You may be watching the gathering storm around Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, a graduate of Pat Robertson’s Regent University and a serious right wing nutjob, with as much glee as I am. But it looks like his problem of taking major kickbacks and benefits from a controversial company in his state may hit his handpicked successor, Ken Cuccinelli, as well.
Star Scientific Inc. is a controversial Virginia-based company that has moved from tobacco to dietary supplement manufacturing. As Williams, the company’s CEO since 1999, gave gifts and campaign cash to McDonnell, the governor and his wife helped to promote the company’s scientifically-unproven supplements.
Though as of 2012, Star Scientific has reported annual losses for a decade, just one Virginia elected official or candidate invested upwards of $10,000 in the company: Cuccinelli. According to the Virginia Public Access Project, Star Scientific is the only significant holding he has reported since his first filing in 2003. Cuccinelli, whose position makes him the Commonwealth of Virginia’s lawyer, did not follow state disclosure law and disclose this investment in a timely manner. After the controversy became public, he sold off the stock.
Cuccinelli also initially failed to fully disclose the gifts he received from Williams — omissions he called “inadvertent.” Williams provided the attorney general with free lodging at his homes, $6,711 worth of supplements, transportation to New York City and Kentucky, and an elaborate Thanksgiving dinner. All totaled, Cuccinelli reported accepting at least $18,893 in gifts from Williams between 2009 and 2012.
If it’s in the supplement business, it’s almost certainly committing medical fraud as well.