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8th CD Petition Signatures Controversy Escalates - Charges of Corruption Leveled; Moran Statement

by: lowkell

Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 16:45:41 PM EDT

I was discussing the 8th CD petitions situation with fellow Democrats yesterday, and was 100% expecting this reaction by the Shuttleworth campaign (alleging "pathetic, smoke-filled backroom, Tammany Hall corruption" in the local Democratic Party). The question is whether there's any truth to Shuttleworth's allegations. So far, I haven't heard anything that would lead me to believe that there is, but I definitely think we need to find out what happened here exactly. For its part, the Moran campaign issued the following statement:
The Moran campaign submitted their petitions well ahead of the deadline to avoid any last minute problems. It's a deep concern that petitions appear to have been misplaced by the Fairfax County Registrar's Office. We urge local officials to get to the bottom of the situation to find out what really happened, to ensure the Democratic process is protected.

For our campaign, nothing has changed. We were fully preparing for a primary, and the coming attacks from the conservative, Texas oil money fueled Super PAC that has stated their intent to try defeat the congressman, who has been a champion of the environment throughout his time in Congress.
The bottom line is this: we need a full explanation, ASAP, from the 8th CD Democratic committee, the Fairfax Registrar, and anyone else who was involved in this FUBAR situation. Right now, this situation is making Democrats look bad, and that will only help Republicans in the end. Not cool.
lowkell :: 8th CD Petition Signatures Controversy Escalates - Charges of Corruption Leveled; Moran Statement
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Fax from 8th CD Dem Chair Margo Horner to State Board of Elections (0.00 / 0)

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Half-baked candidates (1.00 / 1)
always screw up their paperwork.  Year after year, election after election.  Just like Newt and Perry in the Republican primary, these guys all want to be in charge but cannot do the very basic requirements of being a candidate.

[ Parent ]
Except ... (4.00 / 1)
that it appears he did not screw up his paper work.  It appears that he submitted 1800 signatures, 800 more than necessary.  He submitted more than he needed to submit on time, as required.  Even assuming some were invalid, the onus is on the 8th District Committee to explain the process that led to the decision to declare him disqualified, only to then reverse themselves.

[ Parent ]
Getting signatures is half the work (0.00 / 0)
Yeah, it takes time, but it's a waste of time if someone doesn't do the paperwork correctly.  I've seen this a dozen times over the years, and it's almost always bad paperwork.

I'll trust Margo Horner and her team, who have been doing a very good job in the 8th for many years, are correct in what they did.  You can submit 1800 signatures, you can submit 5000 signatures, but if the people getting the signatures screw up the paperwork, they don't count.  

It's the candidate's responsibility to make sure the people getting the signatures know what they need to do and how to do it.  That is most likely where the problem is here.  

[ Parent ]
Explain please ... (4.00 / 1)
what exactly Shuttleworth's team screwed up.  Because to date, NotJohn, there has been no allegation that they screwed up the paperwork in any way. Moreover with that kind of margin, any errors should be relatively easy to account for.

It is the responsibility of the certifying body to get it right and not to unduly restrict the ballot.  From everything that has been said so far by the errors appear to be on the part of the Eighth District Committee and/or the registrars.  But until we get a proper explanation, there is no way to know is there?

[ Parent ]
Video: Shuttleworth denounces what he calls "petitiongate" (0.00 / 0)

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Totally agree that this needs to be addressed ASAP (4.00 / 1)
I fear that, in the court of public opinion, the burden of proof still lies on the 8th CD Democratic Committee.  The DPVA statement is not sufficient and the explanation that the petitions "were distributed to impartial local officials"  needs some clarification.  Among other things the 8th CDDC should explain things like:  Is this SOP?   What's the custodial chain on these documents?   Where was the breakdown?  Have there been glitches before?  What steps are being taken to address the problem?  

I know that there will be those for whom this will still be inadequate.  However, that circumstance should not stop the 8th CDDC from undertaking due diligence, getting to the bottom of this, and communicating in a clear and timely manner.    

While I am sympathetic with NJM's view that rookie candidates often lack smooth operations and therefore pose challenges to the system, Shuttleworth appears to have met the deadlines set by the committee (unlike Newt, et. al.). It shouldn't really matter that he got his petitions on the day of the deadline rather than "well ahead of the deadline" as Moran did.  The committee is still responsible for the process and should get as far in front of this issue as it is still possible to get, without alibis.


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