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.