Virginia MassResistance helps defeat arrogant RINO in primary election after battle over obscene library books.

Ignored parents’ demands for help.

Had been in office 16 years – defeated by newcomer.

Charged with assault after attacking parent holding sign informing community!

July 12, 2023
ALT TEXT A local politician's nightmare at election time: A parent holds a sign at a busy intersection to inform voters about his loathsome behavior. {Photo: Roanoke Times]

A lot of conservative groups work to get good people elected. But MassResistance works to get bad politicians defeated. That really gets the attention of the rest of them! It certainly happened this time.

Botetourt County is a solid Republican area located in the western part of Virginia, just north of Roanoke. But as usual, RINOs tend to slip through and get elected to key posts and then hire leftists for important staff positions.

Late last year, local parents started noticing extremely obscene books for children and teenagers, many of them pushing pornographic homosexual and transgender themes, in the county library branches. It was very disturbing.

In Botetourt County, the Library Board acts only in an “advisory” capacity and has no authority. The real power – particularly the funding of the Library and its staff – rests with the County Board of Supervisors.

The parents had hoped that they could work with their Board of Supervisors to fix this. But they got nowhere with that Board.

ALT TEXT The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors. Donald Scothorn on far left, and Billy Martin, second from right, were up for re-election.

Starting in January, a group of parents began attending the monthly Board of Supervisor meetings. At each meeting they read the horrible, sickening passages from several of the books and showed them the illustrations of sex acts (and homosexual sex acts) between teenagers from books like Gender Queer. They also emailed them on multiple occasions imploring them to take some action.

But month after month the Board of Supervisors were simply “stone faced” and at meetings refused to even acknowledge the parents’ complaints. It was infuriating and humiliating to the parents.

When the parents attempted to discuss this with the library staff, they were simply told that there is a “reconsideration process” for submitting book challenges. But that “process” is a circuitous, very time-consuming bureaucratic scheme that is guaranteed never to work for parents. Moreover, according to reports, the newly hired Library Director had been fired from her previous position in South Carolina for promoting a “Drag Queen” show – and was considered hostile to the conservative parents in the district.

In April, the parents created a draft Resolution which they submitted to the Board of Supervisors for consideration. The Resolution was in many ways a compromise. It did not state that books should be removed from the library. It said that current sex-related books should be kept at least 20 feet from the children’s sections, and the Collection Development Policy be revised to prohibit buying any new materials for minors that include sexual acts, homosexuality, transgenderism, or pornography. It also laid out how the “book reconsideration” process should be modified to be straightforward, fair, and objective.

The Resolution seemed reasonable. But the Board of Supervisors completely ignored it.

MassResistance gets involved

In mid-April, the parents reached out to MassResistance for help. At the beginning of May the parents decided to become a Virginia MassResistance Chapter. We got right to work with them!

The June Republican primary election attracts parents’ outrage

It turns out that a primary election was to be held on June 24. Two members of the Board of Supervisors were up for re-election and had opponents: Donald Scothorn (the Board chairman), and Billy Martin – each running in his own district in Botetourt County.

Summer primaries were generally low-turnout. It was a perfect opportunity to throw at least one of them out of office – and send a message to the rest.

Lots of parents in Botetourt County got involved to inform the voters! Groups of them went door-to door in the two districts with flyers and other information about the horrible children’s books that these officials were allowing in the libraries. They also brought the Resolution with them and gathered signatures of citizens who agreed with it.

Parents held up signs on street corners and made speeches at local gatherings. They leafletted at the library. They were guests on radio shows and podcasts.

The two politicians got scared – and began reacting

Scothorn and Martin saw what was happening and clearly got very nervous. Nothing like this had happened before! Suddenly, the two politicians took notice of the parents’ concerns!

Meeting arranged with Library Director. At the beginning of June, one of Scothorn’s associates arranged for some of the parents to meet with the Library Director and the Deputy County Administrator. The parents showed them the obscene library materials. But outrageously, both of them denied that any of it was pornographic. So that meeting didn’t accomplish anything.

Statement published in newspaper. A few days later, Scothorn and Martin published a joint statement regarding the library issue as an advertisement in the local newspaper. It was an absurd statement: They would not get rid of any of the obscene material. They floated another approach: Currently, children under 13 need an adult companion to come to the library to “supervise” them. So Scothorn and Martin pledged to propose raising that age to 18! That would mean that middle school and high school kids could no longer come to the library by themselves after school.

Most people saw through these half-hearted and disingenuous efforts by the two RINO politicians. It was clear that they now recognized there was a problem but didn’t actually want to solve it. As one parent told a reporter, “Since January they’ve done nothing but stonewall and obfuscate our efforts, and the books are still available for children.”

ALT TEXT Newspaper ad by the two scared politicians - refers to bill in legislature that didn't pass.

Interestingly, the Library Director reacted in the opposite way. She doubled down, telling a local newspaper, “Nothing is obscene or pornographic in our collection. This is someone’s personal take on certain materials. Other parents may find them helpful.” She blamed the parents for not supervising what their kids see in the library. And she blamed MassResistance for causing trouble around the country.

The assault incident!

On June 7 one of the parents, Danny Goad, was holding a sign on the side of a busy street that said, “Billy Martin allows PORN for Children in Libraries.”

ALT TEXT The sign that Billy Martin wasn't quite able to grab.

Martin drove by and saw the sign. What happened next was outrageous. Martin stopped his car, got out, angrily confronted Danny and (allegedly) assaulted him while trying to take away his sign.

Martin didn’t get Danny’s sign. But Danny called the police, and Martin was charged with assault. When asked about it by a reporter, Martin did not deny that the confrontation took place. He must appear in court on Sept. 27.

ALT TEXT Billy Martin's arrest warrant.

On election day: Billy Martin gets tossed out, Scothorn survives

Billy Martin has been on the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors for 16 years. But on June 24, he lost the Republican primary to a newcomer who hadn’t won before.

Donald Scothorn survived the election. But he did it by his supporters getting Democrats in his district to cross over and vote for him, we were told, as well as mobilizing leftist Republicans and Independents.

Board of Supervisors reacts to the election!

The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors met on June 27, three days after the Republican primary. As the meeting began, one of the parents delivered another copy of their Resolution – with 1,300 signatures from citizens in the county.

This time the Board had placed the “library book issue” on their agenda! They’re definitely afraid of this issue now. But they apparently were trying one more “Hail Mary” play to try to suppress the parents’ efforts.

The “agenda” item consisted of the County Attorney giving a long and distorted explanation of why the Supervisors “have no power” to fix this issue. He basically trotted out the “legal” talking points from the ACLU and the American Library Association, which are used around the country to intimidate local governments - and are easily debunked. He cited some very old Virginia statutes which sound imposing but have little relevance to this situation. He claimed that the Library Board has powers that it doesn’t have. He repeatedly insisted that the First Amendment somehow requires local libraries to include pornography for children even if public officials don’t want it. And he claimed that a policy banning obscene material for children would also require the library to ban the Bible. But he never cited the Virginia obscenity statutes. And he didn’t reference anything that the parents suggested in their Resolution. This public attorney should have been embarrassed to spout such nonsense.

The Board of Supervisors are clearly scared and just want to move on. But that’s not going to happen. The truth is the Board does have the power to force the library to do anything it dictates – or lose funding (or have staff fired). With 1,300 signatures of people who are angry about this, the parents are going to force them to do the right thing.


Final thoughts

It can seem overwhelming dealing with arrogant, dishonest, and self-righteous politicians. But it’s amazing what can happen when their personal power is threatened. These public officials need to be more afraid of their constituents than they are of the radical special interests. MassResistance helps make that happen!

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