Everything Wrong with Virginia Government Summarized in Three Graphics

Thursday, January 15, 2015

By now it's clear that if it means anything, the laughable phrase "the Virginia Way" comes down to government of the wealthy/powerful corporations, by the wealthy/powerful corporations, and FOR the wealthy/powerful corporations. That reality is pounded home when you look at who's sponsoring - and who's attending - "2015 Chamber Day at the Capitol" (see the graphics at right, and the two on the "flip").Note that these aren't just ANY corporations, but some of the worst - most polluting, destructive, harmful, etc. - corporations in Virginia: Altria (nee Philip Morris, purveyors of products that cause lung cancer, emphysema, etc.); CONSOL Energy (remember Ken Cuccinelli's Conflict of Interest Problem: The CONSOL Energy Campaign Contributions Timeline and Inspector General Says Ken Cuccinelli's Office 'Inappropriately' Aided Energy Companies and BREAKING: Cuccinelli's Office Improperly Helped CONSOL Energy Rip Off SWVA Landowners?); Appalachian Power, Dominion, Alpha Natural Resources (basically, "global warming and blowing up mountains start here"), etc.
In a way, what's even MORE disturbing here is that there's no citizens' or environmental equivalent to this dirty/destructive corporate festival with Virginia's top political leadership, several of whom - Tommy Norment, Bill Howell, Dick Saslaw - are completely bought and paid for by these corporations. And the reason why there isn't such balance? Simple: these corporations have the money to throw an event like this, not to mention donate millions of dollars to essentially "capture" Virginia government; citizens generally do not have money like that.
And no, the pathetically weak "ethics reform" we're likely to see coming out of the General Assembly this year won't lay a globe on stuff like this. In fact, events like "2015 Chamber Day at the Capitol" make a complete mockery of the very concept that these people could ever reform the rancid, corrupt system of which they are an integral part.