We now have an “October Surprise” in the Halifax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Race that’s about as bland as a slice of white bread. Of course, WSET’s Heather Rosenbaum is on the story with bad investigative reporting. Let’s take a look at this big chunk of nothing…
We’re going to start with a link to Heather Rosenbaum’s horribly bad hit piece on Mike Freshour…
Ok, let’s get this out of the way first. Mike Freshour was a big dummy for not knowing this was banned by state law. It’s also good to know that being a big dummy isn’t a hanging offense. In fact, this is close to “Nothing” on the “Is This Anything?” scale of transgressions.
Heather Rosenbaum isn’t known as an investigative reporter and this piece shows why that’s the case. This story is a hit piece as she tried to confront Freshour as he was coming out of the courthouse after a trial. Her story conveniently omits the facts that Freshour had already rectified the problem once he found it that it was illegal. The last part of the story that outlines the criminal penalties that are possible makes stupid people think that Mike Freshour is going to be charged with a crime for this incident (News Flash: He won’t be.) Her last question to him which tried to equate a fund-raising raffle to real gambling was horribly bad and quite laughable. This isn’t Mike Freshour shooting dice against the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office for Benjamins.
Now let’s get to the question that will never be answered. How did Rosenbaum get this story fed to her? There’s no chance in hell that she discovered this on her own as she simply doesn’t have the skillset to go out and find stories like this. Here’s my opinion on it (and yes, I’ll never be able to prove my opinion): Rosenbaum was fed this story by somebody who’s either involved in Tracy Martin’s campaign or strongly supports Tracy Martin. Let’s get real, that’s how October Surprises happen in the political campaign world. Let’s also get real that if the roles were reversed, Freshour’s campaign or supporters would have done the very same thing. That’s how the game is played. Welcome to politics, baby.
There are already people who are saying “OMG! The Commonwealth’s Attorney should know every law and ignorance of the law is no excuse!” Horsecrap. There’s a Code of Virginia in every decent lawyer’s office including Freshour’s, and I’m quite sure that he and every lawyer has to open it up on a regular basis. This is Freshour’s first campaign and I’m not holding this Violation Of Law against him one damned bit because he’s already rectifying the situation. Just like it happens in court, most judges will toss out minor infractions as “Complied With Law” and this would be no exception in my judgment of this matter.
Now to the law itself. It’s a stupid law as fundraising raffles should be very much allowed for small campaigns like this. As long as donors are listed by name and checked to make sure that they comply with election fundraising laws, I think it’s a cool idea for getting money into a campaign. In fact, I’m going to speak to my House Delegate to see if this law can be changed to reflect a common-sense use of raffles.
Mike Freshour is a big dummy for doing this because it ran afoul of state election laws. This isn’t a crime. This doesn’t reflect badly on Mike Freshour one bit. He’ll take a PR hit on this which is the acceptable penalty but it doesn’t change his qualifications for the position he’s running for. As for this being an October surprise… this is nothing.
Before I get blasted by the Tracy Martin supporters… I’m going to say that if you swapped out the names and Martin did this, I’d have the same opinion on it. This is nothing. Absolutely nothing (except shabby hit piece reporting by Rosenbaum).