Greg Ahlemann talks about his tattoo, hate crimes, community policing and more

We arranged the following interview (below the fold) with Republican candidate for Sheriff Greg Ahlemann after he requested that we correct the record regarding a pseudonymous comment made on our blog. The comment, to this post about one of the anti-gay ads run by his father, Pastor Jay Ahlemann, contained the statement that Greg is “homophobic and racist” and has a tattoo that he doesn’t want anyone to see.

Greg approached Equality Loudoun at the Leesburg 4th of July parade, introduced himself, and showed his tattoo (which he describes as “kind of a logo for my life”) to some of our members. However, even people who have seen it have questions about the meaning of the tattoo, and different rumors continue to appear in other venues. I suggested to Greg that the best thing for him to do would be to show that he isn’t hiding anything, and invited him to explain what it means to him. I did ask him for permission to post a photo. He declined, with the rationale that anyone could grab the photo from our website and use it out of context. That seems to me to be a very reasonable concern.

Lacking a photo, here is a description: The tattoo covers his left forearm, and consists of, from left to right, an Israeli flag, a cross, and an American flag. Underneath are the words “Just Stand.”

Some of Greg’s supporters have tried to squelch any discussion of what this symbol might mean by saying that it represents his faith and that should be the end of it. In particular, this commenter illustrates why that is problematic:

David, I fly the Stars and Bars (First National, second version of the flag of the Confederacy). If you saw that, would you start a rumor that I was pro-slave/anti-Negro? If you talked to me and I told you that I am just a good ol’ Southern boy, would you then invite me to explain the flag flying on you site? If I have explained to you what it stands for, the issue is dead…There is no hidden “klan” tendencies, anti-American beliefs or racial bigotry.

The answer to his first question is no – just as I did not start the rumor about Greg Ahlemann, I would not start a rumor about him, whoever he is.

The answer to his second question is yes. If he were a public figure who had been anonymously attacked on our blog, I would invite him to explain his understanding of the symbol he has chosen to display, and what it means to him. That would simply be fairness to him.

However, the problem in his thinking is revealed by the statement that once he has declared what the symbol means to him, “the issue is dead.” Symbols can mean different things depending on one’s standpoint, the Confederate flag being an excellent example. For this person, the flag may signify heritage, or whatever it is he means to convey by the phrase “good ol’ Southern boy.” It is entirely possible that for him, personally, there are no “hidden ‘klan’ tendencies, anti-American beliefs or racial bigotry,” and yet that the display of this symbol conveys those very ideas to someone else. To an African-American person who has experienced the racial violence and oppression that has haunted the American South in the last century, the flag may signify terrorism. They are very different subjective experiences of the same symbol.

The symbol on Greg’s arm has led some people to accuse him of being a “religious extremist.” Indeed, that specific combination of elements has been adopted by a political movement that welcomes escalation of the conflict in the Middle East and sees the U.S. as engaged in a Holy War. To understand this reaction, please watch this video recorded during the July conference of Christians United for Israel. There is a vicious strain of homophobia associated with this movement, too; pay attention to the t-shirt the man at the end of the video is wearing.

Please understand that I am NOT suggesting that Greg Ahlemann shares these views; he speaks for himself about his beliefs in the interview. What I am saying is that there are valid reasons for some people to be alarmed by the tattoo – especially in the context of Jay Ahlemann’s ads and statements.

I have a lot of respect for Greg for his willingness to sit down with us and talk about these issues. He probably will lose some points with the hardcore anti-gay extremists just for doing that. He has also agreed to check back here and answer questions – so if you have any, please leave them as comments.

The interview:

Q: Let’s start by talking about your tattoo. When did you get it, how old were you, and what were the circumstances that led you to express yourself in this way?

A: It was a little over a year and a half ago, back in April of 2006, and really, a lot of the inspiration behind it came from the premature birth of my daughter.

[Greg and his wife, Kim, here describe the ordeal of being told that she would never be able to become pregnant again, initiating the process to adopt a baby from China, then becoming pregnant and being told that she would never be able to carry this baby to term.]

..The doctors were telling us, you know, you might want to consider aborting the pregnancy, and we were like, no, we don’t believe in that, so we’re going to see what happens, you know, and trust God with it, and so, the water broke at 27 weeks…our daughter was born at 27 and a half weeks, she weighed two pounds, I could put her in my hand. Her lung collapsed the second day [after] she was born. They came and woke us up in the middle of the night, and basically said, come and say goodbye to your daughter, we’re going to do a blood transfusion, but we don’t know if she’s going to make it…so, she spent two months in the hospital, and today, she’s perfect. But it was during that time that, really, it was a reality check for me, even though I’d been a Christian for most of my life. I looked at, you know, what’s important to me – I’d been at the Sheriff’s office for nine and a half years, and I thought that…being a cop, being a motorcycle officer was – that’s part of who I was, and like a lot of officers, I think they take that as kind of who they are: whatever your job is, your occupation. And it just helped me realize that the job wasn’t that important to me. And I started seeing things at the Sheriff’s Office that I disagreed with, and I became more outspoken with it, and that’s never a good thing in that kind of a paramilitary organization – you’re supposed to follow, don’t ask questions, just do it.

At that point, with seeing what happened with my daughter, I just realized life’s too short for me to just…if I think something’s wrong, I’d rather leave. So the ‘logo,’ so to speak, was just based on, I’m a God and Country guy, and a patriot as far as the country goes. The Jews are God’s chosen people, and if you believe in the Bible, Genesis 12:3 talks about “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curse thee”…so I’m kind of, I guess, the label would be a Christian Zionist…where a lot of Christians are really very pro-Israel and Jew, and the cross, the cross kind of ties the two together, even though the Jews don’t believe that Jesus was the Messiah, to me it really signifies tying the two together, that you know, our country was once a country founded on Christian, Judeo-Christian values, but I don’t know that it is anymore. But I try to tie the two together, and I asked my Dad… I was telling him what I was going to do, and he was like, you’re 35 years old, what are you getting a tattoo for? …anyway, what I was trying to say, you know, standing up for Israel, standing up for what I believe, my faith, and standing up for the country, you know, when people bash the country, just trying to have kind of a motto for my life, that I wanted to inspire me, and I asked him for a Bible verse, and he gave me Ephesians 6:13…it talks about putting on, you know, “Therefore, take unto you the whole armor of God,” you know, at the end of the day, just stand, is what it is, so no matter what happens, after you do all you can do, at the end you just stand for what’s right.

Q: That’s interesting, because [your Dad] for his “Return to Righteousness” show seems to have adopted that same logo. Is that something he got from you? Because my assumption was that you got it from him – was it the other way around?

A: It’s funny, because I came up with the design, and he gave me the Bible verse a year and a half ago, when we did this…for Return to Righteousness I think he had a different logo…I think they’re actually going to change the name of it to “Stand Up America” or “Just Stand America” or something like that…I guess it’s, he’s kind of taking, stealing it from me. So that’s kind of a separate issue, but that was kind of the motivation behind it, that’s how I tried to conduct myself throughout the campaign, and just in every aspect of my life…and you know, whether people agree with you on things or not, I’ve realized you’re not going to make everybody happy, so you have to stand for what you believe in.

Q: So this is a very personal meaning for you…but you mentioned Christian Zionism. Do you consider yourself, are you associated with any…I mean, this is a political movement that’s associated with the End Times prophecy…

A: Well, I certainly believe in Revelations. I’m a Christian, I go to Cornerstone Chapel here, and they’re just a basic Bible-believing church, and they preach the Bible from, actually the way they do it is neat because I’ve never been in a church that does this, but they preach from Genesis through Revelations, and they just work, every week, through a few different chapters, and so it’s not something that they’re hyped up on and that they push, particularly, it’s more my own personal views…so I don’t know that I would call it a political movement; there may be people who politicize it, but I do believe that the Jews and Israel, based on what the Bible says and things in Revelations, those are God’s chosen people…so I don’t know if that helps answer…

Q: You’re familiar with [Pastor] John Hagee…one of the groups I’m thinking of is Christians United for Israel, where they are calling for an immediate strike against Iran, and it seems to be based on the idea that the Second Coming can’t happen until certain things happen in the Middle East, [with regard to] control of the Holy Land…

A: So they’re trying to expedite that?

Q: Exactly. And that’s the only similar thing to your tattoo that I’ve seen, those three symbols combined, has been associated with that.

A: Actually, one of my friends who was in the military…they were stationed somewhere over in Israel, they had, not exactly like mine, but they actually had the two flags together, you know, the Israel and the U.S. flag, and then I put the cross in there with it…so you know, politically, the Middle East has always been and always will be, you know, infighting, and I’m certainly fully supportive of Israel, just based on my religious beliefs…

Q: So, yeah, that was the thing that I had heard when I started looking into what do these elements combined mean…and then you had said something [on a blog] in the comment where you asked us to correct the record on this, you said something about, it wasn’t clear what you were referring to, the comment that was made on our blog, or something about the post that was anti-Semitic. I’m not sure I understand what you meant by that.

A: The post, when you google my name, comes up, something about Greg Ahlemann is anti-gay and racist…and so I clicked on that, and I know that wasn’t posted by you, but somebody posted on there, and so I was trying to figure out, where, why would people say I’m anti-gay and racist…and because they refer to my tattoo – ask him to roll up his sleeve and show his tattoo – the only thing I can think of, that if you’re racist, is that you’re against the Jews, you’re anti-Semitic. Because in my support of the Jewish plight, if you’re calling that racist, that I support them, then are you saying you’re anti-Semitic? And so, I wondered where they grab those things…I’ve heard all kinds of rumors, and this is where the politics get ugly, when people say, talk about his tattoo – maybe he’s got some kind of racist tattoos on his arms, why won’t he show them. And I just feel like it’s not professional for me to be out there to campaign, you know, when I campaign I don’t go out there and try to tell people, hey, I’m a Christian, I want you to vote for me. While it’s very much a part of who I am, it doesn’t necessarily…people aren’t going to decide who they vote for based on whether or not I’m a supporter of Israel or I’m a Christian. So, you know, I don’t push that out in people’s face.

Q: The other reason I was asking about that is that, also in the same comment, he talks about, he accuses your father of being anti-Muslim. And I wasn’t here back when he started the other church [Christian Fellowship in Ashburn], but he was making those kinds of references. How do you think the Muslim community would see, I mean if they saw your tattoo? Is that something you’ve ever run into?

A: I’ve never run into that, in fact I used to go to restaurants all the time when I was with the Sheriff’s office that were run by, you know, I don’t know how much practicing they were, but they were Muslim. And I’m friends with them, in fact they give out my information at their restaurant, they have [my] sign at Omia’s, you know, I’ve known these guys for years, and I don’t think they’ve ever felt that I’ve not been friends with them, or had any kind of agenda against them. You know, I certainly don’t want to make my race a religious, a battle of religions. People that are of Islamic faith, or Jewish faith or Christian faith, if I’m elected Sheriff I’ll treat them the same way and protect their rights the same way if they believe exactly the way I do or not, it doesn’t matter.

Q: Have you been to the ADAMS Center and talked to those folks at all?

A: I haven’t, I haven’t. And I didn’t go to, the only one I probably should have gone to, but I had something scheduled was the one they had at Lake Fairfax [the Northern VA Family and Civic Picnic]. I didn’t go to that, but I heard about it. But I have no problem as far as meeting and talking with anyone…there’s no bias on my part…I mean, I believe differently…I certainly am opposed to any kind of – which I think most Muslims are – opposed to any kind of terrorism, and you know, I think we’re all in agreement on that. I think a lot of Islam gets a bad name, so to speak, because of a few bad apples who want to push their agenda, just like Christianity through the years has done when they’ve forced, by death, you know, the Crusades…so I think you can make those assessments, at least…but I’ve never had anyone comment on it, or think that I’ve treated them differently because of my tattoo.

[Kim: You had a conversation with the owner of Omia’s just about that – he said that even though our religions aren’t the same, he says you’re my friend, I consider you my friend, and you will always be my friend, and you know, that’s very endearing to hear, from somebody of a different faith, that they can love you just as much as anybody else.]

Q: It’d be nice to see more of that in the world. Anything else you’d like to say about your tattoo?

A: No, not really.

Q: I’d like to talk with you a little about community policing. In the interview with Sheriff Simpson on Loudoun Force, he talks about it as a philosophy, that you want to establish relationships with different entities in the community like homeowners associations, community groups, and work in cooperation with those groups in order to solve problems. Is that consistent with the way you see it, your approach to community policing?

A: I think that is pretty much, if you look up community policing, that’s probably the definition. In actuality, is that what we have at the Sheriff’s Office? I don’t think so. We have, there’s a couple different models of community policing you can go with. You can go with what we have, which is designated officers – I think we have about ten of them, assigned to different areas, or you can go with, what some departments do is just department-wide, they don’t designate specific officers as ‘ok, you’re a community policing officer for this area.’ I think that we’re kind of trying to do both, and neither one of them is very effective. And why I say that is that if we’re going to do it the way we have it now, where we have assigned community policing officers, assigned to, say, Ashburn Village, that person should be the liaison between that community and the rest of the department, not the sole fix-all for everything. So when you call him and say ‘hey we’ve got speeders in a school zone on Ashburn Village Blvd’, it’s not necessarily his job to go down there and solve that problem. His job would be to come to the traffic unit…and say ‘hey guys, we have a problem, can you target this area for a few days.’…I never got that when I was a traffic cop…what I saw was the community policing officer trying to work those areas and trying to solve it himself, and I don’t think that’s the most effective way of using our resources.

Q: I understand that currently, there’s some sort of liaison or office for doing outreach to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Do you know anything about that?

A: In the Sheriff’s Office? I don’t, no, I’m not aware of that.

Q: Is that something that you think there should be, do you see a need for that kind of specific outreach, not just to our community, but to other specific communities?

A: I think, yeah, to designate for one specific, I don’t even think that would be practical. But I do want to have a relationship with different…even La Voz…I’d like to have forums and things where we could work together, on complaints, or issues of concern, or education…really more than anything I see as being one of the biggest problems with – for example, I went to the Christ the Redeemer church [the Spanish-language educational forum organized by La Voz], and I was scolded in the media for what I did, but it didn’t win me any votes by going there. It was not something that…I corrected what an attorney had told the people there; he said that you don’t have to present identification if you’re stopped for something simple like running a red light, and so I corrected that, I said no, that is incorrect. I said who I was, I’m running…and so all of a sudden when people realized who I was they had so many questions for me. Of course, they shut that down, but afterwards I continued to answer questions, and people wanted to know, if I’m a passenger in a car, do I have to present identification, and I said, no, you know, you don’t – the police can ask, but you don’t have to. And so these are the things that, from different organizations, that maybe these are the questions they would have and I think we need to reach out with the community and answer those, and inform the citizens. As far as, you know, particularly the gay and lesbian community, you know, I’ve never even thought about having a specific officer assigned to that, because I think there’s so many different organizations and clubs and groups that might say, you know, we want our own, but I would like to have open communication with any civic group, any community group, any ethnic group, any, you know, transgender groups, where you feel that you can come to the Sheriff’s Office and express your concerns, because we certainly, we have officers on our department that are, you know, homosexual or gay, I mean, I know them, I’m friends with them…actually, I put in a personal reference…it makes no difference to me what your…how you do your job in the department is not determined by the color of your skin, your religion, or your sexual preference, and I don’t think that should even be an issue.

Q: Are you aware, with regard to the community policing, of what happened when the Soulforce Equality Ride visited Patrick Henry College?

A: I was there – I was already running for office, and I went there and I saw the overwhelming presence that day. I think a lot of that had to do with, it’s the political season. I’m not sure, you know, he wanted to get his troops out there and show…here’s my thought on it. I went in and sat in on the press conference with Mike Farris, when he was talking. My thought on it is…now, I don’t know what intel he had, so it’s hard for me to second-guess other officers. But I would have preferred to have seen a few officers there, and then if you need more officers, you hide them around back. You know, where it’s not this big spectacle, and if there becomes a problem, the guys are there, right there, and you deal with it. But to have that kind of show of force, unless he had some kind of information that [Soulforce] said hey, we’re going to come in there and cause a problem..

Q: That’s my question. Here’s my issue with what happened that day. [Simpson] claimed to have had this intelligence, a quote-unquote “tip” that some outside group was going to come and be disruptive, maybe some “radicals” from the gay community, maybe counterprotesters – he heard something, or saw it on a blog – but Equality Loudoun never got a phone call, nobody ever contacted us and said do you know anything about this, can you help us assess this situation – I mean, obviously we were very involved with providing logistical support [to Soulforce], and knowing that this was a very choreographed act of civil disobedience, everybody knew what was going to go down there…but [the Sheriff’s Office] totally did not utilize us as a community resource. And my question is, how would you have handled this differently?

A: Well, I think if you are going to put that many guys out there on the line, you should look into, whatever the anonymous tip was, I think that before you start sending 40 year officers out there, you should try to investigate where that came from, and, like you said, using your resources, whether it’s contacting Soulforce, or if you guys had contacted him, following up with you, and ultimately, you still have to be, as the Sheriff, you still have to be prepared, and sometimes you have to make decisions, because what if somebody’s not telling you the truth?

Q: Well, right, and I’m not arguing – it could have been a valid tip. And I guess part of it is, I feel…we had an event that evening, open to the public, where we were providing a facility for dialogue, because Patrick Henry didn’t want it on campus, right in Purcellville, and there was absolutely no police protection there. So if they thought there was some kind of threat, we were sort of left hanging out there, never informed of it, didn’t hear anything about this tip until it appeared in the newspaper.

A: And this tip came from the Sheriff’s Office, that they got a tip about it, is that what..?

Q: Yeah, basically people were questioning why did you expend all these resources on this thing that two deputies and a squad car could have taken care of.

A: Well, I think some people, as you’ve seen on the blogs, are still waiting for the death threats that were made to Dale Myers that Simpson said were out there, so…and that’s been years ago…

Q: Well, I’d be very interested in finding out the source of this “tip,” if it was perhaps from Mike Farris because he wanted to create the impression that they were under attack from this…

A: Yeah…but from what I saw, and once again I’m not privy to the intel that was given there, I would have preferred to see, you know, you have some officers there, you have a police presence, but you don’t, if you have your riot team there, have them around back, hidden. And if you need them, you call them right up, they’re there in 30 seconds. But I think because the media was there, it was a good opportunity during the political season to show, you know, this is what we have at the Sheriff’s Office, and so, that’s my perspective…Once again, I try to put myself in a police officer’s position, and not knowing everything they knew – I don’t like to second guess them, and it is easy for us to do that – but certainly, resources, you know, like yourself, if it was something he was that concerned about, where he was going to call 30 or 40 officers out, maybe there should have been more investigation done before they did that, so I do agree with you on that.

Q: What is your view on hate crimes, both philosophically and from a law enforcement perspective? Because, you know, this ad your Dad ran, that’s what it was about, it was about the expansion of hate crimes legislation. Do you agree with him, or do you see it differently, from your perspective?

A: You know, hate crimes…I don’t philosophically, I don’t understand necessarily why punishment should be different or more severe based on…if you kill somebody because they’re, if you’re white and you kill somebody because they’re Asian, or you’re white and you kill a white person because you didn’t like them, what is the punishment, why should it be different, the crime was the same; I’m not sure that…you know, we’ve passed a lot of laws, you know, a lot of times to make people feel good, I think, that we’re doing something about it to deter hate crimes and we’re doing this, but ultimately the punishment can be just as…harsh whether or not there’s any bias involved at all, so I’m not sure really that the hate crime legislation – I’d be curious to see statistics, and I’m always leery of statistics anyway – but how have any of these things really made a difference? If somebody’s going to go kill somebody, it’s like saying, you know, the VA Tech shootings, that no guns were allowed on school; I mean that guy was nuts, or he had problems. I don’t think it would have mattered whether they said you can have guns on school or you can’t have guns on school, he was going to go kill those people. And I don’t think someone before they kill somebody, says “Oooh, there’s a hate crimes bill, I’d better not go kill that guy.”

Q: Ok, you’re talking about it from the perspective of enhanced penalties. But does it make sense to you, from the perspective of a law enforcement officer, to take into consideration the motivations of someone – I mean, does it make any difference, in terms of work in the community, whether somebody assaults somebody else so they can take their wallet, or assaults them while they’re screaming anti-gay slurs?

A: I think certainly, we need to be aware, if there’s that kind of motivation, and there’s movements like that where people are targeting people based on race, or their gender, or their sexual preference, I think we need to be aware of that, and from a law enforcement perspective, I almost see it more as an intelligence gathering, and understanding what’s going on in the community – are people being targeted because of that? That’s what we need to do…as far as the courts go, that’s entirely separate…I mean philosophically, I don’t see the hate crimes legislation, I’m not sure that’s really done anything, but from a Sheriff’s Office perspective, I think that’s very good information to see what’s going on in the community; you know, if we’re having white on black, or latino on black, you know, any kind of bias, like what you’ve seen in…I go back to looking at Los Angeles, and what’s happening there, a lot of traditionally black neighborhoods are now being taken over by, um, a lot of MS-13, Latino groups – La Raza, they would call it, and it’s no longer gang on gang violence, it’s…there are stories of black youth being killed solely because they’re black…and I think those things need to be addressed, and we need to be aware of what’s going on before it gets out of hand, because I think L.A. and those areas are a mess. So I think from an intelligence gathering standpoint, it’s a good thing; philosophically, I don’t know that making hate crimes bills does anything to prevent anyone from doing anything.

Q: I’d also like to ask you a few things about some of the stuff that’s being said by people who are very vocal about supporting you – and you obviously are not responsible for what other people are saying, let’s be clear about that – but some of the things that are being said, I’m thinking here about some of the spokesmen for Help Save Loudoun. And I don’t know that they’re necessarily good spokesmen for the group…I’m thinking of people like Greg Stone, who will get on the blogs and say things that I could generously characterize as insensitive to some very real concerns that the immigrant communities have about racial profiling. Are you concerned at all, for example, there are stories of people being profiled and harassed by the police, and he just dismisses that stuff as “sad little stories,” and “we’re just going to ignore that.” Are you concerned about the tone that’s being set by that kind of discourse?

A: By groups like Help Save Loudoun?

Q: Well, I don’t want to tar the whole group, but individuals who are saying things like that, who seem to have kind of a vigilante attitude, they just want something done, now. And your job, if you’re elected, is to uphold the Constitution.

A: I think it’s…it is very interesting, because I found myself in a…it’s interesting to see how your support overlaps. People from Help Save Loudoun would agree with my stance on doing something about illegal immigration, whereas there may be people in there who don’t agree with what I think on social issues, and we may be on opposite ends of the spectrum. But it is interesting to see how there is sort of this rallying cry, and I’ll be the first to say, the issue of illegal immigration is not going to be, we’re not going to solve it in a four year term; I mean, it’s a federal problem, but it is a local problem as well, and I look to try to use the resources we have to deal with it as best we can locally. There have been complaints of racial profiling probably, you know, way before I was in law enforcement, and so, to say that we’re going to use this tool, which is ICE, the 287g program, to me the positives far outweigh the negatives, because the greatest benefit we’re going to see, unlike what Herndon’s doing, where they actually have to use it on the street – that’s the only way they can use it, is their officers going up and approaching people, because they don’t have their own jail. In Loudoun, the best part about it is that if we decided to do nothing with it except use it in the jail, we would make an incredible impact, because what it would be is people who are already arrested, who have committed a crime, not stopped and pulled over because we suspect that they might be illegal, or some of these racial profiling incidents, these are people who are arrested by Leesburg Police, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Purcellville Police, come into our jails, and then they’re run through the system if we can’t prove who they are. It’s just an added tool for us to do that, and it’s a great deterrent for people that would come here illegally and commit crimes locally. If they don’t commit crimes, then there’s no authority by the Sheriff’s Office to deport them.

Q: Do you think that all the people who are supporting you understand that? Because it seems to me that there’s a real attitude of ‘we want these people rounded up and out of here.’ I mean, we were at one of the early meetings, I guess, of Help Save Loudoun…and someone made the point that you can’t just take 12 million people and ship them out of the country, and someone sitting behind us said “why not – I’ll drive.” I mean, that kind of attitude.

A: I think there’s a lot of people, and that’s why a lot of people aren’t running for office – I mean, I understand their passion and their frustration, you know, a lot of people say things out of frustration, but realistically, you cannot be a law enforcement officer, and we don’t want our elected officials running on that kind of passion and fear, and you know, we have to obey the law. We have to go by what the federal government, what we do does not, we don’t have any authority in this area unless it’s granted to us by the federal government. And so all I’m talking about doing is a program that the federal government has already said, hey, local jurisdictions, you can use this in your own community to help deal with, you know, the criminal aspect of it. They don’t give us the authority to go in businesses and check IDs and deport people, because they’re not going to take those people. That’s not our job, and that takes away from what we as law enforcement officers need to be doing, which is dealing with crime and the criminal element. Probably the biggest thing that a group like La Voz could get out, and different community groups, is to get this information out, that having the ICE program here is not going to target people who are here illegally who have not committed crimes. We will not have the authority to deport you, to separate you from your family – obviously there will be a deterrent value, there will be a lot of people who will say, Loudoun is hard on it, so maybe I’m not going to go there to drink, maybe if I live in Centreville I’m not going to come down to Pepe’s and drink, and if I get caught drinking and driving I might be deported, so you can’t put a price tag on that.

Q: Isn’t part of – what I understood you to be saying at the debate [this refers to a statement that money would be saved by some number of undocumented children not being educated in our public schools] was part of the deterrent was not just to make, to deter people from being here and committing crimes, but it’s actually to deter people from being here, because Loudoun’s not, you know, a welcoming, we’re not putting out the welcome mat. And isn’t part of what you’re hoping, or what your supporters are definitely voicing, is the hope that people will just pack up and leave and just go somewhere else?

A: Certainly, my job is to enforce the law and to use this tool. I think, also, separate from that, I fully support our federal government doing something to secure our ports, our borders, you know, some of the 9-11 terrorists were here on Visa violations and they were stopped by local law enforcement officers. So it’s not just about, you know, a certain ethnic group, but it’s about obeying the laws, providing protection for our country, and I would hope that, I would encourage the legislature, our legislators in Richmond and in DC to do something, and my goal is to do what I can locally to enforce the law, and hopefully, the people that are in office will decide that, hey, we’re going to do something to deal with the issue. And as I said before, and people give me a hard time for saying it, if it was my life, you know, if I lived in a Third World country, and I had no money to provide, and my child needed medication, and I needed to provide food, based on the way the federal government has it now, and our lack of doing anything to deter people from coming here illegally, I’d probably come, too…what choice do you have? But people give me a hard time for saying that, like it’s a double standard. I don’t put the fault on illegal immigrants, by any means. I think that’s where some groups get angry at the illegal immigrants, and I’m not angry at anybody…I’m angry at the federal government, that they’ve done nothing, and I think they profit on both sides of the aisle, big business profits…so I think that’s the frustration, that’s where the frustration needs to be directed, not at the immigrant community.

Q: And they are the ones who are here, they’re kind of the convenient target – and that’s kind of what I’m getting at with these, these folks who are just so frustrated, and I understand the frustration, but I really think a lot of them are expecting things to happen that aren’t necessarily going to happen, because even people who are here illegally do have a right to due process, and that’s not something that seems to be real high on their list.

A: Yeah, the deportation judge will still – even if we arrest them, it’s still up to a judge to determine whether or not they’re going to be deported, so we could pick them up through the ICE program, and the judge might say, no, we’re not going to do it.

Q: And it’s so complicated, all the different ways that people can be documented, it’s way too hard to summarize in a sound byte. So people who are just frustrated have these expectations. Are you concerned about some of this attitude translating into vigilante activities, or people just getting so fed up that…

A: I would certainly hope not, I mean, that’s…

Q: Do you have any kind of plan to deal with that eventuality?

A: I have not seen where, in Loudoun County where people, like we were talking about hate crimes, where people are acting out on their own to solve these kinds of problems, and I’m certainly not in support of that – I mean, the federal government needs to do their job, locally we need to do what we can, but I will provide, if you are here illegally, and you’re a victim of a crime, we’re going to, we’re going to deal with the violator, and whether you’re here illegally or not, you’re entitled to some basic human rights, and that, you know, goes above and beyond, it usurps this authority that the ICE program gives us, and so I, I don’t expect that by any means, and if people expect that I’m going to have everything solved if I’m elected, it’s not going to be that way.

Q: I’ll give you an example, and I’ve heard this, I sort of dismissed this the first time I heard it, because it was from someone known to me to be a Simpson supporter, and…it was similar to the rumor about the tattoo. Someone told me, and I’ve since heard it from other sources too, so I tend to give it more weight now, that some of your delegates at the [Republican] convention were overheard saying “when Greg Ahlemann is elected Sheriff, he’s going to get all the sp*** out of Loudoun County.”

A: That’s the first I’ve heard that rumor…you know, I’ve heard several stories about things said at the convention, and I don’t know if..

Q: The Dean Settle story was one of them, right? [This refers to the report of an individual who directed a racial slur at an African-American delegate in Mr. Settle’s company.]

A: Yes, he and I have talked about it, and first I’ll say, I don’t know if they were my supporters or my delegates, people had my stickers on, which we were handing out like candy, anybody who wanted one, we were putting them out. I don’t condone any of that attitude…honestly, I’d rather not have your vote if you’re…because I don’t want my campaign associated with that kind of attitude at all…I didn’t quit my job and run on trying to make things better to associate myself or to mistreat people like that. I pride myself on trying to treat everybody, you know, fairly and the same, and it’s unfortunate if people have that kind of attitude, because I don’t want my campaign to get associated with that at all.

Q: Well, that’s good to know – and kind of what I would expect you to say. 🙂 Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?

A: I’ll check your blog, and I’ll comment. I look at opportunities like this to talk with you, that, is it politically a benefit for me? Probably not, not really, I mean as far as votes, but the point and the tone that I’m trying to set, is that as, if the people choose me to be the next Sheriff, I’m going to have an open dialogue with people, whether they agree with me, or whether they dislike me, I mean there are a lot of people who hate me because they think I’m pushing this ICE program, so they hate me. But I’m going to treat them just the same when I’m elected Sheriff, because it’s my job, and I can’t take those kinds of things personally, and so I want to reach out to the community and to different groups, and so I look at an interview like this as an opportunity to show that I’m willing to sit down and talk with people who come from totally different perspectives and standpoints on issues, but yet I hear your concerns, and I want to be, to have a Sheriff’s Office that’s going to address those the best we can. And at the end of the day, you know, people will vote for who they want, and I’ll be happy either way once it’s over. I mean, I obviously want to be Sheriff, but I’m ready for the election to come, I wish it was today, because you know it would be nice to get it done, but you know, I quit my job, I put my hat in the ring, and tried to make a difference for the guys that I worked with, for things I saw that needed to be changed, and I’m very proud of how I’ve acted, and dealt with other candidates and other campaigns, and you know, it’s unfortunate, sometimes you do get people, that even though they support me, like you were talking about at the convention, they might support me on one issue, but they might be way off base with me on other issues. Even in the Republican Party, I don’t see eye to eye with every candidate in there – I mean, I signed the pledge that I’m going to support them, but there’s clearly friction with some of the inner goings-on in there.

Q: Clearly”¦well, do you have any sense of who it was that started thsi rumor? Because I’m hearing that it was actually someone within the Republican committee.

A: It could be, it wouldn’t surprise me. I mean, honestly, I’d be more afraid of…some of the factions of so-called Republicans that don’t want me to be elected than I am of the Democrats. You know, let’s run on the issues, and let’s run on whatever your platform is, and your experience, let’s run on those things. But to try to bring things up about personal attacks, I think is wrong – and that’s actually one of the reasons that I contacted you about the thing on your website, because I remembered you guys talking about Patricia Phillips and the John Andrews race, so I said well, does that go both ways, because I felt like, you know, I was accused of these things, you know, being anti-gay, when I’ve got family members that are gay…

Q: Do you want to talk about that at all?

A: Well, yeah, I’ll talk about it, whatever questions…[Kim: We embrace them; they’re our family.]
From a, from my religious perspective, what my family members are doing is wrong, I think that’s clear from the Bible. Now, does it make me love them any less, or does it make their sin any different from sins I’ve committed, or sin when a husband goes and cheats on his wife? It’s no different. So to go out and bash, or say I’m not going to associate with those people, I mean that’s, I think it’s really hypocritical for people to take that approach, and I think, people have given my father a hard time, but I think, you know, he’s the first one to sit down with somebody who disagrees with him…he’ll still sit down like I try to do, and let’s talk. At the end of the day we might not agree on it, but I’m still going to treat you the same as I would anybody else.

Q: He’s a very interesting guy [this remark elicited considerable laughter]. I mean, when I wrote that blog piece that the comment was posted to, I had not met him; that ad had just come out…it was very offensive…but it’s very interesting, he and [Equality Loudoun board member] Jonathan have established this kind of relationship, and he said to Jonathan, “you know, I’ve never had a gay friend before,” and I just find that fascinating. He’s what, 67 years old? How do you get through life without [knowing someone] or knowing that you know someone?

And I thought it was interesting, you said that you’re doing this [interview], and it’s not necessarily going to win you votes, or it’s not necessarily going to be good for you, and I’m not sure whether you meant it’s not going to be good for you in terms of our community, or other people saying “Oh, he went on that gay blog.”

A: No, it’s kind of like…[here there is a discussion of whether or not the interviewer as an individual is a “staunch Democrat,” which isn’t relevant in the context of this nonpartisan organization]…Because I don’t necessarily, because the issues that I run on, I don’t expect people who are hardcore Democrats, who walk that party line, to come over and vote for me; I don’t think they will. So that’s why I say I could use opportunities to go and talk to people and try to win their vote. In a lot of ways, I think people are very closed-minded – and they shouldn’t be in a Sheriff’s race, more than any race…people need to understand, that if I run for higher office, and I’m going to be setting policy on things, then question me, whatever, but I’m about enforcing the law and treating everybody the same. But some people, because I’m, you know, conservative and a Republican are not going to vote for me, purely because of that, which is unfortunate. But I think that the issues and things that I’m running on, I think there will be a lot of Democrats and Independents that will vote for me, even though I may have an R next to my name, because they believe in what I’m trying to do with the Sheriff’s Office, to try to make it a better place for us, for everybody in the community, regardless of your political affiliation…I’ve learned that politics is not necessarily a fun thing, but I do have new respect for anyone that runs, because you put yourself out there, and it’s definitely a challenge.

Q; Well, thank you very much for your time, and I really appreciate you sitting down with me. [Again, Greg is willing to answer questions readers leave in the comments section.]

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96 Responses to Greg Ahlemann talks about his tattoo, hate crimes, community policing and more

  1. Pingback: Equality Loudoun » Gone too far?

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  3. michelle says:

    I would like to revisit the question of your feelings about hate crime legislation. We have instituted stiffer penalties for crimes committed under different circumstances, in order to further protect vulnerable populations and to send a strong message that we are serious in our concern to protect those people. Think about increased penalities for speeding through a construction site when it results in injury or death to a construction worker, or the increased penalties we impose when drugs are distributed in a school zone, as we try to protect our children. Also, we should take motive into consideration, partly, as you indicated, as fact-gathering for further investigation, but also because it does matter. Just as the court of law imposes different penalities for premeditated murder versus involuntary manslaghter, though both result in death, there is a big difference in someone who has spent time planning a murder and someone who has fallen asleep at the wheel and killed someone. We do need to be honest about the wishes of a (perhaps) small but vocal group, who would like to ship everyone out or lock everyone up who isn’t like them, whether it is based on religious, sexual, or ethnic differences. These people do exist and they are dangerous.

  4. Greg Ahlemann says:

    To try and comment on both issues…Love the sinner, hate the sin. We will obviously disagree on whether or not a homosexual act is a sin. I don’t ask for you to agree with me. My point is from a law enforcement stand point. Whether a victim or offender, race, gender sexual preference or religion should not matter. The second comment is also out of my control. Those issues are for our courts and law makers to decide on. Maybe the punishment for all crimes should be more severe. Actually, punishment which already exists for most crimes is sufficient. The courts choose much lesser punishments at their discretion.

  5. Good job on the interview to both parties!

  6. Greg Ahlemann says:


    Come one now. I offer to answer real questions here. Neither of the other candidates will do so. If you have ever worked in law enforcement you will know that “paramilitary” refers to the structure as in following orders, following chain of command, etc. These are a small part of how law enforcement has some structural parallels to the military, not in how they enforce the law. If you wonder what I meant by that just ask. I’m here to answer questions as best as I can, but when you throw out your comments so defensively it makes this process difficult. I hope this forum can be a productive opportunity for me to hear your concerns and present my vision for the sheriff’s office. I don’t want to argue with you.

    I hope I shed some light on the “paramilitary” term for you.



  7. David says:

    Greg, thanks for checking back. I have a couple of questions in light of this article that was published in the WaPo yesterday. First, there’s this:

    In an April campaign letter, Ahlemann said Simpson’s “passive attitude” has contributed to “the rapid rise in illegal immigrant gang activity” in Loudoun. And he predicted “more crime by illegal aliens will spill over on our schools and highways.”

    I think everyone agrees that 1) the federal government has dropped the ball on illegal immigration, and 2) that there are demographic changes in Sterling Park and some incidence of illegal boarding houses, etc. But that’s a far cry from the things you’re implying in this campaign piece. What evidence do you have of this “rapid rise in illegal immigrant gang activity,” for example? I’ve heard you dispute the statement from the Sheriff’s Office that only 1 in 20 gang members are found to be here illegally, but where is the evidence to support your very broad statement? When you use rhetoric like this, it seems to contradict your statement in this interview that you don’t blame the people who are here illegally. It sounds like you do, that you think there’s some sort of deliberate invasion of our community for the purpose of criminal activity. Which is it?

    Also, while we may not have all the statistics for Loudoun County, we can extrapolate from data we do have, for example, here. That data says that illegal immigrants are less likely than legal residents to commit crimes – which stands to reason, because they have a strong motivation to not draw attention to themselves. I understand that you don’t really trust statistics, but what’s the alternative to using data? We can’t just base our policies on subjective feelings and intuition. That’s what Delgaudio does.

    The other thing that I think comes across very clearly in the article is the way that your tattoo is perceived, regardless of what you say it means to you. That was the point I was trying to illustrate with the example of the Confederate flag in the background explanation for this interview. Obviously, being connected to this sort of thing doesn’t help:

    Pastor Ahlemann told the congregation that his son never hid the tattoo from motorists, which included “people that wore all these turbans and stuff.”

    A few moments later, the minister launched an attack on Islam, calling it “a religion of hatred and of death.” And he said Muslims “want to either convert us or kill us.”

    Yikes. How are people of different faiths supposed to feel comfortable with this? It just seems like nothing you could say about having Muslim friends can overcome the perception that people who look different in some way would in fact be treated differently, because they are not members of the chosen people, or do not share your religious beliefs. It may not be fair, but that seems to be the perception.

  8. Greg Ahlemann says:


    Thank you for your question and the way you asked it is exactly the type of exchange I hoped for. There are several questions here so I will start, but if I don’t answer all specifically, please ask me to clarify. (By the way, I was in a minor auto accident this evening and feeling a bit sore.)

    Oh, statistics. Let me give this a shot. To your first question Simpson said 37 criminal illegal aliens deported last year. So far this year 50 deported. I consider that a rise. In fact it appears we may double last years. 100% increase that is dramatic. So there is some evidence. But as you know, I’m not a big fan of stats because they can be easily manipulated. For example, I know through friends in the department, there has been an increased effort to show that the Sheriff’s office is dealing with criminal illegal aliens. Welcome to election time law enforcement. The deputies have seen this before. So…what do you make of this data? I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that in 1997 we did not deport any where near 37 illegal immigrants. The sheriff could provide this data. However, we know he will not provide this info to us. Hopefully this helps with the first question.

    The second part of that question is about blaming illegal immigrants for coming here. Our gov’t has done little to deter illegal immigrants from coming. I hold the gov’t responsible for that. It is the gov’t job to secure the borders and ports. I don’t think we should just expect or hope people won’t come in illegally. I also hold local and state gov’ts responsible for failing to address this issue. People may disagree with whose job it is, but if I’m elected I’m going to use the legal tools available to address this in Loudoun. It is no secret that I will be vocal, as I have been, for others in local and state gov’t to do something. I do empathize with people who are coming here to seek a better life. However, there are teachers and deputies who can’t afford to live in Loudoun, yet tax dollars go to illegal immigrants? I think this is a bad policy. Maybe my two opponents disagree with me on these issue. I don’t know.

    As you know, my father is notm e. Are people also going to judge me by what some of my extended family has done? If so, maybe I should let people know that I have a cousin who is a convicted felon. That I have divorce, homosexuality and adultery among my relatives? I can only be who I am. I’m not ashamed of the Bible verse Genesis 12:3. Should I be? I am not Jewish. Does that matter? I don’t feel bad about it. Do Muslims get upset over being Jewish or not? Again, I don’t know. My religious beliefs and belief in the Bible should not affect other religions. I will not live my life so politically correct that I can not believe in the Word of God. Some people do. They are so afrais that they might offend someone they believe in nothing. That’s just not me.

    I know there are people who hate me because of my beliefs. David, you know about my daughter. I’ve spoken with you about making the Sheriff’s office a better place. I believe that, without a doubt, I am the man to do that. On Nov 6, I will be gracious in victory or gracious in defeat. The results will not change who I am or what I believe. It will only be a reflection of what the citizens of Loudoun County want and believe. I’m okay with the outcome either way. In the mean time, I work as hard as I can to make this happen, because that’s the type of Sheriff I want to be. In the same way we met and spoke about concerns, I will do that as Sheriff if elected.

  9. Laura Valle says:

    Greg – can you clarify your point with the 1997 data? There was a significant increase in the immigrant population between 1990 and 2000. Seems logical that deportations would increase as well. I am not sure what your point is. I mean how many immigrants, legal or not, were living in LoCo in 1997?

    Also, the reason that teachers and deputies cannot afford t live here is because of the average cost of housing as compared to the income of those professions. Can you clarify the relationship between those factors and illegal immigrants? Could you also specify which services you believe that illegal immigrants are receiving that impact the cost of living.

    And I don’t think that you should address the question of your use of paramilitary as defensive. Given that the overwhelming majority of Loudoun residents in LO. Co have no military or law enforcement experience, we can only take word by their dictionary definitions. I think you should be more careful of your choice of words.

  10. Jeanne Titus says:

    Ugh! Someone has a tatoo of a cross, an American flag, and the Israeli flag, and this is seen as a problem? Why is this evan an issue?

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  12. Greg Ahlemann says:


    I think Cathy responded well to your comments. On this issue of 1997 data and increase in deportations, you answered that youself as well. There are more Illegal immigrants in Loudoun now than 1997. I’m just guessing on this, though. But you have confirmed my point. I also agree that neither of the other 2 candidates will discuss this. They have both changed their stances on this issue of ICE. According to the Post article, the only thing they agree on is “Ahlemann is wrong.” The voters will decide. Too many people sit around and complain but refuse to act. I choose action.

  13. Laura Valle says:

    No Cathy – I really don’t don’t know the answer to that question. I will ask it again. Could you also specify which services you believe that illegal immigrants are receiving that impact the cost of living?

    Cathy said “How much does Loudoun spend on services on illegal immigrants and can those dollars be used elsewhere? ” The answer is no because there is a Supreme Court ruling that says that those dollars cannot be used elsewhere. Public Schools are required to provide an education to whoever shows up, regardless of status.

    Greg, I understand where you are coming from, and I respect the fact that you have strong beliefs. I am going to venture a guess that very few people actually hate you for your views, especially in this forum where hatred is not welcome. My concern is that when you are dealing with budget issues, such as funding a new jail, you tend to answer by citing money that can be saved by getting rid of undocumented immigrants. Not only does it suggest a bit of naivety regarding the County budget process, when you bring children in the public schools into it you are far beyond the realm of deporting undocumented immigrants that have committed a crime. Some of your supporters have made reference to an attempt, or more specifically a ‘plan’, to encourage “self deportation of illegal immigrants”. I know that it is unfair to automatically attribute the thoughts and beliefs of your supporters to you, but when you refer to the savings to be had by getting undocumented children out of our schools, it appears that you also support this plan. Whether you do or don’t, the better question is, how would you plan to get funding for a new jail as soon as it will be needed? It would take a really ugly environment in Loudoun for undocumented immigrants to “self deport” quickly enough to free up county funding for you to increase salaries and fund a jail, which you have indicated will not happen (an ugly environment, that is) as a result of the MOA that you will seek.

    I also respect and appreciate you for putting yourself out on a limb here. It’s admirable. I did want to ask the site admin whether or not the other candidates were asked to interview. I didn’t think that they were, so it seems unfair to suggest they weren’t willing to. I may be wrong.

  14. Jonathan says:


    Thanks for this interview. Your heartfelt answers are much more valuable than the typical sound bytes we receive in campaign literature and candidate forums. I wouldn’t have brought up the question I’m about to ask had some of your supporters not claimed that La Voz is engaging in improper political activity.

    I attended your father’s Lovettsville Elementary Church of the Valley service this morning. When I left at 10:05 AM, there were Greg Ahlemann campaign signs propped against cars in the parking lot facing Locust street. The positioning of the signs was more than distribution. It was obvious campaigning. Are you willing to counsel the church on the appropriateness of this display?

  15. Sanity says:


    The fact that you don’t know why is the problem. Those three symbols, especially together, are those used by extreme conservative Christian groups that are rabidly anti-gay. “Worse than animals.”

    With the tattoos and the use of “paramilitary”, it’s very easy for many folks to see a Greg Ahlemann “regime” tilting towards a homophobic, immigrant-phobic “police state”. This scares the crap out of a lot of us.

    To me, the more he talks, the more he seems like he’s trying to be stealth candidate. Too late Greg.

  16. Greg Ahlemann says:

    Sanity, thanks for the words of encouragement. I won’t expect your vote but if elected I will provide a law enforcement ageny that treats you fairly. I’m not sure what “extreme Christians” are, though. Please tell us. By your definition, of believing some actions to be sin, you probably label me as one.
    Jonathan, I was not there this morning. I attend another church in Leesburg. So for me to comment may be unfair but here goes. Under 501 (c)3, in this case a church, unless the pastor or staff said we as a church are supporting a particular candidate, no violation. In fact, a pastor or staff member may publically support a candidate as long as long as the organization does not. Sorry, I’ve spent much time on this issue. I don’t beleive anyone questioned La Voz tax status. I don’t care what they do as long as it is not with tax payer dollars. Then, like the BOS is doing, we can choose not to give them money. Don’t worry, there are plenty of businesses out there that will be glad to donate to them. Home Depot is a big giver, check with them. Finally, I don’t believe it is in the Sheriff’s authority to investigate IRS violations, if the gov’t chooses that route, I would look into it. However, taxpayers do have a right to question their elected official on how their money is spent. On that not are you upset that the Sheriff’s Office spent a couple hundred thousand of your dollars on a new style of uniforms, which were in violation of state code at the time?

  17. Laura Valle says:

    Do I get an answer? I asked 2 specific questions that are not competitive and have not been answered.

    On the 501(c)(3) stuff. I think you may need to clarify, unless a church has different rules. “In fact, a pastor or staff member may publicly support a candidate as long as long as the organization does not.” I believe that they can only express support when they first clarify that they are speaking as an individual and not as a rep of the organization. So a pastor or other employee of a church cannot support a candidate at the Church, in a church publication, or in a public forum while operating in an official capacity.
    It’s subtle. In the case of La Voz at Christ the Redeemer, we could have had candidates speak but we were operating under special rules set by the Diocese, thanks to Delgaudio, and those rules were violated by Mr. Alhemann. On the other hand, I as ED of La Voz, and La Voz itself, never came close to violating any IRS laws.

    And another very important clarification Mr. Alhemann, the County Board is not choosing to deny funding to La Voz. They are considering including a question on the application for county funding that asks whether or not the organization checks immigration status of the folks they serve before they provide assistance. Based on the answer to that question they may or may not decide to fund that group. This effort is not focused on La Voz of Loudoun, but rather on all of the organizations that receive County funding. It is rather discriminatory for anyone to suggest that a certain set of rules should apply only to La Voz because of the population we are perceived to be serving. It is a fact that several other organizations serve significantly higher numbers of immigrants, Hispanic and others, than La Voz does.

    Please keep your responses clear and factual..

  18. Laura Valle says:

    On my last question, first paragraph, I meant to say combatative not competetive. And I blieve that the yard signs at the church may be a violation unless all candidates are given the opportunity to display campaign materials. I just checked on on the IRS web site.

  19. David says:


    Why would you say that the other candidates are not willing to provide an interview? You are certainly in no position to know that, and I don’t know what would give you that idea, especially in light of the fact that all three candidates have already done extensive interviews with Loudoun Force. Are you fishing for information? The particular circumstances by which this interview came about are explained in the introduction.

    It would be helpful if you could answer Laura’s question regarding where you believe that tax dollars spent on illegal immigrants can be saved that would impact the cost of living in Loudoun County. If that scenario is dependent upon illegal immigrants “self-deporting,” can you describe the measures you would like to see and explain how they would produce that result, and in what way those measures would be related to the responsibilities of the Sheriff’s Office?

  20. David says:

    Dennis, thank you for your kind words. It’s nice to see you here.

    The “love the sinner, hate the sin” thing: Having talked to Greg previously, I knew that was his position. I think he is a genuinely decent, thoughtful guy, who is doing his best to reconcile his belief that the Bible is the inerrant word of God with the fact that there are GLBT people in the world whom he loves and respects. That’s a struggle a lot of people have, and I didn’t want to get into a theological debate over it.

    I disagree with him; I think there is a big difference between “homosexual acts” and cheating on your spouse. I also understand where he’s coming from. The “hypocrites” he’s differentiating himself from are people who also believe there’s a big difference, but for a completely different reason. These folks believe that GLBT people who live openly and with integrity are guilty of a much greater sin because we are not repentant. We even have the temerity to say that we were created this way. The only circumstance in which they are willing to say that we are all sinners on the same footing is when we hate ourselves and try to change, because then we are being repentant. So I think Greg is at least coming from a good place with this position, even though I think it’s wrong.

    Having said that, the concern I think our community has is that there will be people who are less open-minded than Greg and are disinclined to think about such nuances, and who will be emboldened by a Sheriff who professes his conservative Christian identity so openly. We are all well aware that there are such people in this community, people who will hear what they want to hear (like the vigilante types overheard at the convention), and what they want to hear is that they will have a Sheriff who shares their religious beliefs about “the queers” and that they will be more free to bash us.

    That is one of the reasons I thought it was important to do this interview. I want those people to hear directly from Greg, on the record, that if he is elected it absolutely will not be open season on any group of people in this community.

  21. Laura Valle says:

    Cathy, I was responding to Greg’s statement, “I don’t beleive anyone questioned La Voz tax status. I don’t care what they do as long as it is not with tax payer dollars. Then, like the BOS is doing, we can choose not to give them money.”

    It is 100% factually incorrect because he states that the board is actually doing something. They have done nothing, yet. There is significant division amoung the Board members on this issue. No one has been denied funding for anything at this point. Can we please wait until they vote on a specific action before we talk about this as something the Board has done?

    My questions are really for Greg and unless he has appointed you as his spokesmen he seems to be avoiding them I respect your views Cathy but you are not the candidate for Sherriff, and not not a single one of my questions has actually been answered yet.

  22. David says:


    I don’t mean to be unkind, but has it occurred to you that other interviews could be published in the future? It comes across as not terribly bright to make the assumption you continue making, which I’m sure was not your intention.

    As I have indicated, this interview was arranged for a very specific reason having to do with a comment that was posted here back in June.

    As for the rest, you still haven’t answered my question, which was to specifically identify savings in tax dollars and the measures by which this was to be accomplished. The question was how implementing these measures (whatever they may be, you haven’t offered anything beyond a vague “providing county services”) is related to the responsibilities of the Sheriff’s Office – not whether funding could be redistributed to increase deputies salaries or pay for a new jail. Those are two entirely different issues.

    You also seem to be profoundly confused about the activities and mission of La Voz; you appear to think that they are an agency that provides county services.

    Everyone is in agreement that criminals who are found to be here illegally should be deported (which of course requires them to be housed here, pending a hearing.) Beyond that, what is it that you think the Sheriff’s Office has to do with solving the problems caused by illegal immigration?

  23. David says:

    To clarify further, with regard to saving money that could be supposedly redistributed to such public safety projects, it was Greg who suggested that such saving could be realized by a reduction of children in our public schools who participate in the ESL program. That’s how public education entered the conversation.

    Since, as Laura points out, these children are guaranteed an education by our Constitution, the only way I can see for that outcome to be realized is for immigrant families to “self-deport.” Which brings us back to my question, which you still have not answered.

  24. Laura Valle says:

    Cathy- I agree that criminals that are found to be in the country illegally should be deported. Of course every immigrant is entitled to deportation proceedings, so that’s assuming they are found to be deportable after a hearing, and that part of the process certainly is not a function of the Sheriffs Dept. I may differ from Greg’s views in that I believe that the identification of immigration status should be done after the individual has been arrested and charged with a crime, specifically I think that this should be a function of deputies in the jail. You may have heard that I am part of the pro-illegal immigrant lobby and therefore assumed that I am in favor of criminal illegal aliens in our communities. You should be relieved to find out that that is an unfortunate rumor that is popular among Alhemann and Delgaudio supporters but is completely untrue.

    I am not sure why the County funding of La Voz is becoming such as issue. I really just wanted to state that Craig’s statement was false. I guess I should also clarify that at this time it does not look like the Board will deny funding based on whether or not an organization doesn’t verify status. My understanding is that at this point it seems like what they will most likely do is simply ask the question and then each board member will vote based on the total information on the grant application as part of the regular budget process. Both Delgaudio and Waters consistently vote against all funding for nonprofits, so we can predict their vote. The other votes are more difficult to predict. But again, they have not even gotten that far on this issue. It is not even clear if they will ask that question or not.

    I know that Greg is busy but I hope my questions don’t get lost in the thread and that at some point he finds time to answer them. I guess I would like to ask one more, still relating to the budget and that is, in looking at neighboring PW County, and the price tag for the expansion of law enforcement to combat illegal immigration, how would he hope to fund similar measures here in Loudoun, given that we seem to have already outgrown the new jail and all of the other issues, such as raising deputies salaries, etc?

  25. Laura Valle says:

    Cathy- I also wanted to say that I know that money is money, and being relatively poor myself I don’t think it is a small amount, but if you added up all of the Health and Humans Serv. orgs that receive funding the total is 756,171 with $120,000 of that going to Blue Ridge Speech and Hearing. My point is that that is a drop in the bucket of the County Budget and eliminating that funding is not going to raise any salaries. In fact, these organizations provide services to our needy LEGAL residents, including La Voz. The point that many of those organizations make is not that they insist upon providing services to the undocumented, but rather that the requirement to verify status will have to be applied to everyone and will result in delays and in some cases denial of services to our most needy in critical situations. Many of these groups total operating budgets are so small that they can’t even afford the training and staff to verify immigration status, and that includes La Voz.
    Is that the kind of savings that we want in Loudoun County? And I will add this to my list of questions for Greg. There are 4 now.

  26. David says:


    Please, let’s not overreact here. I really was trying to gently point out to you how ridiculous it looks to assume that because there are not currently interviews with the other candidates published on this site, that means, in your own words, “the other candidates will not provide an interview.” Is it not obvious to you what an absurd leap of logic that is?

    You have no knowledge of whether I have even approached the other candidates – which, given the particular circumstances that gave rise to this interview (I draw your attention to this for the third time) is in and of itself an unwarranted assumption. You support Greg and that’s fine – but I think you wanted to use the occasion of posting here for making gratuitous and completely unsupportable jabs at the other candidates. I called you on it. I’m just asking that you stick to the issues. If we have conducted interviews with the other candidates, or conduct such interviews in the future, they will be published here.

    Now, back to the topic. It’s true that no one has been able to provide any hard figures, but according to the initial staff report, the county services over which the BoS has discretion is a very short list. You don’t have to see a dollar amount to realize that there aren’t many savings in tax money to be had there. Ditto for cutting off funding for all non-profits (because none of them are in a position to check residency status), a very short-sighted and ill-advised direction to go, IMO. The only thing left (and what Greg alluded to in his remarks about the school budget) was taking measures that encourage immigrant families to “self-deport.” If you can make an argument that no, the county can save substantial money in some other way, I still haven’t seen it.

    I imagine that we would all rather hear what Greg has to say, in any case.

  27. Greg Stone says:

    Good interview, with the exception of that Greg Stone is a vigilante thing. Oh well what is one little gratuitous attack among friends anyway.

    Jeanne wins the common sense prize of the month.

    Sanity wins the ___________ of the month award for his inability to realize after over 1000 words there is nothing here. He is still clinging and praying for some hidden sinister meaning or he knows full well and is political ______
    working to undermine the credability of a certain candidate. Either way he gets the award because both reasons are ____________.

    David the above blanks are in the spirit of me becoming a kinder gentler blogger. I in no way want to use words that will upset the delicate nature of this conversation. This way, it is up to the reader to determine what word to insert.

    Peace, Love and much understanding.

  28. Laura Valle says:

    Greg- don’t I get an award? Perhaps the _______ with the most unanswered questions of the month?
    I already gave you your award. It is the award for the ________ who best balances all his hot air with about 10 tons of political cheese, preventing what would be an otherwise inevitable ascent to the moon, and I mean that in the nicest way:)

  29. Laura Valle says:

    Cathy- on this point, “I can honestly tell you I have never heard a member of the Ahlemann campaign say that La Voz is in favor of criminal illegals aliens in our communities,” you may be right. The only person that I have heard making that specific statement is Delgaudio himself. He is not part of the Alhemann campaign.

    However, you are completely misinformed when you state (and be advised I am no longer a representative of La Voz): “”¦become an issue simply because your organization takes county funds and redistributes them to illegals in the form of benefits.”
    First of all, La Voz DOES NOT PROVIDE DIRECT SERVICES!! La Voz does not redistribute funds to anyone. The only time that La Voz works directly with individuals or families they are doing so with the use of volunteers. Secondly, because La Voz does not check the status of the individuals it serves, neither La Voz nor anyone else can say that La Voz provides services to undocumented immigrants. Do you have proof of that? The fact that you keep suggesting so is why I felt that La Voz is being discriminated against solely because it is an organization that works with immigrants. Thirdly, the majority of La Voz time and effort is actually spent providing services to Town and County Departments, not working with County residents.

    “However, the fact that county funds are used in this manner is an anathema to those of us that preach limited government, whether it be local, state or federal.” Well, as a Republican, I am among those that preach limited government, which is ironically why I founded La Voz. I thought that a private non-profit is a better way to respond to some community needs and issues than a government agency. The County funding was seed money that was requested to help leverage funding from additional sources. I had always intended to maintain (not increase), if not to gardually reduce that source of funding as private and grant sources went up. It is all part of the world of nonprofit funding. Of course I am no longer with La Voz so I have no idea what will happen in their future.

    And on this “If county benefits are going to be denied to illegals and they choose stay in Loudoun – the county is still saving money. It is a no-brainer. Dare I say that people take benefits simply because they can? Illegal or not?” I need to repeat that undocumented immigrants are not eligible for Benefits. Non-profits that receive County funding receive it in the form of a gift, those services do not count as benefits. This statement is more of a comment on welfare, in which case I bet we would agree with each other Cathy. Part of why I consider myself a Conservative is that I think that welfare programs do more harm than good to the recipients. That is one reason I am not always popular in the world of Human Services.

  30. Laura Valle says:

    CM, as a fellow fiscal conservative it makes sense to me to give $120,000 to a non-profit who can, through the use of volunteers, in-kind contributions, and the like, multiply that money so that it far exceeds that amount in services provided to the community. Non-profits, unlike most government agencies know how to achieve maximum results with minimum resources. I am all for trimming the budget, but in a way that makes sense. I am sure there is gov. waste, but it most surely is not the funding that goes to the NGOs

  31. David says:

    Hi Greg Stone, thanks for stopping by. It may be worth noting that this is the actual reference I made to you, as an individual:

    …I’m thinking of people like Greg Stone, who will get on the blogs and say things that I could generously characterize as insensitive to some very real concerns that the immigrant communities have about racial profiling. Are you concerned at all, for example, there are stories of people being profiled and harassed by the police, and he just dismisses that stuff as “sad little stories,” and “we’re just going to ignore that.” Are you concerned about the tone that’s being set by that kind of discourse?

    I did indeed make reference to a segment of people who “have a vigilante attitude,” and then later asked Greg A. if he is concerned that frustration might be transformed into vigilantism if certain things don’t happen. I asked this in light of the racial slurs that were made at the convention by alleged Ahlemann delegates. I did not suggest that those remarks were made by you. Just wanted to be clear.

  32. David says:


    I see that we’re still discussing your statement about Mr. George and Sheriff Simpson. I’m sorry that I offended you. I don’t know that I could have said what needed to be said in a way that would be acceptable to you. At the risk of offending you further, I do think that ‘absurd’ and ‘ridiculous’ are accurate descriptions of the statement you tried to make about the other two candidates. You’re right, I’m not willing to discuss whether or not we have conducted further interviews. If you want to take that as a clue (for which conclusion, I have to wonder), go ahead.

    It’s worth noting that neither of the other candidates have a tattoo they have felt compelled to defend, and neither of the other candidates have been accused of being homophobic in a comment on this blog. So it’s fair to say that Greg is in a particular circumstance that gave rise to this interview. That’s the fourth time I’ve called your attention to this detail.

    I will say that it took me over a week to find the time to transcribe this interview. I also know that there are future installments of the interviews with all three candidates still to be published at Loudoun Force. Maybe they don’t have unlimited time for transcription, either. Can we move on now?

  33. Greg Ahlemann says:

    At some point, I will take the time to read all the new posts and questions here. I have 3 weeks until the election, so unfortunately I may not be able to answer all questions as soon as people would like. I started to read the first questions posted and they again had IRS questions. Please address these to the IRS or the non-profit. I was not there so I’m at a loss. I will try to address some of the law enforcement questions posted here over the next couple days. Thanks

  34. David says:

    Thanks, Greg. I also hope everybody’s ok after the accident.

    I think the campaigning at church question was just directed at you in terms of what you are willing to endorse as a candidate. I know that I would never leave a bunch of campaign signs propped up on church property at my church – that’s just obviously improper – and I think that people are wanting to know that you understand that and don’t endorse it. Sometimes people do inappropriate things on behalf of a candidate. I know your Dad is proud of you, but he seems to be going beyond testing IRS limits with that one.

  35. David says:


    Ok, you’re ridiculous, and I’m snotty. Truce? 🙂

  36. Jonathan says:

    Ms McNickle,

    I’ve addressed one of your comments here.


    My question wasn’t an IRS question. I’ll repeat it with emphasis:

    I attended your father’s Lovettsville Elementary Church of the Valley service this [yesterday] morning. When I left at 10:05 AM, there were Greg Ahlemann campaign signs propped against cars in the parking lot facing Locust street. The positioning of the signs was more than distribution. It was obvious campaigning. Are you willing to counsel the church on the appropriateness of this display?

  37. Laura Valle says:

    I have this sinking feeling my questions aren’t going to get answered. I hope I am wrong.

  38. Greg Ahlemann says:

    Laura, I’ll look back at your questions in a bit. David and Jonathan, I’ll try my best on this one as I was not there. I believe, key word here because I was not there, that there were people in the church who had asked for signs. I’m assuming, again key word, that they were place by the cars of the people who wanted signs. That’s the best I can tell you on that matter.

    Now to the question of IRS, tax exempt status. I assume you want my opinion as Greg Ahlemann citizen, not Greg Ahlemann candidate. I say this because my candidacy does not focus or deal in any way shape or form with IRS 501 (c) 3. If you want this and other similar non-sheriff related issues which I have opinions on. We should try to meet again at some point. I enjoy talking about life issues. In fact, win or lose, let’s get together and if it is still of interest to you, we’ll talk.

  39. Greg Ahlemann says:

    Laura, Please give me your 4 questions in one short post. I think one had to do with Christ Redeemer. I believe Warren Guerin had an opportunity to speak. He is up for election. Maybe this was a violation?

  40. David says:

    I think Warren Guerin was invited to speak at Christ the Redeemer as the sitting school board member in the Sterling district. He wasn’t there as a candidate (and according to the stated rules wouldn’t have been able to even mention that he was running for reelection, if I understand correctly).

    I know that the rules at that event were excessive, and went beyond what the IRS required. Those rules were demanded by the church (or the diocese?) because Mr. Delgaudio apparently threatened somebody and they freaked. It made it very difficult for everyone involved to discuss the issue. It was unfortunate, to be sure.

  41. Greg Ahlemann says:

    Good point. I don’t believe I was invited to the event. If I remember correctly, all the BOS or BOS candidates were invited. I don’t know if a list of guidelines were laid out to them or not. I don’t think any of them showed up. I know I had a good opportunity after the event,to answer alot of questions from the audience. Just my opinion, but the meeting would have probably been more beneficial if I spoke to them instead of hearing about “not havinga window in a basement bedroom is a violation”. Just my thought.

  42. Laura Valle says:

    Greg – I find that to be pretty rude actually. We were under so much pressure in that event that pretty much anything of substance that the community would have wanted to hear we were not allowed to address. You really have no right to be critical of that event. I was so disappointed by the limitations placed on us that I find it infuriating that you would state that you were able to provide more useful information. If I would have been allowed to discuss your political platform I can guarantee that the overwhelming majority of those people would not have gotten with 10 ft of you. OK? Do you have any idea how many of those families are of mixed status? Do you have ANY idea that those beautiful faces in the church that day, who you so kindly addressed on issues that we were not allowed to were probably at least 50% undocumented. And you are advocating for budget savings based on creating an environment where those same people will self deport. Do you remember your comment at the LWV forum when you discussed having arrested people and because they didn’t have id and didn’t speak Spanish you assumed they were illegal. Since you are such a great straightforward guy, I wonder if you would have made such a comment to the more than 200 people in the room that day.

    On the window in the basement thing, how could you possibly consider zoning information to not be a relevant topic? Explaining how many people can live in a house and in what part, which is in part determined by windows, is among the most relevant subjects for immigrants living in Sterling Park where their current supervisor is campaigning on overcrowding as one of his largest platforms. That last comment really goes to the heart of why I dislike you so much.

  43. Laura Valle says:

    For your convenience Greg – It seems long but you pretty much skipped every one of my questions. Of course none have anything to do with the Christ the Redemeer event.

    Question’s 1 and 2:
    Also, the reason that teachers and deputies cannot afford to live here is because of the average cost of housing as compared to the income of those professions. Can you clarify the relationship between those factors and illegal immigrants? Could you also specify which services you believe that illegal immigrants are receiving that impact the cost of living.

    Question #3 (It’s in there)
    My concern is that when you are dealing with budget issues, such as funding a new jail, you tend to answer by citing money that can be saved by getting rid of undocumented immigrants. Not only does it suggest a bit of naivety regarding the County budget process, when you bring children in the public schools into it you are far beyond the realm of deporting undocumented immigrants that have committed a crime. Some of your supporters have made reference to an attempt, or more specifically a ‘plan’, to encourage “self deportation of illegal immigrants”. I know that it is unfair to automatically attribute the thoughts and beliefs of your supporters to you, but when you refer to the savings to be had by getting undocumented children out of our schools, it appears that you also support this plan. Whether you do or don’t, the better question is, how would you plan to get funding for a new jail as soon as it will be needed? It would take a really ugly environment in Loudoun for undocumented immigrants to “self deport” quickly enough to free up county funding for you to increase salaries and fund a jail, which you have indicated will not happen (an ugly environment, that is) as a result of the MOA that you will seek.

    Question #4
    I guess I would like to ask one more, still relating to the budget and that is, in looking at neighboring PW County, and the price tag for the expansion of law enforcement to combat illegal immigration, how would he hope to fund similar measures here in Loudoun, given that we seem to have already outgrown the new jail and all of the other issues, such as raising deputies salaries, etc?

    Question #5
    In fact, these organizations provide services to our needy LEGAL residents, including La Voz. The point that many of those organizations make is not that they insist upon providing services to the undocumented, but rather that the requirement to verify status will have to be applied to everyone and will result in delays and in some cases denial of services to our most needy in critical situations. Many of these groups total operating budgets are so small that they can’t even afford the training and staff to verify immigration status, and that includes La Voz.
    Is that the kind of savings that we want in Loudoun County? And I will add this to my list of questions for Greg. There are 4 now.

  44. David says:


    How did the press conference go yesterday? The Loudoun Times-Mirror didn’t say much about it.

  45. Greg Stone says:

    Based on Roger Zurns projections, LoCo is going to be looking at some tough times budget wise in the next two years or so. This is all the more reason to identify any and all public funds used in any way to service illegals and cut it off, with the exception of emergency medical care. If tightening the belt is required, and it is, money spent on illegals is the very first place to start.

    Again, an honest campaign to inform illegals as too what they are missing in Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties is what is needed. These bastions of politically correct public policy are looking to absorb as many illegals as they can find. What are we waiting for , lets help them. They have more services for illegals than all of Northern Virginia put together. These local governments know how to pander and service aliens. They are professionals.

    Let’s all join forces and combine our efforts and get Loudouns illegals heading across the Potomac river to the promised land. Who’s with me ?

    It is the least we can.

  46. David says:

    Are you two offering to drive?

  47. Laura Valle says:


    Why would they need to be driven? Everyone knows the illegals can swim.
    BTW, huge news here! Sources tell me that the blackboard from the HSL headquarters has been stolen! I can’t corroborate this information yet, but I am hearing that the chalkboard reveals a carefully numerated plan that is sure to achieve MASS SELF DEPORATATIONS OF ILLEGALS FROM LOUDOUN COUNTY!!
    I am hearing that one drawing (I think it is step 11 ““ apparently it’s a 12 step plan) shows dozens of brown stick figures crossing what appears to be a crude representation of a body of water, labeled POTOMAC RIVER.
    “¦ok, I just got an IM, it reads, “step 12 is a little hard to interpret, but it looks like a new jail. Hmmm, what could that mean? In addition, initials have been identified. It seems as though whoever drew up these plans initials’ are G S.”

    Well, I can’t verify any of this yet. I’ll keep you posted.

  48. Greg Ahlemann says:


    Who knows with the media. They print what sells. I felt good about it. If Christ the Redeemer will have me, I would love to go to an event again. And yes, I will speak the truth there as well. That’s why I enjoy this race, while others cater their message to their audience, I just speak what I believe. I don’t ask for agreement. That’s for the politicians.

  49. Laura Valle says:

    Greg- since you don’t seem to want to answer my other questions, can you answer this one. You said that other candidates cater to the audience. If you had been invited to Christ the Redeemer as a candidate, would you have stood up in front of all those people and provided the same answers that you did at the LWV Forum? A couple statements that come to my mind are the answer to the question about funding a jail that involved undocumented children in the schools and the statement regarding the assumption that someone that you arressted and had no ID and could not speak Engsih was probably illegal?
    I also wanted to correct another of your statements above. “If I remember correctly, all the BOS or BOS candidates were invited.”
    No one was invited as a candidate. NO one. I would be happy to give you the letter from the legal council of the Diocese which clearly demonstrates that you violated their rules for the event. You violated the rules by announcing yourself as candidate and once you did so you continued to violate the rules every time you answered a question while you were on the property of the church. This is because you announced yourself as a candidate therefore evrything you said afterwards was in that capacity. That is why Father Howard admonished you and asked you to refrain from continuing to comment. I would think as a law enforcement guy you would get somthing as basic as those rules. We went to graet lengths to communicate those rules, including teh rental of audio devices so that ther coudl be nothing lost because of language. I made it clear in every public announcement of the event. What part of NO CANDIDATES ALLOWED do you not understand Greg?

  50. Greg Stone says:


    Leggett is the PG County exec who believes to be more “emlightened ” than those of us in Virginia.

    Blackboard ! We don’t need no stinkin blackboard. All we need is a couple thousand Casa De Maryland brochures and a big poster of Ike leggett that says , Maryland Wants You!

  51. Laura Valle says:

    Cathy- I really am enjoying the back and forth with you. Its no fun spending all your time with people that agree with you about everything.
    About crossing bodies of water and putting their lives in danger, I know I can’t appeal to many people on this issue on the basis of compassion, but lives of most of the popele that choose to cross that river are in danger in one way or another in the first place. Its a calculated risk assessment. Its horrifc that the world is such that human beings would have to make such calculations, either here in North America or in Africa, or the Middle East, or anywhere else where people levae thier native lands to escape hunger, poverty, war…

    I think it is important to note that in the Western Hemisphere, US policy has undeniably contributed to some of the conditions that cause people to emigrate here in the first place. I am not saying we are responsible for all the worlds ailments, please belive me on that, but the US is willing to turn a blind eye to corruption, brutality, and all sorts of other uglies if there is somthing to be gained by doing so.

  52. Greg Ahlemann says:

    Questions 1-3 can partially be addressed by the deterent value of a Sheriff’s Office that will effectively use the ICE program. As I said many times before no one fully knows how much money is spent providing services to illegal immigrants. I would like to know. “Self deportation” as you said is an interesting term. I have not used that term but if it means illegal immigrants might not settle in Loudoun County or choose to live in Fairfax Co instead, I’m okay with that. I have a friend whose daughter is handicapped and she can’t get county services because there are no spots/funds available. If you are asking me if I believe a legal citizen deserves a right to those services before someone who resides here illegally, you are absolutely correct. As for the PW Co proposal, I believe that was through the county police not through the sheriff’s office. I have always said the biggest impact will be for people who have already arrested for another violation. My exact quote was “12 deputies in the jail” to be trained, plus our gang unit. I’m sure this will open 5 – 10 new questions, but I believe it’s pretty simple. Legal residents deserve county services before we look at funding for organizations that serve illegal immigrants. That is my objection to La Voz and to the Herndon Day Labor Site. Verify status and I don’t have a problem with it.

  53. Jack says:

    So, Laura, is the U.S. to be in the business of taking out every kleptocrat in the Western Hemisphere?

  54. Greg Stone says:

    Laura :
    You are slowly yet steadily moving into land here.
    This nonsense that we are responsible for regional coruption is the typical crap we hear from Move One or Mexicans without Borders.
    Mexico has and will continue to corner the market on corrupt governement practices. It is for this exact reason that millions of poor mexicans are encouraged to exit stage north.

    That big sucking sound you hear is that of Mexicans making their way into America while the mexican leadership smiles and waves the whole time pretending to engage in real reform.

    Read me loud and clear on this. The Mexican Government does not give a rats rear end about those making their way accross the border. To suggest U.S. policy is the catalyst for their journey is an excuse providing the Mexican government political cover. These corrupt politicians south of the border are the real criminals here.

    We will never solve this as long as there are Americans apologizing for this wretched behavior.

  55. Laura Valle says:

    Wrong, I was not attempting to explain the whole situation by blaming the US. I did not make any conclusions either. I don’t thin kthat i one comment i coudl possible get to the heart of all that ails Latin America, but it goes all the way back to teh Conquest. Well, we could say it goes back to the early development of man kind and how civilizations varied in their development throughout the world. All I was aksing was for you to entertain one thought. Please don’t question my patriotism and my understanding of how the US contributes positively. Why does it alsways have to be so black and white for so many people.

    I do have to note that just acknowledging that the US contributes money is not enough. In some cases it amounts to welfare, just handouts that have no long term impact in creating self suffiency. In other cases the money goes right to the most corrupt. I saw that close up with aid that was sent to El Salvador after Hurricane Mitch.

    Trying to understand complex problems does not equate to condoning behavour. If that were true where would that put modern psychiatry?

  56. Laura Valle says:

    Greg – thanks for trtying to answer. Let me just point out two things. !. You- jsut like most of the Board memebers who wanted to act on this, don’t seem to have a very clear understanding of what benefits undocumented immigranst are even elgible for. Aside from a public education, there are really very few, if any. Check out the 1996 Welfare and Immigration Reform Act.
    2. I understand the principle behind denying County funding to NGOs that may provide assistance to undocumented immigrants. What I think you need to consider are the realities of the implementation. You cannot ask an organization to do what basically impossible.

  57. Laura Valle says:

    Greg Stone- Are the voices in your head talking too loud to let reality in? You seem to be responding to statements that I have never made. I am guessing your computer area is rigged up with a sitcom type system so that after every time you comment you hit a button that makes the applause start, then you bask in the glow of your wit and popularity.

    “This nonsense that we are responsible for regional corruption is the typical crap we hear from…” I challenge anyone to find anything that resembles that stated here on this thread, much less coming from me anywhere at any time.

  58. David says:

    Sorry to jump in here, this was intended to be a forum for Greg to answer questions, but perhaps it’s time to revisit the moral perspective – which, surprisingly enough, is also the factual perspective. Sorry, America, but this is what we (yes, we) invited. Now some of you want to complain? That’s too bad. Really.

  59. David says:

    Actually, I think that platitudes like “what part of illegal do you not understand?” is what is wrong with this debate.

    Your desire to pretend that our own public policy has not encouraged the human migration patterns you are now up in arms about is very much about your feelings.

  60. Jack says:

    To quote from the article:

    Deportations that split families are wrenching and often violent. They encourage a culture of fear. Laws that restrict the civil liberties of any segment of our population split our nation and encourage a culture of xenophobia at best, racism, at worst.”

    Normal criminals go to jail. That, too, splits up families. That is the risk one takes when one breaks the law. In the case of “unlawful aliens” (the term used in U.S. Code), however, the deported have the option of taking their families with them.

    Criminals should live in fear of the legal system.

    “Your desire to pretend that our own public policy has not encouraged the human migration patterns you are now up in arms about is very much about your feelings. ” — David

    I agree. We need to significantly increase our quotas for legal immigration, and strongly enforce our borders and our laws.

    I find it disgusting that those who break our laws to come here are given more rights and consideration than those who wait years to come here legally.

  61. David says:

    Interesting. I was under the impression that it was you guys who were insisting that we use the term “migrant” rather than “immigrant.”

    From Wikipedia:

    Human migration

    Human migration denotes any movement by humans from one locality to another, often over long distances or in large groups. Humans are known to have migrated extensively throughout history and prehistory.

    Migration and population isolation is one of the four evolutionary forces (along with natural selection, genetic drift, and mutation). The study of the distribution of and change in allele (gene variations) frequencies under such influences is the discipline of Population genetics.

    The movement of populations in modern times has continued under the form of both voluntary migration within one’s region, country, or beyond, and involuntary migration (which includes slave trade, Trafficking in human beings and ethnic cleansing). The people who migrate are called migrants, or, more specifically, emigrants, immigrants or settlers, depending on historical setting, circumstance and perspective.


    A platitude is a trite, meaningless, or prosaic statement that is presented as if it were significant and original. The word derives from plat, the French word for “flat”. Whether any given statement is considered to have meaning or not is highly subjective, so platitude is often “” but not always “” used as a pejorative term to describe seemingly profound statements that a certain person views as unoriginal or shallow.

    The statements most commonly described as “platitudes” are short proverbs and aphorisms which are intended to motivate or encourage another person, but which are in reality overly-simplistic or cliché; for example, “You will succeed if you try hard enough”, a statement which ignores the simple fact that it is entirely possible to fail in spite of one’s best efforts. Some people dismiss such statements entirely, arguing that since the statement does not properly represent reality, any motivation or other emotion felt as a result of it must also be illusory; others argue that the omitted facts of reality are ones that are not useful to consider””knowing that you may fail for reasons beyond your control does not make it less likely””so such statements may be valuable as a rhetorical tool, even if not technically correct.

    Another common platitude is the conversational lubricant “How are you?”, usually a rhetorical question, and its attendant responses, such as “I’m fine; how are you?” This exchange, occurring most often between strangers or in professional settings, is so ubiquitous in English-speaking social discourse that it has almost completely discarded its literal meaning or intention.

    Che Guevara once used the word in his now famous quote “Many will call me an adventurer “” and that I am, only one of a different sort: one of those who risks his skin to prove his platitudes”.

  62. Laura Valle says:

    Linda Chavez, a prominent Conservative who has speant much of her carreer on ending racial based preference policies and bilingual education, etc, has written some excellent pieces on the immigration and the illegal immigration debate. I will try to find them and post a link. Somthing she refferenced is the collective nostalgia of so many Americans about our history of immigration. Those are my words but I feel confident it describes it ok.
    Yes, CM comparing immigration in the past to what is happeneing today is apples and oranges, but that is because quotas on entry did not exist in the past. All you had to do was show up before the late 1800’s until the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed which for the first time barred entry based on country of origin, based on many of the same things we hear today regarding Hispanic immigrants (effects on US workers, wages, language, assimilation, etc.) From that point on we have seen restrictions changed drastically from county of origin to family based, education/profession, etc, but my point was during the highest levels of immigration into the US (ratio of immigrants to native born), which exceed current levels BTW, including illegal immigration, there simply were no “illegal immigrants” because everyone was welcome. Give me you tired, your hungry, your poor…

  63. Greg Stone says:


    You guys can’t have it both ways. When we use what part of illegal don’t you understand, we are being simplistic. When we provide a comprehensive list as too all of those deserving blame in illegal migration, those like Laura say we are creating a conspiracy. When we identify those groups that would never agree on any other issue yet have formed a defacto alliance on illegals we are scoffed at as being members of the black helicopter crowd. I ask who’s being simplistic here ?

    We are the ones who constantly point out the vast array of culprits. It is groups like Help Save Loudoun who have the intellectual honesty to take everyone to task and let the chips fall where they may. It is that approach that gives us the credibility to speak to all aspects of this issue without protecting any one group or individual. We are and will continue to be equal opportunity commentators on those effecting any portion of the debate on illegal migration.

    Yes, we like the term migrant for the slight distinction that it better identifies those moving from one place to another while disregarding a nations borders. When Caribou move back and forth from Alaska to Canada, their movement is a migration. They are not at all concerned about political borders or the laws that might define or govern the two political entities on each side. When millions of humans cross into the United States without regard for the laws of this country, they like the caribou are migrating. The one difference is they know it is wrong and do it anyway. These illegal intruders unlike the caribou make a concious decision to invade a defined neighboring space for purely selfish reasons without regard to the law. We cut the Caribou some slack, after all they are Caribou.

  64. Laura Valle says:

    Greg, Do you assume that David and I are part of a group?

    There exists a broad range of both individuals and groups that disgagree strongly with the positions of Help Save Loudoun. They are spread out completely across the spectrum, from very conservative to liberal. I guess that “you guys” applies to anyone that does not share your views, in which case it is logical that the reasons for our disagreement are not always going to be consistent, unless we are addressing what is pure BS, which happens to be much of what you, in particular, write.

    An example, your lovely comparison of migrants to Caribou. I believe from both personal and statisical experience that the overwelming majority of undocumented immigrants (I prefer that term because it is a better use of the English language and it doesn’t bother my spell check) are actually hyper-aware of US law and borders, so much so that they appear to be less likely to break criminal laws than non-immigrants. You may not be aware of this population because they tend to lay low and go about their business in a very lawful way, though their actual presence is a violation of civil law. Several of them prepeared your food and cleaned up for you the other day in Leesburg. These are the same people who, granted through the use of of false documents, are employed and on payroll therefore paying all state and federal taxes, ss and often insurance benefit coverage. I can safely say I have met hundreds of undocumented immigrants over the past 15 years and your characterization of the majority is false. I have met individuals who do have a complete disregard for our laws, but they are very few and far between.
    These are people who value our laws and the security and opportunity that our laws offer more than you might be able to imagine. I know that this seems contradictory, and that you may not be able to even entertain such thoughts, but it is the truth.

  65. Greg Stone says:

    By your own admission they are lawbreakers. You are selectively allowing a certain group to be excused from having to follow the law simply because you sympthize with them. There lies your problem, you “FEEL ” for them so therefore they are exempt. Rational thought does not, can not and will never occure in your heart. Stop using your feelings and your mis placed compassion to make excuses for an entire class of law breakers. Save me your non sense about them being law abiding citizens. The nano second they crossed the border without permission,they boke the law. When they applied for and obtained a SS number under false pretenses, they broke the law. When they took employment in the United States under false documentation, they broke the law. Laws by the way if you or I broke, we as citizens would be in Jail. But because illegals are a inconvenience to our collective governments they are given a pass. Because they are now a part of the mix, certain industries and buisness intrests are exploiting their presence for profit. Others, most often leftists, liberals, social engineers and the commentators in the elitiest chattering class want and need these illegals to both care for and exploit.

    They pay taxes so therefore leave them alone. Now there is a great way to run a country. As long as a law breaker can at some point prove that he or she has paid taxes they are to be left alone. Paying taxes doe not exempt you from all other laws. This mindset is both amazing and dangerous.

    This whole they pay taxes thing is quite frankly a bunch of crap. My wife and I were in Costco a few months ago. In line in front us were two girls who spoke little or no english ( spanish if you want to know ),they were probably 17 or 18 years old. Both Girls had a push cart stacked full of products. Their register total was just over $ 1,700
    Both girls reached in their pockets and pulled out a wad of cash that would gag a goat. Now we can pretend that two 17 year old girls from south of the border were in Costco buying $1,700 worth of stuff with their babysitting money but we would be pretending. We can also pretend that the massive wad of cash was from them cashing their paychecks and they distrust banks, but again we would be pretending. The more likely scenario is a group ( possibly illegals ) sent their kids to Costco with the proceeds of their work, that is the cash payments they receive from working under the table. The only taxes paid were the sales tax at point of sale. This is going on all over the country and many of you are simply OK with millions of people scamming the system. Non enforcement of our immigration laws assists illegals to circumvent our tax system.

    No you and david are not part of a group. You are however, like minded on this issue. Therefore, you are members of wrongful groupthink. If that is a group then so be it.

  66. Jonathan says:

    From the 10/21/2007 sermon by Jay Ahlemann at the Lovettsville Church of the Valley:

    “My son was content to ride a motorcycle until God put him in another position. We hope, come November 6, …”

    It sounded like an endorsement from the pulpit, and from God, today. There was no caveat that Jay was giving his personal endorsement.

  67. Laura Valle says:

    God help us.

  68. Laura Valle says:

    Greg – I never said anyone was exempt. You hear whatever you want to hear. Nothing I can say will change your position, and that is not somthing that I even care about. I think it will take somthing much larger than myself to allow you to see a larger world full of rich contradiction and humanity.

    When you compared illegal immigrants to Caribou I remembered somthing that happend a couple of weeks ago. I was with my three children, Isaiah (9), Isabella(8), and Sophia(4), at Shoppers Food in Leesburg. We were spending what I admit was an excessive amount of time in front of the cheeses looking for goat cheese. We were chatting away in Spanish. I had forgotten that the goat cheese was all the way back at the olive bar by the produce. A caucasian guy who was waiting to get some cheese remarked to a really tall caucasian woman who was standing behind us (I did not even think about their skin color at the time, it was somthing I noticed in retrospect, trying to make sense of his comment), “We have to wait for the animals to pass through.”
    She looked at him in disgust. I remember thinking at first, what the hell is he talking about? Then my 8 year old daughter asked me in English,”Did he just call us animals?” Yes. He did call us animals. It didn’t bother me at the time, I thought about it with amusement. I even felt sorry for that guy. But I am not 8 years old. I have 31 years of context below my belt. I can handle a**holes at the store.

  69. David says:

    There you go again, Cathy, making completely false statements about a topic you couldn’t possibly know about. Didn’t you learn anything? I suppose I will hurt your feelings again, but your assumption of “espionage” made me laugh. Jonathan attends Jay’s church on a regular basis, and has spoken with him about campaign violations before. Yes, it is improper for Jay to campaign for his son, or anyone else, from the pulpit. It is also improper to line up yard signs across the cars in the parking lot facing the street, just as it would be to install yard signs on the lawn in front of a church. You just don’t do that.

    I don’t know what your last ps is referring to, but it doesn’t really matter. Please feel free to continue showing us what kind of person you are. It’s very helpful.

  70. Laura Valle says:

    CM- I’m not a hyper sensitive moron. His disdain for us was so obvious that my 8 year old and the woman behind me picked up on it. She was not with im and she actually backed away from him and then looked at me and shrugged. It was not meerly the phrase, it was the way that he said it and his gestures and facial expressions. Also that he assumed we did not speak English and was suprised to hear my daughter repeat what he had just said. Anyway, like I said, I didn’t lose any sleep over it, and I think my kids will be just fine too. They are unfortunately aware that not every adult is a “good” adult. Just like we teach them not to talk to strangers, we teach them to ignore insults of their use of their second language, particularly from people that speak only one language.

    Greg’s example was exactly the reason we should be worried about increased local enforcement of immigration. It may result in idiots like Greg having the ability to inquire into immigration status on the basis of assumptions. Nice how he was able to asertain their age just by looking at them, or did he ask for their id? On a good day, if I actually put some effort into my appearance, I still get carded. Just yesterday a lady at the MiniMart said, “Well girl, you just don’t look a day over 20!” Given that I had my three kids with me and the oldest is 9, I wonder if she thought I was an early bloomer. If we follow Greg’s line of thinking I guess she could have surmised that I was a teenage mother, maybe getting a good start at 12.

    And why would anyone need to send their kids to the store to shop? Why would they not just go out and shop themselves? The fact that Greg would use that story to illustrate any point is just an indication of who he really is and why we should all be worried if anyone takes him seriously.

  71. Laura Valle says:

    Cathy- BTW, you seem like a smart person, even if we disagree. Can you honestly support Greg’s comment regarding the Costco incident as any example that would serve to further his point? I mean really, can you?

    Also, my experience with immigrants actually dates back to my grandfather who entered this country illegally and my continued experience goes way beyond social work, which I have only been involved in for 8 years. Interestingly, according to my mother my Grandfather was actually from Spain, not Mexico, so according to Greg Stone that must make him one of the “elite”

    Anyway Cathy- you seem to be putting words into my mouth and this is getting old. Of course there are wide swaths in between, just like any group of people, if the group is big enough your bound to get at least one of every kind. (I don’t think you know much about Gangs, BTW) I am not trying to say that breaking the law is ok. I am not saying that the law is not black and white (though some laws certainly aren’t, which is why lawyers make so much money). On that note I gotta say, the IRS laws as they relate to Churches are pretty black and white and Alhemann’s father clearly violated them. All I am trying to say is that the reason people choose to immigrate here illegally are varied and complicated, that our laws are clearly not working and need to be changed, that not very law is a good law and that bad laws need to be changed, that international events and conditions need to be considered when determining our immigration policies, that just because the federal government has failed we should not just shrug our shoulders and make new laws and rush into expensive enforcement efforts at the local level, and that Greg Stone is an idiot. One last thing, the notion that human beings must divorce themselves from all emotions when making complicated decisions demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of our complex physiological make up and all of the wonderful chemical things that happen in our human minds.
    I guess Greg Alhemann is not coming back and I’m kind of over this blog conversation. Chao!

  72. Greg Stone says:

    Laura, Laura, Laura;
    You are as predictable as you wrong. I illustrated to you a real life situation that did happen and was conveyed in a manner that any reasnable person would take as the factual. Unless of course you are predisposed to a certain position facts be dammed, then you would be forced to resort to name calling and casting doubt on my personal integrity with nothing but the fact that we disagree as your motivation. In order to further avoid the facts you then go off on a tangent about some woman at Walmart with bad vision. Laura, this is not about you. All of these stories in the Washington Post are going to your head.

    The fact is no matter what the circumstances, you again are making excuses. I brought up the point that two 17 or 18 year old kids with wads of cash that would make a bookie envious were buying allot of stuff and in your world that is normal. It is not. Like I said before, we can pretend it was their baby sitting money, but we would be BSinf ourselves. We can pretend that I can’t within a year up or down guess a couple kids ages. I can and did. So stop BSing us. By the way Laura, none of the facts as I discribed would be reason to check anyones immigration status. This is yet another of your asinine red herrings to avoid talking about the real issue. Again, you have to play intellectual slight of hand in order to escape an issue in which you are well off base.

    The real issue was your assertion that they are all paying taxes. My observations were to point out a possible example of the unfair and unlawful underground economy that exists due too in large part illegals. They operate in a cash world. They get paid in cash, they buy stuff in cash. The only taxes that get paid are the sales taxes at the point of sale. They trade services for cash and that is simply unfair to those of us who don’t get to go to the store and buy our stuff with tax free money. No federal, FICA or State taxs. This is one heck of an advantage. If you want to make the argument it is OK for illegals to operate in a cash, tax free environ go right ahead and do so.

    Nobody operating in good faith within the laws of our society runs around town paying for everything from a wad of greenbacks the size of a baseball. That is unless you are Tony Soprano. This is not the type of behavior I would be defending.

  73. Laura Valle says:

    Cathy- you are not giving me anything new here. I have a dark skinned daughter. I know first hand how cruel the Latin American brand of discrimination can be. This is not news to me. I honestly don’t know who you think I am.

    Neither am I unfamilar with people not using banks. Who walks around with $1,700 cash. Drug dealers. Maybe they were drug dealers. Prostitutes. Perhaps they were prostitutes. Filthy stinkn’ rich folk. Perhaps they were filthy stinkin’ rich drug dealing prostitutes. What’s your point?

    My only point about the gangs is that it is an epidemic that extends far beyond the undocumented population. It is not caused by illegal immigration and if illegal immigration is eliminated we will still have gangs. I don’t see what your direct connection is here. So, many gang members are undocumented. OK, but an awful lot more are US citizens. BTW, when I was a teenager out in Western Loudoun there were plenty of girls who were gang raped after passing out drunk at parties held in the homes of upper middle class parents out of town for the weekend. Many of those boys are college grads with great jobs and lovely families now.

    I won’t bore you with what you probably know which is the origins of MS-13 in LA, and how so many of the youth of El Salvador are helped along in their delinquency by guns(supplied by the US, Cuba, and Russia primarily) left over from the War, that the US had quite a bit of involvement in, and how a reason many now flee El Salvador is to escape the gangs there, made all the more violent by those deported from the US, given a free plane trip after which they just hop off and run loose, usually for a short time until they head right back to the US.

    When I said the “elite” I was referring to this infamous quote from Greg Stone:
    “More important we have evidence that the Goverment of Mexico has at a minimum an unofficial policy to export three groups into the United States.

    1. Poor Mexican Indians, as opposed to elite decendents of the Spanish
    2. Poor mexican Indian criminals.
    3. All non- Mexican South American migrants poor or criminal or both.”

    I’m sorry. I still can’t get over that one. Anyone with a brain and the most basic understanding of Latin America will understand what is wrong with that.

  74. Laura Valle says:

    Cathy says, “GS’s example makes as much sense as your cheese incident, neither are provable, but both of you have your suspicions. Again, GS is not hispanic therefore he can’t make those observations apparently.”

    What you don’t get is that I was not the one making the assumption Cathy. Greg and the doofus in Shoppers were the ones making the assumptions. I am smart enough to put together everything that transpired in those brief moments and be 100% sure that that guy said a really awful thing about us because he assumed we were immigrants who don’t speak English. It was not a blog where I could have misunderstood what he wrote or detected sarcasim where there was none. I saw him, I saw his face, I heard his words and the way he said them. Why is it so hard for you to accept that that happened? I am telling you that it didn’t bother me a bit, after I was sure it didn’t bother the kids a bit (though I don’t know how sure I can be about that). I know what PC is. Do you know what discrimation is? Has anyone ever discriminated against you in such a way Cathy? I would love to hear about it.

  75. gstone says:

    Previous post is missing, Hello.

    Anyone home ?
    Whats up ? Yanking the words from the winning team is not good.

  76. David says:

    Calm down, people. I just released 3 comments from moderation. I don’t have a clue what’s catching them in the spam filter, but whatever it seems to take an equal opportunity approach.

  77. Laura Valle says:

    Greg – if you don’t actually read my posts then don’t comment on them.

    I never said anything about Walmart and I never said that all undocumented immigrants pay taxes, I’m not defending anyone, and I never said that any of this is ok. I, unlike Grege Stone, think that its helpful to really understand an issue before I open my mouth about it.

    BTW, being in a back and forth with Greg and Cathy is no fun. Its like banging my head on a brick wall. I feel like I am a duck in a barnyard with two jackasses circling me saying, “your a turkey. Just admit it. Your a turkey. Say it, now!” I say, “I am not a turkey, I am a duck.” One Jackass says, “see, she said it! She admitted she’s a turkey!” The other jackass says, “Yeah, we know all about turkeys like you. Same old stuff. We are so smart we know what you are going to say before you say it.” I say, “Quack, what the hell is wrong with these jackasses? I am a duck.”

    Auther’s note – Cathy, in this story, would technically be a Jennett, not a jackass, which is the name for a female ass. But it worked better for the story this way.

  78. Laura Valle says:

    I say “quack” and the jackasses hear “gobble, gobble, gobble.”

  79. Laura Valle says:

    As a last note- Cathy have a good trip. Alas, you disapoint me too.

    I wanted to let Greg and Cathy know, (and this time I am serious, I feel I should point that out given my joke about filthy stinkin rich drug dealing prostitutes was actually taken seriously) another category of people that walk around with loads of cash are servers, as in waiters and waitresses. On a good night I could rake in $500. When my sister-in-law pulls three doubles on a Friday and Saturday she can easily pull in $2,000 at the fine dining joint where she works.

    I am sure that Greg would rather continue his fantasy of two 17 year old girls sent to Costco by a group of illegals. Of course Greg will also they couldn’t be servers, because in addition to calculating their age he was also able to do a quick English skills assessment and they scored somewhere between a 1 and a 2. Unless they work at Pepe’s where they could probably bank as much as $500 on a good night given they sell cans of beer for somthing like $6 each…

    Speaking of servers, I bet that the cash they rake in, that they generally don’t claim, adds up to as much cash that gets paid to undocumented workers. That is just downright unfair and criminal.

  80. Laura Valle says:

    The following is from the Anti Defemation League:

    Immigrants Targeted: Extremist Rhetoric Moves into the Mainstream

    About This Report

    The national conversation about immigration, both before and after the June 2007 defeat of the proposed immigration reform legislation in Congress, has become a deeply polarizing issue in American politics and public life.

    While there are valid and sincere arguments on both sides of the issue, the debate has also been framed, at times, by vitriolic anti-immigrant ““ and particularly anti-Hispanic ““ rhetoric and propaganda. Purveyors of this extremist rhetoric use stereotypes and outright bigotry to target immigrants and hold them responsible for numerous societal ills.

    The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which previously has documented how extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis have exploited the immigration issue to advance their own agenda, has become increasingly concerned about the virulent anti-immigrant and anti-Hispanic rhetoric employed by a handful of groups that have positioned themselves as legitimate, mainstream advocates against illegal immigration in America.

    Unlike the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis, who make no attempt to hide their racism and bigotry, these anti-immigrant groups often use more subtle language to demonize immigrants and foreigners. They are frequently quoted in the media, have been called to testify before Congress, and often hold meetings with lawmakers and other public figures. However, under the guise of warning people about the impact of illegal immigration, these anti-immigrant groups often invoke the same dehumanizing, racist stereotypes as hate groups.

    A closer look at the public record reveals that some of these supposedly mainstream organizations have disturbing links to, or relationships with, extremists in the anti-immigration movement. Often identified in the media or their mission statements as “anti-illegal immigration advocacy groups,” they attempt to distort the debate over immigration by fomenting fear and spreading unfounded propaganda through the use of several key tactics:

    § Describing immigrants as “third world invaders,” who come to America to destroy our heritage, “colonize” the country and attack our “way of life.” This charge is used against Hispanics, Asians and other people of color.

    § Using terminology that describes immigrants as part of “hordes” that “swarm” over the border. This dehumanizing language has become common.

    § Portraying immigrants as carriers of diseases like leprosy, tuberculosis, Chagas disease (a potentially fatal parasitic disease), dengue fever, polio, malaria.

    § Depicting immigrants as criminals, murderers, rapists, terrorists, and a danger to children and families.

    § Propagating conspiracy theories about an alleged secret “reconquista” plot by Mexican immigrants to create a “greater Mexico” by seizing seven states in the American Southwest that once belonged to Mexico.

    This anti-immigrant propaganda and rhetoric, once the domain of hate groups, is now part of the lexicon used by anti-immigration advocacy organizations, politicians and media figures considered mainstream.

    In this report, part of a series of reports on immigration and extremism, ADL exposes those individuals and groups who are playing a key a role in mainstreaming extremist rhetoric in the immigration debate in various aspects of American life.

  81. David says:


    This is why I noticed some preemptive damage control by Help Save Loudoun a while back. Knowing that the Minutemen are a recognized hate group with ties to white supremacist organizations, they tried to ridicule and discredit the Southern Poverty Law Center. As I recall, Joe Bud said something to the effect of “I’d be proud to be listed on the SPLC website.”

    Trouble is, there’s no way to disguise dehumanizing rhetoric. When you compare human beings to insects or other animals, it just kind of sits there and condemns you, no matter how hard you try to justify it or claim that you just loooove legal immigrants.

  82. David says:


    The term “paramilitary” is certainly incorrect, as you point out. I think Greg probably meant “quasi-military,” or something like that. In the interview, I understood his point to be simply that the Sheriff’s Office is an organization with a chain of command, and I didn’t really give the word choice a second thought.

    Looking at his reply to you, I think I was right, and he’s honestly just using the word incorrectly. However, I think it’s reasonable to expect that he acknowledge that mistake, and also how it sounds to people – especially in the current climate.

  83. Greg Ahlemann says:


    Thank you for conducting a very good formum for me to reach your readers. I appreciate the accuracy and fair job you did with this. I know this was quite time consuming to transcribe every word. I respect the opinions of the readers here who disagree or even dislike me. I’m not sure what the top # of comments for any subject has been, but this was quite impressive. I encourage all your readers to vote for candidates they believe in on Nov. 6th. Thanks again for this opportunity.

  84. gstone says:

    Every law enforcement agency in the country is a Paramilitary organization.

  85. Laura Valle says:

    Bruce Schneier writes, “The police and the military have fundamentally different missions. The police protect citizens. The military attacks the enemy. When you start giving police powers to the military, citizens start looking like the enemy.”

    The webster definition for paramilitary is: of, relating to, being, or characteristic of a force formed on a military pattern especially as a potential auxiliary military force

    It is no suprise then that Greg Stone thinks that every law enforcement agency is paramilitary.

  86. gstone says:

    Your ignorance ( or lack of comprehension ) amazes me.
    Read your own definition.
    Every police department is set up on a military pattern. Every sworn member has a rank !!! That is what makes it a paramilitary organization. That is a military pattern. They share a common core charactistic, that being the fundemental organizational make up of the organization.

    The following from multiple sources : Noun 1. A group of civilians organized in a military fashion.

    Any organization issuing a RANK to its MEMBERS is a Paramilitary organization.

  87. Laura Valle says:

    Greg- as long as the definition of paramilitary only refers to the organization of the group as opposed to the function than I think that you are right. Clearly in terms of function you are wrong.

    Wikipedia:Paramilitary designates forces whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military force, but which are not regarded as having the same status.[1] The term uses the Greek/Latin prefix para- (“beside”), also seen in words such as paramedic.

    The term paramilitary is subjective, depending on what is considered similar to a military force, and what status a force is considered to have. The nature of paramilitary forces therefore varies greatly according to the speaker and the context. For instance, in Northern Ireland, paramilitary refers to any illegally armed group, but in Colombia, paramilitary refers specifically to illegally armed groups which are considered right-wing (e.g. AUC), while illegally armed groups considered left-wing, such as FARC, are referred to as guerrillas.

  88. Laura Valle says:

    CM, that was just the wikipedia entry on paramilitary. chill out.

    BTW, in Greg’s story there were two teeneagers, though we don’t know if they really were teenagers. At any rate, $1,700 divided by two is $850.

    I NEVER put my tips in the bank. Never. Even after accumulating a weeks worth of tips I never put it in the bank.

    Why this obessesive need to defend Greg’s dumb story?

  89. Greg Stone says:

    Alas, Finally !

    Yes , we have a connection. We were talking about organization. Function never entered the conversation. I cannot be wrong regarding function in that I NEVER addressed it. Again, this is about comprehension and context.

    Many of us believe strongly in the Posse Comitatus Act and at the same time want strong border enforcement via a paramilitary organization ( read U.S. Border Patrol ) not the United States Military. Some of us are smart enough to distinguish between the two. True conservatives favor the seperation for a mutitude of reasons. Migration enforcement is but ONE.
    Only when Migration becomes armed incursion ( read invasion with intent to inflict immediate violence ) do the roles change in any way.

    No one with half a brain wants the U.S. military to operate within the confines of our borders as the police.

  90. David says:

    Greg A., thank you again for your openness here. Yes, I think this post has the most comments so far on this blog. Thanks, all, for participating in the conversation.

    If you haven’t read the next installment, the interview with Sheriff Simpson, I encourage you to do so. This is a very interesting race.

  91. Laura Valle says:

    God, how I wish I had $1,700. Anyway, when I’ve got it I carry my cash with my front humps – old school.

  92. Greg Ahlemann says:

    I was going to post under Simpson’s interview, but that doesn’t make sense sinse he won’t be reponding. Any one watch the news today to see Iran’s military in colors and shape showing the American Flag and the Star of David ( wait, that’s my tattoo?) they were cut in half by a sword of soldiers in Irans flag colors. Does this not disturb any one. The fact that their president has said he would like to see Israel wiped off the map. Does this not bother anyone? Maybe it’s more disturbing that I actually believe we should stand up for Israel and America. Maybe I’m talking to the wrong people or am just too isolated from the rest of the world, I don’t know. Something else I just thought of, our daughter from China would be about 2 now, except that we were not allowed to adopt her because my wife got pregnant with Courtney. I still pray for the little girl, her name was going to be Amber. I hope she found a family that loves her.

  93. Laura Valle says:

    Cathy – from the Black Eyed Peas – My Humps- “My humps – my humps – my humps – my lovely lady lumps. Check it out!”

    I was just kidding though, I don’t really keep my cash there.

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