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Will Cooch Investigate Cooch?

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Apparently, we can’t stop Ken Kook-inelli for being a homophobic, extreme, global-warming denying, scientist-witch-hunting “birther.”  Too bad.  And we can’t stop him from wasting Virginia taxpayers’ money pursuing his ridiculous, cuckoo-for-Cocoa-Puffs causes.  Perhaps we – or Bob McDonnell, or somebody – might have better luck persuading him to spend some time and energy investigating this?

A major backer of Ken Cuccinelli is being probed in several states for running a charity that a lengthy newspaper investigation suggests may be an elaborate and long-running fraud.

There’s no evidence that Cuccinelli, now the attorney general of Virginia, was aware there was anything untoward about Bobby Thompson or his charity, the U.S. Navy Veterans Association (USNVA), which says it offers assistance to navy veterans. Still, the news has forced the ambitious AG — whose reputation for rectitude is a key part of his appeal to conservatives — to answer some awkward questions. And the full story of what happened in Virginia suggests how easily one state government may have been taken in by a noble-sounding cause and a some well-timed campaign contributions.

[…]

…come July, when USNVA may begin soliciting Virginians for contributions, it seems to us that there would be ample evidence for the AG to use his own office to start looking into the man who provided almost 3 percent of his total campaign haul last year. Cuccinelli could even free up some resources by easing off on the investigation of climate science he’s currently focused on. So, Mr. Attorney General, how about it?

Yeah, how about it Cooch? You think you can spare another $350 or whatever you say it costs you to do stuff in your office? Anyway, it would be a lot more productive for you to investigate yourself than to waste everyone’s time and money pursuing your other wacky wild goose chases. Anyway, just a thought. Heh.

h/t: NLS

UPDATE: The DPVA has put out a press release – “Don’t Fund Your Political Crusade with Dirty Money” – on this.  See after the “flip” for more.

DPVA Tells Cuccinelli to Donate Tainted $50,000 Contribution, Investigate US Navy Veterans Association

DPVA Executive Director: “Don’t Fund Your Political Crusade with Dirty Money”

The Democratic Party of Virginia called upon Attorney General Cuccinelli to donate $55,500 from his political committee and investigate the US Navy Veterans Association and their operations here in Virginia, after the Roanoke Times revealed the questionable and potentially corrupt dealings of a group known as the Navy Veterans Association (USNVA).

The Roanoke Times story comes on the heels of a 6 month investigation by the St. Petersburg Times, which revealed the so-called charitable organization was operating under unusual practices.  The suspicion of wrong-doing has grown so intense as to cause the Attorney General of New Mexico to suspend all fundraising by USNVA in that state.

A contribution from Bobby Thompson, the professed director of US Navy Vets, in the amount of $50,000 was made to then-candidate Cuccinelli in August of 2009.  Though this was the second-largest contribution of his entire campaign, the Attorney General claims to know nothing about Bobby Thompson, or the controversial USNVA group.

When asked about the contribution, Attorney General Cuccinelli said this – “There was nothing that raised a red flag,” Cuccinelli said. “Unsolicited contributions don’t even raise red flags, not even from out of state.”

David Mills, the Democratic Party of Virginia Executive Director, said this in response:

“The Attorney General should contribute this money to a REAL veterans group immediately.  It is absolutely wrong for him to do otherwise, in light of this investigation.  Virginians will not stand for their elected officials accepting money from individuals who are suspected of using America’s veterans for personal gain. It’s disturbing to think that the Attorney General is so driven to pursue his personal political agenda that he is willing to fund it with tainted contributions.  We’re calling on our Attorney General to investigate this organization and its activities in the Commonwealth.  Virginians deserve an Attorney General who will protect them from corrupt solicitors.

Background

From 2002-2009, the US Navy Veterans Association, (www.navyvets.org) raised millions of dollars through state chapters as a tax-exempt charitable organization claiming to support veterans of the U.S. Navy.  Bobby Thompson is the director of the USNVA.  

In 2009, Bobby Thomspon contributed a total of $55,500 to Ken Cuccinelli’s campaign for Attorney General.

On March 21, the St. Petersburg Times broke the story about the Navy Veterans Association, revealing information gathered over a 6 month period of investigation.  The Times attempted to contact every member listed as an officer or member of the board of directors for the organization.  In almost every instance, they found the addresses listed corresponded to P.O. Boxes at United Parcel Service locations, or in some cases vacant lots.  

As part of the March 21th article, the St. Petersburg Times explained “In the end, the searches for people and documents all came back to one man, the association’s director of development, Bobby Thompson, and one place, his $1,200-a-month rented duplex across from the Cuesta-Rey cigar factory in Ybor City.”  

On April 7th, the Office of the Attorney General in New Mexico issued a statement ordering the the US Navy Veterans Association to stop all fundraising activity in the state of New Mexico, due to the discovery that the addresses of the registered officers were fictional.  NM Assistant Attorney General stated in a letter to the group “unless you are able to provide me with a showing of legitimate activity by this organization holding itself out as having a charitable purpose in New Mexico, you are on notice that you are not lawfully registered according to the (state’s) Charitable Solicitations Act … and may be in violation of a number of substantive provisions of the Act as well.”

Also on April 7th, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consume Services confirmed that they were investigating USNVA.  

On Sunday, May 16, the Roanoke Times broke the connection to Ken Cuccinelli and other Virginia officials, revealing the $55,500 contribution to Cuccinelli’s campaign in 2009.