Friday, December 4, 2020
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Tag: Fred Malek

McDonnell/Malek “Reform” Commission a Complete Bust

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It is common practice for government officials, when they have something they want to hide, to release it on Friday afternoon when nobody's paying attention. In that way, they essentially hope to "sneak one by" the media, and therefor the public, whether because the news is bad, or more insidiously because there's stuff they really don't want people to focus on.

A case in point: this past Friday, the corrupt, Nixon Jew counter and dog barbecuer Fred Malek government "reform" commission released an "interim report". The report contained "107 recommendations and observation," many of which appear harmless (e.g, "state government should be more convenient, transparent and taxpayer friendly" - duh!) and/or eye glazing (e.g., "all government financial statements and budgets  must be accompanied by a full statement of debts, liabilities, and guarantees, including the differ ng maturities of that debt and its servicing cost"). However, there also were several items that jumped out at me as troubling, as well as several serious omissions.

First, the omissions.  Del. Albert Pollard (D-99th) told me that he was "disappointed that there were not recommendations on reforming Department of Correctional Enterprises, moving VDOT off of engineering standards for smaller projects, adopting a one year budget and reforming Department of General Services."  In fact, Del. Pollard notes, "if I read the report correctly, an agency will still have to get an engineering study to put in a flag pole."  I'm sure there are many other omissions as well. I'm waiting for comment from other lawmakers, other than Del. Pollard; curiously, the cat seems to have gotten all of their tongues on this one. Odd.

(lots more failure after the "fold")

A Watergate Re-Run

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Somewhere, Richard Nixon is smiling.  As the New York Times pointed out the other day, his favorite campaign technique - using massive amounts of money from secret, self-interested corporate donors to buy dirty tricks and dishonest campaign ads - is back, just in time for the November 2nd election.

Public revulsion against the scandals of Nixon's 1972 re-election campaign helped usher in a wave of campaign finance reform in the 70s.  But just as Republicans worked hard to make Americans forget the lessons of Vietnam, so they are now working to ensure that we forget the lessons of Watergate.  We just need to forget how we've been hoodwinked in the past in order to be fooled over and over again.

Needless to say, the same characters who learned the art of dirty tricks in 1972 are still applying them today.  That includes our favorite Jew-counter and dog-barbecuer, Fred Malek, who is applying his expertise as a member of Nixon's campaign team to his new venture, the American Action Network, which is laundering some $25 million in secret campaign contributions in order to buy key Congressional seats - including in the 11th District where I live.  

Governor Wimpy’s Very Bad Year

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Poor Bob McDonnell. Just a few days after he had to drop his "fees" on the retail sale of liquor by the drink to appease his right wing, thus making the Senate Democrats mad by increasing the hole he's blowing in the General Fund to a minimum of $47 million, he has been resoundingly slapped down in his attempt to control two seats on the board of the Metro.

You may recall that McDonnell demanded that he be able to control those two seats on Northern Virginia's Metro or he would withhold state money. Well, he won't get his wish, and I would bet that he won't withhold that money.  Even McDonnell's representative on the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission said that the group will pass a resolution stating that all four of Northern Virginia's Metro board seats should remain under local control.

It's so much easier to run for governor and promise people stuff you never can deliver than it is to actually govern, huh? It's been a pretty rocky road for McDonnell so far. Sometimes, it seems he goes from one misstep to another. Let's have some fun and count the ways his grandiose plans have gone awry.

I’m Fred Malek, and I Ripped Off Another State’s Pension Funds…

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Fascinating. When Fred Malek introduces himself, he doesn't talk about his fine service in the Nixon Administration as chief "Jew counter." What, isn't he proud of that part of his career? Nor does he mention the fact that his firm, Thayer Capital Partners, was forced to pay a civil penalty of $150,000 -- and Malek himself forced to cough up $100,000 -- for their role in defrauding Connecticut state pension funds.  Of course, that might not have gotten a government "reform" panel off on the right note, so perhaps that explains Malek's omission. Heh.  

Anyway, I'm sure this commission will do fine work, even though Virginia's government has already been slimmed down to the bone by Governors Warner and Kaine, and even though the commission (not to mention Virginia itself) is led by a bunch of right-wing ideologues whose answer to every question is "cut spending for the most vulnerable."  Despite all that, I'm sure this will be a highly productive exercise.  Yeah, and if you believe that, you probably also think that George W. Bush was one of our greatest presidents...

More Smelly Appointments by McDonnell

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As if appointing Fred Malek, Nixon enforcer of anti-Semitism and SEC fine payer for questionable work his firm did for the Connecticut pension fund, to a government "reform commission" wasn't bad enough, other recent appointments made by Bob McDonnell just keep raising questions about what kind of government he is running.

Lest you think that Republicans learned something about how bad governance can get when people with conflicts of interest are put in charge of government agencies, forget that idea. After five months McDonnell continues to show that he didn't learn a thing from the egregious messes created by the Bush administration that were left for President Obama to clean up.

The latest lousy appointments include Diana Cantor, a former Goldman Sachs vice president to chair the board of trustees of the Virginia Retirement System, just a few months after McDonnell and the General Assembly took more than $620 million in VRS funds and used that to balance the budget.

Then, there's McDonnell's appointment of John Rocovich, a very controversial former rector of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors to the commission that recommends appointees for the governing boards of all the state's colleges and universities.

These two appointments almost reach the level of stench that Malek's did.

What Next, Jack Abramoff to Run Virginia’s Prisons?

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And in his latest stand for good government, Bob McDonnell appoints a Goldman Sachs croney (Diana Cantor, wife of Rep. Eric Cantor) to chair the Virginia pension system.  This move comes after McDonnell appointed a state pension defrauder to chair the government reform commission.

Sadly, this latest news is not a shocker. Maybe next McDonnell will ask a felon - Jack Abramoff's available, I hear! - to run the prisons? Whoops, better not give him any ideas!

Slate: Reporters Fall for Malek’s “Fake Penitence” on His Anti-Semitic Behavior

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Bob McDonnell can downplay Fred Malek's anti-Semitic actions and corrupt behavior 'til the cows come home. He can make the argument, laughably of course, that anyone who dislike Malek is not really against Malek, but actually has a secret agenda against "reform."  Uh huh. McDonnell can even claim that everything happened years ago (except for that small matter in Connecticut, of course) and that Malek has "apologized."  Whatever.

Fortunately, it's doubtful that almost anyone is buying this rubbish. Certainly, Slate magazine isn't.  Instead, Slate ups the ante, with an article about Malek's "fake penitence" over "Jew counting," and pointing out that it was actually far worse than that. The fact is, Slate writes, "Malek didn't just compile a list of Jews; he demoted at least four of those Jews." Whoops!

...A memo surfaced three years ago proving that Malek was intimately involved in the demotions, and that Malek demoted four Jewish-surnamed BLS officials, not two. Additional material surfaced this past January providing additional details, including the actual list of 13 Jews. (The identies of the additional six remain a mystery.)

Demoting Jews in the BLS is bad; demoting Jews for being Jewish is worse. Malek admits to the demotion but has falsely denied any role in the demotions, and apparently reporters are in no mood to confront him about this. That isn't atonement. It's deceit and evasion.

So, now what's McDonnell going to say? Let me guess: he never knew about any of this; it's not a big deal regardless; it's all a liberal plot against him; blah blah blah (or maybe waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah?). But that's Pat Robertson's Manchurian Candidate for ya, what else would you expect from him? The big question is, how much longer are Democrats like Del. Bob Brink and Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple going to provide political cover for McDonnell by remaining on the corrupt/anti-Semitic Malek Commission?  Not that there ever was a good excuse for any Democrats to stay on that commission, but given these latest revelations, it's absolutely inexcusable now.

P.S. As for the excuse that Jewish groups have forgiven Malek for his anti-Semitic behavior, from what I've been told, we really need to look into how much money Malek has given to some of these groups.  

Dem’s on Malek Commission Need to Speak Up or Step Down

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Sorry, but this is not acceptable.
... Friday afternoon, when Malek chairs his first meeting of Gov. Bob McDonnell's government reform commission, the three Democratic legislative members say they don't plan to protest too much.

Del. Bob Brink of Arlington and Sen. Louise Lucas of Portsmouth said in separate interviews they don't expect to say anything about Malek. Lucas said enough has been said about him already.

Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple of Arlington told us she will likely not reference the Nixon-era history but will publicly mention the personnel issue.

Sorry, but Democrats on this commission aren't there just to provide Bob McDonnell with political cover for his non-reform "reform" commission. Sure, Sen. Whipple is correct that "governors are entitled to a fair amount of deference in the appointments they make," but that does NOT mean there's any obligation for Democrats (or anyone) to serve on a commission with a corrupt slimeball who served as Richard Nixon's "Jew counter" (listen here) back in the early 1970s.  

Message to Democrats on the Malek Commission: speak up or step down!

UPDATE: Donald McEachin says, "Yeah, I wouldn't serve on that commission with Fred Malek as the head."  Good answer! :)

Washington Post: Poor Fred Malek!

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My main problem with today's Beltway political media isn't that it leans conservative & too easily parrots GOP lies without fact-checking them -- it's that today's Beltway political media is far too cozy to power.

Take, for example, the Washington Post's extraordinarily sympathetic intro to its profile of Fred Malek, making his anti-Jew crusade sound on par with a one-time accounting slip-up:

Frederic V. Malek, who is among Washington's wealthiest Republican power brokers, is discovering that even a single problematic episode in government service can be hard to shake.
Jeez, the guy organizes a secret campaign targeting Jews ONE TIME & here we are 30 years later still calling him a secret Jew campaign targeter! Can't we give the poor guy a break? Hasn't he already suffered enough?

Of course, that presumes the Jew targeting campaign was the only shady thing Malek did for Nixon. Which it wasn't. From Jonathan Schell's The Time of Illusion:

Bob McDonnell: Virginia’s Bungling “CEO”

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Sometimes, I think that Bob McDonnell is trying to create some sort of dubious record for screw ups that will last far beyond my - or his - lifetime. His latest is his refusal to comment on the most recent outrage of teammate Ken Cuccinelli, who's refusing to join 48 other state attorneys general in filing amicus briefs supporting Albert Snyder, the father of a Marine killed in Iraq, who is suing Westboro Baptist "Church" in Kansas for disrupting his son's 2006 funeral in Maryland with anti-gay and anti-American screaming demonstrations.

It boggles my mind that McDonnell has found a way to botch so many things in such a short time. After all, he's been in office only four months and 2 weeks, but he's wasted no time in creating controversy and making Virginia look foolish, all the while appearing inept and indecisive.

It all started just days into his administration when the new governor refused to include sexual orientation in his non-discrimination order. Not only did McDonnell say that protecting the employment rights of gay Virginians was not the job of the governor, but he also reversed a final order by former Gov. Tim Kaine that would have allowed unmarried partners of state employees, including same-sex partners, the right to buy into state health plans.