Five of Six Fairfax GOP Candidates Join Forces

By Bill Turque
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Five of the six Republicans running for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors have signed a position paper in which they promise to cut property taxes, raise ethical standards and halt development that is not accompanied by new roads, schools and other public improvements.

Many points in the "Seven Commitments for a Better Fairfax County" have been part of their campaign speeches and literature for months. But with three weeks until Election Day in increasingly Democratic-leaning Fairfax, the GOP is hoping that a concerted message will boost their prospects.

"We present a clear philosophical difference on government," said Gary H. Baise, a lawyer who is challenging incumbent Gerald E. Connolly (D) for chairmanship of the board.

The other signatories are Pat S. Herrity, candidate for the Springfield District seat; Douglas R. Boulter, running for Lee District supervisor; Vellie S. Dietrich Hall, seeking the Mason District seat; and incumbent Michael R. Frey (Sully).

The five-page document was drafted during a series of Sunday evening meetings at Baise's Falls Church home. The only Republican candidate who did not sign was Supervisor Joan M. DuBois (Dranesville). DuBois, who is in what is believed to be a tight race against Democrat John Foust, said the board was already working on much of what the Republicans proposed.

"I don't think I need to promise to do what I've already done," she said.

Connolly called the paper "an act of desperation" by a party that knows it is headed to defeat. Much of the document mirrors the six-point agenda the board has pursued the past four years, he said.

"It's hard to take seriously," he said of the position paper.

Democrats hold a 7 to 3 majority on the board.

The seven points are: reduce traffic congestion; lower taxes and control spending; confront illegal immigration; control development; preserve the environment; protect neighborhoods; and improve openness and accountability in government.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the plan is its slow-growth theme -- not a traditional Republican position. The Republicans said the Democratic majority has approved major housing developments without extracting sufficient "proffers," or donations of money, land or other resources, to accommodate increased traffic or school enrollment. The Republicans promised that roads, schools, storm-water management and other infrastructure would be in place before they would allow new development or increased density.

They also promise "tougher guidelines to prevent conflicts of interests and perceived conflicts of interests arising from contributions to supervisors from the development community."

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