By now it’s clear that if it means anything, the laughable phrase “the Virginia Way” comes down to government of the wealthy/powerful corporations, by the wealthy/powerful corporations, and FOR the wealthy/powerful corporations. That reality is pounded home when you look at who’s sponsoring – and who’s attending – “2015 Chamber Day at the Capitol” (see the graphics at right, and the two on the “flip”).
Note that these aren’t just ANY corporations, but some of the worst – most polluting, destructive, harmful, etc. – corporations in Virginia: Altria (nee Philip Morris, purveyors of products that cause lung cancer, emphysema, etc.); CONSOL Energy (remember Ken Cuccinelli’s Conflict of Interest Problem: The CONSOL Energy Campaign Contributions Timeline and Inspector General Says Ken Cuccinelli’s Office ‘Inappropriately’ Aided Energy Companies and BREAKING: Cuccinelli’s Office Improperly Helped CONSOL Energy Rip Off SWVA Landowners?); Appalachian Power, Dominion, Alpha Natural Resources (basically, “global warming and blowing up mountains start here”), etc.
In a way, what’s even MORE disturbing here is that there’s no citizens’ or environmental equivalent to this dirty/destructive corporate festival with Virginia’s top political leadership, several of whom – Tommy Norment, Bill Howell, Dick Saslaw – are completely bought and paid for by these corporations. And the reason why there isn’t such balance? Simple: these corporations have the money to throw an event like this, not to mention donate millions of dollars to essentially “capture” Virginia government; citizens generally do not have money like that.
And no, the pathetically weak “ethics reform” we’re likely to see coming out of the General Assembly this year won’t lay a globe on stuff like this. In fact, events like “2015 Chamber Day at the Capitol” make a complete mockery of the very concept that these people could ever reform the rancid, corrupt system of which they are an integral part.