Tuesday, December 5, 2023

VA Dems on Shaun Brown petition: Taylor ‘refused to answer questions about who directed these fraudulent actions’

The Democratic Party of Virginia had some strong words about Rep. Scott Taylor in connection with a Circuit Court judge’s ruling Wednesday to remove Shaun Brown’s name as a third-party candidate from the November ballot because of fraudulent signatures.

DPVA spokesman Jake Rubenstein said the ruling found “out and out fraud.”

“Today, Judge Gregory Rupe in Richmond Circuit Court found ‘forgery…perjury and out and out fraud.’ Today’s decision is win for the integrity of our elections,” Rubenstein wrote in an email Wednesday. “Rep. Scott Taylor and his staff refused to answer questions about who directed these fraudulent actions.”

The Democrats filed a lawsuit challenging the entry of the petition to include Brown as a third-party candidate for the 2nd Congressional District seat held by Taylor, a Republican.

Shaun Brown (Courtesy of Shaun Brown for Congress)
Shaun Brown (Courtesy of Shaun Brown for Congress)

The lawsuit claimed the petition contained fraudulent signatures – from people who said they never signed it.

The signatures were gathered by staff associated with Taylor and his reelection campaign. The move is an old political tactic – an effort to split a candidate’s opponent’s votes.

Taylor is running against Democrat Elaine Luria. Brown was the district’s Democratic candidate in 2016.  The 2nd district includes Accomack and Northampton counties, portions of York County, and the cities of Virginia Beach and Williamsburg and parts of the cities of Norfolk and Hampton.

In August, a Circuit Court judge in Virginia Beach appointed Donald R. Caldwell, commonwealth’s attorney for Roanoke, as special prosecutor to investigate the petition after Commonwealth’s Attorney for Virginia Beach Colin D. Stolle filed the request.

Stolle said his office “is so situated with respect to potential witnesses in this matter as to render it improper for this office to make any potential charging decisions or to prosecute such potential charges.”

“This matter is in the investigatory stage regarding potential violations of the Code of Virginia, including violations of election laws and forgery,” Stolle wrote in his petition in August.

“Rep. Taylor owes his constituents answers about his involvement in the fraud and forgery cited by the judge,” Rubenstein said.

Taylor was unavailable for comment.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzohttp://wydaily.com
John Mangalonzo (john@localdailymedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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