Monday, May 6, 2013

Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell Just the Latest Politician to be Bought and Paid For

Tempting to Target Republicans – But This Practice Cuts Across Party and Philosophical Lines

UPDATE:  It turns out a whole bunch of Virginia officials got all sorts of nice gifts and free rides on the corporate jet from Star Scientific.   But we are certain there was no ‘quid pro quo’ here, the company and its owners just are great friends with the Virginia Governor, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Commerce and the like.  And everybody knows good friends provide free travel on the corporate jet for their friends. 

The scandal that is plaguing Virginia Republican Governor Robert McDonnell just won’t go away, and in part it is because Mr. McDonnell won’t let it go away.  Instead of admitting mistakes and giving back the money and benefits the Governor got from a wealthy Virginia businessman, Mr. McDonnell just persists in making things worse.

The issue that triggered everything, including a current FBI investigation is the payments and perks the family of Mr. McDonnell got from Star Scientific and its CEO, Jonnie R. Williams, Jr.

The Washington Post in late March that Star Scientific chief executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr. paid the $15,000 catering tab at Cailin McDonnell’s June 2011 wedding.

The Governor’s explanation for this and things like the use of fancy cars, travel in private jets etc is that, well, he has a lot of friends.

“I’ve been blessed to have a lot of friends,” he said. “And Mr. Williams and his wife, Celeste, have been family friends for four or five years. But I think it’s important for the people of Virginia to know nothing has been done with regard to my relationship with Mr. Williams or his company, Star Scientific, to give any kind of special benefits to him or his company.”

Of course, nothing special for Mr. Williams or his company includes this.

Three days before the wedding, first lady Maureen McDonnell traveled to Florida to address a group of investors about Star’s supplement, sold under the brand name Anatabloc. The governor and wife later hosted a luncheon at the mansion to mark the product’s arrival in stores.

which the Governor says is just part of his job.  And besides, he whines his wife is not getting paid. (other than the free housing and huge benefits that are paid for by the good citizens of Virginia)

“My wife is the first lady,” he said. “You know how much she gets paid? Zero. She’s a volunteer. She’s done a very good job as first lady.”

Gosh, $15k for food for a wedding, and a bunch of other stuff sure looks like getting paid to us.  Besides, in the great state of Virginia it is legal to buy a public official.

Under Virginia law, elected officials may accept gifts of unlimited value if they disclose those worth more than $50.

So the next time any of our Old Dominion friends need something from government, well, just provide the food for a public official’s wedding and there you are.

Oh and the Attorney General is also involved here.  Seems he invested in the company and just forgot, forgot to disclose that.  Sorry about that, no problem, HE FORGOT.

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