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Randall, LaRock in war of words over transportation, Confederate statue

Del. Dave LaRock (R-33rd) left, Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) right
Concerns about safety and traffic on Route 15 dominated the Board of Supervisors’ business meeting Thursday.

More than a dozen Loudoun residents, including state Del. Dave LaRock (R-33rd) and Sen. Dick Black (R-13th), called on the board to endorse widening Route 15 for funding from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA).

That request sparked a war of words between LaRock and Randall.

After LaRock and Black urged the board to prioritize improvements on Route 15 in its request to NVTA, two supervisors pointed out what they see as hypocrisy in the state legislators’ remarks.

The most critical was Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large).

“I got to tell you, I think it’s rich, just rich, for a politician who campaigned against House Bill 2313 passing, who drives around a pink no tax pig, to come here today and talk about money through NVTA, which he fought hard not to have,” Randall said, referring to Del. LaRock.

The chairwoman was referring to LaRock's massive Tax Pig, which he is often seen pulling around the region to protest tax increases.

HB 2313, which passed the state legislature in 2013, has provided billions in new transportation funds by increasing the state and local sales and use tax from 5 percent to 5.3 percent, among other tax and fee tweaks. HB 2313 also established a dedicated funding stream to NVTA, separating the funds by 70 percent regional revenue for regional projects and 30 percent revenue for local transportation projects.

The bill divided many Republicans on the General Assembly. Sen. Black voted against the measure, while former Del. Joe May (R-33rd) supported the bill and his primary opponent, LaRock, was against it. Two other local Republicans, Dels. Randy Minchew (R-10th) and Tag Greason (R-32nd), supported HB 2313.

Following Randall’s remarks Thursday, LaRock texted the chairwoman and questioned whether her comments were motivated by the debate around removing or relocating the county's Confederate statue in Leesburg.

“Your remarks were very unprofessional for the circumstances and the logic quite flawed. But why am I surprised?” said LaRock in his message to Randall. “Do you have a chip on your shoulder over monuments or something? No answer necessary. The pink pig guy.”

LaRock has asked the chairwoman to apologize for her comments and issued a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to obtain her emails and text messages from the night of the meeting in an attempt to see if the chairwoman’s remarks were part of a “collaborative effort” against him.

He also believes Randall, who endorsed his Democratic opponent, Tia Walbridge (D), in the upcoming House of Delegates race, used the dais to deliver a political message to prop up Walbridge in the upcoming election.

The chairwoman disputes LaRock’s accusations. She said she did not know the western Loudoun delegate planned on attending the board meeting that night and says she will promptly hand over her emails and texts to LaRock to prove him wrong.

“Dave LaRock campaigned against House Bill 2313. He campaigned against the establishment of a funding source to NVTA. If it were not for NVTA’s funding source, were it not for HB 2313, we would not be talking about money to fix Route 15,” Randall said. “This has nothing to with anything but the fact that politicians have to, if we going to be elected officials, live what we say. We can’t on the one hand to one group of people push back against legislation, and then in front of another group of people, come and talk in favor of what that legislation has yielded.”

LaRock said he questioned whether Randall’s comments were a result of the recent monument debate. Randall supported giving Loudoun greater authority to relocate or remove its Confederate statue in Leesburg, while LaRock opposed any efforts to move the statue.

“I asked her because I don’t want to judge her heart,” he said.

But Randall says LaRock’s claims are “laughable” and that she never spoke to him about Confederate monuments.

“He threw one line out there and got laughed at, and then he made it about Tia [Walbridge], and that’s laughable, and now wants an apology, and that’s laughable,” Randall said. “Dave LaRock, this whole time, has been somebody who’s offered me a great source of jocularity, so I appreciate that from him. I think it’s a laugh.”

Randall was not the only critic of the local General Assembly members’ appearance.

“In 2013 there was a transportation bill that actually started funding NVTA for the first time,” said Supervisor Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles). “Some of the folks who spoke to us tonight didn't support that bill or any of that funding, but they are now asking us to fund some of these things through NVTA … My point being with all this, the Commonwealth of Virginia has a heck of a lot more money than the County of Loudoun does and has been here all the time with the responsibility of building roads. So, we are doing the best that we can here with a big long menu of projects.”


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Comments


Tim Kaine was elected Governor of Virginia in 2001. 

The Greenway was completed and opened in 1995.


Randall’s predecessor didn’t like Larock much either


Speaking of (the usual Loudoun County) cognitive dissonance:

“Widening RT15 only benefits Maryland commuters. If they don’t like sitting in traffic, they should sell their home in Maryland and come live in Virginia.”

But not HERE in Virginia—we have too many houses already, and we sure as heck don’t want any more!

And not where they’re going to keep driving THROUGH us—our roads would be fine, for just us, if only WE drove on them (meaning…ME).

Don’t even get me started on any kids they bring with them that would need schools!

Rte 15, like many other roads in Loudoun, needs to be addressed.  Plenty of roads have been left alone for 25 years and more, on the medieval fantasy that retarding roads retards or stops growth.

Sure worked great, didn’t it?

Get on with it already.


First off LaRock won because he the was the better candidate. Tim Kaine gave a billion dollar road away for nothing in return plus we have to pay tolls to use it. Lovely!


Man this is supposed to be the wealthiest County in America, looking at these comments looks more like a rural Mississippi County.  Good thing all those immigrants from India, Asia and other places come in here to make this place really work.  Wow what a bunch of blowhards.


That 4 lane road sure’s gonna flow sweet when it runs into the 2 lane bridge on the river and the 2 lane road on the other side.

Besides, people don’t speed and drive erratically on 4 lane roads- I’m sure people pulling out of all those developments will have no issues when traffic is light and running 75+ MPH. They’ll just have to pray and put their faith in Jesus I suppose.

But wait! Look over there! Someone’s trying to destroy my heritage! LEAVE THE STATUE DON’T DESTROY MY HISTORY but putting it in a museum. Teabaggers don’t go to museums!


A few points: First, LaRock defeated Republican Joe May in the primary (with money from the Koch Brothers) because of May’s vote in favor of more transportation funding (HB2313). Second, there have been many efforts to ensure accountability in where transportation funds go; a decade ago Tim Kaine as Governor initiated the Transportation Accountability Commission, to ensure best practices of accountability and performance,and require effective coordination between transportation and land use planning—ensuring the dollars go where they are most needed (which all of Loudoun County, and most certainly Route 15, could have benefited from). This was not a requirement beloved by the powerful housing development industry, and a subsequent (sorry, yes) Republican General Assembly reversed the requirement. LaRock (a home-builder) voted in favor. In 2016 the General Assembly voted to limit what counties could request in the way of proffers from housing developers, further stymieing localities’ ability to deal with the costs of growth. LaRock and Senator Dick Black voted for it. So it is fair to raise the question of LaRock’s new-found support for transportation funding in light of his record. LaRock’s response is Trumpian: a question is raised about policy, and he ignores the substance and his record, accusing our African-American Chair of the Board of Supervisors that her factual statement is instead about race. Third. LaRock indeed was one of 13 sponsors of a bill to include metrics in allocating funds; it is unlikely that he himself “put metrics in”; without even a high school diploma, he does not have the skills or knowledge for such a task. But those with knowledge and training did. It would be grand if that legislation actually prevented powerful real estate interests from influencing where highways (which will benefit new sprawl development) go. We shall see. Fourth, Citizens along Route 15 have been seeking improvements in safety, access, and flow on Route 15 for decades. A plan for improving safety, access, and flow in Lucketts has been on the books for a decade. The plans are finished. Not enough money has been forthcoming to build it. The money that citizens DID get (one of those federal earmarks from Congressman Frank Wolf) now has been reallocated to the southern portion of the Route 15 corridor under study, to benefit the new developments.


SGP, I don’t base my disgust with either Trump or LaRock on their race.  I find both of them chronic blowhards who look for ways to divide people instead of looking for ways government (their employer) can make like better for everyone.  No hypocrisy at all. 

Now what do you think was the motive for so many (including our GropenFührer) when they pushed the “birther” nonsense?  They disagreed with Obama’s policy?  Nah, didn’t think so.


FredSanford is correct except the 239 page study and all the experts didn’t include all the folks from West Virginia and Pennsylvania. I’ve taken in a few ball games up that way, and needed to fight traffic, but planned for the trip, which wasn’t too bad once you got through the triangle. Widening the road only helps all the “foreigners” at our expense, and no widening project will make the road safer. Improvements and folks putting their technology away will make the roads safer. LaRock isn’t about higher taxes, he is about spending money locally wiser, which Loudoun County as a whole needs to figure out.


This is why I vote against every incumbent….Nothing gets done but more of our hard earned money is spent elsewhere(like 62% raise for future BOS). Or on bogus studies.


Randall says she represents her constituents as the vice chair of the NVTA and votes to include a Potomac River bridge when the Envision study comments are almost 10 to 1 against the bridge, some representation. She had a opportunity to remove the bridge line item but did not even make a motion, weak sister. In eastern Loudoun she says there will be no bridge yet in western Loudoun she says she will protect them by building a bridge in eastern Loudoun, go figure!


So let’s see. If R’s had said they couldn’t bring themselves to call Obama their president in 2009 and that he was a “sad excuse”, the D’s would have called them racists. Yet Dirk does just that and nobody on the Left calls him out because they agree with him. The intolerance and hypocrisy on the Left is deafening.

Dave is advocating what 80%+ know - that Rt 15 needs major improvements. But rather than talk about that issue (somewhere I thought politicians should deal with issues), Randall and Dirk want to bring up irrelevant opinions and personally attack him. Reminds me of our other hypocrite Herring talking about Obamacare while running for AG (completely off-topic) If you disagree with LaRock politically, explain why and advocate for your candidate.  But I sure hope you can explain why Rt 15 should not be a priority since that is what LaRock was touting and this is an article on Rt 15.


Dave is a big fan of the sort of divisive nonsense that our current occupant of the White House loves so…sorry, can’t bring myself to use the term President for this sad excuse.

Let’s send Dave back to Hamilton to find gainful employment.  Let’s say the hate and division stops here and we get government servants who actually work for us.


Am I the only one who finds it ironic that Buona touts Randall as having brought grace and class to the BOS? What world are they living in? This irrational and chippy statement is who Randall is.

It is pretty simple. If elected, defend your positions logically. Don’t hide or defend your peers because you all want to remain in office. You are not royalty.


NVTA is hokie at best.  When citizens speak up against a project that is flawed and costs the taxpayers money, they are sure to hand out the funds. As far as LaRock attending the BOS meeting, I thought it was open to the public. Randall seems to be a bit defensive, not sure why. Leaders move on not stoke the fire.


CousinSam:  Widening RT15 only benefits Maryland commuters. If they don’t like sitting in traffic, they should sell their home in Maryland and come live in Virginia.


CousinSam is right. Ok, so LaRock didn’t want taxes raised, but the bill passed anyway, and the VA government now has our money, so let’s use the money for what it was intended. Widen Rt. 15 and quit the bickering.


Phyllis I am so disappointed.  You were elected because you pledged to work to make Loudoun County better.  Rather than calling our LaRock work with him.  This is why we cant resolve key issues, becuase everyone wants to play politics.


For all the LaRock haters (including Randall), you have conveniently forgotten a key aspect of citizen LaRock’s opposition—-there were no metrics on the original Transportation Bill that would guarantee that the new pot of money would be anything else that a big political slush find.  Virginia has a long history of building transportation projects in areas of the state that were politically powerful, but benefited few actual citizens (i.e. those nice wide highways out in the middle of nowhere).  The Transportation Bill (under the guidance of Del. May, whom LaRock defeated in a primary) was set up to be another of those giant boondoggles.

Once elected, LaRock moved to put metrics on the Transportation Law to take the politics out of the decision making and put the money to transportation projects that benefit the most people using a ranking system underpinned with pre-determined transportation formulas.


Can we just address the actual issue instead of sniping at each other?  Route 15 NEEDS to be wider for safety and flow of traffic.  Please just agree to get it done and…you know… SERVE THE PUBLIC!


Political grandstanding by Randall.

Her actions make so sense anyway.  LaRock is a state legislator representing many people in Loudoun.  Randall decides to take pot shots for no beneficial reason.  LaRock will (again) trounce his Democratic opponent in a couple of weeks.  Randall irritates a state legislator to whom she will likely need some future support for no good reason.  Amateur.


PS-

Phyllis, don’t give one inch. I wouldn’t let that crew loose with any records voluntarily. Treat ‘em like any Republican would treat you- they’d drag out the FOIA process any way they could and make you spend time and energy.


You tell ‘em Phyllis.

Dave and his gigantic piggy drove all over Northern Virginia and made one point very clear- Dave doesn’t like paying taxes and he sure didn’t support raising funds for road improvements or public transportation through tax increases. Now he wants a new road.

Hypocrisy, meet Dave and his pink piggy. One would have thought Dave was well acquainted with hypocrisy but as most of the current Republicans have he has one learned behavior working in his favor. Dave has perfected dealing with his cognitive dissonance.

Granted, Dave doesn’t have to look very far for good examples of how to handle the stress most of us would experience by holding contradictory beliefs. Dick Black is a perfect mentor.

Dick has no problem spending millions on his deep pocketed supporters pet projects all the while railing against government waste. Dick hasn’t ever cashed a check in his life that wasn’t written by taxpayers, not that you’d know it from his anti-government rhetoric. At least Dave made a living building garish mcmansions.

So after Phyllis calls out Dave for his blatant hypocritical pre-election grandstanding Larock has the audacity to accuse Supervisor Randall of calling out his position on new roads by bringing up the Confederate Statue in front of the court house?

Dave, you hit a new low, even for a tea bagger. Again though, Dave is in good company for that sort of example of low road Trumpish rhetoric- Dick Black.

Who better to coach Dave in tasteless actions than the guy who mails plastic fetuses to his fellow law makers? The guy who claims spousal rape doesn’t exist?

Only last week Dick went all Civil War White Supremacist revisionist when he opined that no Confederate soldiers in Loudoun County died defending the institution of slavery. Those boys were merely defending themselves from Northern aggression while fighting alongside all the regiments of happy darkies who volunteered to fight for General Lee.

Dave,
I’d love to tell you what I think of you and Dick but you don’t go out in public much. You’ve never attended a debate no matter who hosts them and you don’t publicize your schedule. Last I heard you didn’t even have an office to meet constituents, instead preferring to cash the check allotted to you for such by Virginia taxpayers instead inviting people to instead meet you at your house?

I’m told a common survival strategy of those with cognitive dissidence is to avoid social situations where it would be impossible to ignore one’s contradictory positions so I’m not expecting to see my Delegate any time soon.


Well, we all knew Randall would lie at the drop of a hat (oh, let me see if I’m testifying in court today before I answer whether my “Chair Phyllis Randall” Facebook page is personal or public).  But now we know she can’t understand basic logic.

Just because a citizen or politician wants to keep tax dollars where they belong, in the hands of the citizens rather than the free-spending pols, doesn’t mean public tax dollars shouldn’t be spent for ALL the citizens.  Some Congressmen try to restrict total spending on pork at every turn.  But since their constituents must pay federal taxes to fund projects too, they then turn around and rightly demand a fair share.  That’s not being hypocritical.  They would go without if everyone else would.  But they refuse to get taken advantage of.

It is not hypocritical (or “rich” or whatever cute term Randall wants to use) to advocate for NVTA funds to be used on valid road projects. Or maybe Randall thinks that because Trump won the national election, federal projects should just be used on districts which voted for Trump?  Or more likely, maybe Randall doesn’t have the capacity to understand the distinction.

What’s even more disappointing is Letourneau.  I’m sure he was paying attention when I had this same lesson to Hornberger a couple years ago.  When Loudoun taxes its citizens, we spend 100% of those taxes in Loudoun.  When Virginia taxes us, we get maybe 70 cents on the dollar back.  Making a statement such as “the Commonwealth ... has a heck of a lot more money than ... Loudoun” is completely irrelevant.  That state money comes from counties like Loudoun.  And we NEVER win when other regions get handouts from Loudoun via statewide taxes.

What Letourneau doesn’t want to do is take the accountability for the taxation of Loudoun residents to benefit Loudoun residents.  It appears, just like the corrupt Hornberger, Letourneau would rather Loudoun citizens pay more to the state government to get less benefits simply so Letourneau isn’t the one who votes on the taxation.  He and Randall just want LaRock and others to get blamed.  That is pandering and it’s disgusting from someone who should know better.

Citizens WANT our BOS to set tax rates so that we can fund our transportation issues.  Then, we dump the maintenance on VDOT.  We also want our state legislators and regional body reps (NVTA) to fight for our fair share given the taxes Loudouners must pay to outside bodies.  We DON’T want the BOS to shower wasted $$ on LCPS who refuses to hold its employees accountable and has so many more applicants than it can possibly interview simply because Matt’s friend’s (Jeff Morse) wife can get a huge raise.

We are not stupid, Matt and Phyllis.  Get a clue and stop treating us that way.  Or maybe we will find someone who will.


Someone tell LaRock to put his torch down, he is not in Charlottesville.  Stick to the issue, which is transportation and why you opposed something that could help and now you begging for the money.


“Dave LaRock campaigned against House Bill 2313. He campaigned against the establishment of a funding source to NVTA. If it were not for NVTA’s funding source, were it not for HB 2313, we would not be talking about money to fix Route 15,” Randall said. “This has nothing to with anything but the fact that politicians have to, if we going to be elected officials, live what we say. We can’t on the one hand to one group of people push back against legislation, and then in front of another group of people, come and talk in favor of what that legislation has yielded.”

Randall could not be more wrong, I know she will try but she can’t.  I agree with LaRock that Bill 2313 should have failed, but it didn’t.  That means there are funds available for projects.  Since he disagreed with the Bill she implies that he should not give his opinion on how the money is spent.

There are people who voted against President Obama in 2008, does that mean those people should not be allowed to use the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  If she pushed for local government to have a say in removing local statues and lost that argument does that mean her opinion in regard to the statues should be disregarded?


Supervisors cannot do anything to the Confederate Statue. Only the General Assembly in Richmond can authorize the removing or relocating of the statue.

Having the BoS even debate the topic is an exercise in futility.

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