Gingrich Campaign Attributes Virginia Ballot Failure To Signature Gatherer Fraud

The Gingrich campaign yesterday blamed its failure to make the Virginia ballot on fraud by a paid signature gatherer:

A worker collecting signatures to get Republican GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on the Virginia primary ballot turned in fraudulent signatures, Gingrich told a woman at a campaign stop in Iowa on Wednesday.

Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond confirmed the story, which was initially reported on CNN, and said: “We are evaluating our options.”

Of the 11,100 signatures the campaign turned in, 1,500 of them turned in by the worker were false, Gingrich said. He said that the campaign needed 10,000 to be placed on the ballot.

While it is unfortunate that the Gingrich campaign got defrauded in this manner, and I would hope that any available criminal charges against this person are being investigated and pursued if merit is found, that isn’t the whole story. It was, quite frankly, because of the campaigns failure to be more aggressive in its petition efforts that they were caught with their pants down here. If they’d collected, say, 13,000 signatures, then losing these 1500 fraudulent signatures likely wouldn’t have had any impact on them at all.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Ben says:

    Agreed. When I last worked on a petition drive (for a ballot question), we were told that we should aim for at least 130% of the required signatures, because such a large number of signatures end up being excluded for one reason or another.

  2. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    While it is unfortunate that the Gingrich campaign got defrauded in this manner, and I would hope that any available criminal charges against this person are being investigated and pursued if merit is found, that isn’t the whole story.

    Gingrich got defrauded, much like ACORN.
    I bet that the reporting and the blame will differ substantially…

  3. legion says:

    Mitt Romney, just as one example, has been working the political campaign thing for years now (albeit unsuccessfully). He thinks he’s entitled to the nomination just because he’s the ‘golden boy’, but he is at least aware of what he needs to do to get that nod.

    Gingrich, OTOH, hasn’t done squat campaign-wise since he was flushed out of Congress over a decade ago – he never had the slightest interest in doing hard work outside his comfort zone of walking into a room and berating everyone for being dumber than him. He has the same feeling of entitlement, but from day one he’s _never_ been willing to do any actual work for it. Now he’s looking for other people besides himself to blame. It’s classic.

  4. Ernieyeball says:

    “It was, quite frankly, because of the campaigns failure to be more aggressive in its petition efforts that they were caught with their pants down here.”

    Boxers or briefs?

    http://boardgames.lovetoknow.com/Boxers_or_Briefs_Game

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! 2012 From Iowa to November it will be a year to remember!
    Thanks in advance to Michelle, Newt, Ronnie, Ricky, Rick, Jon, Mittens, Gary and The Big O!

    And never forget:
    “If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner.” H.L. Mencken

  5. David says:

    He couldn’t manage .13% of the population to sign a petition? I could get that many signatures to get a dog on a primary ballot without too much effort…