Well, here we are in the thick of the congressional election season, with strivers from both parties jostling and jockeying to grab one of the limited number of golden tickets to the halls of political power. This is, it goes without saying, one of our favorite times of the electoral cycle, as the probability of chaos is high, and the likelihood that some neophyte wannabe Congress-critter will make a truly boneheaded mistake is a near certainty.
Case in point: Mike Webb, a former Army officer who claims to be mounting an independent run in Virginia’s 8th Congressional District (he lost the Republican nomination to Charles Hernick last month). A deeply conservative fellow, Webb is basically running his campaign via his Facebook page, where he posts all manner of self-promotional materials, conspiracy theories and extended religious rants.
This compulsive oversharing finally caught up with Webb on May 16, when he posted a screen grab of a map to illustrate his theory that he had been prank called by an Arlington County Republican Committee member. Unfortunately for him, two other visible browser tabs in the screen grab were very obviously porn sites (please feel free to Google “Layla Rivera tight booty” and “Ivone sexy amateur” to see what’s trending on the world wide Webb).
The best part of this entire story has been Webb’s reaction, which has been in turns completely surreal (Facebook posts that addressed the epistemological question, “Is the Lord against porn?” and detailed “the results of my empirical inquiry that introduced me to Layla and Ivone”), and oddly endearing (his goofy appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live”). One thing’s for sure: Webb’s political career might be toast, but his career as an Internet sensation is surely just beginning.
While Webb was certainly the most high-profile misbehaving Old Dominion candidate we’ve seen lately, he certainly wasn’t the only one. Our other favorite imperfect pols include 11th District Republican John Michael Wolfe who, after filing to run against incumbent U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly, failed to show up at the nominating convention, thereby leaving Connolly completely unopposed, and Charlottesville’s own Michael Del Rosso, who unloaded on his opponent after multiple rounds of balloting to choose the Republican standard-bearer for the 5th Congressional District.
Frazzled after a Hunger Games-style winnowing of the field from four candidates down to two, Del Rosso reached his boiling point when one of the eliminated candidates, Jim McKelvey, made an alliance with the eventual victor, state Senator Tom Garrett, which turned the odds decidedly in Garrett’s favor (have we taken this metaphor too far?). Anyway, Del Rosso’s impassioned speech (in which he complained that Garrett “slandered me in Buckingham County, called me a liar… a snake oil salesman”) obviously did little to help him, as he was roundly defeated on the final ballot.
Finally, we simply must mention our favorite non-candidate of the week: Richmond strip club owner Mike Dickinson, who—after failing to clinch the Democratic nomination in the 7th Congressional District—recently decided against a threatened independent bid to challenge current incumbent Dave Brat. Luckily for us, he’s still promising to run for mayor of Richmond, so perhaps our dreams of conducting an extensive interview in his place of business will come true.
And who knows? Maybe we’ll even see Webb there. Doing research, of course.
Odd Dominion is an unabashedly liberal, twice-monthly op-ed column covering Virginia politics.