When approached at a Cosi by a total stranger pushing a vote-fraud scheme, be very, very leery.

Pat Moran, son of Northern Virginia Rep. Jim Moran (D), learned that the hard way this past week when conservative activists caught him on video providing advice about how one person might be able to cast ballots on behalf of a number of people in next month’s election.

In the video, Moran, the field director for his father’s campaign, appears initially uneasy about the prospect of vote fraud but goes on to suggest that forged utility bills could be used as identification. He adds that the bills must “look good” to fool poll workers.

Within 24 hours of the release of the video, which was recorded by the conservative-aligned Project Veritas, Moran had resigned from his position in the campaign — although he sounded slightly short of remorseful in a statement explaining his departure.

“At no point did I take this person seriously,” Moran said. “He struck me as being unstable and joking, and for only that reason did I humor him.”

Um, okay. Regardless, the damage to Moran and his father will probably be minimal. Barack Obama won 69 percent of the vote in Virginia’s 8th District in 2008, and Jim Moran was reelected to an 11th term in 2010 with 61 percent support.

Still, becoming the national poster boy for vote fraud is never a good thing.

Pat Moran, for forgetting that walking away is sometimes the best policy, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.

Have a candidate for the Worst Week in Washington? E-mail Chris Cillizza at chris.cillizza@wpost.com.

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