THE GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA IS JUST SOOO SPECIAL
Posted June 18, 2013on:
You all remember Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia don’t you? He’s the one who signed the ultrasound bill that was thought up by the Repubs in the VA legislature which called for women who decide to have an abortion to also have a transvaginal ultrasound . Furthermore, Virginia made sure that the woman would have to pay for the ultrasound. Yep, governor ultrasound says no way the state should have to pay for those tests. Yet somehow, governor ultrasound feels like it is perfectly “A-ok” for the citizens of Virginia to pick up the tab for him and Mrs. Governor, the gubernatorial offspring and even the pets! Yes, they billed the state for the $9.49 cost of vitamins for Ginger, the first dog.
It seems that among other items, the McDonnells have asked the good citizens of the state to reimburse them for are body wash, sunscreen, dog vitamins and a digestive system “detox cleanse”. And if you don’t have an idea of what a “digestive system detox cleanse” is, I’m not the one to tell you. That’s what der google and der Bing are for. And although they may have had their hands slapped over some items,
The records showed the McDonnells billed the state less than $600, including $300 they repaid, but continued to let taxpayers foot the bill for such items as vitamins, nasal spray and sleep aids…
Yep, you got it: Paying for ultrasounds? No way. However, a bottle of colon cleanse and some Afrin and SleepMd for me, you betcha. Further, the guv and family have felt it was perfectly okay to send a state employee (on state time) to fetch items for their adult children.
They have also used state employees to run personal errands for their adult children. In the middle of a workday, for example, a staffer retrieved Rachel McDonnell’s newly hemmed pants at a tailoring shop nine miles from the governor’s mansion. Another time, a state worker was dispatched to a dry cleaner 20 miles away to pick up a storage box for Cailin McDonnell’s wedding dress.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, The Washington Post sought records of personal expenses covered by the state over the couple’s 31 / 2 years in the mansion. The full cost of those items is unknown because the state released only 16 sales receipts, most of them from 2011. State records show that there were many more personal shopping trips — nine others in January 2011 alone, including two to Bed Bath & Beyond to pick up “college stuff” for the McDonnells’ children.
These things in and of themselves are really not biggies in the grand scheme of things but do seem to show that sense of “entitlement” these folks sure don’t like to see in the “lesser people” shall we say.
There is more to the story as the old saying goes and it covers gifts to the governor, the use of an expensive car belonging to a political donor, and even the governor’s daughter’s wedding at the mansion.
There are two investigations going on with the good governor, one by the state attorney general (and candidate for governor) and one by the Feds.
McDonnell accepted more than $120,000 in donations and disclosed gifts from Mr. Jonnie R. Williams who is the chief executive of a Virginia company called Star Scientific. It seems that Mr. Williams paid the $15,000 catering bill for the daughter’s wedding which, as I said, was held at the mansion. It must be nice to have friends like that! The problem though is that the guv did not disclose this little bit of largesse and felt like he didn’t have to.
McDonnell did not disclose the gift. Virginia law requires elected officials to annually disclose all gifts worth more than $50, but the governor has said that the catering gift did not need to be disclosed because it was given not to him but to his daughter. The law does not require that gifts to immediate family members be disclosed. However, McDonnell signed the contract for the catering, assuming financial responsibility for the bill.
And apparently, it’s just not that big a deal to accept freebies.
Virginia law offers minimal penalties for failing to meet disclosure requirements. It is a misdemeanor, for instance, to knowingly omit information from the forms filed each January. It is also a misdemeanor to exchange official government acts for gifts or money.
And while it is illegal to accept gifts so frequently as to create the impression of using a public office for private gain, the law specifically says violators of the statute are not subject to any criminal penalty.
Knowingly violating the disclosure statutes, however, is considered “malfeasance in office,” and a judge or jury can order an official found guilty to forfeit his office.
So, having the guy who donated amounts of over six figures to your elections then him picking up the 15k tab for the catering bill for your daughter is small potatoes.
Now it gets interesting when you find out that it’s the former chef of the Governor’s mansion, Todd Schneider, who is spilling his guts on what’s been going on in the mansion. Oh and by the way, the chef is trying to get embezzling charges against him dropped. 🙄
in court filings submitted as part of his defense, chef Todd Schneider has said that the McDonnells’ five children raided the mansion kitchen and liquor cabinet, taking large quantities of food and alcohol to their own homes or college dorm rooms. He also said that Maureen McDonnell had given away mansion pots and pans to her three daughters.
Now I get it that these are not terrible, horrific examples of malfeasance in office. But just as Governor ultrasound and the lege felt that a woman should have to pay for the state-mandated ultrasound prior to an abortion and not the state, he’s the same guy that thinks it’s okay for the good citizens of Virginia to pick up the tab for his dog’s vitamins and having state employees fetch the dry-cleaning for them or rather their grown children among other things. And by the way, this is a guy who thinks he wants to run for President in 2016. You know, in previous times, governors could be referred to as His Excellency. I’m sure Bob McDonnell would have no problems with that. And I’m certain that there’s a certain little man in Baton Rouge who is kicking his little feet at the misfortunes of poor Governor Ultrasound.
This is an open thread.
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