Saturday, July 20, 2013

Cuccinelli Remains Entangled With Star Scientific

GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken "Kookinelli" Cuccinelli is trumpeting the findings of a report that at first glance states that Kookinelli is not as corrupt as Bob McDonnell.  But the fine print if you will raises some disturbing questions that need further exploration and which raise the question of whether there are more details - i.e., bribes gifts - that have yet come to light.  Besides being insane, Kookinelli is power mad and has a history of viewing himself above the law and above U. S. Supreme Court rulings as demonstrated by his effort to keep oral sex a felony in Virginia.  The Maddow Blog sums things up well:

[I]f all you read is the headline -- "Investigators Clear Virginia's Cuccinelli in Ethics Probe" -- you're going to miss some key details. For example, the same report notes that Cuccinelli, far from doing nothing to help his generous benefactor, may have helped Williams after all.
Star sued the state to reverse a $1.7 million tax bill in 2011, shortly before Cuccinelli made a second, $10,000 investment in its shares and before the attorney general asked Williams if his family could stay for a third time at Williams' Smith Mountain Lake vacation home.

Cuccinelli has said he never talked to Williams about the lawsuit, though he has said Williams had earlier complained about the disputed taxes.

The attorney general told the ethics investigators "that he may have suggested that Williams contact a certain attorney at a Richmond law firm 'to assist him and his company with the Tobacco Fund,' " according to a report issued by Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Herring, quoting an investigators' findings.
So, Williams sued Virginia, and it was up Cuccinelli to defend the state in the case. It was around this time that Cuccinelli started buying stock in Williams' company and taking trips to Williams' lovely vacation home. And it was also around this time that Cuccinelli "may have" offered legal advice to Williams, too.

The report issued yesterday added, "[O]ne cannot help but question whether [Cuccinelli's] repeated omissions of Williams [in his disclosure forms] are coincidence or a pattern reflecting intent to conceal."

Given all of this, why is Cuccinelli off the hook? Probably because Virginia has pretty weak ethics laws, making it easier to get away with dubious conduct.
Oh, and then there's the question of why the Virginia Retirement System purchased — and sold at a loss -- 71,900 shares of Star Scientific stock over a three-month period.  The retirement system lost $87,000 in the process.  Just a coincidence?  Not likely.  The Daily Progress has details here.

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