After a consultant and friend of Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Philadelphia) entered a guilty plea to federal charges yesterday, the spotlight is being turned up on Fattah’s opponent in the November election.
Political Consultant Greg Naylor entered guilty pleas to making false statements to federal agents and attempting to conceal two campaign finance related fraud schemes. The plea memo says an unnamed “Elected Official A,” who is clearly Rep. Fattah, worked with others to orchestrate the theft of federal funds to repay a campaign debt.
Fattah has not been charged with a crime, but his Republican opponent Armond James says since the revelation, his campaign is suddenly drawing interest.
“Now more people are contacting us and they want to help,” James said. “We’re having a couple of fund-raisers in the next few weeks. I just had one last week and we’re excited about the opportunity to push our ideas out there, because we need finances to help us get our message out.”
Armond teaches at an alternative public high school in Philadelphia. He has only about $500 in his campaign war chest. In contrast, Fattah spent about $400,000 between January and the end of June from his campaign account.
James says he’s an outsider and that should help in this race.
“We know we have solutions to the problems in this district and I think people are coming around to an alternative leader in this district,” he said.
An attorney representing Rep. Fattah said he would not comment about Naylor’s guilty plea or any other allegations against the congressman.
The congressman’s son, Chip Fattah is awaiting trial on federal theft and tax-fraud charges. And Naylor’s guilty plea said he helped arrange the scheme to pay off college loans for the son of “Elected Official A.”