Del. Annie Crockett-Stark has a problem with campaign staffers who don’t have a lot of respect for folks in her rural district.
Stark’s district includes part of Bland, Giles, Tazewell, Pulaski and Wythe Counties: Not exactly dark of the moon Appalachia but hardly urban jungle. Two years ago a staff member got the delegate into trouble when she blogged about "rednecks" and tattoed freaks she claimed she inhabited Stark’s rural district.
Now another staffer, Elisabeth Beamer from Christiansburg, writes on her Facebook Web Page that Stark called her campaign contributors "shitheads." Stark, of course, claims she would never, ever, say such a thing and we all know that politicians never, ever, lie.
That remark cost Beamer her job and has voters in Stark’s district wondering if the delegrate thinks she is better than the locals.
Writes Tim Thornton in The Roanoke Times:
This is another playing out of the love-hate relationship political campaigns have with folks like Johnson and Beamer, said Craig Brians, an associate professor of political science at Virginia Tech, Campaigns depend on enthusiastic, not-yet jaded staffers and volunteers eager to work long hours for short pay — or no pay at all.
"The drawback with them," Brians said, "is they might not always have the best judgment.
"Many of them, contrary to everything they should know about the Internet, they think of it as a place where they can carve out this very personal space."
Beamer’s page told people she likes hip-hop, "The West Wing," Rudy Giuliani and "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?"
It also included a list titled "Elisabeth and Anthony’s Campaign 101." It began with "Drinking is not conducive to success" and ended with, "You know you’ve hit it big when your candidate starts referring to fundraising as [doo-doo head] raising."
Doo-doo head? That’s the Times’ way of avoiding reporting what Beamer really wrote.