On Friday, Gov. Glenn Youngkin made a slew of appointments to the Virginia Board of Education and to colleges’/universities’ Boards of Visitors. For some commentary on the Board of Education appointees, see here for what Gov. Ralph Northam’s Secretary of Education, Atif Qarni, had to say. As for Youngkin’s appointees to colleges’/universities’ Boards of Visitors, it’s a mixed bag, ranging from seemingly fine to clearly horrendous. In the latter category, the WaPo reports:
‘In his first major step to shape the future of the nation’s oldest state-supported military college, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) on Thursday named four White, mostly conservative members to the Board of Visitors at the Virginia Military Institute, including a former member who resigned in 2020 right before the vote to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson from the campus.”
The four picks are, as you can see below:
- John Adams: The Republican nominee for Attorney General of Virginia in 2017. This guy, who actually said, “I clerked for Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court — you give me four more Clarence Thomases and we’re good” (WTF???), is clearly a far-right extremist all the way. Adams also said things like “The president’s Clean Power Plan is unconstitutional”; “Let’s just take gay marriage…[the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision is] totally made up, not in the constitution…If you haven’t done it, read Justice Scalia’s and then Justice Thomas’ dissents in that case; it’s an amazing set of dissents.”; some weird, incoherent discussion about “secession” and state “sovereignty”…check it out, but don’t ask me what the heck Adams is getting at here.
- C. Ernest Edgar IV: According to the WaPo, ” a 1987 VMI graduate who is the general counsel of an engineering design and construction firm called Atkins North America, according to his LinkedIn page.” Also, check this out (Edgar signed the “Deferred Prosecution Agreement” with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, PBSJ corporation [where Edgar served as Deputy General Counsel in 2009-2010] “making offers and promises ofpayment and other benefits to certain Qatari government officials in order to secure two multi-million dollar development contracts in Qatar and Morocco.”
- Thomas E. Gottwald: According to the WaPo, Gottwald is the “head of a petroleum additives holding company” who “donated $77,500 to Youngkin’s campaign and another $25,000 to the Spirit of VMI political action committee, a group of alumni that has denigrated and mocked the investigation and reforms the college has made in response to its findings.” Also, see below for screenshots of Gottwald’s political donations, including thousands to Donald Trump, Herschel Walker, Steve Scalise, Jen Kiggans, the Republican National Committee, etc.
- Meagan Mobbs: According to the WaPo, Mobbs “worked as a senior policy adviser to the Youngkin campaign.” Also, she’s “a former member of the Board of Visitors at the U.S. Military Academy” who “made news last year when she and other Trump appointees serving on similar boards at the Naval and Air Force academies were asked by the Biden administration to resign or be fired. Mobbs refused to quit and tweeted that she found the move ‘unconscionable.'” Finally, as you can see in the screenshot below, Mobbs was an “advisor to the Trump-Pence campaign.”
For more information on why these appointments matter, see Highly Anticipated Report Finds “institutional racism and sexism are present, tolerated, and left unaddressed at VMI” (Also: “VMI maintains an outdated, idealized reverence for the Civil War and the Confederacy”); At VMI, Black cadets endure lynching threats, Klan memories and Confederacy veneration; etc. Clearly, from his appointments to the VMI Board of Visitors, we can see which side Glenn Youngkin’s on…
For anyone who still thinks that the Virginia GOP’s nominee for Attorney General, John Adams, is not an extremist, check out this video (h/t to the Washington Post’s Laura Vozzella for catching this). Check out these Adams’ quotes from the video, taken at a 2016 Tea Party (but of course!) meeting:
1) “The president’s Clean Power Plan is unconstitutional…”
2) “Let’s just take gay marriage…[the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision is] totally made up, not in the constitution…If you haven’t done it, read Justice Scalia’s and then Justice Thomas’ dissents in that case; it’s an amazing set of dissents.”
3) Some weird, incoherent discussion about “secession” and state “sovereignty”…check it out, but don’t ask me what the heck Adams is getting at here.
4) “I’m an optimist, I clerked for Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court — you give me four more Clarence Thomases and we’re good.” (ee gads)