Corey Stewart as of this write up has raised $504,904 in his bid for Governor according to the Virginia Public Access Project. As per NumbersUSA, that’s enough money to buy every undocumented illegal migrant, alien, Wookie and Klingon in Virginia a Taco Bell Chalupa! Mr. Stewart has quite the interesting money trail from developers to landscapers to minor league baseball teams; however one donor raises a stench fouler than the others.
American Disposal Services as of last month has donated $50,000 to Corey Stewart. The next biggest contributor from the waste management industry was by comparison a paltry $2,200. What gives with such a generous donation from an atypical donor? This is where things get turbulent, so warp speed Mr. Sulu!
Prince William County is like other neighboring NOVA counties in that trash collection is provided by the private sector. Apart from Fairfax and Loudon, the PWC greets residents with a whopping $70 trash fee on their property tax bill. This according to the county website is to fund the local landfill and the recent addition of a $10 million recycling center. Mind you this policy was in place prior to Stewart being elected. Yet just for giggles, know how much does American Disposal Services gets charged for using the landfill and said recycling center? According to Solid Waste Chief Thomas Smith, zero. Zip. Nada.
Every resident or other business such as construction waste is charged $45 p/ton to unload. Is it getting stinky, yet? To be fair, part of the $70 trash fee has been dedicated to relocating illegal aliens captured in Prince William to an encampment at the wayward base of the landfill designated as District 9 ½. That was satire. Want to know what wasn’t? In 2014, Prince William County guaranteed a company $4 million to research businesses that can deliver ‘waste to energy’, requiring another $65 million and two years to build, BOTH of which were paid from the fee. Or maybe it’s a tax. Tomato, tomoto.
A random survey of the residents in Prince William County revealed that less than 65% of the residents visit the landfill. Another 15% of the county visits it less than three times a year, and a minimum of 10% visit monthly. Furthermore, the laws of Virginia require that individual counties apply to the Richmond state office of the Attorney General for approval to tax individuals within a county. Also, counties are required with this application/approval to have a vote by citizens on the proposed tax before it can be implemented. County Code 28-104 asserts it is a “fee” instead of a tax. Ah, semantics.
All this talk of trash and taxes has me feeling dirty. Let’s switch to something more clean and pure, like America’s past time. It feels like only yesterday I wrote about savvy sports owners fleecing the public for stadiums. The Potomac Nationals have given Corey Stewart $95,000 over the past few years and I am quite curious as to what they expect in ROI. I reached out to Potomac Nationals Media Relations, but as they were busy trying to clone Stephen Strasburg a new arm, they weren’t available for comment.
Finally, what would this post be without an ode to our friends in the Real Estate/Development lobby? At $50,000 the take from this oft-pampered political cabal is nothing out of the ordinary. However, some specific donors are interesting. According to campaign finance reports released last month, Stewart received $5,000 in June, and a total of $22,500 since 2014, from Guiseppe Cecchi, chief executive officer of IDI Group. Cecchi is the money behind the Rivergate apartment complex in Woodbridge, approved by the board of supervisors with Stewart’s support in October 2014. The project was opposed by some supervisors who argued the development would hasten school overcrowding and traffic congestion on U.S. 1.
According to a poll released yesterday by Christopher Newport University, Stewart is currently fighting for a distant second place behind Ed Gillespie. Time will tell if his funding gets a boost from his cries to ‘drain the swamp’, but as he continues to paint himself as an outsider taking on Richmond corruption, he may need to evaluate taking out his own trash.