Why You Need To Work To Ensure Greg Ahlemann Is Our Next Sheriff
As hinted at here last month, there appears to have been a bit of back room treachery going on among a clique of local Republicans for the purpose of getting Steve Simpson re-elected as sheriff, after Mr. Simpson got clobbered at the Republican Convention in June and took about four hours to break his pledge to support the party nominee.
The chicanery seems to have included a really pitiable whispering campaign which a semi-prominent local Republican even attempted to disseminate here but which has gone absolutely nowhere - especially now that the superior candidate, Greg Ahlemann, has decided to confront all the allegations directly (more here).
Tough luck for the weasels: Greg Ahlemann is no shrinking violet.
Now comes the revelation via a leaked e-mail exchange - just posted by Loudoun Insider - that some prominent GOPers may have basically leaned on the Ahlemann campaign to shut up about the activities of Simpson supporters within the party. So rather then being thrown out on their arses, the turncoats were permitted to stay, and - if the e-mails are genuine - they counterattacked.
No one I've spoken with has confirmed the e-mail messages are for real, although the lack of response suggests to me they are. Read them for yourself and you'll see they have the semblance of authenticity.
What this means is some people supposedly in the party are really not going to make it easy for the party nominee, Greg Ahlemann, to win this election. What this says about the party is, in my opinion, not much, but then, I have a REALLY cynical view of human nature. There is no reason to think the natural snakiness inhabiting the human race as a whole would not also inhabit the Loudoun County Republican Committee in precisely the same proportions.
More significant is what this episode portends for the public perception of Steve Simpson.
My take on Mr. Simpson from the beginning, since I began following the illegal immigration issue last year and the campaign at the beginning of this year, is he is a decent guy, a little on the feckless side, who happens to have so interest whatsoever in doing anything proactive about discouraging illegal aliens from coming to this area. In Mr. Simpson's words, it's a federal issue, end of story. Until Greg Ahlemann stepped onto the scene in February, Mr. Simpson's entire stated philosophy on the issue was a litany of excuses for why his department will NEVER do anything more than it was currently doing. (You can read the Sheriff's take on the issue, and some of the flack he took from locals, during the February townhall meeting here and here; a little more citizen flack here.)
Mr. Simpson's response to citizens' complaints has been, in essence, you really have nothing to complain about because things are getting better, and in any case there is nothing I can do about it.
Naturally, this approach has not endeared the sitting sheriff to many local residents, and the current controversy will sully his reputation even further while providing quite a bit of motivation to those who want him out of office. QUITE a bit of motivation, I would guess.
I can imagine that local activists who might be getting a bit weary of the campaign season, which has been going on for nearly a year, might get a fresh blast of energy if messages begin circulating to the effect "Hey look at this outrage! Are we going to let them get away with this? Do you need any MORE reasons to work to get Greg Ahlemann elected?" Getting Steve Simpson out of there, while also knocking his supporters down a few pegs, could provide the inspiration to take a few more hours off of work, get up a little earlier on a Saturday, knock on a few more doors.
In a low-turnout election, a few more motivated people three weeks out could make a difference, if such messages were to circulate. Hypothetically.
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