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Monday, March 27, 2023
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: Another installment of ‘show me the money’

Editor’s Notebook: Another installment of ‘show me the money’

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Hard to believe that a political blog can be both rabid and boring, but such frequently is the case with the “Bearing Drift” site, the last redoubt of Virginia’s anti-Trump, moderate, corporatist (kind of) Republicans.

A recent posting there breathlessly reported – seemingly almost with glee – that Democrat Terry McAuliffe had raised more money and had more cash on hand than Republican Glenn Youngkin in the gubernatorial battle. (That site isn’t known by some as “Republicans Who Hate Republicans” for nothing …)

Herewith the broader question: Will Youngkin open his own checkbook and spend the not-so-small fortune needed to take control of this race, or will he pass on that opportunity? That still seems to be an open question, although Democrats are fund-raising hard and heavy off that possibility.


Let’s take the way-back train to more than a decade ago, when Mary Margaret Whipple (fellow Kiwanian!) retired from the Virginia Senate and Arlington County Board member Barbara Favola (also fellow Kiwanian, at least for a while) was teed up by Democrats as her replacement.

Republicans nominated entrepreneuse Caren Merrick, and for much of the early part of that race (summertime into late September), Democrats were terrified that the GOP nominee was going to open her own substantial wallet, start writing checks to her campaign and simply overwhelm Democratic efforts to retain the seat.

(Buying a political office through brute use of campaign cash? That doesn’t happen in Arlington! And if it did, somebody ought to report it to the commonwealth’s attorney. Ah-hahahahahahahahahahaha! But I digress …)

We all kept waiting, and waiting, and waiting for Merrick to dig deep. But the big cash drop never occurred. And the GOP nominee – a nice person and credible candidate – was defeated and never seen again in the local political milieu.

But back to 2021. If Youngkin wants to win, he’d better be willing to spend a heaping helping of cash, because while Virginia Democrats may not be in great shape, they are doing better than Virginia Republicans among the all-important suburban electorate.

HAPPY 80th! It was 80 years ago this month that the rumors were proved true: The federal government acknowledged it planned to locate the War Department building (now known as the Pentagon) in Arlington.

The Northern Virginia Sun reported late in July 1941 that Arlington officials were “still gasping” at the news that the world’s largest office building, and the tens of thousands of employees that will come with is, was set to rise in their midst.

[Think there were environmental studies, meetings with the Arlington Planning Commission and County Board, transportation-demand analyses? Heck no: Story is that Franklin Roosevelt was driven out to the prospective site, gave it the once-over and said “put it there.” And so they did. Apparently that is the same way the location for National Airport was decided, about the same time. It was good to be FDR!]

That very same edition of the paper, like others over that summer, made clear that while the U.S. wasn’t at war, hostilities loomed just over the horizon. One example: The Sun reported that Arlington residents had collected 4.5 tons of aluminum during a summer war drive. That does not happen if you are not expecting a war.

And every day on that long, hot summer, the clock was ticking down to Dec. 7, 1941 …..

  • Scott
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