(Given recent developments, I thought this story was worth pushing back up to the top. The question is, which governor was/is more corrupt? I'm leaning towards McDonnell, in part because he actually managed to get $$$ for his corruption. I'm not sure Blago actually pulled that one off. - promoted by lowkell)
True, in some ways (corruption, bribery) Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is becoming a lot like disgraced (and convicted) former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. But in terms of accomplishments while in office, McDonnell is actually much worse than Blagojevich. Here are a dozen examples of how Blagojevich kicks McDonnell's butt. Seriously, can you think of anything McDonnell's accomplished in any of the following areas that even comes close to what Gov. Blagojevich accomplished? I mean, heck, they are/were both totally corrupt, but at least Blagojevich improved things for a lot of people in his state. McDonnell? Well he did...uh...then he...and...uh....
1. "All Kids" Health Care (11/15/05): "Surrounded by elementary students and parents, lawmakers, health care providers and children's advocates at Nathan Hale School in Chicago, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed the landmark All Kids plan into law, making Illinois the only state in the nation to provide affordable, comprehensive health insurance for every child in the state."
2. Minimum Wage Increased (11/18/06): "Governor Blagojevich signs groundbreaking legislation to increase minimum wage in Illinois - Nearly 650,000 Illinois workers to benefit as minimum hourly wage increases to $7.50; Wage to reach $8.25 by 2010"
3. Preschool for All (7/25/06): "Gov. Blagojevich signs groundbreaking Preschool for All legislation - Illinois becomes the first state in nation to give all three- and four-year-olds the opportunity to attend preschool"
4. Illinois Warriors Assistance Program (1/29/08): "Governor Rod R. Blagojevich was joined today by Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) Tammy Duckworth, Director of the Illinois Healthcare and Family Services Barry Maram, representatives from the Illinois Psychiatric Society, the Brain Injury Association of Illinois, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and local veterans to launch the Illinois Warrior Assistance Program. The Illinois Warrior Assistance Program is a first in the nation program that will screen returning Illinois National Guard members for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) while offering TBI screening to all Illinois veterans, and a 24-hour toll-free psychological helpline for veterans suffering from symptoms associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)."
5. Global Warming (11/15/07): "Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and the governors of Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin today signed the Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord, strengthening his commitment to fight global warming in Illinois and throughout the Midwest. This historic agreement aims to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in Illinois and across the region. The Accord will help achieve the goal Gov. Blagojevich announced in February to reduce GHGs in Illinois to 1990 levels by 2020 and to 60 percent below 1990 levels by 2050."
Just when you thought Grifter Governor Bob's corruption scandal(s) couldn't get any worse...they do.
A prominent political donor gave $70,000 to a corporation owned by Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and his sister last year, and the governor did not disclose the money as a gift or loan, according to people with knowledge of the payments.
The donor, wealthy businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr., also gave a previously unknown $50,000 check to the governor's wife, Maureen, in 2011, the people said.
The money to the corporation and Maureen McDonnell brings to $145,000 the amount Williams gave to assist the McDonnell family in 2011 and 2012 - funds that are now at the center of federal and state investigations.
Needless to say, a slimeball like Jonnie Williams wasn't giving this money to the McDonnells because he's a nice guy, or out of altruism, or whatever. The only question is, what was the quid pro quo exactly? I mean, we're talking a LOT of money here! My theory? I think Paul Goldman was on to something with this post, "Insider Trading in Star Scientific Stock?"
UPDATE #3: @LarrySabato just tweeted, "Look for Cuccinelli to break openly & sharply with McDonnell very soon." The problem, as many people are pointing out, is that Cuccinelli is also tied to Jonnie Williams - took undisclosed gifts/donations from him (5 digits), bought stock in his company, is close "friends" with him, etc. Plus, what did the Attorney General's office know, and when did it know it, about the Governor's Mansion/Chefgate scandals, and what did the Attorney General's office DO about it? (answer: nothing) Finally, was Cuccinelli really "walled off" from all this by his staff, as he claims, and if so how is that acceptable or even possible?!? WTF? Inquiring minds want to know...
House GOP has Refused to Appoint Negotiators for the 100 Days Since Senate Passed a Budget
WASHINGTON - Congress can resolve the furloughs that will cut pay by 20 percent for 650,000 civilian defense workers, including more than 72,000 in Virginia, if House Republican leaders will only agree to appoint negotiators to work out a federal budget with the Senate, Congressman Gerry Connolly said today.
Connolly said the House majority has refused to appoint its budget negotiators in the more than 100 days since the Senate passed its budget resolution. Civilian employees of the Department of Defense are facing 11 unpaid furlough days, starting this week, due to sequestration. House Democrats have chosen their negotiators and the Senate is prepared to meet.
"Americans are waiting for a budget compromise that replaces the GOP sequester, creates jobs, strengthens the middle class, and responsibly reduces the deficit. Republicans should come to the table to negotiate on this top priority for the nation," Connolly said.
"I share the frustration of these dedicated federal employees, who through no fault of their own, are being forced to take an abrupt and unplanned 20 percent pay cut," Connolly said. "We could end the furloughs if the House Majority would appoint conferees to meet with our Senate counterparts to work out a budget that replaces the sequester with a balanced approach that includes responsible deficit reduction."
In our times, a destructive force has emerged in the American political system. This force -- or spirit - should be understood as the re-emergence onto center stage of what drove the United States to polarize, break apart, and fight a bloody Civil War a century and a half ago.
This destructive force is damaging our nation now just as it did then.
The persistence through time of a recognizable pattern in a culture points to an important part of how the human world works. Just as Great-grandpa's red hair reappears in a new baby, so also can the patterns of social and political dynamics (in this case, destructive dynamics) move through the generations within a society. Such a pattern, or spirit, can perpetuate itself by socializing individuals in ways that lead them, in turn, to reinforce in the world around them the patterns that had been impressed upon them.
The parallels between the political crisis in America in our times, and the crisis that drove America into a terrible Civil War a century and a half ago, reveal how a spirit of this sort has re-emerged to hold major parts of the American cultural system in its grip and animate the actions, beliefs, and attitudes of millions.
I begin here a series of articles to delineate these telling parallels. Perceiving the same pattern in these two important eras -- our present crisis, and the crisis that led to the Civil War -- can be revelatory just like the images in the Magic Eye books: out of the stereoscopic image, a startling figure emerges with depth out of a new dimension.
The ACLU of Virginia announced today that it will be filing suit in federal court to challenge the constitutionality of Virginia’s laws denying same sex couples the freedom to marry or to obtain legal recognition of any kind for their unions. Lawyers from the ACLU of Virginia will be part of a team of lawyers from the national ACLU and Lambda Legal that will be arguing that the Virginia constitution and statutes denying the freedom to marry violate the federal constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law.
“Since the Supreme Court’s ground breaking ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act, it remains unclear what exactly the decision means for loving gay and lesbian couples in Virginia,” said Equality Virginia’s Executive Director, James Parrish. “We applaud and support the actions of the ACLU and Lambda Legal to help bring all of the benefits, rights, and responsibilities that come with marriage equality to every family in Virginia.”
As part of our mission of changing hearts and minds, Equality Virginia is working with the ACLU of Virginia and Lambda Legal to identify Virginia couples and families who are willing to share their stories publicly as part of the freedom to marry initiative. Stories are being collected through an online survey at http://action.alcu.org/couples.
As Equality Virginia supports the work of the ACLU in litigation cases such as this, EV will continue to work with the General Assembly to bring the repeal of the Marshall Newman marriage amendment to Virginia voters. Either way marriage equality is coming to Virginia.
Equality Virginia is a statewide, non-partisan education, outreach, and advocacy organization seeking equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Virginians. Since 1989, EV has worked to end discrimination, protect families and build safe communities. More information is online at EqualityVirginia.org. Connect on Facebook.com/EqualityVA or Twitter @EqualityVA.
P.S. Also see Sen. Donald McEachin's statement on the "flip."
So...Ken Cuccinelli is nuts AND corrupt AND extreme AND a coward. Check this out:
Ken Cuccinelli Monday dismissed a proposed AARP Virginia and League of Women Voters gubernatorial debate as a "left wing, stacked" affair, one week after he missed a deadline to sign on as a participant in the forum.
Responding to a reporter's question about why he declined the invitation, the attorney general and Republican nominee for governor offered that assessment while campaigning in Norfolk.
"Oh, the left wing, stacked debate," Cuccinelli said. "Well, you've got MSNBC as the proposed folks running it."
That debate had been tentatively scheduled for Oct. 14.
It was to be moderated by CBS This Morning host Norah O'Donnell, a former MSNBC host, and broadcast by Richmond area CBS affiliate and a local public television station, with the option for other broadcasters to pick up the feed.
The jointly-sponsored event has been a traditional debate during statewide races in Virginia: Tim Kaine and George Allen participated last year, while Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds faced-off in that forum four years ago.
So, this debate - which is NOT run by MSNBC, nor are AARP and the League of Women Voters "left wing" - was good enough for George Allen and Bob McDonnell, but not for Ken Cuccinelli? That really says it all about Cooch, huh?
P.S. You've also gotta love Cuccinelli's claim that the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce is somehow neutral. In fact, according to VPAP, the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce has given 65% of its donations to Republicans, 24% to "Other," and a miniscule 9% to Democrats since 2001. That includes $5,000 to Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), $2,250 to House Speaker Bill Howell (R-ALEC), etc. But this organization is fair and balanced in Cuccinelli's (warped) mind? Of course, he also probably thinks Faux "News" (aka, 24/7 GOP Propaganda Channel) is really "fair and balanced." Heh.
P.P.S. According to VPAP, the AARP has given 52% to Virginia Republicans, 48% to Virginia Democrats.
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli made an unbelievable claim this morning: the court case involving the former Executive Mansion Chef, he said, "isn't related to me."
This is the same case Cuccinelli's myriad of conflicts forced him to recuse himself from under public pressure - the same case his political campaign now claims he was "walled off" from for five months due to his relationship with Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams. In a recent filing on the case, Cuccinelli and his office are referenced at least 44 times in only 14 pages. Today, this case may be dismissed because of Cuccinelli's conflicts.
"It is a good thing Ken Cuccinelli wasn't under oath when he misled Virginia voters about his extensive involvement in this ongoing court case," said Josh Schwerin, McAuliffe for Governor spokesman. "Cuccinelli's credibility has been permanently damaged by his repeated false statements about his involvement with Jonnie Williams and the Star Scientific scandal."
"Cuccinelli claimed he reported all gifts from Williams and Star Scientific, which was false. He claimed he had no conflict in the court case, which he later admitted was inaccurate. Now Cuccinelli is claiming the case 'isn't related to' him - another false statement he will likely later own up to being inaccurate. Where do the false statements and misinformation end?" said Schwerin.
In a recent filing in the court case of the former Executive Mansion chef, Cuccinelli and his office are referenced at least 44 times over 14 pages. [Filing via Washington Post, 7/1/13]
Just remember, Marion "Pat" Robertson has given $718,000 to Virginia Republicans over the years, including about $100,000 to our corrupt, grifter Governor Bob McDonnell. And note that none of these Republicans ever condemn this bigoted imbecile's remarks or return his money. Fascinating, eh?
I have sat on this post for several days. But this information must be shared, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us. We learned in 2007-8 what lax oversight means to this country. If we hoped for any lasting future protections from predatory practices, they were dashed this past week with news of the following Editorial Board editorial from the New York Times. Here we learn that the independence of critical protections are at stake.
For all its rabid partisanship, Congress has shown time and again that it is willing to come together to deregulate corporate America. The latest example is a new bill in the Senate that would effectively end the independence of independent regulatory agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Labor Relations Board.
And you know the hijacked (by the Tea Party) House of Representatives will be eager to pass such predation should it pass the Senate. It is bad enough that Dodd-Frank under-protected us, but for Senators to try to weaken even that bill is inexcusable. Making the commissions and Bureaus less independent will do just that. And the SEC isn't the only entity the senators have taken aim at. Strikingly, Virginians have one of their our own to "thank" for this: US Senator Mark Warner. He is joined by Rob Portman and Susan Collins.
(See below for who to contact for help on that matter.)
Yesterday, Governor McDonnell's new official spokesperson - UVA Professor Larry Sabato, aka Cato The Elder - decried the irresponsibility of a Virginia conservative blog for claiming the Governor was likely to resign in the near future due to the controversy over alleged gifts received by him, his wife and family.
Here at 200-proof politics, we don't consider ourselves expert enough to deem what is, and what is not, the spreading of an irresponsible rumor. First of all, who decides what is, or is not, irresponsible? Under the first amendment, we have freedom of the press. Mr. McDonnell is a public figure, and doing quite nicely, Rolex and all, thanks to his public position. If only Dr. Sabato and others were as concerned about the Governor's irresponsible actions - a view supported by all the sensible newspaper editorial boards in the state - as they are about a blog post...
But that is too much to hope for, apparently. Therefore, let's focus instead on the law, not the politics, of any resignation scenario. The big question: Could Governor Bolling get on the 2013 November ballot? From what I can discern from Dr. Sabato, blog posters and others, the consensus answer is this: NO. Perhaps I misread them. But whether I do or not, the answer is this: YES, Governor Bolling still has time to get on the ballot. He has three options, in order of likelihood of success.
What Annabel Park and Eric Byler are doing in North Carolina - our neighbor just to our south - is a nightmare vision of what COULD happen in Virginia if we elect Ken Cuccinelli as governor, EW Jackson as Lt. Governor, and/or Mark Obenshain as Attorney General this fall. That would, de facto, giving far-right-wing, John Birch Society-style extremist Republicans total control of the Virginia state government. And that, in turn, would lead to the kind of insanity you can see in the video below (e.g., lunacy about "Sharia law," assaults on women's reproductive health and freedom). We all need to make sure we prevent that from happening by a) volunteering for your favorite Virginia Democratic candidate(s); b) donating to your favorite Virginia Democratic candidate(s); and c) voting for the Democratic slate on November 5. The state you save from the terrible fate of North Carolina will most definitely be your own!
P.S. See Bills are laughable so N.C. is butt of jokes, which points out North Carolina Teapublican bills that would allow "North Carolina and its counties and towns have the right to establish an official religion;" that would exempt "'a personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition' manufactured in North Carolina and 'that remains exclusively within the borders of North Carolina' from federal law"; that would slap parents of college students with "a tax penalty if their children register to vote at their college address;" and that "not only creates a separate governing board for state charter schools but drops the requirement that those schools have licensed teachers and that they have to run criminal background checks on employees." It goes on and on like this. And it's coming to Virginia, SOON, if we elect Cuccinelli/Jackson/Obenshain. Don't say you weren't warned, and don't try to pretend your vote doesn't matter or that it doesn't make a difference whether Democrats or Republicans are in charge. That's just a load of crap.
(For more on Fleming's opponent, a nasty Islamophobe, see here. This is a strongly Republican-leaning district, unfortunately, but let's hope Republican voters don't want to be represented by a bigot. - promoted by lowkell)
"Science and technology jobs are powering the 21st Century economy. Virginia needs leaders in Richmond who understand the value of ensuring every student a strong science education to compete for these jobs. As a physicist, Bill Fleming will be a leader when it comes to shaping Virginia's science education standards and creating scientific and high tech jobs in the Commonwealth. Bill Fleming is the best choice for the 82nd District House of Delegates," Dr. Mann said.
Dr. Mann was targeted by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for his research in the fields of global warming and climate change. Cuccinelli filed an unsuccessful Civil Investigative Demand against the University of Virginia that cost the University over $570,000 to fight.
"Virginia needs to be a state that embraces science and technology," Bill Fleming said. "As Delegate, I will work to strengthen the math and science curriculum in Virginia's schools so that every student has the opportunity to compete for the high tech jobs that Virginia needs to attract for a vibrant economy," Fleming added.
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