The Descent into the Sewer — Part 1

Over time various people have contributed their views about when Prince William County began the descent into the sewer that would put someone like Mac Haddow and Pete Candland on the brink of controlling the County. With Haddow in de facto control of the Gainesville, Brentsville and Occoquan seats, he is but one seat away from deadlocking the BOCS and two from controlling it. His primary challenges to Marty Nohe and Corey Stewart failed in 2015, but there is little doubt he hopes that one of those two will move on to something else before the next local election.

How did Prince William County get here?

Some think the descent into the sewer began in 2007, during the illegal immigration debate, where legitimate concerns in some areas about overcrowding, crime and related issues became high-jacked by bigots who saw an opportunity for gain by using legitimate concerns as air cover for vilifying Hispanics more broadly and motivating a particularly repugnant racist element in our community. But there were brave people who fought the worst of that effort to some effect.

When it comes to the type of tactics practiced by the Haddow-Candland cabal today, other things happened in 2007 of probably more relevance as they were to be repeated multiple times in subsequent years. You see, in 2007 another type of prejudice emerged when the Republican Faisal Gill ran for the delegate seat now held by Haddow-Candland cabal member Rich Anderson (R-51).

Gill was a veteran and a solid, intelligent, articulate conservative supported by Republican stalwarts like BOCS Chair Corey Stewart, James Young, and various current delegates (he was actually endorsed in the general election by the Potomac News). But Gill was also a Muslim and this did not sit well with a particular portion of the far-right electorate.

So that part of the electorate began an incredibly nasty smear campaign against Gill. You see, Gill had been the policy director for the Department of Homeland Security intelligence division during the Bush Administration, but back in 2001 he had worked as a consultant for two Muslim organizations. One of them had a man on its board of directors that was arrested for terrorism charges three years after Gill quit working for that organization. When Gill had to submit ethics and security clearance forms to work at the Department of Homeland Security, he included his work for that organization on the ethics forms, but not on the security clearance form section about employers because he had merely consulted for them. After the arrest of the board member, an investigation of Gill’s association with the organization was launched and he was removed from his post for about a week while it took place. The investigation found nothing wrong. Gill was cleared and restored to his position. The IG’s office also investigated his failure to list the organization as an employer, was satisfied with Gill’s explanation, and he was cleared of any wrongdoing.

In short, it was a matter of well-established public record that Faisal Gill did nothing wrong. But that didn’t matter to a certain segment of right-wingers. Gill was, after all, a Muslim. Consequently, these right-wingers piled on every detail they could about Gill from traffic violations to who gave him money. Below is a copy of a letter to the editor from that time in 2007 that illustrates the tactics of this particular group.


We’ll let you, the reader, dissect what you feel is relevant about this particular letter, but we’re going to highlight a few points. The reference to Mills Godwin is fascinating to us. He is quoted as saying “What Virginians look for in a candidate is respectability. What a man has done in the past is the measure of what he will do in the future.” Really?!!! There is incredible irony in the fact that so many on the right-wing don’t seem to apply Mills Godwin’s admonishment either to Godwin himself (as evidenced in the school naming controversy), or today to people like Haddow-Candland cabal leader, Mac Haddow.

We’re also fascinated by the author of the letter, which is someone named “Rick Anderson.” Who might this be? We couldn’t find any “Rick Anderson.” Could this be today’s Delegate Rich Anderson (R-51)? There is the reference to Godwin, who is someone we know he favors. Could he have submitted this letter under his regular name and the Potomac News just got his first name wrong? Could he have submitted this and deliberately tried to mislead people about who he really was by using “Rick” instead of “Rich?” Or could it be someone completely different who we just can’t find? We’ll probably never know for sure.

Oh, we forgot one thing. The person Faisal Gill beat out for the Republican nomination in 2007 was then School Board Member Julie Lucas. Who was reported by the press to be Lucas’s campaign manager in the losing effort? None other than Ruth Anderson. And so the descent into the sewer began.


39 comments on “The Descent into the Sewer — Part 1

  1. -

    That letter is absolutely disgusting! Look at the race baiting dog whistles in it. Anderson is obviously using Gill’s middle name “Mahmood” to make sure people know he’s a Muslim. Then Anderson refers to a “staggering number of foreign contributors from outside the 51st District.” Contributions from non-citizens are illegal so Anderson is playing it cute using the word “foreigner.” He can say he meant outside the 51st district while he’s actually making people think the contributors are actually non-citizens or foreigners (e.g. Muslims). What a sleazy slime ball this person is.

  2. -

    I firmly believe Rich Anderson wrote this letter. His wife was campaign manager for Julie Lucas. The reference to Godwin, the snide remark about part time reservists and the slick way of highlighting that Gill is a Muslim are all signs of Anderson.

  3. -

    I think this has got to be Rich Anderson. He’s the most two faced coward there is and it would be just like him to hide behind a made up first name. It’s also entirely consistent with the sleazeball tactics the Anderson’s always use.

  4. -

    The Andersons were big into the anti-Muslim thing until Rich got elected and figured out he could get money from them. He’s still anti-Muslim if it politically benefits him in front of a particular crowd.

  5. -

    This totally disgusts me.

  6. -

    I doubt the letter is from Rich Anderson. I don’t think he would be so cowardly as to manipulate his first name. Also, Ruth appeared in uniform in campaign materials so if this is actually against the rules than the Andersons would be guilty of it also.

  7. -

    There is one major difference here. Being a school segregationist wasn’t illegal. It might not have stood for “liberty and justice for all” but it was not illegal.

    I suggest letting go of the Godwin issue. It’s over. All it’s doing is bringing out bad feelings from people who would otherwise be agreeing with you.

    Let’s look at Godwin from a Virginian point of view. He is a native son, warts and all. He was a 2 time governor in fairly modern times. We native Virginians will cling to our own, even with their imperfections.

    The people you are really talking about aren’t our native sons. They are relative newcomers. Continue to go after rats when you smell rats but drop the comparison to Godwin. Its over. You won. Don’t rub it in. We here in PWC don’t need to go through Reconstruction over it. (yes, parallel intended)

    Pissing off the old guard to prove your point won’t work in your favor.

  8. -

    So many hidden agendas, so much muck. Thanks for bringing this to light. I can’t wait for part 2

  9. -

    It could be a typo where Rich submitted it but the copy editor entered Rick.

  10. -

    “What a man has done in the past is the measure of what he will do in the future.”

    Enough said …………

  11. -

    So “Rick” Anderson says Faisal Gill using photos in uniform for his campaign literature “constitutes a major misjudgment because our nation’s uniform is not to be used for personal gain . . . . and many in uniform are offended by his misjudgment.” Well here’s campaign literature from “Ruth” Anderson during her campaign for Occoquan Supervisor in 2015.


  12. -

    This anti-Muslim bias of convenience (i.e. whenever it suits the party) is ongoing in Prince William County. Remember this gem from the Deputy Clerk of the Court?


  13. -

    I think you missed the point of the Muckraker’s post. It wasn’t about Godwin being good or bad. I took it as being about the Godwin quote being something that Rich Anderson would quote and being something that tea party types like Anderson don’t apply to their own. I could be wrong, but that’s the way I read it.

    [Editors Note: Kevin, thank you for this comment. You’re correct in your assessment of what our post was about. We weren’t in any way trying to revive the Godwin issue or rub it in, but instead point out the irony and hypocrisy of using Godwin’s comment. But Moon has a point. We did specifically note the failure of people to apply Godwin’s own comment to Godwin himself, and we now see how that could easily be interpreted as a swipe at those who disagreed with us on the Godwin renaming issue. That wasn’t our intent, but it was not an unreasonable conclusion for those who disagreed with us on that issue.

    As for Godwin’s quote itself — we think it’s horse*&$% and that “Rick” Anderson was an ass for using it. Godwin obviously didn’t apply it to himself and it seems to preclude any chance for improvement, growth or redemption, which are all things we believe in at the Muckraker, just as we believe that some never change their stripes.]

  14. -

    Dude, do you really expect the Andersons to follow their own rules?

  15. -

    We got some comments taking shots at Moon-Howler, which may have been designed to defend us here at the Muckraker. But while we know that Moon can take it, we’re not going to post attacks on her unless she burns down an orphanage on Christmas Eve or something like that. We disagree sometimes, but we’re fans of hers here at the Muckraker.

    [Long after we posted this comment we received some slightly more sly ones, which we think might be Haddow-Candland cabal members like Reece Collins trying to start a fight between the Muckraker and Moon. Not going to happen, but nice try.]

  16. -

    Notice who “liked” FitzSimmonds Facebook post. Anti-Muslim bigot Brentsville Supervisor Jeanine Lawson. The slimeballs of the Haddow/Candland group are never far from each other on these things.

  17. -

    I’m convinced this letter is from Rich Anderson. This is just how the self-righteous SOB used to talk in private before he became the master of two faces that he is today.

  18. -

    Don’t forget Ruth Anderson’s boasting at the Republican Women’s Club before she went to the mosque during the elections. I’m an American and I not going to wear a headscarf! Get over yourself. It’s a courtesy like taking off your shoes in someone’s house or men putting on a yarmulke when they go into a synagogue even if their not Jewish. It’s a courtesy when you’re a guest. What an ignorant tool!

  19. -

    Can you please clarify something? Is that Supervisor Jeanine Lawson that “liked” that anti-muslim rant by Bob?

  20. -


    Actually you missed my point. I will spell it out more explicitly. There are many Muckraker supporters who feel that the Godwin issue was a slap in the face.

    I was simply saying that Muckraker will have more supporters if the Godwin issue is dropped. Perhaps I am the only person willing to stand up and say that.

    There are some pretty independent thinkers over here in the Gainesville district who are aware that something is rotten in the state of Denmark and they want things uncovered and fixed.

    Muckraker got it. I didn’t take it as a gouge, but it really is an issue that needs to be laid to rest. There are far more important issues to pursue at this point.

  21. -

    I wonder if Jeanine Lawson and Bob FitzSimmonds watched the remake of “Roots” on TV. Did they see that Kunta Kinte was a Muslim? With all the black Muslim slaves brought to this country from Africa do Lawson and FitzSimmonds think black Muslim slaves didn’t contribute anything to the founding of this country? Ignorant bigots. What a disgrace they are.

  22. -

    Like alot of people on here I think the letter is from Rich Anderson but there’s no way to prove it unless he admits it. With the Potomac News defunct he’d have no problem lying right to your face about something like that, so we’ll never know.

  23. -


    Absolutely, it isn’t going to happen.
    Nice try, no banana. I said what I had to say openly and politely. There is no fight.

    The Muckraker and I disagree on that one issue. In a civilized world, people can disagree at times and still maintain respect and remain friends.

    I fully support the Muckraker’s attempt to clean up Prince William County, lest anyone think otherwise.

    Let me be even more blunt. I abhor most of the tactics of the SoN. I especially disapprove of the attacks on public employees and have stated so many many times on my own blog.

    If anyone has something to say to me, be a man (or woman) and come on over and say it on my blog. Don’t be chicken crap and try to say it thru Muckraker.

    Thanks again, Muckraker for the continued support and for doing a job no one else had the stomach to do.

  24. -

    I tried to find a local “Rick” Anderson also and couldn’t but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t one here in 2007. But the Muckraker and other people on here are right that there’s no way we’ll ever know for certain. Anderson would never admit to something like this now. The best you’d probably get out of him would be “I don’t remember.”

  25. -

    You’re missing the forest for the trees. There’s no way to know for sure if the letter is from Rich Anderson and nobody’s saying it actually is (although some people obviously think it is). The point is the sleazeball tactics used against Faisal Gill because he’s a Muslim. Who was running the campaign of his opponent? Ruth Anderson. She ran a sleazeball campaign like this against Porta also and Rich Anderson ran one like this against Paul Nichols. I don’t know if Rich Anderson wrote this letter or not but he’s definitely the kind of slimeball who would.

  26. -

    Muckraker, I think you should do an analysis of all the Andersons’ campaign literature over the years and see how often they used photos of themselves in uniform. If the “Rick” Anderson who wrote this letter is right, then they may have some ‘splaining to do. Unless the rules changed for them.

  27. -

    Both Moon and Muckraker are providing a civil place for the truth and facts to prevail. For way too long SON and other local hate sites tied to Sup Candland’s hip have attacked private citizens,county employees, etc. Anyone with an opposing point of view has been subjected to vicious attacks.

  28. -

    I have followed PW politics for several years and believe Rich Anderson is an excellent public servant. Although I have never voted for a Republican in my life, Rich is the kind of political leader we that works both sides of the aisle to get things done……and not the race-baiting haters reflected in several comments today.

  29. -

    Rich Anderson gave one of the most hateful speeches heard in the General Assembly against the appoint of a judge because the judge was gay. He’s one of the most two faced delegates we have. When he and his wife were up for election last year he came to one of our events and acted like he was supportive and sympathetic and then he went down to Richmond and voted for every anti-LGBT bill he could. This man is an utter and complete fraud. As a gay person I would take Bob Marshall over Anderson any day. At least Marshall is honest with us and we know where he stands.

  30. -

    @Keret, are you kidding me?!!! Name one major issue where Anderson has been bi-partisan! Anderson votes with the extreme right-wing on blocking Medicaid expansion, women’s rights, reproductive rights, gay rights, voting rights, land use and everything else. He’s one of the House leaders on bills making it harder for minorities to vote in Virginia. He introduced a bill calling for a convention of the states to restrict the federal government. Anderson is as right-wing and hateful as they come. He just smiles, shakes your hand and talks in an “aw shucks” manner while he’s stabbing you in the back in Richmond. Don’t be a fool.

  31. -

    I wonder what Keret will say when you out Anderson’s connection to the Sheriff of Nottingham blog.

  32. -

    You’re the perfect Anderson voter. The kind of person who’s won over by someone showing up and being nice at public events, but who then pays no attention to what the person says in front of Republican groups and what they say and how they vote in the General Assembly. Where were you when Anderson announced “I am the Tea Party!” Congratulations, you’re the perfect dupe for Rich Anderson.

  33. -

    I’m probably a lot older than most people on here. Rich Anderson reminds me of two other men I met a long time ago. They were the perfect Southern gentlemen who showed up everywhere and were always smiling and courteous. But I knew what they were really about because their votes were actually covered by the media. Their names were Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond.

  34. -

    @Keret, If you’re not just an Anderson plant and really have “followed PW Politics for several years” how did you feel about the multiple mailers and television ads Rich Anderson ran against Paul Nichols? You know, the ones where Anderson said Nichols was arrested for drunk driving. You know, the ones where Nichols wasn’t actually driving! You know, the ones where Nichols wasn’t even in the car that got pulled over! You know, the ones were Nichols pulled over and got out of the car he was in to serve as the lawyer of a friend who got pulled over. You know, the one where charges against Nichols were dropped and expunged and where the officer ultimately got disciplined. You know, the one where Anderson plastered Nichols’s social security number all over in violation of the law. You know, the mailers and ads Anderson ran on this multiple times even though he knew the truth about what happened. Great ethics, Keret! You should do a story on this incident Muckraker.

  35. -

    I hate to be a jerk but here is the roll call of Republicans voting NO on the confirmation of Judge Thorne-Bogland:

    Richard L. Anderson (Prince William), Richard P. “Dickie” Bell (Staunton), Robert B. Bell (Albemarle), Kathy J. Byron (Campbell), Benjamin L. Cline (Rockbridge), Mark L. Cole (Spotsylvania), John A. Cox (Hanover), Anne B. Crockett-Stark (Wythe), L. Mark Dudenhefer (Stafford), James E. Edmunds II (Halifax), C. Matthew Fariss (Campbell), T. Scott Garrett (Lynchburg), Timothy D. Hugo (Fairfax), R. Steven Landes (Augusta), L. Scott Lingamfelter (Prince William), Daniel W. Marshall III (Danville), Robert G. Marshall (Prince William), Joe T. May (Loudoun), Donald W. Merricks (Pittsylvania), James W. “Will” Morefield (Tazewell), Brenda L. Pogge (James City), Charles D. Poindexter (Franklin County), David I. Ramadan (Loudoun), Margaret B. Ransone (Westmoreland), Chris Stolle (Virginia Beach), Michael B. Watson (Williamsburg), Tony O. Wilt (Rockingham) and Thomas C. Wright Jr. (Luxemburg).

    Why don’t these prejudiced Cro-mags just hang a sign around their respective necks saying ” I am a redneck homophobe.”

    I had forgotten about that. Keeping it classy, PWC. NOT!
    The Times They are a’Changing

  36. -

    Both Anderson’s are two faced bigots. Rich Anderson is actually the lead Republican in voter suppression [edited out].

  37. -

    It’s obvious that Anderson is anti-gay.
    I find that disturbing that a person could be kept from a job he or she is more than qualified for simply because of sexual orientation.

  38. -

    Raker, i just heard that [edited out] is opening a frozen yogurt shop at the QBE property in Haymarket, is this true?
    If it is then that would mean that since Candland was put in office and helped his friends get that property for a discount, he has managed to score himself a high paying job and now has the ability to open a business for [edited out]???
    Wow Candland has sure done well for himself and his family since the county started to pay him to look out for his community. Looks like the only one he’s looking out for is himself. Everyone in town is talking about it…shameful.

    [Editors Note: We edited out the names here because we have not yet been able to confirm the truth of the involvement of the party named, but should be able to do so with some documents.]

  39. -

    I have had more than one experience where Rich Anderson has lied to my face. I had an opportunity to confront him on an issue, proof in hand, and he denied denied denied. I once considered him a friend. Now I know better.

Comments are closed.