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Mary Margaret Whipple Now. Mary Margaret Whipple Then.

by: lowkell

Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 17:48:06 PM EDT


On your left, I present Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple today, writing in a mailer (click to "embiggen") on behalf of the Barbara Favola campaign, regarding Jaime Areizaga-Soto's duties as her aide in Richmond.

Now, here's Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple then (January 27, 2010), on the same topic:

Finally, this year I am fortunate to have the extra help of Jaime Areizaga-Soto, Esq. as my Policy Advisor. He is an Arlington resident, a former White House Fellow at the U.S. Treasury Department, a graduate of Stanford Law School, active in the Democratic Party, and a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army National Guard. As the Caucus Chair of the Democratic Caucus in the Senate, I coordinate the operations (communications, coordination, and position-making) of the majority Caucus in the Senate. Jaime supports and advises me on legislation and Caucus-related issues.
Huh? Those are not the same descriptions at all, yet they're both by Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple about Jaime Areizaga-Soto. Strange. So, which one is it, Senator Whipple? These two descriptions clearly don't match up, and make it sound like you were FOR Jaime Areizaga-Soto before you were AGAINST him. :)
lowkell :: Mary Margaret Whipple Now. Mary Margaret Whipple Then.
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I also got this mailer today, (3.75 / 4)
and I was pretty stunned at the shots Sen. Whipple took at Mr. Areizaga-Soto.   I don't think Sen. Whipple's current description of his role is entirely inconsistent with what she said then, but that's just my opinion.

Look, I don't know what Mr. Areizaga-Soto's role was in Sen. Whipple's office during the 2010 General Assembly session.  Presumably he does, and so does Sen. Whipple.  Each has a motive to shade the narrative to favor his or her version of events.  I doubt we are likely to know the truth before the primary occurs (although presumably there are others out there who know the "truth," though they may also have personal reasons to not want to come out publicly with that information, whatever it is.)

The bottom line is that neither candidate is really doing themselves much good here.  Personally, I am almost certain to vote for whomever wins the Democratic nomination, because I am really concerned at the thought of complete Republican control of the General Assembly and the governorship, and I think Caren Merrick (about whom I admittedly know little at this point, but who looks like she could be a good Senator), could win this seat.  There are lots of people (not sure how many of them will vote) who are undoubtedly turned off by the mudslinging by both sides and who think Merrick looks good by comparison.  

This Senate District, which should have been a safe Democratic one, was completely botched by the Democrats -  in the gerrymandering process, the hamhanded way Sen Saslaw tried to clear the field, and the decision by the Democratic candidates to go low.   It won't surprise me at all if it really comes back to bite them in the behind, and costs all of Virginia.


Yes, that's one thing I believe EVERYONE can agree on (4.00 / 1)
Dick Saslaw botched this one BIG TIME!

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[ Parent ]
Unfortunately ... (0.00 / 0)
I've seen this tactic before in North Arlington and it is very effective.  When senior members of the delegation take it to this level and essentially call a rival novice candidate untrustworthy and indeed, here, a liar, the game is over.  Jamie better have one hell of a base to turnout or he won't even clear 30% of the vote.  

[ Parent ]
But the question is why and is it worth it? (0.00 / 0)
BFav does not seem to be the best candidate for the job. Saslaw chased Patrick Hope out of the race even though Hope is far more accomplished in his first two years in the GA than anything Barbara has done and has established statewide respect on health care and disability issues.

Then Saslaw Whipple and Howell have poured gobs of money that should be getting spent on the Democratic candidates to hold the Senate into propping up Favola, who made the mistake of accepting large amounts of $$$ from folks with business before the Arlington County Board. They have trashed the record of an up and coming Latino voter and are risking our ability to outreach effectively to the Hispanic community by essentially treating Jaime as an outsider and insinuating that he doesn't know his place and isn't waiting his turn. And what kind of a message is this to send to other talented younger would be candidates when Patrick and Jaime have been treated so shabbily?

How in the world does this help us accomplish anything when  we need to be running on all cylinders to win VA for Obama in 12 and beat probably Cuccinelli in 13?


[ Parent ]
Not necessarily (0.00 / 0)
If Favola beats Merrick, none of the rest of this matters.  I hate the gerrymandering.  I hate the anti-competitiveness of party leadership.  I've spoken out against both.  But the only way Saslaw actually botches it is if the seat goes GOP.  

[ Parent ]
How do you Spell Desperation? F-A-V-O-L-A!!! (4.00 / 2)
There are now 3 things that to me are very clear about this Primary:

1. Favola's Negative Push Poll must have indicated that she is losing! Why else is she now Running Scared and throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Jaime hoping something will stick. Clearly her campaign is in disarray and doesn't know what to do with it being behind and only three weeks to go.

2. The Democratic Establishment will do anything, including lying to ensure their anointed candidate wins. To have Whipple lie and be so ungrateful for Jaime's service during two General Assembly sessions is not only outrageous but sets a terrible example for anyone else who is thinking about serving. Merrick will try to use this against Jaime which again further hurts the Democratic Party. Will she then flip-flop again and revert to her first statement on his role?

3. Favola is Desperate.  Favola and continues to spread lies and smear attacks since she has no excuse for her glaring Conflict of Interest violations and violation of the Arlington Code of Ethics. She continues to avoid address clearly the fact that she has not avoided the perceived Conflicts of Interest which is required of her under the County Code of Ethics that she adopted for the County as a Board member.

Reasonable folks can disagree on whether the two "questionable" mailers' headlines went too far.  BUT, one can't question the Conflicts of Interest Issue that Jaime raised. It is not negative and fair game to question Favola's lack of ethics and integrity by accepting large and multiple donations from special interests. Just as I hope Jaime will also raise other questionable decisions Barbara has made that show her lack of integrity, judgment and private sector experience while serving on the County Board.  If she can't handle these, just imagine what Merrick will do IF Favola actually wins.

This further underscores why it is time for the voters to send a strong message to the Democratic Establishment that ENOUGH is ENOUGH. We need new faces instead of continuing business as usual.


Only a Favola Loyalist could still see the "evidence" as inconclusive (4.00 / 1)
It is clear that Favola and her "team" are desperate and have made one last ditch effort to find a way to reconcile the words written about "Adviser Jaime" in 2010, with the new meme of "Uppity Intern Jaime" -- once conclusive evidence was brought out in the open.

Instead of just moving forward with her message, Favola tried to see if the mud would stick one last time in a way that is simply ridiculous.

The false equivalency of hard-hitting mailers about donors and votes versus attacks on Jaime's honor and absurd allegations about his personal responsibility for destroying the environment of an entire continent is simply absurd. Jaime Areizaga-Soto is the Vice-President of an official DPVA Constituency Group, an Arlington Democratic Committee member in good standing, a former Senate Caucus insider (no matter how Senator Whipple now describes his service), a former Obama Administration Official, an Army Reserve Officer, a former White House Fellow, a former Georgetown/Stanford Law Grad and former corporate lawyer. He is NOT some lowlife, parvenu upstart outsider who is going to destroy the party. He will, in fact make history if he is elected the first Latino Senator in Virginia!

It is time for this nonsense to end. If Party Leadership won't do it -- then the voters will have to. And, since Jaime is displaying amazing leadership by running a great campaign, it seems the voters will make a good decision for the Latinos in this state who are hungry to see one of their own, one who is so accomplished and qualified, finally get to Richmond.

And please, "concern trolls," don't talk about how appealing Merrick is -- she will vote in lockstep just like all the other Republicans -- for all their insane bills like Nullification, banning the EPA in Virginia, closing 17 of 21 abortion clinics and passing anti-immigration laws that are more unconstitutional than those passed in Arizona (written by Tea Party "think tanks").

Once the general election starts, the voters will have spoken and the REAL battle will begin. Jaime will be up to that challenge because he will offer voters a CLEAR choice: an independent and history-making progressive who will owe nothing to anyone but the voters.  


The whole Favola campaign is just pitiful (4.00 / 1)
I also find it pitiful that Favola's campaign included language in this letter they drafted for Whipple straight from Jaime's stump speeches - that Jaime will be ready on day one. Clearly this message was must have polled positive for Jaime and they feel they had to claim the same even though Favola has less experience in Richmond which she herself admitted in her interview with Blue Virginia when she stated that she didn't know much about the dynamics of the Senate in Richmond.

[ Parent ]
The same team that destroyed the 36th senate district (0.00 / 0)
Not happy with them!

Setting the Record Straight (0.00 / 1)
Let's be clear, Senator Whipple states that she gave Jaime a title of Policy Advisor because he only received a small stipend during his two months of work.  She didn't know he was going to embellish and exaggerate his experience in an attempt to mislead voters about the true nature of his work for her.

Senator Whipple's letter underscores a critical issue in this campaign:  Voters in the 31st District simply can't trust Jaime Areizaga-Soto to tell the truth.

For the past 17 days, we have called on Jaime to release his list of clients and projects he worked on as a corporate attorney, yet he refuses to respond.

He has provided no explanation for the major discrepancies between his February 2010 resume and what he is telling voters in this campaign.

He says he has only worked on "clean projects" yet his "main client" was oil giant Petrobras, responsible for 11 spills in just a two-year period...during the time Jaime represented them.

Jaime can't have it both ways.  Either he lied on his resume, or he is lying to the voters of the 31st District.  It's time for Jaime to come clean.


Huh? In January 2010, Sen. Whipple herself said (0.00 / 0)
"Jaime supports and advises me on legislation and Caucus-related issues." Also, "I am fortunate to have the extra help of Jaime Areizaga-Soto, Esq. as my Policy Advisor." What are we all missing here?

As for Jaime working on "clean projects," I'll agree with you that I'm not sure what specifically that phrase refers to. However, it's not necessarily inconsistent with Jaime working to strengthen energy projects, which were going to get built regardless, from an enviro perspective. Look, Petrobras isn't my favorite company in the world - nor is ANY oil company! - but it's a huge, quasi-public company (according to Wikipedia, "the largest company in Latin America by market capitalization and revenue, and the largest company headquartered in the Southern Hemisphere by market value") in Brazil which has its tentacles in just about everything energy related, so you basically HAVE to deal with them if you're working on Brazilian - and, to an extent, South American - energy issues. I saw this firsthand as a member of two Dept. of Energy missions to Brazil, and also in putting together reports on Brazilian and Latin American energy matters for EIA. The fact that Jaime dealt with Petrobras is really neither here nor there, and acting as if it's a big deal simply demonstrates ignorance of South American energy matters.

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[ Parent ]
@Mlawson (4.00 / 2)
Let's get into the grown-up world, shall we?

1.  If a Senator feels the need to publicly give a FAKE title to an "Intern," out of pity -- then that is simply negligent. But, let's face it -- NO ONE BELIEVES THAT JAIME -- Georgetown/Stanford law, corporate lawyer, 20 year JAG officer, White House Fellow and Obama Administration Appointee was an "Intern."

Whipple can take a Prima Ballerina and put a few leaves in her hair but no one is going to believe she is a tree.

2.  Jaime was part of a huge law firm. He was THEIR employee. HE did not "have clients." He is not in a position to divulge his work without betraying his employer. In any case, why not just get angry at Jaime for any misuse of US foreign aid money by dictators in Africa -- after all, he worked for USAID.

Enough of this. Go out and canvass for your candidate. These defensive arguments are silly.  


Agree, they're just throwing ANYTHING at the wall (0.00 / 0)
and hoping it sticks. Utterly pathetic, not to mention Karl Rove-style dishonest.

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[ Parent ]
Favorite Response to Faulty Logic (0.00 / 0)
Can't recall which Blog had someone use the same faulty logic that Favola is using whereby they argued:

1. Favola works for Marymount University
2. Marymount is a Catholic University
3. The Catholic Church protected pedophile priests
4. Thus, Favola earns is a pedophile and hs no problem earning her money from pedophiles.

They went on to argue that they would rather vote for an oil spill over a pedophile.

Bottom line, this faulty logic is another sign of desperation.  It is interesting to see how Favola has been using this negative campaiging ONLY in Fairfax and Loudoun in order to fool what she considers her base in Arlington that she is "positive."


[ Parent ]
Apparently, the Favola campaign flunked Logic 101 (0.00 / 0)
But yeah, that's very funny! :)

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[ Parent ]
Clear message to young people from VA Dem leaders (0.00 / 0)
Why waste your time doing underpaid work helping Virginia Democrats? If you ever try to run for anything without our approval, we'll stab you in the back.  

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Just the back? (0.00 / 0)
They'll also stab you in the front and the sides too, don't forget those! Heh.

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[ Parent ]
Whipple is an Ingrate, but at least other Senators Have the Integrity to Speak the Truth (4.00 / 2)
Here is a recent press release on Jaime's Service to the Senate Democratic Caucus ((http://jaimeforsenate.com/2011/uncategorized/state-senator-edwards-praises-areizaga-soto%e2%80%99s-service-to-democratic-caucus/) I commend Senator Edwards for having the courage and integrity to speak the truth. Hopefully others will do the same.

State Senator Edwards Praises Areizaga-Soto's Service to Democratic Caucus
August 4, 2011
.State Senator John Edwards of Roanoke, a respected voice and a senior member in the State Senate Democratic Caucus, praised Jaime Areizaga-Soto's previous service to the Caucus.
"Jaime was an important asset to the Senate Democratic Caucus and to me over the last two legislative sessions," said Senator Edwards.
Yesterday, Senator Whipple sent out a letter to the 31st District mischaracterizing Jaime's service in Richmond.
"I'm disappointed that Senator Whipple and my opponent have decided to mislead the people of the 31st District," said Areizaga-Soto. "Senator Whipple praised my service for her in the Falls Church News Press, and I am proud of the work I did in Richmond. I want to move past this petty distraction and offer my vision for standing up to Ken Cuccinelli's extreme agenda for Virginia."
Senator Mary Margaret Whipple praised Areizaga-Soto in her Richmond Report published in January 2010.  


The BIG picture (0.00 / 0)
I think there is another point to this whole story.  Saslaw, Whipple and their cronies, such as the Senate Democratic Caucus, are sinking hundreds of thousands of dollars into what should be a safe district.  

These dollars could be spent elsewhere and one would assume are needed elsewhere.  What about Phil Puckett's highly competitive race?  What about Roscoe Reynolds?  What about Edd Houck or John Miller?  I could go on and on.  

Dick Saslaw may have Barbara Friola with him in the Senate next winter.  But, unless he gets his head on straight, it will be him and 14 other Democrats in the Senate.  And, that will be a shame and all Dick's fault.


Why the attacks on Jaime are ridiculous (0.00 / 0)
Babs and Whipple are desperate. There is no need to attack an opponent you are not afraid of. Whipple coming out guns blazing now clearly tells me they are running scared.

Their attacks are ridiculous because:

1. Lawyers from Stanford/40-year old JAGs are not interns, Whipple cannot take back how she empowered Jaime for 2 years as her adviser. Too late lady.

2. The White House Fellowship program is the most prestigious leadership and public service fellowship in the nation and "Fellowships are awarded on a strictly non-partisan basis" (go to the website, it's right there). Jaime was not working for Bush, he was selected based on merit and talent to a program Babs could never hope to get in to. Why doesn't she say that straight out of the non-partisan WH Fellowship he was nominated by Obama to a USAID position?
At the ACDC breakfast today Favola tried to say she was a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) years ago and that it is similar to a WH Fellow--- she's hilarious).

3. A junior lawyer at a firm makes decisions on what clients the firm works with?

I wonder who advises her on her mailer strategy, must be someone really bright...


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The purpose of Blue Virginia is to cover Virginia politics from a progressive and Democratic perspective. This is a group blog and a community blog. We invite everyone to comment here, but please be aware that profanity, personal attacks, bigotry, insults, rudeness, frequent unsupported or off-point statements, "trolling" (NOTE: that includes outright lies, whether about climate science, or what other people said, or whatever), and "troll ratings abuse" (e.g., "troll" rating someone simply because you disagree with their argument) are not permitted and, if continued, will lead to banning. For more on trolling, see the Daily Kos FAQs. Also note that diaries may be deleted if they do not contain at least 2 solid paragraphs of original text; if not, please use the comments section of a relevant diary. For more on writing diaries, click here. Thanks, and enjoy!

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