Dave Iwans, political consultant and campaign manager for Virginia Beach mayor Will Sessoms, pled guilty to violating the campaign laws. He will pay the maximum fine of $2,500 and will get no jail time.
The money quote from the article (emphasis mine):
…this plea indicates that Iwans intended to deceive voters, said Bill Prince, a spokesman for Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney Earle Mobley, who was handling the case.
The downside to this plea, as I understand it, is that the evidence against Iwans will never be made public. Recall, if you will, that Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney Harvey Bryant said that there were “over 4,000 pages of documents and correspondence” collected related to this case. It’s a shame that the public will not be privy to those documents.
And $2,500? Probably not a drop in the bucket for Iwans. But one has to wonder if his career as a political consultant is hurt by this.
On second thought – probably not. The world is full of unscrupulous politicians who will do anything to do get elected.
UPDATE: The story has been updated on the Pilot’s website. In it, Iwans admits what a lot of folks had thought all along: that consultant Bruce Williams was behind the fliers.
Iwans said Bruce Williams, a consultant hired by the Sessoms campaign to reach out to black voters, suggested using a flier several weeks before the Nov. 4 election. The day before the election, Iwans said he ordered the fliers, which were distributed in primarily black precincts on Williams’ suggestion.
Williams was not charged because he didn’t pay for the fliers. There is no campaign violation for simply misleading voters.