Letter: Chris Tandy, Leesburg

Editor:  It’s a fainthearted primary that sees this many endorsements for Terry McAuliffe from some of our familiar NoVA legislators. Terry’s a depressing option to be the standard bearer of Virginia Democrats. The blatant disregard for huge areas of Virginia he displayed with his natural gas pipeline projects, the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines (ACP and MVP), isn’t something primary voters should ignore or forgive.

Previously as governor, Terry was a cheerleader for both of these reckless pipeline projects and enabled them in every way he could. He promised they’d be built in the “most environmentally friendly way,” yet his own DEQ director passed up the chance to do stream-by-stream water quality analysis. Dominion cancelled the ACP themselves last year. They eventually figured out what Terry should’ve known all along: that it simply wasn’t viable. 

Terry’s other brilliant fracked gas project, the MVP, still needs to be stopped before it destroys more waterways, steals more peoples’ land and livelihoods, and displaces more families. MVP would easily double Virginia’s greenhouse gas emissions if it were ever put into service. There are still people heroically camping in trees to stop this disaster of a project, as they have been for over 800 days. At this point MVP has had hundreds of environmental violations and doesn’t have all its required permits. It’s a zombie of a project—still lurching around, never to be completed, but refusing to die. Terry could admit that he was wrong and help stop the MVP, but he would never do that.

There is no evidence that Terry’s grown at all on the issue. He’s certainly never publicly expressed anything approaching remorse for the harm he caused countless Virginians or our environment. Instead, he ran for President and tied for last place, so it seems he’s settling for being Governor of Virginia again. How fortunate for all us little people right? 

Terry seemingly doesn’t understand the need to preserve the environment or address the climate crisis in any serious way. The last I checked, these were still Democratic values and I know that Democrats in Loudoun still care about them. Terry demonstrably doesn’t. There are several eminently qualified candidates who don’t have Terry’s track record of destruction and thoughtlessness. After everything that Democrats have worked for in Loudoun over the recent years, now is not the time to run away from our values and erode our brand out of some cynical political calculation or surrender to a foregone conclusion. Even DPVA Chair Susan Swecker recently wrote that “Democrats need to compete in rural areas.” Wouldn’t it then be unconscionable to select a gubernatorial candidate that has already treated the rural areas as expendable?

Terry sold out Virginia as Governor and he’ll do it again, given the opportunity. The hard truth is that there’s no amount of money or endorsements that can change that. Thankfully, it’s up to the primary voters, not the legislators or the corporate donors. 

Chris Tandy, Leesburg

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