Virginia: Jerk ex-state Senator's daughter offered job improperly by BOTH parties over Medicaid expansion??
Oy gevalt. I made a big stink about this bizarro story when it broke back in June, so it behooves me to post a follow-up now when it appears that at least one Democrat in Virginia (well, besides the "Democrat" who was the subject of the original bribe offer) was basically guilty of the same thing that the state Republicans were:
RICHMOND — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s top lieutenant apologized Friday after admitting that he had tried to keep a Democrat from quitting the evenly divided state Senate with the prospect of a lucrative state job for the senator’s daughter.
But it was not entirely clear to Richmond’s increasingly bewildered and antsy political class just what Chief of Staff Paul Reagan had done.
Had he engaged in a crass and potentially illegal bidding war with Republicans who, in the middle of a standoff over the state budget and Medicaid expansion, wanted Democrat Phillip P. Puckett out of the Senate as desperately as McAuliffe’s administration wanted him in?
Or had Reagan merely committed politics as usual with one decidedly inconvenient twist: a voice-mail message that eventually put his sausage-making on public display?
The short version, as you may recall, was this:
- New Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe had made ACA Medicaid expansion one of the cornerstones of his agenda.
- He faced unwavering opposition from the Republicans who hold the state House and who had a deadlock in the state Senate (20/20), although the Democratic Lt. Governor gave McAuliffe a slight edge in at least one house.
- The Senate Republicans were busted trying to bribe one of the Democratic Senators into resigning by offering him a different cushy job and his daughter a judgeship, knowing that he would be certain to be replaced by a Republican given the nature of his district.
- The Democrat ended up resigning, of course, but under very different circumstances given that he was also busted accepting the bribe. In the end, the GOP ended up gaining control of the state Senate without having to give this jerk anything in return.
However, there's been another twist: Apparently in response to the situation, before Puckett resigned, McAuliffe's top aide decided to respond by possibly counter-offering a different job to Puckett's daughter in return for him not resigning/flipping sides on the Medicaid issue.
On the one hand, McAuliffe apparently didn't know anything about the "counter-offer", and there was no specific offer made by his assistant, so it doesn't appear to have been as clear-cut as the original GOP offer.
On the other hand, "well, they did it first!!" isn't a particularly noble defense for being caught doing something so clearly wrong.
So, in the end, Puckett resigns, the GOP gains control of the state Senate, McAuliffe is embarrassed, and hundreds of thousands of Virginians continue to be utterly screwed over by Republican asshattery...which leaves just one question for me:
What exactly does Puckett's daughter, Martha P. Ketron (who, from what I can tell, doesn't appear to have been involved in any of this idiocy) feel about the whole situation, and just how awkward is their family Thanksgiving dinner going to be this year?