Investigation Uncovers Serious Irregularities in Arlington Petition Collection

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    From the Coalition for Arlington Good Government, it appears that not only was the petition to change Arlington’s form of government wildly misguided, it appears that there were serious, additional “irregularities” associated with the entire effort. I’ll have more thoughts later, but for now, judge for yourself.

    SERIOUS IRREGULARITIES EXPOSED IN ARLINGTON PETITION CIRCULATION

    The Coalition for Arlington Good Government (CAGG) today released an analysis of the petition drive conducted by the Committee for a Better Arlington (CBA), strongly indicating that out-of-state political consultants, hired and paid for by CBA, engaged in deceptive, questionable, and possibly illegal practices.

    The material presented today (in this press release and Appendix, and posted on our website at www.arlingtoncoalition.org) is based on careful review of public records as of July 26, 2010. CAGG’s ongoing work raises troubling questions about the tactics used by some members of the campaign to change Arlington’s form of government.

    At issue is the truthfulness of significant numbers of required affidavits made by some circulators on the petition signature pages filed earlier this month. If these affidavits are not true, then the law provides for disqualification of the affected petitions, and penalties for those people who engaged in such activity.

    Taken as a whole, CAGG believes the material presented in the Appendix and on our website creates serious and troubling questions about the actions of key CBA personnel and its consultants. This threat to the integrity of the election process is of great concern to the entire Arlington community, regardless of one’s position on the change of government effort.

    CAGG’s research and analysis leads to the following conclusions:

    More than 6,000 of the signatures submitted were neither collected by nor witnessed by the petition circulators who swore on the petition forms that they collected and witnessed them.

    One Notary, who also served as the campaign manager for the CBA, made material errors and may have violated the standards for Virginia Notaries by swearing falsely on the petition forms.

    Any individuals who engaged in or endorsed this conduct violated the trust of Arlington voters, especially those voters whose signatures are at risk of being disqualified by the circulators’ actions.

    The election process must be conducted with integrity and honesty. CAGG’s findings raise serious questions about the integrity of the petition collection effort. It is imperative that CBA provide the public with a credible, accurate explanation for the apparent, serious irregularities and possible misconduct in the collection of petition signatures.