The Richmond Times Dispatch reports that Gov. McDonnell has appointed “a Florida election official” named Donald Palmer as the new Secretary of the Virginia State Board of Elections. Who is Donald Palmer? A couple of relevant pieces of information.
1. According to the Miami Herald, Palmer “was also once an aide to Congressman Tom Feeney,” who “earned a reputation as a brass-knuckles campaigner and when he was House Speaker advocated having the Legislature designate electors for George W. Bush during the 2000 recount.”
2. Also, this article points out that there’s a Jack Abramoff connection with Palmer’s former boss: “The FBI has asked U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney for information about his dealings with Jack Abramoff as part of its ongoing investigation into the lobbyist convicted of defrauding clients.”
Lovely, huh? In addition, the Washington Post reports, “McDonnell also named Charles E. Judd, former executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia, and Kimberly T. Bowers, who formerly worked for Gov. Tim Kaine (D), to the three-member board.”
As DPVA Communications Director Brian Coy says:
If Bob McDonnell ever had an interest in nonpartisan handling of elections, it’s safe to say it ended when he chose a former executive director of the Republican Party and a former adviser to a Republican congressman who had questionable ties to Jack Abramoff to run the State Board of Elections.
So much for having a relatively unbiased, politically fair State Board of Elections here in Virginia?