We’ve been covering the Scott Taylor/Shaun Brown petition fraud scandal for weeks – see here, here, here and here, for instance – but now the Virginian Pilot, the VA-02 local paper, has done a serious investigation. The results? As sleazy and slimy as you’d expect, given everything we’ve already learned. A few lines that jumped out at me from the Virginian-Pilot report (definitely read the whole thing!) were:
- Most of those who said they didn’t sign had no idea how their names ended up on the petitions. Some said they were Taylor supporters or Republicans, had given money to Taylor’s campaign, were on an email list for him or had agreed to put his campaign signs in their yards…A few said they had soured on Taylor as a result. ‘I voted for him,’ said Iva Compton. ‘But I won’t vote for him again.'”
- “The Pilot’s investigation found 52 sheriff’s employees listed on petitions submitted by Taylor’s campaign staff. Virginia Beach Sheriff Ken Stolle, a Republican and former state senator, is a supporter of Taylor’s but said he did not circulate the petitions.”
- “… one of Taylor’s staffers came to the meeting and urged the group to sign. The man – who Tuthill described as pushy – told them that the candidate listed on the petition was an independent who ‘leaned right.'”
- “The Pilot found five people associated with Taylor’s campaign listed as being among the circulators of the petitions: Heather Guillot, Lauren Creekmore, Roberta Marciano, Daniel Bohner and Nicholas Hornung…The Pilot sought comment from each of the staffers, but was unable to reach them. Taylor spokesman Scott Weldon refused to say whether any of them were still associated with the campaign.“
- “If the prosecutor determines there’s enough evidence to support charges in the case, they likely would include felonies such as filing false statements or perjury, said Matthew Shapanka, an attorney in Washington, D.C. who specializes in political law.”
Amazing, huh? The big question now, of course, is what did Scott Taylor know and when did he know it? And also, who on earth would vote for Taylor given all the sleaze oozing from his political operation?
UPDATE: From the Democratic Party of Virginia…
NEW DEVELOPMENTS in Scott Taylor Petition Forgery Scandal
Virginian-Pilot: Virginia Beach Sheriff implies signatures collected by Taylor’s staff gained illegally; Taylor staff forged signatures of 4 dead people, possibly hundreds of others
RICHMOND, VA — While Congressman Taylor has clammed up, refused to answer questions and withdrawn from debating Elaine Luria, reporters and investigators continue to look into the egregious petition forgery by his paid staff in their efforts to get a third party candidate on the ballot.
Today another round of stunning revelations.
A Virginian-Pilot investigation found that, among many new developments, that
- Scott Taylor’s paid staff FORGED the signatures of at least 4 deceased individuals: Floyd Newkirk, Hugh Doy, Melvin Chittum and R. Stuart Cake.
- Scott Taylor’s paid staff ILLEGALLY obtained signatures of Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office employees – per Sheriff Ken Stolle himself!
- Of 115 people that the Pilot contacted that allegedly signed petitions circulated by Taylor’s paid staff, a stunning 59 said their signatures were FORGED
- Scott Taylor REFUSED TO COMMENT on whether he has taken any action against these staffers, raising even more questions
- SPECIAL INVESTIGATOR Donald Caldwell said that the actions of the Taylor campaign are under CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION and that investigation may not be completed until after November’s election
“Scott Taylor and his staff have violated the trust of Hampton Roads residents. While we look forward to the results of the Special Prosecutor’s criminal investigation, Scott Taylor needs to come out of hiding NOW and answer what he knew about his staff’s forgeries and whether he directed them to commit these forgeries.” – Democratic Party of Virginia Communications Director Jake Rubenstein