[Sun Gazette editorials represent the viewpoint of Sun Gazette Newspapers, which provides content to, but is otherwise unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]
Audrey Clement’s perpetual Arlington County Board campaign took the offensive at this month’s board meeting, attacking chairman Christian Dorsey for accepting campaign contributions from unions that potentially could benefit from his decision-making on the board of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
If we learned anything this year, it’s that Virginia has an anything-goes policy for campaign contributions. So the acceptance of $10,000 from the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 by Dorsey certainly isn’t illegal or even, by Virginia standards, particularly immoral.
But it does carry with it a little stench.
So why did he take it? The most likely answer seems to be that Dorsey doesn’t like to spend time fund-raising, so if a couple of groups offer him $10,000 checks, that pretty much covers what he would need for signage and whatever other limited campaign activity he’s undertaking on the way to a new term.
If we saw anything this spring, it was the mind-blowing hypocrisy of some on the local left, who stood by in silence as an Arlington political office effectively was purchased by out-of-town interests. The ends, it seemed, justified the means to those folks – folks who would have screamed to the heavens had Republicans tried the same tack.
Now we have the case of someone who is supposed to be overseeing the Metro system taking cash from a union that stands to benefit from the Metro board’s decision-making. You can bend yourself into a pretzel trying to rationalize that such behavior doesn’t constitute an inherent conflict of interest, but c’mon . . .