State Democratic officials say an error, not corruption, was the reason why Democratic congressional challenger Bruce Shuttleworth was initially not allowed on the 8th District primary ballot.
Officials announced yesterday that Shuttleworth had, in fact, submitted the necessary number of signatures to quality for the ballot, after they determined last week that he was 18 signatures short. At a press conference today, Shuttleworth charged that his opponent, Rep. Jim Moran, was somehow behind the snafu.
In a statement, a Moran spokesman didn’t respond directly to the allegations, but said the campaign hoped that officials would “get to the bottom of the situation.” The campaign also took a shot at one of Shuttleworth’s political backers.
The Moran campaign submitted their petitions well ahead of the deadline to avoid any last minute problems. It’s a deep concern that petitions appear to have been misplaced by the Fairfax County Registrar’s Office. We urge local officials to get to the bottom of the situation to find out what really happened, to ensure the Democratic process is protected.
For our campaign, nothing has changed. We were fully preparing for a primary, and the coming attacks from the conservative, Texas oil money fueled Super PAC that has stated their intent to try defeat the congressman, who has been a champion of the environment throughout his time in Congress.
Later this afternoon, Democratic Party of Virginia spokesman Brian Coy explained what had happened.
Democratic 8th Congressional District Committee chairwoman Margo Horner, who was named in Shuttleworth’s federal lawsuit challenging the initial petition decision, had passed off the petition signatures to impartial local election officials in Fairfax, Alexandria and Arlington, in an effort to avoid the certification process becoming too “politicized,” according to Coy.
Somehow, Coy said, the Fairfax County registrar lost a number of petitions during the process. They only discovered that the petitions had been lost after Arlington County registrar Linda Lindberg notified them that there were Fairfax County signatures within her office’s stack of petitions, according to Coy.
After the error was discovered — which was after Shuttleworth had initially been denied a spot on the ballot — the lost petitions were found, counted, and yesterday afternoon it was determined that Shuttleworth had, in fact, qualified for the ballot. Coy said that correct procedures were followed and denied that there was any intentional effort to leave Shuttleworth off the ballot.
“The results of this process had nothing to do with anything other than whether or not Mr. Shuttleworth had enough signatures,” Coy said. “Any insinuation that the party lost the signatures, that they did anything other than… go above and beyond the procedures that are laid out… is inaccurate.”
Coy added that “the responsibility to certify petitions lies with our congressional district committees” – not centrally with the Democratic Party of Virginia, whose chairman is Brian Moran, the congressman’s brother.
Update at 5:50 p.m. — Rep. Moran’s campaign and the state Democratic party have responded to Shuttleworth’s allegations.
When the campaign of Democratic congressional challenger Bruce Shuttleworth was first informed that it had not made the ballot for the upcoming June 12 primary, a spokeswoman said they were “supremely confident that this is nothing more than a minor clerical error.” After all, they had submitted 1,823 petition signatures when only 1,000 were needed to qualify for the ballot.
Today, a day after the Democratic 8th Congressional District Committee reversed itself and allowed Shuttleworth on the ballot, the Arlington businessman held a fiery press conference in Old Town Alexandria to decry what he asserted was “corruption” within the local Democratic party.
Dubbing the incident “Petition-gate,” Shuttleworth ripped in to his Democratic opponent, 11-term incumbent Rep. Jim Moran, accusing Moran and his supporters of having “cheated the people.”
“I think this sordid episode makes it clear that my opponent and his supporters will do anything, resort to almost anything to deny a reasonable choice,” Shuttleworth said to a small crowd of supporters and 2-3 journalists. “What kind of pathetic, smoke-filled backroom, Tammany Hall corruption is going on around here?”
Without giving specifics, Shuttleworth said officials misplaced or lost a portion of his campaign’s petition signatures, leading to the initial determination that he had come up 18 signatures short. Shortly after his campaign filed a federal lawsuit against several officials — including Moran’s brother, Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Brian Moran — Shuttleworth said the missing signatures were found.
“Somewhat less than miraculously, when confronted with a lawsuit, those hard-to-find missing petitions magically showed up,” Shuttleworth said. “It has been made very clear that challenges to the throne are not welcome.”
“They have no right to do this to our Democratic party,” said Shuttleworth, a former U.S. Navy pilot who has declared himself to be a “progressive warrior.”
“After more than a quarter century of Jim Moran at the helm of this party machine, when petitions for getting on the ballot of the United States Congress can be lost or misplaced for one second — one second! – what kind of banana republic is he trying to turn Northern Virginia in to?” Shuttleworth said emphatically. “How can this happen in America? Who will be held accountable?”
“There has been a grotesque miscarriage of justice,” Shuttleworth continued. “Without the recourse of legal action, I would not have made it on this ballot, and your voice would not have been heard… If the full truth in this case is ever revealed, I think voters will be very interested to see who is behind the curtain.”
A 31-year-old Arlington man was beaten and robbed following a St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Baltimore, in a story that has now made national news.
The beating was caught on camera and posted to a hip hop website. Several people can be seen punching the man and then stripping him of his clothing, while others stand around, laugh and cheer.
The man, who was reportedly drunk at the time of the incident, eventually made it back to his hotel room. He had no memory of the incident, but noticed that his watch, iPhone and car keys were missing.
Baltimore Police say they’ve already identified one suspect. They’re asking for the public to help identify others.
With little warning, the Asian restaurant closed last month for “remodeling.” A manager at the Charlie Chiang’s location in Centreville told us that the restaurant is not expected to reopen for another week or two.
In a note on the door addressed to the restaurant’s “royal customers,” management apologized for the sudden closing.
“We are sorry for the inconvenience!” the note said. “We will be back! Better than ever!”
Residents of Glencarlyn already have two schools in their neighborhood — Carlin Springs Elementary and Kenmore Middle School — but they say a proposal to add a third school to the existing campus, part of the plan to address the capacity crisis at Arlington Public Schools, goes too far.
In a letter sent to the Arlington School Board yesterday, the Glencarlyn Citizens’ Association asks the board to consider alternative sites for the proposed 600 students capacity magnet elementary school. The association cites concerns about “traffic, safety, parking and loss of [an] important recreational area” as reasons why the school shouldn’t be built or, at the very least, should be built in a way that minimizes negative impacts.
Along with the letter to the school board, Glencarlyn Citizens’ Association president Peter Olivere sent a letter to the editors of ARLnow.com, the Arlington Mercury and the Sun Gazette.
The Glencarlyn community is very concerned about the process and potential adverse consequences of the Arlington Public School’s (APS) Capacity Planning Process. The process appears to be driven by the APS’s desire to identify specific construction projects prior to placing a bond referendum before the public in November 2012. At the beginning of the Capacity Planning Process, the School Board committed to including the effect on Neighborhood Resources as a criteria for site selection. To date, the process has effectively excluded the affected neighborhoods from participation. The result is that APS has failed to incorporate the impact on neighborhoods in any meaningful way.
The School Board needs to recognize that the construction of new schools will have a significantly larger community impact than the replacement or expansion of an existing building. Given APS’s experience with late and costly modifications to approved capital improvement plans and past criticism of its ability to address legitimate concerns raised by affected communities, Glencarlyn believes the not including neighborhood input prior to deciding locations will undermine public support and confidence in APS’s ability to address future capacity needs.
Glencarlyn is requesting the School Board to refrain from selecting new school sites until additional alternatives have been considered and outreach efforts with the affected communities have resulted in plans to mitigate major concerns. For the Glencarlyn community the major concerns are traffic, safety, parking and loss of important recreational area. We believe there is adequate precedent for the Board to proceed with a bond referendum without tying it to site specific capital improvements.
Arlington is recognizing the employees of the county’s Emergency Communications Center (ECC) — the folks who answer 911 calls and dispatch police and firefighters to emergencies — as part of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. In a press release, the Arlington County Police Department praised the hard work and dedication of ECC personnel.
The week of April 8-14, 2012 is “National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.” This is an opportunity to honor the men and women of the Arlington County Emergency Communications Center who serve as our public safety communication professionals. They are the voice at the other end of the 9-1-1 call assisting a distressed citizen. They are the voice behind the radio when police, firefighters and medical personnel are responding to emergency incidents. We commend them on their tireless efforts to support emergency responders and to provide critical services to the citizens of our state.
Congress proclaimed the second week of April as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week in 1991 as a time to remember the critical role dispatchers play in keeping the public and public safety community safe. Today, calls placed to 911 centers across the nation are answered by these professionals to provide support to law enforcement, Fire-EMS, and other government field personnel.
Please join the Arlington County Police Department in thanking the telecommunicators and staff members for their continued dedication, hard work, and ability to multi-task while assisting the community and responding emergency personnel.
(Updated at 10:00 a.m.) Glebe Road was shut down in the area of 5th Street S. this morning due to a head-on collision between a car and a pickup truck
The accident happened just before 9:00 a.m., in front of Arlington Fire Station No. 1. Firefighters had to remove the top of the pickup truck to extricate the female driver, who was reported to be seriously injured. She was brought via ambulance to a local hospital. The driver of the car was reported to be alert and walking around after the accident.
Glebe Road was reopened to traffic around 10:00 a.m.
Moran Challenger Gets on Ballot — Rep. Jim Moran (D) will have a Democratic primary challenger, after all. Arlington businessman Bruce Shuttleworth has been certified to appear on the June 12 congressional primary ballot, after initially being rejected by election officials for supposedly not having the required 1,000 petition signatures. Shuttleworth’s campaign sued in federal court; yesterday the Virginia Democratic party certified his candidacy. [Washington Post]
O’Connell’s Undefeated Softball Team — The Bishop O’Connell Knights softball team is undefeated, with a perfect 10-0 record. One of its pitchers, Tori Finucane, has an astounding 0.00 earned run average for the season, with 114 strikeouts in 56 innings. [Sun Gazette]
United Jet Blows Tires at DCA — A United Airlines flight from Houston blew two rear tires while landing at Reagan National Airport on Monday morning. None of the 127 people on board were injured. [Washington Post]
I-395 HOV Lanes Close Overnight — The HOV lanes of I-395 — from the 14th Street Bridge to the Springfield Mixing Bowl — are closing from 9:30 p.m. until 3:30 a.m. this week. VDOT says the closures will allow it to install new overhead signs and to complete some bridge painting work. [Associated Press]
New Library ‘Digital Projects Lab’ Taking Reservations — Arlington Central Library’s new Digital Projects Lab is opening on Monday, April 16. The lab — which will offer library patrons the use of digital media creation tools like Photoshop and Final Cut Pro — is now accepting reservations. [Arlington Public Library]