The Richmond Times-Dispatch is following up hard on the Northam deletion scandal just hours after The Republican Standard broke the news of a Democratic flyer that omitted Justin Fairfax — the Democratic LG nominee — from a series of flyers to be used in Northern Virginia:
In the Fairfax-free flier, created for the Democratic friendly Laborers’ International Union of North America, all references to Fairfax — including his picture — are gone. Those fliers have been used in Northern Virginia.
Northam’s communications team have shifted their narrative over the last 24 hours considerably, their first narrative over Twitter being that the claims about Fairfax being deleted from the flyers was “fake news” — followed by an insistence that only 0.5% of the 3 million print run deleted Fairfax’s photo.
Yet as anyone in the print industry will explain, that doesn’t happen. This is not a question of pulling off one set and running 15,000 Fairfax-less palm cards. It had to be an entirely separate run… and let’s be honest — we have no assurances that it was a 15K run. For all we know, there could be 1mil of these sitting on a pallet in Pennsylvania somewhere.
All of this obscures the greater point, namely that neither Northam nor Herring needed to sign off on the deletion of Fairfax from the ticket.
Yet both men did — and not at Fairfax’s request. In fact, Fairfax has gone dark these 24 hours, with Democratic activists rightly outraged that the deleted flyers even went out (and rightly offended that the purported number of flyers somehow makes the act of walking away from Fairfax any better).
— Taikein M Cooper (@TaikeinCooper) October 18, 2017
— Saraya Wintersmith (@SWINTERSMITH) October 18, 2017
— Collective PAC (@CollectivePac) October 18, 2017
In a statement this morning, @CollectivePac says its “sad, disturbing and disheartening that efforts to elect democrats led by progressive partners would intentionally exclude the only black candidate on the statewide ticket”
— Graham Moomaw (@gmoomaw) October 18, 2017
neither Northam nor Herring needed to sign off on the deletion of Fairfax from the ticket — yet They did Anyway. Why?
What is worse for the Democrats in Virginia is that this is not the first time Justin Fairfax has been disrespected by the Democratic establishment, namely their refusal to allow Fairfax to speak at the 2016 Virginia Democratic convention:
— D.J. Jordan (@_DJ_Jordan) October 18, 2017
The writers over at Paste Magazine (another digital journal with national chops) have summarized Northam’s lack of leadership with absolute precision:
[I]t is about a corporate Democrat failing to stand up for progressive principles, and also failing to stand by a supposed political ally who does stand by his principles. As a Northam spokesman pointed out, the redacted fliers account for a very small percentage of overall campaign literature, but it’s a mystery why anyone thinks this is exculpatory—it’s a classic neoliberal move to say “well, we did the right thing most of the time.” It’s also classically bad politicking to imagine they could do something like this and not have it backfire on a national stage (For that matter, it’s also deeply troubling that a union would pull a stunt like this, when it holds the potential to do so much damage to the Democratic ticket.)
Hopefully, you’ve endured this nightmare enough times that you can see where this is heading in November. What do we know about corporate Democrats who have flimsy ethical foundations? They lose. Congratulations to Republican Ed Gillespie on his impending win.
Once again, corporate Democrats bigfoot activist Democrats. Erick Erickson over at The Resurgent nails the critique as well:
Why would they delete Fairfax in Northern Virginia? Well, one of the more powerful unions in Virginia favors a pipeline that Justin Fairfax opposes. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has been pushed by the unions passing out the palm cards for Northam’s campaign. So the only statewide black Democratic candidate has to be deleted from the palm cards.
Now ask yourself how the Washington Post would cover this if the Republicans had memory holed a black candidate like that?
Now most folks have probably figured out what occurred here in all honesty. LIUNA refused to hand out flyers that had Justin Fairfax’s picture on it, most likely because Fairfax opposes the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. That’s fair — and it is their prerogative to ask.
…but it is also Northam and Herring’s prerogative to tell LIUNA to go straight to hell. Moreover, it boils down to a question of leadership — not optics. If Northam can’t stand up to a special interest within his own campaign (and in defense of his own LG ticket mate), why should we believe he will do so as governor?
That’s the problem. The shifting excuses and the refusal to come clean only sound like a teenager getting their lies sorted out… not an explanation of who made this call, who signed off on it, which Northern Virginia precincts were targeted without Fairfax’s image on the flyers, and the logic behind the decision.