When things are done in secret, bad things happen. The Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority scandal in Warren County is evidence of this.
In the 1990s, Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, D-Illinois, a very powerful member of Congress, went to prison for mail fraud. Rep. Jim Wright, D-Texas, resigned from Congress under an ethical cloud.
The Democratic Party had controlled the House of Representations for 40 years. Things like the EDA scandal occur when arrogant Democrats or Republicans hold exclusive control over the levers of government for long periods of time.
In the Rostenkowski case, the House Administration Committee ruled by a party-line vote that the case against Rostenkowski was closed. The committee’s Republican members issued their own report raising important questions that led to the exposure of the scandal. What if the committee had had no opposition members? The case would have indeed been closed and justice would not have prevailed.
Thus are things in Warren County. The Republican Party has total control of government with dissent by their competition, the Democrats, all but impossible.
Who introduced Mr. Tran to officials in Warren County? It was powerful, now-retired Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia. Were questions asked about Mr. Tran? Who vetted him? Mr. Goodlatte needed to do something for Warren County before the next election. What he did was send Mr. Tran with promises of high-paying jobs? No jobs have materialized. Instead Mr. Tran stands accused of lining his pockets. Did anyone ask Mr. Goodlatte if it was wise to bring a guy to Warren County who owned a company without a website? No, because Bob Goodlatte is a Republican and Republicans feel no need to ask questions of each other.
During my tenure as chair of the Warren County Democratic Committee, I called Jennifer McDonald and asked her what did ITFederal make or what service did they provide. She said she could not tell me, and she would get back to me. She never did.
There should be a requirement that there be minority party representatives appointed to the EDA board.
Tom Howarth, Front Royal