From The Derecho

Love him or hate him, Del. Marshall belongs to his constituents in the 13th District, thus we alone are allowed to abuse and malign him.

Thus you will understand that I am more than a bit miffed having watched Del. Habeeb (R-Meth Lab Valley) (at his arrogant and obnoxious worst) verbally abusing Del. Marshall and insulting the intelligence of his constituents, during testimony on the House floor.

Later in the afternoon, Del. Habeeb took it a step further when he accused Gubernatorial Candidate Denver Riggelman of spreading the same misinformation for political purposes.  He suggests that Mr. Riggelman is incapable of both reading a bill and engaging in fact based dialogue.  Given his performance on the House floor, the hypocrisy of that statement is stunning.

Apparently in his arrogance, Del. Habeeb believes that he is the end all and be all when it comes to facts regarding the impact (or in his view lack of impact) of HB1766 on Dominion projects or Prince William County.

I would offer the following for Greg “The Truth” Habeeb’s consideration:

1. The engaged citizens of the Commonwealth that you accuse of misleading the public and General Assembly are for the most part, significantly more intelligent, accomplished and discerning than the bumpkin Delegate from Appalachia.  Many of those who have been carpet bombing the General Assembly with emails and phone calls have advanced degrees and include retired politicians, officers, lawyers, engineers, scientists, CEOs, lobbyists, senior government officials and of course your ordinary citizens.

2. Del. Habeeb’s assertions aside, we have first hand knowledge of Dominion soliciting support for the bill from Delegates they view as favorable and publicly denying association with Delegates opposed.  I guess Dominion selected Del. Habeeb to be one of its waterboys based on his gullibility.

3. Del. Habeeb’s assertions aside, there is nothing to prevent the Senate Committee, Senate as a whole  or the Governor from amending HB1766 and quite frankly there is nothing preventing the House Committee or House as a whole from amending the companion bill SB1110 should it cross over to the House in its current form.

4. As was eloquently pointed out by Del. Marshall (the only one who didn’t get the analogy used was Del. Habeeb) the poorly crafted legislation would establish a precedent of the worst kind and one that would likely come back to haunt the Commonwealth repeatedly in future years.

5.  Del. Habeeb’s assertions aside, local jurisdictions have used their zoning authority to deny substations/switching stations in the past and many jurisdictions preclude them in entire zoning designations. I would strongly suggest that Del. Habeeb review some local zoning ordinances and re-read the Skiffs Creek decision before next flapping his yap.

6. It is not Denver Riggelman who is spreading misinformation, rather it is Del. Habeeb.  The only questions remaining are whether Del. Habeeb is doing it willingly or unwittingly and if it is for political purposes or as a quid pro quo for Dominion and APCO’s generous contributions to his legislation, err, campaign fund.

7. As the bill has no provisions that limit its application to the counties down in Appalachia, by default it impacts the entirety of the Commonwealth, and thus has everything to do with PWC and Dominion.

Apparently “The Truth” Habeeb either fails to understand that the highly intelligent residents of NOVA can see the big picture, one that is either beyond his seemingly myopic view or one he would rather not have us see.

The only difference between the group composed of largely western Prince William County residents and similarly concerned residents elsewhere in the Commonwealth is that we battle-hardened.  We have fought many land use battles over the past twenty years, are well-versed in codes and ordinance and as a result, cynical almost to a fault. Del. Habeeb will have to understand that our past struggles have resulted in fairly well organized machine, one not inclined to suffer the insults of the Bumpkin from Salem or take prisoners.

Rather than sponsoring utility legislation. the scope and impact of which he seems incapable of understanding, perhaps Del. Habeeb should focus on issues a little closer to home.  Perhaps legalizing moonshine to spur economic development or addressing the logarithmic growth in the number of meth labs in the Roanoke Valley.