Prince William Commonwealth Attorney Appoints Special Attorney to Investigate School Board Campaign Signs

| December 5, 2018 | 0 Comments | News

Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert announced last week that he has appointed a special attorney to investigate the “Republicans for Stanley Bender” signs and Political Action Committee that sponsored them.

Ebert is a Democrat, and the investigation centers around Harry Wiggins, three-time former Chair of the Democratic Committee who filed for the PAC with the State Board of Elections under false pretenses.

Bright red signs reading “Republicans for Stanley Bender” appeared at scores of polling sites in Prince William County on the morning of election day. One of the elections that day was the special election for  Prince William County School Board Chairman At-large.

However, Republicans did not support Stanley Bender, an independent candidate for school board chairman, as the signs stated.

The Republicans placed their support behind Alyson Satterwhite, the Gainesville school board representative. Bender was a relative unknown who raised no money for his campaign.

Suspect of the signs, local Republicans contacted the State Board of Elections. They learned that Wiggins filed for the signs by forming a Political Action Committee (PAC) in October. Since the signs were connected to a PAC, it would be illegal to remove them.

The Stanley Bender signs may have affected the close election between Dr. Babur Lateef, who won the Chairmanship, and Alyson Satterwhite.

Lateef, a Democrat, who served as interim chair of the school board, won 72,552 votes, or more than 48% of the vote. Bender received over 14,305 votes from around the county, 9.1% of the vote, despite running a passive campaign.

Satterwhite earned 62,409 votes or 41% of the votes.

Republicans cannot definitively say if Satterwhite would have won the election without the signs. They want an investigation into the matter, although it won’t change the outcome of the election.

Bill Card, Chair of the Prince William Republican Committee, said it is more than dirty politics; it is illegal because Wiggins used Stanley Bender’s name without permission. (Bender confirmed this with Bristow Beat.)

And he knows it confused people because he received phone calls all day long about the signs.

Card believes that many were hurt by the action, not only Satterwhite, but the 90,000 plus students of Prince William County School and it cast a pall over the entire school board.

And Card believes Wiggins could not have acted alone as there are 90 polling places in Prince William County and the signs were found at a great number of them.

Mostly, he wants the investigation as a determent so these kinds dirty political do not become the norm in the county.

Don Shaw, Chair of the Prince William Democratic Committee, denounced the actions and said it did not represent their values.

There will be another election for school board chairman next November.

Harry Wiggins has not responded to requests for interviews.

© 2018, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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