Letter to the Editor

Bob McDonnell and Virginia’s heritage and reputation

In the Jan. 22 editorial “Virginia’s ways have to change,” The Post mentioned that Robert F. McDonnell “is the first of Virginia’s governors, a roster that stretches back to Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson, to face criminal charges.” This historical perspective, often cited, is particularly lame. Compared with slavery, secession (a.k.a. “treason”) and segregation (legal or not), Mr. McDonnell’s alleged crimes constitute a glass of warm, weak tea, hardly the blackest mark on Virginia’s vaunted heritage.

Given the opportunity, Henry and Jefferson might have enjoyed the use of a Ferrari, Louis Vuitton shoes for the gals and a self-winding watch.

Daniel R. Hayes, Charlottesville

The “Virginia Way”? It’s called legalized corruption. It’s long past time for Virginia to put its ethical house in order, pass hard-hitting ethics laws and, once and for all, get rid of the Virginia Way.

Lina Burton, Aldie

The Jan. 22 Post covered the McDonnells’ indictment in detail, except for one major omission: the culpability of Jonnie R. Williams Sr. Is the Internal Revenue Service looking into his expenditures? Were the McDonnells’ gifts treated as personal or business expenses? This information could clear up unanswered questions and contribute to a better understanding of the indictment.

Richard Smith, Annandale

The Post noted in its editorial that the Center for Public Integrity ranked Virginia 47th out of 50 states in “state integrity.” This sort of ranking does seem to be the “Virginia Way.”

It is also the Virginia Way to trail the nation when it comes to gun laws, starting salaries for teachers, Medicaid access and funding for citizens with disabilities. In each case, the Virginia Way means being a bottom-10 state.

It is time for the commonwealth to join the 21st century, abandon the Virginia Way and begin serious reforms that meet the needs of all its citizens.

Jack Bruggeman, Vienna

The writer serves on the board of directors for two organizations that advocate for and support individuals with disabilities.

Too bad Mr. McDonnell and his wife can’t be indicted for extreme tackiness. The description of Maureen McDonnell’s shopping spree sounds like an old TV show that had contestants racing through supermarkets, grabbing all they could in a few minutes.

Kathlyn McCaughna, Franklin, Tenn.

 
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