Charging scandal-plagued eleven-term congressman Jim Moran with corruption, Bruce Shuttleworth accused the Moran machine of organizing “Petitiongate,”a clumsy Keystone Cops attempt to prevent Moran's challenger’s name from appearing on the primary ballot this June.
Although Bruce Shuttleworth did not name him by name, the Chair of the Virginia Democratic Party who certified Jim Moran as the sole candidate eligible for the June ballot is Brian Moran, the brother of Congressman Jim Moran.
The following statement is from the website of Bruce Shuttleworth, Candidate for Congress, VA-8.
Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen!
Many thanks to all my supporters, especially my family, who are here today on short notice.
I have some prepared remarks related to our recently filed lawsuit in Federal District Court: Shuttleworth v Moran.
After hundreds of hours by dozens of supporters who meticulously gathered petition signatures, on March 29th, my campaign carefully placed them into 4 sealed envelopes and hand-delivered them to the Chairperson of Virginia’s 8th Congressional District Democratic Committee, Ms. Margo Horner.
On April 2nd, 15 minutes before close of business, I was alerted, by voicemail, that our 1,823 signatures somehow could not even yield the 1,000 required; and that the Chairperson was in the immediate process of certifying my opponent – who, by the way, received $5,000 from the very Committee who was solely responsible to administer a fair count.
Truth be told, I haven’t checked this morning, but as of yet, our campaign has not received a similar contribution. But we remain optimistic – hope springs eternal. But I never did formally ask. So Ms. Horner, how about it? In the interest of fair play, may we have a campaign contribution too?
Let me assure you that feeling powerless under the boot of party hacks is not my style. I didn’t spend 8 years as a Naval Officer to be bullied about by Moran’s Minions – and neither should you.
So we demanded to see our petitions. After days of delay, we finally got them, and folks, it was as if our petitions, the will of the people, had entered the Land of Oz – where you are not expected to look behind the curtain. In went 168 sheets; and out came, wait for it, 107.
Friends, our democracy is not a clothes dryer; where critical petitions can just be “lost” – like so many socks. So we called her to say “excuse us, but how can dozens of our petition sheets have gone MIA?” – and we heard nothing but crickets!Now having no confidence in a Chairperson who would not even return our calls, I decided that our only course of action was in the court of law.
And that requires a lot of work as well as a lot of money – money that if the Democratic machine has any decency they will repay. Now I’m not sure what you did on Easter Weekend; but my wife and I spent 50 plus hours tracking down registered voters who were told that their voice didn’t count. And here they are. And boy, some of them are really angry with Moran and his Machine.
I take no pleasure in having to resort to legal action with my Democratic Party, the greatest Party in the land. The Party of social and economic justice, of equality and fairness for all. They have no right to do this to our Democratic Party.
But when those very ideals have been sacrificed at the alter of political greed, where the instinct to stay in power overwhelms any instinct of American fair play, then I say that it is time to clean house – and with your help, we have the brooms to do it.
So, somewhat less than miraculously, when confronted with a lawsuit, suddenly those hard-to-find missing petitions magically showed up – and now we have the required number to be on the ever-elusive ballot.
I wonder where they could have been – mystery-of-the-ages. The people’s will must not have been too important to them. But it is important to me.
And I have a question: After more than a quarter century of Moran at the helm of this party machine, when petitions for getting on the ballot for the United States Congress can for one second, one second, be “misplaced”…what kind of Banana Republic is he trying to turn Northern Virginia into?
This Ladies and Gentlemen is Petition-gate and I think this is worse than subjective hanging chad determinations. How can this happen in America? Who will be held accountable?
You know, I would like to make a formal complaint about the petition certification process, but unfortunately…we haven’t been able to detect one. There is no due process, there is no right of review, there are no receipts, there is simply trust us, hand them in and trust us – even though its been made very clear that challenges to the throne are not welcome.
Thus, there has been a grotesque miscarriage of justice and we will perhaps never know how deep it goes. If the full truth in this case is ever revealed, I think the voters will be very interested to find out what goes on behind the curtain.
Make no mistake, in this instance, some of Moran’s supporters cheated the people. Without the recourse of legal action, I would not have made it onto this ballot and your voice would not have been heard. I think this sordid episode makes it clear that the incumbent and some of his supporters will resort to nearly anything to deny a meaningful choice.
What kind of pathetic smoke-filled back room Tammany Hall corruption is going on around here?
I say no more rolling over to the forces of corruption and incompetence. It is time to Roll With Honor.
I entered this race for all the right reasons: #1 on the list was fighting corruption. And here we are. It is exactly this kind of anti-democratic nonsense that encouraged me to run in the first place.
I am running for Congress because America is in a fight that must be won.
And that battle, quite simply, will be fought over whether we become a nation led by honorable leaders – or not. Choose wisely and America will lead; vote otherwise and America will follow. Dishonor and decay go hand in hand.
And you know what, I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough of these excuses. Our Nation has had enough of this mediocrity from our so-called leaders who fight for themselves with their palms open instead of fighting for the people with their fists closed.
We need to take back our country. We need to take back our Party. Let me be clear, you will have a choice on June 12th to send an honest man to Congress.
This is a battle for the honest leadership of America – and it will now be fought in the ballot box, where it belongs.
This Progressive Warrior looks forward to your support.