Has Chicago style politics come to Virginia?
Interesting thing, this disclosure requirement we have for our politicians. If you want to see who is giving money to which candidates, all you have to do is visit The Virginia Public Access Project and look around. You can often find some interesting information snuggled away among the more mundane data.
Once in a while, you might even see a big donation from unexpected places. And that can all be very normal.
But occasionally, when you see a big donation, and the candidate made a major announcement, or proclamation about the time they received the donation, and this announcement somehow benefits the donor, it makes you think. It could simply be a coincidence. But when the donor drops generous amounts of cash into the three top Democrats on the state wide ticket, and all three sing the same tune at the same time, which benefits the donor, it is hard to say this is a coincidence.
And when the generous donor also happens to be a candidate for House of Delegates, it is nearly impossible to believe that this is not Chicago style pay for play.
Such is the case for 93rd House District candidate Democrat Robin Abbott. Ms. Abbott’s Bio on her campaign website proclaims the is an Attorney and a partner in the law firm Consumer Litigation Associates, P.C. with offices in Newport News. The website for her Law Firm also lists Leonard Bennett as a partner.
If we go back to VPAP and look around for these names, we find the following Contributions for Democrat AG Candidate Steve Shannon:
$40,000 Consumer Litigation Associates P.C 08/31/2009
$10,000 Cash Donation 03/19/2009
So, Steven Shannon receives a generous donation from Abbott and starts calling for Ms. Abbott’s opponent, Phil Hamilton, to resign. It looks like the price for Hamilton’s due process from Steve Shannon is $50,000.00.
So, I wondered if Ms. Abbott and her Law Firm had anything to do with Democratic candidate for Governor Creigh Deeds’ recent call for Hamilton’s resignation, or Lt. Governor candidate Jody Wagner’s echoed call for resignation. Surely, with the three statewide Democrats suddenly campaigning on ethics I wouldn’t find Ms. Abbott’s money flowing to Deeds and Wagner. All three of them wouldn’t take money and then call out, in chorus, for Hamilton’s head, right?
Deeds’ reports taking:
$50,000 Consumer Litigation Associates PC 07/15/2009
$2,400 Bennett Mr. Leonard A. 07/20/2009
A total of $52,400.
And Wagner reports:
$10,000 Consumer Litigation Associates P.C. 08/31/2009
$10,000 Cash Donation 03/21/2009
A total of $20,000.
I bet Jody is livid. She did equal work, yet the men were paid more than double.
That’s a total of $122,400.00 for all three candidates.
And her Law Firm has also dumped nearly $100,000 into Ms. Abbott’s campaign.
And after taking $50,000 from Hamilton’s opponent and calling for Hamilton’s resignation, Steve Shannon has the nerve to say:
(From Blue Virginia)
“If Ken Cuccinelli won’t stand up and call for Phil Hamilton to resign, how can Virginians expect him to vigorously defend their interests against other acts of public corruption?”
Steve, you know that the Attorney General’s office could ultimately be called upon to look at this case. You have accepted money, already made a conclusion without hearing evidence, and tainted the proceedings should this case ever be referred to a Steve Shannon AG office. The proper thing for you to do was to remain neutral. Too late.
Ken Cuccinelli has enough experience to know when it is unwise to get involved in something he may end up being asked to decide. And I am sure no amount of money could make him compromise the office he seeks for political or financial gain.
If Deeds, Wagner and Shannon want to be ethical in this matter, they need to return the money to Ms. Abbott and apologize to the citizens of the Commonwealth AND to Phil Hamilton.