( – promoted by lowkell)
Photo from Blue Ridge Leader
The “Virginia Way” is a euphemism for corruption.
I got so sick of the Virginia’s legislative entitlements, that I wrote my first Blue Virginia diary in December.
I had discovered that Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, pictured here with BFF (best friend and felon) Bob McDonnell, had neglected to register as a lobbyist for six years, in violation of Virginia law.
Farrell, or a minion, read the diary. And now he’s trying to make amends.
New VPAP records show that he finally registered as a lobbyist on February 2, 2015, less than two months after my Blue Virginia report.
The fine for failing to register as a lobbyist is a civil penalty of $50 per day ($50 x 365 x 6 years = $109,500), a rounding error to a man who charges our power bills an extra $11 million per year (that’s $5,000 an hour). Given it’s a state-guaranteed monopoly, that’s the same as an $11 million tax increase straight out of our pockets, just for one person’s bank account.
VPAP lists Farrell giving McDonnell lavish meals in summer and fall 2009: $303 for “Catering” in May 2009 and $166 for “Meeting Expenses” in October 2009 – and a whopping $60,000 in direct donations. Then, he was a chair of McDonnell’s transition team, responsible for handing out patronage appointments.
The lobbying rules for Virginia are very strict – and I’m reproducing them below the jump. People must register if they try to affect any of the following:
“1. Preparation, research, drafting, introduction, consideration, modification, amendment, approval, passage, enactment, tabling, postponement, defeat, or rejection of a bill, resolution, amendment, motion, report, nomination, appointment, or other matter by the General Assembly or a legislative official;
2. Action by the Governor in approving, vetoing, or recommending amendments for a bill passed by the General Assembly; or
3. Action by the General Assembly in overriding or sustaining a veto by the Governor, considering amendments recommended by the Governor, or considering, confirming, or rejecting an appointment of the Governor.”
Blue Virginia is an invaluable community resource. The next step is for a full-time journalist to look into Tom Farrell, just as the Washington Post’s Jenna Portnoy exposed his unqualified and spoiled son Peter Farrell in the state legislature on Monday. And the Attorney General should slap Daddy Tom with a well-deserved fine.
The moral of the story is that powerful people pay attention to the grassroots, even if they would never acknowledge it. Sunlight is the best disinfectant and nobody is above the law.