Washington Irving’s famous character Rip Van Winkle shirked difficult work, and ended up sleeping through the hardships of the Revolutionary War.
Much like his apparent namesake, Democrat candidate for the House of Delegates in Virginia’s 48th District, Rip Sullivan, is also apparently fond of sleeping when there’s important work to be done.
When Sullivan secured the Democratic nomination for the Arlington district, he promptly refused to talk about the local issue at the front of voters’ minds: the $333 million Columbia Pike trolleycar boondoggle. Instead, he went to bed.
“My position is that I’m going home to bed. The campaign starts tomorrow. I’m not going to get into issues tonight,” he said after his win. “It’s not that I don’t have a position but I’m not interested in talking about it tonight. I’m going to go home and go to bed. I’m exhausted, alright?”
Later, Sullivan conveniently adopted the position of the Republican in the race, Dave Foster, that the General Assembly should authorize a referendum on the unpopular and wasteful project. But while Foster says, “I believe it’s a very ill-advised, overpriced and unaffordable option for Arlington and for Fairfax,” Sullivan dodges the core of the issue, and still refuses to take a position in favor or against the project, despite all of the better uses to which those state and local funds could be put. Perhaps he still needs to sleep on it?
Staying true to form, in last night’s debate between the candidates Sullivan staked out a position on ethics reform. But, rather than do the work of actually following the campaign ethics laws in Virginia, Sullivan went to sleep before filing his required campaign finance paperwork (and only filing this morning). Why is this problematic? Because the deadline for filing his report was midnight last night.
Voters of the 48th beware: elect Rip “Van Winkle” Sullivan to do the hard work of representing you in the House of Delegates and you may instead find a delegate taking a long nap.