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Local Look: Loudoun

by Paul Driessen

Elected officials in both parties acknowledge that winning Loudoun is crucial to a Virginia victory in 2012. Loudouners voted heavily for Obama in 2008 and heavily for McDonnell in 2009, putting the county in play in 2012. Representative Frank Wolf has warned GOP activists that the Obama campaign is targeting Loudoun and has called Loudoun the “firewall” that must protect Virginia from going blue in 2012. If Republicans leverage their advantages from last year’s victory, it is very possible they will secure Loudoun – and the Commonwealth – for the Republican presidential nominee this fall.

In Loudoun County, there’s a new sheiff in town – literally. 22

February 2012

by E. M. Barner

After the local elections in 2007, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors was comprised of two Republicans, two Independents, and five Democrats. Four years later, Loudoun’s Board of Supervisors is 100 percent Republican. A newly elected Republican sheriff has joined the other Republican constitutional officers. Even the majority of school board members were Republican endorsed. State Senator Mark Herring is the only remaining elected Democrat from Loudoun. By way of comparison, no other highly populated (over 250,000) county in Virginia elected a single party county government this year. That Republicans gained control of the Board of Supervisors in the 2011 elections was predictable in a county that often switches dominant parties. But their margin of victory was unexpected.

Democrats Set Themselves Up for Defeat Three major decisions by the Democrat controlled 2007 Board of Supervisor-

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likely affected the outcome of November’s election. First, they engaged in reckless spending policies and placed increasingly heavy tax burdens on Loudoun homeowners, even while many were struggling to meet mortgages due to job loss or were experiencing declining property values. According to one watchdog organization, Loudoun Taxpayers for Accountable Government, the Democratic Board increased the real property tax rate 32.5 cents during its term, and soaked homeowners with the highest average tax bills in Northern Virginia. Second, the Democratic Board pursued a politically costly environmental measure, the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance (CBPO), which drew heated public comment at open meetings. Citizen groups argued that the ordinance was unnecessary, was unlikely to impact the Chesapeake Bay in any measurable way, and imposed costly regulatory restrictions on private property owners. The two Republican members of the 2007 Board argued that the CBPO’s costs and impacts on property owners outweighed its pos-

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