Techno-whiz, one-time Democratic city council candidate, and new Virginia Tech alum Waldo Jaquith is back in town, and mere weeks after his college graduation he's already ruffling feathers. This time, it's through a new group he's formed called Virginia Family Values.
Has the left-leaning activist had a change of heart? Will he soon appear on the 700 Club? Can a super-poof hairdo be far behind?
Well, not quite.
The new group is a political action committee (PAC) that wants to redefine the term "family values" and retire what it sees as four of the Commonwealth's most "egregious" legislative offenders: Bob Marshall (R-Loudoun/Prince Marshall), Dave Albo (R-Springfield), Dick Black (R-Loudoun), and Bob McDonnell (R-Virginia Beach), several of whom have used the "family values" term as a foundation of their own campaigns.
Jaquith (whose mother is an occasional Hook essayist) says the four are notable for their desire to prevent easy access to birth control and to thwart freedom of sexual expression between consenting adults.
"Every time that these legislators have been given the choice between family values and bigger government, they've chosen wrong," says Jaquith. "They're way out of touch with Virginia values, and we intend to show them the door." His PAC's website, vafamilyvalues.org, leaves the gloves at that door by ranking the legislators by "assininity" and dubbing them all "grade-A nutcases."
Bob Marshall, top of the list, is given the title "unofficial fruitcake-in-chief of the loonies," in part for his role two years ago in pressuring James Madison University to stop offering emergency contraceptive to its students. Marshall did not return the Hook's call by presstime.
Dave Albo comes next, and the accusations seem borrowed straight from talk radio. "Dave Albo is– and there's no other way to put this– pro-pedophelia," the site proclaims. "How else to explain his bill to reduce child rape from a felony to a misdemeanor? Or his bill to carve out a statutory rape exception for prison guards who have sex with 13-year-olds in juvenile hall?"
Told of the group and its website by a reporter, Delegate Albo expressed shock that he'd be included.
"It's so outrageously ridiculous," says Albo, who says he was aware of criticisms about his massive crime overhaul, HB 1053 but says the bill was reviewed extensively by attorneys at the Crime Commission, the Attorney General's office, Legislative Services, and in the Courts of Justice Committee.
"Not a single one could figure out what they [critics] were talking about," Albo insists.
Further, Albo's bill would retire Virginia's so-called "fornication" statute which has long criminalized non-marital sex. And Albo says he voted in support of the "morning after" pill.
"Either they're confused," says Albo, "or they're really just a front for a Democrat political action committee." After noticing a large photo of Greg Werkheiser, his future Democratic opponent in the 42nd-district on the site, Albo says he believes it's the latter.
Of Delegate Dick Black, Jaquith's PAC is no less harsh: "Dick Black is a conflicted man. On the one hand, he's a self-described 'pornography expert.' On the other, he's opposed to every form of birth control, saying that anything with human DNA that can move around is a human. Does he love sex, or loathe it? Probably both," says the site, going on to mention Black's 2003 mailing of pink plastic fetuses to members of the Virginia Senate.
Black stands behind his positions and his actions, and criticizes the group.
"Essentially they are a homosexual and abortion group that are trying to use a deceptive title," he says. "The problem with liberalism is that it rests on a foundation of sand," he adds. "Liberals are constantly running away from who they are. They don't want to say that they are for unnatural sex acts and the killing of children; they want to say they're for family values. I have no problem with someone who says what they stand for."
Delegate Bob McDonnell, who in 2003 stated his belief that anyone who had engaged in oral or anal sex should not serve as a judge, rounds out the hit list for his response to a reporter asking whether he had ever engaged in such acts. "Not that I can recall," was his reply.
"Confidential to McDonnell," states the site, "either you're a liar, or you're really, really pathetic."
McDonnell did not return the Hook's call by presstime.
Local registered Republican and self-defined libertarian Richard Sincere agrees with the ideas behind Virginia Family Values, but questions some of their methods. Sincere calls Marshall's and Black's "obsession with sex" an embarrassment to the Republican party. But Albo, he says, doesn't belong in this group.
"If you talk to anybody in Log Cabin Republicans," says Sincere, of a well-known gay G.O.P. group, "they've had differences with Albo, but not to the extent that they would agree with this kind of targeting."
McDonnell, a potential attorney general contender who Jaquith's group attacks for his hardline stance on sodomy, is also less egregious than Marshall and Black, says Sincere, since he dropped his no-sodomy stance after the Lawrence v. Texas case in 2004 made it unconstitutional to ban such acts.
Regardless of Sincere's opinions, Jaquith stands behind his group's message and its decision to target the four. "I hope to help them out to pasture," he says.
Waldo Jaquith plays hardball with political intercourse.
FILE PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO