In brief: Smear season, Kessler’s farewell and more

John Miska runs as the "Don Quixote" candidate.
Courtesy Miska John Miska runs as the “Don Quixote” candidate. Courtesy Miska

Big John’s run

Fewer than two weeks before the November 7 election, veterans advocate John Miska launched a write-in campaign for Albemarle supervisor in the Rio District, where Dem Ned Gallaway is uncontested. Miska says he’s running as a conservative because he hates to see just one person on the ballot.

“Call me Don Quixote. I’m just tipping at windmills because people have not looked at the real issues and they have been distracted by identity politics.”—Albemarle supes write-in candidate John Miska

Remove ’em all

City resident Pat Napoleon and Albemarlean Richard Lloyd are gathering petition signatures to recall all current City Council members following the summer of hate. For Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy, it’s the second petition calling for his ouster, but the one carried by Jason Kessler earlier this year fell short on signatures.

Don’t remove ’em all

A circuit court judge extended an injunction in the Confederate statues lawsuit prohibiting the city from getting rid of generals Lee and Jackson while the case is active.

Pointing the finger

Charlottesville has refused to turn over documents to the governor’s task force investigating the events of August 12 because the state has stymied city-hired former U.S. Attorney Tim Heaphy’s requests for information for his independent review. City spokesperson Miriam Dickler says the city won’t comply until the state does.

Teacher indicted

Former Charlottesville High School environmental science teacher Rick Wellbeloved-Stone was indicted October 25 on three charges of producing and one charge of possessing child pornography. He has pleaded not guilty.

Spate of attempted abductions

Two women were grabbed from behind and had hands clasped over their mouths over the weekend. Around 2am October 27 on Wertland Avenue, the stocky white assailant fled when the woman he’d knocked to the ground screamed. Another woman was accosted around 8pm October 29 on Water Street. That suspect, a short black male in his mid 20s, wearing a black hoodie with maroon sleeves, also ran when the victim screamed.



Mud bath

The white supremacist or the gang sympathizer? Pick your poison.

This mailer that surfaced last week lists the entire Democratic ballot on the back. Despite its harsh criticism, Ralph Northam’s campaign has stood by it.
An Ed Gillespie campaign commercial links Ralph Northam to local MS-13 gang violence, but the ad allegedly uses stolen photos of non-MS-13 members in an El Salvador prison.

Virginians relying on smear campaigns to inform their opinions on the state’s gubernatorial candidates likely think the deck is stacked against those living in the Old Dominion.

An ad that surfaced last week shows a downright shocking image of Republican candidate Ed Gillespie and President Donald Trump superimposed above a photo of torch-wielding white nationalists. It reads, “On Tuesday, November 7, Virginia gets to stand up to hate.”

We’ve all heard Trump call known white supremacists “some very fine people” in response to the August 12 Unite the Right rally, but Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chairman, denounced them and said, “having a right to spew vile hate does not make it right.”

The mailer hit close to home, and wasn’t received well. Says a Daily Progress editorial, “We don’t need state candidates trying to use our pain to their political advantage.”

It came after a barrage of Gillespie campaign attack ads that tie Democratic candidate and current Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam to MS-13 gang violence.

In one TV commercial, a man wearing a black hoodie and holding a baseball bat appears as the gang’s motto, “Kill, rape, control,” flashes on the screen. A female narrator then chronicles Northam’s casting the deciding vote in favor of sanctuary cities “that let illegal immigrants who commit crimes back on the street, increasing the threat of MS-13,” she says, not mentioning that Virginia has no sanctuary cities.

Another ad with photos of Northam interspersed with images of alleged members of the gang with tattooed faces has been put on blast by multiple news outlets for using photos stolen from a Central American news site of members of a rival gang photographed inside an El Salvador prison—not MS-13 gang members in Virginia. D’oh.

Kessler on the move

A bearded Jason Kessler, arguably Charlottesville’s least popular resident after organizing this summer’s deadly Unite the Right rally, was given a bond modification in Albemarle Circuit Court October 31 that will allow him to move to Carrollton, Ohio, to take a job with an online marketing company.

Kessler testified that his new boss, who was here for the August 12 events, is flexible and will allow him to return to Charlottesville for court dates, which include a felony perjury charge stemming from filing a bogus assault complaint in January.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Tracci expressed concerns that Optimus Marketing had no physical address in Carrollton.

However, Judge Cheryl Higgins agreed with Kessler’s lawyer that if he came to court to ask permission, he’s likely to come back for his March 20 perjury trial, and she noted that he’s not likely to find work in Charlottesville.

Jason Kessler walks out of court and toward a new life in Ohio, with a parting question to reporters: “Y’all can’t get enough of me, can you?” Staff photo

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