Andersonian Hypocrisy

On June 3rd we published a post entitled “The Descent into the Sewer – Part 1”, in which we posed a rhetorical question: How did Prince William County began the descent into the sewer that would put an unethical group like the Mac Haddow-Pete Candland cabal on the brink of controlling the county? In that post we articulated our view that the descent actually began back in 2007 when a certain segment of the right-wing in Prince William County turned on one of their own, in our opinion for no other reason than that the individual, Faisal Gill, was a Muslim.

The falsity of some of the attacks on that Muslim Republican (who went on to become the GOP nominee for the 51st House of Delegates seat that year and was endorsed in the general election by the Potomac News) reached new levels of egregiousness, at least for recent Prince William County memory. His opponent for the Republican nomination in 2007 was the then Neabsco School Board member, Julie Lucas, and the media reported that Ms. Lucas’s campaign manager was none other than current Occoquan Supervisor, Ruth Anderson.

We showed an illustrative example of the type of racial dog whistles, libels and slanders to which Faisal Gill (and it turned out his supporters) were subjected to by this particular cohort of the right wing, in the form of a letter to the Potomac News by someone named “Rick” Anderson. Unfortunately, we’ll likely never know for certain who “Rick” Anderson is. We’ve been unable to find a “Rick” Anderson from that time. It might have been current delegate and spouse of then Lucas campaign manager, Rich Anderson, playing around with his first name or the victim of a copy editor’s mistake, or it could have been someone entirely different. We’ll probably never know.* But the letter reveals a deep-seated antipathy, often unencumbered by facts, that led to Republican defections in the general election and resulted in the Democrat Paul Nichols winning the normally Republican seat by less than 500 votes.

[*For those who think we should just ask Anderson about the “Rick” Anderson letter, with the Potomac News defunct and unavailable for corroboration, we have no doubt that Anderson would lose little sleep over feigning ignorance or lying outright if he thought it advantageous to do so. In any event, he is free to deny it was him any time he wishes. The sentiment of the Lucas campaign and supporters it illustrates is the issue, not who actually authored the letter.]

After publication of our June 3rd post we received copies of letters-to-the-editor written less than a year later, in 2008, by a person who is clearly current Delegate Rich Anderson (R-51). One of these, in particular, caught our eye and is republished below. We believe our source copied it from another blog where it is being used to peddle the absolutely false claim that Harry Wiggins, the current chair of the Prince William Democratic Committee, was fired by Paul Nichols (we have confirmed directly with Nichols that the assertion is simply a blatant lie).

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As you see, Anderson is referring to a prior letter-to-the-editor published shortly after Wiggins became a staff aide to newly-sworn-in delegate Paul Nichols (we don’t know how long prior to its publication Wiggins’ may have written the letter), in which Wiggins was critical of the School Board. We find particularly compelling that Rich Anderson found it so “disturbing” that Mr. Wiggins would attempt “to tarnish our school division and our hard-working School Board members for his own political self-interest?” Even more so we simply couldn’t remain dry-eyed as Anderson moralized that “in his present capacity, he [Mr. Wiggins] works for all members of [the] district, regardless of party affiliation and must rightfully refrain from attacks on locally-elected officials.” We leapt to our feet in thunderous applause as Anderson admonished that he especially hoped “that Mr. Nichols does not approve of Mr. Wiggins’ actions and that he ensures in the future that his legislative assistant refrains from inappropriate, unprofessional attacks on local officials.” In a glorious peroration Anderson cries that such a person “must be a builder, not a divider.

As we dabbed the tear stains on our clothes, something didn’t feel quite right. Then we saw it. There was more to what we’d been sent. You see, the Brentsville Supervisor Jeanine Lawson brought on staff for the budget a person named Kim Simons. Ms. Simons runs a Facebook group that regularly attacks the school system and members of the School Board (it’s also the group that disgracefully, without any evidence, questioned George Hampton’s military record until the Muckraker exposed their dishonorable conduct by publishing the easily-obtainable information documenting his record). Brentsville Supervisor Jeanine Lawson’s aide, Ms. Simons, in fact, doesn’t just administer the group, but is an active participant herself. Included in what we were sent was just a sampling of the things Ms. Simons has posted herself. Here are but a few of them.

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And our very favorite one:

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Oh, the humanity!

This sampling was all from more than a month ago, and quite tame given what we have seen before from Ms. Simons, but . . . curious . . . we haven’t seen any public outrage from Delegate Rich Anderson about how much the comments of Supervisor Lawson’s staff aide disturb him. Thanks to partisan gerrymandering, Delegate Anderson even shares part of his district with Supervisor Lawson, yet we haven’t seen anything from him admonishing Ms. Simons about tarnishing our school division and our hard-working School Board members for her own political self-interest. We haven’t seen anything telling her that in her present capacity, she works for all members of the district, regardless of party affiliation and must rightfully refrain from attacks on locally-elected officials. No, we haven’t seen any self-righteous pronouncements directing Supervisor Jeanine Lawson to ensure in the future that her staff assistant refrains from inappropriate, unprofessional attacks on local officials and acts as a builder, not a divider.

No, indeed, we haven’t seen any such thing . . . and we’re not holding our breath. You see, Rich and Ruth Anderson are thick as thieves with Jeanine Lawson and her tactics, no matter how disgraceful and dishonorable. You’ll never see them speak out publicly and denounce the regular and continuing disgraceful lies, character assassination and intimidation practiced by the likes of Lawson, Candland and some members of their staffs. Anderson has no problem writing a letter-to-editor about a single critical letter of Harry Wiggins when Wiggins is a staff member and Anderson is seeking political advantage for his own future political run. But when staff members of elected officials like Lawson and Candland continually and publicly lie, defame, attack, and vilify county staff and other elected officials, even help attack the military record of a war hero without evidence, Rich Anderson’s silence is deafening.

Then there’s this beauty [Editors Note: We added this after it was sent to us by a commentator.], where none other than Mac Haddow himself, while working in Pete Candland’s office with the job description we reported on earlier of “Whatever He Wants“, is running a blog where he, Haddow himself, attacks County Budget Director, Michelle Casciato, whose is perhaps one of the most honest and hard-working government employees one could hope for.

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Where was Rich Anderson’s public outrage when Candland’s staffer Mac Haddow was publicly attacking Casciato? Hiding in the high grass, that’s where. You see folks, the same rules simply don’t apply to members of the Haddow-Candland cabal in the world of Andersonian Hypocrisy.

[Editors Note: We’ve had a few people tell us they cannot find Kim Simons on Brentsville Supervisor Jeanine Lawson’s web site. We know. We checked that out before we posted. Lawson brought Simons on staff “for the budget” but didn’t put her on her staff directory. We’re not sure why she chose not to do so or exactly what she uses Simons for. We do know, however, that Lawson herself has consistently described her as a member of her staff. That Lawson brought her on makes this all the worse, in our opinion, since she didn’t inherit Simons but brought her on knowing full well what Simons was posting online. We know at some point in the future we’ll miss something or read it wrong or otherwise make a mistake, but unlike the SoN blog, we don’t make anything up and . . . we actually do our homework to try to ensure anything we post as fact is actually fact.]

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20 comments on “Andersonian Hypocrisy

  1. -

    This is exactly right! Where was Anderson when Mac Haddow was on Pete Candland’s staff and attacking other elected officials and county staff. Biggest hypocrite in the county.

  2. -

    Like Anderson doesn’t know what his former campaign manager Reece Collins was saying about county staff when he was working for Candland.

  3. -

    I’ll never forget that Rich Anderson ran the most unethical campaign this century in Prince William County against Paul Nichols. He purposely defamed Nichols on TV and in mailers about a DUI in which Nichols wasn’t driving the car and wasn’t even in the car that got pulled over. Then he plastered Nichols’ social security number all over. He disgraced his uniform with that campaign.

  4. -

    That’s the pattern they use. And the smear campaign against the opponent comes out in October. Rich did it again in 2013 and Ruth in 2015.

  5. -

    It bothers me that I didn’t know until very recently that Simons was a staff member of Lawson’s. I always wondered why a platform that claims to support education reform would even allow people to link posts from anonymous bloggers such as The Derecho and SoN, especially with bullying being such a hot topic in our schools. I guess it makes sense now.

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion of course, but I think it’s very divisive for a BOCS staffer to make these types of posts in a public forum as a representative of Ms. Lawson’s. She definitely shouldn’t hold an Adminstrator position where she is allowed to control the content of what is posted.

  6. -

    Where was Rich Anderson when Mac Haddow was on Pete Candland’s staff torturing county staff? Not hiding behind the Sheriff of Nottingham but on HIS OWN BLOG where he proudly displayed his photo and bio.

  7. -

    “Brentsville Mom” I agree with you! If Ms. Simons does in fact work for an elected official then she must be held to a higher standard of professionalism and should be working towards uniting the community not running it down in print. Sup Lawson should hold her accountable for her comments and she should be made to apologize.

  8. -

    I think it’s time that some of these elected people with staffers attacking others through blogs need to respond. This is disgusting.

  9. -

    Brentsville Mom makes an excellent point. With bullying being such an issue in the school system, how can Brentsville Supervisor Jeanine Lawson bring someone on staff who runs a social media blog on education that links to posts from anonymous bloggers like the Sheriff of Nottingham, which is based almost entirely on bullying and intimidation with lies and innuendo. By doing so Lawson is essentially promoting bullying. She should be ashamed.

  10. -

    Anderson is all about Anderson. He will never cross Lawson. He owes his seat to gerrymandering that somehow linked Lake Ridge to Brentsville and Nokesville as “communities of interest”. Reed Heddleston crushed him in the pre-gerrymandered 51st district. If it wasn’t for Brentsville and Nokesville Anderson wouldn’t be a delegate and we’d all be better off.

  11. -

    After all his holier than thou stuff in that letter I can’t believe Anderson as a veteran stood by while Lawson’s people attacked a combat infantryman just like you said with no evidence.

  12. -

    Here’s what Anderson does. He’ll tell the people attacked that he doesn’t agree with the attackers and that he thinks it’s terrible what they’re doing. But he won’t speak out against it. Instead he’ll go and kiss up to the people like Haddow, Candland and Lawson that are doing it. This is what Rich always has and always will do. There’s no getting around it. He’s a hypocrite and a coward.

  13. -

    You are loosing me. Why should Rich Anderson get involved in local political issues? He’s a Delegate staying in his swim lane.

    Reasonably intelligent people see this as pure politics with little rational context. I had hoped for better.

  14. -

    Anderson is the biggest hypocrite in the general assembly tells you one thing to your face and then does the exact opposite in sub committee

  15. -

    @Anonymous
    “You are loosing [sic] me.”
    Have you been asleep or are you just an Anderson crony? Rich Anderson has made it a point to get very involved in local politics. Just this year he inserted himself in the School Board naming controversy and afterwards told people he’s going to introduce a bill on school naming in the General Assembly. Then he went before the Board of Supervisors during the budget discussion and urged them not to raise taxes. He intervenes in local politics all the time when it suits him. That’s the point. He had no problem publicly telling an elected official he was planning to run against that his staff’s behavior was inappropriate. Where is he now when the staff of Lawson and Candland are behaving far worse?

  16. -

    @Anonymous — “Why should Rich Anderson . . . ”
    Really? Are you kidding me? Have you never seen Rich Anderson before the BOCS? Where have you been?

  17. -

    The mock outrage is what gets me.
    Seriously, who really believes the blather on SoN? It’s one or two people cheering on the cabal every day.

    Unfortunately, many of our supervisors were scared of being excoriated publicly and wouldn’t stand up to the bullies.

  18. -

    Rich Anderson is afraid of Mac Haddow. He knows that if he calls out Candland or Lawson for what their staff do, which is far worse than what he wrote about back in 2008, he risks alienating Haddow, who would have no problem destroying know nothing Ruth Anderson. Rich Anderson is simply a coward and a hypocrite when it comes to things like this. No more, no less.

  19. -

    Was it swimming in his lane when Anderson told the School Board how they should name three schools and when he didn’t get his way went around telling people he was going to introduce a bill on school names in the General Assembly? Please, get real, Anonymous. You’re probably Rich Anderson.

  20. -

    There are people who claim to have known Rich Anderson in the Air Force and have some choice things to same about him. Their remarks are borderline the sort of thing we’re criticizing Lawson for allowing a staff member to participate in and for Anderson not calling out, so we’re not going to print them. As always, if it’s simply an opinion, or you have actual evidence we can use for corroboration we will consider a post. We will not, however, engage in the fabrications common on the Sheriff or allow you to hide behind mythical “birdies” or “someone who said”, particularly in this context.

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