Virginia Senate, Special, 2023

A special election will be held on March 28 to fill a vacancy in the Virginia Senate. I make the following recommendation in that race:

  • 9th District: Former Virginia Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-VA 9th) resigned following her election to the U.S. House of Representatives in a special election in February. Delegate Lamont Bagby (D-VA 74th) and Steve Imholt (R) stand as candidates to replace her. I make no recommendation.

Biberaj Must Resign

Buta Biberaj
Buta Biberaj

Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj (D) is the worst. I don’t mean that in the casual sense, where saying something is “the worst” just means that it’s bad. No, I really mean it. The worst.

In twenty-three years I have cast ballots for candidates in ninety-six political races. Winners of those races have included people I voted for and against. Some have served well and honorably. Many . . . haven’t. Over the years I have been represented by partisan hacks, incompetent fools, liars, and criminals. Even among this motley bunch, Biberaj really is the worst.

I did not expect her to be a good commonwealth’s attorney. She did not earn my endorsement because her campaign was “more focused on nonsensical social justice buzzwords than on the proper execution of the law,” and she did not “seem to understand what the office is.” But I did not expect her term in office to be the absolute disaster that it has been. I did not know it was even possible for an elected official to so consistently fail at her duties. “A stopped clock is right twice a day,” they say; in her case, that would be a significant improvement.

Biberaj’s abiding failure to do the job for which she has been elected would be bad enough if she were serving as, say, county treasurer. There, her failures would not be putting anybody’s life or property at risk. It might be excusable too if she was just one out of the one-hundred members of the Virginia House of Delegates, where her extraordinarily poor decision making skills would be outweighed by the better judgement of the majority of her colleagues. But no, she is the Commonwealth’s Attorney—the Virginia equivalent of a district attorney or public prosecutor.

Her failures are a threat to public safety. At least one person has already died as a consequence.

In light of all the missteps and errors catalogued below, and many others, I call upon Buta Biberaj to resign immediately.

I also support the effort by Virginians for Safe Communities Inc. to petition the circuit court to remove Biberaj from office under Code of Virginia § 24.2-233 for “neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties when that neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties has a material adverse effect upon the conduct of the office.” If the petition is successful, the circuit court should remove Biberaj from office. Loudoun County citizens should sign the recall petition here.

Let’s review a few of the prominent debacles of Biberaj’s tenure (so far), in roughly chronological order:

Special Elections, 2023

A special election will be held on January 10 to fill vacancies in the Virginia General Assembly. Another special election will be held on February 21 to fill a vacancy in the U.S. House of Representatives. I make the following recommendations in those races:

January 10 Special Elections

  • Virginia House of Delegates:
    • 24th District: Delegate Ronnie Campbell (R-VA 24th) died in December. Ellen Campbell (R) and Jade Harris (D) stand as candidates to replace him. I recommend voting for Ellen Campbell.
    • 35th District: Delegate Mark Keam (D-VA 35th) resigned in September. Monique Baroudi (R) and Holly Seibold (D) stand as candidates to replace him. I recommend voting for Monique Baroudi.
  • Virginia Senate:
    • 7th District: Former Virginia Senator Jen Kiggans (R-VA 7th) resigned following her election to the U.S. House of Representatives in November. Kevin Adams (R) and Aaron Rouse (D) stand as candidates to replace her. I recommend voting for Kevin Adams.

February 21 Special Election

  • U.S. House of Representatives (Virginia):
    • 4th District: Representative Donald McEachin (D-VA 4th) died in November. Leon Benjamin (R) and Virginia Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-VA 9th) stand as candidates to replace him. I recommend voting for Leon Benjamin.

Note: Monique Baroudi, who stands as a candidate in the 35th District race for the Virginia House of Delegates, has been connected with me on social media since 2017. We have several mutual friends and have occasionally interacted online. I had no campaign-related contact with Baroudi prior to publishing, nor did our acquaintance have any bearing on my recommendation in her race.

Ed. Note, January 31, 2023: This post originally stated that the U.S. House of Representatives 4th District special election would be held on January 21. It is in fact scheduled for February 21. I apologize for the error.

Benedict XVI Dead at 95

Pope Benedict XVI
(Kancelaria Prezydenta RP, GFDL 1.2)
Pope Benedict XVI
(Kancelaria Prezydenta RP, GFDL 1.2)

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has died. He was ninety-five years old.

Benedict XVI was born Joseph Ratzinger in 1927 in Marktl, Bavaria, Germany, and lived his early life in the nearby town of Traunstein. Ratzinger and his family maintained their Catholic faith even during Nazi rule of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when the church was subject to official hostility.

Ratzinger entered seminary at the age of twelve and attended until it was closed three years later by the German military. He was conscripted by law into the Hitler Youth when he turned fourteen in 1941, but refused to attend the required meetings. At age sixteen he was conscripted into the German anti-aircraft corps and later underwent infantry training, but deserted his military post in 1945 and returned home shortly before Germany fell to Allied invasion. Because he had served in the German military, he was briefly held by the Allies as a prisoner of war.

Ratzinger and his brother Georg were both ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1951. As priest, he served as a parish chaplain and later as a university lecturer and theologian. He was a participant in the Second Vatican Council, a theological consultant to Cardinal Frings of Cologne, and eventually Vice President of the University of Regensburg. Ratzinger was ordained a bishop in 1977 and was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising, adopting “cooperators of the truth” as his episcopal motto. Later that same year he was named a cardinal, and Ratzinger participated in the two 1978 conclaves that elected Pope John Paul I and Pope John Paul II respectively.

Pope John Paul II appointed Ratzinger as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1982, a role he held until was elected pope in 2005. The Congregation was founded in 1542 to “spread sound Catholic doctrine and defend those points of Christian tradition which seem in danger because of new and unacceptable doctrines.” In this role, he presided over the commission that prepared the current version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Scott Bradford has been putting his opinions on his website since 1995—before most people knew what a website was. He has been a professional web developer in the public- and private-sector for over twenty years. He is an independent constitutional conservative who believes in human rights and limited government, and a Catholic Christian whose beliefs are summarized in the Nicene Creed. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from George Mason University. He loves Pink Floyd and can play the bass guitar . . . sort-of. He’s a husband, pet lover, amateur radio operator, and classic AMC/Jeep enthusiast.