McAuliffe/Jewell respond to Crusade for Voters controversy
Against the picturesque backdrop of the Richmond City skyline, Democratic candidate for governor Terry McAuliffe accepted the endorsement of the Richmond Crusade for Voters. The group is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Commonwealth.
McAuliffe announced the endorsement earlier in the week to great fanfare, but some of the excitement waned when Senator Henry Marsh, a longtime leader in the group and a Creigh Deeds supporter, questioned the way the vote was taken. Marsh claimed that a large group of people appeared at the meeting who had no connection to the organization. Marsh who has been with the group for more than 50 years said in a statement that he is afraid the vote has to potential to “reflect poorly on the Crusade and diminish the credibility of this historic organization.”
Richmond City Councilman E. Martin Jewell, a McAuliffe supporter disagrees. He rushed to McAuliffe’s defense today during the event and claimed that Marsh’s complaints are without merit. He said with or without the members in question, McAuliffe won the vote by a comfortable margin. He challenged those who disagree to “sue me” and said “This is a Henry Marsh trick! I love him, but I know him! Don’t y’all get tricked by that!.”
An extended clip from the McAuliffe event and Senator Marsh’s entire statement can be found after the jump..
Senator Henry L. Marsh, III Expresses Disappointment Regarding Endorsement Process by Richmond Crusade for Voters
Richmond – I have been an active member of the Richmond Crusade for Voters for more than fifty years. I was disappointed that during the May 19, 2009 endorsement meeting, several irregularities occurred that reflect poorly on the Crusade and diminish the credibility of this historic organization.
Three of the most egregious irregularities noted were:
1. Attendees who are not members of the organization were allowed to vote.
2. Members who had not attended three regularly scheduled monthly meetings, as required by the Crusade Bylaws (Article 8), were allowed to vote.
3. Relatives and paid staff members of candidates seeking endorsement were permitted to serve on the Research Committee that made the endorsement recommendations.
I regret that these irregularities transpired and jaded the perception of the Crusade by many in attendance who voiced their concerns about the procedure.
I trust that the voters will exercise sound judgment in considering each candidate’s qualifications and platform and vote accordingly.