Candland Tries to Stick It to the Taxpayer, but Stewart Levels the Playing Field

When we posted on June 23rd about Maureen Caddigan’s calm courage during Gainesville Supervisor Pete Candland’s latest tantrum, we mentioned that there was so much to the approximately 45 minutes of BOCS discussion on FOIA costs that it couldn’t be covered in one post. (For those who want to see a video of the entire discussion, we refer you to We also mentioned that several board members deserved credit for their actions during the Candland meltdown.

One of those deserving of praise is BOCS Chair, Corey Stewart. After Supervisors John Jenkins and Frank Principi had highlighted the cost to taxpayers of Pete Candland’s petty and punitive FOIA requests directed at them, after Pete Candland had subjected everyone to one of his trademark shrill and self-righteous monologues, and after Maureen Caddigan had calmly called out Candland’s hypocrisy by noting that she had received petty and punitive FOIA requests from Candland’s mentor, Mac Haddow, it was Chairman Stewart who took control of the situation. Building on suggestions from Principi, Jenkins, and Caddigan, Chairman Stewart insisted that the BOCS adopt a policy that treated BOCS members just like any other member of the public. If a BOCS member submitted a FOIA request, he asserted, they should have to pay for it just like any other citizen. Caddigan promptly moved the policy change and Principi seconded it.

It was clear from the discussion that a majority of BOCS members of both parties realized that Supervisor Candland was abusing the FOIA process to exact political revenge upon Board colleagues who disagree with him. As several pointed out, it was the taxpayer who ultimately suffers from Candland’s pettiness. Since Candland was not charged for the costs of such FOIA requests as a member of the public would be, it was the taxpayer who bore the costs in the form of the staff time, copying costs, etc. incurred by the recipient Supervisor’s office.

Inexplicably, even Haddow-Candland cabal stalwart, Brentsville Supervisor Jeanine Lawson, got in on the act. Lawson proposed a friendly amendment (that was accepted) requiring that when a Supervisor made such FOIA requests they could not pay for the costs with their office budgets, but instead had to use campaign or personal funds. It’s hard to be certain, but this looked like one of those situations where Lawson winged it without guidance from Haddow or Candland, because there is no way either of the latter two could have been happy about her amendment. Stewart, Principi, and Caddigan promptly endorsed the idea since it essentially guaranteed what Stewart was trying to do, which was ensure that the Supervisor, not the taxpayer, bear the costs of any substantial FOIA requests that Supervisor makes.

Candland, of course, was fit to be tied. Over time it’s become increasingly clear how Candland views taxpayer funds. While he pontificates about protecting the taxpayer, he in fact generously feeds at the public trough for his own ends. We’ve reported in the past on several examples of this, among them his generous use of taxpayer funds for his own meals (in contrast to his earlier public representations on the matter) and his apparent conflicts of interest in voting on matters related to QBE, where he now holds a lucrative position, and on whose property he now owns an ice cream store. It’s a view of using taxpayer resources for personal advantage that appears consistent with those of his mentor, Mac Haddow.

As we have mentioned before, Mac Haddow is Gainesville Supervisor Pete Candland’s appointee to the County Strategic Planning Committee, Chair of the Joint Gainesville-Brentsville Budget Committee, sometime Supervisor Pete Candland staffer, spouse and father-in-law of sometime Pete Candland staffers, sometime board member of a nonprofit supporting Pete Candland’s “efforts”, mentor to Candland, de facto leader of the Haddow-Candland cabal, and, we believe, chief architect of the character assassination smear blog, the Sheriff of Nottingham.

It was Haddow, as many know, who went to jail for directing federal money for his own benefit in violation of federal conflict of interest rules. It was Haddow who lobbied victims of Pan Am Flight 103 for a businessman hoping to have sanctions lifted on Muammar Qaddafi. It was Haddow, who got into a conflict with the Chantilly Youth Association and led a board whose members sought to be reimbursed from the nonprofit for, among other things, more than $62,000 for a web site not owned by the Association.

In short, it’s a recurring theme in the Haddow-Candland cabal. Portray yourself to the public as a champion of the taxpayer, but behind the scenes stick it to the taxpayer whenever you can for your own benefit. Well, Chairman Stewart was having none of it this time.

Candland, of course, objected to the policy change on which Stewart had insisted. Coupled with the Lawson amendment, the policy would effectively end Candland’s ability to pass the costs of his self-serving abuse of the FOIA process on to the taxpayer. Now the costs would not be borne by the recipient Supervisor’s office nor would Candland be able to charge them to his own office budget. In short, he and all the Supervisors would be treated like any other citizen when it comes to FOIA requests and the public would be spared the expense.

Candland’s arguments against the policy change became more ridiculous as the meeting progressed. He argued that it would have a chilling effect on the public and essentially hinder his ability to do his job by preventing him from being able to make FOIA requests of other Supervisors. Like a teacher trying to patiently educate a child who refuses to listen, Chairman Stewart explained repeatedly that this in no way changes the policy that has always applied to the public for FOIA requests, nor does it in any way prevent Candland from submitting FOIA requests. He can still do so; he just has to pay for it like any other citizen. As Stewart reiterated, the policy change just “levels the playing field” so that anyone who uses, or abuses, the FOIA process, whether citizen or Supervisor, pays the same freight, and can’t simply pass the cost on to the general taxpayer. The measure passed 7-1 with Candland the only dissenting vote.

It was the kind of moment we like to see from Stewart. One where he takes charge to stand up to the bullying tactics and hypocrisy of the Haddow-Candland cabal and where he doggedly pursues the public interest. He deserves to be commended for his actions. Those of you who are interested can watch below and judge for yourself.


18 comments on “Candland Tries to Stick It to the Taxpayer, but Stewart Levels the Playing Field

  1. -

    “Wah! Wah! Wah! Really Really BIG Mac they are so mean to me, Wah! Wah Wah!” “God dammit Mini Mac, shut up and charge the Prime Rib to the tax payers and really stick it to them with a 40% tip” Wah! Wah ! Wah! Really Really BIG Mac, we’ll show them they we’ll eat Prime Rib and make them pay for it. Wah! Wah Wah! they are so mean to me”

  2. -

    Pete’s hypocrisy knows no bounds. He’s a political fraud who has been torturing the hard-working county employees for years. These people just want to do their job and now nobody wants to make a decision because they and their family might get tarred and feathered on the SoN blog. Of course, the SoN blog likes it that way.

    The BOCS dysfunction lies soley at Pete’s feet as does his new little Coles District chihuahua (I couldn’t bring myself to calling him a pit bull because he is so ineffective and harmless), Mr. Deutsch. These are the only two members of either board who skewer members of their own board. Then, when called out for it they blame others for playing politics.

    The county is exhausted if this non-sense. The local GOP is such a mess they already lost the school board and they know they are in trouble on the BOCS in 2019. This is just the beginning of the PWC GOP’s collapse.

  3. -

    “He argued that it would have a chilling effect on the public and essentially hinder his ability to do his job by preventing him from being able to make FOIA requests of other Supervisors.”

    It is more telling that Supervisor Candland would be unable to file FREE FOIA requests for others, who would have to otherwise pay for their requests.

  4. -

    I was very surprised that Lawson and Anderson went against the Cabal on this, could it be that they are wising up and leaving the sinking ship? They are still new on the board and will be much more productive for their constituents if they put their heads down and just go to work.
    All of this is making PWC look like a joke and I am hoping that Lawson and Anderson now see this negative nonsense for what it is and care enough to rise above it.

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      Haddow probably forgot or failed to text them on how to vote. Neither one is sharp enough with out explicit directions on how to vote. They both probably got an ass kicking for voting against Prime Rib or Mini Mac what ever you want to call him

  5. -

    I d like to how many each of the supervisors have FOIAd the others ie how many times did Caddigan ir her staff FOIA Jenkins? I d like to see it for each supervisor and staff include theclown Haddow in Candland s count.

  6. -

    Can somebody explain to Pete that Sawyers and Wiggins aren’t part of the BOCS.

    This discussion was simply about BOCS to BOCS FOIA’s. Pete seems to have lost track of who the other seven supervisors are.

    Heck, even Stewart had to explain to Candland that Sawyers and Wiggings are private citizens.

    Candland is just mad that he can’t file free FOIA’s for Haddow anymore.

  7. -

    After watching the video multiple times, I recall that any elected official has to pay for FOIA costs going forward. This is a good decision even though a FOIA by Ryan Sawyers sent Candland over the edge. The School Board Chairman ultimately deserves credit for exposing Candland’s abuse of colleagues, opponents and taxpayers. Muckraker, so do you for posting the story for a wider audience.

  8. -

    Jenkins did say in the BOCS meeting that he sits 2 feet away from Candland and would be happy to provide Candland anything he wants….A public member of a board that seeks information under FOIA from another Board…makes the Board look bizarre….and wastes taxpayer money in the process. In another life, I worked for such a Board and my group conducted an annual 100% check of all expenditures and reported too the Chairman, all as part of a broader examination of the entities under review!! I thought all agencies and companies did this!!

  9. -

    Absolutely Corey was the hero of the day, along with Caddigan, Jenkins and Principi.

    Has anyone on the BOCS ever whined as much as Candland?

    He really was lost without his script. Where was Mac? Couldn’t he text fast enough?

    This was the Corey that I like to see!!!!

  10. -

    Candland must be losing it, it’s no fun always being the only 1 in a 7-1 vote. He was counting on Anderson, Lawson, and Caddigan to make his one vote look less crazy but that idea has seriously backfired. I watched the meeting, he really does embarrass himself and, unfortunately for him, the video is online forever.

  11. -

    Candlands behavior has always been this way. When there was no one calling out his sneaky antics or his affiliation with the notorious Haddow he could get away with terrorizing the county staff and bullying anyone who didn’t agree with him. Now that Muckracker has proven what he is actually up to at every turn he’s panicked. I am so glad that the people in the county have a place to turn and call out the hipocracy.
    It’s time for PWC to go cabal free next election cycle. It’s time for Pete to sell ice cream full time.

  12. -

    Candland is nothing more than an ambiguous turd.

  13. -

    The Sheriff is now going after Sawyers for expenses made by the clerk’s office. Some of them even pre-date Sawyers being on the board.

    Regardless, you’ve got them on the run Muckraker. They are scrambling. This is their same old trick. They want to keep talking about small dollar amounts so we aren’t focused on the hundreds of millions that aren’t giving to our schools and other county facilities that people want to see in their communities.

    Do you think this is a smoke screen to cover for Prime Rib Pete’s meals that he eats at the American Tap Room in Fairfax County on the PWC taxpayer’s dime?

  14. -

    Candland is throwing a major fit over this as we speak. Both him and his hit man are on a major witch hunt to see who is behind this blog. Poor Pete and hit man are being knocked down by their fellow Republicans every step of the way.

    BTW- I hear the ice cream is marginal and the prices outrageous for what you get at Pete’s ice cream parlor. I guess he is trying to overcharge folks on one end to pay for all those nonsense FOIAS he has planned in the future. So far every sport team he has given his Heroes award to are stopping by and his rather large extended family are busy liking his page.

  15. -

    Make no mistake, the staff was bullied, continually.

    No love loss there.

  16. -

    So Raker, I just heard that the building that Candland is running his ice cream shop out of he actually got for free, can that be true? If it is, then he got the land for cheap because he used his supervisor role to get them approvals, he got the building for free, and now he’s competing with local merchants trying to make a living. He really has done well for himself since he’s become a supervisor.

  17. -

    The thought of Pete Candland and his crew using the Chairman’s office to seek revenge on his many enemies frightens me! He did us all a favor with this ill-conceived attempt to use the power of his office to seek revenge against fellow Supervisors. Having no qualms about bringing Government to a halt to produce seems of paper at taxpayer’s expense as part of his revenge plot shows a callous disregard for the cost of Government when it’s about him.

    His abuse of power to give friends at QBE favorable terms for a land purchase in what appears to be a quid pro quo for a job there topped like a cherry on an Ice Cream Sunday opening an ice cream shop in that building smacks of the worst kind of behavior in an elected official. Do we really want Pete Candland involved in future land deals (and I emphasize “deals”?)

    I hope the good people of Gainesville are watching. They elected him. If they keep him, it really doesn’t say much for their judgment.

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