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Tag: conflict of interest

For Del. Margaret Ransone, the World is Her Oyster?

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Delegate Margaret B. Ransone (R) represents the 99th District in Virginia's House of Delegates.

Delegate Margaret B. Ransone is the daughter of Ronnie and Shirley Bevans, who own Bevans Oyster Company, Kinsale, VA.

Delegate Margaret B. Ransone is an employee of Bevans Oyster Company.

Delegate Margaret B. Ransone sponsored HB 648 that changes the dimension of the containers used by oyster harvesters, reducing the minimum size from 2,800 cubic inches to 2,500 cubic inches - a 10.7% reduction.  Because oysters are sold by the container, Bevans Oyster Company now sells 10.7% fewer oysters for the same price as before. Who benefits from this legislation?

Delegate Margaret B. Ransone sponsored HB 1092 , that prohibits localities from exercising eminent domain to condemn privately-leased riparian and general oyster planting grounds that are under lease from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC). This means: If a locality wants to build a public pier or other public facility over an oyster lease held by Bevans Oyster Company, they are prohibited from doing so. Who benefits from this legislation?

Delegate Margaret B. Ransone had A. J. Erskine appointed to the VRMC. The VRMC regulates the taking and selling of oysters. Erskine is an employee of Bevans Oyster Company as well as a consultant to Cowart Seafood Company, Lottsburg, VA, a large oyster packer. Who benefits from this appointment? By the way -- a few months ago a driver for Cowart Seafood was arrested in Maryland for transporting under-sized oysters from Maryland to Virginia. Of the 188 bushels of oysters on Cowart Seafood truck, 187 contained undersized oysters.

Is this business as usual, or, is it conflict of interest??

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.