As VA GOP LG nominee EW Jackson Sr. will shortly learn, in America you can last a long time in politics if your MO is to make bigoted attacks on African-Americans, women, President Obama specifically and Democrats in general, Mormons, non-Christians, Latinos, gays...go down the list. Indeed, it appears that Mr. Jackson is determined to get a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the U.S. politician who offended the most groups during a single statewide run for office. As someone of the Jewish faith, I kinda feel offended that my religion hasn't been worthy of being directly offended by Bishop Jackson; as they say in New York, what are we, chopped liver? But he has only been the GOP nominee for less than a week, and he has a long list, so our time will come, no doubt.
Now, it is one thing for a Republican to lead the Hit Parade in the bigotry category. Nothing new there. But it is quite another matter when he gets on the front page of the state's newspapers as having played fast and loose, not just with his tongue, but also with his personal and business finances.
That EW Jackson is bankrupt of common SENSE is one thing. Republicans can live with that as long as he isn't attacking their own. But when it comes out that Mr. Jackson can't be trusted with money, then Republicans will realize they have sat down not at a Tea Party Convention but had tea with the Mad Hatter himself.
The point being: as a candidate for a party nomination in a convention process, Mr. Jackson did not have to file a Statement of Economic Interests. What is that? It is a relatively obscure state document which has caused some nagging political problems for Governor McDonnell and Attorney General Cuccinelli, due to their failure to include certain financial items associated with Star Scientific.
The Governor says the state law mandating the filing of this Statement of Economic Interests didn't require him to report a $15K gift from the head guy at Star Scientific, since it went to one of the McDonnell's daughters as a wedding present. There is also a question of whether the First Lady or Governor have been on the receiving end of certain financial goodies from Star on a personal basis. These would have to be listed. As for the AG, he has conceded forgetting to list a few of the gifts received from the Star Scientific Guy, calling them an oversight. In my view, the current investigation into these failures will prove to be a tempest in a tea pot. Both will be cleared of any wronging. Such oversights or failures happen regularly in both parties. So no big deal here as a general matter. You amend your form and move on.
The Statement of Economic Interests, considered a big political reform in its day, was intended to reveal whether the office holder might have financial interests impacted by his or her votes for legislation. In Virginia, our system of preventing such conflict of interests is based on the principle of disclosure as opposed to prohibition. Basically everything goes in Virginia as long as the office holder or candidate discloses what he or she might be doing.
Enter, then June 11, 7pm: This is the time by which EW Jackson Sr., the latest GOP Con Man to get one of their statewide nominations - Maurice Dawkins and Ollie North now have to move over to make room for Mr. Jackson - must file his Statement of Economic Interests. Cuccinelli and Obenshain already filed since they are office holders. All the Democrats have filed, since they are office holders and/or candidates in a primary.
Meaning: Only Mr. Jackson is yet to file. Further meaning: It will be the first time anyone will have ever bothered to carefully look at Mr. Jackson's financial side. When he ran for the U.S. Senate nomination, no one cared what he had to file for that office. He was a sure loser. Now, he might be elected the state's LG. Accordingly, the financial side of him is important for the press to explore to keep voters informed.
My prediction: The Con Man is about to be exposed. Once the press starts looking into the true state of Mr. Jackson's finances, it will be a whole new ball game.
Mr. Jackson is a Con Man. He has been using his political statements and religious statements as part of his business plan to attract money. He did that in Massachusetts, and he has done that since moving to Virginia. After he files his Statement of Economic Interests, the press will have a legitimate reason - indeed duty - to review his finances, starting with this question: Will you also release your tax returns for the last 8 years, as Mr. Cuccinelli has demanded of Mr. McAuliffe? Will you also release all your business and other records regarding your business and related adventures as Mr. Cuccinelli has asked of Mr. McAuliffe?
It's coming. The GOP doesn't mind running an outspoken and unapologetic bigot. But it WILL mind running someone who the average Republican is going to realize can not be trusted anywhere near public funds.
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