Tareq Salahi, accused of crashing President Obama's first state dinner with wife Michaele in November, before the House Homeland Security Committee hearing on the incident. The couple invoked their Fifth Amendment right not to testify. (Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly)
Tareq Salahi has been vehement he was an alleged White House crasher, but he's carried that title through attempts at reality-TV fame and right into his (yes, really) gubernatorial campaign.
Salahi announced back in May that he would run as a Republican in 2013 in Virginia, and his new bilingual "Crash the Vote" website launched Tuesday.
Says a press release:
The website www.crashthevote.com uses the unconventional campaign slogan "Crash the Vote," as a play on the candidate's modern, bipartisan approach to politics as well as his erroneously alleged White House party "crashing" episode filmed by NBC Universal's Bravo TV network.
With a proven history of working successfully across party lines, Salahi invites all Virginians to "crash the party lines" and join him to reach out and work together to change "politics as usual," put government back in the hands of the people, and make Virginia proud and strong again.
The homepage features recent media coverage ("CNN: Salahi Gets Huge Support"; "Salahi on Access Hollywood") and the slogan "Virginia Deserves the Best."
Users can click through to his issues: "promoting the Commonwealth of Virginia," business and jobs, troops and defense personnel, agriculture, lower taxes and fewer regulations ("less over-regulation"), and clean energy production.
Of course, Salahi faces a potentially Mount Everest-sized climb to the governor's mansion.
A survey by the Public Policy Polling -- released in May, the month after he announced his campaign -- reported that only two percent of Virginians had a positive opinion of Salahi, and 34 percent had a negative one.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who filed a lawsuit against Salahi over a wine tour venture for alleged violations of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act, has also said he will run for governor in 2013.
But Salahi has said Cuccinelli is just afraid that Salahi will emerge the victor: "It is clear that the only thing that has changed since Cuccinelli supported an open primary in last year’s Republican vote is the announcement that I am seeking the Republican nomination for governor in next year’s primary and his fear that I will win," he said.
Although Salahi has completed a declaration of candidacy, the State Board of Elections won't accept declarations until Jan. 1.