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Updated: Va. Beach GOP head resigns over racist email

Ben Pershing

Updated: 11:30 p.m. The chairman of the Virginia Beach Republican Party, David Bartholomew, has resigned following an incident involving a racist email, according to Gary C. Byler, the 2nd Congressional District GOP chairman. Byler blamed political operatives for using the issue to try to hurt Republican congressional candidate Scott Rigell and the entire GOP ticket.

"Let me make it clear David Bartholomew does not tolerate racism. He never has,'' Byler said. "David would never knowingly forward racist material.''

Original post:

The chairman of the Virginia Beach Republican Party faced pressure to resign Monday after he allegedly forwarded a racist email that ended up on the Internet.

Both auto dealer Scott Rigell, the Republican candidate in the 2nd congressional district, and his opponent Rep. Glenn Nye (D) called on David Bartholomew to step down from his post as head of the local GOP. Bartholomew had not responded to an email requesting comment as of this posting.

The email from Bartholomew, which was obtained by and posted on the liberal blog Blue Virginia, included a joke about someone trying to obtain welfare for their dog, who is "black, unemployed, lazy, can't speak English and has no frigging clue who his Daddy is." Bartholomew has not yet spoken up to say whether the message is or is not from him, but the address at the top of the email message matches the chairman's personal address.

Blue Virginia posted the item Monday afternoon. Just after 5 p.m., Nye's campaign issued a statement from the lawmaker, one of the most endangered incumbents in the country, saying: "This type of racist behavior has no place in politics. I call on Dave Bartholomew to resign immediately. I also call on Scott Rigell to join me in condemning this divisive, narrow-minded behavior by demanding Bartholomew's resignation."

Just after 7 p.m., Rigell came out with a statement of his own: "The email sent by Republican Party of Virginia Beach Chairman David Bartholomew is reprehensible. It stands in stark contrast to the core values of the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln, and my personal belief in a colorblind society. I call upon Mr. Bartholomew to immediately resign his position as Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia Beach."

A spokesman for the state Republican party had not responded to a request for comment as of this posting.

By Ben Pershing  | October 18, 2010; 8:11 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Ben Pershing, Election 2010, Glenn Nye, Scott Rigell  
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"David would never knowingly forward racist material."

Oh sure. I forward emails I haven't read all of the time...

Posted by: ComfortablyDumb | October 19, 2010 1:48 AM | Report abuse

A GOP hack who is racist? I never would have thought it possible. They've been stoking the race card since Nixon's Southern Strategy.

Posted by: thebeardedcrank | October 19, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Interesting. I've heard any number of black comedians tell jokes similar to that one. I don't see any of them resigning their jobs.

It's a joke people. Get over it.

Posted by: crisp11 | October 19, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

This just goes to show you just how racist the state of VA still is in 2010! Scott Rigell posted that " personal belief in a colorblind society." Well, anyone who truly embraces Multiculturalism knows that a colorblind society does not exist and actually hurts diversity. Everyone sees color and to ignore the differences between us is to forsake culture and ethnicity. Our differences are what makes America beautiful and we should not ignore them.

Posted by: shauna_dean164 | October 19, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

What a setup, just forward a racist cartoon via e-mail about a dog and your toast. Who posted it on the Internet? This had to be some left wing operative who set this guy up. I bet Bartholamew gets thousands of e-mails a day and doesn't have time to read any of them.

Posted by: quillerm | October 19, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Interesting. I've heard any number of black comedians tell jokes similar to that one. I don't see any of them resigning their jobs.

It's a joke people. Get over it.

Posted by: crisp11 | October 19, 2010 9:00 AM

Their jobs are to be comedians. If their jobs involved running for office or helping others run, then they would be in the same boat as this pompous racist.

Posted by: veritasinmedium | October 19, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Pretty soon they will revert to wearing their hoods in public.

Posted by: rlj1 | October 19, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Ha ha, was your comment a joke? You do realize that there is zero equivalency between a GOP Chairman and a comedian. Comedians are here to entertain your simple minded a**. Elected and appointed officials are here to set policies that benefit our country and its citizens as a whole. The fact you see nothing wrong say's a lot more about you then you probably realize.

Posted by: doesntmatter | October 19, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

So let's see if I have this straight...

If I am a policy setter, I can never find humor in any joke that is racist on its face, though if I'm not involved in policy decisions, I can laugh all I want. And I can laugh even though I am laughing at the humor, word plays, or absurdity of the joke and not the belief that it represents reality.

I guess we can also rule out dead baby jokes, minister in a bar jokes, any blonde female joke, Asian driver jokes, or a joke regarding any other topic -- no matter how obscure -- that may offend anyone at anytime.

Have I pretty much captured the essence of you humorless and easily offended twits?

Posted by: crisp11 | October 19, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

By the way, what if he had attended a show by Chris Rock who told the same joke? If he had laughed at it along with four thousand other people, would he be guilty of racism and forced to resign?

The double standards expressed by liberals sometimes astound me. Really, how do you people function in the real world?

Posted by: crisp11 | October 19, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Crisp 11 you are an idiot. Which job do you want the comedian to resign from?

Posted by: renegade2 | October 19, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Racists always identify themselves by the ignorant sh** they write. Trying to disprove racism by citing a black comedian's language in his comedy act, is a simple-minded attempt to cover ones own racist belief. America is so racially mixed today that we all have more than one racial DNA in our makeup. Somewhere, somehow this stuff has to stop.
If you are heading up an office as part of your political party's management, you must have the good sense to know what is right or wrong.
What is coming from the Right is absolute idiocy. Their main goal is simply to be in power with no idea of what it takes to govern for all of us. They enjoy every liberal benefit brought to us by previous Democrat programs, but refuse to believe that all Americans should also enjoy the same things. When Republicans once again gain power and try to repeal the new health care plan, they'd better repeal Medicare also. Both are government run health care plans and they'll just prove themselves liars and frauds if they are using one coverage but want to deny others the same use.
One look at the racial makeup of the Republican party leaves no question of the racists beliefs within. If their party had any positive tenets for people of color, they wouldn't be so ultra white.

Posted by: papafritz571 | October 19, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Comparing people who are trying to help guide the direction of this country to comedians is really amazing. Is that all you expect from those working to guide the direction of the country?

Posted by: nsu1203 | October 19, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: free-donny | October 19, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

They continually deny their core racism- why?

are they ashamed of it? Or is just that they know that a majority of Americans are ashamed of THEM?

The Tea Party Express chairman in California wrote a blatantly racist screed on his site, then tried to defend it as "satire" You've got racist signs bobbing at tea party rallies, Limbaugh commenting that the NFL games look like gangfights between the crips and the bloods, the GOP candidate for NY Governor sending racist emails including dancing Africal tribesman labeled "Rehearsal For Obama's Inauguration." And Now this- and they continue to deny it publically.

It's because among themselves (The Hard-right, the GOP, The Tea Party) when no one else is looking or listening, they know it's perfectly acceptable, because it's a point of view they all share.

Jews- remember these are the guys that were actively, flagrantly discriminating against you- not letting you join their clubs, live in their neighborhoods, marry their children! Hispanics- they don't want you to be citizens- they want you to be gardners, maids, babysitters- but not citizens- and they want to keep you out, Asians- they are the same guys that you've grown-up with, calling you all those names, making alll those jokes- they put your asian-american grandparents in prison camps during the second world war, they treated your ancestors whom built our railroads like slaves and wanted them to go back Asia when the job was finished. And Italians, and Irish you know very well how white racists treated your great grand parents when the arrived, calling you names, refusing you jobs and homes, membership in their clubs, entrance into their schools- and now many of you have become just like them.

These lying, denying racist are folks that we should be ashamed of- and THEY know it!

Posted by: interactidiomas | October 20, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

crisp11: "I've heard any number of black comedians tell jokes similar to that one. I don't see any of them resigning their jobs."

Most comedians deliver race-based jokes in a tongue-in-cheek manner that most intelligent audiences are capable of understanding. That's harmless. Lisa Lampanelli is the prime example of that. She says the most obnoxious, racist sounding stuff but it's all in good fun and everyone knows it. But apparently you don't recall the racist outburst that Michael Richards attempted on stage that was similarly denounced. People are smarter than you give them credit for. They know when it's a joke and they know when it's serious. Don't try to muddy the issue.

But still, I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. I can't recall any comedians telling truly racist jokes, comparing black people to dogs on welfare, where it was ignored. Since you claim to have heard so many, can you cite one or two examples? I'm betting you haven't. That's the only way right-wingers like you get away with those kinds of comments, by framing it in a strawman argument.

So, post a few examples. Which comedians, what shows...? We're waiting.

Posted by: AndreRichards | October 20, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

"Interesting. I've heard any number of black comedians tell jokes similar to that one. I don't see any of them resigning their jobs."

Because, well...they are *comedians*

Now that this man has resigned from Political Office, I guess we can now see him over at Chuckles Tuesday Open Mic in Virgina Beach. He can now pursue his real calling...

Hack, old racist comedy. Try the Veal. Don't drink and drive, you might spill it it in your lap. Don't sit too close to the stage. He also steals Gallagher's act at the end.

Posted by: 1hepcat | October 22, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

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