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Virginia's Political Scandals Return to Spotlight - Will Northam and Fairfax Get 'Vetoed'?

04-04-2019
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Virginia's Gov. Ralph Northam and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (AP Photos)

RICHMOND - The political scandals that rocked Virginia politics are back in the spotlight. The commonwealth's top two elected officials are dealing with more attention from potentially career-ending bombshells.

A pro-life rally on the steps of the Virginia state Capitol was followed by a march as Virginia lawmakers began the final day of the general assembly session known as "veto day." Simultaneously, a growing coalition of Virginians are looking to veto Gov. Ralph Northam's career as governor.

"Virginia can and must do better," said Dean Nelson, chairman of the Douglass Leadership Institute. "And that is why we remain, along with the SCLC and the NAACP, calling for Gov. Northam to resign."

The coalition says controversy over a blackface photo on Northam's college yearbook page and what they call his support of infanticide are reasons he's not fit to be governor. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., joined in the chorus.

"There's one way that the governor really can stay in the position of governor with integrity. Reverse that horrible covenant with death," Alveda King said, referencing Northam's support for abortion rights legislation.

"Of course Northam - whose nickname was 'coon man' - knew what he was doing in his yearbook page," Nelson said.

House Republicans are calling the governor out, saying he needs to keep his promises.

"What happened to the investigation he promised, what happened to the private investigator he was going to hire, what happened to the facial recognition software he was going to employ to get to the bottom of the photograph?" questioned Virginia House Majority Leader Delegate Todd Gilbert.  


Virginia's Gov. Ralph Northam and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (AP Photos)

The commonwealth's second in command is also embroiled in renewed controversy.

"He did things that you shouldn't do to someone without their permission," Meredith Watson told CBS "This Morning". She is one of two women accusing Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault.

Both of his accusers spoke out this week for the first time on TV. Virginia House Republicans are calling for a public hearing to delve into the allegations.
 
"This should all be sorted out very publicly and we hope that our colleagues will join us in that effort," Gilbert said.

But House Democrats have refused, and without bipartisan support, the alleged victims say they won't testify.

In all practicality, the chance of Fairfax facing a public hearing at the state capitol is slim. Whether Northam will respond to the House Republicans' questions is yet to be seen.

 

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