At first I just thought it was an awkward situation getting a lot of attention…high roller Republicans buying in to a company to make healthy smoking. Now I think it is a far more serious situation that involves influence peddling.
Williams offered the wedding gift at a time when Glen Allen, Va.-based Star Scientific, which makes a dietary supplement and facial cream under the brand name Anatabloc, was suing the state to challenge a property tax assessment.
The governor and his wife have been high-profile boosters for Star Scientific, which has lost money for 10 years and is the subject of a federal securities investigation and two shareholder lawsuits. Maureen McDonnell traveled to Florida to talk up Anatabloc to investors three days before the wedding, and she and the governor hosted a gathering at the mansion to mark the product’s arrival in stores.
Does the above paragraph send up red flags? In Virginia, this behavior is not illegal but it sure is unethical to most of us. McDonnell says the money was given to his daughter, even though he signed the contract and put down an $8,000 deposit which was later refunded to Mrs. McDonnell. It all just sounds like weasel words at this point.
The name Star Scientific keeps popping up in the news and it always is attached, in some way, to both the current governor, Bob McDonnell, or the wannabe governor, Ken Cuccinelli. This association is usually surrounded by the oft-unspoken words, OOOPS or I forgot.
The Governor attracted some attention by not declaring that the CEO of this company, one Jonnie Williams, paid $15k for his daughter’s wedding reception. McDonnell said he didn’t declare it because the gift was to his daughter. Well, so much for traditional values where the parents of the bride pay for the wedding. Sorry Bob, but do you think Jonnie would have sprung for the bill if you weren’t the Guv of VA?
Ken Cuccinelli also has gotten into political hot water over this same company. The latest is the fact that he failed to report some gifts, namely an almost $5000 vacation to William’s Smith Mountain Lake vacation home and a catered turkey dinner. Cuccinelli also admitted to forgetting to report a plane trip to NYC financed by Williams. In all, Cuccinelli has received about $18,000 in gifts from the CEO of Star Scientific in the past 4 years.
$18,000 might not seem much to a high roller. To put this amount in perspective, many seniors don’t even get $18,000 a year in social security benefits. I guess it pays to be a Virginia high roller. Cuccinelli also owned stock in Star Scientific. This sure seems like a cozy relationship. Star Scientific used to be named Star Tobacco. It appears they make supplemental products, as in supplemental vitamins of a sort.
So the question still remains, what is this company and what does it want? No one gives away this much money to politicians without wanting something, do they? Meanwhile, will both Cuccinelli and McDonnell continue to reap the benefits of their respective high profile positions?
SINCE WORLD WAR II, 10 of Virginia’s 11 attorneys general have run for governor. Nine of those 10, Democrats and Republicans alike, resigned to do so, and for good reason: They were loath to politicize an office whose effectiveness and prestige depend on making legal judgments untainted by politics.
Despite that wise precedent, Virginia’s current attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli II (R), has refused to follow suit. He has clung to his position even as he angled for his party’s gubernatorial nomination, bringing a cloud over his office and casting doubt on its ability to act impartially as the state’s legal counsel.
Democratic Terry McAuliffe has often been referred to by Republicans and Democrats alike as an “opportunistic carpetbagger.” Just what is that?
Northern Virginians are often seen as not being “real Virginians.” Stop laughing. It’s true. I grew up in Charlottesville, therefore I have real Virginian cred which I have almost lost because I have spent my adult live here in Northern Virgina. I have even had people say, “back when you were a Virginian….” Go north of Bull Run and you are doomed. Just doomed.
What hopes do you have for the Commonwealth of Virginia under this new governor? We alr4eady know there will be a very tight budget. Will our state income tax go up by a point? Does it matter if it does? Would you rather have a larger sales tax or larger income tax? Can Governor-elect McDonnell run the state without increasing taxes? Was his no new tax campaign promise realistic? Does anyone plan on attending the festivities? Will the party faithful from Prince William County be attending?
Today’s the big day. This is where all the efforts since the last election are finally realized. Some of us take it much more seriously than others. Some of us vote every time there is an election, regardless of issue. Others of us have to be dragged out, screaming and kicking, to exercise the most basic of American rights, while people in far away lands risk their very lives to do what some of us take for granted.
Poor Richard will be happy to be rid of the robo calls. I can’t say I disagree. I expect I have had over 10 a day for the past month. Many will be glad they no longer have to hear endlessly about the Virginia and New Jersey elections, before those 2 states settle back in to semi-obscurity, joining their other 48 sister states.
How is election day special to you? Is it just like any other day, where you squeeze in the polls just like another errand on the way home? Or is it a high holy day of Americana? Are you one of those who live and die for elections and politics?
Tell us your poll experiences? Uneventful? Full of seeing old friends and neighbors? Did you work the polls or did you do other work for your candidate of choice? Were the ‘dreaded union people’ out at your polling place?
5:45 PM IN MANASSAS – GET OUT THE VOTE CAMPAIGN EVENT.Sen. Deeds will join supporters and voters for a campaign event in Manassas. Sen. Creigh Deeds will speak to supporters about the importance of getting out the vote on November 3.
When: 5:45 PM
Where: City Tavern (upstairs)
9405 Main Street
Senators Mark Warner, Jim Webb, and Governor Tim Kaine will join Creigh Deeds, along with Jody Wagner and Steve Shannon. Supporters are asked to be there by 5:30-5:45.
The Washington Post has again endorsed Senator Creigh Deeds for Governor of Virginia. Ironically, it appears that Mr. Deed’s courageous stance that he would not rule out a dedicated transportation tax solidified his endorsement. His opponent, Attorney General Bob McDonnell, has proposed a hodge podge of ways to cannibalize various state services like education, health and public safety.
The entire Washington Post endorsement may be read:
A LEGACY of sound policies, coupled with the proximity of the federal government, has partially protected Virginia from the harsh retrenchments that the recession has forced on many states. Yet the commonwealth faces a daunting crisis in the form of a drastic shortfall in transportation funding, measured in the tens of billions of dollars, that threatens future prosperity. If the current campaign for governor has clarified anything, it is that state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, the Democratic nominee, has the good sense and political courage to maintain the forward-looking policies of the past while addressing the looming challenge of fixing the state’s dangerously inadequate roads. The Republican candidate, former attorney general Robert F. McDonnell, offers something different: a blizzard of bogus, unworkable, chimerical proposals, repackaged as new ideas, that crumble on contact with reality. They would do little if anything to build a better transportation system.
The race between Deeds and McDonnell continues to be close. Most polls show McDonnell at 48%, Deeds at 43% with 8% of those interviewed undecided. The margin of error is about 4.
Former Governor Linwood Holton who was Virginia governor between 1970-1974 has endorsed Creigh Deeds for Governor. Linwood Holton ran against the Byrd Machine in Virginia and also fought against welcoming the defecting conservative Democrats into the Republican Party. Holton’s governorship was a pivotal point during which time many Democrats and Republicans switched parties.
His daughter is Ann Holton Kaine and is married to current Governor Tim Kaine
A 93 page master’s thesis written in 1989 on file at Regent University has gubernatorial candidate hopeful back-pedalling like crazy and asking Virginians to look at his record. Well, that isn’t so good either. We see …well…a mirror image in some cases.
What is the blogosphere all a’twitter over? McDonnell’s master’s thesis, in which, according to the Washington Post, he has some rather conservative ideas that just won’t fly in the 21st century:
[H]e described working women and feminists as “detrimental” to the family. He said government policy should favor married couples over “cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators.” He described as “illogical” a 1972 Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by unmarried couples.
The paper also lays out a 15 point action plan that the Republican Party needed to adopt in order to protect the family. During his 14 years in the General Assembly, McDonnell attempted to pass legislation on at least 10 of his suggested goals that he has laid out in his research paper: abortion restrictions, school vouchers, “convenant marriage,” tax laws that favored married couples to name a few. As late as 2001 he voted against a law that would end wage discrimination between men and women.
Candidate McDonnell attempted to distance himself from this extremist drivel:
McDonnell added: “Like everybody, my views on many issues have changed as I have gotten older.” He said that his views on family policy were best represented by his 1995 welfare reform legislation and that he “worked to include child day care in the bill so women would have greater freedom to work.” What he wrote in the thesis on women in the workplace, he said, “was simply an academic exercise and clearly does not reflect my views.”
McDonnell also said that government should not discriminate based on sexual orientation or ban contraceptives and that “I am not advocating vouchers as there are legal questions regarding their constitutionality in Virginia
That fact that anyone in America would think most of these ideas are the business of government or acceptable in modern society is preposterous. The title of the thesis speaks to the problem: “The Republican Party’s Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issue of The Decade.” I don’t want the Republican Party’s Vision for my family!
Subscribing to these ideas that promote discrimination and UN-equal rights for women, gays, single people and who knows who else, at any time in his adult life, makes McDonnell unacceptable as a candidate for governor. Leopards don’t change their spots and a make over won’t cut it.
Breaking news from the Washington Post, Creigh Deeds pulls it through at the very end.
I have to admit, I love the underdog! I believe Creigh Deeds has a real chance to win against McDonnel.
Running with the least money and fewest ties to vote-rich Northern Virginia, State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds has won the three-way Democratic primary for governor, paving the way for a rematch with Republican Bob McDonnell in the fall.
“Three weeks ago, this was a two-man race between McAuliffe and Moran,” said Quentin Kidd, a political science professor at Christopher Newport University. “Deeds was going to win the rural vote and that’s it. People are going to be talking about how he pulled this off for weeks and months.”
Deeds, a 17-year veteran of the General Assembly, lost by a mere 323 votes to McDonnell in the 2005 election for attorney general. His victory today presents Republicans with a different challenge than they were expecting: a moderate with strong ties to rural voters and a political apparatus throughout the state.
We’d love to hear thoughts and opinions on three recent pieces from the Washington Post:
This editorial about redistricting and no-excuse absentee voting mentions PWC’s Jeff Frederick among Virginia House members who “hoped that nobody would notice their indefensible defeat of efforts to make Virginia elections fairer and more democratic.” Or, read Anita Kumar’s reporting on the vote.
This article characterizes our state legislature as “beset by partisan bickering and testy floor fights.”
At the root of the tension is an inescapable aspect of the 45-day legislative session that began last week: It’s an election year.
I have had several folks on me about endorsing Terry McAuliffe. Actually, I haven’t. I don’t even have an opinion on the 3 gubernatorial candidates. I want to apologize for appearing to have a favorite. I believe I was bowled over by McAuliffe’s announcement and I do know that in politics, money talks. If fund raising is going to win Virginia, it seems that McAuliffe has an edge.
So, to dispel all rumors, here is our final Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia, Creigh Deeds. PWC, Alanna is going to do a blurb on McDonnell. Gently remind us if you don’t see something in the near future.
Senator Deeds is from Bath County but is currently serving as the Senator from Charlottesville. That gives him an edge with me. The text will be from his website:
Meet Senator Deeds
Senator Deeds has spent the last two decades serving constituents from all walks of life–from his start as Bath County prosecutor to his current position as a State Senator representing the City of Charlottesville and a district that stretches to the West Virginia border. Whether he was working to clean up one of Virginia’s largest Superfund sites, fighting for economic development, or writing some of the toughest legislation to keep our families safe and secure, Deeds has built his career as a consensus builder who delivers results.