Allen's Endorsement Still Counts On Republican Fundraising Circuit
Thursday, June 14, 2007
George Allen lost Fairfax County by a fat 65,000 votes last November when he was unseated by James Webb in a Senate campaign that made 2006 the Year of the Macacca in Virginia politics.
That didn't stop Republican Gary H. Baise from making the former governor the marquee name at the June 5 McLean fundraiser that kicked off his effort to defeat Fairfax County Board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D).
Might Baise have found a figure less polarizing than Allen, whose reputation took a beating after he was caught on videotape taunting a young Webb volunteer with the word that is both a genus of monkey and a racial slur for dark-skinned North African or Asian people?
"I want to make sure we get the Republican base first," said Baise, a lawyer and former Nixon-era political appointee making his first run for office. "You just don't run away from your friends. This is my friend, and he can also help unify the Republicans here."
The friendship dates to Allen's tenure as governor, when he appointed Baise's wife, Ann, to the Longwood University Board of Visitors.
And Allen's schedule isn't exactly packed these days -- he's working on some private business ventures and serving as a fellow at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library -- so he was able to find the time to mill affably among guests at the home of Dennis and Denise Garbis, asking for advice on what to get his wife for their 21st wedding anniversary, which was coming up last week.
Ever the football coach's son, Allen also told a story about speaking to a group of young Republicans during the weekend of the NFL draft. Allen said he was expressing excitement about "draft day" until he realized by people's bewildered looks that they thought he was talking about the other kind of draft.
A Different Kind of Foliage
Readers weren't amused when Supervisor Sharon S. Bulova (D-Braddock) joked recently that if Fairfax's overgrown highway medians didn't get mowed soon, candidates would have trouble finding premium spots for their campaign signs.
Tall grass is serious business, it seems. The Virginia Department of Transportation's attempt to save a few dollars by cutting back on cutting the grass has created intersections that are unsightly and dangerous, dozens of readers said. But some added that political signs are even more of a blight upon the county's land.
So drivers might not be pleased when they see the stretch of Braddock Road where Bulova appeared in a recent Washington Post photograph. The grass has been mowed and replaced by about a dozen signs for Stan L. Reid, a Republican primary candidate for the board's Springfield seat.
Two Republicans running for the Board of Supervisors had the most profitable spring fundraising period.
At press time, it wasn't known how Pat S. Herrity would fare against Reid in Tuesday's primary. But Herrity, son of the late former board chairman John F. "Jack" Herrity, raised $53,106 between April 1 and May 30, tops in the county, according to an analysis by the nonprofit Virginia Public Access Project. Vellie Dietrich Hall, who will face Democratic incumbent Penelope A. Gross (D-Mason) in the fall, was second with $48,936.
Connolly remains the top overall money man, with $895,393 raised since 2004. Of that, he has spent $157,778.