Bob McDonnell: Four Years of Failure (Part 3 - Ethics/Government Reform)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Yesterday, I posted Bob McDonnell: Four Years of Failure (Part 2 - Environment). Today, I turn to Part 3 - Ethics/Government Reform. Again, let's start with what Bob McDonnell promised in his 2009 campaign, and compare it to the results - or lack thereof - he's accomplished (or not) since he became governor.1. "Bob McDonnell and Bill Bolling will provide open, transparent, and accountable government."
Clearly, that didn't happen with regard to Bob McDonnell (or Ken Cuccinelli, who isn't mentioned by McDonnell for some reason). From the Star Scientific scandal to "chefgate," McDonnell's administration has basically been awash in scandals that add up to the exact opposite of "open, transparent, and accountable government." The only question now is whether or not McDonnell will leave office indicted or unindicted. #FAIL
2. "Ban political contributions during procurement process"
I hate to cite the pro-Republican PolitiFact, but even they can't help but conclude that the bill McDonnell ended up signing on this topic came with "large loopholes." One loophole: "it does not include all members of the executive branch; the lieutenant governor and attorney general are excluded." Another loophole: the "ban" only applies to "{state} contracts of $5 million or more." And yet another loophole: "Exempted from the law are contracts awarded by 'competitive sealed bidding,' in which the state solicits proposals and then awards contracts to the vendor deemed the lowest responsible bidder." As PolitiFact notes, this is "a level set so high that {it} exempts most of the state contracts." Next to worthless, in other words.
3. "Bipartisan Redistricting - Whether through legislation or a Blue Ribbon Governor's panel, Bob McDonnell will ensure bipartisan citizen involvement in the state legislative and Congressional district redistricting process in 2010-2011."
That absolutely did NOT happen. Instead, what we saw in 2011 was the worst of the worst when it comes to incumbents drawing district lines almost solely to protect themselves and their party. The result? A miniscule number of truly competitive House of Delegates races in 2013, not to mention locking in an 8-3 Republican majority in Virginia's delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives, despite this being a closely-divided, "purplish-blue" state. Great job, Bob. Not.
4. "Government Performance Commission and Strengthened Internal Auditor"
To put it mildly, the government "reform" commission established by Bob McDonnell, and led by infamous/corrupt Nixon "Jew counter" Fred Malek, was acomplete bust. Among other things, the commission came up with the idea of privatizing Virginia's ABC stores, which failed to pass. Other than that, not much (if anything) came out of it. Another empty promise by Bob McDonnell.
The bottom line: when it comes to ethics; open, honest government; and redistricting reform; Bob McDonnell's administration had no significant successes to speak of. If anything, McDonnell - who was formerly spoken of as a potential VP or Presidential candidate - saw his political career almost certainly come to an ignominious end due to his failures in this area. What a waste.