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Hanover Photo-gate Deepens – New Photo Casts Doubt on Statement to Mechanicsville Local

Sometimes the coverup is more appalling than the initial event.

In a comment on the original story about the Photoshopped picture that was printed in the Mechanicsville Local, Hanover Republican Committee Chairman Nancy Russell wrote:

The truth matters and the Mechanicsville Local has spent the better part of today getting to the truth. Here is the link to their research and subsequent statement on this post:

I am very disappointed at the amount of people that are happy to accept undocumented, unsupported information as the truth. I expect this from Democrats. Besides this post being an outright lie, I find the post to be juvenile and mean spirited. The Virginia Republican creed states in part that all individuals are entitled to justice. This post and the comments are anything but justice.

Yes, Nancy. The truth does matter. And while you are happy to call me a liar, in the Mechanicsville Local article you cited Kristi Helmic Proctor admits the picture was, indeed, Photoshopped.

And in the article, Proctor attempts to explain the deception as an innocent exercise in clarification due to poor lighting, etc. saying:

“Angela was sort of standing in the background. Angela is so close I can just bring her forward.”

Here Proctor is claiming that Angela Kelly-Wiecek was in the picture and she brought the image of Kelly-Wiecek “forward” in the same picture. Ok. I believe that if she was not actually posing for the photo with the other ladies that it is inappropriate to “bring her forward” from her image in the picture because it substantially changes the story told by the picture. Unless the alterations were mentioned in the caption or the story.

But did Proctor simply “bring an image forward” or did she use a completely different image from another picture? I have requested that both Russell and Proctor provide the original undoctored photo so we can see for ourselves if Angela was actually “brought forward”. But that picture has not been produced. And as a side note here, I wonder why the Local didn’t also ask for the original. You really can’t investigate this as Russell claims they did without the originals.

So for the time being, until they produce the original undoctored photo, my investigation has turned up evidence that Proctor did not simply bring Angela forward, but she used a completely different picture. But you be the judge.

In this picture obtained from Facebook and shared as a Photo Album titled “Pearls and Politics 2014” pay close attention to the image of Angela Kelly-Wiecek:


Note the telltale light on the left side of Kelly-Wiecek’s face (third from the left) and the position of the pearls, slightly off center to her right. See, the thing about long strands of pearls is that they constantly shift and move as you walk. So no two pictures will show the pearls in exactly the same spot. Sort of like a fingerprint.

Now compare that to the photo from the Mechanicsville Local below.


The lighting on the side of Kelly-Wiecek’s face, the position of the pearls, the slight tilt of her head to the right are identical to the picture above.

Procror also admits to Photoshopping Laura Brat into the picture (far right) saying in the Local:

Brat was in the same location in the original photo, but Helmick Proctor said she chose to use PhotoShop to place her into the photo where the lighting was better. “The overlay of Laura almost appeared like a black shadow. She was another PhotoShop,”

Now it seems to me that the lighting on the three ladies in the center of the picture was pretty good. And the reflection in the glasses of Proctor (the tall lady in the center) looks to be that of a cell phone camera flash. Which leaves me curious about why Laura Brat would be too dark in the original picture.

LauraBrat1And I believe I have located the picture of Laura Brat that was used in the Photoshop job (above). This image seems a bit lighter in this original than in the one Proctor Photoshopped.

So if we can believe Nancy Russell when she says “truth matters” she might want to start with the ladies in the Hanover Republican Women’s Club.

I will again ask the ladies to produce the original picture that has what they claim was Angela Kelly-Wiecek in the background that was “brought forward” and the picture of the 3 other ladies in perfectly acceptable lighting with Laura Brat being the only one that was too dark (in the same frame).

And while today’s talking points, based on the comments on the original story, seems to be ladies telling me I have too much time on my hands, I can assure you I do not. I would prefer that this never happened. But it goes to basic honesty and trust. And when the Chairman of the Hanover Republican Committee and Supervisor Angela Kelly Wiecek are perfectly fine with a doctored picture while calling me a liar for exposing the facts, know that I will take as much time as is necessary to set the record straight. Because to me, truth really does matter. And I can’t trust people that not only show a willingness to deceive with a picture, but a willingness to try to justify and even cover up and obfuscate the facts to make a fake picture seem OK.

A picture is worth a thousand words. But when the picture is a lie, what does that tell you about the words?

What it tells me is that I can’t trust the people involved and the ones who have been working so hard to make this go away.

And the fact that their outrage is aimed at me, the messenger, is a manifestation of the sickness that is so pervasive within the Republican Party in Hanover.

Most of the people who have followed Hanover Photo-gate have been shocked and appalled at the deception. The only ones that find this behavior acceptable are those involved and their fellow members who represent the “insider’s clique” in Hanover. The same ones that complain about name calling when I use terms like “Angela Kelly Wasserman Schultz Wiecek” are the same ones calling me “angry” or “bitter” or worse. It is Ok for them to call me names, but they object when the favor is returned.

But the truth is, I really don’t care what people think or call me. I am not concerned in the least. Mostly because I know I am “over the target” when I take incoming fire. But also because I don’t care what people think when I am doing the right thing.

One of the most asked questions in Hanover is why I do what I do. Why I call out bad behavior by Republicans. Especially when there is so much bad behavior in Democrat circles.

Well, the answer to that is I really don’t care about the Democrats because I am a Republican.

If you want to know what makes me tick and ticks me off, read on. Because I am about to unload a lot of truth. If you don’t care, don’t want to know or don’t have the stomach for what is about to come, go watch some kitten videos on YouTube, this is going to get messy.

First, I have always been a Conservative and a Republican. I wasn’t always involved politically because things seemed to go pretty good without me. And besides, I used to amass about a half million frequent flyer miles a year. I didn’t have the time to work in the political arena because I spent my days all over the country or in Europe.

That all changed for me in 2008, as it did for a lot of folks.

The day after Barack Obama was elected I sat in my Lazy Boy recliner and it seemed that the world had ended. We had a Socialist in the White House that was planning to fundamentally change the life I had been living. And I was perfectly fine with that life.

I was no longer traveling and decided that I would never again sit in my recliner the day after an election and regret what had happened. And win, lose or draw I would never again wonder if I could have done more.

And I have kept that promise to myself since that day.

I joined the Hanover Republican Committee, the Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of Virginia. I went to the very next meeting of the Hanover Republican Committee and volunteered to serve on Rusty McGuire’s Campaign because my skill set with computers, phones and data were exactly what he needed at the time. And after we talked for a while, I was impressed.

HRC members that were around then will confirm that that there was no person on that committee that worked any harder then me. I set up events, tore down the tents and moved on to the next item on the agenda. The word “no” would not be spoken by me. I was a cheerleader on my blog for the Victory Center urging people to come in and make calls for the Bob McDonnell ticket. I worked my ass off for a number of candidates to help push them across the line. And in the first few months of my service to the Committee, I was asked to be the Mechanicsville Magisterial District Chairman and I worked even harder. When the Republicans swept the top 3 offices in 2009 I was tired to the bone but I believed I had really made a difference.

My first hint that there were things about the Committee that were less than ideal was during an Executive Committee Meeting prior to the re-election bid for then Chairman Angela Kelly-Wiecek. The TEA Party had played an important and impressive role in the 2009 Republican victory and my heart and soul was committed to taking back the country and the TEA Party had proved itself as a force for good. But during that Executive Committee meeting, Kelly-Wiecek proposed that in order to keep the TEA Party from “taking over’ the committee that instead of the normal “mass meeting” election that we have a “firehouse primary” at the Courthouse and set the hours to make it as inconvenient as possible for the “outsiders” to “take over”.

My jaw hit the floor. This was the most dishonest thing I had heard as a Committee member. After all the TEA Party had done for the Republicans, she wanted to make them go away. Fortunately I didn’t have to voice my opinion because then Vice Chairman Rusty McGuire verbally tore into Angela with a considerable tongue lashing about ethics, appearances and right and wrong. When we voted, it was for holding the election the way they always held it – an open mass meeting. And I lost a lot respect for Angela Kelly-Wiecek that day. And it told me a lot about her character. But I put it behind me and moved on. And I continued to work for the Committee. I even supported Angela for Supervisor, helped her with computer issues when she started a business and even brought a portable air conditioner to her house when her’s went out.

And as I continued to work hard for the Committee I began to see more and more of this protectionist “us against them” attitude. It was disturbing to me, but I reasoned it best to continue to work from within to make these things better.

And as I worked to elect Republicans I heard Eric Cantor promise to lower taxes, balance the budget, reign in spending and more only to see him go to Washington and do the opposite. And when I tried to criticize him I was treated within the committee as if I had blasphemed God.

And when the fiscally conservative Bob McDonnell fought to raise taxes, I was outraged. But again I was admonished by the Committee members to remain quiet.

And in 2012 while working to get Eric Cantor elected for what turned out to be his final term, the Cantor team made so many demands on me as a Magisterial District Chairman that when the polls closed that day I resigned as MDC. I had had enough. And a couple of months later I was singled out as a member of the “home grown” media and chastised in a Committee meeting for my criticism of Kelly-Wiecek and her push for high density – low income housing in Hanover. And a few other issues that I believed were counter to the will of the voters in Hanover. And looking at the donations from builders to Angela’s campaign on VPAP and watching her push for their projects was something that needed criticizing.

So that was the day I decided I could not be effective within the Committee and needed to work from without to hold people accountable. And that was probably the best decision I ever made. No longer was I restrained by virtue of my membership in the Committee and limited by that membership in what I could write. Ironically, as Nancy Russell and Angela Kelly-Wiecek worked to remove me from the committee, my leaving has allowed me to be open and honest about the bad behavior I witnessed in the Committee. And although I don’t attend, rest assured that nothing important that goes on escapes my notice.

And the protectionism within the Committee has grown worse. Far worse. Nancy Russell holds up votes on new members for months if she has a hint that they might be Conservative. Potential new members are so put off by this that they resign in disgust. And while Russell has made a point of attendance, using pink cards to enable her to kick out anyone missing 3 meetings without issuing a proxy, she brings in a replacement candidate for Vice Chairman who never attends meetings. And she (and Kelly-Wiecek) tried to ram that through until she was made aware of the bylaws. And a vote that she scheduled for tonight has been postponed for a few months giving rise to speculation that she is trying to avoid the criticism that the candidate has not attended meetings and should not even be a member by virtue of missing 3 meetings.

They no longer use the pink cards because there were reported instances of members filling out the attendance cards for others. Oops!

The battleground for the Hanover Republican Committee is no longer against Democrats. It is between Conservatives who just want to help and the “inside clique”. Rullell and company are happy to have their help at election time, but want no part in sharing power or allowing them to hold Committee positions.

And it is no secret that the insiders do not support Dave Brat and 7th District Chairman Fred Gruber. Most are looking to Bill Bolling to challenge Brat before the newly elected Congressman even has a chance. And Russell and others do whatever they can, it seems, to see Gruber fail. One of the most damaging things was the vote by Russell and others to give the 7th District money away so Gruber would have little to work with. She assisted Ray Allen, the Cantor Consultant in his stated goal to ruin the party. Another irony is that Gruber wanted to use some of that money Russell gave away to hire people to man victory offices around the district to coordinate calls and door knocking to get out the vote for Brat and Gillespie. During the 7th District meeting, Gruber was ridiculed for this idea. But now that we know Gillespie only needed a few more votes to unseat Democrat Mark Warner, Gruber’s plan may have provided the extra margin to victory.

But what I find most disturbing of all is that the inside circle actually seems blind to all this protectionism and cronyism. they defend doctored pictures and you would be hard pressed to find a single Hanover insider that believes Bob McDonnell did anything wrong. It is absolutely astonishing to me.

But in this era of renewed attention on ethics and new rules and laws for our elected officials that make it easier than ever to join Bob McDonnell in a cell, they still don’t get it. If you can’t see how a doctored picture that tells a story that never happened is a problem, these people are bound to run afoul of the law.

And without someone pointing out these lapses it is bound to happen.

For instance, with tough new rules in the Virginia General Assembly in place, my Delegate Chris Peace and his wife Ashley have put themselves in a position where they both could be forced to follow Bob and Maureen into a cell. Not because of something they consciously did, but because of these rules. Ashley serves on the planning commission in Hanover, a paid position that brings in extra income. And Chris is a Delegate. I have heard a lot of people scream cronyism and political “inside trading” and a few questioned the ethics of such an arrangement. but this is a disaster waiting to happen. I know Chris and I can say unequivocally that he would never take a bribe or even consider one. And anyone that approached him with such a thought would probably be in jail. But Chris does take donations from developers and builders. And there is nothing wrong with that. And it is 100% reported.

But when a developer donates to Chris Peace and then his wife subsequently approves a project by the same developer, that raises red flags. And if it happens again. And again. And if there is a development that is denied and later approved and a donation went to Chris, that raises red flags. And we have a Democrat Attorney General and a Democrat Federal Administration. I would say that this scenario has a really good chance of happening. And if Chris Peace has a Democratic opponent, would anyone be shocked to see an October indictment? Maybe they can’t prove anything, but then again….

And I don’t want to be represented by a Democrat. And Chris and Ashley have two kids to worry about.

And no one in the committee, on the Board of Supervisors or anywhere else thinks in those terms. They are too busy protecting “their own” by any means necessary. And just as they see nothing wrong with what the now convicted felon Bob McDonnell did, neither do they see a problem with pictures or Delegates wives on boards.

I know if we watch the little things the big ones take care of themselves. And I watch the little thing. And the big things.

So am I angry? Bitter?

Probably. But not for the reasons you might think. I would love to see a united Republican Committee work to elect good people. But I see nothing good in the Hanover Republican Committee. And as long as they continue this “anything goes” to achieve our ends and the “Conservatives” are our enemies behavior, I can find a lot of other ways to get people elected.

This is a sickness within the Committee that has infected the women’s groups and is festering.

I am not popular in the inner clique for pointing out the obvious, but then it is high time someone exposed the goings on in Hanover. However, the response from outside of the inner clique has been overwhelmingly positive. Hardly a day goes by that someone does not leave a comment, send a personal note or tell me in person how thankful they are for my work. So when the problematic recipients squeal, you can understand why I don’t care. When the problems – Nancy Russell being the worse – don’t like my posts, call me a liar and then try to excuse these things, it is of no consequence to me. Nancy Russell is an impediment to the recovery of the Committee and it will never get better until the “us against them” mentality she AND ANGELA maintain is gone. The frustration with the Committee that started with Angela for me has caused a lot of good workers to leave.

So it’s not personal with me. I call them like I see them. I say what needs to be said and has gone unspoken for far too long. You might not like it, but it is for the good of the County I love and the Country I fought for.

It is time for the inner clique to look in the mirror and realize it is not me doing the harm. It is you.

And please, someone tell Chris Peace to discuss this with his wife. One of them ought to resign their post.

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

30 Responses to “Hanover Photo-gate Deepens – New Photo Casts Doubt on Statement to Mechanicsville Local”

  1. jessica

    was this an article or a resume?

    • Tom White says:

      No, Jessica Buchanan. That is not a resume. But if you want, I can bring you one the next time I see you at the PCE PTA meeting. I always enjoy talking to you so much. But the truth is, I am not looking for a job. Please tell Angela I said hello! And stay like you are. You are so adorbs.

      It is really cool how you and Ann Ross and the other PCE PTA gals from Angela’s neighborhood have teamed up to comment on my blog. I think that it is nice of you to take time out from watching your soaps and Oprah to help increase the chatter and Google Juice on this post. Please leave more comments. One of the ways Google moves posts up in search engines is by the number of comments. So this works really well and the money you help bring in from my ads is money I can use to pay the internet bills.

      You gals are so cool.

      By the way, Wal-Mart has a good price on Bon Bons.
      Tom White recently posted…Hanover Photo-gate Deepens – New Photo Casts Doubt on Statement to Mechanicsville LocalMy Profile

    • Jack

      @jessica. It was an article, not a resume Tom White’s already got the job. It’s a teachers position, and you just got schooled.

  2. Daryl Carr says:

    I do not understand Jessica’s question. Doesn’t she want what is best for Hanover? Is she comfortable with deceit? Does she care about the organizations that have had their credibility shattered? For God’s sake this is about doing the right thing.

  3. Ron hedlund

    Thank you for exposing people who have little regard for integrity. The longer people try to justify misdeeds, the further from the truth they travel. Just admit you did wrong and get on with life.

    I doth think they protesteth too much. MUCH TOO MUCH!

  4. Mr. Green Jeans says:

    There is talk in Old Church where we live that the Godseys – you know they and Riley Lowe own Hanover- want to develop their large tract of land around Chris and Ashley Peace’s and his father Karl’s property.
    Ashley Peace is opposed to this development and she is on the planning commission and has an inside track with David Maloney the Hanover County Planning Director to make sure her precious historic home White Plain isn’t blighted by high density development – another example of the good ole boy connections or what we like to say “Hanover is for Members Only”

    YET during the last two years she has been the Cheerleader for Mr. Maloney and Hanover County developers who wanted ” Multi Use zoning and 15 residential units per acre in the 20 year Hanover County comprehensive Plan.”
    She voted for the Mechanicsville Theater
    She voted for the Charleston Ridge Apartments in Kelly Wiecek’s District and Elton Wade voted for them citing Mrs. Peace’s approval of them
    She voted for the LakeRidge Apts for the wealthy developer in Cold Harbor who lives on Lake View Rd-
    She votes for every single residential development that comes before the planning commission
    Why? so when her husband Delegate Chris Peace runs for Higher office he can go to the Wealthy Developers for campaign contributions – Follow the MONEY-
    Wake up PEOPLE and vote Chris Peace and Ashley Peace out of office in 2015 before they
    RUIN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD for their wealthy Developer friends and supporters
    Mr. and Mrs. Green Jeans
    Old Church

  5. Gray Delany says:

    Excellent article Tom. This is more classic double talk from the Establishment. They think lying works but it always comes back to bite you. Cantor thought he could get away with a litany of lies. How did that work out?

  6. disgusted

    Thank you Tom, for having the courage to turn the rock and expose the slimy crawling things that have screwed up Hanover County the past few years. And for exposing the hypocrisy of the Hanover Republican Party and its leadership and the establishment elected officials. I always thought it ironic when one would get on their soapbox and spout the Republican creed while it served their purposes, but let prominent Republicans like cantor, bolling and McDonnell violate it with impunity.

    And, the whole board of supervisors mess, where we cleaned house to make a change, and the new ones took up where the old ones left off, padding their campaign accounts, voting their own interests, and ignoring their constituents. We need to, once again, clean house and get rid of the whole stinking mess.

    After all, we were promises smaller government and less taxes, yet my taxes haven’t appreciably been reduced and our county government isn’t smaller. In fact, we have the highest paid county employees in central Virginia and our county administrative strator and county attorney are among the highest paid in the area.

    Yes, its time to clean house again. The current supervisors have been abject failures, failing to fulfill their fiduciary responsibility to Hanover taxpayers, and failing to perform their oversight function in an ethical, responsible manner.

  7. LIBERTY! says:

    I betcha that Ms. Proctor’s original photo is probably hiding in the same place that Oblamo’s birth certificate is hiding.

  8. Tom White says:

    Posting this for Rick Ryan. He had issues commenting.

    Where to begin, Tom; your essay most troubling. One would hope that integrity, a quality in which you are awash, would rub off on the HRC, on the 7th District establishment, on John Boehner. Instead, the cronies are immune; preserving their fiefdoms and feeding their personal ambitions, the driving force, integrity long forgotten.They are now too callous to know that the conservative movement is the salvation of the Republican Party, of the nation. The Republican code, a noble manifesto, is only given lip service. K-W and Russell should resign from public life and do some soul searching. Maybe they can rediscover the true meaning of public service, if they ever understood it.Thanks TomI am most respectfully yours,Rick RyanOld Church


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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