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?
What is Star Scientific?
Richmond Times Dispatch