The Richmond Times-Dispatch recently wrote on developments in our own Brookland District race: http://www.richmond.com/news/local/henrico/fake-news-post-by-deleted-facebook-account-is-used-in/article_9fcea44c-0dd8-592f-9162-533ee8c8dae7.html
To make a long story short, someone created a fake account and asked Lynch about her views on extending the bus route to Short Pump. Lynch’s quote was then cut and used out of context in a Republican Party of Virginia mailer. Per John Findlay, executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia:
“We weren’t behind it,” Findlay said. “We did take a picture from (Lynch’s) Facebook page and use it, but that was from browsing her Facebook page.”
The Lakeside Leader is officially neutral in this race. We have met both candidates and think they are both very qualified for this largely apolitical post. With that said, I personally find it very difficult to believe that an account was created, a question was asked, and then that very question was used out of context as the central theme and source for a mailer. That’s very convenient, to the point of straining believability.
Or maybe it was the Russians.
For his part, Bob Witte had the following to say to The Lakeside Leader in response:
My campaign has not been involved in any way with the creation, production, or distribution of mailings from RPV until this week, when we coordinated with them on a positive endorsement mailing that will reach homes later this week. Frankly, I would have objected to the edgy tone of the previous independent mailings if I had known about them in advance. I prefer taking a more civil tone in pointing out the differences between me and my opponent.
I am deeply concerned that content from a fake Facebook profile was used in a mailing from RPV. I had no knowledge of the mailer whatsoever until it arrived in my own mailbox at my home. I certainly hope no one at RPV is responsible for the fake profile’s creation. I completely disavow such trickery, and condemn it in the strongest terms.
I will continue to run a positive campaign based on my experience as a retired firefighter, and as Dick Glover’s appointee to the Planning Commission. I am focused on helping the citizens of the Brookland District as their next Supervisor.
I certainly hope that’s true, and I hope someone reigns in on these stupidly divisive ads. What are your thoughts?