Why this pink flier caused an Election Day stir

Posted at 6:16 PM, Nov 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-08 18:16:23-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- A man was found handing out pink "North Richmond Republican PAC" sample ballots outside of the Randolph Community Center in Richmond's 5th District Tuesday with the names Donald Trump and Jack Berry on them. But, who is running for the non-partisan position of Richmond mayor, is a Democrat.

Melissa Hipolit approached the man handing out the fliers to ask what was going on.

"I’m not going to get on TV, I don’t do interviews bye," the man responded. "I don’t do interviews, do you mind turning the camera off?"

The man declined to identify himself, but a woman standing nearby, Francesca Leig-Davis, identified the man as Bill Laffoon.

She said she knows Laffoon because they are both members of the Richmond Crusade For Voters, a group which endorsed Berry's mayoral opponent Joe Morrissey.

The Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) data showed Laffoon donated $1,000 to the Morrissey for Richmond City Mayor campaign.

Leig-Davis said she was not happy about the fliers.

"The person who is passing out those flyers has been seen numerous times at crusade meetings as well as in and around the city with Morrissey for Mayor shirts it's deceptive," Leig-Davis said.

Hipolit found Morrissey at the same polling place as Laffoon, but the candidate firmly denied any involvement with the fliers.

"I have absolutely nothing to do with the pink campaign pamphlets that are going out, nothing what-so-ever, and I would appreciate if you wouldn't mention my name and Trump in the same paragraph," Morrissey said.

Jack Berry sent out a statement about the fliers which said, in part, "some of my opponents have resorted to sending out fake literature at the polls. It's just dirty, political tricks."

Richmond's General Registrar said the fliers are perfectly legal.

She said non-official sample ballots have to be on paper which is not white or yellow.

She said people could file a complaint with the Virginia Board of Elections if they so choose.

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