McDonnell Budget Commission Headed by Palin’s “leading defender”


    The Washington Post reports the 31 members of Bob McDonnell’s new “Governor’s Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring,” including the commission’s chairman.

    It is that sense of loyalty that has led [Fred] Malek, a prominent Republican rainmaker, to emerge as the leading defender of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in the wake of the 2008 election where she served as the party’s vice presidential nominee.

    Palin’s surprise resignation last week has made Malek a wanted man — one of a coveted few in Washington who have a relationship with the Alaska governor.

    Wonderful. Oh, and there’s also that little “Jewish cabal” controversy from Malek’s days in the Nixon Administration. Other than that, Malek’s a great pick to head this commission!

    But wait, there’s more.  The next person on the list is Alexandra Liddy Bourne, Executive Director of the American Energy Freedom Center.

    George Allen recently announced the formation of the American Energy Freedom Center, a project of the Institute for Energy Research, yet another group attempting to fight efforts to stop the climate crisis with connections to Exxon.


    Almost 10% of the Institute for Energy Research’s 2007 budget was provided by ExxonMobil. In 2007, ExxonMobil donated $95,000 of the $988,980 received by the Institute for Energy Research…

    In June 2009, Bourne, “in her personal capacity as a nurse, took EPA to task for failing to identify any specific evidence of morbidity and other health risks linked to greenhouse gas emissions.”  Uh, you mean “health risks” like destroying the planet’s environment?  Oh wait, I almost forgot, people like Bourne and others at the far-right wing Heartland Institute don’t “believe” in climate change science.  Was Bourne a Kookinelli recommendation, or did McDonnell come up with her all by himself?

    A couple more fine members of McDonnell’s budget commission include:

    *Our old pal Benjamin “Benedict” Lambert, a supposed Democrat who infamously endorsed George Allen over Jim Webb in 2006.  Thankfully, Donald McEachin trounced Benedict in the June 2007 primary.

    *Senator Mark Obenshain, by all accounts one of the craziest, most extreme right-wing members of the Virginia General Assembly. Last we saw him, he was ranting about the “North American Man-Boy Love Association,” and Rachel Maddow was calling him out for “stoop[ing] to a pedophilia argument in a debate over McEachin’s civil rights bill.”

    I can’t wait to see what this commission comes up with!

    • Teddy Goodson

      pretty well determines what kind of recommendations it will make, so I share your concern about this one which the Washington Post describes as McDonnell’s

      “aggressive initiative to reshape and shrink state government, an attempt to make good on one of his signature campaign promises and leave a lasting mark on the state.”

      In one way the Commission has some merit as an effort to streamline the state government and “make it more user friendly.” the federal government has suffered through several efforts like this in the past, trying to make itself less of a confused bureaucratic mess (Al Gore did one for Clinton, as I recall).

      Unfortunately, what I fear in this case is what these hate-the-government, hate-all-taxes crowd will do to ruin what has in the past been a pretty effective government here in Virginia.  

    • TomPaine

      But not enough to make a difference, but just enough to give the commission a slight aroma of credibility.