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The Weekly Diplomatic Reach: May 11-17, 2023

A High-Profile Endorsements for Salim in Senate Race

In perhaps his highest-profile endorsement yet, Saddam Salim, the News-Press endorsed candidate in the race to represent Falls Church in the Virginia Senate, was endorsed by Eileen Filler-Corn, the first ever female or Jewish Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, and person “exploring” a run for Governor.

“As Speaker of the House of Delegates, I worked with Governor Northam and Democratic leadership to pass historic gun safety legislation to keep our communities safe. With each passing week it becomes even more clear that we must take further action to curb our nation’s gun violence epidemic, including passing an assault weapons ban.” said Filler-Corn in a statement sent by the Salim campaign on Tuesday.

She continued, “We need leaders in the Virginia Senate who will vote on the side of Virginians, not the gun lobby – Saddam Salim will be that leader. I know he will work to expand our progress to make our communities safer, and so much more. I am proud to endorse Saddam in the Democratic Primary for Senate District 37.”

Petersen Campaign Threatens Legal Action Over Use of “Fairfax Senator”

The campaign for Chap Petersen, a Virginian presumably born without the title “Fairfax Senator,” has contacted the campaign of opponent Saddam Salim threatening legal action if they use the terms “Fairfax Senator” and “Chap Petersen.”

Sources say that certain variations of the website, which serves as Petersen’s campaign website, were purchased and redirected to a page on the Salim website criticizing Petersen’s voting record,, which includes abundant references. A full briefing is available at (case-sensitive).

Sources claim these variations included, though it no longer does, and we were unable to confirm while any redirect was active. A brief GoDaddy search shows multiple variations of the domain still available for purchase.

One can currently purchase all three of,, and for under $15.

The Salim campaign responded in an email, saying:

“All of what we’ve put on the campaign website is linked to sources and all of it is factual, verifiable information. Senator Petersen claimed this website was deceptive, but it is clearly marked as our campaign website – what the Senator resists is the idea that he is accountable for all of his record, not just the part he likes to campaign on.

“He has threatened to sue us for using the term “Fairfax Senator,” which he claims is his as a common law trademark. We believe only the people of the district have the right to decide who is the Fairfax Senator – that is what democracy is all about. Voters choose who becomes the Senator in Fairfax, not Chap Petersen. He can claim a trademark and sue anyone who uses the nickname he’s given himself, but he still has to earn the title in the eyes of voters.”

This is petty, but also signs that, perhaps, the Petersen campaign is getting worried about the primary, for which early voting has already begun This is also surprising given the amount of money the Petersen campaign has, the number of half-baked websites linked to from his advertisements… how could you not buy the .org? Come on!

Falls Church’s Memorial Day Celebration Tainted By Petersen Plug

Though neither a current representative of the City of Falls Church, nor a veteran, it appears that Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax), who is running in a primary for which voting has already begun to represent the area, has been selected by the Falls Church Veteran’s Council, an IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) charitable organization, as the Keynote Speaker for the City’s Memorial Day Celebration, a non-partisan community event that has taken place for over forty years.

The IRS website and numerous legal sources make clear that this is not just inappropriate, but an actual violation of the law, putting the organization’s nonprofit status in potential jeopardy.

According to the IRS, a 501(c)(3) may only engage in nonpartisan voter outreach such as voter registration..

A candidate in an election may be invited to speak in a non-candidate role, but the role must be clarified in any announcements and invitations, all mention of the campaign or candidacy should be avoided, and the speaker must commit to appear only in a non-candidate capacity.

If a candidate is invited to speak in a candidate role, all other candidates must be given an equal opportunity to appear at a similar speaking invitation or event, and the host charity must make plain that it does not support or oppose either candidate, and disallow any fundraising or distribution of campaign materials. The Salim campaign confirms they were not contacted about a speaking opportunity.

The News-Press has reached out to the Falls Church Veterans Corporation (EIN 23-7084674) for comment via email and phone, but has not received a response.

The News-Press would also like to take this opportunity to recognize that current Falls Church Delegate Marcus Simon (D), who has represented The Little City for a decade is, in fact, a veteran. Simon has never been invited to speak at the event.