Halfaday Saga Keeps Getting Stranger

It started with The Hook’s revelation that the recent Democratic candidate doesn’t own the local business that he claimed to own. A regular talking point of his campaign was his ownership of Snap Fitness, a claim that surprised the owners of Snap Fitness. Since Halfaday had reported an ownership interest in his candidacy filing with the State Board of Elections, that got voter registrar Sheri Iachetta’s attention. She turned over the matter to Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman, at the direction of a unanimous electoral board. In the meantime, The Hook’s Lisa Provence did a little more digging and found that Halfaday doesn’t even appear to live in the city, and that at least some of the 21 donors who he listed on campaign finance reports never gave him any money at all.

The piling-up of apparent mistruths make it logical to question just about everything that is known about him, as surely local media outlets are doing now. Like:

In an interview published with a web-only, Florida-based, LGBT publication earlier this month, Halfaday said he’s considering running for council again in two years. Perhaps the silver lining here is that he finished seventh in a seven-way race—perhaps voters’ choices reflected their concerns.

28 thoughts on “Halfaday Saga Keeps Getting Stranger”

  1. I’m trying to think of what would more entertaining, politically speaking, than Halfaday running for Council again. Anybody care to speculate on the tales that would make up his latest “biography”?

  2. How about when he claimed during the campaign that Senator Mark Warner was coming to campaign for him and later said that it was just a typo?

    Or when he claimed that he was being targeted by the Westboro Baptist Church?

    Or when he said he’d received a bomb threat in the mail for coming out as a gay man?

    Or when he claimed to have saved multiple lives in various incredible – literally, incredible – heroic exploits?

    Or when he criticized the mayor for endorsing candidates even though he himself had sought the mayor’s endorsement?

    Or when he said he paid for the prescriptions of any elderly person who couldn’t afford them?

    Or when he said he graduated from UVa because he once took a 3-day workshop there that anyone could sign up for?

    Or when he claimed that UVa President Sullivan was his close personal friend?

    Or when he fabricated a homophobic Facebook post from Kathy Galvin and then claimed someone had hacked his Facebook account?

    Or when he claimed to have rescued a dog from three boys who were beating it with a baseball bat?

    Or when he claimed to have rescued a teenage boy whose father had punished him for being gay?

    Or when he claimed… Oh drat the internet has run out of space. But there’s more. You get the point.

  3. Really it’s not surprising that this would happen every so often in politics. (Insert screed about celebrity culture here. Insert disclaimer about how it was always thus.) It would be more surprising if it never did. Still, good to write it up so some other town doesn’t get snookered.

  4. Of all the things he’s accused of putting in false names for donation is the reason he could end up with jail time. That and the fact he may not have actually even been a city resident. It’s tragically sad and comical at the same time.

  5. I suspect the false names for donations is really going to sink him, moreso than the fake address. That was a lie that embroiled others, specifically naming individuals as giving donations who apparently had not.

    FWIW, I’m not sure that it’s necessary to live in the city to run for office or even to get elected, only to serve. I recall last November, when Morgan Griffith ran successfully for congress, despite not living in the district. He won and moved into the district. Maybe things are different for federal elections, I’m not sure, but it’s possible that the crime here was lying, rather than living outside of the city.

  6. Didn’t Joan Fenton try to run for council while living in the county a while back? I think she claimed that a cot in the back of her store was technically her place of residence or something like that…

  7. I actually ran against Joan that year, and never bought into that criticism of her. She and her husband maintained a (beautiful) apartment on the Downtown Mall and a home in Ivy, as they still do.

  8. Maurice Jones serves as City Manager and lives in the county. I think living in the city should be a prerequisite for councilors and top officials, especially the City Manager, whose place of residence sends a message to others at a time we are trying to attract more middle class blacks to town.

  9. I remember google mapping Dunfermline, Illinois and thinking that since it was basically 5 houses and a stop sign, that someone like Halfaday could have been an elected official there, but after trying to find any newspaper record of an election, I just figured the town was so small that they didn’t have any kind of coverage.

    But now I am wondering if they would even have a “City Council” or if he was ever elected.

    I did laugh at Hawes Spencer and Coy Barefoot laughing at him and his earthquake “injuries” on last Friday’s Charlottesville Right Now.

  10. From Halfaday’s Facebook page (on the picture of him in a neckbrace from the earthquake):

    “Byron Harris: James, How odd…. You just told me in chat that the Earthquake we had was nothing to you as you went through some big ones in CA…You mentioned absolutely nothing about being hurt.. Strange. (August 24 at 8:14pm)”

  11. I intend to run for city council in two years, under Halfaday’s identity, so its all good.

    I just hope we wear the same size neckbrace…

  12. belmont yo, you stole my idea. I think I’m going to have to wrestle you for it (but first, how ’bout posting a link to your facebook page if you don’t mind).

    Better yet, one of could run as a Republican and one as a Democrat and we’ll see who gets the most votes. We’d only have to flip a coin for that.

  13. It is my recollection that Maurice Jones’ contract requires he move to the city by December of 2011. I would assume, that like many others, the housing market has something to do with his delay.

  14. > “I’m trying to think of what would more entertaining, politically speaking, than Halfaday running for Council again.”

    Perhaps a public debate between Halfaday and Robert Brandon Smith III?

    I’m surprised Waldo’s write-up didn’t mention Halfaday’s claim to be the only person injured in the Earthquake (complete with Facebook photos of him in a neckbrace and storied about his chihuahuas) as that was the first thing that made me take notice and say, “wait a minute, this guy’s a nutcase.”

    He also claimed to be a recovering alcoholic, though I didn’t think much of it at the time since this was during the campaign proper, before all this nutso stuff started coming to light. Now it seems like another bizarre and possibly spurious detail in this strange saga.

  15. Halfaday reminds me of that crazy chicken guy from Buckingham County who used to try to sue everyone.

    Say, that last name is a little bit odd, too. Does anyone know for a fact that this is definitely his real name?

  16. The housing market is soft. If the City Manager’s contract is to move by Dec. 2011 the councilors should make sure he holds to the agreement. If not, find someone who will live in Charlottesville. It sends the wrong message for the City Manager to live in the county. And he certainly is paid enough to move to the City.

  17. Jack,

    You nay be on to something. This is from the chicken guy’s blog. A very, very, (I mean very) good source told me that Halfaday’s poodles are named Caspar and Odessa.

    On the last episode of “Cosmic’s Adventure,” Cosmic found himself in the middle of Washington, D.C. again, this time was similar to last. The spaceships were flying above, green lights glimmering through the city and everyone in a hurried panic. He also found Odessa by his side, Casper in the duffle bag hiding, and a newfound fear of the unknown was all around him. As he was coming out of the portal, the green light slammed into him and he was being lifted up to a craft. A motionless Cosmic was startled by fighter jets flying above and one shot into the spacecraft. Cosmic was happy to see the boys and girls with the U.S. Military fighting, hopefully he believed and wished, that they would defeat the danger that has seemingly engulfed Washington.

    That gripping narrative notwithstanding, I still think someone needs to investigate the rumor that Halfaday is a post plastic surgery Jim Baldy. Whenever I see his picture I think that guy looks strangely familiar…

  18. I’m surprised Waldo’s write-up didn’t mention Halfaday’s claim to be the only person injured in the Earthquake (complete with Facebook photos of him in a neckbrace and storied about his chihuahuas) as that was the first thing that made me take notice and say, “wait a minute, this guy’s a nutcase.”

    Now that you mention it, I’m surprised I didn’t mention it, either. I thought I had!

  19. @the boss of me “one of could run as a Republican and one as a Democrat and we’ll see who gets the most votes.”

    Nah, scratch that, lets run a raft of candidates all with an “aday” name suffix…


    Picture the omni ballroom, filled to capacity with sexually ambiguous people in exercise clothes, neck-braces and all holding small stuffed chihuahuas waiting for a life size cardboard cutout of Theresa Sullivan to speak…

    I know it sounds far fetched but consider these two words: Tea Party. Iknowright?

    (PS, Im not too hard to find on facebox, as I have like six accounts. I figure if I am going to be assimilated into the Zucker-borg, I should at least leave myself some options.)

  20. I like the “aday” suffix idea. I’m going with Europeon5dollarsaday.

    Attention spans being what they are, I think a lot of folks will mistake those for Indian names. They’ll think they are voting for Huja. Halfaday is from some place called Ojibwa. That’s Indian I think. Somewhere near Delhi isn’t it?

    My neck-brace ships today. Buying some wapoos (choodles if you prefer) soon.

    See y’all at the Omni!!!

    (PS, Even though we’ve settled this non-violently, I’d still like to wrestle with at least a couple of your facebook personas. Meet me at the used oil barrel behind Spudnuts. You name the time.)

  21. If the city manager does not move into the city by December of 2011, who can or who will do anything about it? The answer is nobody! We will more likely than not see the requirement of living in the city changed first.

  22. “Were all or any of his endorsements legitimate?”

    Well, actual endorsements were made by numerous people who knew little or nothing about the person they were endorsing. It’s debatable whether those could be called “legitimate.”

    It’s also very likely that most endorsements for the rest of the candidates were made by people who had no idea what they were talking about.

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