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Salahi and Her Majesty

Anita Kumar

Oh, those Salahis.

What have they done now to warrant the the top Republican in the Virginia Senate to call for Tareq Salahi to be removed from the Virginia Tourism Board?

It turns out it's way more than just crashing last week's White House state dinner.

Sen. Tommy Norment said he first met the couple when they showed up to help organize the 2007 celebration in honor of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. He doesn't know who invited them -- or if they were invited.

He said Salahi guaranteed he could convince Queen Elizabeth II to come to Virginia for the celebration. (He didn't, but the organizers were able to do that on their own). Later, he said Salahi, who launched America's Polo Cup in 2007, said he would get his polo team to play the Queen's polo team and that he would bring in princes to participate.

"This ol' country boy didn't buy it,'' Norment said.

Norment said organizers grew tired of Salahi and "terminated" their relationship with him and banned him from using any of the Jamestown commemorative logos or trademarks. But, Norment said, he later saw a photo of Salahi in a Virginia magazine that showed him in a polo uniform with the Jamestown logo.

"My experience in 2007 was that they were shameless self-promoters...trying to attract national media attention,'' he said.

Norment said he wasn't surprised when he heard that the Salahis crashed the White House dinner, but he said he couldn't believe their "unabashed audacity to do something like that and act like there is nothing wrong with it."

By Anita Kumar  |  December 4, 2009; 4:51 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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