Bleeding our Schools Dry
(1)

Jeanine’s Record:

  • In the 2017-2018 budget markup, Jeanine opposed $1m for classroom materials, $1m for school tech improvement, and $2m pay bonus for teachers in underperforming schools.(2)(3)(4)
  • Threatened to cancel a $1m grant in 2016 to reduce class sizes if the school board would not agree to spending plan with the Board of Supervisors. (5)
  • Voted to cut $7.1m school revenue to save homeowners $6 a month.(6)

Lawson supported rezoning despite school overcrowding concerns and accepted a contribution from the family of a developer. In 2017, Lawson voted with a 5-3 majority to rezone 19.8 acres of land into “Planned Mixed Residential” to allow for the development of a project called Mia’s Meadow. In January 2017, Potomac Local reported that both members of the Board of Supervisors and local residents were “concerned about the number of new public school students the development could generate for [schools] already reeling with classroom overcrowding issues.” Reportedly, in response to these concerns of overcrowding, Lawson stated she had “an email that says Montclair Elementary has a capacity of 698 students, but they currently have 581 students, so just by that alone, but just by that alone they’re under capacity.” According to Potomac Local, NVP Inc. is developing the Mia’s Meadow project. Harry Ghadban is the President of NVP Inc. Harry’s sister, Mary Ann Ghadban, who also works in real estate and development, contributed $500 to Lawson in 2014 and an additional $500 to Lawson in March 2019.

[Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, Res. No. 17-46, 1/24/2017; Potomac Local, 1/27/2017; LinkedIn, Harry Ghadban, Accessed 9/30/2019; LinkedIn, Mary Ann Ghadban, Accessed 9/30/2019; Virginia Public Access Project, Accessed 9/30/2019]
In the Pocket of Developers

Jeanine Lawson claims that she fights non-stop development and growth. Yet, her top donors are the same developers that she claims to fight.(7)

[Source: vpap.org]

Jeanine’s Record:

  • Accepted nearly $109k in campaign contributions from the real estate and the construction industry since 2011, 32.78% of her total contributions. (8)(9)
  • Voted in favor of a development project opposed by residents to rezone land for residential development.(10)
  • Awarded county contracts to campaign contributors: a $500,847 contract with M&F Concrete and a $161,572 contract with Finley Asphalt and Sealing.(11)(12)
  • Accepted $24k from data centers, including $1k from Iron Mountain, to whom Lawson voted to provide county fee credits.(13)(14)
  • Opposed increasing taxes on data centers, and supported county land sales to data centers, requests to build a fiber line, and fast-tracking of special use permits for data centers.(15)(16)(17)(18)

Hypocrisy in Action

Jeanine Lawson has lied to her constituents. After the exposure of Candidate for County Board Chair John Gray’s racist tweets, Jeanine denied ever speaking out against Governor Northam.(19)

It appears that Jeanine forgot that only a few months ago, she called for Northam to resign on her official Facebook page.(20)

Jeanine Lawson's Facebook Post
[February, 2019 Supervisor Jeanine Lawson Facebook Post]
Mismanaging Our County’s Budget

Jeanine’s Record:

  • Voted for $383.3 million in reserve spending, despite $521.6 million in increased revenues.(21)
  • Opposed higher property tax rates in 2016, and voted against considering real estate tax increases in 2019. The average tax bill has still increased by $600 during Jeanine’s tenure.(22)(23)(24)
  • From 2017 to 2018, a year with a $230 million budget deficiency, the Board of Supervisors’ budget increased $900,000, with over $72,000 of this increase allocated to Lawson’s district office budget.(25)
Failing the Marginalized

Gender Equality Record:

  • Former board member of anti-choice group Carried to Full Term.(26)
  • Called the gender pay inequality a “myth” powered by “liberal political hype.”(27)
  • Opposed the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment as a “ruse” associated with pro-choice orgs.(28)

LGBTQ Equality Record:

  • Supporter of anti-LGBTQ Family Foundation.(29)
  • Voted against adding anti-LGBTQ discrimination language to resolution declaring county “hate-free and bigot-free zone.”(30)
  • Insinuated LGBTQ+ Pride Month supports pedophiles.(31)
  • Supported candidate avoiding his transgender opponent.(32)
  • Told child of lesbian couple “children deserve a mother and father.”(33)

Racial Equality Record:

  • Supported Trump administration guidance related to the deportation status of undocumented workers flagged by county.(34)(35)
  • Opposed removal and renaming of Confederate monuments.(36)(37)(38)
  • Stood by Supervisor condemned by NAACP for racist rhetoric.(39)
  • Voted against permit for mosque, and sole vote opposed recognizing a Bahai religious date.(40)(41)(42)

Cheating Our Public Health and Safety

Jeanine’s Record:

  • Voted to reduce police staffing, eliminate a fire and rescue position, and eliminate a risk security manager position.(43)
  • Voted to reduce the fee for concealed handgun permits, and opposed a compromise that would reduce handgun permit fees if mental healthcare spending increased.(44)(45)
  • Voted to defer $200,000 in funding for substance abuse treatment; granted $50,000 to pharmaceutical developer the same year.(46)
Crumbling Our Infrastructure

Community development capital improvements spending down over 49 percent during Lawson’s tenure.(47)


Recent Comments

3 Comments

    1. Yes, it absolutley is. Check out the video under the “Failing the Marginalized” section. It was clipped directly from a Prince William County Board of County Supervisors public session.

  1. Supervisor Lawson attends our neighborhood HOA meetings and has interjected herself into our community affairs as a wedge re-election issue. She claims she’s keeping the blighted and failed golf course surrounding our community from being rezoned residential, but she’s not telling anyone that she maintains the owner on her personal facebook page. She refuses to direct the zoning office to enforce the proffers that the BoS approved for our neighborhood and has allowed the Golf Club business to apply for a DEQ nutrient bank to cash out – treating the Golf Course and Open Spaces as the same, despite county records and documents. She sits on Virginia Association of Counties (VACO) – Environmental and Agriculture Steering Committee where they regularly see these niche programs which create environmental disparity between rural and urban areas and enrich developers. She recently accepted approximately 29K from Rapport Co and another 10K from a horse racing entrepreneur.

How has Jeanine affected you?

Your email address will not be published.

References   [ + ]

1. Prince William County has largest class sizes, lowest per-student spending, and second lowest teacher pay compared to other DC-area school systems. According to The Washington Post, Prince William County has the lowest per-pupil expenditures of DC-area school systems, consistently spending less than $11,000 per student during school years from 2012 to 2015. The county also has “struggled to keep down class size,” with the “largest class sizes in the Washington area” and the most students per teacher at elementary, middle, and high school levels. Prince William County has the second-lowest average teacher salary in the region at $61,525. [The Washington Post, 1/7/2015]
2. In FY 2018 budget markup, Lawson opposed grant for classroom materials. In 2017, Lawson voted with a 6-2 majority during a non-binding, straw poll vote to oppose a one time grant of $1 million for classroom materials. [Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, Meeting Minutes, 4/11/2017]
3. Lawson voted against $1 million technology improvement grant for schools in 2017. During the fiscal year 2018 budget markup, Lawson voted with a 6-2 majority in a non-binding, straw poll vote to oppose a $1 million technology improvement grant for schools. [Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, Meeting Minutes, 4/11/2017]
4. Lawson opposed pay bonus for teachers working in underperforming schools. In 2017, Lawson voted with a 6-2 majority in a non-binding, straw poll vote to oppose a fiscal year 2018 pay bonus of $2 million for teachers working in underperforming schools. [Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, Meeting Minutes, 4/11/2017]
5. In 2016, Lawson threatened ‘to cancel a promised $1 million grant to help reduce class sizes in county schools.‘ In July 2016, Inside Nova reported that “The Prince William County Board of Supervisors is threatening to cancel a promised $1 million grant to help reduce class sizes in county schools if the school board won’t comply with their request to sign a formal agreement about how the money will be spent. Reportedly, Supervisors, including Lawson, said “they will not vote to renew the $1 million grant unless Sawyers signs a new memorandum of agreement.” According to Inside Nova, The issue is the latest dustup amid an already strained relationship between the two boards. Led by Sawyers, the school board was critical of the supervisors’ decision to keep real-estate tax rates flat this year, a move that would cut about $7 million in expected revenue from the school division budget. The supervisors’ have twice delayed their decision on the special class-size reduction grant, which comes on top of the school division’s regular budget allocation. Supervisor Maureen Caddigan, R-Potomac, made a motion to approve the grant Tuesday, saying she didn’t want to keep the school board waiting when they were already hiring teachers for the coming school year. ‘My only concern is I know they have to hire new teachers now,’ Caddigan said. ‘We’re running out of time. School will start in September, and this money will go toward paying teachers for the classrooms.’ Lawson, Candland and Anderson, however, continued to push for a signed agreement, with all three saying they would not vote in favor of the motion without one. [Inside Nova, 7/14/2016]”
6. Lawson voted in favor of 2016 measure to cut $7.1 million in public school revenue in order to save homeowners ‘about $6 a month.‘ In May 2016, Inside Nova reported that “The real-estate tax rate will remain flat in Prince William County next year, saving the average homeowner about $6 a month while also cutting $7.1 million in expected revenue from the county’s 95 public schools.” Reportedly, “Caddigan, a longtime board member who began her career on the school board, said she could not vote for a tax rate that stripped $7 million in expected revenue from schools.” However, “Five Republican board members approved the spending plan and associated cuts in expected school-division revenue. They included Chairman Corey Stewart, At Large; Ruth Anderson, Occoquan; Pete Candland, Gainesville; Marty Nohe, Coles, and Jeanine Lawson, Brentsville.” [Inside Nova, 5/7/2016]
7. Lawson voted in favor of 2019 development project that was opposed by residents due to traffic reasons and ‘environmental concerns.’ In March 2019, Inside Nova reported that “After more than 40 people spoke during a public hearing Tuesday night, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors approved a rezoning application to build 325 housing units at the northeast quadrant of the Interstate 95 and Prince William Parkway interchange in Woodbridge.” Reportedly, Most of the speakers opposed the development. Many said traffic in the area couldn’t handle more houses. The property is on both sides of Horner Road. Others spoke about schools or environmental concerns due to a landfill that was on the property in the 1980s. Homes will not be built on existing unsuitable fill where the landfill was located, according to Prince William County planning officials. Supervisor Frank Principi, D-Woodbridge District, made a motion to deny the rezoning application, but his motion failed. The development was approved by a 4 to 3 vote, with Lawson supporting the measure. [Inside Nova, 3/20/2019]
8. Lawson has accepted over $108k in campaign contributions from the real estate sector since 2011, 32.78% of her total contributions. According to the Virginia Public Access Project, Lawson has accepted $108,729 from the Real Estate and Construction Sector from April 2011 through August 2019. This represents 32.78 percent of her total contributions of $331,621. Within the real estate and construction sector, Lawson accepted $21,134 from rental and and property management, $13,440 from mortgage lenders, and $10,400 from commercial real estate. [Virginia Public Access Project, Accessed 10/1/2019]
9. Lawson voted in favor of 2019 development project that was opposed by residents due to traffic reasons and ‘environmental concerns.’ In March 2019, Inside Nova reported that “After more than 40 people spoke during a public hearing Tuesday night, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors approved a rezoning application to build 325 housing units at the northeast quadrant of the Interstate 95 and Prince William Parkway interchange in Woodbridge.” Reportedly, Most of the speakers opposed the development. Many said traffic in the area couldn’t handle more houses. The property is on both sides of Horner Road. Others spoke about schools or environmental concerns due to a landfill that was on the property in the 1980s. Homes will not be built on existing unsuitable fill where the landfill was located, according to Prince William County planning officials. Supervisor Frank Principi, D-Woodbridge District, made a motion to deny the rezoning application, but his motion failed. The development was approved by a 4 to 3 vote, with Lawson supporting the measure. [Inside Nova, 3/20/2019]
10. Lawson voted in favor of 2019 development project that was opposed by residents due to traffic reasons and ‘environmental concerns.’ In March 2019, Inside Nova reported that “After more than 40 people spoke during a public hearing Tuesday night, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors approved a rezoning application to build 325 housing units at the northeast quadrant of the Interstate 95 and Prince William Parkway interchange in Woodbridge.” Reportedly, Most of the speakers opposed the development. Many said traffic in the area couldn’t handle more houses. The property is on both sides of Horner Road. Others spoke about schools or environmental concerns due to a landfill that was on the property in the 1980s. Homes will not be built on existing unsuitable fill where the landfill was located, according to Prince William County planning officials. Supervisor Frank Principi, D-Woodbridge District, made a motion to deny the rezoning application, but his motion failed. The development was approved by a 4 to 3 vote, with Lawson supporting the measure. [Inside Nova, 3/20/2019]
11. Lawson approved $500K contract with M&F construction in 2018, accepted $2K contribution in 2019. In April 2018, Lawson voted with a unanimous majority to approve a $500,847.80 contract with M&F Concrete, Inc. In June 2019, M&F Concrete contributed $2,500 to Lawson’s supervisor campaign. [Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, Res. No. 18-188, 4/10/2018; Virginia Public Access Project, 6/17/2019]
12. COO of Finley Asphalt & Concrete contributed to Lawson in 2014, Lawson awarded Finley a contract in 2016. In December 2014, Sebastian Roman, who lists himself as the COO of Finley Asphalt & Concrete, Inc. on his LinkedIn page, contributed $1,500 to Lawson’s County Supervisor campaign. In May 2016, Lawson voted with a unanimous majority to award Finley Asphalt and Sealing, Inc. with a $161,572 contract for golf cart path repairs. [Virginia Public Access Project, 12/11/2014; LinkedIn user Sebastian Roman, Accessed 10/1/2019; Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, Res. No. 16-458, 5/10/2016]
13. Lawson accepted at least $24K from data centers and affiliates between 2015 and 2019. Between 2015 and 2017, NCS Technologies contributed $3,000 to Lawson’s county supervisor campaigns. In March 2019, NCS Technologies contributed $10,000 to Lawson’s supervisor campaign. Lammot Dupont of Dupont Fabros Technology contributed $2,500 to Lawson in April 2019. Moreover, Cloud HQ an information technology company which opened a data center in Prince William County in 2017, contributed $1,500 to Lawson in June 2018. Keith Harney, the COO and CFO of Cloud HQ, contributed $2,500 to Lawson’s County Supervisor campaign in March 2019. The NOVA Technology Council, a trade association for technology companies in Northern Virginia, contributed $2,500 to Lawson’s County Supervisor Campaign in May 2019. Progeny Systems Corporation, an information technology company with a data center in Prince William County, contributed $1,000 to Lawson’s county supervisor campaign in March 2019. Additionally, in March 2019, Iron Mountain contributed $1,000 to Lawson’s County Supervisor campaign. [Virginia Public Access Project, Accessed 9/30/2019; 4/29/2019; 6/20/2018;3/27/2019;5/24/2019;3/28/2019; 3/28/2019]
14. Lawson supported fee credits to data center Iron Mountain Information Management in 2016, accepted $1,000 from Iron Mountain in 2019. In 2016, Lawson voted with a 8-0 majority to provide Iron Mountain Information Management with $500,000 in water and sewer fee credits. Lawson herself proposed the resolution in order to incentivize Iron Mountain to develop its new campus in Prince William County. In March 2019, Iron Mountain contributed $1,000 to Lawson’s County Supervisor campaign. [Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, Res. No. 16-341, 3/8/2016; Virginia Public Access Project, 3/28/2019]
15. In 2019, Lawson opposed increasing taxes on data centers. In February 2019, Lawson voted with a 2-4 minority to oppose the study of an incremental increase in the ‘computers and peripherals’ tax on data centers. In April 2019, after the study period, Supervisor Stewart called a special meeting to consider tax increases on data centers. At this special meeting, Lawson voted in a 4-4 tie to oppose increasing the tax on computers and peripherals from $1.25 per $100 of assessed value to $2.00. Inside Nova reported in April 2019 that this tax increase on Data Centers would have increased tax revenue by $9.6 million. Reportedly, Stewart intended to cut residential taxes by $6.2 million and fund mental health initiatives with this extra revenue. [Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, Res. No. 19-114, 2/19/2019; Res. No. 19-211, 4/22/2019; Inside NOVA, 4/15/2019]
16. In 2019, Lawson supported county land sale to developer for ‘supporting data centers and light industrial usage.’ In 2019, Lawson voted with a unanimous majority to approve the sale of a plot of county land to developer TPC Hornbaker LC. The resolution authorizing the sale states that the developer sought to create a development “capable of supporting data centers and light industrial uses.” [Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, Res. No. 19-066, 1/22/2019]
17. In 2017 and 2019, Lawson supported approving requests to build fiber line for data centers. In 2017, Lawson voted with a unanimous majority to authorize a public hearing regarding a potential agreement with MetroDuct Systems for construction of a “fiber line for the connection of data centers within the county.” In 2019, Lawson moved to “authorize conveyance of various telecommunications easements” to MetroDuct Systems, LLC. Lawson voted with a unanimous majority to approve the measure. [Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, Res. No. 17, 9/19/2017; Res. No. 19-170, 3/19/2019]
18. In 2016, Lawson supported amending zoning ordinances to ‘fast track’ permits for development of data centers. During a May 2016 Board of Supervisors meeting, Lawson moved to adopt a zoning text amendment grant a special use permit to data centers so that they could use power substation infrastructure. The amendment “direct[ed] staff to fast track special use permits” in “data center opportunity zone[s].” Lawson voted with a 7-1 majority to pass this motion. [Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, Ord. No. 16-21, 5/17/2016]
19. Lawson stated she ‘certainly hasn’t weighed in’ on ‘things going on with Governor Northam.’ The Prince William Times reported in October 2019 that during its October 1 2019 meeting, “the board condemned inappropriate tweets made by John Gray, the GOP nominee for board chairman.” During her time to comment on this and other matters, Lawson stated: I like Supervisor Candland, I don’t have a practice of weighing in when either elected officials or candidates in this case um you know say or do or tweet really insensitive things that I completely reject. I certainly haven’t weighed in at the federal level, at the state level last winter when there were a lot of things going on with Governor Northam. It’s just not my practice. [Prince William Times, 10/1/2019; Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, 10/1/2019]
20. In February 2019, Lawson called on Northam to resign. The Prince William Times reported in February 2019 that Lawson “posted” a call for Northam to resign: On the Prince William Board of Supervisors, calls for Northam’s resignation were posted by Republican Supervisors Marty Nohe (Coles), Jeanine Lawson (Brentsville) and Ruth Anderson (Occoquan), as well as Supervisor Frank Principi, D-Woodbridge. [Prince William Times, 2/6/2019]
21. Prince William County used $383.3 million in reserve spending during Lawson’s tenure, despite increased revenue. According to Prince William County’s Adopted Budgets, Prince William County had increased revenues totaling $521,606,175 from $1,893,042,573 in 2014, the year before Lawson joined the Board of Supervisors, to $2,414,648,748 in 2019. However, the County has had budget deficiencies totaling $383,330,590 for Fiscal years 2015-16 through 2019-20. [Prince William County Adopted Budget, Fiscal Year 2015-2016; 2016-2017; 2017-2018; 2018-2019; 2019-2020]
22. Lawson supported the lowest option for FY 2017 property taxes. In February 2016, Lawson voted in a non-binding, straw poll vote to support a property tax rate of $1.103 per $100 and to oppose the higher rate of $1.145 per $100. In May 2016, during budget adoption, Lawson voted with a 7-1 majority to adopt a rate of $1.122 per $100 of assessed value. [Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, 2/23/2016; 5/6/2016]
23. Lawson opposed holding a public hearing to consider real estate tax increase. In 2019, Lawson voted in a 4-4 tie to oppose holding a public hearing to consider real estate tax increases. [Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, Res. No. 19-211, 4/17/2019]
24. Average tax bill increased over $600 since Lawson took office. According to Prince William County’s Adopted Budgets, the Average Residential Tax Bill increase 17.07 percent during Lawson’s tenure, from $3,568 in 2014, the year before she was elected to join the Board of Supervisors, to $4,177 in 2019, an increase of $609. [Prince William County Adopted Budget, Fiscal Year 2015-2016; 2016-2017; 2017-2018; 2018-2019; 2019-2020]
25. Board of Supervisors’ budget increased $900k during year with $230 million deficit, over $72k to Lawson’s district office budget. According to the Adopted Budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018, Lawson voted in favor of approving Board of Supervisors expenditures of $4,522,407, $900,052, or 24.85%, more than the $3,622,355 allocated for the Board in Fiscal Year 2016-2017. The Brentsville District office received $400,158 of the Board’s funding for Fiscal Year 2017-2018, $72,204, or 22.02 percent, more than the $327,954 allocated to her office in Fiscal Year 2016-2017. Prince William’s County had a budget deficiency of $230,282,848 in 2017-2018, and was forced to dip into reserves. [Prince William County Adopted Budget, Fiscal Year 2016-2017; 2017-2018]
26. In 2017, Lawson was a Board Member for nonprofit, Carried to Full Term, because she was ‘an advocate for the pro-life movement.’ In January 2017, the Prince William Times reported that Lawson was a Board Member for a nonprofit, Carried to Full Term. In January 2017, the Prince William Times reported that Lawson was a Board Member for a nonprofit, Carried to Full Term, that partnered with a local maternity home. Reportedly, “When asked why she became involved in the nonprofit, Lawson said, ‘As an advocate for the pro-life movement, I love giving my time and personal resources to support this maternity home.'” [Prince William Times, 1/5/2017]
27. Lawson refused to support a 2017 motion for ‘Equal Pay Day,’ deeming gender pay inequality a ‘myth’ powered by ‘liberal political hype.’ In April 2017, a YouTube video depicted Lawson “denouncing a motion to recognize ‘Equal Pay Day'” and labeling gender pay inequality a “myth.” According to Lawson, The pay gap that does exist … is 6% or less, and when you factor in the career choices that women have been, making over the last few decades, unfortunately the choices are careers that are low-paying. Eighty percent of the women that serve … [in] social services, community organization, counseling and psychology. You have to factor in lots of other things, and the reality of it is, women are choosing jobs because women by nature also have that motherly role … I wanted to be at home with the children and my husband be the provider for our family … This boils down to choices that women are making. It’s not because businesses are choosing to hire men over women … I think it’s a movement of hype led by feminists, celebrities, and politicians that are simply just not educated on what the facts are on any of this. Lawson continued, “If it is cheaper to hire women, folks. Why wouldn’t businesses just hire women? It’s all a bunch of liberal political hype.” [Youtube PW MuckRaker, 4/8/2017]
28. During 2018 push for adoption of Equal Rights Amendment, Lawson deemed it ‘a ruse’ associated with pro-abortion organizations. In November 2018, the Prince Williams Times reported that “While a majority of the Prince William Board of Supervisors say they believe in the idea of equal rights for all, they took a pass early Wednesday on a resolution declaring their support for an effort to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in Virginia.” Reportedly, The resolution had two goals, Principi said: to declare the board’s support for the ERA and to urge the Virginia General Assembly ratify the proposed Constitutional amendment when they return to Richmond in January. First introduced in 1971, the long-stalled amendment is now 47 years old. Proponents have launched a renewed effort to win its ratification, with Nevada approving it in 2017 and Illinois following in 2018. Virginia could become the 38th state to ratify the measure, pushing it over the threshold needed to become law. But Congress would also need to act on the amendment since time ran out in 1982 on its seven-year deadline (and three-year extension) for collecting the required state approvals. According to the Prince William Times, … more than 30 speakers urged the county board to oppose their resolution based on possible unintended consequences. Among other things, speakers said the ERA could ‘force abortion without limits’ or lead to federally-funded abortion. Speakers also said it could do away with Women Infants and Children food benefits as well as Social Security payments for widows and require women to register for the draft. Also a concern: single-sex bathrooms, gender-separated high school and college sports teams and separate spaces in prisons and jails for men and women. ‘I think it will endanger my children to have to share bathrooms and locker rooms with people of the opposite sex. There is a difference,’ said Barbara Norton of Montclair. About 20 people spoke in favor of the bill, saying the Supreme Court had already legalized abortion based on privacy rights; that unisex bathrooms already exist and the military has long moved away from the draft while relying on women, some of whom serve in combat roles. Others told personal stories of unequal pay and unfair treatment and noted the Constitution does not explicitly guarantee the rights of women, which is why they believe the ERA is necessary. In response to such debate, Lawson introduced an “alternative resolution, which she said she and her staff wrote earlier in the day.” Reportedly, Her ‘Equality Affirmation Resolution’ notes U.S. laws as well as the 5th and 14th Amendments already offer protection from discrimination and goes onto say: ‘All persons residing in Prince William County are afforded equal protection under the law’ and ‘no county legislation will be passed that infringes or denies one’s Constitutional rights.’ Lawson then called the ERA a ‘ruse’ and said its proponents aimed to ‘deceive the public.’ ‘If abortion has nothing to do with this Equal Rights Amendment, then why is it that the pro-abortion organizations — NARAL and National Organization of Women — [are] the biggest proponents of this?’ Lawson asked. ‘That tells me this is a ruse. If you’re gonna have an honest conversation about the ERA, let’s talk about the issues that are surrounding the ERA. They don’t want to. They want to deceive the public.’ [Prince William Times, 11/21/2018]
29. Lawson supports the Family Foundation, a ‘pro-life’ organization that supports the ‘right to life.’ According to the Jeanine Lawson Brentsville District Supervisor site, as of September 2019, Lawson is a supporter of the Family Foundation. According to Pink News, the Family Foundation is “pro-life.” According to its website, the Family Foundation’s core principles include that “human life, from fertilization until natural death, is sacred, and the right to life is fundamental to all other rights.” [Jeanine Lawson Brentsville District Supervisor, Accessed 9/20/2019; Pink News, 11/26/2017; The Family Foundation, Accessed 9/20/2019]
30. In 2018, Lawson opposed Pride Month, instead supported resolution declaring county a ‘hate-free and bigot-free zone.’ In 2018, Lawson was the sole vote in opposition to adding additional language regarding LGBTQ+ discrimination to a resolution declaring the county a “hate-free and bigot free zone.” After opposing the including of LGBTQ+ language, Lawson voted with a unanimous majority to declare the county a “hate-free, bigot-free zone which fosters unity among all citizens regardless of race, culture, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity.” Lawson then voted with a 3-5 minority to oppose the board’s proclamation of June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month. [Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, Res. No. 18-385, 6/26/2018; Res. No. 18-386, 6/26/2018; Res. No. 18-387, 6/26/2018
31. During Pride Month vote, Lawson expressed concern that ‘LGBTQ+’ would include ‘organization of men who enjoy having sex with children.’ In June 2019, Bristow Beat reported that, during a vote to establish June as Pride Month for the Northern Virginia jurisdiction, “Supervisor Lawson asked what the ‘more’ stood for in LGBTQ+. Principi said the ‘more’ is meant to be inclusive and for instance would include people who are ‘asexual’ or ‘pansexual,’ meaning not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity.” Reportedly, Lawson said she was concerned the plus was unclear. ‘There is an organization of men who enjoy having sex with children. Clearly that is illegal. Folks, I just want to be clear on what we’re voting for. I think it is only fair.’ Allies booed her comments, while the other camp applauded. Lawson said she would not be supporting it for the same reasons Anderson gave. Lawson also said she is a donor not a director of The Family Foundation after Harry Wiggins, former Chairman of the Prince William Democratic Party, said she was the director of a hate group as per the Southern Poverty Law Center. [Bristow Beat, 6/26/2019]
32. In 2017, Lawson believed Republican candidate should ‘avoid engaging with’ transgender challenger in public forum, said challenger would make it ‘about their sexuality and gender identity.’ In September 2017, The Washington Post reported that “Longtime Virginia Del. Robert G. Marshall is refusing to participate in debates or candidate forums in his hotly contested race against Democrat Danica Roem, citing what he calls a divisive political climate in Prince William County.” Reportedly, “Marshall, 73, is facing an aggressive challenge by Roem, 32, who would be the first openly transgender person to win elective office in Virginia.” According to The Washington Post, Marshall’s Republican allies say it’s smart for an incumbent to avoid engaging with a challenger in a public forum, especially if that opponent is capable of drawing a crowd of supporters eager to focus on issues they think will benefit their candidate.’It would totally turn into Danica Roem supporters making it about their sexuality and gender identity,’ said Prince William County Supervisor Jeanine M. Lawson (R-Brentsville). ‘They’re so fixated that they cannot help but make it about that.’ [The Washington Post, 9/18/2017]
33. In 2017, a lesbian couple demanded an apology from Lawson for telling their daughter that ‘children deserve a mother and a father.’ In November 2017, Inside Nova reported that “a lesbian couple in Prince William County is pressing for an apology from Supervisor Jeanine Lawson, R-Brentsville, after she told their 15-year-old daughter that she believes ‘children deserve a mother and a father’ in an exchange outside a polling place on Election Day.” Reportedly, Evelyn and Heidi BruMar of Gainesville said their adoptive daughter, Rose, was handing out sample ballots for the Democratic Party outside Gainesville Middle School on Nov. 7 when she encountered Lawson. Though only Evelyn BruMar witnessed portions of the interaction, the married couple said their daughter told them about her exchange with Lawson that day. The girl said she mentioned that she had ‘two moms’ and Lawson subsequently told her that ‘every child deserves a mother and father in a biblical sense,’ a comment the supervisor confirmed in an interview. ‘She might believe that, but that was meant to hurt my daughter and devalue her,’ said Evelyn BruMar, one of Lawson’s constituents who also volunteers as a Democratic activist. ‘You shouldn’t say that sort of thing to a child. That’s bullying.’ According to Lawson, Lawson said she remembers at least part of that conversation. She was greeting voters at the polls in support of Del. Bob Marshall, R-13th District, when she struck up a conversation with the teenager, a sophomore at Patriot High School, who told her ‘one of my moms doesn’t like you.’ ‘That caught me by surprise a bit,’ Lawson said. ‘She told me things about her family life, and I told her in a very polite way, I said I believe children deserve a mother and a father. It was not a debate about anything.’ [Inside Nova, 11/21/2017]
34. During 2017 press conference, Stewart called for deportation of ‘criminal illegal aliens,’ Lawson was ‘only supervisor’ standing with him during announcement. In February 2017, the Prince William Times reported that “Corey Stewart drew immediate criticism from fellow supervisors Tuesday after calling a press conference to announce what he called Prince William’s renewed commitment to seek the deportation of undocumented immigrants arrested and detained at the county jail.” At the press conference, Stewart called for more information on “criminal illegal aliens.” Reportedly, “Supervisor Jeanine Lawson, R-Brentsville, was the only supervisor to stand behind the podium with Stewart as he made the announcement. She did not add to Stewart’s remarks or take questions from reporters.” [Prince William Times, 2/7/2017]
35. Lawson supported 2017 call for Trump administration updates on deportation status of undocumented workers flagged by county police. In January 2017, Inside Nova reported that “The Prince William County Board of Supervisors is renewing its push to learn the fates of the roughly 7,500 undocumented immigrants police have arrested and reported to federal authorities over the last few years, as the board looks to seize on the new Trump administration’s hardline stance on immigration.” Reportedly, County police have informed Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials about any undocumented immigrants arrested in the county for the last several years, following a 2008 policy change instructing officers to check the immigration status of anyone put under ‘physical custodial arrest. But Stewart has long argued that Obama administration staffers, and George W. Bush’s officials before them, have refused to tell the county whether or not they’ve deported undocumented workers flagged by Prince William police. In 2014, he successfully convinced the board to file a Freedom of Information Act request with DHS to get that information, and threatened a lawsuit if the agency didn’t comply. Now, he’s hoping the Trump administration will prove considerably more receptive to those overtures. ‘We’ve still got the policy in place, we’re enforcing it, but it seems to me that it’s not going to do a lot of good if the feds just continue to release these criminals back into the community,’ Stewart said. ‘We need our police and justice system, our courts, our magistrates, to know what was done with this individual. Were they released by the federal government or deported? If we see them on the street and here they are again, is that information that needs to be relayed to the federal government? And now, this is our opportunity to know.’ Supervisor Jeanine Lawson “hailed the decision as one that could help the county remove ‘violent criminals.'” [Inside Nova, 1/25/2017]’
36. In 2017, Lawson opposed condemnation of violence in Charlottesville and renaming of confederate monuments. In 2017, Lawson neglected to second a motion by Supervisor Principi to “condemn the violent acts in Charlottesville” and “support the renaming of confederate symbols in Prince William County.” Lawson instead voted with a 7-1 majority to pass a resolution “reaffirming the commitment to fair and equal treatment of each citizen.” The resolution called for this reaffirmation “whereas Prince William County is a community that rich in both our history as well as in our racial and cultural diversity.” [Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, Meeting Minutes, 10/3/2017; Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, Res. No. 17-493, 10/3/2017]
37. Lawson opposed 2017 push for removal of ‘Prince William County’s most prominent symbol of the former Confederacy.’ In September 2017, the Prince William Times reported that “In the wake of the deadly protests in Charlottesville, local Democrats are calling for the removal of the moniker that’s become Prince William County’s most prominent symbol of the former Confederacy: Jefferson Davis Highway.” Reportedly, Emails and phone calls to supervisors for comment about Principi’s proposal were returned this week only by Board Chairman Corey Stewart and Supervisor Jeanine Lawson, both of whom dismissed the idea, saying the county has more pressing priorities. Lawson, R-Brentsville, said in an email Principi had not yet told her about the resolution, but noted: ‘…as elected leaders of this county, we need to focus on priorities that impact our citizens’ quality of life instead of all this political posturing,’ she wrote. [Prince William Times, 9/5/2017]
38. In 2017, Lawson deemed post-Charlottesville proposal to rename Stonewall Middle and Stonewall Jackson High School as ‘divisive campaign rhetoric.’ In August 2017, Prince William Times reported that “Prince William County School Board Chairman Ryan Sawyers’ proposal to rename Stonewall Middle and Stonewall Jackson High School in the wake of the deadly Charlottesville protests appears to have won little support — so far — from his fellow school board members.” Reportedly, Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, R-At Large, and Supervisor Jeanine Lawson, R-Brentsville, also weighed in with criticisms. Stewart, who has made the defense of Confederate statues the focus of his recent political campaigns, called it ‘political correctness gone mad,’ while Lawson said she is ‘disgusted’ with both Stewart’s and Sawyer’s ‘divisive campaign rhetoric.’ [Prince William Times, 8/24/2017]
39. In 2018, Lawson did not support resignation of supervisor accused by NAACP of ‘vitriolic rhetoric intended to fan the flames of racism.’ In August 2018, the Prince William Times reported that “Saying Corey Stewart has a ‘reputation for vitriolic rhetoric intended to fan the flames of racism,’ the leaders of the local branch of the NAACP called Monday for him to resign as chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.” According to Prince William County NAACP President Cozy Bailey, Stewart’s remarks “since the deadly Charlottesville demonstration have been more supportive of white nationalists than of those protesting racism.” Reportedly, The Aug. 12 event led to three deaths, including that of Heather Heyer, 32, who was killed when an Ohio man with ties to white-supremacist groups drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, and two Virginia State Police troopers, who died when the helicopter they were using to monitor the protests crashed on the outskirts of town. ‘While being careful to go on record that he detests neo-Nazis and members of the Klan who went to Charlottesville last weekend, [Stewart] continues to defend their message of hate by misclassifying it as an exercise of constitutionally-guaranteed free speech,’ said Bailey, reading from a prepared statement. ‘[Stewart’s] history of appealing to such groups through euphemisms like ‘preserving our history’ and ‘heritage’ only serves to further embolden them,’ Bailey continued. ‘Mr. Stewart has an irrefutable track record of vitriolic rhetoric intended to fan the flames of racism that unfortunately still burn in many.’ According to the Prince William Times, “Only supervisors Marty Nohe, R-Coles, and Jeanine Lawson, R-Brentsville, responded to calls and emails requesting comment. [However], both stopped short of saying Stewart should resign.” [Prince William Times, 8/22/2017
40. In 2017, Lawson voted against Muslim society’s ‘request for access to a county sewer line’ in order to build a new mosque. In June 2017, Inside Nova reported that “The All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) now has the permit it needs to move ahead with plans to build a new mosque in Nokesville, following roughly three years of debate and stiff opposition from people living near the proposed building.” Reportedly, The biggest sticking point in the debate was over the Muslim society’s request for access to a county sewer line, rather than installing a dedicated septic system for the building. County staff recommended that supervisors require ADAMS to use septic instead, and many Nokesville residents expressed concern that giving the mosque public sewer access would break with county policy — Prince William’s comprehensive plan currently severely restricts development in the area in order to protect its rural setting. Jaka argued that avoiding the installation of a septic system would better protect the site’s trees and other natural features, but supervisors representing the western end of the county, like Jeanine Lawson, R-Brentsville, and Pete Candland, R-Gainesville, were dismayed over the sewer connection request. Candland believes that ADAMS didn’t present ‘any data or extenuating circumstances’ to justify why it needed that public sewer connection, while Lawson noted that other potential suitors hoping to develop the site looked elsewhere once they learned that sewer line access is restricted in the Rural Crescent. ‘Why should this board give an advantage to this applicant when other potential applicants walked away?’ Lawson said. Accordingly, she proposed approving a permit for ADAMS without a connection to public sewer. Yet At-Large Chairman Corey Stewart worried that the board might run afoul of federal law by rejecting ADAMS’s request. After previously allowing two other churches in the area to get access to sewer lines, Stewart wondered if the board might seem to be ‘inconsistently’ applying county policy and therefore be liable in future legal action. It took some complex procedural maneuvering, but supervisors ultimately voted 5-3 to allow the group to hook up to the sewer line — Candland, Lawson and Ruth Anderson, R-Occoquan, cast the dissenting votes. Congregants within the Muslim society “stressed that the mosque will give Prince William County Muslims a much-needed place to worship. The group currently holds services at a hotel in Gainesville, but people like Nadeem Bukhari say that doesn’t compare to having a full-fledged community center.” [Inside Nova, 6/28/2017]
41. Lawson wrote 2017 op-ed stating ADAMS created ‘burdens’ for itself during mosque application process, criticizing ‘false charges of bigotry and Islamophobia’ after mosque vote. In July 2017, Lawson wrote an op-ed for the Prince William Times, entitled, “Guest opinion: Mosque vote damaged trust in local government.” According to Lawson, From the very beginning, my position on the ADAMS request for a mosque in the rural area has been about land use and protecting the integrity of Prince William County’s comprehensive plan. For Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart to frame granting sewer as one relating to religious freedom is disingenuous. It is not my job to give an advantage to an applicant when others, such as St. Katherine’s, followed our comprehensive plan. Efforts to provide guidance to ADAMS in finding a location with established infrastructure were ignored, thus the ‘burdens’ created in this application were likewise self-imposed. This process has been contentious and planted seeds of doubt regarding the integrity of our county’s governing body. In addition, false charges of bigotry and Islamophobia have been made. The result? Trust for government, and the sense of community, have been eroded. For Prince William County to be a ‘community of choice,’ much needs to be done to mend these damaged relationships. [Prince William Times, 7/11/2017]
42. In 2017, Lawson opposed recognizing the bicentenary of the birth of Bahai faith leader Baha’u’llah. In 2017, Lawson cast the only vote opposing recognition of the bicentenary of the birth of Bahai faith leader Baha’u’llah. According to the resolution, Baha’u’llah called for cooperation and community among people of different religious faiths. [Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, Res. No. 17-511, 10/17/2017]
43. In 2016, Lawson supported FY 2017 budget markup reducing fire and police resources. In 2016, Lawson voted in a non-binding, straw poll vote with a unanimous majority to reduce police staffing, eliminate a fire and rescue dispatch position, and eliminate a risk security manager position. [Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, 4/19/2016]
44. Lawson voted in favor of 2016 measure reducing fee for concealed handgun permits. In February 2016, The Washington Post reported that “On Tuesday, the Board of County Supervisors voted 5 to 3 for a measure that reduces the fee for a concealed- handgun permit in Prince William from $50 to $15.” Reportedly, “Supervisor Martin E. “Marty” Nohe (R-Coles), who previously voted against the fee reduction, sided with the chairman, board Vice Chairman Peter K. Candland (R-Gainesville) and Supervisors Ruth M. Anderson (R-Occoquan) and Jeanine M. Lawson (R-Brentsville) in favor of the change.” [The Washington Post, 2/28/2016]
45. Lawson opposed handgun permit fee compromise included increased mental health funding. In February 2016, Lawson voted with a 3-5 majority against Resolution No. 16-309, which simultaneously halted handgun permit fees and increased 2017-2021 mental healthcare spending by $250,000. Supervisor Candland amended the motion and proposed Resolution No. 16-308 instead, which simultaneously eliminated hand gun permit fees and established a new county clerk position. Lawson voted with a 5-3 majority for this resolution, eliminating hand gun permit fees for Prince William County. [Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, Res. No. 16-307, 2/23/2016; Res. No. 16-308, 2/23/2016]
46. In 2017, Lawson supported allocation of a $50,000 grant to pharmaceutical developer Caerus Discovery, Inc. In 2017, Lawson voted with a unanimous majority to allocate a $50,000 economic development grant to Caerus Discovery Inc. [Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, Res. No. 17-42, 1/24/2017]
47. Community Development capital improvements spending down over 49 percent during Lawson’s tenure. According to Prince William County’s Adopted Budgets, expenditures for Community Development in the Capital Improvement Program decreased 49.37 percent during Lawson’s tenure, from $43,732,634 in 2014, the year before she was elected to join the Board of Supervisors, to $22,141,499 in 2019, a decrease of $21,591,135. The Community Development Functional Area includes funding for libraries, parks and recreation, waste and watershed management. [Prince William County Adopted Budget, Fiscal Year 2014-2015; 2015-2016; 2016-2017; 2017-2018; 2018-2019; 2019-2020]