Mountain Brook Council Candidate Faces Controversy Over Controversial Postal History

Christopher Powanda, originally from Seymour, Connecticut, is a leading candidate for 1st place on the Mountain Brook City Council, against Graham Smith, a PTO president of Cherokee Bend Elementary School and former legislative director for U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama .

His platform includes support for local businesses, his commitment to “keep all political groups and politically motivated curricula out of our schools,” and an overview of the funding behind the Mountain Brook Athletics programs. He has also said that “Transparency; Responsibility; “Accessibility” is what residents can expect from him if he is elected to the city council, according to a post on his campaign’s Facebook page.

In recent weeks, Powanda has come under criticism from residents over his past social media posts that perpetuated falsehoods and misinformation about the 2020 election.

In screenshots obtained by AprilPowanda said in a Nov. 23, 2020 message that “Sydney Powell represents me,” referring to the Texas attorney and far-right conspiracy theorist responsible for filing a number of former President Donald Trump’s election trials.

“So if I run my stimulus check through a reign voting machine at 4 a.m.… Will my $600 turn into $100,000,” Powanda wrote in a Dec. 22, 2020 post.

In the days following the attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters, Powanda defended the incident and shared misleading information regarding alleged infiltration by far-left instigators during the January 6 events.

“What happened in Washington DC today was 100% a peaceful protest and an exhibition of US First Amendment rights!” Powanda wrote in a Facebook post on January 6, 2021, obtained by April. “What happened in the capital was an operation performed by Antifa.”

Christopher Powanda has been criticized by residents over his past social media posts that perpetuated falsehoods and misinformation about the 2020 election.

“The biggest story no one is talking about! How the Deep State Cabal Conspired to Manipulate the Elections!” Powanda wrote in a February 6, 2021 post, sharing an article from Time magazine. “Democracy is dead!”

The litany of controversial posts has since been removed from Powanda’s personal Facebook page, and he continues to use the same rhetoric on his campaign page.

The prevalence of election deniers running for office has not gone unnoticed at the local level, with a laundry list of Alabama federal and state officials who had objected to election results showing a victory for President Joe Biden or falsehoods surrounding the election in the years since. the elections.

According to a recent Monmouth University poll, only 64 percent of respondents believed Biden won the election “fairly,” compared to 29 percent who believed his win was due to voter fraud.

Powanda also shared a post with an alleged Mike Tyson quote that read, “Social media made you all way too comfortable disrespecting people and not getting punched in the face for it,” with some residents pointing out that Powanda was previously was accused of attack in 1997.

A student athlete at the University of New Haven, Powanda was involved in a brawl at a cafe near the UNH campus, in which an off-duty female police officer and three men were “severely beaten,” according to the Associated Press. Powanda, a fellow teammate, and his then-girlfriend were each charged with assault.

According to a 1998 New Haven Register article, Powanda and girlfriend threatened to sue the incident, saying in documents filed with the city of West Haven — where the incident took place — that their arrest was “racially motivated.” Both the arresting officer and the off-duty female police officer, who was a member of the campus police at Yale University, were black, the New Haven Register wrote.

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The assault charge against Powanda and his then-girlfriend was later reduced to public disorder.

In a Facebook post explaining the events in question, Powanda said the off-duty police officer assaulted Marchant, forced him to divorce the off-duty officer and Powanda’s girlfriend and leave before further fighting took place. The couple returned to the pub to speak to the police and were greeted by both city and campus police.

“We gave the police our details and let the process go ahead, and to my horror I was arrested, as were my girlfriend and another teammate.” said Powanda. “It turned out that the drunk woman who assaulted my girlfriend was an off-duty police officer from a nearby university. In the weeks that followed, the police evidence – including video – was collected. Not only did I attack the off-duty officer, but I never slapped anyone in that pub or laid hands on anyone. The assault charge was dropped as a misdemeanor of public order because it was determined that I was not involved in the fighting that took place.”

April could not find records with Connecticut Court Records and the City of West Haven regarding the 1997 incident and Powanda’s claims at the time that the arrest was “racially motivated.”

Powanda did not respond to a request for comment from April.

A key issue for Mountain Brook residents leading up to the upcoming election is the City Council’s ability to elect members of the Mountain Brook Board of Education. Incidents of anti-Semitism in city schools, to which the school responded with a diversity and anti-bias training program for instructors created by the Anti-Defamation League, and the school’s pandemic masking policy, have attracted both criticism and support from members of the wealthy community.

Parents concerned that the ADL would bring discussions of critical race theory and abortion rights into the classroom forced the school system to rescind the program, with many now backing candidates in the upcoming election that would prevent something similar from happening at Mountain Brook in the future. schools would happen. The slate of challengers, including Powanda, has never held a city office.

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The Mountain Brook municipal election will be held on August 23.

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