Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Vince Onorato says local politics is corrupt

Vince Onorato is fired up again. He has a letter to the editor today that makes a claim that local politics is corrupt. You can read his piece here.

Does he wish to elaborate here?


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  • MAVRICKinc

    One of the best junk yard dogs I’ve ever come to know in politics. He kept his promises. Was a royal pain in the butt for those who chose to “settle.” Asked hard questions that got him closer to his farewell conclusions.

    Since he’s not running for office, I’ll assume he has no more bridges to burn. So what’s left? A very clear understanding that all’s not right with how our County and elected officials conduct business.

    He doesn’t know where all the skeletons are buried but Supv. Marshall’s MEMOIRS should suffice.

    Is there something about an oligarchy we still don’t get?

    Vince is not playing victim or intends to be someone’s scape goat. However, his cry of corruption should serve us all as a real concern and warning. Corruption, as we know, covers a lot of territory and we’re just passing through.

    Vince may not be on the field of play, but since he’s never going to change or settle for less, I’ll play on his team anytime, with the understanding politics plays no role in my running the field. But he already knows that. Gone, maybe, but not forgotten.

  • Fredtastic

    Was not necessarily what he was saying (which I personally think was wrong half the time but that is beside the point) it was HOW he chose to say it. He was an arrogant and pompous person. I was a Spotsy staff worker who on a few occasions ended up on the wrong end of a Vince “mightier than thou” tirade. No one listened to him because no one LIKED HIM. It doesn’t matter how right you may be, if you are arrogant and pompous person, they won’t listen! If he had treated others with respect then he would have had alot more success during his tenure in Spotsy politics.

  • lgross

    Pretty succinct description of the problem. If folks don’t like you, you’re toast and the interesting thing is that he very probably was among
    the most honest at that trade… comparatively…

    so.. we found out that just being an honest politician is not sufficient for re-election. In fact, we found out that perceived honestly will not
    trump other factors including being perceived as “developer-friendly” or “tax & spend”.

    Mr. Onorato ran originally – because he was outraged as a citizen of what he considered a very pro-development .. and irresponsible
    approach to making land-use decisions.

  • lgross

    If you want to compare a politician who is also honest and could not even be remotely characterized as “developer friendly” AND
    who manages a persona that is not perceived to be arrogant and pompous – my vote would go to Mr. Jackson.

    If Mr. Onorato had managed his persona to be more like Mr.. Jackson.. he may well have been a “successful” politician.

    He was so disliked by some that they were willing to vote into office – someone who would return MLC to County Politics – which
    is so ironic because it was her performance with development and land-use decisions that swept Mr. Onorato into office to start

    so .. in the end.. what voters decided.. in essence.. was to put Mr. Onorato out and put MLC back in….

    that goes to show you the very real consequences of the public perceiving their elected to be rude and pompous – even if they
    are pretty honest… out they go…

    Mr. Jackson is no cuddly teddy bear by anyone’s standards… he has quite a sharp tongue… at times.. but he is respectful and
    IMHO very conscientious at trying to understand the issues – and not opposed to working with others if it does not violate his
    basic principles.

    Simply stated – one can disagree – without being disagreeable. Body language and tone do count and discussions at the BOS
    level can … bring out the worst in people unless they work very hard at keeping the under control.

    Mr. Onorato never held public office as far as I know.. he was a neophyte – the very opposite of a seasoned professional
    politician…. and his behavior became the issue not only with the public but others ..even potential allies on the BOS.

  • therestofthestory

    You are so right Larry on all points…it’s too bad the Spotsy is down to one person on the BOS with any shred of honesty…poo-ta-weet…so it goes said Billy Pilgrum

  • Fredtastic

    Well said. Mr. Jackson is a good example of one who typically understands the issue, makes thoughtful (ie. intelligent) comments and is generally easy to get along with.

  • therestofthestory

    You are so right Larry on all points…it’s too bad the Spotsy is down to one person on the BOS with any shred of honesty…poo-ta-weet…so it goes said Billy Pilgrum

  • grillwagon

    are not doing your job. Of course he could be wrong. But if he is right than that would make you asleep at the switch? Or in bed with friends? Maybe you could blog about that.

  • mustang2

    Gary Jackson is polite, reasonable and everyone gets
    along with him? Wow who knew? LOL.

  • MAVRICKinc

    I thought it best to look at all comments made on BOTH SIDES of Dan’s baited hook. Please notice Dan supplied us with a “here.” You should see the poison generated in Dan’s coverage on Vince and then to make his blog available to the hard core, should be published in “Spotsylvania County’s published version of Politics 101.”

    After all, we’re invited guest, which allows anyone to get as close to the fire as we might wish. The burning embers alone should keep us all warm enough to stand before the plucked chickens and listen to and what we learned in Biology 101; the dissection part of the coarse study.

    Let me please come back with my list of what constitutes “getting along, only to go along.”

  • lgross

    well.. we’re sorting plowing old ground here. Mr. O got voted out and he passed by the chance
    to run again – to vindicate and to demonstrate that he has overcome his tendency to show
    anger; in fact, when he just recently addressed the board, I could still see great anger in his
    words and rightly or wrongly – most folks don’t want the guy that represents them to be that
    angry for that much of the time – no matter how honest he might be.

    Politics is very unforgiving and unfair in many ways but we also do know that one can stand
    on principle, strongly argue those principles and still maintain a public image that is
    acceptable to a majority of folks who can vote you in or out. Mr. Jackson is an example of
    someone who can maintain a balance between advocating for principles but maintaining an
    acceptable public persona.

    We can always blame the media for unfair coverage but mostly what the media keys on is
    perceived controversy and what Mr. Jackson has accomplished is to keep the media focus on
    the issues and not him whereas Mr. O was not so successful at that.

    this is obviously a personal view… and I understand others including Mav may disagree.

    I’m basically trying to support the principles that Mr. O adhered to while at the same time
    understanding how an honest, principled person can become so toxic that they no longer
    have the confidence of a majority of the voters.

    In fact, in my view, in some respects we went from the frying pan into the fire since the
    winner saw fit to return MLC to county affairs – which was the original reason that Mr. O ran in
    opposition – and won.

    But it’s time to move on. The horse expired some time ago unless someone can identify
    some specific acts of wrongdoing sufficient to get law enforcement involved.

    Otherwise, we need to be more worried about where the BOS ship is headed rather than
    where they have been – again, in my view.

  • MAVRICKinc

    Larry, we’re not plowing old ground.

    While Vince Onorato may be old news, I’m sure you can appreciate he never surrendered his sword.

    You may or may not agree but Onorato, after asking Tricord 3 questions on how they were going to bring $50 million dollars to the County, the BOS rejected Tricord’s “New Post” project. If it were not it not for his findings the BOS would NOT have voted against Tricord’s New Post Project.

    Have any questions? If you do, I suggest you first schedule a meeting with the Spotsylvania County Planning Department and have them provide you a complete day to review the New Post Project as well as the Summit Crossing Project, which remains active, but rejected by our current BOS.

    While Vince may have been rejected by the voter’s emotions, he was replaced with Gary Skinner, and his platform of Common Sense Government.

    The County’s Registrar’s Office records Mr. Skinner list of benefactors and citizen contributions: 2007.

    1. Timothy J. Welsh, owner/ operator of RCCI (Rappahannock Consytruction made his $1000 contribution to Skinner on 7/24/2007.

    2.Thomas Y. Welsh, engineer w/ Sullivan, Donahoe and Sullivan contributed $2000 to Mr. Skinner’s campaign on 7/24/2007.

    3.Hugh C. Cosner/ Renna H. Cosner, for all things Cosner contributed $1000 to the Skinner campaign on 7/27/2007.

    4.William J. and Betty M Meadows of Meadows Farm regional landscaping contributed $1000 to the Skinner campaign on 7/31/2007.

    5. Carl Silver, of all things Silver contributed $300 to Skinners campaign on 7/6.2007. AND

    6. Pohanka Auto Center contributed $500 to his campaign on 8/20/2007.

    7. AKA Printing & Mailing contributed $1395 in printing/mailing, and political handouts (labor and material) to Skinner’s campaign.

    31 public contribution, under $100, amounted to $3,075 for the Skinner campaign…

    Now, put Mary Lee Carter into the Lee’s Hill District’s planning agenda and we’ve come full circle to TODAY.

    You’re telling us now to move on. From what point? Pre-Onorato, Post-Onorato, Pre Skinner or who we’re going to vote for November 2009.

    Any of the people listed above are not strangers to you or me. All you have to do is turn around
    and look in the mirror and you will find them standing directly behind you, even though Supv. Connors may appear to be standing closer, and just to your rear.

    It’s 2009 and nothing has changed. Even the players are the same, from top to bottom, and still talking the same talk for change, expecting a different result while using the the same business model.

    If you wish to champion the political skills of Supv. Gary Jackson, why is it that part of this blog site references Mr. Jackson’s continued and open efforts to challenge Mr. Marshall’s 3 acre agenda and propaganda that has yet to produce nothing more than a number. Where are the reports Supv Marshall keeps referring too? Why can’t we get the details? Who bought three acres from whom and how much was paid and where these three acre lots are located in rural Spotsylvania County, or is that a secret?

    You might want to check out Supv. Jackson’s voting record. Even he will conclude he’s only a single vote out of seven. To suffer in silence is not a solution, but his vote and how he votes speaks volumes to the importance of his presence and how valuable his vote is, as it relates to balance of County business agendas from a single vote perspective.

    Check the record. Our BOS are today what they were 10 years ago. If you have any doubts, just check with Supv. Marshall who has represented his constituents for more than 30 years.

    The fields we once plowed are the same fields we are plowing now. Same stakeholders.

    If I were permitted to attend the Planning Department’s FOCUS meetings with Spotsylvania County’s power brokers I might have a better perspective on where the BOSs are taking us. However, the public are not invited, but Mary Lee Carter and another Planning Commissioner of her choice just recently got permission to attend these meeting.

    As a member of the public, what kind of message does this “No Admittance” mean to you. It’s not what I call transparent, in the wake of decisions being made by our BOS claiming to serve in our best interest.

    Put the VRE Master Agreement on the table and you’ll see what I mean.

    If your intentions are to weild Mr. Onorato’s sword, I suggest you use both blades. One side goes around and the other side comes around. If you’re going to swing his sword only in one direction you’re sure to suffer what comes around.

    I haven’t finished but believe I have made my point, whether you have more questions or not.

    I’m still holding on to Gramps’ tea leaves which I’ve come to regard as prophetic while not being explicit. Political, while not being too far from the left or right, has always been close to center, without being in the middle and ready to settle for less. I call it spunk. He calls it something else. I’ll stick with spunky.

  • Smoke8r

    C’mon ,what are we talking about here?. A politician throwing a staged cryptic temper tantrum. Awww poor arrogant Vinny. When are politicians going to realize real people HATE THEM!. They are nothing what our forefathers were. They are all corrupt, doing favors in turn for constituants. This is nothing short of Rod Blagojevich claiming other politicians are corrupt.

  • MAVRICKinc

    I’ll assume then that you are a real person, and support the conclusion brought to this blog by Vince Onorato that Spotsylvania County Government/ BOSs are corrupt.

    Once your emotions, name calling, and righteous distain for politicians are put to the side, you are actually in agreement with Mr Onorato’s take on what’s going on in the hallowed halls of Spotsylvania County government.

    Don’t worry. You’ll be all right, no matter where you stand or set your feet.