Scott Rigell, running as the favorite of the GOP establishment in the Republican primary in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District, donated $1,000 to Barack Obama, according to opensecrets.com, a research group that tracks money in politics.
“Rigell was one of the highest Obama donors in the zip code,” Scott Taylor told HUMAN EVENTS. Taylor, a former Navy SEAL and local business owner, is also running in the Republican primary.
Taylor, whose campaign slogan is “Send a SEAL not a RINO,” said Rigell “didn’t even vote in the Republican primary, and then gave $1,000 to Barack Obama on March 10,” 2008.
“In November Republicans will aim at the Democrats, but for now their only expression is against the Republican establishment, and that’s who Rigell is,” said former Rep. Tom Davis (R.-Va.). “He gave money to Obama, he gave money to Mark Warner, and Louise Lucas, who is a Democrat state senator down there.”
On a local blog, Rigell responded by saying that, “The only alternative on the Democratic side was Senator Obama. Yes, I was moved by his rhetoric and by the prospect of seeing a minority rise to the highest office in our land. If we were to end up with a Democrat President I wanted that person to be Obama, not Clinton; I was not indifferent to the two possible outcomes.”
Rigell also supported the economic stimulus and through the Cash for Clunkers program received $444,500 from the U.S. taxpayers to benefit his automobile dealership. When asked about accepting the money, Rigell said, ” I had no ethical problem whatsoever.”
Across the country Republican voters, many led by the Tea Party movement, are letting Washington know that they are feed up with their GOP establishment candidates. Last week, 18-year Republican incumbent Sen. Bob Bennett from Utah lost his seat at a state convention when Tea Party favorite Mike Lee and a businessman named Tim Bridgewater won the right to duke it out in June 22 primary.
Taylor faces an up hill battle in raising money for the campaign. Rigell is topping his rivals in fundraising, although most of his money is coming from his own pocket.
“I believe you need people out there that are servant leaders, not the other way around, and who are not beholden to other folks. Rigell has endorsements that are based on his contributions to their campaign, it’s all status quo,” said Taylor.
Taylor has been endorsed by Rep. Dan Burton (R.-Ind), Rep. Duncan Hunter (R.-Calif.) and Rep. Trent Franks (R.-Ariz.), two mayors and a councilman within the district, and two Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.
Scott Taylor appeared several times on Fox News supporting the SEALs charged with failing to safeguard and abusing terrorist Iraqi detainee Ahmed Hashim Abed. All three SEALs have since been exonerated.
“I’m doing this for a servant leadership position, I don’t see it as a career position, I am adamantly opposed to what is going on in this nation, I want to get us back to path of prosperity,” Taylor said. “We need leaders up there that have backbone, who can fight against healthcare reform issues, but also address costs. We also need someone who understands that we are the finest fighting force and we are committed to winning as much as our troops are.”
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