Perennial candidate Sherry Battle-Edmonds, formerly known as Sherry White Battle, is up to old tricks again. First, she tried to use photos of herself with Rep. Bobby Scott and State Senator Henry Marsh on her website. The pictures were taken at Scott’s Labor Day picnic. Both Scott and Marsh deny endorsing Battle-Edmonds, who is running for Commissioner of the Revenue as an independent.
In my mailbox Thursday, I received a flier from Battle-Emonds, which included a quote from Rep. Scott Rigell, along with photos of her with the Norfolk Republican Women’s Club. I tweeted the mailer (front, back) and noted that the group who paid for it was not listed on VPAP. Rep. Rigell confirmed to me in a text message that he had not said anything about Battle-Edmonds. This newspaper story on the subject says that the group who paid for the mailer is represented by John Hill. Although not noted in the article, most folks know him as John Wesley Hill. I’m surprised the article didn’t mention that The Virginian-Pilot masthead is shown on the mailer twice – which makes it appear that the newspaper has endorsed her. It hasn’t – the paper endorsed Evans Poston.
Hill was the Republican candidate for Treasurer in 2005 and, I’m told, has been trying to get the Norfolk Republican Party to endorse Battle-Edmonds. Battle-Edmonds, was also a candidate for treasurer in 2005. Back then – and in her prior runs for office – she claimed to be the “True Democrat” in the race. As the Democratic nominee in that contest, I have found it quite amusing that the “True Democrat” has been pursuing Republican support this time around. I’ve gotten reports of her attending the Republican Party of Virginia Beach’s breakfast, as well as the Party On The Pier, which was started by Thelma Drake and is now hosted by Chris Stolle.
The Norfolk City Democratic Committee produced a voter guide for its candidates, as it does nearly every cycle. The inside of the tri-fold is shown to the left. (Click to enlarge.)
Battle and Hill have put out a sample ballot that is virtually identical to the NCDC one – with a notable exception: the picture of Democratic nominee Evans Poston has been replaced with that of Battle-Edmonds. And the box on the left has been replaced with a photo of Battle-Edmonds and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe. Battle-Edmonds’ version of the sample ballot makes it appear as if McAuliffe supports her.
If that sounds familiar, then you were around in 2005. Back then, among the many things that Sherry did was to take a photo with then gubernatorial candidate Tim Kaine and pass it off as if he had endorsed her. That photo prompted Kaine to (finally) endorse me. Note that even after she was told to stop using the photo, she used it in an ad in the New Journal & Guide just before Election Day.
That Sherry Battle-Edmonds is even around to cause this kind of mischief is because those in power have no balls. Battle-Edmonds was charged with a felony violation of election laws as the result of ads she ran against me in 2005. Back then, she hid behind another group that didn’t exist as far as the State Board of Elections was concerned. The charges were reduced, with the felony dropped, and she paid a fine, because her attorney argued that she had no “intent” to break the law. The judge was wrong: she knew exactly what she was doing when she made up the name of an organization and paid for the campaign ads using her campaign check. Had she won the election, I’ve no doubt they would have found her guilty. But since she didn’t, it was more of “no harm, no foul” and they let it go.
And let her continue to do the same kind of stuff again and again.
This time, though, it’s John Wesley Hill who’s going to get into the biggest trouble, not Battle-Edmonds. His group has not registered with the SBE.
But Sherry’s not off the hook. Both the Rigell mailer and the voter guide lack the “authorized by” piece. Given that her website and phone number are on the Rigell mailer, she should have authorized it.
Whatever credibility John Wesley Hill may have had is gone – and for what? There’s no way Battle-Edmonds wins this race. Yes, she will get some publicity out of it but when everything she does results in negative publicity, the result will be the same: she won’t win. Evans Poston will be the Commissioner of Revenue in Norfolk.
And we wonder why folks don’t run for office.
UPDATE: It occurred to me after I posted this that all this directed at Poston just doesn’t make sense. If it were directed at Anthony Burfoot, the candidate for treasurer, it would me much easier to understand. After all, it was John Wesley Hill who tried to get Burfoot removed from his position as deputy treasurer shortly after he was appointed. In fact, it was rumored early on that Sherry was going to file to run – for what would have been the third time – for treasurer, not commissioner. I have to wonder who else is behind this.