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Metro Swing Votes in Crosshairs

Loudoun Opt Out members remind the Leesburg supervisor about his work with Chris Walker.

Less than 24 hours before the Loudoun Board of Supervisors is set to vote on whether Metro’s Silver Line extends beyond Dulles International Airport to Ashburn, opponents of the project stepped up pressure on Ken Reid (R-Leesburg) and Suzanne Volpe (R-Algonkian).

Both were considered to be leaning against the project at one point, but have since offered more conciliatory comments. And both are specifically identified on the Loudoun Opt Out website. Reminding Reid of his past statements and past employer, members of group spoke during the board’s public input session Monday directly to Reid.

, several years ago, Reid co-founded notollincrease.org with Chris Walker, a developer who died in 2011. Walker constructed the 1 Dulles Corridor building in Fairfax, which he struggled to lease. The building sits near the Dulles Toll Road/Hunter Mill interchange where planners declined to place a rail station. Walker, at some point, became an opponent of the rail project. Walker also gave Reid $3,500 for his campaign for supervisor.

“Mr. Reid, I spoke with the widow of the late Chris Walker. She asked me to remind you that he gave and gave and gave working with you and many others to protect the public from this push to burden taxpayers to benefit a few special interests,” said Loudoun Opt Out spokesman David LaRock in a statement his wife had to finish because of time limits on speakers. “Mrs. Walker asked me to ask you to please do what you know is right.”

John Grigsby, another Loudoun Opt Out member, continued to work the angle.

“Ken, I wish that Chris could be here tomorrow to look you in the eye,” Grigsby said, adding that Reid could be the “John Roberts” of the Metro vote, alluding to U.S. Supreme Chief Justice John Roberts who disappointed many conservatives by becoming the deciding vote upholding the Affordable Health Care Act, also commonly referred to as Obamacare.

LaRock had also recommended that residents visit Ken Reid’s website to see his views, pointing to past anti-rail sentiments.

“I really recommend that you go to KenReid.org. He’s got some great stuff there,” he said, pointing out one statement where Reid wrote that Metro “’is a land use scheme masquerading as a transportation project.’ I agree. Good Quote. Solid quote. Thank you, Supervisor Reid.”

Reid seemed unphased by the comments, disclosing that he had met with one of the landowners around the Route 772 station during the past week.

“I’d like to praise the opt out group,” Reid said, commending their persistence. “They even found my rabbi’s email and they got him to talk to me about this.”

Supervisor Shawn Williams said the comments against Reid were unnecessary.

“I didn’t appreciate the personal attacks on my colleague Ken Reid tonight,” he said. “I really think you do a disservice to your cause by attacking people personally.”

County Chairman Scott K. York (R-At Large) explained his understanding of Walker’s opposition to rail.

“I knew Chris Walker,” York said. “Chris Walker supported rail, up until the time he was denied having a station at the location where his property is in Reston. It was at that time after that he fought against. That’s his right to do so, but let’s put all the information on the table.”

But Volpe said opponents and supporters have targeted her, too.

“’A former elected official said to me, ‘If Metro doesn’t go through, you’re all dead,’” she explained. “I looked back and said, ‘Well, we all have to die one day.’”

And with the vote coming Tuesday, the pressure has ramped up, Volpe said.

“I find it interesting that within a 12-hour period I can go from being the hard-core, anti-tax, right-wing extremist freak to the she’s cut a deal with a bunch of developers and there’s a promise of money.”

Tax Pig July 03, 2012 at 11:24 AM
Ken Reid may be about to sell out the people who have looked to him for understanding of the full scope of the disaster that Metro will bring if it comes to Loudoun. Supervisor Ken Reid and Attorney Daniel Gray on Dulles Rail http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vs3UnvauzyE&feature=autoshare
Tax Pig July 03, 2012 at 11:28 AM
York was wrong about Chris Walker. In my opinion, Chris refused to be bullied by the LEADERS Group who rewarded those who paid $30K into the lobbyist pool by gerrymandering them out of the special tax district if they played along.
Lillian Johnson July 03, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Loudoun needs the metro all the way to Leesburg for the safety of its residents and to help untie the traffic mess on Rt 7 and all it's feeder road. And Yes we are willing to pay our fair share even if we do not use this wonderful and needed service!
Myth Buster July 03, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Tax Pig - Stop it, just stop. The Loudoun-Opt out tactics are uncalled for and are beyond the pale. I am not a fan of the current BoS, but personally attacking elected officials is dirty pool. I guess there is some true to the old saying; "when you wrestle with a pig you are bound to get dirty".
Myth Buster July 03, 2012 at 12:27 PM
This is exactly my point - your group used a dead man's (presumtive) views to fit the narrative of your arguement. This is beyond disgusting, it is unseemingly. Have you no shame or decency?
CC Mojo July 03, 2012 at 01:26 PM
The pigs have no shame. We all know that. Disgusting.
Kevin Chisholm July 03, 2012 at 01:35 PM
More Loudoun County residents need to be served by public transit. Residents and officials need to consider their options here; this is a critical time for decisions that may affect the County for the rest of the century. In my opinion, residents from the entire county and even beyond the county to the west might have an interest in a regional system. Were that the case, County officials might want to consider a regional transit system that connects directly with Metro, but is regionally managed. It could eventually connect with points west (Berryville, Purcellville, Winchester, etc.). Why do this? There are advantages in not being a part of Metro (beyond the extension to Dulles). They are primarily the cost of the system. Light rail systems can be built for a much lower cost per mile than Metro is able to build. And Federal funds should be made available. Using less oil is of national interest – as much a national security issue as any. Kevin Chisholm Candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives www.chisholmforcongress.com
eric Cuthbert July 03, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Dulles Rail is a no brainer according to leading local economists. The anti-rail people shout rhetoric, personal attacks and other fairy tails that smell of McCarthism. Rail to Dulles has been in the works since the 1990's. From a tax point of view, we need businesses not more houses that rail will bring. If the TEA Party anti-everything, anti-rail people don't like it, move!
Bob Bruhns July 03, 2012 at 01:50 PM
The same people who built hyperinflation into the Silver Line can build hyperinflation into anything. Learn from this disaster and keep them from doing it ever again, or they will.
Bob Bruhns July 03, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Well, it took -some- brains to bloat the cost of the Silver Line by 80 to 100%, and it took crooked 'leaders' and a complicit news media to back up the plan. But with a Billion and a half dollars of overcharge just in Phase II alone, many things were possible. As I say, somebody in the news business will eventually get an easy Pulitzer Prize by following the money on this ripoff. I'm not sure many people will even remember or care who the players were, though. They'll be too busy paying new tax after new tax to pay for this thing twice, and to pay the hidden costs for it as well.
MIke July 03, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Safety? Better get your concealed carry permit in VA.. since Metro brings crime, and apparently the pro metro side is making death threats. The people using metro should be paying for it, not sacking Loudoun's tax payers / businesses with even more burdensome taxes.
MIke July 03, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Starting to see the light? Metro will not bring more business to Loudoun, as a matter of fact small businesses in Ashburn are in the cross hairs of the supervisors to tax. MWAA / Metro is one of the most poorly run quasi-government organizations on record. Loudoun residents / businesses will suffer for years before any kind ROI for the county or the businesses in the county will be seen.
MIke July 03, 2012 at 02:37 PM
If Ken flip flops, will anyone ever be able to trust anything he says ever again? Vote NO to Metro!
CC Mojo July 03, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Couldn't agree more with you, Mr. Chisholm. Good luck out there!
Frank F. July 03, 2012 at 05:54 PM
I think you just need to move to DC then. I moved from Alexandria to Leesburg to get AWAY from all the trash and riff-raff near the DC region. Most people move to Loudoun for that same reason and like the countryish and rural feel to the area. And in fact I do not ride metro, I never plan to, so I refuse to pay for it. If Metro came to Leesburg, prepare for it to turn into another PG County. People in Leesburg actually work and not collect welfare, so we can actually afford a car and would rather not depend on public transit. So to all the OPT-IN people, better get a call into ADT or Brinks and get your home alarm installed, you're going to need it.
Tax Pig July 04, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Mojo, you won. Congrats. Will they keep you on retainer to do damage control for Reid? I think deep down inside you like the pig. Everybody does. Ken Soros Reid http://loudounoptout.blogspot.com/2012/07/always-votefor-principle-though-you-may.html
CC Mojo July 04, 2012 at 03:51 AM
I enjoyed meeting David. The Pig... well, I can't say I like him at all. Dirty tricks never win, my friend, and one day, you'll actually believe I am who I say I am. Or not. Cheers!
Bob Bruhns July 04, 2012 at 10:33 AM
With a Billion and a half dollars of overcharge in this job, anything was possible.
joe brewer July 06, 2012 at 12:41 AM
A distancing from consequence salves the betrayer's guilt. Ring any bells Reid?

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