Mabry and Kaylin Commentary
A School Board Candidate Defames the Opposition
- Debasing Factual Information to Satiate Wants Is Corrosive to Democracy
- The Elixir of “Fake Facts” is Peddled by Those Who Cling to Each Other for Justification
- Social Conformance Can Erode Democratic Process and It’s Palpable in Our City
By Sam Mabry
Mabry was Vice Mayor and Served Two Terms on the City Council
“To the voters: Our Little City is blessed with one of the most informed and civic-minded electorates in the country. I want to thank you all for rejecting the fearmongering, negative attacks, and vitriol that have gripped our politics both local and national. Thank you for overwhelmingly passing a much-needed bond referendum in the face of really ugly and often misleading attacks. Keep up your bravery and your clear-sightedness. Richard Crespin
Mr. Crespin has apparently lashed himself to that old notion that any means is justified if the end objective is achieved–even if truth and accuracy are abandoned in its pursuit. And he compounds this slippery slope of moral equivalency by defaming the opponents. And yet, while he paints with a wide rhetorical brush, he does not cite any example of misleading information by the opponents, let alone any fear mongering. The problem for Mr. Crespin and others who chose this path of moral equivalency, is that the referendum opponents on the page of The Post told the truth. They did not have to fabricate facts. What they did–what we did–was to use the city and school board’s own information, carefully citing the source, in order to justify opposition to the $120 Million bond. At the same time, many of the referendum supporters–including elected officials–dissembled, lied and misrepresented the facts. In this there is, Mr. Crespin, no bravery.
On this Veterans’ Day Weekend, the least that we can do to honor those who died, or were wounded or maimed, is to further and sustain our democracy by being open and truthful with one another–especially those who are elected to represent us.
And P.S: While the Governor-elect swept the election in the City, the referendum received almost a 1,000 votes fewer than Dr. Northam. I doubt if any of those citizens who did not support the bond but did Dr. Northam believe they were duped by those of us who opposed the referendum. As Mr. Crespin pointed out, we are a “well informed…electorate.”
Narcissism and Exceptionalism Expressed by Richard Crespin: A Value Shared with a Coterie of Influential Falls Church Citizens
By Ira Kaylin
Kaylin was a Member of the City Council and Co-Chair of its Budget and Finance Committee
Yours is truly an ungracious comment on the outcome of the bond referendum. Worse yet it fosters the very behaviors you complain about. Your opening sentence has a “whiff” of Falls Church “exceptionalism”. The danger of “exceptionalism” is that it shuts out of all views that would interfere with that self image.
Likening the Falls Church election to the local and national politics is more of an example of narcissistic rage than a valid comparison.
The attacks that you outline reflect your unwillingness and anger toward other views especially if they are expressed in a manner with which you disagree. You continually conflate “negative” with elected official “accountability”. Given the vehemence of your views there should have been some supporting examples.
You provide none.
There are a number of issues that were never addressed by the pro-Referendum group in spite of repeated requests. Here are two examples:
- Where will Falls Church generate the revenue to cover the projected $30 million increase (as projected by the School Superintendent) in teacher related and other operating costs? These costs are over and above the school construction costs but do not include the cost of new teacher hires related to the expected enrollment increase. Is this the “fear mongering” to which you refer? If you have the data please share it with us.
2. A considerable part of the justification for the cost of the new school is an expected increase academic performance.When asked to provide one statistically significant study linking academic performance to the construction of a new school no example was ever provided. This raises the question: Is the new school really about our children or is it that our self image requires that we spend as much or more for new School as Arlington does–that we are just as “good” as Arlington. Is this source of your anger? Is this the “vitriol” to which you refer? If you have such a study please share it with us.
By the way, siding with a pro-Referendum group is hardly an act of bravery as these referenda are routinely approved. It shows no bravery at all. Those of us trying to provide another view were the ones who showed more grit as a backlash was a certainty.
The ability of the citizens to make clear minded decisions depend in large measure by the information they are provided. The information provided to the citizens was incomplete and biased. The refusal by the City Manager to include a range of tax rate projections for the GMHS project (capital and operating costs) was an egregious example.