Tags: VA Scandal

Disabled 'Access' to Governor's Mansion a Costly Sham

Image: Disabled 'Access' to Governor's Mansion a Costly Sham
Gov. Mansion: Richmond, Va. (AP) 

Friday, 04 December 2015 02:19 PM Current | Bio | Archive

A spending controversy at the Virginia governor’s mansion illustrates a larger point for conservatives.

Although the amount is small for government expenditures — $250,000 — the means the Democratic administration uses to justify the spending typifies the pervasive contempt for both voters and the truth that our permanent political ruling class routinely employs.

First there’s the moral exhibitionism that uses other people’s money to demonstrate Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s compassion.

Second the administration finds a suitably sympathetic group — in this instance disabled veterans — it exploits to justify building a wheelchair ramp to the front door of the mansion, because evidently that’s easier than making the kids put their cleats away.

Third, to make sure no one questions the need for a construction project that will alter a national historic landmark, the administration simply lies and expects sympathy for veterans to carry the day.

The Washington Post (source for all quotes) reports “John Harvey, McAuliffe’s secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, said . . . disabled veterans had to enter “through a utility room in the basement, passing through an industrial kitchen, riding a small elevator and then passing through another utility room.”

Yet absolutely nothing in that statement is true, other than the fact visitors do enter the mansion.

McAuliffe summarized, “While the Executive Mansion already meets federal accessibility guidelines, this enhancement will ensure that everyone who visits this historic home will receive a gracious and respectful welcome.”

Leaving the public to conclude anyone opposing this generous gesture is using spending as a thinly–veiled attack on access and mobility justice.

McAuliffe was on his way to a nomination for Disability Governor of the Year until a volunteer tour guide couldn’t tolerate the lies anymore.

Jane Hostetler wrote a letter to the editor contradicting the administration and the controversy was on. The Washington Post reflexively huffed: “The flap highlights the perils of messing with history in a place as tradition-bound as Richmond.”

When in truth it highlights how a lazy media indulges Democratic disinformation.

None of the reporters covering the ramp announcement bothered to investigate. Why should they, since a majority probably voted for McAuliffe?

Reporters know he’s a big government leftist whose heart is in the right place.

It stands to reason flinty GOP governors would force wheelchair–bound citizens to navigate an obstacle course of on their way to a smelly ride in the dumbwaiter.

Former first lady Roxane Gilmore then revealed the whole tawdry sham.

During her husband’s term (1998-2002) Gilmore spearheaded a complete mansion restoration.

She wrote a book after the project’s completion — no doubt available for research in the capital gift shop — with a chapter on the extensive changes made to accommodate handicapped visitors.

Gilmore’s renovations brought wheelchair visitors inside the mansion through a ground–level door into an entryway with a private elevator that opened into an area “decorated with artwork and Steuben glass just outside the main-floor ballroom.”

So what happened? Did the notoriously sticky–fingered McDonnell children make off with the Steubens?

No, the McAuliffe kids use the dedicated handicapped visitor’s entrance as a storeroom for “sports equipment, dog food and other things you would expect of a family with five children and two dogs” and evidently little emphasis on respecting the mansion or handicapped visitors.

Curiously Hostetler doesn’t have a problem with the juvenile annexation. She claims “some visitors enjoy seeing evidence of family life,” but I have trouble believing tourists are demanding to see the soccer balls and the Purina.

McAuliffe spokesman, Brian Coy, confronted with the truth, was forced to admit no one sets foot in the kitchen and in fact visitors using the wheelchair entrance can’t even see the spotless food preparation area unless someone leaves the door open after they’ve gone to fetch the puppy chow.

A simple, cost–free solution would have been to tell the kids to put the footballs in the garage and store the dog food in the kitchen. It has the advantage of not abusing the public with more lies and helps the kids to learn responsibility, but that’s not the way the political class operates on the left.

For them the end, no matter how trivial, justifies any means.

Voters, docents and the rest of the little people are supposed to accept whatever story the political class peddles — there’s robust vetting of Syrian refugees, illegals do work Americans won’t do, and we’re putting vets in the freight elevator.

Why do you think the advent of the Tea Party generated instant backlash among political functionaries? It wasn’t the politics so much as the fact this rabble of shopkeepers and wage earners had the gall to question their betters.

The ramp McAuliffe wants slopes gradually upward. The slope the left puts the country on is neither gradual nor upward.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher (for the League of American Voters), and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.

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A spending controversy at the Virginia governor’s mansion illustrates a larger point for conservatives.
VA Scandal
Friday, 04 December 2015 02:19 PM
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