Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Virginia congressional Democrats hint at path for easing political crisis

Virginia Politics Blackface Virginia Blackface Scandal Ensnares Top State Republican
Jeannette Daniel | 09 February, 2019, 03:42

The embattled Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax was hit with further accusations of sexual assault by a second woman on Friday.

A statement issued on Thursday by U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, and signed by seven other Virginia Democrats from the House of Representatives, still called for the governor to resign over incidents in the 1980s with racist overtones.

Watson says she never dated Fairfax or had a romantic relationship with him, but was his friend at the time.

Watson's allegation comes after a tumultuous week in Virginia politics.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, a 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, immediately called on Fairfax to resign, citing "multiple detailed allegations" that are "deeply troubling".

"The allegations against Justin Fairfax are serious and credible", former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe tweeted Friday. If you demand evidence of a pattern of misconduct before you believe an accuser, effectively you're giving everyone one free assault before they begin to lose the benefit of the doubt.

Norment is the first Virginia Republican to be touched by an ever widening scandal about past displays of racism that has engulfed the state's top Democrats.

Numerous state's Democrats have called on Northam to step down over the yearbook photo, which shows one person in blackface and another in Ku Klux Klan attire. Most of the Democratic establishment called for his resignation by the end of the day.

More news: Marc Gasol Is Heading To Toronto

The delegation - consisting of the state's two U.S. senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, and seven USA representatives - repeated its call for Northam to resign, and said the allegations against Fairfax "need to be taken very seriously", though it stopped short of demanding a formal investigation.

A Virginia Military Institute yearbook overseen by future state Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment in 1968 features a host of racist photos and slurs, including blackface. Given her experience with abuse as a child, he said, she was not the type of person to become intimate in the way she described with someone she had just met. While she is not calling for any criminal or civil action to be taken against Fairfax, she says he should step down.

Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, a 39-year-old African-American, has meanwhile been accused of forcing himself sexually on a woman 14 years ago.

Dr. Tyson did not tell anyone in 2004 about the encounter with Mr. Fairfax, according to people close to her legal team, and she did not notify or file a complaint with police...

Fiddler added, "What I do know is that if Ralph Northam is still governor, then that means we're still talking about this - and that (yearbook) picture is ready made for television and direct mail".

The three men, all Democrats who ran on the same ticket during Virginia's last election in 2017, continued to largely avoid the public and news media on Thursday.

Northam quickly apologized and indicated he was one of the two individuals pictured, though he didn't say which.

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