Here at Pirate Things, if you haven't noticed, it's about privacy, freedom and balance. All three of those things are included in this article relating to a recent political spat between two local candidates - Or, I should say with one candidate. This article/post was produced to resurface the content that should be viewable by everyone as it deals with an elected position which would oversee county law enforcement operations. It's being resurfaced not to cause ruckus, but to keep a simplified timeline in place for anyone wanting to search it, because well, now you can't as it was deleted from the candidate's page. There are services dedicated to keeping archives of pages, PT is speeding that up in this instance.
The mud slinging started when candidate sheriff Henry "Jon" Baniak claimed - from a witness - that opponent Keith Anderson removed Baniak's campaign sign to erect his own. I would say "allegedly," but Baniak did not allege, as he went onto say he'd be filing a criminal complaint with the West Virginia State Police. Baniak also asserted Anderson's parenting skills were questionable as he allowed his children to participate in the criminal activity. Here's the entire post (find in text at the end of article):
On Mr. Baniak's Facebook page, "Jon Baniak 2020 Candidate For Mineral Co Sheriff" several comments were made on the status update, and one of them were a William Ack.
For the record, the sign that is referenced in this post and shown in the pictures is my mother in law's property; she is not related to Mr. Baniak. I was asked to remove the sign because it was put on her property without permission. I put the the sign behind the house so that Mr. Baniak could be contacted and able to retrieve his sign. Prior to her contacting him, he went back on the property, again without permission, and put the sign back on the property.
Despite someone stepping forward to clarify the situation, Baniak's status remained unaltered and posted for nearly an entire day.
Upon searching around Mr. Baniak's Facebook page, a video was posted by someone else. Due to yet obtaining permission to broadcast the video, Pirate Things will refrain from doing so, however I'll post a snippet from the video to compare something.
The picture above shows a person clearly with hair on their head. Mr. Keith Anderson does not have (or much) hair. Here's Anderson:
Keith Anderson - Image candidate's Facebook page
Even with video evidence showing what does not look like Anderson at all, Baniak's claim of Anderson removing his campaign sign remained. This isn't the worst of all - Comments started disappearing which opposed Baniak's position.
Anderson did in fact put his sign up, however, admitted on the candidate's page (Keith Anderson for Mineral County Sheriff 2020).
Mr. Baniak your witness is correct, my son and I did place my sign up in the yard Sunday morning however, I have never, nor do I wish to or need to remove your signs from any property. You and your witness will find if they watch me enough that I will normally have my children with me in my day to day travels and activities because I am very involved in their lives as they are in mine. I include my children in my daily activities, because that is what a father does. I have never nor would I ever allow anyone that I am with, including my children, to take part in criminal matters. I hold those closest to me to the same standard I hold myself to.
A day later, Baniak's newly posted status on the campaign sign stated his campaign is based on honesty.
Here is the full text of the original campaign of Baniak claiming Anderson removed his sign.
I want to make it a point to share with the public an act that was committed by one of my opponents which is both juvenile, unethical and criminal.
Today, at approximately 8:00 a.m, a witness observed Keith Anderson take down one of my large campaign signs along US 220 in Keyser, near Potomac Valley Hospital. The sign was on my brother-in-law's property with his permission to represent his endorsement of my candidacy for Sheriff of Mineral County, WV.
Mr. Anderson knowingly trespassed on my brother-in-law's property to remove the sign then physically removing/tampering with an electoral candidate's sign which are both criminal acts by West Virginia State Legislation. He placed his own campaign sign on the neighboring property which actually belongs to the hospital. If he did not have direct permission from the hospital to place his own sign there, then this would also be a criminal act of trespassing and littering. He then placed my sign behind the house on that property, concealing my sign.
This was obviously a direct "jab" toward me which was meant to be personal and to possibly sway the outcome of the election by removing my sign.
The point I want to make and the point that I have been trying to relay about how the current administration operate If this is the extent my opponent is willing to go, so he can get a "jab" at me. What is he willing to do so he will win the election. The witness also reported that his own children were with him during this time. This questions his parenting role because he is allowing his children to take part in criminal matters and guiding them this way. So the question I want you to ask yourself "Is this the kind of person you want, to be the head law enforcement official in the county?"
I have filed a criminal complaint with the West Virginia State Police and will be filing complaints with other department agencies. The trooper advised that they would be looking into this matter and there will be possible criminal charges pending.
Out of respect for the witness, they have asked to remain anonymous due to fear of retaliation from my opponent, who has a history of physical violence.
Here is the full image of the post and comments made. Please overlook the Facebook bar in the middle, the screenshot software is a bit funky.
Have you ever had your content or comment deleted before, anywhere? Let us know in the comments below!