Is This the Face of Loudoun County?

Eugene Delgaudio is becoming the most visible – and notorious – person in the county.

In November 2011, Scott York received 31,942 votes in his race for chairman of the Board of Supervisors. Roger Zurn, running unopposed, got 45,807 votes for county treasurer.

Of those candidates who won district seats on the Board of Supervisors, the leading vote-getters were Geary Higgins, who received 4,473 votes, and Janet Clarke, with 4,435. At the other end of the spectrum were two candidates, each of whom ran in a three-way race – Shawn Williams (2,354 votes) and Eugene Delgaudio (2,836).

Yes, less than three thousand Sterling District voters – less than one percent of the county’s total population – handed Delgaudio a fourth term on the Board.

Nevertheless, one can make a pretty good case that Delgaudio, more than York, Zurn or anyone else, has become the face of Loudoun County.

Last July, I was watching the evening news – I believe it was WJLA, Channel 7 – when I saw a report that Delgaudio had been accused of using a photo of a gay couple without their permission in a political ad. As the head of an organization named Public Advocate, Delgaudio makes a career of opposing civil rights for gay people.

Earlier in the year, Delgaudio had also made the evening news when Public Advocate was deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The news reports referred to Delgaudio as a Loudoun County Supervisor, even though he is elected only by residents of the Sterling District.

It occurred to me that Delgaudio seemed to be getting more notoriety than any other elected official in Loudoun County. So last month I decided to do some Internet searches to see if my hunch was right.

I started to type “Loudoun County Supervisor” into my Internet search engine and before I had even finished, the auto-complete feature filled out the rest: Eugene A. Delgaudio.

Then, as I suspected, Delgaudio’s name showed up in half of the top 10 results when I searched on that phrase, “Loudoun County Supervisor.”

Number three was Delgaudio’s official Loudoun County webpage. Filling out slots six, seven, nine and 10 were links to Delgaudio’s comments that TSA pat downs are part of a “homosexual agenda” (and suggesting that gay male TSA agents might “get their jollies” frisking a man or boy), the Huffington Post’s report on Public Advocate being named a hate group, Delgaudio’s personal web page, and a Daily Show excerpt that lampooned Delgaudio for his comments that referred hypothetically to a transvestite as “it.”

Of the other Loudoun supervisors, only Clarke made an appearance in the top 10 search results. Her campaign page showed up as number five on my list.

Delgaudio’s name also popped up frequently when I did the same search on websites for Washington-area newspapers and television stations.

This was before a Washington Post story propelled Delgaudio’s name into the headlines again. The story aired charges from one of Delgaudio’s former aides that he had improperly used taxpayer-funded resources to raise funds for political purposes.

A subsequent Post editorial, headlined “Loudoun County’s Embarrassment,” pointed out that Public Advocate is the only hate group in the country to be headed by an elected official – Delgaudio.

In my opinion, Delgaudio’s disparaging comments about LGBT people degrade himself more than anyone else. But, unfortunately, they also reflect badly on the county that keeps returning him to public office.

This is evident in the comments that have been posted online in response to the Post’s story. One pointedly asks what this says about Delgaudio’s constituents and Loudoun County in general.

It may seem unfair to tar the entire county with the brush of hostility toward gay people, but I feel that the responsibility for electing Delgaudio to public office extends beyond the borders of the Sterling District. After all, Delgaudio was endorsed by Board of Supervisors chairman Scott York, Congressman Frank Wolf and even the Loudoun Times-Mirror – all of whom knew full well what Delgaudio stands for.

People who care about Loudoun County’s “brand” should be concerned.

Loudoun County has a lot of good things going for it – high incomes, low unemployment, a highly educated workforce, good schools, a low crime rate – but it can’t help county leaders attract businesses, employees, shoppers or tourists if a person who stands for intolerance is our most prominent local elected official.

If Eugene Delgaudio has indeed become the face of Loudoun County – if people conjure up his image when they think of Loudoun County – then we may need to come up with a suitable tag-line to accompany that image. Maybe something like:

“Hey, we’re not all like this guy.”

Vieslava Rutkowska October 08, 2012 at 05:51 AM
Are you speaking of yourself??? Keep homosexual education out of classrooms - yet, people of your ilk push it constantly on the rest of the students.
VA_in_VA October 08, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Hey, absolutely! Continue to voice your opinion as loud as you can, preferably during the election cycle. This way we can expose you for the ridiculous ignorant idiot that you are. Don't hide it. state it loud and clear so you can be identified. You my friend are a dying breed. With age, you will all go the way of the Dodo Bird and be extinct in about 10 to 20 years and allow American society to move on. I think George Will put it best about a year ago on a "This Week" broadcast when he said something like, "... soon the fact that any person is homosexual will have the equivalent relevance to them being left handed or having blue eyes." In other words, why do you or anyone else care who they love? It does not affect anyone else life in any way.
AshburnMom October 09, 2012 at 12:55 PM
No don't teach it in classrooms . Let the kids learn it at home the way the parents want to explain it. That way your sheltered kids can grow up to be bigots and homophobes and never function in the real world where, gasp, there are homosexual people everywhere. Scary!!!
VA_in_VA October 09, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Ladies and gentleman, allow me to introduce to you the intellectual level of the average Delgaudio supporter. Such depth of argument. Such a total grasp of the issue. I am totally persuaded by your thoughtful well structured speech. HOMO BAD! ARGUMENT DONE. Wow, that's great! Go crawl into your bunker for a few years and your children will be all grown up and you won't have to worry anymore. I raised two straight children now attending college who both had gay friends throughout there entire high school years, and you know what happened? Nothing. They're fine and doing great And you my friend are the only one not doing fine and who has the problem. No one is out to get you or your children. The "gays" are not recruiting. If you leave them alone and don't try to persecute them, and I promise they will leave you alone too.
AshburnMom October 09, 2012 at 02:30 PM
I'm wondering if this hypothetical "adopted daughter" became friends with your daughter would you allow the friendship? How would you explain her parents and why you disapprove? What if YOUR daughter turns out to be gay? What family unit are you trying to preserve? Do grandparents count? Aunts and Uncles? An unmarried man and woman?A Single parent? Are any of those home situations acceptable of being considered a "family", something that is worthy of being discussed in a school or in public that is also considered acceptable by you? or is it just the "gay" you disagree with? Do you also think it's OK that women and people of color have equal rights? At one time they also were considered to have an "agenda" as well.....look where we are now? see? It's all going to be fine, I promise. Just as soon as you go crawl back under your rock.
AshburnMom October 09, 2012 at 02:39 PM
VA_in_Va...I hope you are responding to the comment before mine....I was being tongue in cheek...I'm on your side ;)
VA_in_VA October 09, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Yes AshburnMom, I am with you. When you hit "Reply" to the original message it places it below your reply looking like it was a reply to you and not the ignorant original message. I am not a fan of Delgaugio in anyway. It is the reason that I left the Republican fold years ago. Why is the GOP flagrantly against human rights in the case of gay marriage? Its religion of course. Thump the bible as the trump card and you can not reason after that. I guarantee without equivocation that the above anti-gay is brought to you by a bible-thumping self-righteous bigot. It sickens me to think that some people want to go backwards on gay rights. As I said earlier, its simply a matter of time for this neanderthals to die off and allow the rest of the human specie to evolve.
AshburnMom October 09, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Gotcha....weird how replies stack like that. Total agreement on everything you said.. It's sad
Vieslava Rutkowska October 10, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Why do you think only Bible literalists and fundamentalists do NOT approve of homosexuality??? I consider myself agnostic and I do NOT approve of homosexuality. There are many ATHEISTS who do NOT approve of homosexuality. Frankly, it is completely irrelevant who approves and who does not. People who are OPPOSED to homosexuality should NOT be subjected to government pushing the homosexual lifestyle on them and their children through the public schools using their own TAX money - to do so is not only violating their First Amendment Rights; it is outright criminal.
VA_in_VA October 10, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Frankly, I don't believe you. Your objection on the "government pushing" homosexual lifestyle is just silly. For Loudoun County schools you can "opt-out" of Family Life Ed and not let your kids hear anything that might burn their little ears. Furthermore, I don't believe that your objection is not religiously basis because there is no other rational reason for objecting. I will bet beyond any doubt that you are either ... (a) evangelical (b) catholic or (c) simply a bigoted homophobic nut case. Stay classy my friend :)
Vieslava Rutkowska October 10, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Clearly, we have CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS and FIRST AMENDMENT dilemma here, don't we? Somehow, YOU believe: 1) "only" Evangelicals and Catholics oppose homosexuality which makes them religious "bigots" 2) agnostics and atheists are NOT allowed to be opposed to homosexuality in YOUR world 3) your logic is that "rational" people by default must tolerate and accept homosexuality - no exceptions Again, you are playing with other people's First Amendment Rights, which is NEVER a good idea. Think about it without being BIGOTED yourself.
AshburnMom October 10, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Text of the first amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Please explain to me where teaching and or knowing about loving committed homosexual relationships is a violation of a first amendment right? It seems to me that within my first amendment rights (freedom of speech) we can and will discuss it as much as we would like and no one can stop us...you can just opt out of the conversation if you don't like it, because that is *your* right. Bottom line, you don't have to like it, or agree with it, but I get to say it. And so does the author of this piece. Please come up with a better response because the "First Amendment" one is getting tired.
Vieslava Rutkowska October 10, 2012 at 09:51 PM
>>>Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment of RELIGION, or prohibiting the FREE EXERCISE thereof; or abridging the FREEDOM of SPEECH, or of the PRESS; or the RIGHT of the PEOPLE PEACEABLY to ASSEMBLE, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."<<< @AshburnMom, The Constitution cannot say it more clearly than it already does. It seems that your Freedom of Speech applies only to YOU: you can say anything and everything you want, but the same Constitutional Right does not apply to people who do not agree with your logic and your way of life. "The right of the people PEACEABLY to ASSEMBLE" means that people who OPPOSE homosexuality can gather in their own churches or their own private organizations, they can start their own schools and YOU cannot stop them or prevent them from doing so. This is First Amendment at work. Build your own sandbox with your own rules if you want to make homosexuality part of your life.
Vieslava Rutkowska October 10, 2012 at 10:00 PM
This is why SCHOOL VOUCHERS are very important and will allow for a more FAIR distribution of TAX dollars allocated for public schools. Direct TAX CREDITS will work as well.
Vieslava Rutkowska October 11, 2012 at 02:20 AM
AshburnMom: "That way your sheltered kids can grow up to be bigots and homophobes and never function in the real world where, gasp, there are homosexual people everywhere." Since when being a HETEROSEXUAL person who is opposed to homosexuality and wanting to shelter one's own children from homosexual lifestyle and teaching them HETEROSEXUAL MONOGAMOUS moral values is called "crazy" or "unconstitutional"??? I am exercising MY LEGAL RIGHTS the same way you are trying to assert your legal rights. There is nothing wrong with building more sandboxes to play in. But this is precisely my point: LIBERALS and pro-LGBT activists push their moral values and agendas on other people, even when told to play in their own sandbox. STOP.
Dusty Smith (Editor) October 11, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Several comments in this thread have been deleted. Opinions are great, but let's try not to attack each other in the process. Thanks.
Vieslava Rutkowska October 11, 2012 at 11:35 PM
@ Dusty, Thank you for being OBJECTIVE and not taking sides in this discussion. We are all protected by the First Amendment. It cannot be a one way street. No government has the right to force moral values on any person, especially values that an individual or citizen does not approve of or considers immoral and unnatural.
VA_in_VA October 11, 2012 at 11:42 PM
So now we deleting the posts of people who call out opinions they believe to be bigoted? What about the free speech of those people? If they go crying to Daddy will they be protected too?
VA_in_VA October 11, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Okay, let me put you point of "immorality" into a better concrete argument and hopefully the posting police will not delete it for your you. In my lifetime Virginia had a law that people of different races could not marry. They also claimed that is was immoral for them to even socialize together, let alone date and marry. Today it is totally ridiculous for this to even be discussed again. We have grown. Evolved. To me the parallel with your opinion on gay marriage obvious and compelling. It's obviously to me that you have never had a close friend or relative who is gay, otherwise you would have to look at them in the face and say that you are disgusted with them ... and if you have then I am even sorrier for you.
Vieslava Rutkowska October 12, 2012 at 12:15 AM
As I recall, you were not exercising your right to the free speech, you were abusing your right to the free speech. Calling people who do not share your views or your pro-LGBT agenda most disrespectful names is NOT a good way to have a civilized discussion. Your views on life are not necessarily my views on life and you must learn to respect that. You simply cannot assume that being pro Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender is a "PROGRESSIVE" way to look at life and the entire humanity and therefore EVERYONE should accept this view on homosexuality. There are many people who hold an OPPOSITE view on this issue.
Vieslava Rutkowska October 12, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Why did you chose RACE as your legal proof, if I may ask??? Just for your information, the blacks were NOT the only people who suffered slavery. There were MANY people and nationalities that were enslaved at one point or another throughout the human history. As for this country, Not so long ago 14 years old girls were "forced" to marry much older men. Today we do not allow it because we believe it is wrong and harmful. Not so long ago women were not allowed to vote. Today women hold public offices. I think this is YOUR problem - you shamelessly ride on the "wrongs" of yesterday and think you can justify about anything. Too bad you are not a very good student of history because your "proofs" for LGBT legal and moral equality fail the most basic test of human decency.
VA_in_VA October 12, 2012 at 12:49 AM
I frankly have no idea what you are trying to argue right now. You are all over the map and make no sense at all. The argument is simple and you even said it yourself. Some things that were once thought to be righteous long ago are now considered wrong in hindsight. Women's vote as per you example above. As little as 30 years ago being gay was illegal in many states. Now it is not. Apparently since you believe it to be so immoral, you wish to go back and make it illegal once more, correct? And if not, I have no idea what you trying to argue?
Dusty Smith (Editor) October 12, 2012 at 04:38 AM
It was a particular line in the comment. As you can see, most of your comments remain in tact.
Vieslava Rutkowska October 12, 2012 at 04:47 PM
The First Amendment - I do NOT share your pro-LGBT views and do NOT wish you or the government impose those views on me or my Family.
Alan Smithee October 19, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Vieslava Rutkowska/Vivienne Rutkowski, You keep parroting the hysterical scare tactics and misinformation from Public Advocate---which was designated as a hate group by the civil rights organization Southern Poverty Law Center. It isn't winning you any friends. Frankly, it's embarrassing. I feel sorry for you. I hope one day you can overcome whatever is driving your irrational fear of LGBT people and learn to treat everyone with more respect.
Alan Smithee October 19, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Since you're so big on "America, love it or leave it", perhaps you and your capital-F Family should just move to a remote island somewhere. Just think, you'll never have to worry about dealing with anyone who is different than you. Problem solved!
Vieslava Rutkowska October 19, 2012 at 06:27 PM
You just cannot accept the fact that some people do NOT approve of homosexuality and never will. The First Amendment does apply to EVERYONE, including those who are opposed to homosexuality ...... imagine that. What is your problem??? I have the right to know who I am VOTING for!
VA_in_VA October 19, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Alan Smithee: As you can see above from my past conversation earlier this week, I would simply give up trying to discuss this with her because it is quite obvious there is no rational reasoning capable from her. However, I do believe sunlight is the best disinfectant. We should allow her and Mr Delgaudo to continue their spouting off. Those on the peripheral of this discussion can see what irrational and incoherent their views truly are. This approach has worked for years and will continue to work as Darwinian Evolution proceeds.
Vieslava Rutkowska October 20, 2012 at 12:46 AM
VA_in_VA wrote: "This approach has worked for years and will continue to work as Darwinian Evolution proceeds." I hope you see a humor in your statement :-) :-) :-) You want ME to VOTE for YOUR liberal pro-LGBT candidate so YOU can claim a Darwinian Victory because you are smarter and your liberal pro-LGBT views are closer to life than mine ..... therefore your side is winning .... .... all you have to do is to make ME vote against myself. Almost funny. Definitely clever. Election and voting is about Representation and the First Amendment, NOT Darwinian Evolution.
Vieslava Rutkowska October 20, 2012 at 12:48 AM
I'd rather NOT vote at all than vote AGAINST myself.


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