Apart from the Democrats’ sweep of Virginia’s top three executive branch jobs, 2013 wasn’t a very good year. Reston’s long-awaited rail service failed to make it to Wiehle Avenue on time. Not to be outdone, Supervisor Hudgins’ Task Force writing Phase One of the new Comprehensive/Master Plan for life with rail in Reston also failed to arrive on time—it was due for completion in 2010! And, the Reston Association Board veered off its tracks. It failed a test of its natural areas stewardship role in a deal so lacking in merit and transparency that most of RA’s own distinguished Environmental Advisory Committee resigned in protest.
2014 promises to be at least a more interesting year. In April 2014, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Reston’s founding and the 100th birthday of Founder Robert E. Simon, Jr. Reston will commemorate both events with fitting tributes and grand celebration. A significant documentary film produced by Reston’s own Peabody Award winning film maker, Rebekah Wingert-Jabi, is now being edited by a team of talented professionals and skilled volunteers. It will premier in Reston shortly before Mr. Simon’s 100th birthday. Also, a special musical composition has been commissioned to honor the twin birthdays. An additional fitting tribute would be to have Mr. Simon inaugurate rail service by being the first passenger on the first train departing the Wiehle Station. Current projections suggest that event is likely to occur on/about his birthday! 2014 might also be an interesting election year hereabouts. As all readers know, every year is an election year in Virginia. 2014 is a federal election year. Virginia will elect all 11representatives to the U.S. Congress and one U.S. Senator. Incumbent Mark Warner has served six lackluster years, and seeks re-election to the Senate since his trial balloon for the Presidency never left the ground. Mr. Warner is a DINO-a Democrat in Name Only. That is, on issues of importance to most Americans, he has proven to be closely akin to a traditional Republican. For example, Warner pushed the President to drop the public option from the Affordable Care Act, making it more favorable to the insurance industry. Unlike his colleague Senator Tim Kaine, Warner is a lackey of the NRA, favoring all manner of weapons of war. He opposes legislation to address climate change, opposes an urgently needed minimum wage increase, opposes taxes on the wealthy, etc, etc. So far no Democrat has raised his/her hand to challenge Warner. Former Congressman Tom Perriello, a genuine Virginia progressive Democrat, would be a great Senator. Republicans offering to run include State Delegate Bob Marshall, failed Lt. Gov. candidate E.W. Jackson, Rep. Randy Forbes, and former Repugnant Chair Ed Gillespie! No hope in the latter group. In Reston’s 11th District, Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly is again running for re-election. He is a pro-business, moderate to progressive-light Democrat, weakest on issues economic equity, like tax reform that would have the wealthy and corps. pay more. His stance on an effective minimum wage increase to $10 is unclear. No Democrat has surfaced to challenge him. Gerald Geddes is the only Republican expressing serious interest in challenging Connolly to date.
Happily, there is now an open seat in the 10th District. Rep. Frank Wolf is finally retiring after serving what seems forever. A conservative, but not a teabagger, Wolf has the reputation of being good on constituent services like potholes, but consistently votes with House Republicans. Three Democrats—centrist County Supervisor John Foust, second-time candidate Sam Kubba and newcomer Richard Bolger are lined up to run. No serious Republicans yet. 2014 promises to be an interesting New Year. Have a happy one!