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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Loeffler disputes 'Tea Party' label


Mollie Loeffler on the campaign trail at Falls Church High School.

Mason District supervisor candidate Mollie Loeffler, who’s running as an independent, calls a flyer sent to local voters labeling her a Republican, right-wing extremist and Tea Party member an act of desperation by Mason Supervisor Penny Gross’ re-election campaign.

The flyer’s headline reads, “Mollie Loeffler is the Republican Choice for Supervisor,” and on the back it says, “The circus is coming to town” under three pictures of elephants labeled Loeffler, Cuccinelli, and Trump.

The text accuses Loeffler of serving as a Republican precinct captain “leading the right-wing charge in Mason District”; signing a Tea Party Patriots letter; and having received campaign funding from “the same donors who’ve given to Ken Cuccinelli and other extremist Republicans.”

Tiny text at the bottom of the mailer reads, “Paid for and authorized by Penny Gross for Supervisor.” The flyer uses Loeffler’s campaign photo – without permission – which seems aimed at confusing voters into thinking the flyer is from the Loeffler campaign.

Gross “is clearly resorting to fear and scare tactics to get people to vote for her,” Loeffler says. “It shows just how desperate and divisive she is.”

Loeffler says she has been in both parties and joined the Republicans in 2011 to work on the campaign of David Feld, a moderate Republican who was running against Gross for supervisor. She readily acknowledges receiving an endorsement from the Fairfax County Republican Committee, but has not received funding from the committee.

“I became an independent,” she says, “after realizing that neither party has all the right answers and that partisanship is harmful to good policy. Local government should be driven by community concerns, not by party politics.”

The Tea Party letter Loeffler signed urged Congress to strengthen the borders before granting amnesty to undocumented immigrants. “They must have spent hours looking for this on the Internet,” Loeffler says. “I believe in border protection. This is it. To infer that I am a Tea Partier is a complete lie.”

The claim that she is bankrolled by extremists is “a total joke,” she adds. “Someone gave money to Cuccinelli and donated to me. This means I am funded by right-wing extremists?”

“[Former U.S. Rep] Tom Davis’ PAC gave me $1,000 – that is about as extreme as it gets,” Loeffler says. “I have people from every political background in the neighborhoods supporting me. People who gave to Penny Gross are on my donor list.”

According to the Virginia Public Access Project, Loeffler’s campaign has raised $39,000, mostly from individuals, compared to Gross’s campaign receipts of about $224,000. Like all the other Fairfax County  supervisors running for re-election, Gross has gotten large contributions from the real estate sector.

“Gross has paid door knockers. I have concerned citizens walking with me,” Loeffler says. “She has a huge Democratic machine. I have volunteers and one paid staffer. She has big developers and PACs. I have the people.”

Loeffler’s campaign volunteers report that door-knockers paid by the Gross campaign are telling voters that Loeffler is a Tea Party extremist and that she has also received contributions from developers. At least one voter complained about feeling intimidated by a Gross campaign worker.  

44 comments:

  1. Looks like someone got their hand caught in the Tea Party cookie jar!

    And sure seems like Mollie is doing a lot of complaining. Wah wah wah. I would hate to see how quickly she would crumble as a member of the BOS. And she wouldn't even have Ellie to defend her!

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    1. You forgot the part about how three other BOS members had to correct Penny's oversights on the Seven Corners project before they'd vote for it. And that's merely a preview of what we can expect if she's reelected.

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    2. Penny got caught pushing a phony flyer.

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    3. “And she wouldn't even have Ellie to defend her!”
      This comment is typical of many comments accusing the Annandaleblog of being biased in favor of Mollie Loeffler and against Penny Gross. Let’s look at some other reporting sources to compare. These articles announce the candidacy first of Jessica Swanson (2) then of Mollie Loeffler as challengers to the incumbent, Penny Gross.
      Falls Church News Press April 1, 2015 7:28 PM5 Comments, By Nicholas F. Benton: Mason District’s Penny Gross Gets Primary Challenge for Re-Election http://fcnp.com/2015/05/27/editorial-penny-gross-for-mason-supervisor/ . This was an article is about Jessica Swanson announcing her candidacy for the Democratic primary election and the title mentions Gross but not Swanson. The article contains 14 smarmy paragraphs of fawning over Supervisor Gross. In a piece about Jessica Swanson only 2 paragraphs mention Jessica Swanson, 4 paragraphs are neutral or mention both candidates.
      The other major source of local news is the Washington Post. In the Post, Antonio Olivo, March 3, 2015: Veteran Fairfax supervisor Gross faces challenger in Democratic primary, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/veteran-fairfax-supervisor-gross-faces-challenger-in-democratic-primary/2015/03/03/16350e3c-c1bd-11e4-ad5c-3b8ce89f1b89_story.html Again the title mentions Gross but not Swanson. The article, about Jessica Swanson, contains 6 paragraphs about Gross and only 3 mentioning Jessica Swanson.
      Also from the Antonio Olivo, April 6: Veteran Fairfax supervisor sees second challenger in bid for 6th term https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/veteran-fairfax-supervisor-sees-second-challenger-in-bid-for-6th-term/2015/04/06/e489e694-dc71-11e4-acfe-cd057abefa9a_story.html Gross’s name is mentioned in 6 paragraphs and Mollie’s in only 2, in an article announcing Mollie’s candidacy.
      Is there bias in the media? Hell yes. Is there a pro Mollie bias in the Annandaleblog? Journalist will tell you that there is always some bias, but certainly nothing approaching the alternatives.
      BTW, Mollie probably has more friends on the Board of Supervisors now than Penny does and will certainly make more when she is elected to the Board.

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  2. Does Molli Support increasing, decreasing funding for the FECEP (the early childhood education program) Program as a way to improve test scores in our neediest public elementary schools?

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    1. Why would a supervisor support or not support that kind of thing? Those questions are best made of the School Board representative. The supervisor's main points of support for the schools comes in the funding of the school board transfer request, serving as an advocate for better state and national re-imbursement, and being a partner for the school system on land use to provide the schools the land it needs to reduce crowding.

      Mollie has been clear that she wants to be that advocate on the state and national level. Penny just went down to richmond this past week for the first time in forever to do that - Penny has been calling for that kind of action and would do that much more frequently.

      Another key way a supervisor can help the schools is to help with overcrowding, and there has been a clear difference between Mollie and Penny on this subject - Mollie has supported the return of Willston to FCPS for use as a school, whereas Penny is still trying to politic it and put government offices on the site.

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    2. The above anonymous comment is mine. I'd actually like responses from Mollie and Penny.

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    3. When I say "Penny has been calling for that kind of action and would do that much more frequently"... I meant "Mollie".

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  3. Penny Gross has always had to sling mud in order to distract voters from her abysmal records as supervisor. It's been her good fortune to run on the coattails of popular county supervisors and that's what she's counting on to get her reelected again. What's really telling is that Penny manifests the same abusive attitude when confronting residents of Mason who disagree with her policies. She seems offended by opposing viewpoints and dismisses those expressing them in the same harsh and misleading manner she directs at Mollie Loeffler. It's impossible to believe that Mason can't do better than to keep reelecting the same bitter and ineffective supervisor.

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  4. I don't think labeling Mollie a Republican is an "act of desperation" but a fact. According to VPAP, Mollie Loeffler recently received a $1,000 PAC donation from the VA Republican Victory Fund. She was listed as a Republican precinct captain even after she announced her campaign. I wish she would stop with the charade and just be true to herself and her politics.

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    1. Wow! You really caught her dead to rights. A single GOP one grand contribution from a Republican organization. That really puts her in the GOP's pocket. Never mind the fact that the VPAP site you refer to clearly reflects that the rest of her campaign has been funded by small donations from private citizens. Contrast that with Penny who makes it a point to avoid acknowledging the substantial contributions she's received from real estate firms and property developers. You might also consider how little party affiliation has to do with being a supervisor. Party affiliation doesn't matter when it comes to filling pot holes.

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    2. That's Tom Davis’s PAC. Tom is a moderate centrist. He supports Mollie as an Independent because she will work across party lines to get things done.

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  5. And for those who have not seen the Tea Party letter that she signed onto in 2013, you can view it at:

    http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/746177/tpp-immigration-letter.pdf

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  6. This is my first impression of Mollie. What a whiner! Lots of crying!

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    1. Nope. That's Penny whenever the Courtland Park residents attempt to discuss their opposition to the Spectrum shopping center project.

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    2. 100% correct

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    3. I know. That's everyone's impression of Mollie when they meet her. But that's w-i-n-n-e-r. There is no h. A common spell-check error. And it is true, she often laughs so hard she cries.

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  7. you know what they say, if the heat is too hot - get out of the kitchen. When your busy playing defense, you know your campaign is a failure. Good golly Ms. Mollie, I thought you would do better than this. Guess you wasted a year of your time!

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    1. It seems to me Penny is the one on defense, if her best strategy is to say never mind my record, look my opponent is a republican

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    2. Good golly Ms. Mollie. It's almost time for you to to get out the kitchen and step into the Supervisors office.

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  8. Since when did defending yourself against a mud slinging opposition become whining? I would much rather see Mollie defend her position and refocus on the issues than fall to the opponents level and turn this into a typical mud slinging campaign. I am reassured at all the vote Mollie neighborhood signs indicate the reign of Ms. Gross may finally come to an end. Go Mollie! Keep it Up!

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    1. Matt, I have a feeling all of these "Anonymous" posters that are taking pot-shots at Mollie are from Penny's paid staffers.

      Tell you what folks - if you aren't a paid staffer, then make posts that are traceable rather than hiding under anonymity.

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    2. Why do assume that people who post things that are not in support of Mollie are "paid staffers" of Penny Gross?? So basically anyone who disagrees with Mollie, or doesn't like her, is automatically working for Penny? Wow - ever consider that perhaps Mollie has herself rubbed people the wrong way with her constant complaining and lack of specifics? Or perhaps some us saw through the fact that she was simply exploiting her position on the Mason District Council to launch her campaign against Penny Gross. I am glad that Mollie has FINALLY address the Tea Party issue. Now perhaps she could provide voters with some specifics of her plans...

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    3. Jeff: If Penny's paying them for this, she deserves a refund. If you're visited by one of her door knockers, you'll find they're working from a script. They never heard of Spectrum, Moncure, Upper Baileys or most of the other important local issues featured here weekly. That goes a long way toward explaining Penny's tabloid approach to campaigning. Mud slinging is much simpler than engaging in reasoned debate. What Penny desperately seeks to avoid is having to run on her threadbare record. However, the real problem is that many voters haven't been following her closely enough to notice her ineptitude, so I suspect that Penny hopes they'll vote for her based purely on party affiliation. If that happens and she wins reelection, everyone - including those party line voters - will be in for a rough ride during the next four years.

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    4. Regarding Anonymous @4:29pm:

      Mollie was president of MDC for years before she launched her campaign, and was the president of her own association before that.

      She has provided specifics numerous times in her emails, at campaign stops, on her website, and she will continue to do so at the candidate forums over the next couple of nights.

      Whereas Penny has made the Mason District Land Use committee by Penny's personal appointment only, Mollie will make it open to appointment from the neighborhoods.

      Whereas Penny has refused to meet with neighborhoods on various land use issues, requiring those neighborhoods to hire expensive legal representation, Mollie will gladly represent all of her constituents.

      Whereas Penny has resisted the communities calls to return Willston to FCPS and continues to plan to build a $125 M office building on the site (2016-2020 CIP), Mollie has promised to return the site to FCPS for use as a school with day care and community services.

      Lets not go into how the campaigns have been funded - over 45% of Mollie's campaign is small donations of under $100, compared to Penny's gargantuan war chest filled with special interest money and PACs. Yes, Mollie received one big-ish donation from moderate republican Tom Davis, but that pales in comparison to the tens of thousands of dollars in donations from the real estate and development lobby and PACs that are funding Penny.

      If you want to know more, do your research, but she has plenty of specifics. Regarding me saying Anonymous bloggers attacking Mollie as being paid by Penny - well, if you aren't, then stand up and be counted and don't hide behind anonymity.

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  9. The mudslinging began a long time ago right here on the Annandale Blog when Mollie was a staffer.

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  10. Hey, did you know that Presidential Candidate Jim Webb is a Mason District resident? And, did you hear today that he switched parties? Webb left the Democratic Party and declared himself an Independent candidate for President.

    It happens. Candidate switch parties. Lots of famous politicians have done that successfully. What does this say about them? That they have a strength of character to do what they believe is right?

    Go Mollie! You've tried all the parties and arrived at the right conclusion. Independent is best for Mason District. Neither party has served us well.

    And, Penny doesn't even like her constituents and Mason District enough to keep things in good shape. Our quality of life doesn't live up to the rest of Fairfax County. She pretends she represents us, but her interests are in the promotion Fairfax County and large and therefore herself.

    Move over Penny. It's past time for someone to represent Mason District who really cares about us.

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    1. Webb said he's dissatisfied with BOTH parties, and he hasn't actually declared that he'll keep running for president; he's *considering* it. Don't try to make it more than it is.

      Republicans have often said that they think Webb is a Democrat, and Democrats have often identified him as a Republican. He may truly be a valid Independent, but nearly everyone knows how well a third party of any kind will work in this country.

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    2. Webb sounds like my kind of guy.

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    3. So just how could a third party be worse? There's got to be better than this. THIS Sucks.

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  11. To Anonymous 10/20/15, 4:29 PM

    Interesting that you mention Mason District Council. I attended a very well-attended forum when just prior to Penny's arrival someone shouted, "Will somebody please run for Mason District Supervisor?"

    Guess Mollie took note. Mollie is definitely responsive to the needs of Mason District residents.

    Can't say the same for our 20-year incumbent who trashes her opponent instead of running on her own record. This speaks volumes about Penny's character and integrity.

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  12. The really sad part about Penny is that even now, she STILL doesn't do anything. My spouse called her office two months ago about an issue; they said they'd follow up, and never did. Typical. At least Mollie delivers results instead of empty promises.

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  13. Apparently Ms. Gross is getting scared and resorting to finding anything that links her to down state extreme far right. Mollie is anything but. She is a true PURPLE independent!

    We need an independent voice that listens to the community not an irate, confused supplicant to developers and special interests.

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  14. After reading all the above comments, the most negative,,ill informed and personal are from the Penny supporters. It seems that much of her personality has rubbed off on her allies.

    We need a fresh, positive approach to addressing the needs of Mason District. not more of Penny's self serving mud slinging and inaction.

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  15. I learned this morning that Penny's door knockers have approached some communities 4 times. That's a lot of money spent on the attack.

    Been told they are attacking Mollie with slanderous untruths. Pathetic.

    People need to do their homework and check out the facts before believing what you hear on the street.

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    1. Put a Mollie for Supervisor sign in your front yard. I've done that and it works wonderfully to ward off the 3P's (Penny's paid pests).

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  16. When Supervisor Gross won the democratic primary earlier this year, she said the following in her speech: “Taking the high road paid off,” Gross said. “If you know me and most of you do, you know that I have always taken the high road – positive, enthusiastic, moving forward; I love my community. I live in this community. I would never trash my community nor would I trash anybody in it.”

    I wonder what the low road looks like to Ms. Gross? I wonder what Ms. Gross' bar is for trashing someone in the community?

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    1. Good find. This behavior is unbecoming of Ms Gross. I'm kinda disappointed.

      Ms. Gross needs to go!

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  17. Seems to me that Supervisor Gross believes she is above the law. That photo of Mollie in Penny's attack mailers comes from Mollie's campaign website. It would follow that the photo was done by a professional. So, it would also follow that it is copyrighted.

    Copyright violation is illegal. Hiring brigades of campaign worker to defame her opponent is unethical and possibly illegal, as well...its called slander.


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    1. First, Mollie did the same thing to Penny by using a photo of Penny in her flier asking folks to show up to the recent debates and "cheer Mollie on."

      Second, you cannot claim copyright unless it is actually copyrighted.

      Third, having campaign volunteers going door to door to explain who Mollie really is and what she truly stands for is not illegal or unethical. Its called campaigning and telling the truth.

      Fourth, the only "slander" that has occurred is from the screeching extremists who have used this blog to post rude insults, lies, and half-truths about Penny.

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  18. How is Penny in the pocket of the developers? She's been in office for 20 years and Somalia looks more developed than this place. What are these developers getting for their money?

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    1. You're right about Mason being nderdeveloped. Maybe Penny can explain why that's been the case for her entire tenure in office. To answer your question, developers stand to get a green light from her to cram as many commercial and residential units into whatever space they can find regardless of the inadequate infrastructure available to support that level of development. Penny already got called out on that by her colleagues on the BOS during the vote on the Seven Corners project. It's telling that Mason's residents have to rely on supervisors from other districts to protect their interests.

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  19. When you have a supervisor that cares more about individuals that are here illegally than she does the tax paying citizens, you have a problem. I am sure the Justice League has contributed to Pennys' campaign, since they are paid by the county to keep the day laborers broke up into smaller groups to make it "look" better, instead of investing in helping them become legal tax paying and contributing citizens? Sadly, the tax paying and voting citizens of the district have to send their children to overcrowded schools and often have to attend class in trailers because the districts and county resources are being drained by Supervisor Gross's poor financial management decisions. I am going to review the donors for Gross's campaign and compare it to the county contract register, Gross's voting record and special interest groups before casting my vote. What I do know, it is like night and day between districts, you can actually tell when you enter Mason District. If you don't understand what I am getting at, take a drive east on 236 and cross over 495, immediately it like your in a different country. Throughout the district, you can see the visual difference between other districts in development, cleanliness and businesses. We need a change, we need it now and we need a community that we are proud to call home!

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  20. I will stay out of the personal attacks, but take a look at Columbia Pike between Blair Road and RT-7. That looks the exact same as it did in 1995 and it was an eyesore then. That is why I am voting for Mollie, not to mention the overcrowded schools which will only get worse in the next few years. 600 kids in 6th grade at Glasgow this year.

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