Fightin’ Joe Morrissey in Hot Water Again

Fightin’ Joe

by Kerry Dougherty

When I saw yesterday’s headline in The Washington Post, I was shocked:

Virginia State Sen. Joe Morrissey Faces Criminal Charges For Allegedly Campaigning Inside Polling Place.”

I wasn’t surprised that Morrissey’s in trouble. Heck, his entire checkered career has been a gift to Virginia’s newsaper columnists. I wrote about him several times and, frankly, the fiery Democrat was a terrific interview.

Not shy, highly quotable. Everything a columnist could ask for in one colorful bundle.

There was that courtroom fistfight that earned him the nickname “Fightin’ Joe” when he was Richmond’s commonwealth’s attorney in the 1991. Then there was the 2015 session of the House of Delegates, when he commuted to the Capitol from the Henrico County Jail where he was on work release for a misdemeanor conviction for contributing to the delinquency of a minor (his 17-year-old receptionist, whom he later married.) If he crossed his legs just right you couldn’t see his ankle bracelet.

So no, I wasn’t surprised that now-Senator Morrissey is in hot water. I was simply astonished at how quickly charges were brought against him. After all, Election Day was little more than a month ago. These cases usually get to court when the election is far in the rear view mirror and everyone has lost interest.

(Anyone else remember the aide to Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms who was indicted for campaign literature that lacked the required disclosure about who financed the material? The fliers in question were misleading. They showed Republican Sessoms with Barack Obama and were passed out in heavily African-American precincts as if the two were pals. The election was in November of 2008, the indictment came in April of 2009. The aide pleaded guilty and paid a $2,500 fine. Big deal. No one cared by then.)

I read The Washington Post story and learned that Morrissey is charged with three misdemeanors for allegedly violating election laws in 2019 — ONE YEAR AGO — when he allegedly sashayed into a Richmond polling place armed with a box of Krispy Kremes and posed for photos with poll workers. He’s accused of violating Code of Virginia Section 24.2-604, which bans campaign activities within 40 feet of a polling place.

Shoot, there are photos of Morrissey inside the polling place, cradling his doughnuts, surrounded by adoring poll workers.

There’s also a video.

If this was an illegal doughnut distribution, what took the authorities so long to bring charges?

Politics, says Morrissey.

“I’ve read the statute, I read the summons, it’s specious,” Morrissey declared, according to WRIC, Richmond’s ABC affiliate. “I am shocked that Attorney General Herring would use the resource of his office when people are dying of COVID-19, losing their jobs, losing their homes, having a hard time feeding the public to prosecute the donut delivery man.

“People asked to take pictures with me. What am I supposed to say, you know? ‘No?’” Morrissey asked.

Morrissey would never decline a photo op. That’s for sure.

The 63-year-old state senator is probably right. Very little happens in Richmond these days that isn’t steeped in politics.

Months ago Morrissey endorsed Norfolk Del. Jay Jones — a 31-year-old rising star in Virginia’s Democratic Party — for Attorney General. Morrissey claims that Attorney General Mark Herring, who’s running for a third term, is not happy about it.

Is it possible Herring also yearned for the flamboyant jailbird’s endorsement?

Virginia Democrats, you’ve gotta love ‘em.

This column is republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.

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20 responses to “Fightin’ Joe Morrissey in Hot Water Again

  1. Must not have brought enough donuts for everybody….

    Time for term limits on the Office of Attorney General, as well. About the only thing that might justify this is if Morrissey was eventually asked to leave and refused, or was openly asking voters to vote for him (which of course is legal on the outside.). But this smells of revenge politics on somebody’s part. Live by the sword….

  2. Didn’t he also bring an AR-15 to the General Assembly and wave it around?

    Dominion Dick Saslaw, Crazy Joe Morrissey, NoPlan Northam, Fishy Herring, NoDocs Filler-Corn, Levar “Me corrupt? NAH! Stoney, #NotMe Fairfax

    Quite a crew the Democrats in Virginia are fielding these days.

    • “Didn’t he also bring an AR-15 to the General Assembly and wave it around?”

      I believe it was an AK-47. Please notice his thumb inside the trigger guard. Joe Morrissey is a fine example of the “gun safety” people.

  3. Who specifically was coerced and how many votes impacted?

    What provisions prevent voters who mail their ballots from being coerced?

    “While vote by mail appears to increase turnout for local elections, there is no evidence that it significantly expands participation in federal elections. Moreover, it raises concerns about privacy, as citizens voting at home may come under pressure to vote for certain candidates, and it increases the risk of fraud.”

    Building Confidence in U.S. Elections
    Report of the Commission on Federal Election Reform

  4. Let Fighting Joe go – the election folks weren’t voting, they were volunteering and volunteers and doughnuts go together. He is my district’s Senator, and quite frankly, what has he done to tick someone off? Nothing, and that is the point. Maybe he needs to bring doughnuts to Petersburg folks out of work due to the pandemic.

  5. He brought four assault rifles to the GA. One was a Kalashnikov he “borrowed” from a friend.

  6. If it stinks, Va. Attorney General Herring is sure to have his nose in it.

  7. I don’t know. The weapon I saw the most was the cut down AKS 74 which could fire selectively. I once shot a hand held machine gun at an arms show. It had a big, heavy noise suppressor and made little “pfft” sounds. Don’t remembert if it was an AK but it was designed for special ops.

    • I wouldn’t doubt it (AKS-74 fire a smaller round), but again that’s not the United States. Select fire weapons must have been constructed prior to 1986, are registered (the Federal Government knows where and who owns all legal select fire weapons in the United States), an FBI background check and a $200 tax stamp per piece. If that’s not enough they also cost north of $10,000 per firearm (supply and demand).

      Suppressors shouldn’t be that heavy but depends on construction. They aid in keeping the muzzle down when firing as well as reduce the sound (if you us subsonic ammunition). They don’t muffle the action, so you’ll still have all the metallic clicks of that.

      Spentsnaz use the VSS Vintorez or the AS VAL with integral suppressors.

      • An H&K MP5 is great for home defense, tight quarters, etc. Three round burst capability is great, no need to waste all those rounds! At 60 cents a rounds, and going ever higher, it’s the life cycle costs you have to consider.

        • MP5 would need to be manufactured prior to 1986 and it’s full auto not 3 round burst. H&K released a civilian variation the SP5 which is semi-auto. They are both extremely expensive firearms.

          9MM is a good home defense round and would be better in a hollow point as to stop it from penetrating beyond initial impact

          • Baconator with extra cheese

            Corbon Pow’rballs are great… let the bogeyman keep all the energy and lead right where it belongs.

  8. “Months ago Morrissey endorsed Norfolk Del. Jay Jones — a 31-year-old rising star in Virginia’s Democratic Party — for Attorney General.”


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