As many of you probably already know, Prince William County Board of Supervisors (BOCS) Chair Ann Wheeler is now the target of a petition drive to recall and then remove her from office for abuse of power. (See item #7 below for details, and last paragraph below on how to help.)
WHY A RECALL — Here’s why we agree that Chair Wheeler should be recalled and removed from office.
1. Chair Wheeler has repeatedly tolerated and implicitly supported mob intimidation tactics. Examples include: a) BOCS Democrats’ involvement with the May 2020 street riots in west county, b) the subsequent illegal BOCS Democrats’ meeting presided over by Wheeler, and c) in several public BOCS meetings, Wheeler’s toleration of outrageous racism and transparent threats of racist violence against BOCS opponents. After these threats against Wheeler’s opponents, the group responsible for the racist intimidation was awarded with millions of dollars of county taxpayer-funded grants. (See this report and hyperlinks in #2 and #3 immediately below.)
2. Chair Wheeler is racist. In addition to the examples just noted, Wheeler loves to relive and encourage talk by herself and others about the racism of two generations and more ago, over which no one alive has any control, and loves to discuss the faults of others, but brazenly tries to silence all talk about her and her allies’ own here-and-now racism. She has repeatedly pursued policies that harm the county’s poor and minorities. (See: 13 examples of this here and here, and the link in #1 above.) This hypocrisy and phoniness places her in the company of politicians who prefer talking and virtue signalling about problems far away in time or place … versus actually solving problems right under their noses and/or which they perhaps are even helping cause.
Her views on race relations, support for Critical Race Theory, including in BOCS meetings, and endless talk about “equity” (meaning not equal opportunity but equal result, financial redistribution through taxation, and shakedown politics) are rife with the soft bigotry of low expectations. Her views are also rife with condescending white elitism, dovetailing with professionally/financially self-interested elite thinking that is frequently not in harmony with that of ordinary blacks and other minorities, as shown repeatedly in polling results. (See link here.) For the beginnings of a far more honest, less corrupt, less self-righteous discussion of these topics, see these discussions of the writings and work of several eminent black scholars: a, b, and c.
3. Chair Wheeler and her allies have repeatedly demonstrated profound disrespect for and flouted the rule of law. Examples include her and her county attorney’s repeated double-talk and lies about their violation of state transparency and freedom-of-information laws and her illegal attempts to take advantage of the situation and shut down public comment during Covid. (See examples here, 11 more examples here, as well as hyperlinks above.)
4. Chair Wheeler is ideologically absolutist, politically dictatorial, and intolerant to the point that she refuses to seriously listen to and is frequently openly disrespectful and uncivil, even in official meetings, to anyone she deems to be not on her side. (See, for example, these articles: a, b, and c.) Rarely do both arrogance and ignorance, two seemingly mutually exclusive traits, combine so thoroughly and consistently in one person as they have done in Chair Wheeler. In addition to the many examples of this in the hyperlinks above, other examples include her repeated claims that residential development is almost exclusively happening in the east end of the county. But her belief is easily refuted by the fact that the county’s population center, based on census results, is shifting farther and farther west and the western magisterial districts are shrinking in geographic size (while still increasing in population) because of rapid population increases in the west.
5. Chair Wheeler presumptuously appropriates to herself the mantle of progress. But that’s credible only if one sees the following as progress: going backwards in time to 1970s America to ape that period’s unaccountable and out-of-control govt spending, ever-higher taxes even during economic hard times, Big Brother policies imposed coercively on the public, declining public schools, and a soft-on-crime, anti-police approach that, inevitably, ensures high levels of street crime and violent crime. … Credible only if one sees progressiveness in Wheeler’s infatuation with ideological puritanism and absolutism — political tendencies that are in no way new, but instead hark back to the ancient, medieval, 17th century, and mid-19th century worlds. (Note hyperlinks above and Dem Governor Northam’s veto of extremist anti-police legislation supported by Wheeler and the BOCS Dems.)
6. In the interests of brevity, numerous other examples of Chair Wheeler’s misrule and limiting of public input with which she disagrees — including ensuring manipulation of county public opinion surveys/questions/audiences to a predetermined result — have not been included.
7. And as if all the above is not more than enough abuse of power and corruption for even a large country, much less a medium-sized county, now there’s evidence that Chair Wheeler’s on the take, specifically relative to her support of a massive increase in data centers outside areas already designated for them, including in the Rural Crescent. The problem is that she is directly and indirectly heavily invested financially in data center companies, a major conflict of interest, to say the least. (See here and two attached articles for an explanation of how these developments have finally triggered a county-wide campaign to recall and remove Chair Wheeler.)
So Chair Wheeler is apparently even more corrupt than we thought. She is also ethically, temperamentally, judgmentally, and politically unfit to govern anything involving democratic processes and people with views not entirely aligned with hers. She is certainly not fit to govern a richly-diverse, highly-educated, democratic county of almost 500,000 people.
HOW TO ASSIST THE RECALL — For the latest full instructions for signing and submitting the petition to recall Chair Wheeler, click this link: https://protectpwc.org/2022/07/13/wheeler-recall-petition/
The Coalition to Protect Prince William County, which is managing the recall, is looking for volunteers to help collect signatures, which over the last week included collecting signatures at several sites throughout the county. We’ll keep you informed with any other recall updates, as needed, as they become available. Feel free to forward this message via email, social media etc.
Ralph & Kathy Stephenson
Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth
Only in the bright light of public scrutiny can the common good be secured,
while in darkness and obscurity the interests of the powerful and affluent prevail.