Ben Dover Beer Bash Reflections
I just returned home from the fabulous First Annual Ben Dover Beer Bash and I must say it was one of the best quasi-political/social events I have had the privilege of enjoying in many a fortnight.
Sincere thanks to Ben and the entire Too Conservative gang for putting it on. You all did a really good job with this, everything to follow notwithstanding.
That being said, I must emphasize how deeply we all appreciate the Virginia State Police being invited to play such an integral role in the event. I mean, when I am invited to a "beer bash," just knowing the state police have been tipped off and are stationed nearby makes the suds go down a little bit smoother. Thankfully, the vast majority of attendees did have 4-wheel drive and most of us took the "back way" out of the Old Dominion Brew Pub via the power line easements and as far as I know everyone managed to slip the gauntlet.
I know, everyone is wondering: DID WE FIND OUT? As in, did we find out who are the real people behind the notorious Too Conservative pseudonyms?
Well, the answer is, yes and no.
Yes in that we DID find out who every single one of them was. And no, in that I don't remember, dammit. It was a "beer bash" after all. Sorry about that. I suppose it will all come back to me in a dream someday. I vaguely recall shots of vodka and ancient Polish drinking songs, but that is all.
Linda B. and I had a very nice conversation with Lori Waters and her husband, and I must say I'm glad we will have Lori in office for another four years. I truly wish Phyllis Randall had run for another office.
MY major excitement of the night was my Quest for Stevens Miller, and boy was it more than I bargained for!
Y'see, I was told by several people that newly elected Loudoun Supervisor Stevens Miller was a "moderate Democrat" whom I should really talk to about the illegal hiring issue. I was intrigued because it seemed like "moderate Democrats" always turned out to be simply "Democrats" - but something about this fellow rang true. He turned in a very thoughtful candidate survey to Help Save Loudoun, and his public statements were not half bad - better than many Republicans, in fact. So I wanted to meet this fine gentleman.
Well, on account of either the spite toward me being on the losing side of some of these recent elections, or my opponents being cruel swine, some folks decided to have a little fun with old Joe and send me on a good old-fashioned snipe hunt for this Stevens Miller. Jonathan, the heartless bastard, was ringleader, and pointed me towards busboys, sous chefs and other patrons - "THAT'S Stevens Miller" - and after about five of these fruitless interviews I began to catch on to the fact that Jonathan did not have my best interests at heart.
I had a fascinating, 45-minute policy discussion with an exceedingly polite, well-groomed "Stevens Miller" who, when I began to pin down dates for specific Board appearances, revealed "Oh no, I am not a Supervisor, I am Glenn Maravetz!"
"Augghh!" I exclaimed. "MARAVETZ!! Most evil of my many evil nemeses!" This was like learning your long lost "uncle" was in fact the man who had killed your father.
I was about ready to give up when Jonathan informed me that "Stevens Miller" was in fact a soccer ball whom I have since named "Spalding" and who I have been conversing with here in the dining room. So that whole confusing incident worked out just fine in the end.
I did get to talk with a couple of the newly-elected supervisors, which was enlightening. I asked them if there would be any common ground between Help Save Loudoun - which had proposed an "Honest Business Initiative" - and their own commitment to reduce rampant development in the county. On the face of it, one might assume we DO have some common ground, because we are all skeptical about developers' profits and how they make them.
Unfortunately, the answer I received was that Help Save Loudoun PAC's endorsement of Eugene Delgaudio was a bit of a dealbreaker - even though we also endorsed Lori Waters, which presumably was not a dealbreaker. I tried to explain the pragmatic aspect of a single issue group that only looks at VOTES but I got the sense that, on this evening, that narrative was not going to resonate. Story of my life.
I think we have a new crop of supervisors who do not think illegal immigration is a problem they can solve - and possibly a problem that does not even really exist here at the local level. This is going to create a very interesting dynamic in the relationship between the supervisors and their constituents. Specifically, the residents of Sterling are going to find themselves disenfranchised if they don't get a few supervisors from other districts to join Eugene Delgaudio in championing their concerns.
After seeing the unabashed disdain for Eugene, I am quite intrigued about how the new Board will respond to the citizens of eastern Loudoun.
But at least the conversation has been started. I think the new Board members are approachable, and I think they have the citizens' best interests in mind. The ones I spoke with do not seem at all like elitists, and though I think their antagonism toward Eugene is misplaced, I think their animus is meant to benefit the legal residents. This is a very good sign.
BRAVO, LI - bravo.
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