Arlington resident Bruce Shuttleworth, who is challenging incumbent Rep. Jim Moran for the Eighth District Democratic congressional nomination, has withdrawn a lawsuit he filed after initially being told he did not qualify for the ballot.
Shuttleworth was eventually allowed on the June 12 primary ballot, but only after he filed the lawsuit. That led him to accuse local Democratic officials of “corruption.” (A charge the state Democratic party vehemently disputed.)
In withdrawing the lawsuit, Shuttleworth says he still “intends to hold the party fully accountable for its practices regarding ballot access.”
The campaign issued the following statement last night.
Democratic Congressional Candidate, Bruce Shuttleworth today has voluntarily dismissed his lawsuit against Brian Moran and several Democratic operatives after being certified for the Virginia District 8 Democratic primary ballot.
Bruce Shuttleworth stated, “the convenient turnaround when faced with a Federal lawsuit does not provide answers to how petitions in a Congressional race in America can simply go missing. We were forced to file suit when the Virginia Democratic Party proved unresponsive, at great personal expense. It is disappointing that I was required to invest so much time and money to fight for our inalienable right for an honest democratic process.”
Candidate Shuttleworth has reached out repeatedly to the party and to Jim Moran to attempt to remove the pall over the party’s ballot access process without the need for court review, but was rebuffed. In the interest of ceasing further deployment of resources, which the VA Democratic Party has not yet offered to repay, the case is being voluntarily dismissed. Notwithstanding today’s dismissal, Bruce Shuttleworth intends to hold the party fully accountable for its practices regarding ballot access. His dismissal of this case does not prejudice him from bringing further claims related to the irregularities of the party’s signature review process.
Bruce Shuttleworth is focused on providing ethical and practical solutions for the people of Virginia’s 8th Congressional District. Candidate Shuttleworth understands the power of free markets but is committed to people first and understands the real needs of his community. Lip service and fake compassion while cosying up to big business is not his style. Bruce Shuttleworth believes public service is his duty, not a career option.
This year there is an alternative to Jim Moran, a 22 year incumbent. This year a challenger has squeezed through to the ballot. This year, the people of VA-8 can choose a real progressive by voting for Bruce Shuttleworth on June 12th, not an opportunist who is a Blue Dog one day (DLC–Democratic Leadership Council) and a progressive the next. Bruce Shuttleworth has served his country with passion and integrity. While he is the underdog against the Moran machine, Bruce believes in the power of the grassroots movement.
New Indian Eatery Coming to R-B Corridor? — The Fairfax-based Indian restaurant Curry Mantra is scouting out real estate along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor in hopes of opening two new “Curry Mantra Express” carryout restaurants by the end of the year. [Northern Virginia Magazine]
Shuttleworth Recruits Republicans — Bruce Shuttleworth, the Arlington businessman who’s challenging long-time incumbent Rep. Jim Moran for the Democratic nomination for Congress, is recruiting Republicans to vote for him in the June 12 primary. The Democratic blog Blue Virginia posted video of Shuttleworth asking for the vote of members of the Falls Church Republican Committee. [Blue Virginia]
GOP Looks for County Board Candidate — Arlington County Republicans are still trying to recruit a candidate to challenge Democrat Libby Garvey in November’s County Board election. Mark Kelly, who lost to Garvey in the recent County Board special election, says he doesn’t plan to run again this year. June 12 is the filing deadline to get on the November ballot. [Sun Gazette]
Local Bank Makes ‘Most Trustworthy’ List — Virginia Commerce Bancorp, the locally-based parent company of Virginia Commerce Bank, was named to the Forbes magazine list of “America’s 100 Most Trustworthy Companies.” [BusinessWire]
Flickr pool photo by Philliefan99
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].”
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.”
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]
The campaign of Bruce Shuttleworth, would-be Democratic primary challenger to Rep. Jim Moran, is vowing to press on after election officials determined that it came up 18 signatures short of the 1,000 needed to get on the June 12 primary ballot.
“After careful examination and confirmation of our petition against voter rolls, we are supremely confident that this is nothing more than a minor clerical error,” Shuttleworth for Congress spokeswoman Talisha Hill told ARLnow.com. “We intend to work closely with the staff at the Board of Elections to resolve this clerical issue.”
Should Shuttleworth not be able to get on the ballot, Moran will be able to save his $462,964 campaign war chest for the November general election, where he will face Republican Patrick Murray. Murray, who unsuccessfully challenged Moran in 2010, has raised $21,872 as of the latest reporting date.
Will Radle has dropped out of the Eight Congressional District Democratic primary and has endorsed Bruce Shuttleworth against incumbent Rep. Jim Moran.
Radle announced his candidacy for the seat in January. Previously, the Fairfax County resident had run for public office as both an independent and a Republican. Since last year, Radle’s runs for public office have been dogged by media mentions of his guilty plea on an assault charge out of Arlington in 2010.
Radle’s LinkedIn page says he’s currently unemployed. A recent long-form profile of the candidate suggests he left his job as an insurance agent last year to focus on his campaign.
In his endorsement, Radle made no mention of Moran, but instead lauded Shuttleworth as “a true gentleman who will represent the Democratic Party well in fighting for those who can’t fight for themselves; battling for those who too often battle for us in faraway lands and governing as an honest broker.”
Radle’s full press release, after the jump.
Rep. Jim Moran is facing another challenger in the Democratic primary for Virginia’s Eighth Congressional District.
Bruce Shuttleworth, a resident of Arlington’s Old Glebe neighborhood, announced his candidacy this week and is putting his money where his mouth is: contributing $50,000 of his own money to his campaign. The former U.S. Navy pilot is also coming out in full-attack mode asked why he wants to take on the well-connected, ten-term congressman.
“I’ve been very impressed by our wonderfully honest local leaders, and I’ve been very struck by the disparity in integrity between those local leaders and [Rep. Jim Moran],” Shuttleworth told ARLnow.com, specifically mentioning campaign contributions Moran has received from earmark recipients. “I don’t think he can be trusted to uniformly act in the best interest of the citizenry.”
“I haven’t found more than one or two [residents] who said they think highly of Jim Moran and that they enjoy voting for him,” Shuttleworth added. “I think his likeability factor is very, very low.”
Shuttleworth, 46, was born in New York and spent the latter part of his childhood in Maryland. A United States Naval Academy graduate, Shuttleworth was a naval aviator who served on the carrier USS America during its support of American actions in Bosnia and Somalia. After leaving the military he attended Harvard Business School and went to work for the Boston Consulting Group, before moving to D.C. with his wife about 12 years ago.
Shuttleworth has been an independent consultant since 2008, according to his LinkedIn profile, after working at local companies like MicroStrategy and Blackboard. He and his wife Diane, a lawyer, have two twin 9-year-old boys who attend Arlington Science Focus School.
Eschewing traditional Democratic red meat, Shuttleworth is instead venturing into unfamiliar political territory by focusing on the national debt as a key campaign issue during the primary.
“I think that America is really facing one of the most serious challenges in its history with this out of control debt,” Shuttleworth said. “These aren’t just numbers in a computer. Having more than $250 billion go to interest payments — that’s money that we cannot spend on our [general] welfare. This is a situation that puts us at great risk for hyperinflation.”
“This is an issue that transcends all American interests, and I don’t think it has the proper attention of Jim Moran,” Shuttleworth said, adding that out-of-control debt jeopardizes the country’s social safety net.
If the focus on the national debt makes Shuttleworth sound a bit like a Republican, he’s quick to point out that he’s very much a Democrat on other issues, including the social safety net, women’s health, gay rights and gun control.
Although he has little political experience, Shuttleworth says he has been active in the community. He serves on the Arlington Public Schools Comprehensive School Health Committee, is a Civic Association delegate and coaches basketball and soccer. He says he’s been pleasantly surprised by the pledges of support he has received since announcing his candidacy Wednesday afternoon.
“My iPhone is just beeping out of control,” he said. The congressional primary is scheduled for June 12.