently now we have another guy, in addition to those already outed, who signed a pledge to support the Republican ticket and instead is actively opposing the Republican nominee for Sheriff.

As discussed here previously, the local party has within it a questionable contingent which seems intent on driving a wedge between itself and some fairly conservative, politically active people, who have absolutely no personal loyalty to any of the prominent individuals within that faction. It will be interesting to see what sort of effect this behavior has on the party following the election.

Or before the election, for that matter.

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24 Comments

RWN said:

Joe - this is so disappointing to hear, especially from candidates that went out of their way to have a notarized signature professing their commitment to support our GOP candidates. If there are no ramifications for these renegade candidates, what good is it to sign a pledge in the first place?

10ft tall and bulletproof said:

Here, here!!!!
Unless, of course Greg were to mistakenly use the podium in the BOS forum to attack the Sheriff on our dime instead of holding his own press conference.
Oh...That was Firetti. My Bad.

Yeah, I forgot it was notarized, that is pretty terrible.

This is going to make it tough for the party to get volunteers, I daresay.

Greg Ahlemann said:

As many of you may know, my experience in politics has been filled with frustrations. I resigned as a deputy in January to make the LCSO and Loudoun County a better place. That is still my goal. However, I have been faced with many disappointments along the way. (Simpson's independent run after failing to honor his word, power players in the party helping him get on the ballot, emails against me because I stood up for what I believe to be right.) This most recent story is something I've come to expect in politics. I find it hard to balance being a "good" Republican and speaking the truth no matter the outcome.

The "pledge" clearly doesn't mean very much to many people. Depite the email's, I'm voting for Firetti. Why? Because I signed my name to a pledge and I feel I need to honor that whether that faction of the party supports me or not. You see, on Nov. 7th, win or lose, I 'm setting an example for my son and daughter. How they see their father is more important than the backroom deals that happen too often in politics.

I heard of the Albright sign incident. I showed up at Albright's pigroast to see Mr Simpson. Mr. Albright even signed the petition for Mr Simpson to get on the ballot as an Independent to oppose me. Mr Albright called me after signing and I advised him, politically, he might not want to do that. So he scratched over his name on the petition circulated by Mr Konopa. Copy is available at registrar's office.

If I lived in Blue Ridge I would vote for Albright because I signed that "pledge". Unfortunately, some candidates don't believe in the pledge. I continue to pass out literature for Republican candidates who have honored their word and will do any thing I can to ensure their success.

I'm excited as we close in on election day. I look back at the past 10 months and am excited about what has been accomplished. I came in a couple of hours ago after door to door in Ashburn. Lot's of positive responses. Some people disagreed with me on illegal immigration. I appreciate their opinion and encourage them to vote, but I don't cater my message to what they want to hear. This is something I'm most proud of. I have tried to stand on my issues no matter who the audience is. I believe the voters will have clear choices this fall.

As for candidates who can't keep their word now, what makes us think that when elected, they will somehow act differently.

Linda B said:

Greg, While I admire your convictions, I disagree that signing the pledge means you have to vote for a candidate whose views/character/etc. you disagree with.

IMO, you do have to support that candidate (or at least refrain from supporting his/her opponent) during the race, but when we go into that voting booth, we are voting by secret ballot and who we vote for is no one's business but ours and our God's. At the very least, I'd leave a portion of the ballot blank before I'd vote for someone I thought would do harm.

RWN said:

Greg - I really appreciate your candor and your comitmment to your word. It's so unfortunate that some Republicans, whether they be candidates or activists choose to ignore their pledge because their candidate lost at the convention. Your honoring of the pledge speaks volumes to the quality of your character and I appreciate you for that.

God Bless you and your family in your journey.

gstone said:

The pledge has become a bit of a joke.
Failure by the party to get out in front of this right after the June primary is in large part why we now have a fractured party 3 weeks before an election.

I too signed a pledge to support this slate of candidates. I am afraid I will have to do so while holding my nose.

From here on out it is time to concentrate on those who have played by the rules and are worthy of our support.

Those who play both sides of the street don't last long.Those such as like Greg are winners no matter the outcome of this election.

Greg,

I'm surprised that Mark would take down signs of yours (unless they were posted on his businessed property without his consent--in which case, he may have removed them as anyone might take down any sign posted without permission.)

I am near positive that Mark is also a man of his word, and I would certainly ask him about this.

Joel Borgquist said:

Friends,

Unfortunately, the allegations against Mark Albright appear to be true. I have spoken directly to those who have witnessed both accounts, the illegal sign removal and the Albright event with Simpson. This information was turned over to Chairman Protic and the LCRC Executive Committee, who will act as they see fit in this situation.

Having personally known Mark Albright for years, respecting him, it is a great disappointment. I do not understand the motivation behind his betrayal. It may be a sign of the corruption that often comes amidst power and politics. It takes strong leaders to overcome the temptations that arise. Please consider this verse from the Bible, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" - Mark 8:36.

I encourage all of Ahlemann's supporters to put their energy into Greg's campaign and not an in-party fight, as we are exactly two weeks from the election today. Use your energy for a positive outcome and worry about the rest after the election. As for those who live in the Blueridge District and have signed a pledge, please honor it. Integrity is Everything!

God Bless!

Good point, Joel, we definitely don't need to spend time nor energy on this now. There are much more important things to do. I thought this worth posting but not for the purpose of starting a crusade two weeks prior to the election.

By the same token, if any of our readers were considering spending time and energy on the Albright campaign, I would advise reconsidering. Greg A could use your help. And if that is not your cup of tea, Trader Joe's has wonderful Belgian chocolate on sale and I hear Oprah has been really fabulous lately. A fine way to spend an afternoon.

Andrew Tyrrell said:

Mark Albright supports Greg Ahlemann for Sheriff of Loudoun County. Mark is a man of his word and takes his pledge seriously. Thank you, Brian, for bucking herd mentality and not jumping to unwarranted conclusions.

The sign in question was placed on Mark’s property without his permission. Mark is putting up no signs on his property but his own.

Sheriff Simpson was at Mark’s annual Round Hill community event. Friends, neighbors, and the general Round Hill community are invited. Sheriff Simpson attended. He was not introduced to the audience by anyone. The event was non-political, and no signs or stickers were allowed, not even Mark’s.

We don’t have time for inter-party squabbles. We are two weeks out and every ounce of energy is tightly focused on winning on November 6th. Anyone who has questions for Mark is encouraged to talk to him.

You’ll find us out walking door-to-door and talking to voters about issues that are important to western Loudoun—like a new high school, rising taxes, increasing debt, illegal immigration, and open and honest government.

Fourteen days and counting. See you at the polls!


Andrew Tyrrell
Campaign Manager
Albright for Supervisor

Sam Leming said:

To set the record straight, permission was given by Mr. Albright to place the Ahlemann sign in front of the property in question, a private residence owned by Mr. Albright, not a business. It was also removed by Mr. Albright without notification that he would be doing so. I'm pleased to see stated so clearly the fact, Andrew, that Mark does in fact support Greg Ahlemann even though he chooses not to place a sign in a yard.

Greg Ahlemann said:

Sorry, Andrew, but are you saying I'm "jumping to unwarranted conclusions" that Mr Albright signed a petition solicited by Mr Konopa to get Mr Simpson on the ballot? That Mr Albright, later called me about this? And that the petition filed in the registar's office does not have Mr Albright's name crossed off (which is still quite readable)? Please tell me, Andrew, because members of the executive committee, the chairman, myself and others are aware of this. Please don't come out and insult me by pretending this didn't happen. I'd rather just have Mr Albright return my sign and quit talking about "support" for me. If it is not clear by now, I'm not concerned about the "inter-party squabbles". Your candidate took part in all these actions. I have not spoken to your opponent, Mr Burton. I will not be having him at any function of mine and I certainly wouldn't have signed my name to help him against Mr Albright. Yet, to my knowledge Mr Burton has not gone out of his way to help my opponents. Andrew, your candidate should continue to do what he thinks he needs to do to win. I just want my supporters in Blue Ridge to know what has actually occurred. Let the chips fall where they may.

10 ft tall and Bulletproof said:

Greg, You are a straight shooter, and I admire that in any candidate. Honesty is so refreshing in this regard. Don't ever let the politics ruin you like a certain "other" candidate did A number of years ago..

It's good Mr. Albright has the race so well in hand he can expend his extra time and energy ensuring Greg Ahlemann does not get an unfair advantage over the other candidates for sheriff.

Greg,
Have you called Mark? If not, you need to.

Joel,
It is one thing to have seen with your own eyes, and another to take someone's word for something. You also should speak to Mark.

I did speak with Mark (well, email) and what he stated is that he has called several times, and not received any call back. He wants to clear any issues, so I would certainly want to talk with him.

That said, I can see how charged this is, but I certainly think there could be those that would want to create tension in the party. I believe all the parties involved here are honest, but I also believe that all the parties here are fallen human beings (all the parties!) This is one where I think the sappy phrase "can't we all just get along" is appropriate. It may be that mistakes have been made -- there is only one person I know that has the qualifications to stone anyone over not being perfect, and last time I checked, he died for those he came to save.

Greg and Joel,
If you really believe Mark is guilty of violating his pledge, you first need to speak to him (Matthew 18) and if you think after that he truly is violating it (i.e., lying and unrepentant) then you need to talk to the session at his church. You are accusing an ordained man of doing wrong, and you (if you claim Christ, as I know both of you do) have an obligation that is much stronger than just the Republican pledge to the peace and purity of the church. I am not a party to the action itself -- I did not see what has been stated. But I am a witness to what is being said here.

Brian, you are perhaps the best man of all posting here, and most valuable of our contributors, so we will all, I hope, look up to you during incidents like this. All too often we forget the claim our faith should hold upon our public activity.

But give me a break.

On the face of it Albright seems to be a blatant Steve Simpson supporter, so it would be most enlightening to learn the reasons for Mr. Albright's fealty to Mr. Simpson, since we're all going to be so down home honest with each other.

Metaphysically, as the "bad cop," I call on Mark Albright to address the apparent contradiction between his campaign manager's report and the report of the individual who saw Mr. Albright pulling up Greg Ahlemann's signs.

Let it be known there are a few people out here who have been supporting Greg Ahlemann because they see Mr. Ahlemann as a vital need in the sheriffs' position. These people aren't going to suffer lightly anyone who wants to uphold the status quo in Loudoun County law enforcement.

Party loyalty aside ... ahem.

Let me go a step further and suggest if Greg Ahlemann does not win the sheriff's post, the LCRC will go the way of the U.S. Senate Republican caucus.

There's a very simple explanation for the Simpson-Albright connection - Dale Polen Myers. Albright has lined himself up squarely with the Citizens For Property Rights crowd led by the Shockeys and DPM herself. This crew is no concern for anything other than raw political power to keep their builder friendly (that can read as illegal immigrant friendly) brethren in control.

I've confirmed from several sources the core Good Old Boy Network (GOBN) Slate, which is, in decreasing order of importance: Steve Snow, Mike Firetti, Steve Simpson, Jack Ryan, Mark Albright, and Ken Mikeman. None of these candidates deserve your support.

For those who continue to stay true to a bogus pledge that most of the LCRC "leadership" doesn't even follow, please think long and hard when you step into that polling booth. Those in the know have learned an awful lot of new disturbing information about some of these candidates after the convention. Free will is a hallmark of our great country, and something that we all must avail ourselves of, especially when voting for those who will represent us for the next four years. I for one could never support the likes of Steve Snow or Mike Firetti after learning eveyrthing I have about these guys and others. They are absolutely not worthy of anyone's support, and especially not their vote.

LI

At one point you questioned my integrity with a post on TC by wondering aloud if I were going to break the pledge. Now that it does not suit you, it seems that you are advocating people ignore the pledge they made. Truth is truth, and the ends do not justify the means. I stand by the pledge because I am a man of integrity. Sure, I could wish we had a closed primary election (one in which you can only vote for the party to which you registered), but that isn't what is available here in Virginia. The question here is not about what ought to be, but about what is.

I personally find the growth issue to be a no-win situation. Because there was no initial stand on limiting growth, and forcing developers to pay for the full cost of development, I obtained my house here in Loudoun "on the cheap" (I didn't have to pay). Now we see the need for the cost of development to be put up front so the infrastructure can be built out at the time of the housing, we want to force others to do what we did not have to do. That just isn't fair. It also isn't fair to tell people they can't develop. It also isn't fair to tell people they have to live in the middle of sprawl. Like I said, this is a no-win situation.

Joe,

I am not that great -- but I try to be consistent. My faith is what guides me in every decision I make, and that means even when I make decisions that are outside the scope of faith, I do so (when I am not sinning) within the principles my faith teaches. So, no, I won't give you a break.

Mark's campaign manager stated that the sign pulled up was on Mark's property. When I was running for office, even those that privately supported me (and there were several) would not have worn the label stickers I made. I can see the same thing for any candidate.

As to the those that are "in" the Republican party and work against the nominees of the Republican party, they should be removed from the party. I certainly didn't think the most qualified person for the office of Clerk of Court is the one the party selected, but the party spoke, and I signed a pledge -- even if I logically believe the system did not work as it should, I have to believe that what **I** pledged matters. Even if others are liars, I will not be a liar. "But Mom, everyone else is doing it" is not a valid argument when I was a child, neither is it a valid argument for childish adults. I will do what is right, and trust God that he will accomplish his purposes.

Daniel, when Belshazzar as king of Babylon, did what was right. He then watched as Babylon fell, and Belshazzar lost his life. He did not do evil against the king, but waited patiently. David did not raise his hand against King Saul, even though he had been promised the kingdom. David did what was right and waited patiently. When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were confronted by King Nebuchadnezzar about worshiping the idol the king had set up, they were asked "Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?" They responded that if they were to be thrown into the fire, the God they serve would be able to rescue them -- "But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." They put their lives on the line, and God did rescue them. The important part of this though is that they said "even if he does not" (meaning that they perish in the fire) they would not do what they knew was wrong, neither should we.

Greg Ahlemann said:

Brian,

Please read what I wrote, word for word. I did not say he violated his pledge, that is open for interpretation. Officially, according to the LCRC, no one except Ryan and Simpson have violated their pledges. I spoke of a factual incident that occurred as far as Mr Albright signing Mr Simpson's petition. Mark and I have talked about that previously. You can choose to believe what you would like. This is fact. The sign issue and others I have not disputed except that Andrew stated my sign was removed. Brian, what is there to address. I'm not asking for his support of me. The facts are there. Since you are intervening, you may want to ask him about this. I state only facts. You are correct this is bigger than the Republican party. As I said before if I was in Blue Ridge, I would vote for him because of my pledge. I can go no further in my support as he is not in my district. I do not have a problem pointing out factual information about the petition. This is public information. I don't have a problem pointing out my concern about this fact. I believe my supporters have a right to know of this fact. Brian, I'm sorry if you disagree. Please contact Mr Albright and he can confirm this factual information. Thanks.

Greg,

You know I support you. I have your bumper stickers on both my cars, I tell people what I fine upstanding man you are, I make every attempt to say that you are the best person for the job. I believe that without any doubt. What I see are two men that I know are very much men of their word that are having a disagreement and from what I can tell, it could easily be resolved. I do not believe for a heartbeat that either of you would want anything other than to be reconciled to each other. Maybe I am naive in that belief; maybe I take my Christian convictions much more deeply than most, but I doubt if I take them more than either you or Mark. I've met both of you on several occasions and I'd be amazed if on meeting you both didn't find yourselves fast friends except for this controversy.
Facts may be facts, but the interpretation of those facts can be very different depending on the heart and reasons for them. As you know from years of police work, you can ask three different eye witnesses of an event and get three different accounts of the facts. Andrew has said that Mark isn't putting signs for anyone other than his own (I'm not sure I agree with that, but it is his choice.)
I am glad you have talked with Mark, and I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during that conversation. You and Mark I both count as my brothers in Christ. I know both of you well enough to know that you both take that more seriously than you take your job, the political race, and I would believe you take it more seriously than your own life. I believe that is true for both of you (by the way, I cannot think of a better compliment to pay any man than what I just said -- I do that to honor you as best I know how). Not only do I support both of you, but if I could I would vote for both of you (I cannot vote for Mark, as I live in Leesburg). I know that both of you are men of character.

MARJORIE said:

LINDA B

PLEDGE: A SOLEMN PROMISE

How do you give that promise? How do you give that support?
When you find out something you disagree with when supporting a candidate what is the protocol for release from the pledge?

Linda B said:

Marjorie, I am not 100 percent sure what you are asking, but the pledge is something we signed in order to become a delegate to the LoCo Republican convention. I don't know that there is a protocol for release, which is one of the many problems with it.

At this point, the pledge has pretty much lost its meaning, IMO, as some of the candidates themselves who signed it have broken it. I have done my best to maintain it throughout the campaign season.

My point above is that I do not believe the pledge obligates someone to actually vote for the candidates. Our votes are via secret ballot, and I think people should vote for the person they believe would best fill the office. I do not think a vote for or against anyone should be considered a violation of the pledge.

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