Joseph Viso Jr., a Republican candidate running for a seat in the New Jersey State Assembly, has publicly admitted to engaging in a bizarre and unsavory act from his past: smearing fecal matter on the doors of a children's day care center.
While this revelation is certainly unconventional, Viso attributes his actions to conservatives' favorite boogeyman—former President Barack Obama.
You read that correctly.
Viso is campaigning for a position in the 36th District of New Jersey. However, his candidacy comes with a lengthy criminal record, including both federal and state convictions for drug and gun-related charges, as well as financial difficulties.
Viso was charged with smearing fecal matter on the doors of a children's day care center in East Rutherford. This act stemmed from a dispute between Viso and the day care center, situated next to his business. Viso claimed that his employees were harassed daily by day care staff, including their cars being frequently ticketed when "parked on a side street."
He retaliated by smearing feces on the handles and locks of the child care facility's doors. After being confronted by an investigating officer with video evidence of his action, he responded:
"I'm not proud of what I did."
At the time, Viso asserted that he subsequently cleaned the defiled doors:
“It was done before anyone got hurt. I’m not going to defend it.”
But he nonetheless blamed his actions on Obama—Thanks, Obama!—and suggested that the former President's influence played a role in his behavior:
“I was a young man. It was a horrible time, and I made a mistake. Obama came into office the year before.”
Many have rolled their eyes and criticized Viso's actions.
Viso has a long rap sheet.
In 2013, he was charged with possession of heroin, resulting in a seven-day jail term. Three years later, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methylone and received a three-year probation sentence. He explained that during that period, he faced financial hardship while battling cancer, leading him to sell his pain medications to cover health insurance costs.
After getting out of prison he received two years of probation following charges from 2014, which included possessing a sawed-off shotgun near a school, possessing a firearm while committing a crime, and multiple drug offenses. He said that a firearm was found in his home, which was located near a school, and that his home was subsequently "raided."