Arlington, VA

The Bruce Shuttleworth for Congress campaign has parted ways with a political consultant following a rift over a press conference in which Shuttleworth accused primary opponent Rep. Jim Moran (D) of “corruption.”

Anthony Dale confirmed to ARLnow.com this morning that he and his political consulting firm are no longer working for the Shuttleworth campaign. He described his departure from the campaign as a decision that he initiated, though the campaign is insisting that Dale “did not quit but was terminated for cause by the campaign on April 11.”

Dale said he started to disassociate himself from the campaign following an April 10 press conference in which Shuttleworth suggested that “smoke-filled backroom, Tammany Hall corruption” was behind a mix-up that initially kept his name off the June 12 Democratic primary ballot.

“We were unaware that they were going to hold a press conference… we had no part in what they did in that press conference,” Dale told ARLnow.com. “We just feel that the negative rhetoric that they continue to [engage in] is not in keeping with our company’s mission and values.”

In an email published by the Democratic blog Blue Virginia yesterday, Dale apologized for “not properly vetting Mr. Shuttleworth.”

“While I do believe that we should have an open and inviting election process… I do not believe such a process should come at the expense of attacking someone’s personal life or promoting unsubstantiated, false allegations,” Dale wrote.

In response, the Shuttleworth campaign sent out a press release criticizing Dale and emphasizing that he was “a field consultant, never a strategist, for the campaign.”

“Mr. Dale has been full of surprises during his time with the campaign, this most recent ill-advised letter is simply par for the course,” the press release said. “The campaign will not allow Mr. Dale, whose motivations for such egregious and ongoing unprofessional behavior are unclear, to distract the message of accountability, integrity and progressive values from reaching the voters of VA-8.”

The press release also said that Dale was hired after he “approached the campaign and offered his services claiming that he had serious issues with Jim Moran’s ethical lapses and disparaging comments about ethnic minorities.” Dale called that statement “completely inaccurate” and added that the campaign “had unrealistic goals of what we were expected to [accomplish].”

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