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Clearly Sean C. is waiting to benefit Pandak. She can't win unless turnout is small and filled with heartless government workers leaching off the taxpayers of Prince William.

These Prince William posts are soooo boring.

Who cares?

James Young

Allow me to rephrase that last sentence slightly: it will provide more evidence of the merits of his critics' arguments. I can understand your admiration for Connaughton, Ben, just as I understand the WaPo's. You're a Democrat, the WaPo is a Democrat paper, and Connaughton frequently acts like a Democrat.

I talked to County Executive Craig Gearhart at church this morning, and it was all that I could do to refrain from asking him about this.

Wouldn't a special election in a Republican stronghold like Prince William favor the Republican candidate? I think Connaughton is holding out to ensure that Stewart wins.

Too Conservative

Did Corey call you Ben?

This post is pointless.

It's Sean's decision, and he will do what's right for PWC. I have complete faith in him, and know that he will resign when the time is right for the citizens to benefit.

County politics: a thrill a minute! Strap in for a thrill ride on this one!

I said "thrill" twice. I am ashamed.

...but thrilled!

Not Josh Chernilla

Well, James, perhaps you should have also asked for the correct name of the political party you so enjoy maligning.

I really don't care what you call us, but just know that you look and sound like an ass when you purposefully call us the "Democrat Party," and the WaPo a "Democrat paper."

It is simply poor grammar. Were you homeschooled?

Oh, how I long for the days when the Democratic and Republic parties were not so abusive to one another.

James Young

Who sounds like "an ass," NJC (funny, you sound so much like him)? I didn't use the phrase "Democrat Party" once in the post you're maligning.

And BTW, there's very little democratic about today's Democrat Party.

And Vince, thank you for stating the obvious that you have "complete faith" in Chairman Sean.


TC, that's an awful long way to lean over to kiss someone's behind. :-)

I presume that Sean will resign possibly Tuesday, when Washington D.C. re-opens for business. Maybe he'll announce after tuesday night's board meeting.

There was no point I guess in going to work when everybody was out of town.

If he DOES wait another week, I guess I'll rethink whether he's doing it to benefit one candidate or another.

Given the republican results in special elections the last year, I have to think that a december special election would be a greater risk for republicans.

James Young

I agree with Charles. Anything after Tuesday (with the predictable hagiographies) becomes questionable in the extreme.


NJC, I assume then that you are a democratic.

I'm after all a Republican, which is why I'm in the republican party.

So if you are in the democratic party, you must be a democratic.

It's not our fault that the democrats misnamed their own party. :-)

How does delay help or hurt any candidate? Can't Stewart win on his own?

James Young

The far Left has misread GOP fortunes in PWC sneak special elections before. In 1994, they tried a sneak election on 1 March (nothing else on the ballot) to pass a meals tax. It went down on a 2-1 vote. Granted, things have changed, but ....

Jim Patrick

Low turnout? Bet you won't believe this! Ben, I'll wager you twenty dollars, loser pays a charity of the winner's choice:
When the votes are counted for Connaughton's successor, Pandak will get less than 273 (two hundred seventy-three) votes.


JP, I want what you are smoking. On second thought, no I don't.

I re-read TC's comment, and I realised that there is an interesting but somewhat conspiratal interpretation. I offer it just to spark discussion, It's pure speculation and I don't particularly believe it:

TC might actually have talked with his buddy Sean or someone in his circle. Maybe if the election is pushed passed the general election, another candidate could argue that the convention (which was held to get the names ready in time for the ballot in November) is no longer valid, and push for a new nomination. Maybe there are lawyers working this right now, and Sean is waiting long enough to activate this plan, which given TC's dislike of Corey would be what TC means by "doing what is best for the people of Prince William".

Too machevelian? Probably. I certainly hope so, and stand by my prediction that Sean will do the right thing and resign by close of business tomorrow night.

He said he was only staying on until Maureen was ready to take over. Certainly Maureen has had enough time to prepare -- to wait longer would be insulting to her, I would think.


Wasn't Connaughton elected to serve through December of 2007? If so, isn't his right to choose when he resigns as long a he is legally fulfilling the requirements to hold the position?

Democracy is a beautiful thing-- but not when backbenchers try to make someone look evil for fulfilling the wishes and stated intent of the voters.


This is a pretty funny thread. I am sure that whatever Connaughton is doing it is soley for the best of PWC. Yes, because he is of course a saint and not a politician.

And Supervisor Patrick is obviously confused as to which county the special election for Chairman will be taking place to bet that Pandak will not get more than 273 votes. In the June primary there were 4,091 people who turned out to vote as opposed to about 500 in Shenandoah County. The Democratic primary of course. If the election is heled on November 7th, even if Pandak were to be beat in a landslide (unlikely) she will get at least 35% of the vote or about 21,000 assuming 30% voter turnout. Everyone should jump on the bet.

James Young

Like others, Mr JMS exhibits the worst attributes of Connaughton sycophants. Yest, he was "elected to serve through December of 2007." He also accepted an appointment from the President of the United States and took up the valuable time of the United States Senate in confirming that appointment. I'm not going to begrudge him for arguably breaking faith with the voters (like me) who "elected [him] to serve through December of 2007" --- though some might --- but if he doesn't promptly assume his position now that he has been confirmed and doesn't offer a compelling reason for doing so (which he hasn't done), then concerns about an orderly special election begin to become compelling. Moreover, one can fairly ask why he is delaying assuming the important duties that President Bush and the Senate, on behalf of the whole of the American electorate, have entrusted him to perform.


Could it be at all possible that Sean is getting up to speed in his newly appointed position as he is getting Maureen up to speed in the one she is anticipating? Inquiring minds want to know.

There are a handful of people who would vilify Sean Connaughton regardless of what he does...and they seem to show up on the blogs quite frequently.

James Young

The notion that someone who has been a member of the BOCS for fifteen years, and Vice Chairman for a number of those, needs time to "get up to speed in the one she is anticipating" is silly, just as is the notion that Chairman Sean should take time to do so for the one to which he has been confirmed. "Inquiring minds" don't want to know; reflexive apologists are stretching for excuses.

There are also a handful of people who would make excuse for Sean regardless of what he does. Or who would attack people who simply raise questions about his actions regardless of how questionable his actions are.

The question here is objective: what is the most appropriate time for resignation when a special election can be held contemporaneously with the general election?

And BTW, AWCheney, no one is vilifying Chairman Sean ... yet.

Has there been a swearing-in ceremony yet (or a date announced) for the MARAD position?

I have no idea what the delay is. But if the White House hasn't given a date for the swearing-in, then that could be one reason that there has not yet been a resignation.

Of course, I haven't been following this too closely - maybe he's already been sworn in (not just confirmed, but the next step too). Anybody know for certain?

Jim Patrick

Ben - the offer’s open about 12 more hours (expires at 11:59 PM today): “When the votes are counted for Connaughton's successor, Pandak will get less than 273 (two hundred seventy-three) votes.”

That gives you the advantage of hearing tonight’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting. Here’s a fine chance to fulfill your byline of ‘Election Analysis, Predictions....’ Of course it also risks that 99.7% claim too.

I think (!) I’ve figured the exact number of votes —it IS less than 273— but all it takes is a vote or two, a couple changed minds, to throw all my calculations out the window. So I’ll stand by ‘less than 273’, which has a bit of margin built into it.

Mr. Craig’s itching to take me up ... well actually, he’s itching to post a lot of past statistics, stuff about what happens when calculator buttons get pushed, and to generally be insulting toward my analysis and prediction.

Be that as it may, I won’t take advantage of the situation. The offer was to Ben alone, it expires midnight tonight, and there’s a reason (take note Craig) why Ben hasn’t accepted ... though he may yet!

Background and disclaimer: Pandak's younger brother was my classmate in ‘67-68, but I’d never spoken to Sharon. This February in Richmond I saw her nametag, introduced myself, and spoke with her briefly. Mike was a great guy with loads of talent, it was good to hear he’s put it to good use and is doing well.

If memory serves me right —and it may not— Connaughton was at a picnic I attended during last year’s primary campaign. If so, I spoke with him there, but otherwise haven’t had any contact with Connaughton or any other PWC Supervisor this year.


Mr. Patrick, your numbers are hillarious. Less than 1000 voters would have to show up on November 7th for Pandak to get anywhere near as low of a vote total as you imagine she might. Those past statistics are a pretty good indicator year of year of what will happen at the polls. Even if the special election were to be held on a date other than November 7th, which is possible, I still think that more than 1000 residents of PWC would go to the polls.

Well, it seems my 12:01 am post was right on the money. Via Virginia Virtucon, the swearing in will take place on Wed. Which explains completely why there has not been a resignation prior.

The only way Sharon Pandak gets less than 273 votes is if SHE doesn't run. Perhaps there is something interesting going on behind the scenes. Presuming, of course, that the candidates are actually Stewart and Pandak and the election is on Nov. 7, well, then, I know a few people who'd like some of what Mr. Patrick is smoking.

NOVA Scout

My impression is that Connaughton has played this straight down the middle. His resignation is geared to the assumption of his new federal duties. Once that resignation is effective, Virginia law will govern when the special election takes place. If the current PW GOP leadership had cultivated a close relationship with Connaughton (absolutely no reason they would not do so) there probaby could have been a substantial cooperation between them on timing and sequencing of the special election. The PW GOP chose (for gratuitously infathomable reasons) to place itself in opposition to Connaughton and thus deprived itself of considerable influence over events. It may have cost them the succession, but I tend to think PW is conservative enough to vote for Stewart (whether or not he is a conservative).

James Young

"NoVA Scout," your suggestion that "the current PW GOP leadership had [not] cultivated a close relationship with Connaughton (absolutely no reason they would not do so)" is absolutely despicable. It's precisely what I would expect from Chairman Sean, or a mouthpiece for him. It takes two to tango, and Chairman Sean has likewise done nothing to "cultivate[] a close relationship" with "current PW GOP leadership." Those who have been around and more intimately involved in PW politics than you claim to be well know that they have gotten nothing but the back of Chairman Sean's hand. If he can't control them, he won't work with them. The PWC GOP designed its Party Plan to insure that the grass roots --- not elected officials --- would control the Party. Chairman Sean couldn't abide that, and offered nothing more than the back of his had in response. The reasons are entirely "fathomable," and are attributable not to "current PW GOP leadership," but to Chairman Sean's arrogance.

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