Patterico's Pontifications


Chaos In Virginia: Lt. Gov. Accused of Sexual Misconduct, Suggests Gov. Northam Camp Smear

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:46 pm

[guest post by Dana]

As the embroiled governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam continues to ignore Democrats calling for his resignation as a result of his shameful support of infanticide uncovered racist photographs from his college yearbook, his would-be successor, Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is now facing his own public relations catastrophe as he faces an accusation of sexual misconduct by a college professor:

A woman named Vanessa Tyson, who is a fellow at Stanford University, says that a man who allegedly sexually assaulted her at the 2004 Democratic National Convention is now an office-holder about to get a “very big promotion,” according to a screenshot provided by a tipster. A friend of Tyson’s named Adria Scharf, based in Richmond, Virginia, shared the “heartbreaking” message, which Tyson wrote as a private post.

Tyson is a fellow at California-based Stanford University and professor at California-based Scripps College, which means the alleged sexual assaulter must hold office on the East Coast. Tyson says her alleged attacker won statewide office in 2017.

Fairfax strongly denied the allegation:


After being presented with the facts consistent with the Lt. Governor’s denial of the allegations, the absence of any evidence corroborrating the allegation, and significant red flags and inconsistencies within the allegation, the Post made the considered decision not to publish the story.

Except the The Washington Post disagrees with that assessment:

The Washington Post could not find anyone who could corroborate either version. The Post did not find “significant red flags and inconsistencies within the allegations,” as the Fairfax statement incorrectly said.

While Fairfax claims that the encounter with Tyson was consensual, she offered a different version:

The woman described a sexual encounter that began with consensual kissing and ended with a forced act that left her crying and shaken. She said Fairfax guided her to the bed, where they continued kissing, and then at one point she realized she could not move her neck. She said Fairfax used his strength to force her to perform oral sex.

No similar complaints against Fairfax were uncovered during the Washington Post’s investigation, and as a result said that “Without that, or the ability to corroborate the woman’s account — in part because she had not told anyone what happened — The Washington Post did not run a story.”

The Post, on why they published now:

“Lt. Gov. Fairfax is a public official who may well rise to the position of governor,” Baron said in a statement. “He began the morning by issuing a statement regarding allegations against him, making specific representations about Post reporting that had not resulted in publication. We then had an obligation to clarify the nature of both the allegations and our reporting. “

And now, if things weren’t sordid enough, per Jonathan Martin at the NYT, Fairfax is claiming that Gov. Northam may be behind the “smear”:

“Does anybody think it’s any coincidence that on the eve of potentially my being elevated that that’s when this uncorroborated smear comes out?” Mr. Fairfax told reporters surrounding him in the rotunda of the state Capitol about whether he believes Mr. Northam, a fellow Democrat, was behind the accusation’s coming to light. He offered no evidence tying the Northam camp to the allegation.

Northam’s camp responded to the suggestion of having smeared Fairfax:

An adviser to Mr. Northam, asked Monday if the embattled governor had been behind the revelation of the assault allegations, denied any responsibility and said the Northam camp did not have the capacity to plot such a move at a moment when Mr. Northam is struggling to retain his job.

This, from Nate Silver:

Should Northam resign, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax — a Democrat and African American — would take over as governor. This fact surely makes it easier for Democrats to call for Northam’s resignation, as it’s possible that partisan concerns would outweigh worries about racism, at least among some Democrats. After all, we’ve already seen evidence of that among some Republicans with the #MeToo movement. But at this point, one thing is clear: Democrats’ increasingly liberal views on race have made them less willing to accept racism in any form among their own representatives — Northam’s net approval among Virginia Democrats dropped almost 40 points practically overnight.

Also, the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus has weighed in about the accusation against Lt. Gov. Fairfox:

The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus issued a statement saying it takes “all allegations of sexual assault or misconduct with the utmost seriousness. Given the recent allegations regarding Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, the VLBC will continue to assess this developing situation as more details become available.”


90 Responses to “Chaos In Virginia: Lt. Gov. Accused of Sexual Misconduct, Suggests Gov. Northam Camp Smear”

  1. Good freaking grief.

    Dana (023079)

  2. Make ’em live by their own rules, and punch back twice as hard.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  3. I don’t have peanuts or popcorn, but I do have microwaveable White Castle cheeseburgers, Oscar Meyer beef franks, Ritz crackers, Calabrese salami, and Asiago, cheddar, and Swiss cheeses. BYOB

    nk (dbc370)

  4. Alrighty

    Dustin (6d7686)

  5. Game knows game: Fairfax was the body man for VP John Edwards at the 04 DNC.

    urbanleftbehind (250c5f)

  6. That escalated quickly

    Narciso (401e9c)

  7. Didn’t they get Bill Cosby on thinner gruel, substantively and evidentiarily, than this?

    nk (dbc370)

  8. Odd how neither Allred nor avenatti (beetlejuice, beetlejuice) glommed on to this.

    Narciso (401e9c)

  9. Skullduggery Skullwhuppery

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  10. Things to Love about This Story:

    1. Gov./Dr. Northam-Gosnell allegedly had his yearbook picture “leaked” by a med school classmate who objects to the abortion extremism espoused by the beleaguered governor.

    2. Democrats are forced to argue that ousting a member of their party for a non-criminal indiscretion 35 years ago is a completely fair and logical thing to do, and thus are opening up all of their party’s 2020 contenders for the same sort of scrutiny.

    3. Lt. Gov. Fairfax is the straw that appears to finally be breaking the back of this Believe All Women nonsense that Democrats made a fetish of in the spring and summer.

    4. The Northam-Gosnell vs. Fairfax battle is a nasty intraparty battle royal and can’t possibly be blamed on the inept and woeful Virginia GOP.

    5. White men (and their spouses) who are Virginia Democrats by virtue of being government bureaucrats or lobbyists for center-left causes are now being fully exposed to the Reign of Terror of the Crybullies, so they can no longer amuse themselves with the idea that they will come to power on the backs of the radicals but then just go along with business as usual.

    6. The media can’t figure out how to handle the fact that a progressive black guy whom they admire is mounting pretty much the same sort of defense that a conservative white guy mounted this past summer, and they are going to have to tread lightly with respect to the starkly different treatment of the two men in their reporting.

    Damn, this is fun.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  11. Not exactly, he disputes the nature of the ahem interaction, but not that it happened:

    Narciso (401e9c)

  12. OT: Why I will never use cryptocurrency:

    After founder’s sudden death, cryptocurrency exchange can’t access $190 million in holdings

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  13. JVW, I hope you are right. But the “That’s different because shut up” contingent has been very successful with hypocrisy. This is sadly because of so many folks just thinking with slogans and bumper stickers…mixed with Sowell like “Vision of the Anointed” self regard.

    Again, I hope that you are right and I am dead wrong.

    Simon Jester (548267)

  14. I wonder if there will be changes to the libel and slander laws soon, as regards public figures. What we have now, courtesy of Sullivan, is pretty much “Anything Goes.” The Kavanaugh hearing being a perfect example. But now that it reaches into more mundane (and Democrat) ranks, maybe there will be some movement.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  15. Oh great, this crap is now infecting my hometown. I doubt that the good people of Pueblo are going to run this local doctor out of town on a rail — they have way too much sense to chase away a competent physician — but I wonder if other doctors in more ridiculous parts of the country are going to be susceptible to all of this SJW contrived outrage.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  16. Didn’t they get Bill Cosby on thinner gruel, substantively and evidentiarily, than this?

    Each individual may have been thinner, but the collection was hard to ignore. I wonder if they sued him for damages.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  17. So, who’s next in line for the job? And is Virginia trying to have a contest with Illinois for most-corrupt-governor?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  18. Only Louisiana competes with Illinois in that regard, and it’s a distant second. We’ve had four governors go to prison in the time I’ve been here. Virginia does not even make the qualifying lap.

    nk (dbc370)

  19. I’m just glad I live in a nice quiet, sane place like California.

    Dave (1bb933)

  20. Didn’t New York send something like three consecutive House Speakers to jail at one point, from both parties? That’s not Illinois-level corruption, but it’s impressive nevertheless. In California our best year was two or three years back when three Senate Democrats went to jail on unrelated reasons all in the same year.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  21. Next in line is the attorney general, Mark Herring – D. He has called for Northam’s resignation too, and announced plans to run against him next election.

    Dana (023079)

  22. I dunno… there’s something fishy about that Herring too.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  23. Rimshot, but probably true In house of cards Richmond edition.

    Narciso (bb9088)

  24. Very droll, dave.

    Narciso (bb9088)

  25. Ok, I looked it up. In Virginia, the governor and lieutenant governor are elected separately and can be of different parties. They’re not buds or running mates. Which explains why Fairfax could so readily throw Northam under the bus and look to take his seat.

    nk (dbc370)

  26. Meanwhile someone has been using the Lazarus pit, or nanobots or something.

    Narciso (bb9088)

  27. This attracted my attention

    A friend of Tyson’s named Adria Scharf, based in Richmond, Virginia, shared the “heartbreaking” message, which Tyson wrote as a private post.

    I have to wonder if Ms. Tyson thinks Ms. Scharf is really her friend.

    Kishnevi (dce4ce)

  28. I wish all this happened five months ago. Sigh.

    Paul Montagu (27e440)

  29. Well the washington post covered up the charge, for a year.

    Narciso (bb9088)

  30. I have to wonder if Ms. Tyson thinks Ms. Scharf is really her friend.

    Given Ms. Tyson’s full-hearted cooperation with the Washington Post, I’m inclined to believe that Ms. Tyson used Ms. Scharf as her frontman, to interest them in her story, on the theory that it would make her look more credible. Roy Moore’s accusers did the same thing.

    nk (dbc370)

  31. To clarify there has been a rbg sighting in sc , unclear if Jacob Marley is next.

    Narciso (bb9088)

  32. There was a lot of “she was reluctant to come forward” with Kavanugh’s accuser too. Coyness is an inbred and time-honored feminine wile.

    nk (dbc370)

  33. That game gets old fast, well no one reminds us we are in the moebius loop

    Narciso (234d96)

  34. Hire Mueller.

    mg (8cbc69)

  35. What was the name of that appointee Clinton suggested for civil right divizion:

    Narciso (234d96)

  36. Lanier guinier this is like her kid sister.

    Narciso (234d96)

  37. Lani Guinier?

    nk (dbc370)

  38. Perhaps oldest daughter, but you get the gist, at the time he was an associate at muellers future firm

    Narciso (234d96)

  39. Epic Black History Month

    mg (8cbc69)

  40. I see cocaine mitch sent a message to the president that he has enough republicans to go along with impeachment unless he continues the war in Syria.

    mg (8cbc69)

  41. Still no details on the who, what, when and why organizers of a San Antonio, Texas dance contest permitted a contestant to perform in blackface in 1984– and judge him the winner.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  42. I think the next revelation is murder and cannibalism, mark herring come on down, prove me wrong.

    Narciso (234d96)

  43. I dunno… there’s something fishy about that Herring too.

    I think he’s a Red.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  44. Lani Guinier thought that blacks should get extra votes to make up for slavery.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  45. democrats can’t go after steve king and trump until they get rid of racist democrat. when they do steve king watch out!

    lany (dbe6ce)

  46. No, not another excuse from Northam!

    Paul Montagu (27e440)

  47. cocaine mitch and his hood of neocons can’t wait to send your sons and daughters over to sand land to keep the industrial military complex flush with funds. The uni-party can suck my —-.

    mg (8cbc69)

  48. The Democrats now want the wars in Syria and Afghanistan to continue. The uni-party must have excommunicated Cindy Sheehan and the hoarde of candle burners. This country needs a roto-rooter.

    mg (8cbc69)

  49. Good thing he did not do anything really horrible. Like wear a MAGA hat. Compared to THAT, wearing blackface or sexual assualt are small potatoes.

    Bored Lawyer (8ea02a)

  50. Gov. Les Nooseman vs Lt. Gov. Shebe Asken Forette…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  51. lany, you dont need to go after Trump, just the bald non-tweeting Stephen Miller and right in front of his face, he’l get the point. Trump is to firearms what George Will is to a baseball.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  52. For proper context, go to about the 3:00 mark and play forward:

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  53. Guess who miss Tyson has hired?

    Narciso (545189)

  54. Blasey Ford back in business? And now she’s going to be pushing the Lincoln SUVs this month, no surprise.

    What if these are all crime-novel/porn inspired pseudonyms – a Fairfax being sued by a Tyson, come on now?

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  55. Note how the scandal network isn’t interested al of a sudden.

    Narciso (545189)

  56. All quite amusing. And the longer it drags on, the more sites like CNN and MSNBC will be forced to cover it. Love watching the left live up to their own rules.

    And what does Nate Silver mean that Republicans’ “partisan concerns would outweigh worries about racism”?

    Patricia (3363ec)

  57. Tysons Corner is a place in Fairfax County, Virginia.

    nk (dbc370)

  58. We have to believe not only 2+2=5, but in mr. Snafflelafagus, that Ginsberg is like Judy dench in Riddick,

    Narciso (545189)

  59. Funny how these things can bite one on teh arse…

    Colonel Haiku (6b7575)

  60. Breaking news: Governor Northam held yet another press conference to plead for his job this morning. Critics and supporters alike were baffled by his choice of attire:

    JRH (fe281f)

  61. 2004 was when Barack Obama gave the keynote speech at the Democratic convention. There was something in the air that night, the eyes were bright. They were shining for other political wannabes besides Obama. Vanessa Tyson thought she had hitched her wagon to another rising black political hopeful, but he kicked over the traces and looked for other furrows to plow. So a little consensual slap and tickle turned into a sexual assault.

    nk (dbc370)

  62. It’s amusing to see that Fairfax tried to get WaPo to cover for him by saying they found “red flags” in the accuser’s story, but to have the WaPo refuse to fall on their sword and reveal the double standard employed in publishing allegations of sexual assault.

    CygnusAnalogMan (9c66ec)

  63. Yes there were no witnesses with Ford either contemporaneous as for the other fruitcakes.

    Narciso (545189)

  64. “”NEWS: A California woman accusing Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault has hired Christine Blasey Ford’s legal team – Katz, Marshall and Banks – and is consulting with them about next steps, according to a source close to the legal team,” said NPR correspondent Sarah McCammon.”


    harkin (0e0056)

  65. Were down the rabbit hole where it meets bill Murray’s gopher warren.

    Narciso (545189)

  66. Hell hath no fury like a woman when you don’t go back for more. High Plains Drifter (1973), 47 second clip.

    Everybody keeps talking about Blazing Saddles, but would even The Great Clint Eastwood get away with that these days? And I don’t remember one single person of color acting in that movie, neither.

    nk (dbc370)


    UCI: That will be $15,000
    Q: For what?
    UCI: For security
    Q: Security against what?
    UCI: Violence
    Q: Violence committed by whom?
    UCI: Us

    Hat tip: Iowahawk

    Colonel Haiku (6b7575)

  68. Apparently quilted northam is hiring a private eye, Nate hellers a little long in the tooth.

    Narciso (545189)

  69. I just made a fortune buying popcorn futures on the Internet.

    Thud Muffle (5a4596)

  70. nk (dbc370) — 2/5/2019 @ 8:49 am

    meanwhile, liberal whites treating conservative whites…

    felipe (5b25e2)

  71. Only without the apologies.

    felipe (5b25e2)

  72. he’s hanging in there so far

    good for him

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  73. The racist or the rapist?
    It’s a binary choice.

    nk (dbc370)

  74. Kang or kudos, they agree on earth’s enslavement

    Ot the planet in alien covenant is the same one in futurama omicron persei 8

    Narciso (545189)

  75. the governor needs to hang touch the lil rapist guy needs to quit while he’s ahead

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  76. ugh

    hang *tough* i mean

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  77. The Post did not find “significant red flags and inconsistencies within the allegations,” as the Fairfax statement incorrectly said.

    Why can’t they be like the New York Times, and use the word “falsely?”

    It didn’t occur to me that Justin Fairfax’s claim about red flags and inconsistencies was not just probably dubious, but made up out of whole cloth. Me bad.

    It seems like after that he did have to admit there was a sexual encounter, but now was saying it was “100% consensual”

    That that could be an issue in dispute might indicate that he locked her in a room, or threatened her physically or in some other way, or threatened to force her to do something she would like even less.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  78. Mark Rankin Herring. the Attorney General of Virginia is also a Democrat, and also considered to be a candidate for Governor of Virginia in 2021. Fairfax was casting suspicion on another possible 20021 candidate: Mayor Levar Stoney of Richmond. And also on Northam, maybe.

    The woman in question has now hired Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyers. I guess she thinks CBF was telling the truth.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  79. Stacey Abrams was given the State of the Union response because Senator Schumer and others are trying to encourage her to run for the United States Senate in 2020. Her ambition had always been to be Governor, but she’s wavering and maybe 50-50 now on that race.

    It’s back again to irrelevant “responses.”

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  80. 42. DCSCA (797bc0) — 2/4/2019 @ 9:30 pm

    42.Still no details on the who, what, when and why organizers of a San Antonio, Texas dance contest permitted a contestant to perform in blackface in 1984– and judge him the winner.

    Well, you see, that could be a lie – and besides Governor Northam doesn’t describe what he did as blackface.

    Blackface, by the way makes someone look like what no human being actually looks like.

    Northam told that story to “explain” why he might have misremembered being in that picture.

    We don’t know yet whether that dance contest ever took place, or, if it did, what exactly happened there and he looked like.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  81. 11. Narciso (401e9c) — 2/4/2019 @ 6:33 pm

    he disputes the nature of the ahem interaction, but not that it happened

    That was on;y after the washington Post released hsi statement. He had apparently not denied to teh Washington Post that it happened.

    His first statement after the WP released its statement was to accuse it of smearing him.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  82. 20. JVW (54fd0b) — 2/4/2019 @ 6:58 pm

    Didn’t New York send something like three consecutive House Speakers to jail at one point, from both parties?

    No, It was the Speaker of the Assembly, Democrfat Sheldon Silver, and the Senate Majority leader, Republican Dean Skelos.

    New York didn’t send them to jail (or convict them, I don’t think either is yet in jail, but U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara did, after Governor Andrew Cuomo disbanded the Moreland Commission which he ha set up. Bharara suspected he’d struck a deal.

    They were both convicted on what are more or less peripheral charges.

    I think a previous Senate Majority leader also was convicted but I am not sure.

    Several state legislators also were convicted on various charges in the last half dozen years.

    They have (at least until 2018) more to fear from the mapmakers and the prosecutors than they do from the voters.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)


    February 5th, 2019

    Editor’s Note: This is a special edition of the Crystal Ball. Given the fast-moving developments in our home state over the last several days, we hope it’s not obsolete by the time you read it! We’ll be back with our regularly-scheduled issue next week on Thursday.

    Saying that anything in the annals of American political history is “unique” or “unprecedented” is dangerous, for the simple fact that the past is filled with so many oddities from which we can draw parallels. That said, we’re struggling to come up with something equivalent to what we’ve seen in Virginia over the past week.

    I don’t think this is really just aVirginia story, (and he writes on natioonal polictics anyway) but it is a Virginia story. Sabato really does have a bias.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  84. Stacey “Tank” Abrams… oh, I can’t wait.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  85. I’m worried, Haiku. With her looks, charm and grace, she’s liable to flip the entire country Democrat.

    nk (dbc370)

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