From the Democratic Party of Virginia:
“Bad on all sorts of levels” – GOP Sen. Bill DeSteph sparks backlash over another conflict of interest
Virginia Beach Senator Bill DeSteph is no stranger to shady deals and conflicts of interest. DeSteph, a licensed arms dealer, raised eyebrows when he registered his gun business to the same address as his Senate office. He also drew criticism for helping protect one of his biggest donors by personally interfering in an investigation into complaints brought against them.
Now, DeSteph is in hot water over a real estate deal he struck with the city of Virginia Beach. At a meeting attended by DeSteph in February, the city’s Electoral Board decided to lease a building he owned. Part of the deal would have moved a polling location to DeSteph’s building, creating what one VCU political scientist dubbed an “ugly mingling of personal business interests and public political decisions.” When City Councilors recently became aware of the blatant conflict of interest, they voted against moving the polling location, thwarting another questionable DeSteph scheme.
Also, here’s a key quote from Virginian-Pilot story.
Alex Keena, assistant professor of political science at Virginia Commonwealth University, called the senator’s connection “troubling,” described it as the “ugly mingling of personal business interests and public political decisions.” He said it’s the type of relationship that benefits neither party due to the appearance it leaves, even if nothing improper happens.
“For voters who are already sort of disillusioned with the state of American politics, and the quality of American democracy, this is just bad on all sorts of levels,” he said.
And for more information on DeSteph, see Virginia State Sen. Bill “Rub Me Lamp” DeSteph (R) Shared Video by Anti-Muslim Activist on His Official Facebook Page and “He’s Just a Genie in a Bottle…Virginia State Sen. Bill DeSteph (R) Wore Costume with ‘Rub Me’ Lamp ‘Protruding from Crotch’?”