E tu Signer: Charlottesville Mayor flays Jones, Thomas, and Dickler

| August 25, 2017 | 15 Comments

See below for full, formatted text of the secret memo authored by Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer, and endorsed by councilors Wes Bellamy, Kristin Szakos, and Kathy Galvin.

This memo was the basis for an emergency closed session meeting of the Charlottesville City Council, in which “personnel” matters were discussed.

In this memo, Council details:

  • Signer’s physical exclusion from the city’s “command center” on August 12, by City Manager Maurice Jones
  • Council’s extreme disappointment in the performance of the City Manager regarding recent events
  • An excoriation of city spokesperson, Miriam Dickler, who verges on “insubordination”
  • And much more…

PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL
PERSONNEL MATTER

To: Maurice Jones
From: City Council
Re.: Personnel Matter and Closed Session

Date: 8/23/17

Cc: Craig Brown

We are writing to request an immediate closed session with you regarding the handling of
events leading up to August 12 as a personnel matter. In order that you’re prepared, this
memorandum contains questions we would like to ask you. (We would note that this
memorandum was prepared by Mike Signer with input and edits from Wes Bellamy, Kristin
Szakos, and Kathy Galvin. Mayor Signer called Bob Fenwick in the afternoon of 8/23 about this
memorandum, leaving a message, but never heard back from Mr. Fenwick.)

August 12

The preparations for August 12 were akin to the preparations for a hurricane. All hands
were, or should have been, on deck. You were scheduled for a family vacation in Canada the
prior week. You delayed leaving for your vacation by several days for preparations for August
12 and were available by phone the entire time you were away. Nevertheless, the fact that you
were out of the office for several days, delegating duties to Assistant City Manager Mike
Murphy during this critical time, created a problem for planning and accountability. Please
provide an explanation for how you handled these critical issues during this critical time.

Understanding through attorney-client privileged communications from the Council’s
office that the rally could not be outright canceled, Council developed a clear will that the rally
be relocated to a larger location remote from the Downtown Mall like McIntire Park weeks
before August 12. Mayor Signer had a meeting with you on July 13 where he expressed
Council’s will that the relocation occur. Yet there was no movement forward. In a conversation
with Mayor Signer on Friday, July 21, Chief Thomas told Mayor Signer that the move to
McIntire would indeed be “marginally” safer. Yet there was no initiative in the following weeks
from the City Manager’s office to move the rally to McIntire. Mayor Signer also conveyed this
desire in written communications to the City Attorney’s office. Yet nothing happened regarding
the relocation of the rally until well after Council held a closed session with staff on Wednesday,
August 2. Chief Thomas repeatedly said during the closed session that the delay in the
relocation decision was crucial to his hesitation about it. He said that had he known “six weeks
ago” about a new location, that the planning would have been much easier. Please provide an
explanation for the delay and for your actions and decisions during this period regarding
this matter.

Because of this guidance from Chief Thomas, and based upon Governor McAuliffe’s
warning of serious security concerns on August 2, Council’s will was that the rally needed to be
moved away from the downtown area because of the mayhem that was being promised. At the
conclusion of the meeting, you told Council you needed 12 hours to make your decision. You
reiterated this to Mayor Signer after the meeting. The meeting ended at about 10 p.m., so 12
hours would have been 10 am. The next morning, you told Mayor Signer that the decision was
being delayed because assent was needed from the school system for the parking lot at
Charlottesville High School to be used. The decision was not communicated to Council until
Friday, almost 36 hours after the Council decision. Meanwhile, the window for Chief Thomas to
plan for both locations was closing. Please provide an explanation for the delay.

The Synagogue

The protection of the synagogue was urgent. Charlottesville has a thriving Jewish
population and one of the oldest synagogues in the South. Yet despite repeated inquiries and
assurances to Mayor Signer and synagogue leadership, the Congregation did not receive the level
of protection they required. On Wednesday, August 9 at 4:00 p.m., Mayor Signer wrote you,
Chief Thomas, Deputy Chief Pleasants, and Assistant City Manager Mike Murphy the following email:

Maurice, Al, Gary, Mike:

This is a special request regarding Congregation Beth Israel. | just spoke with Rabbi Tom
Gutherz there. Their current plans are to have a single outside security guard on Friday night
and during the day on Saturday. They have services at 6:15 pm. on Friday night and 9—11 am.
on Saturday. They are obviously right next to Emancipation Park.

The rhetoric on the online sites right now is quite intensely anti—Semitic. This post on Daily
Stormer about the rally ends reads, “Next stop: Charlottesville, VA. Final stop: Auschwitz.”
This post on Daily Stormer reads, “the cops are siding with us over the evil Jew Mayor Michael Singer
and his Negroid Deputy Wes Bellamy. We have it on good authority that the Chief of police is
going to ensure that the protest goes through as planned, regardless of what the ruling
kike/Negroid powers are attempting.” I listened to a podcast yesterday with two of the organizers
and they referred negatively to Jews and to the fact that a synagogue was “two blocks away”
from the rally. They also talked about how on Friday night roving bands of ralliers will be defying
restaurants who deny them service. This could add an element of unpredictability on Friday night
as well.

Given all of these variables I feel it would be prudent for us to have a more overt police presence
near CBI. Rabbi Gutherz suggested a car stationed in front of the building, and an officer nearby,
which is the customary practice during High Holidays services.

I would be grateful if I could connect someone from CPD to Rabbi Gutherz and CBl’s Executive
Director Kathyrn Mawyer (I just forwarded you a message she sent).

Thanks in advance,

Mike

On Friday, August 11, Mayor Signer received the following from Lieutenant Joe Hatter:

Mr. Signer,

I would be happy to speak with Rabbi Gutherz and CBl’s Executive Director Kathyrn Mawyer.
Please pass along my name and number to them.

Thanks,

Lieutenant Joe Hatter
Charlottesville Police Department

After this conversation, Kathryn Mawyer, the Executive Director of CBI, advised Mayor Signer
by email that Lieutenant Hatter had told her that no officer could be provided specifically to the
synagogue:

Thank you, Mayor Signer,

I just spoke with Lt. Hatter, who though he would like to be able to do so, has let me
know that there is no way a CPD officer can be assigned at CBI. I expressed my fear that it only
takes one troll with a molotov cocktail to burn down a building which has a history dating from
1882 and is the only synagogue in Central Virginia. He promised that he would make sure that
the shift commanders through the weekend will be reminded of the presence of CBI so close to
downtown and to the park, and would be encouraged to increase, as resources allow, patrol
around CBI.

I am totally empathetic with the difficult circumstances all the first responders and law
enforcement teams face over the next 36-48 hours and sincerely appreciate any attention which
might be given the synagogue building. lam most interested, though, in awareness of the times
during which congregants are entering, worshipping, and exiting tonight and tomorrow. Tonight,
people will be coming in as early as 5:30p and exiting around 8:30 or 9:00p. Tomorrow morning,
congregants will be entering as early as 8:30a and leaving between
11:00 and 11:30a. We will have a security guard in place in the courtyard in front of the building
from 5:30p to 9:00 pm. tonight and tomorrow morning from 8:30a to noon.

I pray for safety for all who will be doing their best to keep order and peace over the
coming weekend.

Further, CBI President Alan Zimmerman and Rabbi Tom Gutherz had previously received firm
assurances that a Community Service Officer (CSO) would be present at the synagogue—which
did not happen. Please provide an explanation.

During August 12, after Mayor Signer was at the emergency operations center at Zehmer
Hall, he received at about 2:00 pm. notification of an extremely alarming tweet from an account
“billy jane” in response to a Daily Stormer tweet, which said, “It’s time to torch these jewish
monsters lets go 3 pm.” The next tweet, from an account named “Cracked Coconut,” said, “We
must not slacken SIEG HEIL.” Mayor Signer immediately called Rabbi Gutherz, who
confirmed that nobody was physically present at the synagogue. He then sent the tweet to
Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran, who responded, “Address?” Mayor Signer sent the
address, and Secretary Moran responded, “On it.” Secretary Moran called Mayor Signer on the
phone and confirmed that a National Guard team would be sent to guard the synagogue. We still
have no direct confirmation that this happened. Please provide information on this.

Police Actions

We understand and appreciate that many questions regarding police actions on August 12
will be thoroughly explored during the independent review. But we must ask for an explanation
from you for the apparent unwillingness of officers to directly intervene during overt assaults
captured in many videos in the time before the unlawful assembly was declared and after it was
declared. Although individual officer responses will be examined later, the Police Chief must
know what he told police before and during the day. On Monday, Councilor Szakos sent the
following e-mail to you and Chief Thomas:

From: Kristin Szakos
Subject: Police presence
Date: August 20, 2017 at 5:09:22 PM EDT

To: Maurice Jones “Thomas, Al”

Maurice and Al,

This video that Emily Couric produced is one of the most balanced I’ve seen, but really gives visual
concreteness to the questions people have been asking — on both sides: Where were the police? I know that
the day was complicated, and I am willing to wait for a full accounting after more time has been allowed for
investigation and review. But in this video, we see blocks of city streets overrun with fighting and by the
marching of armed, violent extremists, without a police officer in sight. We know that there were hundreds of
police here, and we have been counseling restraint, but they were clearly not there in these scenes, they were
not there at McGuffey Park when Nazis stormed it in the morning, they were not with us when we marched from
the church to McGuffey.

l have heard reports of people begging police to intervene, and being met by “Palace Guard” stares and
inaction. Were they told to do this? You may not know what each officer did, but you know what they were told
by their superiors, and the guidance they were given. I think sharing that with the public might help people
understand what happened.

If I, who trust your judgment and that of our police officers, am struck by this absence, and those who do not
share my trust are concluding that the omission was intentional, that they were intentionally left to be beaten,
then it is imperative that we get some real information out to the public as soon as possible. Not the complete
review, but an explanation of why so many felt that the police were not present. What was the philosophy?

It may be that the restraint shown by the police resulted in the fact that there was no gun violence and that no
one was shot. If so, we should be saying so.

We’ve been working for years to increase public trust of the police in the community, particularly among African
American residents; this incident seems to have set that back considerably. We need more than operational
platitudes and denials. The community needs reassurance now that the police are here to protect them and are
committed to their safety.

— Kristin

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/08/charlottesville—racism—confederate—couric/

Kristin Szakos

We have been patient, but it is now 11 days out, and we still don’t have an answer to this
question. Please provide an explanation.

Public Housing

On August 7, at 12:01 p.m., Councilor Galvin wrote the following email to Mr. Jones and Mr. Murphy:

Hello Maurice and Mike M.,

Last Saturday at Westhaven day, I spoke with Tami Wright who is both a PHAR employee and
the chair of the friendship court steering committee and resident association. She relayed to me
that residents are feeling extremely vulnerable and in the dark as to how they will be kept safe on
August 12. She felt it would be very important if someone from staff and the police department
could meet with residents this week to give them an overview of what is going on. All I said was
that I would look into it and get back to her.

Now that there is a new PHA executive director in place, Sunshine Mahon, would it be possible to
work with him and Grant Duffield to pull together a short information meeting for public housing
and friendship court residents in the SIA (which is close to the downtown)? I have no meetings
scheduled at night this week, and as the council’s friendship court steering committee
representative, I would very much like to be there. I would also like to be able to get to Tami
Wright with an answer.

Many thanks and wait to hear.

Best,

Kathy

Kathleen M. Galvin, AlA
Charlottesville City Councilor

Ms. Galvin’s email followed two from Brandon Collins with PHAR:

Inbox
Thursday, August 10, 2017 4:53 PM

Dear Mr. Jones and Councilors,

I am extremely disappointed in the City’s no parking plans for this coming weekend. Friendship
Court, Sixth Street, and Crescent Halls will be completely exposed to violent, armed racists
parking in their neighborhoods. The potential for random interactions and violence is quite high.

PHAR has done our part by advising residents on staying safe, we sincerely wish you would do
your part as well.

In addition, we have heard increased concerns that Prospect Ave and Greenstone on 5th may be
specifically targeted by alt-right on Friday or Saturday night.

Inbox

Wednesday, August 02, 2017 12:06 PM

Dear councilors,

As you contemplate strategies for the upcoming crisis I hope you will consider what efforts can
be taken to protect public housing neighborhoods and Friendship Court from the influx of
hostile participants in the UTR rally.

Please consider parking strategies that will decrease the likelihood of alt-right/resident contact
during the weekend. I suggest disallowing on street parking on Garret St, 2nd St SE, Monticello
Ave, Sixth St, South First Street.

Additionally, efforts to direct foot and vehicle traffic around that area towards downtown
should be in place so that violent extremists are not parking on Avon and walking through the
area to reach downtown.

Thank you for your consideration

Brandon Collins
Organizer, Public Housing Association of Residents (PHAR)

Further, Councilor Galvin sent the following email to Ms. Dickler on 8/10 requesting
increased patrols around the Friendship Court and public housing sites, but received no response:

From: “Galvin, Kathy”
Date: August 10, 2017 at 8:35:11 AM EDT
To: “Dickler, Miriam”
and PHA residents for 8/12

Good morning Miriam,

Thanks so much for providing this information to the administrative leadership of
the CRHA and PHA. When your message states that, ” There Will be increased
law enforcement patrols in neighborhoods adjacent to McIntire Park and in
Downtown Charlottesville,” will that include increased patrols to promote safety
and a sense of security in neighborhoods south of Water street?

Many thanks again.

Best,

Kathy
Kathleen M. Galvin, AlA
Charlottesville City Councilor

To our knowledge, none of these requested actions were taken. Please provide an explanation.

Communications

In recognition of the difficulties and failures of the staff to communicate to the public
about July 8, Council also made the decision to retain the crisis communications firm
Powell/Tate in the week leading up to August 12. Yet on Thursday, August 10, Ms. Dickler
tried to stop the hiring of the firm. She said she would not work with them on August 12
because she would be too busy with the public information officers under her command. She
said that she had enough experience handling crises. Because this was a direct challenge to a
Council directive, Mayor Signer wrote the following email to you, in relevant part:

[Y] our note is belied by the alarming conversation we had yesterday, where Miriam attempted to
block the hiring of this firm, stated that she would not communicate with them on Saturday,
stated that she would rather have a positive Daily Progress story than a positive USA Today one
(as if the two are mutually exclusive), stated that this whole thing should somehow be Council’s
responsibility (though we only received talking points, after a week’s delay, last night), stated
that the only message that she was prepared to off on 8/12 was about public safety, offered no
specifics about being able to pitch or develop any other stories, stated that she is an expert on
crisis communications and did not need help, and admitted that July 8 did not go well, but
offered no suggestions of what could have been done differently.

This bordered on insubordination, as it contradicted both your consent to a PR firm and Council’s
clear desire for one, and was exhausting for me to deal with, as the typical response from
anyone being offered special expertise help in an unusual situation (such as when I bring in
outside counsel in my professional job, for instance), is to welcome the assistance.

And it further helped explain the remarkable passivity from our communications shop in recent
weeks, despite urgent pressing from nearly every Councilor for more proactive, creative, and
energetic communications.

Yet there was no change. Ms. Dickler did not communicate with Powell/Tate on August 12. As
it happened, despite all of the events that happened, the City did not provide information until a
press conference was held with the Governor at 6:00 p.m., meaning that during a day of
incredibly tragic events, the City was silent. Please provide an explanation.

On Monday, August 7, you made repeated assurances to Council that daily press
briefings would be provided to the public regarding August 12. Yet these daily briefings never
happened. Council further requested that a Q&A session be provided to an anxious public
regarding August 12. Two specific dates that were suggested were Thursday, August 3 and
Monday, August 7 (when the usual Council meeting was not scheduled to happen due to the
customary August Council break.) Yet this never happened. Please provide an explanation.

Council further requested that a single major press conference happen during which there
would be substantial briefings from you, Chief Thomas, and Mr. Brown regarding, respectively,
the planning, policing, and legal issues surrounding August 12. There were specific requests
from Council that the question of the protocol surrounding any use of chemical dispersants be
addressed during this briefing as well as the reason for the use of body armor and the
employment of the Virginia State Police and the National Guard. Yet no such press conference
ever occurred. Please provide an explanation.

Council received their first formal briefings on the security plan on Thursday, August 10.
These briefings included the numbers of security personnel that would be on the ground. Yet we
were given no documents related to August 12, including any security plans. With the exception
of Mayor Signer, no member of Council was invited to be anywhere specifically on August 12.
There were two centers of command that day: the “command center” in the Wells Fargo
building, and the emergency operations center in Zehmer Hall. Given the number of media
requests that were already coming in for Mayor Signer during the week prior to August 12,
Mayor Signer, who was in the command center during July 8, repeatedly asked both you and
Chief Thomas to be included in the command center so that the stakeholders could be on the
same page. Multiple times, he was told that they preferred him to be at the emergency
operations center. Please provide an explanation.

The morning of August 12, Mayor Signer sent a text to you and Chief Thomas with the
following: “Given last night I need to be on site so we are on one page.” You responded, “We
still think it’s best to have you at Zehmer.” After the unlawful assembly was declared, Mayor
Signer texted you, “I need to come up at Wells Fargo. Won’t be in the way but I need to be
here.” You responded, “I’m concerned about your safety getting here.” Mayor Signer headed to
Wells Fargo anyway. He was not allowed up to the 6th floor, where the command center was.
He was escorted instead to the 8th floor, where there was a lone staffer observing events through the window.
Mayor Signer sent you a text which read, in relevant part, “Al works for you. You
have barred me from the center. We are not together. I don’t know what’s happening. We are
not unified. We can’t say no comment or it has to wait. I’m at city hall.” You responded, “Mr.
Mayor, we are not disorganized. This is a hyper fluid situation. We need to let this play out.
And the media can wait for an hour or so.” Mayor Signer responded, “Elected officials like me
can’t be barred from necessary information and how to talk about it. That’s disorganized. I’m
headed to Zehmer now.” Please provide an explanation for these decisions and events.
These issues were compounded by a previously undisclosed problem, which was the
collapse of the City’s website and email capabilities that evening. After the press conference,
Council convened an emergency session to pass a resolution enabling Chief Thomas to declare a
curfew if he deemed it necessary. Yet the email system went down, and the decision was not
sent out to the public until it was almost dark. Moreover, the City of Charlottesville’s website
was down for at least two days after August 12. Council has yet to receive any information about
these events. Please provide an explanation.

August 21 Council meeting

During the crucial and very difficult Council meeting on August 21, Chief Thomas was
not present to address Council and citizen questions—when he was the only person who could
have directly answered the questions. Several times, you said that you could not answer
questions and that certain topics could only be addressed during an investigation (for instance,
with the question about the closing of 4th Street.) Please provide an explanation.

July 8 rally

The handling of the July 8 KKK rally raised a number of critical questions from the
public. The most important of these was the decision to release tear gas. While we understand
that Chief Thomas was in charge of the overall operation, several hundred Virginia State Police
troopers were under his command. Based on conversations that have been relayed to Mayor
Signer from people who overheard Chief Thomas speaking candidly, the decision to release tear
gas was made by Virginia State Police, independent of the Charlottesville Police, and Chief
Thomas disagreed with that decision and was frustrated by it. Yet neither Council nor the public
has received any information or accountability on this front, either from the City government or
from the Virginia State Police. Please provide an explanation.

Regarding the overall handling of July 8 vis-a-vis City Council, we would like to know
why we were never given a security plan. We were never briefed on the overall operations. The
only Councilor who was present during the briefing with all the security forces on the morning of
July 8 was Mayor Signer, but that only happened at the impromptu invitation of you earlier that
morning, via text message. This led to unnecessary confusion among elected officials about the
security plan and events that unfolded. Please provide an explanation of these decisions.

Chief Thomas was not present during the July 17 Council meeting where Council heard
public questions and complaints about the police’s handling of the situation. Despite repeated
requests from the Mayor during the prior week that Chief Thomas be present in that meeting,
you repeatedly refused to require Chief Thomas to present the statement on July 8 and to answer
questions from Council. At least two times, in explaining your preference for making a
statement as City Manager rather than having the Chief present to answer questions from
Council, you referred to the likelihood of harsh public criticism in explaining why Mr. Thomas
should not be present during the meeting. Please provide an explanation of these decisions
and events.

Despite Chief Thomas’ absence, Council signaled its unanimous support for an
investigation and report on the events of July 8. To our and the public’s knowledge, this
investigation was never made, and the report has not been delivered. This was a significant
problem given the need for us to learn lessons from July 8 for August 12. Please provide an
explanation of the investigation and why it was not provided before August 12.

About the Author:

Rob Schilling is founder of The Schilling Show Blog and News; host of WINA's The Schilling Show, heard weekdays from noon to 2 PM; husband; father; and community watchdog.
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15 Comments on "E tu Signer: Charlottesville Mayor flays Jones, Thomas, and Dickler"

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  1. Ken says:

    Your Caesar assassination reference implies that Jones has been stabbed in the back. That’s false. First of all, it implies that the council is acting wrongly and dishonorably, and that Jones doesn’t deserve this. But Jones has not been fired. No one has gone behind his back. He’s being given a chance to keep his job by defending himself by answering reasonable and important questions, and you have offered no evidence in his defense.

    Nor is this a “secret” memo. It’s part of an internal investigation which common decency towards Jones dictates should in fact be conducted in private before being made public. The man deserves a chance to defend himself before being blamed in public.

  2. Lynn R. says:

    Are there any qualified members in the Mayor’s office or city council? Have never seen so much “not me” finger pointing. They all need to be replaced!

  3. Al says:

    Delusions of grandeur and competence come to mind for Mike and his minions. It’s amazing how someone could instigate the clusterf**k known as “the statues gotta” yet consider himself and his council completely free of any responsibility. I’ve known a few of the people that work or have worked on their police force. I feel for them. “HEY HEY HO HO, WHITE PRIVILEGED MIKE HAS TO GO”

    Old Mike and Wes are quite a pair,
    Salt and Pepper selling despair
    Fairies floating on a breeze
    Bringing the city to its knees

    I have a spot, bring over here
    Standing tall and showing no fear
    Robert E Lee and his right hand man
    Viewed by passengers when they land

  4. Forbes Kennedy says:

    This is clearly the case of the slimy pols (Signer, Szakos, Bellamy, etc.) throwing their hands up in the classic kids “wasn’t me” posturing. Nothing more; nothing less. Some were incompetent, some were complicit, some maybe criminal.

    Having lived in Cville for 16 years, this is not surprising. The liberal playbook is to deflect accountability. I knew Thomas was in way over his head; I suspect his issues with VMI in Lexington–his calling the students there “trained killers”–that led to his leaving there for Cville was a badge of honor in the eyes of the Cville hiring decision makers. However, this event was miles above his pay grade.

    It is patently clear that Signer and Bellamy (as vile as they are) have aspirations for higher offices. Bellamy is likely at his Peter Principle level. Signer? As long as the soma-infected masses are mesmerized by their iPHones, statue issues and free goodies from the government, there may actually be a voting block who will elect him to some other office.

    Scary, ‘innit?

  5. Forbes Kennedy says:

    Oops, forgot one other thing…
    To Ken, thank you for using the term “defend” in reference to Jones. One does not need to “defend” unless one is attacked or confronted by an adversary (as in physical defense or courtroom defense). Your use of terms here confirm the stance of the politicians in this matter.

    Simply put, they’re eating their own.

  6. Ken says:

    “The liberal playbook is to deflect accountability,” but statue defenders who cheered Kessler early in his infamous career bear no responsibility for how things turned out. Really?

    It’s only human nature for leaders who disagreed on how to handle a crisis to criticize each other and defend themselves after things have gone badly. That’s not a liberal or a conservative failure, it’s a human failure, and not to recognize and acknowledge that, but the point fingers and sneer, is to be part of the problem and not the solution. For Christians, it’s to not take seriously the doctrine of original and universal sin. My feeling is that they’ve all made mistakes but they’re all decent people. Let’s hold them accountable, but let’s recognize in them the best and the worst in ourselves.

  7. Forbes Kennedy says:

    That’s where we disagree. Signer, Bellamy, Szakos are not decent people. Just because people hide behind the sheep’s clothing of suits, ties, rhetoric and superficial altruism does not make one more decent that the radicals on the other side. There is such a thing as right and wrong, and Kessler is right in his outrage over the outrage du jour of statues and the wiping of history. He is wrong with whom he associates and some of his slimy tactics.

    If we are to judge Kessler by his associates, we must also judge Bellamy by his associations, correct? And Szakos should be judged over her associations.

    Fact is, the “leaders” should have been crystal clear about how to handle this crisis. I think there was no disagreement at all; Signer et. al. knew exactly how they wanted this handled. Look, if a helicopter had not crashed and a street had been closed to traffic, we would not even be having this discussion. The roaches are scrambling because, in large part, a bright light has been turned on. It is crystal clear that Signer and Bellamy are pulling a Pilate; they are washing their hands of this debacle.

    People like Signer and Bellamy are good small town marketers. They come into a little country town like Cville, exploit the insulated minds and intolerant viewpoints, scream diversity but have no interest in diversity of viewpoints, and try to elevate their political stock.

    Finally, everyone, please do not act like this occurred in a vacuum. It is not coincidence who the governor of Virginia happens to be.

  8. Ken says:

    Which associates of Bellamy and Szakos do you disapprove of? You’re really calling Signer (who until the tragedy opposed moving the statue) and an African-American man who is offended by a statue erected to reaffirm white supremacy (there is no disputing this, read the history) “roaches” for their views?

  9. Al says:

    @Forbes Kennedy, your summation is the most accurate one I have read regarding the statue clusterf**k. It’s amazing how antifa thugs and other liberal groups openly disrupt any speech they happen to disagree. Their MO is always the same. They declare these rallies racist, anti-semitic, or now fascist. Yet these same liberal by and large support the UN, one of the most anti-semitic organizations in the world. In Berkeley the cops stepped aside and allowed around 100 black clad antifa members to attend a rally they opposed. The idiot mayor defended it by saying they were afraid stopping would lead to violence. Just like in Charlottesville, these actions are supported and condoned by liberal mayors and councils such as Signer and crew. Neo Nazis and the KKK are fringe groups looked down on by the vast majority of Americans of all races and skin colors. Judging from the Media and alt-left crowd’s rhetoric however you’d think they posed a greater threat than North Korea and Iran combined. As you noted it’s completely misleading to blame the helicopter crash on anything other than a tragic accident. That machine was flawed in someway and would certainly have crashed elsewhere if unchecked. It’s also disgusting to use the actions of a solo deranged fanatic to vilify and demean anyone that dares to disagree with a social movement. That’s the country we live in today however. The USofA will cease to exist as it is if this continues unabated. It will balkanize either peacefully or violently if we all don’t find common ground.

  10. Ken says:

    It’s also disgusting to use the actions of a solo deranged fanatic to vilify and demean anyone that dares to disagree with a social movement.

    That’s right. And by the same logic it’s wrong to use the actions of a fringe group to vilify and demean Signer for disagreeing with you. You guys condemn white supremacists in passing, but judging from your comments here and on the air what really bothers you is being lumped in with them, not what they do. It’s antifa you get angry at, not the violent guys on your side of the issue. When I debate progressives, I condemn violence in their name. Violence in your name seems of little concern to you.

  11. Ken says:

    The same goes for corruption, incompetence, and divisive rhetoric. I’ll believe you guys really care about that stuff when you start criticizing Trump. Until then, you’re just fooling yourselves.

  12. Forbes Kennedy says:

    Ah, the old Trump deflection. This, really, is what this is all about: the protests, the stand-downs, the rhetoric. The left is hysterical that Trump was elected, so they will magnify any issue they can, even if it means the use of violence. If a president were elected who was not bent on stopping the pendulum of ridiculous political correctness (come on, Jesse Jackson was removed from cobwebs to come to Cville??) from swinging far left (with a lot of help from George Soros), if we had elected a more “moderate” president, these issues would not even be protested in the radical way they are today.

    Ken, you’re right. These statues were complained about before McAuliffe. I recall the left fringe groups like BLM and SPLC bringing them up in the last, say, eight years. Did I hear a peep from the president of the people? Nope; he hopped on the big lie that was Ferguson and the Florida thug who could have been his son. But the statues? Nope, not even on DC’s radar.

    So, let’s call it what it is: the left was absolutely positive the queen would be crowned. They even torpedoed the first main ticket Jewish candidate ever who ran against her (how’s that for anti-Semitism from the tolerant left?). But the people had other ideas. The person elected was so caustic, hyperbolic and abrasive, that he was the polar opposite of today’s candlelight-vigil, safe-space crowd. But their candidate was even more repulsive, immoral and vile.
    This hurt the left. Now, they are fighting back with a vengeance, a mega-decibel cry because the queen did not get her way.

    So, when we take up Rob Schilling’s web site with the types of moral platitudes worthy of a liberal, superior “World Class City,” let’s always realize the basis for our ranting is that he won, she lost, and certain quarters of society are really, really unhappy about that.

  13. Ken says:

    So you’re seriously arguing that the Left wouldn’t be upset about Nazis and white supremacists if Trump hadn’t been elected? Why isn’t the Schilling Show audience upset about them? Why isn’t it bothered by Trump’s ignorance, incompetence, corruption, dishonesty, and instability? If you’ll notice, when it comes to Trump, and when it comes to the sad cases who came to town a couple of weeks ago, it’s not the Left vs. the Right, it’s everyone else against the alt-Right.

    I’m not a progressive. I have plenty of differences with the Left. But the Left didn’t torpedo Sanders. They voted for him. More centrist liberals voted for Clinton, and for obvious reasons like electability, experience, and gender, not to mention policy. You have no evidence they did so out of antisemitism.

  14. Al says:

    Ken, you can self identify as whatever you like on the political spectrum. It’s somewhat amusing when you paint Trump in all black, Clinton in all white, followed by painting yourself as something other than a blind partisan democrat. You managed to do all this in the same short post. As they still say in the US Navy when the conversation is over, “carry on”.

  15. Ken says:

    Our conversations tend to end when you decline to answer my simple questions, Al, as you did just a few days ago. I said nothing in praise of Clinton’s character or policies above, and I’ve said here before that there is much she deserves criticism for. I’ve also said more than once in the past that I respect conservatism and believe conservative voices need to be heard and listened to, not shut down, and that I hold some conservative positions, on abortion for example. Now, find me a true conservative with anything good to say about Donald Trump. You guys are selling your political souls, sad to say.

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