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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Vitavitavegamin Alert! Republican Muted Outrage About Expensive Gifts to Virginia's Government Executives


"There you go again", as President Ronald Reagan said. Republicans are being stupid again.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) apologized again on Tuesday for embarrassing his state and announced that he and his family will be returning all gifts they received from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie R. Williams Sr. But his endorsed would-be successor, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) has not yet repaid any of the$18,000-plus worth of gifts he received from the same donor.

So, here's another fine mess Republicans have gotten themselves into. As Governor Jindal said, Republicans must stop being the stupid party.  


Unfortunately, Republicans aren't running out of ways to act stupid.  In Virginia, they're acting like men in the fable about the golden egg:


Virginia's Republican Governor AND the Lt. Governor are like two men obsessed with owning fabled golden eggs.  Rather than eggs, they've become obsessed with expensive gifts, lavished on them by a snake oil company called Star Scientific.  

Meanwhile, gifts from Star Scientific to the Governor and Lt. Governor are putting egg on the faces of all Virginia Republicans.  Even more outrageous, Star Scientific isn't even a credible company. Star Scientific doesn't sell defense jobs, or concrete to build bridges or even telescopes to look at stars.  

Oh no. Star Scientific is a stupid company. It sells what Lucy Arnez would call "vitavitavegamin", in her classic TV spoof of snake oil sales on the 1950's vintage "I Love Lucy" show.

But where's Republican outrage about this ridiculous misuse of privilege and undue influence over Virginia's two top execs?  Fox News surely isn't covering this stupidity.  For that matter, where are all mainstream media in reporting about this golden egg embarrassment?  MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, God Bless Her, is on top of it as well as a few blog sites.


Virginia's governor was forced to apologize about his stupidity. I suspect Lt. Governor Cuccinelli will eventually do likewise, but it seems a bit anti-climactic at this point.  I suspect he's thinking, by returning the gifts, that he's admitting being complicit in a kick back scandal because he once owned stock in Star Scientific.

In the absence of disclosure about accepting the outrageously expensive gifts, the two top Virginia government executives even lied about the situation.  They initially claimed the gifts were "inadvertent".  (Meaning, unintentional?  Since when is a gift "inadvertent"?)  

Incredulously, the two men seemed to be just fine with putting the state's political reputation as well as their credibility at risk. They're both risking ridicule and kickback investigations, rather than acknowledging being involved in a stupid scandal involving the "vitavitavegimin" Star Scientific.  

Here's the chicken poop inside the golden eggs, as reported in the 

Last week, McDonnell made his initial apology in a press release, announcing he and his family had repaid the more than
$120,000 in loans Williams had made to McDonnell’s businesses. 

Tuesday, on WTOP radio’s Ask the Governor program, McDonnell announced they will also be returning tens of thousands worth of gifts they had received from him. These included a $6,500 Rolex watch (engraved “71st Governor of Virginia”) and $15,000 to pay for the catering at his daughter’s wedding reception. A federal grand jury and state investigation are looking into whether any of the gifts and loans were improper; McDonnell continues to deny breaking any laws.

But while McDonnell has now twice apologized and moved to return what he and his family received, Cuccinelli has been silent. While the Republican nominee has denied any involvement in the scandal, he alsoaccepted free lodging at his Williams’ homes, $6,711 worth of nutritional supplements, transportation to New York City and Kentucky, and anelaborate Thanksgiving dinner valued at $1,500. All totaled, Cuccinelli reported accepting at least $18,893 in gifts from Williams between 2009 and 2012.

Cuccinelli also initially failed to fully disclose the gifts he received from Williams — omissions he called “inadvertent.”

As of 2012, Star Scientific reported annual losses for a decade, but just one Virginia elected official or candidate invested upwards of $10,000 in the company: Cuccinelli. According to the Virginia Public Access Project, Star Scientific is the only significant holding he has reported since his first filing in 2003. Cuccinelli, whose position makes him the Commonwealth of Virginia’s lawyer, did not follow state disclosure law and disclose this investment in a timely manner. 

After the controversy became public, Cuccinelli sold off Star Scientific stock.  He'd have been better off investing on reruns of the "I Love Lucy".

There's a sucker born every minute.  Indeed, politicians are included in the cliche.  Unfortunately, Virginia voters are now thrown into the suckers vat, because their government leadership has now admitted to being leaders in the stupid party.  Virginia's Governor and Lt. Governor seemed to be more interested in supporting Star Scientific than being honest politicians.  

In fact, both men are stupid.  Let's see some outrage!

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