Sitting front and center in the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors chamber around 10:20 p.m. on Sept. 18, Scott York quickly glanced up in the direction of a clock 20 or so feet in front of him. He flashed something of a reserved grin.
York, the board chairman, had a point to make. He would make it carefully, yet deliberately.
“I wanna make comment, and I gotta do it in a very sensitive way, as to make sure I offend a blogger,” York said during the portion of the meeting reserved for supervisors’ business disclosures and general comments.
The chairman’s late-night opening quickly drew chuckles from a number of his colleagues at the dais.
Blogs can serve as a useful tools, York continued. For instance, a homeowner’s association can post essential information for its residents.
“But the unfortunate side and the dark side of the Internet is people who hide behind undisclosed names, and put out anything they want to. And don’t care about the accuracy … and downright lie,” York said.
He then went into a five-minute affront of an unnamed blog that questioned the board’s motivations in allocating $50,000 of county funds toward the Greater Loudoun Babe Ruth (GLBR) youth baseball organization.
“I’m not going to call out this blogger by name, nor their site, because they’re not worth the promotion; but I will say, if they’re listening, because they know who they are, shame on you,” he said.
When asked Sept. 23 what blog the chairman was referencing, York’s office didn’t provide an official comment.
Given York’s statement, however, he could well have been commenting on a Sept. 13 post on the anonymous blog Realloudoun.com titled, “There’s always 50 grand for our friends.”
The “50 grand” post implies the all-Republican Board of Supervisors pledged the funds more as a favor for former board chairwoman Dale Polen Myers than as a real investment in tourism.
York clearly wanted to dismiss any such notion. He publicly balked at the idea the board would be shelling out money primarily for the benefit of Myers. Although Myers and he were both Republicans when they served on the board in the late 1990’s, the two often bumped heads and rarely agreed on any issues facing the county.
“Now if anybody knows the history of Dale Polen Myers and Scott York,” York said, referencing himself in the third person, “one will know we’re not buddies. And that’s just plain fact, we never agreed politically. But I will say this about Dale Polen Myers: you cannot find a better advocate for children and sports in this community.
“She has done a wonderful job in providing a very useful service to the community.”
An excerpt of the Sept. 13 post on Realloudoun.com reads:
“Without batting a collective eye, our extremely businesslike all-Republican Loudoun Board of Supervisors last week voted 8-0 (Supervisor Suzanne Volpe AWOL) to hand 50,000 smackers of your tax dollars to Greater Loudoun Babe Ruth World Series, Inc.
“This extremely needy organization will be holding in Purcellville next year one of the multiple “world series” (very loose term) that the Babe Ruth Baseball League holds every year, and since the local hosting organization is required to hand over 50,000 smackers as a “fee” directly to Babe Ruth Baseball League to cover its vast administrative costs, it’s of course only reasonable that your local government should spring for it.
That, and the fact that the president of Greater Loudoun Babe Ruth, Inc., is none other than Dale Polen Myers, extremely well connected Republican machine puller ...”
While the blog labels Myers as president of the GLBR, the baseball organization’s official website does not list her as president or anywhere else in the contact list.
Realloudoun.com offers its readers no chance to comment or contact its blogger or bloggers. But, according to a WHOIS search – a utility used to look up information on domain names – Realloudoun.com is registered to Stephen Budiansky of Leesburg.
Budiansky, a veteran writer and author, did not respond to an email for comment as of 8 p.m. Sept. 25.
In his statement, York accused the blogger of lying simply because he or she has a grudge.
It’s unfortunate, the chairman said, that somebody has “some bug in their bonnet that they don’t like certain people and choose to lie about something on the blogs.”
For the $50,000 Loudoun County grants to the GLBR organization, York said the county realizes a more than $2 million return on investment from a tourism standpoint. He voiced his belief that the funding toward the tournament is one of the county’s most worthwhile expenditures.
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