Ben Dover Beer Bash Reflections

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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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16 Comments

Anonymous said:

Sheesh, I still can't find my pants.

Ben Dover said:

Joe -

Great that you and Linda B. could be there. It really was a good time and hopefully, in some small way, helps us all continue a productive dialogue regarding the many issues that confront us moving forward. I know that we will talk further in the coming months.

Laura V said:

Joe- I hope you are kidding about not remembering the evening. If not, there is a term for that and it is "blackout" and it is a documented symptom in the stages of alcoholism.

Anyway, please don't get carried away with the assumption that all of Sterling is behind Delgaudio. Do I need to remind you how many votes he won by, and even worse, how many registered voters even bothered to vote?

Good to finally meet you, Ben. We had a good time. Thanks to all involved in making it happen!

Nurse Laura, thanks so much for the medical info. I'm sure I will be coming back to you more frequently in the future. For now, I'm wondering what you can tell me about green tea - does it actually protect one from the effects of harmful behaviors such as attending Ben Dover Beer Bash-style events?

Laura V said:

I don't know about the tea but I have a friend who is certified in both acupuncture and Chinese medicine. I am sure she can totally detox you and recommend some good homeopathic remedies to ease you of all your ills. I have to confess that I am a Nyquil nighttime sneezing snuffling kind of girl.
Just looking out for you Joe.

Well thank you! I'm certain "total" detox would kill me but I might be interested in a half measure.

Hi Joe,

I'm hoping the impression you give of the "deal breaker" are overstated. I find the problems with the republicans to be they are more interested in relationships and power play than issues. It seems that if what you are saying is true, then the same is true of the democrats. Sigh. Whatever happened to integrity and doing what is right regardless of the personalities involved?

David said:

Hey Joe, nice to see you and Linda last night.

Jonathan is such a big meanie. Miller was the guy with the name badge that said "Miller."

I'm sure there's common ground, as long as common sense is involved. That means no unfunded mandates that will end up costing much more than they would supposedly save, no measures that will exacerbate existing problems or create new problems, no behavior that smacks of (as Sheriff Simpson put it) 1940's Germany, and no support for symbolic bills that just restate existing law.

Jack said:

If you don't like unfunded mandates, work to repeal the 17th Amendment.

Laura Valle wrote: "Do I need to remind you how many votes he won by..."

It's more votes than he won by last time, despite the fact Sterling District has since voted for Tim Kaine, Jim Webb, Leslie Byrne, Creigh Deeds and Mark Herring twice. Delgaudio was only two points shy of Frank Wolf's number and outperformed two other Republicans. That's A LOT of Democrats crossing over to vote for the Republican.

Laura V wrote: "...and even worse, how many registered voters even bothered to vote?"

Sterling District had a higher turnout percentage than Potomac, Dulles and Sugarland Run. Are you now arguing that we should disregard the McGimsey, Miller and Buckley wins? :)

10 feet tall and Bulletproof said:

Donnie, you act like 224 votes is something to be proud of....
Eugene is now positioned to be the court jester. He's always been fond of that position, but now his vote can't hurt anything.

Laura V said:

Donny- a win is a win, of course. Congratulations.

My comment was in response to Joe's post:
"After seeing the unabashed disdain for Eugene, I am quite intrigued about how the new Board will respond to the citizens of eastern Loudoun."
A win of 224 votes does not represent broadly the citizens of Sterling Park. I think Joe got a little carried away there.
And 10 ft is right, you would have thought he would have inspired more votes in general and certainly more than a win of 250 votes given his claims that illegal immigration is one of the biggest issues in the WORLD not to mention the load of money he raised. Given he campaign tactics it is not unreasonable to guess that some of those votes were paid for in one way or another. Perhaps an invitation to a big celebration party with free food for all! As a matter of fact there is one Sterling Boulevard family who is still waiting for the date and time of that party. They weren't voters but it was enough to convince them to put the sign in their yard. Tell Eugene that if he wants to make good on that promise I will be happy to translate the invite into Spanish.
Eugene will now be the impotent clown, the kind of clown that gives children lifelong fears of clowns.

BlackOut said:

Joe,

It was a pleasure meeting you and your lovely wife Linda B last Friday night. Thank you for attending and joining the crowd for a night of laughs and lively discussion. As I stated, good debate leads to good decisions.

Sincerely, BlackOut

p.s. I've never met your father.

Donny, you all did an amazing job, especially in the final month of the campaign. For Eugene to pull that off was quite an accomplishment indeed.

I think both Eugene and Tom Rust would be able to testify to the importance of addressing the local aspects of the immigration issue.

10 ft, I think you may be overlooking an important role that Eugene will still play on the Board. More on this later.

Blackout, nice meeting you also. I am sure we will have much more to discuss in the coming months.

Stephen G. Nichols (possibly a decoy) said:

Thanks for the intercourse, Joe and Linda B. I do believe it really IS the answer to all of society's ills. We surely have lots of entries for the disagreement category, but then we did agree on enough to have a good time while we were at it. (Not THAT "it," mind you.)
As far as forgetting things the other night, I just can't remember which of the supervisors-elect told me they were going to keep Babs around as their planning commissioner. Can you?

10 feet tall and Bulletproof said:

If we're talking about an importance of immigration issues, he's not even capable of walking the walk that's required to get that right. I refer to his avoidance of several key meetings where it was a sincere desire to talk about the problem and the realities. And Eugene won't attend any such meetings to follow up...he's much more comfortable lobbing the grenade in than he is actually sitting in and listening to things he may or may not want to hear.
And as a force on the Board? He's been effectively nuetered to the lone pest that remains on the board.He's kinda like that squashed bug that absolutely will not turn loose of your wiper until it's streaked the WHOLE windshield and ruined your visibility.

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