♫ Substitute your lies for fact
I can see right through your plastic mac
I look all white, but my dad was black
My fine-looking suit is really made out of sack ♫
— “Substitute,” The Who1
We got trouble. Right here in VA-2. And that starts with T, which leads off tricks, dirty as you ever did see.
What the fuck, Uvular? Make sense for once in your goddamned reign of error over the Weekend Politics Thread.
Second, and to answer your so rudely expressed demand for clarity,2 incumbent Republican Rep. Scott Taylor finds himself cleft-chin deep in an old-school ballot-rigging scandal at the very opening of the serious season of his reelection campaign.
But why male models? Focus, Politicados.
Taylor paid four of his professional campaign staffers to collect signatures for an “independent” candidate who, once on the ballot, would siphon votes from Taylor’s Democratic candidate. Meet said Democratic challenger, Elaine Luria.3
Turns out, as many as 700 of the 1,200-plus signatures submitted for the independent4 who received underhanded assistance do not pass even the most cursory review for authenticity. Dead people signed. A woman who moved from Virginia Beach to Las Vegas and actually ran for a seat on her adopted city’s school board signed. Living local people signed who, damn all and wouldn’t you know, chose that very moment of participatory democracy to forget their home addresses, the spellings of their own surnames, and the way they always put only their first initial into their John Hancock.
Uvular kids. John Hancock did not sign the fraudulent petitions submitted by Taylor’s campaign workers on behalf of another aspiring candidate. But you, valued reader, may have. Check that here.
Taylor, unbelievably insists he only wanted to make the election fair to the independent candidate, who dropped out of the 2018 Democratic primary when she got indicted for embezzling more tan $800,000 from a federal summer kids’ lunch program.5 And whom Taylor defeated in his first run for the U.S. House in 2016 when the Democratic Party, at all levels, declined support due to her general incompetence, bad attitude and already circulating rumors of skimming from the children’s nutrition program.
News of Taylor’s perfidy broke on Aug. 1, 2018. As of this writing 10 days later, a state special prosecutor has taken on the investigation of the signature collection and submission process, Taylor has fired his campaign manager and at least one petition circulator, the Virginia Beach Democratic Committee has asked the state secretary who administers elections to remove the independent’s name from the ballot due to print on August 13, and us VA-2 voters continue to suffer bad case of what wags sometimes call Chicago politics.
Lifelong Virginians like your grizzled WPT host, however, recognizes this as Byrd Organization politics. Wall-eyed racist, yet scrupulously honest when it came to bribery, Harry F. Byrd took over governance of the Old Dominion while serving in the state senate 1915-28, ascended to the governorship and remined pulling all the strings until Republican, and future Tim Kaine father-in-law, Linwood Holton won election to the governorship in 1969.6
No single event does more to signal the 180-degree flip of racist and power-over-principle sentiment in American politics than Holton’s dismantling of the Byrd Organization. All decent Republicans started voting Democratic, while all terrible Democrats switched their bling allegiance to Republicans.
Bur damn if Taylor doesn’t want to revitalize all the worst of the bad old days, up to and including rigging elections by any means necessary.
For irony’s sake, let’s drop this video here. Just mouth “politics” at the appropriate intervals.
You needn’t fight for your right to comment. Accept Uvular’s invitation.