Dave LaRock

State Del. Dave LaRock (D-33rd)

I hope people are wondering why the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors would agree with other leaders in northern Virginia to send a message to Gov. Ralph Northam (D) asking him to pause Phase 1 of the plan to finally begin reopening businesses and places of worship.

Last weekend, after Northam teased quarantine-weary Virginians with the prospect of restoring some of their freedom, he also advised regional elected officials to send him recommendations on whether their progress, or lack of progress, might warrant a delay. That was the question put to various northern Virginia officials who did a virtual huddle with Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) members – all who have COVID-19-resistant incomes – and the commission's executive director, Bob Lazaro, former Purcellville mayor.

Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D) represented Loudoun. After bouncing the question around their echo chamber, Randall did what commissions love to do: agree. Chairwoman Randall came back to the Loudoun board with the recommendation that Loudoun speak in unity with the rest of the region in asking Northam to prolong the business-crushing, church-closing lockdown.

On a 6-3 vote, the Board of Supervisors agreed. But why? Bipartisan opposition to the delay came from Caleb Kershner (R-Catoctin), Tony Buffington (R-Blue Ridge) and Kristen Umstattd (D-Leesburg). (Republican Matt Letourneau of the Dulles District joined five Democrats in supporting the measure.)

Let’s connect some dots, but first, some Loudoun COVID-19 data. According to the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project, data from the Virginia Department of Health reports Loudoun County COVID deaths at 7.3 per 100,000 people – fewer deaths per capita than Virginia overall. Northern Virginia’s reported COVID-19 death rate is 16.6 per 100,000 people. In simple terms, Loudoun County is in better shape that Virginia overall – and far better than northern Virginia – but Randall sent a letter informing me that Loudoun wants more lockdown while offering no logic or reasoning for this decision.

Remember, nothing in politics is accidental, so always look for a motive. The two favorites are usually political power and money, and that’s no different here. Chairwoman Randall is more loyal to her Trump-hating Democrat buddies from northern Virginia than to the people and local businesses who are desperate for relief. Church services have also been banned for several weeks and were hoping Phase 1 relief would get them going, but that’s not happening now that Randall has gotten her way. If there is another reason, I invite her to share what it is.

Stimulus money is another likely factor. Just like the individual who is incentivized to stay unemployed by generous unemployment checks, northern Virginia governments are quite fond of the bailouts coming from Washington. Fairfax County favors prolonging the shut down at least in part because it will be better positioned for the balance of Cares Act money and for Stimulus 4 if it materializes. Under those circumstances, any cash-strapped government would be tempted to stay on the disabled list.

Who loses? Hard-working people, that’s who. Families may get a check or two to hold them over, but the stress will build and, in some cases, lead to desperation and anxiety that can further lead to broken families, drug abuse, suicide, domestic violence and financial ruin. All this proves some elected officials forget they take an oath to uphold the Constitution, which by design should protect life, liberty, and property, not destroy it.

Loudoun is doing far better than the rest of northern Virginia and Virginia. Message to Chairwoman Randall: “Forget the politics and remember the people. Reopen Loudoun without unnecessary delay.”

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State Del. Dave LaRock, a Republican, represents the 33rd House District, which includes northwest Loudoun County and parts of Clarke and Frederick counties. He can be reached at deldlarock@house.virginia.gov and 540-751-8364.

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Related:

-"Here's what all nine Loudoun County supervisors have to say about reopening the commonwealth"

(40) comments

Round Hill Hat

I agree with Supervisors Buffington, Kirchner and Umstadtt; it is a necessity and right for people to make a living, without government interference. It appears that the Loudoun BOS is holding back from opening businesses and places of worship -- that is the effect -- because other parts of Northern Virginia did not meet their infection targets, even though Loudoun has.

Elected leaders: If you are waiting for infection rates to go to zero, that is unwise. The cure then becomes worse than the disease.

I support Dave Larock as a leader who defends constitutional liberties -- which I value highly -- and he has raised his voice in this forum to try to counterbalance the fears of COVID-19 with assertion of personal liberties.

Yes, I wore my mask when I ran errands today. Yes, I washed my hands thoroughly when I got home. And yes, I support having undue restraints removed from my financially strapped neighbors so they can make a living for themselves and their families!

amerigirl

• In normal times I would agree with you but this is a declared emergency. Loudoun had hit its highs on cases 5/10-16, the week after we were supposed to open, your statement does not make sense. Loudoun had not met the criteria.

Thanks for wearing the mask, there are too many that really won’t have enough respect for other people to do that.

EGleason

LaRock says "Remember nothing in politics is accidental, so look for a motive. The two favorites are usually political power and money, and that's no different here." Too bad he did not disclose that he is president of his own business, LaRock Builders, Inc. It seems possible that under the "bailout" legislation, LaRock's business potentially stands to gain financially by putting others are risk so that he can make a buck. As far his LaRock's comments about Washington DC "bailouts," it sure would have been helpful if the Loudoun Times Mirror had checked to see whether LaRock shared in that small business "bailout." Seems that would be relevant in evaluating whether LaRock has any of his own financial motives in opening Loudoun County now. Finally, to suggest that individuals who receive even the maximum amount of unemployment compensation benefits for the 26-week period under VA law (a total amount that is less than $10,000) appears to be intentionally misleading and soulless. Shame on LaRock, and shame on the Loudoun-Times Mirror for not pointing out LaRock's business background and his own potential motives before publishing his letter.

pual mase

So what if LaRock owns a business? Who doesn’t own a business, work for a business or receive products and services from businesses?

So you are condemning those that lawfully take advantage of small business programs intended to help businesses survive in a government-imposed lockdown.

EVERYONE has a stake in getting the economy going.

If we follow EGleason’s logic no one with a business or a non-government job would be ineligible to post letterrs or hold public office.

How absurd.

amerigirl

Don't you think that was an influence? Nobody said they were condemning anyone.

BobOhneiserEsq

Partisan bickering is an old and useless commentary. Is the only choice "to open or not to open" as if we are stuck in a Shakespearean play? Elections have consequences but after they are over it is our responsibility to hold elected officials accountable for INTELLIGENT decisions not lazy, hapless ones. Why isn't Route 15 being expanded while traffic is down? Why isn't Howard Hughes Institute paying its $7 million in property taxes? Why isn't a public plan at least being reviewed for how to run LCPS in the fall assuming the virus is still having an affect? WHAT ARE THE PLANS? :-)

amerigirl

I guess it's a good thing that our BOS made INTELLIGENT decisions. You of all people should know why RT 15 hasn't started. As with any project they have to complete need to get all input and recommendations and then do the Safety and Operations Study and have it approved. Again, let me repeat, Howard Hughes is a nonprofit research and nonprofits do not pay taxes. They have given back to Loudoun. They are currently teamed up with Aperiomics to manufacture up to 2,500 COVID-19 test kits each week to supply hospitals and doctors. Janelia is volunteering its staff time and expertise along with essential equipment and supplies.They provide paid internships for Loudoun high school students, along with the Academy of Science, and donate about $1 million annual support for science education through the Loudoun County Public School District. They also host a quarterly public lecture series for the public. How do you think they would do public planning when we are in lock down? Before you start screaming in caps why don't you look on the Gov. site and find out? They are having work sessions that you can attend virtually or in person with proper distancing.

pual mase

LavRock

Makes a cogent argument for reopening of Loudoun so businesses and employees can back to work . Kudos for an elected official to point out fecklessness of Randall and the BOS

amerigirl

Kudos to Randall and the BOS for thinking of their constituents and the economy. They understand that if we open too soon how high the likelihood of a second wave happening. The know what a devastation that could have on Loudoun's people and economy.

workhardgetahead

Amerigirl must be a government employee and doesnt have to worry about her paycheck, or meeting a mortgage payment, paying a power or water bill or making a purchase at a grocery store.

amerigirl

Work, sure and I'm also an operative for the deep state. Do you realize how many conversations, including one almost identical to this one we have had where I have mentioned that I am retired? So no I don’t worry about a paycheck and as I said before I don’t know why they sent me the stimulus check if I still am getting a Social Security check, or why essential people with no cut in pay got it. Very poor management on the govt. part. I do worry about trump trying to take my SS check that I have been paying into for over 50 years. Guess what, my mortgage, water, electric and gas bills still come, they don’t stop, though I don’t understand why you would think they would if I was a gov employee. Who do you think doesn’t have those bills because they work a certain type of job? That is silly.

pual mase

They are guessing that a severe “second wave “ is coming.

They are guessing that an extended lockdown will be effective.

There is no guessing that unprecedented people are now unemployed or many businesses are closing for good.

The only economic guess is whether their will be a severe recession or a depression.

If two thirds of NY case are people locked down, are you suggesting it is worth continued devastation of the economy to extend a questionable policy?

amerigirl

Pual, they are guessing that a second wave is coming from looking at other countries and how they opened. They are hoping an extended lockdown is effective since Loudoun is just now getting their highest counts. There are lots of people unemployed, we are in a pandemic, thus the state of emergency. You are such a doomsayer. It isn’t a questionable policy. Look at the information from other countries and see what happens when you open too early, or look at Texas. Money over people, great moral standards.

Tic24

This guy obviously does not know Ms. Randall. She is a community person and makes herself visible and approachable to her community. This is not situation that has an easy fix or answer. She is doing the best she can as well as other political figures who are trying to help. The political shots that he takes in this article are tasteless and incorrect. What has he done to help? How come we never see him in the community. Unfortunately , he is a republican that feels a need to follow the party agenda instead of looking into the matter himself and offer solutions or other politicians( regardless of party) to help with this situation so we can re- open. he would rather sit in his office and complain and offer negative criticism to stir up more fear and anxiety.

ace10

Can't tell if serious.

More Cowbell

I'm an Independent and feel this is politically motivated based on which party is making the call. 90% of businesses that are open, are non essential, should have been close down. Construction work, Vape stores, daycare, big box stores, Clothing stores, even elective surgeries were allowed to open. If the state/local govt really wanted to knock this virus to the side, Then shutdown everything for 2 weeks. Of course it should have been done 5-6 weeks ago. Instead we continue down same path, nothing changes, BOS were AWOL when May 8 was a possible date to open, but emails showed they knew Gov Northam wasn't going to open VA. So they waited to send the letter. Of course not 1 reached out to any of their constituents.

amerigirl

The facts aren’t political. According to the state, about 25% of COVID-19 tests in Northern Virginia come back positive, as opposed to 10 percent in the rest of the state. Loudoun had its biggest spike the week after we were supposed to open. What clothing stores? What elective surgeries, tough I imagine if the beds are available there should be no reason to stop them especially for those dealing with pain? The BOS has to follow the states lead, they can ask for extension, they can not demand them.

Eric the half a troll

David LaRock takes NO action which is not politically motivated. He is nothing but a hypocrite.

AFF

Delegates are given a stipend so they can have an office to meet with constituents. Dave LaRock doesn't think this sort of thing is necessary, so he instead pockets the funds and invites people to come to his home office.

I'd have a hard time imagining a politician less qualified to comment on COVID than Dave LaRock.

amerigirl

What a joke, Loudoun County is in better shape that Virginia overall. BS, for sure. If you look at the cases in VA the top 5 are Fairfax, Pr. William, Arlington, Alexandria and Loudoun. There is your logic and reasoning. Sounds like old Dave is too stupid to look at a county listing for Virginia.

He said nothing in politics is accidental, so always look for a motive. That’s the difference, this is not politics. This isn’t a political battleground; we are tied to NOVA very closely. Has he looked at the model of what would have happened without a lockdown? They are out there and the way the circle grows is unbelievable. And then he tries to hide himself in the Constitution, hypocrite.

Kitt61

I’ve been saying it since the beginning... POLITICAL ARMAGEDDON. Politicians are setting up their futures and generations to come financially. Start fighting back people. Start living.

Pville citizen

I would rather listen to a Governor with a Medical degree than LaRock who like Trump wants to politicize the decision to create a division among us. Interesting how LaRock wants to restrict women’s decisions about their bodies but argues Governors stay at home order for everyone’s safety is a restriction of an individual’s liberty. Let’s all agree with common sense so the supposed pro-life party doesn’t kill off elderly and immune compromised by their actions.

workhardgetahead

Would.you rather listen to a Governor that wears a KKK hood or a Governor that wears black face? I guess it doesn't matter does it.

amerigirl

I guess you tell a truth doesn't matter either. Run with those theories.

workhardgetahead

So you're denying that Northam was wearing either a Blackface or KKK HOOD. What would you reaction be if it was Trump in that picture?

Again, hypocrisy on fine display folks.

amerigirl

Work, I am saying that picture has been investigated more than once, even by the school and they could find no definitive evidence. But you continue to claim t is fact.

That is something that I wouldn’t put past trump since he has Miller and had Sebastian Gorka on his staff with ties to ult-right groups. Then again trump referred to neo-Nazis, white supremacists and white nationalists as “very fine people” in Charlottesville, look at how he described how well and innocent their march the night before was. That was the march where they were carrying tiki torches and screaming Nazi saying. According to his first wife’s divorce filings, kept and studied a book translating and annotating Adolf Hitler’s pre-World War II speeches in a locked bedside cabinet.

Maybe you should read Burt Neuborne’s ‘When at Times the Mob Is Swayed: A Citizen’s Guide to Defending Our Republic’ with the ‘20 Common Themes, Rhetorical Tactics and Dangerous Policies’ comparison between the early Hitler and Trump.

workhardgetahead

Amerigirl, all I can say to you and I can say no more, you have very dark blinders on and there is no hope for you and the many of your ilk. I write this on Memorial day and I know that some who gave their lives are probably rolling in their graves because they protected freedoms for you that you don't appreciate or turn a blind eye to in the name of Socialism.

Good job and Congratulations.

amerigirl

To say I have blinders on when you get your news from right wing conspiracy news is real hypocritical. Unmasking Flynn who was never masked etc. 10 days ago you said “Unmasking for political purposes.is a Felony. Spying on an opposing presidential camp” about some one who was planning with the Russian ambassador about sanctions to go into effect when he was in the position to do so. Guess what? That is totally illegal, under the Logan Act which makes it a crime for a private citizen to communicate with a foreign government without proper authority in an attempt to influence the actions of the foreign government, and lying to Law enforcement. You say I have blinders but you are committed to saying in almost every comment something about socialism, communism, and a bunch of false conspiracy theories.

pual mase

La Rock and Trump’s views on reopening reflect a large and growing public sentiment that continued lockdown is not justified. We have prepared the medical community with beds, ventilators and PPE and while vaccines are progressing they are many months or years away, if ever. Treatments are progressing as well.

It is time for a smarter , more targeted approach to protect the vulnerable, lessen the spread and at the same time reopen the economy before it totally collapses.

If you haven’t noticed, the so-called experts have bee inconsistent and often wrong.

It is not political or divisive to want to save jobs and businesses.

It is political to inject abortion arguments into the debate and ten accuse others killing off elderly.

amerigirl

The sentiment isn't that large, just loud. Still not the majority. Didn't trump say there would be a vaccine by Sept.? It is time to get it contained, for people to stop being so self centered and to do what is best for the people of Loudoun. If you haven't noticed Texas opened while on the up part of the curve and look what is happening there now. The experts have done the best with what they have. It is a new virus and they have no positives to work with, just unknowns. Still they are doing pretty good considering. Do you think you could do better? It is political to insert abortions, that has nothing to do with the virus. It is not politics to say that opening too soon can kill the elderly. It can.

Galluponover

I'm not surprised anymore when a member of one party accuses members of the other party of taking actions for purely political reasons. It usually looks to me like the ones doing the accusing have the same motivation. Is either party acting purely politically, or maybe they both have legitimate reasons for the positions that they've taken? Addressing the subject of the article, I believe that there are considerations for leaving the county shut down for a while longer. For one, we may be experiencing a lower infection rate than other parts of Virginia because Loudoun citizens are intelligent enough to have abided by the restrictions placed on us and have therefore kept the infection rate lower than elsewhere. Secondly, there is a challenge when one part of the county is opened while other parts stay in lockdown: there is the risk that the populous is tired of being cooped up and will more than likely travel to those areas that have been opened, especially if they are conveniently close. If this occurs, won't there be a mixing of groups with the more infected persons now carrying the disease to the lower infected areas? As smart as we are in Loudoun, temptation is a powerful force and a popular BBQ joint might be strong enough of a draw to bring in folks from miles away. Seems to me that waiting a while longer to open up won't exacerbate the situation as much as increasing the infection rate will by producing more sick citizens. The point is, politically motivated or not, I'm in favor of continuing to shelter in place for a while longer to hold down the number of infected people while we wait.

Oldbroad

You are so logical and succinct in your reasoning. I too, hope none of all this nonsense is all about politics. That does not speak well of us as a people. And the one thing I disagree on...Loudouners are NOT smarter. As a whole the nouveau Loudouners are entitled and egocentric and will go and do whatever suits them. That's harsh but having worked in a service environment here for that past 15 years, I am embarrassed by the prevailing attitudes in this area..and Leesburg is the WORST! Give them six feet and they reduce it to 3, give them 10 people to an area, they'll cram in 20 because they want to. We can not partial open certain areas as it will be inconvenient to too many.

amerigirl

Amen, some people think they should not be held liable to rules, and it will always be the other persons fault if they catch it.

DWolf

The mud slinging across party lines has to stop. This man is a farce of a public servant, and I'm sure up on his high hill looking out from his McMansion it's easy to sacrifice everyone.

pual mase

Nice Dwolf........moaning about mud-slinging as you sling mud.

MitchT

And still we have no data on the impact of the lockdowns. We have models for everything.... the economy, stock markets, consumer activity, many health issues, weather, you name it. And those models are built even though we don't know every single factor that affects the model. COVID-19 models are a good example. But there is no model for the lockdown impacts, and no one seems to be asking for one. Just remember, when anyone says they are making these decisions based on data, it's not true. They are only considering data on one side of the issue, and don't even have an educated estimate of whether they are making the problem better or worse.

One would think journalists would recognize this and be reporting on it, questioning officials on it. But... silence. And pushing the approved line./p>

More Cowbell

That would require research and to actually do their job. Today, Journalists are about getting something out fast without proof checking. There are many stories that aren't reported on that are just as important. FISA warrant fraud, Past FBI traitors about to be indicted(Andy McCabe even lives in Loudoun).

ace10

Over the past six to twelve months, Kristen Umstattd has been a voice of reason among the rest of lunatic fringe (D)s on the BoS. She deserves credit for thinking the issues through, rather than simply voting on party lines.

Oldbroad

Sometimes....

More Cowbell

I agree. Others just follow the leader, which is political suicide for their careers.

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