Sunday, December 19, 2010

More on the Phony US Navy Veterans Association Scam

Only in Virginia: Stupid stuff merits kudos!

December 19, 2010 - Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is our only double award winner this year.

He gets the Dano for Most Litigious Elected Official for his multiple lawsuits against the federal government, plus his fraud investigation of a former University of Virginia climate scientist who concluded that global temperatures have risen steeply in the past century.

Cuccinelli also wins a Dano in the category of Most Ardent Defender of a Fraudster.

No, he wasn't sticking up for the climate scientist. Instead, it was one of Cuccinelli's own campaign contributors, who gave $55,500 to the attorney general-to-be's campaign.

The mysterious man founded the fake U.S. Navy Veterans Association, and called himself Bobby Thompson, but he's been charged in Ohio with stealing that identity.

Long after most Virginia politicians ran away from smaller checks from "Thompson," Cuccinelli was hanging onto his and sticking up for the scam artist who wrote them.

About the time the IRS raids began, it dawned on Cuccinelli that he should give the phony Thompson's real money away.

Which brings us to the Dano of Year, for the most glaringly stupid act of 2010.

There's really no competition. It belongs to Gov. Bob McDonnell and the entire Virginia General Assembly for doing the bidding of "Thompson" without batting an eyelash.

In 2009, Virginia regulators shut down fundraising in the commonwealth by the U.S. Navy Veterans because it was an unregistered charity.

So "Thompson" passed around $67,500 in donations to key state lawmakers (including Cuccinelli).

This year, he hired a lobbyist who persuaded Sen. Patsy Ticer, D-Alexandria, to introduce a bill exempting veterans organizations -- such as the U.S. Navy Veterans -- from registering to raise money here.

Not a single member of the Virginia Senate or House of Delegates voted against that bill.

The governor signed it. It became law July 1, and it's still on the books. Meanwhile, "Thompson" is still on the lam.

To recap: A campaign donor/con artist/alleged identity thief persuaded an entire state government to enact a law that would allow his phony charity to resume defrauding Virginia's citizens.

And the government happily obliged.

Now that's stupid. {continued}

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