2013 Elections / Local / Politics / Virginia

Not nearly enough

English: Governor of Virginia at CPAC in .

After months of press reports of gifts and loans, Gov. Bob McDonnell issued an apology via Twitter yesterday and announced that he had repaid two loans, with interest. No doubt McDonnell thinks this will make everything good again.

Um, think again.

Trust is something that is earned, over a long period of time, and given to those who are worthy of it. McDonnell’s stonewalling destroyed that trust. Had he come clean earlier, maybe some of it could have been salvaged. But to do so now – after all of the accusations just isn’t enough. Besides, he didn’t give the gifts back!

Yeah, I know this ongoing mess is supposed to help Democrats in November. But some things aren’t worth being the laughingstock of the national media. Embarrassed doesn’t begin to cover the damage McDonnell’s continued presence in the governor’s mansion is doing to the state’s reputation.

And I’ve little hope for the General Assembly making sure this doesn’t happen again after this weak response from the House leadership.

We plan to seek strong reforms including new and rigorous reporting requirements on gifts to immediate family members, synchronizing and simplifying reporting periods, and instituting disclosure compliance training for elected officials.

Are you kidding me? You draw another line – immediate family – and the pols will just have the gifts pass to someone else on the other side of the line. The only thing that makes sense is a gift ban.

If I can’t claim on my Virginia taxes more than a $25 credit for political donations  (based on 50% of a $50 donation), then an individual should not be able to receive a gift valued at more than $50. I think that’s generous, especially since I’m limited to that $25 in total, not per donee.

Unsavory fellows like Jonnie Willams should not be able to shower politicians in gifts. If someone like McDonnell gave into temptation, imagine what others would do.

This ain’t your Daddy’s Virginia any more. And our laws should reflect it.

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5 thoughts on “Not nearly enough

  1. If I can’t claim on my Virginia taxes more than a $25 credit for political donations (based on 50% of a $50 donation), then an individual should not be able to receive a gift valued at more than $50. I think that’s generous, especially since I’m limited to that $25 in total, not per donee.

    Sorry, but my non sequitur alarm is going off.

    Did these folks get a tax credit for the gifts to McDonnell?

    If not, what does one have to do with the other?

  2. Where did the money mysteriously come from? If he had the money to repaid the loans, why were they accepted in the first place? Do us a favor Governor, be honest and slide out of Richmond quickly.

  3. To complete the picture of failed Virginia politics, we learn this morning that Gov. McDonnell is in several war-zone countries, representing the USA to our troops. Arranged months ago? It should have been cancelled last night or whenever, before his feet hit the tarmac.
    This country is astonishing in its new lows of political activity. Hundreds of Virginians will speak out against McDonnell’s behavior and his junket, but very few of us will do anything to put an end to (or limit on) money-related dishonesty. We have dropped our standards in both parties.
    Please, Vivian, help us to know how best to write to our elected representatives, so we can tell them we will vote against them if they sit on their hands and do nothing to end dishonesty about contributions and gifts in the General Assembly.
    The examples of McDonnell’s failed administration are clear in South Hampton Roads, affecting each of us daily: the tolls on tunnels fiasco gets worse, and the “ABC” rating of public schools disrupts every school system in our region. We are beset with the results of the governor’s incompetence, and what are the consequences? He gets sent abroad as a symbol of the fall of an admired state of the Union–one of the oldest and best before the Republicans brought in their brand of behavior. The General Assembly is just as bad in its donothingness.
    Let’s remember our ancestors: Virginians do not lie down and play dead. Speak up and vote!

    • “[We] will vote against them if they sit on their hands and do nothing to end dishonesty about contributions and gifts in the General Assembly.”

      I have heard nothing of “dishonesty about contributions and gifts in the General Assembly,” save for one fellow who was ousted last year for some shenanigens with ODU.

  4. In my opinion, the most outrageous “gift” , as it was described, was the $15,000 wedding expense that was picked up by Mr. Williams on behalf of our Govenors daughter. I just find this so over the top. The correct response would have been to thank Mr. Williams for his offer and decline it. It really speaks volumes on Mr. Williams character that he would even make such an offer. I remember reading that Billy Graham would not ride in an elevator alone with a female, his reasoning being that he didn’t want there to be even the slightest implication that perhaps something may have occured. While I wouldn’t expect our Govenor to raise to that standard of ethical behavior; I would expect him to think about the implications of an obviously bad idea. It really is disappointing. Loan repayments and apologies really don’t suffice.

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