Tags: virginia | democrats | terry mcauliffe | scandal

WashPost: Virginia Dems Offered Deal to Pol They Called Corrupt

By    |   Friday, 03 Oct 2014 07:03 PM

Virginia politics are rolling in scandal from the revelation that a top aide to Virginia's Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe may have tried to buy off a resigning member of the General Assembly with a job offer for his daughter.

The Washington Post reports that in a voice mail message left on the phone of former Sen. Phillip P. Puckett in June, Paul Reagan, McAuliffe's chief of staff, strongly hinted that a state job might be made available for his daughter if Puckett would agree to stay in the Senate and help McAuliffe expand the Affordable Care Act coverage in Virginia.

Reagan, sources told the Post, which obtained a transcript of the voice mail message, pled with Puckett to remain in his Senate seat, saying, "I know there was a lot of frustration with your daughter, not, you know, getting a judgeship or something. If there’s something that we can do for her, I mean, you know, we have a couple of big agencies here that we still need agency heads. We could potentially, potentially, subject to approval of the governor and so forth, you know, the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy could be available.

"So we would be very eager to accommodate her, if, if that would be helpful in keeping you in the Senate. We, we would basically do anything. We just need you really. We need you for the rest of your term and beyond, but in the immediate future, we need you to help us get this Medicaid deal through and I think we’ve got a way to do it.

"So anyway, please let's keep all this confidential."

At the time of Puckett's resignation, allegedly to accept a position with the state's Republican-controlled tobacco commission and a judgeship for his daughter, Martha Puckett Ketron, McAuliffe called Puckett "despicable" for trading off his Senate seat in an apparent quid pro quo deal with Republicans. Now, it appears that the Democrats were trying to pull the same thing with Puckett.

Puckett left, giving Republicans a 20-19 majority, McAuliffe's Medicaid expansion plan failed and Ketron is serving as a district judge on a temporary basis, the Post reported.

Brian Coy, spokesman for McAuliffe, said McAuliffe was unaware that the offer had been made until contacted by media, the Richmond Times Dispatch reported. 

Puckett reportedly turned down the six-figure tobacco job, but resigned anyway so that his daughter could be appointed to a judgeship, the Times Dispatch reported, and has denied there was any deal with Republicans involved in his resignation. However, the Department of Justice and the FBI are investigating Puckett's resignation.

In a statement, Reagan said, "In the fight to expand health care to uninsured Virginians, I was overzealous and acted with poor judgment. I certainly regret this and will always try to achieve the high standards demanded by Gov. McAuliffe," the Times Dispatch reported.

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Virginia politics are rolling in scandal from the revelation that a top aide to Virginia's Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe may have tried to buy off a resigning member of the General Assembly with a job offer for his daughter.
virginia, democrats, terry mcauliffe, scandal
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2014-03-03
Friday, 03 Oct 2014 07:03 PM
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