In January and February, a trio of scandals rocked the leadership of the Virginia Democratic Party. Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) and Attorney General Mark Herring (D-Va.) both had blackface photos surface. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax faced multiple allegations of sexual assault, including one instance at the Democratic National Convention where he allegedly pressured a woman into oral sex. While Fairfax has denied the allegations, the Democratic Party snubbed him recently, and Twitter mocked the logo for his PAC, wrongfully thinking the logo was new.
On April 1, Fairfax reached out to the Democratic Party of Virginia, offering a $2,500 donation for the party’s Blue Commonwealth Gala in June. The party rejected his donation, however, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. The party’s rejection does not mean Fairfax cannot attend the dinner as a guest at someone else’s table, The Washington Post reported.
“We were not comfortable accepting the Lieutenant Governor’s PAC’s contribution and we let his team know that when they reached out,” party spokesman Jake Rubenstein told the Post.
“The Lt. Governor’s We Rise Together PAC was planning to have a group of African-American pastors and other supporters sit at his table,” Fairfax spokeswoman Lauren Burke told the Post. “He is innocent and has passed two polygraphs and repeatedly called for an investigation. DPVA has assumed he is guilty of a violent criminal act with no investigation or even a conversation to ascertain his version of events.”
Burke called the party’s decision “beyond comprehension for a state party claiming dedication ‘to the preservation of all the rights enumerated in Article One of the Constitution of Virginia.’ That Article, of course, provides for due process of law. If the Lt. Governor can’t receive due process from his own party how can we assume the average Virginian can?”
On a side note, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has already reserved his table.
Yet the mention of Fairfax’s political action committee, We Rise Together PAC, drew attention on Twitter. Ben Tribbett, a partner at Pocket Aces Consulting in Fairfax, Va., shared a picture that he called “Justin Fairfax’s new logo.”
Justin Fairfax's new logo- you have to see it to believe it. pic.twitter.com/cVM0Hu5Vo2
— Ben Tribbett (@notlarrysabato) April 23, 2019
The PAC and the logo are nothing new, however. The logo appeared on the invitation for a fundraiser scheduled for December 7, 2018.
Yes, Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax has a phallic logo for his We Rise Together PAC. Who thought this was a good idea? The logo is not new (it dates back before Dec 7, 2018, but Fairfax's team should have nixed it after the #MeToo allegations. pic.twitter.com/9qFiq10Bib
— Tyler O'Neil (@Tyler2ONeil) April 24, 2019
“That logo was first instituted, I believe, in late 2017, definitely by January 2018,” Burke, Fairfax’s spokeswoman, told PJ Media. Fairfax was elected in 2017 and is up for re-election in 2021. While Virginia limits governors to one four-year term, there is no term limit for lieutenant governor. She called Tribbett “kind of a political gadfly” and lamented that “no one really checks anything, and it just sort of blew up.”
Twitter users mocked Fairfax in response to Tribbett’s tweet.
“The hat trick of ‘yikes’: ‘we RISE together’ ‘WERSE together’ ‘we rise TO GET HER,'” a self-identified lawyer and litigator tweeted.
The hat trick of “yikes”:
“we RISE together”
“we rise TO GET HER”
“That’s like going with Erecting Lasting Change,” a stay-at-home mom tweeted.
“Why does he even have a new logo; is Justin under the illusion that he still has a political career??” David Ramadan, a former delegate in the Virginia House and adjunct professor at George Mason University, tweeted.
“Some days, the libs own themselves,” Club for Growth analyst Andrew Follett tweeted.
Some days, the libs own themselves.
— Andrew Follett (@AndrewCFollett) April 23, 2019
“The word rise to me is forever associated with the great Dr. Maya Angelou. Two black women accuse him of sexual assault, and [Fairfax] dares to say something about rising? No. F**king. Way,” Emily Farris, an assistant professor of political science at Texas Christian University, tweeted.
“VA Lt. Gov Justin Fairfax’s new motto/logo is ‘We rise together.’ If you look closer the fine print says ‘unless I make you kneel,'” Erick Erickson tweeted.
When asked whether Fairfax or his PAC had any plans to change the logo, Burke said, “not that I know of.” She recalled the struggle to get a good logo for the PAC. “I can remember there was a discussion over names and so many of the good names were already taken. It’s like when you do a domain name and everything is taken,” she lamented.
Burke admitted that the slogan “We Rise Together” is “bland.” Neither she nor Fairfax could have predicted the storm the PAC’s logo would unleash.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.