Special Prosecutor to investigate actions of Congressman Scott Taylor's paid staff amid signature revelations
A special prosecutor was appointed Tuesday to investigate claims that aides to Rep. Scott W. Taylor (R-Va.) illegally forged signatures to help an independent candidate get on the ballot, hoping to give their boss an edge over his Democratic challenger in the midterm elections.
At least a half-dozen people — several with ties to state or local politics — have come forward in recent days to say their signatures or signatures belonging to their relatives appear on election petitions that they did not sign.
Forging information on election materials is a violation of state law.
The controversy for Taylor began last week when WHRO radio reported that four of his paid campaign workers helped gather the 1,000 signatures that Brown needed to get on the November ballot.
Taylor’s staffers helped gather signatures for Shaun Brown — a former Democratic candidate in the Virginia Beach-based congressional district — to get on the November ballot as an independent. Among the signatures was that of R. Stuart Cake, a well-known civic activist in Hampton Roads who died April 6 at his Virginia Beach home.
The more you stir the goulash U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor cooked up to get an independent candidate on the ballot in November, the worse it stinks. The stench will linger for a long time — maybe even past Election Day.
Taylor is the 2nd Congressional District incumbent. It’s bad enough four of his paid campaign staffers gathered signatures for Shaun Brown, a newly minted independent. Those workers collected more than half the signatures she needed to get on the ballot, for goodness sake!
At least a handful of voters now contend they didn’t sign those petitions. One woman said Monday her late husband’s name couldn’t be legit, because the June signature came after R. Stuart Cake’s death onApril 6.
The special prosecutor will focus on possible discrepancies among signatures that were gathered by Taylor’s campaign staff to help an independent congressional candidate get on November’s ballot.
Such efforts are not unheard of. But this week, four people told local public radio station WHRO-FM that they never signed a petition to get Brown on the ballot, even though their names appear among the signatures collected by Taylor’s staff.
Another woman told the station that her dead husband’s name is on the petition. And Virginia Del. Glenn Davis, a Republican, has told media outlets that his name appeared on two petitions. He said he signed one. His first name was misspelled and his address was incorrect on another.
A special prosecutor in Virginia is investigating whether staff for a GOP congressman turned in forged signatures to get a Democrat-turned-Independent on the ballot this fall.
The investigation by the special prosecutor, Roanoke Commonwealth Attorney Donald Caldwell, will examine petitions collected by campaign staff for Rep. Scott Taylor (R-Va.) to get a Democrat-turned-independent candidate, Shaun Brown, on the ballot. Brown’s presence on the ballot could benefit Taylor by taking away votes from Elaine Luria, his Democratic opponent this fall.
Among the signatures turned in for Brown was one allegedly from R. Stuart Cake, a civic activist who died in April, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The signature was dated June 9.
Democrats found the signatures of a dead man and a woman who had moved on a petition gathered on behalf of an independent candidate by staff members of Rep. Scott Taylor's (R-Va.) campaign.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Democrats combed over a petition to get Shaun Brown on the November ballot for Virginia's 2nd District and found at least two questionable signatures out of hundreds reportedly gathered by four staffers for Taylor's reelection campaign.
A prominent, but deceased, booster of Old Dominion University and a former Virginia Beach resident who registered to vote in Nevada in 2014 were among the names Rep. Scott Taylor’s paid campaign staff gathered in a bid to put independent candidate Shaun Brown on the ballot.
Taylor’s staffers gathered more than 570 signatures in a two-day blitz shortly before the June 12deadline to file. Independent candidates for Congress need 1,000 valid signatures to be on the ballot. Brown supporters gathered about 1,350 by the deadline, including about 1,100 before the Taylor staffers hit the streets.
The signatures in question had been collected by one of Rep. Scott Taylor's campaign staffers. More signatures gathered by Taylor's staff helped Brown to successfully get on November's ballot as an independent candidate.
Political analysts said the move is seen as an effort to split the Democratic vote in Virginia's 2nd District. Taylor is running against Democrat Elaine Luria, while Brown had been the district's democratic candidate in 2016.
Our investigation showed the signatures, gathered by one of Republican Incumbent Scott Taylor's staffers, were not signed by the actual people they claim to be.
Why would Scott Taylor's campaign gather signatures to be on the ballot in November for one of his opponents? The answer could be Taylor is benefited by an independent candidate, who could help split the Democratic vote against him. That lays the groundwork for what has happened.
Cake's name, signature, and address appear on the petition collected by a campaign staffer for Congressman Scott Taylor. The signature is dated June 9, 2018, about two months after he died, according to a copy of the petition received by WHRO through a Freedom of Information Act Request.
Last week, WHRO first reported Taylor's campaign staff collected signatures to help Brown get on the ballot as an Independent candidate.