They muttered insults. They denounced her with indignant oratory. They complained of her "irresponsible remarks" and warned they would give her just "one more chance."
With the television cameras rolling, Audrey Moore's colleagues on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors continued their attack at Monday's meeting by handing her a pair of stinging defeats on 7-to-1 votes.
These are the dog days of summer for Moore, the 15-year Democratic lawmaker once described by her colleagues as "Saint Audrey of Annandale," whose name is practically synonymous with the county's slow-growth forces.
Left a political loner by the surprise resignation this month of her only ally on the nine-member county board, Moore has become the target of increasingly virulent and personal harangues from her colleagues.
Two or three Republicans, including County Board Chairman John F. Herrity, have stopped speaking to her outside the board chambers, according to county officials. Even her fellow Democrats seem to have lost patience with her. For years a maverick, Moore lately seems to have become an outcast.
Moore says the insults and snippy comments are in response to her tendency to embarrass the board by challenging the majority's conventional wisdom of no-holds-barred development.
"I'm not a masochist," she said. "I don't walk in there and say, 'Isn't this going to be fun today, everyone's going to scream at me.' I feel that everybody is in agreement on development and there I am singing to a different tune . . . and they just wish I'd shut up. But I feel there are important issues to lay out before the public, and I am not going to be intimidated or bullied out of it because people are nasty to me."
Other politicians are quick to point out, however, that Moore's unpopularity with the supervisors, whatever its consequences, is unlikely to affect her high standing with the voters of the Annandale district, where her early margins of victory were so lopsided that no Republican bothered to oppose her in 1983. The observation that "everyone hates Audrey Moore except for the voters" has become an axiom of politics in Fairfax County.
Moore's popularity with the voters, including those outside her district, has prompted some lawmakers to worry that she is, in the words of one Democratic supervisor, "making us look bad" by linking them to the county's powerful developers.
Last spring, for example, she advocated a new policy to halt the "revolving door" of county employes leaving their jobs to work for private developers. Although the board ultimately adopted the policy without dissent, Moore's early vocal role annoyed several supervisors.
Last Monday, any remnants of courtesy or cordiality among the lawmakers were lost when Moore raised one of her pet peeves: the county's plan to pay for new sewer capacity through revenue bonds, which do not require voter approval.
Moore thinks the county should use general obligation bonds, which do need the support of voters, and she complained that too much money was being spent for new sewers, which will allow new growth, and not enough for roads to serve people already in the county.
She pressed her point doggedly despite the county executive's judgment that she was "mixing apples and bananas" and despite the county attorney's opinion that Fairfax has no choice but to expand its sewer plants.
Finally, tempers flared.
"These are irresponsible remarks that make it very difficult for me to go out and face my public," said Supervisor Elaine McConnell, a Republican. "I'm tired of wearing the black hat."
Herrity, the Republican chairman, stalked out of the chambers with his hands in the air, only to return a moment later. "I have never seen such an inane argument from a board member in my life," he said.
Later in the day, after Moore cast the lone "nay" vote against the county's five-year capital spending program, Supervisor Nancy K. Falck, a Republican, said under her breath: "Audrey doesn't believe in the schools; isn't that a shame?"
The day after the board meeting, when cooler heads prevailed, Moore's antagonists took a less confrontational view.
"I don't talk to the media about things like that," said Herrity, who on Monday had upbraided Moore, asserting that she had lost "credibility and effectiveness on the board."
And Falck, whose attitude toward Moore on most Mondays verges on contempt, said: "I'm not going to make personal comments about any member of the board . . . . When I'm debating a matter I'm going to debate."
Moore is matter-of-fact about her relations with the board. "It's gotten more and more unpleasant this year," she said. "And no, I don't enjoy it. But I wasn't elected to become fast friends with everyone on the Board of Supervisors."
Moore has never been popular on the board: Over the years she has been the lone dissenter on countless decisions to rezone strategic parcels of land, to raise supervisors' salaries, to endorse bond issues for referendum and to expand sewer systems.
But since the Republicans won a 5-to-4 majority on the board in 1984, her position seems to have deteriorated.
There is no consensus on the reasons for the hostility that seems to have strained relations between Moore and the board.
Some say it is her unyielding approach; some say she takes poetic license with facts and figures to fit her arguments.
Supervisor Thomas M. Davis III, one of the board Republicans who has remained on cordial terms with Moore, says he thinks that there are two principal reasons why Moore has alienated other lawmakers.
First, he said, she has not supported the economic development policies of the board, which have buttressed the county's tax base and on which there is bipartisan agreement.
Second, in the last year she has played an increasingly prominent and effective partisan role, campaigning actively for Virginia Gov. Gerald L. Baliles and for two Fairfax Democrats seeking seats in the state legislature. Her role has irked GOP lawmakers, Davis said.
Until the June 3 resignation of Supervisor James M. Scott, who was considered one of the most liberal and thoughtful members of the board, Moore could often count on at least one defender. Scott, who was elected in 1971, agreed with Moore on a variety of land use and human rights issues.
But Scott's departure (he is the new director of community relations for the Fairfax Hospital Association) left Moore in the company of two frequently unsympathetic Democrats, Supervisors Martha V. Pennino and Joe Alexander.
"When you can't get the board to support you on anything, you can't get anything for your district," Alexander said of Moore.
But most of Moore's 80,000 constituents would disagree that she has become ineffective.
"She doesn't flip-flop and doesn't take the most popular stands," said Kathleen Carew Smith, president of the Canterbury Woods Civic Association, who describes herself as a Republican. "But she's taking the side that she hears from the people."