‘This isn’t going to go away’: Political analyst speaks on controversy surrounding Rep. Scott Taylor’s staff

Posted at 3:51 PM, Aug 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-09 05:51:03-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Don't expect the controversy over surrounding the investigation into Congressman Scott Taylor's staff to go away, says Dr. Quentin Kidd from the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University.

"You and I will be talking about this for the next 90 days," Kidd said.

As News 3 has been reporting, Taylor's staff collected signatures to help put Independent candidate Shaun Brown on the ballot this fall in the race for Congress in the second district. This week several people came forward to say they never signed it. "This is a classic example of a self-inflicted wound," Kidd said.

Now, a special prosecutor is looking into whether Taylor's staff did anything illegal. The original decision to try and help Brown is seen as an effort to dilute the vote between Brown and Democrat Elaine Luria. "It looks to me that Scott Taylor's campaign team was thinking, 'How can we essentially maximize our potential for winning?'" said Kidd.

But did the staffers go too far? A dead man's signature is on the petition. In addition, Del. Glenn Davis told News 3 he signed the petition once, but not a second time. The second time his name appears it's misspelled and shows the wrong address. "There's a pattern here that suggests there's something more than random going on here," Kidd said.

It's not clear how long the investigation will take, but Kidd believes it's important for voters to have all the information before Election Day. "Clearly voters need to know: did anybody do wrong? Who did wrong? And most importantly, was Congressman Taylor implicated in whoever did the wrong?"

Taylor says he found out about the questionable signatures at the same time as everyone else. In a statement released Tuesday, he said he has a zero tolerance policy for inappropriate activities and is fully cooperating in the investigation.

News 3 reached out to Donald Caldwell, the special prosecutor and Commonwealth's Attorney in Roanoke, but didn't hear back.