Sunday, October 28, 2007

An unpleasant (political) odor

As the board of supervisor's race here in Orange County, Virginia heat up, I had hoped to get some campaign literature from the loyal opposition. I've already commented (favorably) about some aspects of Steve Satterfield's campaign. I hoped to receive a mailing from Teel Goodwin's campaign to directly compare presentations, but that hasn't happened yet.

I recently went online to see what I could find out about Teel Goodwin. A Google search yielded "" I quickly discovered it was an anti-Goodwin site (the unflattering image was the first clue).

Very crude in execution, the site's constructors clearly have little experience with the Internet and absolutely no idea of how to use it effectively. Notice how none of the links go anywhere. And that's too bad, because as I pointed out before, the proper linkage can provide the documentation needed to make your point.

There's not a link to the builder Goodwin was associated with, K. Hovnanian Homes, which would have been helpful. When I did a search, I got a warning about their website -- apparently they promote through spammy e-mails. If Goodwin was associated with them, then I would consider that a strike -- slimy is as slimy does.

About the fourth Google entry down was "K. Hovnanian Homes Suck," a site where folks can post their horror stories with this builder -- and apparently there are quite a few. Perhaps a link to that site would have given some Orange voters pause.

The site also talks about Teel Goodwin's "Rapidan Crossing" development, but again provides no documentation. Fortunately, the Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission listed the Goodwin project on Route 3, and further expanded on the plan to build 748 single-family homes and townhouses -- in one of the fastest-growing counties in the country.

Tellingly, the Commission noted that "Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to deny rezoning at their 6/13/2006 meeting."

Now we have a picture of a person who had a rezoning request worth millions denied by the board of supervisors wishing to get elected to said board.

Hmmm. With links to some of the above, this anti-Goodwin site could more effectively characterize Goodwin as someone who's interested in getting on the board to change the rules for personal profit.

But they didn't, and so this site stands as a clumsy and ugly bit of mud-slinging.

And worse still, it's anonymous. Goodwin supporters can claim "dirty tricks" on the part of the Satterfield campaign, and Satterfield's team (probably) has no idea who to contact to get the site removed.

This kind of website serves no purpose save to demonstrate the ignorance of its constructors -- in more ways than one.

- Ralph

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