By Peter Galuszka

It’s hard to have your ego dunned.

Yet it’s happened to Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, who, according to the Quinnipiac University, lost five points in a popular poll thanks to his disastrous 2012 General Assembly session that brought the arrests of pro-abortion rights protestors on Capitol ground and a spate of national Bronx cheers on the Daily Show and Saturday Night Live.

McDonnell, anxious to get a VP bid, is paying $400,000 from fat cat political honchos for a series of television ads that are intended to set things right. We’ll see just how “positive” the Virginia is that Bob has developed. Presumably, we’ll see the other good things he has done, such as create jobs and manage our budget responsibly.

Never mind that a lot of those jobs come from Good Ole Uncle Sam who conservatives despise and that much of the budget progress is smoke and mirrors by withdrawing from one fund and putting it in another.

Even state Republicans who should be happy that one of their own is itching for such a high national profile and muttering that they sure could use that $400,000 in various and critically important political races this fall, according to The Washington Post.

Yet some folks, somewhere believe it is really important to make Bob look good just now.

Who are they? Let’s take a look. The $400K is coming from the Opportunity Virginia fund, a PAC for Bob. According to the Virginia Public Access Project, the fund isn’t exactly made up of little people tossing int heir dear dimes and dollars. It is fat cat money.

Some $25,000 comes from John A. Luke Jr., head of MeadWestvaco which recently relocated its headquarters from the Northeast to Richmond. Luke is so arrogant that he refuses to talk to the news media at all. He is former head of the National Manufacturers Association. Another is G. Gilmer Minor, powerman at a firm that distributes health goods in Richmond.

A few of other names at Opportunity Virginia likewise stick out. Smithfield Foods, which has had a lot of environmental issues over the years with its hog operations, gave $25,000. Wal-Mart, now in the middle of a huge bribery scandal in Mexico, gave $25,000. Lastly, Baxter F. Phillips Jr., an executive at coal producer Alpha Natural Resources in Bristol, gave $10,000. Phillips had been CEO of the notorious Massey Energy firm after renegade CEO Don Blankenship was forced to retire in Dec, 2010 and then the firm was acquired by Alpha. Phillips served in top positions for years at Massey, which has been skewered for the way it ran Upper Big Branch coal mine in Montcoal, W.Va. in April 2010 and where 29 miners were killed in a blast that formal reports blame on Massey’s horrendous management.

So as Bob garnishes his image at the expense of his party, it might be worth remembering who is paying for the upbeat TV ads.

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  1. politicians are…. well.. they ARE politicians. Have you ever seen the youtube videos of John Edwards combing his hair?

    that’s REALLY who virtually ALL politicians REALLY are in their heart of hearts.

    you have to be one arrogant son of a gun to think of yourself as a “leader” of people especially when the populace is riddled with Neanderthals and the like.

    We just “see” a bit more of the politician in McDonnell than perhaps we saw in Kaine or Warner but the inner self of the 3 is remarkably similar.

    for my money.. that guy Connaughton could easily blow away the Cooch and LtGov whats-his-face.

    For McDonnell – it’s so obvious that his official song should be “I’m so pretty”.


  2. DJRippert Avatar


    Don’t you read Jim Bacon’s rhetoric? There are no shadowy figures living in Richmond trying to control the political agenda in the state. John Luke doesn’t exist. G. Gilmer Minor doesn’t exist. Baxter Phillips doesn’t exist. Massey Energy doesn’t exist.

    And there’s no such thing as an embedded self-proclaimed aristocracy in Virginia. Take G. Gilmer Minor for example. There’s no Gilmer Hall at UVa housing the Psychology and Bilogy departments. And there’s no Minor Hall in the Arts & Sciences Department either.

    A lot or people don’t really understand the Virginia flag. The lady with the pitchfork represents all Virginians outside of Richmond while the guy on the ground who lost his crown represents the political elite in Richmond.

    Sic Semper Tyrannis indeed.

  3. ” A lot or people don’t really understand the Virginia flag. The lady with the pitchfork represents all Virginians outside of Richmond while the guy on the ground who lost his crown represents the political elite in Richmond.

    Sic Semper Tyrannis indeed.”

    funniest thing I’ve read today, maybe this week!


    Va has ALWAYS been about the elite every since the King of England sent “betters” here to be assisted by first indentured servants and then slaves.

    When Harry Byrd put VDOT in charge of all roads, he clearly believed that the state needed to fix what the localities were incapable of.

    and when you get some spare reading time – check out what a Constitutional Officer is in Va and why they exist and are funded from Richmond.

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