Rep. Jim Moran’s son resigned from the Virginia Democrat’s campaign today after an undercover video appeared to show him offering advice on committing voter fraud.
The unedited video, shot by an associate of James O’Keefe, show’s Patrick Moran, the campaign’s field director, advising an unnamed man operating a hidden camera to “look into” forging utility bills in order to cast votes for 100 people who did not vote in 2008 and would not likely vote this year.
“Patrick is well-liked and was a well-respected member of the campaign team. This incident, however, was clearly an error in judgment. The campaign has accepted Patrick’s resignation, effective immediately,” read a statement from the campaign released this evening.
Patrick Moran later released his own statement.
“In reference to the ‘O’Keefe’ video, at no point have I, or will I ever endorse any sort of illegal or unethical behavior. At no point did I take this person seriously. He struck me as being unstable and joking, and for only that reason did I humor him,” the statement said. “In hindsight, I should have immediately walked away, making it clear that there is no place in the electoral process for even the suggestion of illegal behavior: joking or not.”
“In regards to my position on the campaign, I have stepped down because I do not want to be a distraction during this year’s critical election,” the statement concluded.
O’Keefe has gained notoriety for shooting undercover footage to try to expose fraud or bias in organizations such as Planned Parenthood, National Public Radio and ACORN.
In the video, Moran is initially reticent about a scheme to plan voter fraud in the battleground state of Virginia.
“I don’t know, man, I think you should put all this energy right into [get-out-the-vote efforts],” he says. “Just like ride these people out, get outdoors. Target the undecideds.”
But minutes later, after walking into the Arlington County Democrat’s office, he tells the man to “look into it.”
“I respect your initiative,” he says.
Rep. Moran was one of three Virginia lawmakers who called Tuesday for the Justice Department to investigate possible voter registration fraud connected to a Florida company and its subsidiary Pinpoint. A Pinpoint contractor was charged last week with 13 felony and misdemeanor counts of voter registration fraud in Rockingham County.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.