When Scott Taylor challenged former Congressman Randy Forbes for the 2nd Congressional District primary - Forbes, a former law school classmate of mine, had decided to avoid running in his own redrawn district for fear of losing - I recommended that voters back Taylor since I was beyond tired of Forbes' religious fanaticism and sponsorship of whacky pro-Christofascist resolutions and anti-gay votes. Also, Taylor had made what I now suspect were totally cynical efforts to appear "gay friendly" as a ruse to draw votes for the LGBT community. With Taylor generally voting lock step with the Trump/Pence regime and supporting ugly GOP policies, he's proven that he is, in fact, little different than Forbes. Now, Taylor faces a special prosecutor who is investigating fraudulent signatures gathered by Taylor campaign staffers to put failed Democratic candidate Shaun Brown - who is on trial for federal fraud charges - on the November ballot as an independent, the obvious goal being to drain votes from Taylor's Democrat challenger, Elaine Luria. In retrospect, Forbes despite his pandering to Christian extremists may have been the more honest candidate back in the GOP primary. I can only conclude that Taylor arrogantly thought no one would ever know about his dirty tricks towards Luria. The Virginian Pilot reports on the investigation. Here are highlights:
A special prosecutor will look into reports that false names were entered on ballot petitions gathered for Shaun Brown to run as an independent in the 2nd Congressional District.The names were collected by paid staff and others associated with the re-election campaign for Rep. Scott Taylor, R-Virginia Beach.
Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney Colin Stolle’s request Tuesday for a special prosecutor was granted within hours. That prosecutor will be Roanoke’s longtime commonwealth’s attorney, Donald Caldwell.
Four paid Taylor staffers gathered signatures in a two-day blitz shortly before the deadline for turning in ballot petitions. It also was two months after Brown, of Hampton, dropped her bid for the Democratic nomination in the wake of her indictment on federal corruption charges.
A hung jury led to a mistrial last week for those charges. The case is scheduled to be heard again – with a new jury – beginning Oct. 9.
Meanwhile, Del. Glenn Davis, R-Virginia Beach, said he was surprised to find his name on two petitions – both circulated by Taylor supporters. He did sign one, circulated by one of Taylor’s paid staff, but not the second – which had his first name misspelled and with an incorrect address five doors down on his street. That signature was on a petition gathered by a man whose father received $200 for consulting on the Taylor campaign a few days later, Federal Election Commission reports show.
Virginia Beach resident Tony Flores said he learned his name was on a Brown petition when someone with the local Democrats called his parents – whose names were listed on the same petition as his – to ask if they had really signed it. That petition was gathered by another of Taylor’s paid staff. Flores said that he did not sign the petition, nor did his parents and three friends whose names were on the same petition as his.In Stolle's request for a special prosecutor, he said his office was investigating potential violations of election law and of forgery. He said a special prosecutor was needed because 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.”
Meanwhile, local Democrats have been contacting people listed on the petitions to see if they actually signed the documents, said Jake Rubenstein, communications director of the Democratic Party of Virginia.
“Voters deserve to know if Congressman Taylor's paid staff violated the law and if all candidates received the required number of signatures to make the ballot this November,” he said.
Taylor would appear to be yet another corrupt Republican incumbent. He needs to be voted out of office in November. 2nd District voters and residents deserve someone honest and with integrity.