A Virginia Political Campaign Made for Television

With cameras in tow, Tareq Salahi kicks off underdog bid for Governor’s mansion Sept. 16

By Dan McDermott
Warren County Report

Alleged White House gatecrasher and Real Housewives of DC star Tareq Salahi will have his entire gubernatorial campaign taped for a reality documentary to air after the November election, according to campaign officials.

It is perhaps the first-ever statewide political campaign filmed for an independent reality show. Public taping will begin at a campaign kickoff at Salahi’s Linden, Va. home Sept. 16.

Although he and his ex-wife and Real Housewives reality tv co-star Michaele refused to answer questions before a congressional panel probing their attendance at President Obama’s first state dinner, Mr. Salahi appears to have come around to embrace the incident that immediately thrust him into the national spotlight and global stage. The event is being billed as the “Crash the Candidate BBQ.” In addition to the media and a camera crew of four, the event offers “entertainment, a DJ, and a Hollywood green screen photo op.” Further homage to the state dinner incident can be found in his campaign website’s name: crashthevote.com

The film is tentatively called “In It To Win It” and is being produced by veteran PBS executive John Campbell who now runs his own production company. In a statement Campbell said he approached Salahi about doing the project not out of any political motivation but rather to focus on the human interest element. “Here we have a guy who’s triumphs and tribulations have been aired globally…and he could have easily hidden for a few years…yet he didn’t,” Campbell said.

It is his first political film. Campbell’s previous documentaries have focused on a diverse range of topics from U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds to a Canadian folk/rock band to a trip through the Adirondacks in a 1976 motor home.

Salahi concedes that one of his motivations to run for governor occurred in April when one of his potential opponents, Va. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced a lawsuit alleging that Salahi’s wine tour company had violated the Virginia Consumer Protection Act, a charge Salahi says he denies. Salahi filed paperwork to enter the Republican primary the next day. Salahi’s spokesman Eric Miller “took a shot at Cuccinelli” in a statement to CNN, saying the attorney general had wasted “huge sums of taxpayer dollars on witch hunt type investigations,” including the lawsuit.

Salahi says he plans to announce major pillars of his campaign platform at the BBQ kickoff but says that a large focus will be on supporting the military, both as an economic force in the state and of course the troops as well as boosting Virginia’s small businesses including the agriculture industry and the economy in general. Salahi’s family has decades of experience in the wine trade.

Salahi currently has two co-managers for the campaign, one of whom is a former DoD staffer, Mark Vargas and the other a former White House staffer during the Reagan administration, Andrea Ross.

Ross said the filmmakers aren’t paying for any of the campaign expenses and that royalties to Salahi, if any, will likely come after the election when the movie will air on an unnamed national television network or cable channel.

Ross describes herself as a fairly private person and isn’t quite sure what to expect when she ends up on a tv show. “This isn’t Real Housewives and I am not a drama queen. This is a serious business to us. We’re looking forward to getting out there and meeting people and getting people enthusiastic about not just the democratic process but about Virginia and her future. People havent seen this side of Tareq before,” she said. “Most people don’t even know that he has deep political roots in Virginia and has served three different Governors both Republican and Democrat.”

Ross says for now they are focused on the kickoff event. “We are all looking forward to having people in the local community be a part of this. Anyone in the local community. There is going to be a national television show and they are a part of what we booted a king out to be able to do,” she said.

“We are excited for them to be a part of that. Let’s face it, it is an exciting thing.”

The campaign event is Sunday, September 16th at 5 pm at 440 Scenic Overlook Drive, Linden, Va. For more information visit the website crashthevote.com



  1. This scumbag should be ignored for all types of different reasons. He gives the term “publicity hound” a whole new meaning. I’m surprised he doesn’t have some felony record in his past that would prevent him from even running. This guy has deceived the public so many times in his past dealings that it is only appropriate that he enter the field of politics. I can’t believe I’m even taking the time to write this.

    • He’s already run his “charity” scam dry. Politics was the next logical step. Once he plays this out, the only thing left for him is to start a church — I’m thinking the “Tabernacle of Tareq”. Has a nice ring to it. Everyone knows he’ll never get a real job and try to make an honest living to pay off his debts. That would be beneath him, don’t you know.

  2. Well, let’s see, Salahi has left a string of bad debts across multiple jurisdictions, there are multiple judgments pending against him, he currently is being sued for consumer fraud, he has lied on local as well as national television with a straight face, his love life has been the subject of tabloid rags, he auctioned off his wife’s allegedly stolen hotel bathrobes and threatened to auction her underwear, he is a pompous, delusional blo hard, and yet he has the audacity to claim he is qualified to be Governor the Old Dominion.

    I think he’s got it all wrong. Sounds to me like he is good U.S. Congress material.

    Be sure to visit the only official unofficial TAREQ SALAHI FOR VIRGINIA GOVERNOR Facebook page:


    And please be sure to enjoy & share with your friends this short video. As Tareq is so fond of saying, “Cheers!”

  3. Oh look, Tareq Salahi once again using other people’s money under the guise of some phoney enterprise to live high off the hog for awhile. Rumor has it, Salahi invited his polo team friends so there would be bodies to fill the back ground at the launch party for this so-called documentary. Judging from the film producer John Campbell’s comments, he sounds like another chump suckered in by Salahi. Hope Campbell got paid up front. The odds are this will end up another Salahi Corporation bankruptcy. The only wickedly humerous aspect of this debacle is the fact it will remind the poor citizens of Virginia (especially those who have suffered financially from past Salahi cons), that their illustrious state leaders, Gov. Bob and Attorney General Ken, that they miserably failed to deal with this petty scammer. Now Salahi is rubbing Cooches nose in that fact, and Kenny deserves it.

    • I wish Salahi wasn’t a Virginia citizen, much less a candidate. However, Cooch is the only one who did anything about Salahi. He wasn’t in office when any of the shenanigans went on. The White House looked the other way, the Secret Service dropped it, Montgomery County let them walk on a $24,000 bad check, (for liquor no less) so Cooch deserves it?

  4. “Salahi’s family has decades of experience in the wine trade.” I agree with this statement, it took his parents 4 decades to build it and Tareq, less than one decade to bankrupt the business.

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