In the wake of all the questions swirling around the purported charity that calls itself the U.S. Navy Veterans Association, Virginians and others from around the nation have been e-mailing Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli.
Cuccinelli, if you’ll recall, received $55,500 in campaign donations from the mysterious former director of that group, one Bobby Thompson.
Most Virginia politicians, including Gov. Bob McDonnell, have taken the prudent step of giving away their contributions from the U.S. Navy Vets. But Cuccinelli and his campaign staff have indicated repeatedly they will keep the money until a crime is proven AND it also proven that the cash would otherwise have gone to legitimate veterans charities.
Via the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, The Roanoke Times last week obtained a bunch of documents from the Attorney General’s Office about this issue.
Among them were the following emails, which are the kind no ambitious pol wants to get. Except for curse words and last names, the emails are below.
Note: Last week I asked Cuccinelli’s spokesman tell me if they had received any supportive e-mails in the wake of the U.S. Navy Veterans controversy. No reply yet.
From: Bill L., Naples, Fla.
Sent: Tuesday, Masy 18, 2010 12:09 PM
Subject: illegal contributions
Ken Give back the $52,000 you received from a scam Vets group. Waiting for a “conviction” is not necessary.
We already know that you used veterands to raise money from a scam. Admit you are a slimeball and return the money.
How did the Confederate week celebration go. You know, the one that Virginia’s white Republicans forgot to mention slavery/.
Hey, white boys, let’s celebrate the confederacy. Let’s worship volent secession, which is treason, and defend slavery by flying our confederate flag.
From: Chester T., Alexandria, Va.
Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 6:54 PM
Subject: Bobby Thompson Money
Given your insane behavoir as AG so far, I am not surprised that your lack of ethics allows you to take $55,000 from Bobby Thompson’s fake charity.
In fact, in effect you are stealing from crippled vets which is exactly what I think Jesus would do.
You are an embarrassment to Virginia and should resign immediately to restore confidence in the AG position in Virginia.
What a f—— disgrace you are. Seriously.
Not everyone agrees with your Christian Taliban agenda.
From: Mike M., La Grange, Ill.
Sent: Thursday, May 20, 2010 9:50 PM.
Keeping the $55,500 that was originally donated for a VA charity is completely WRONG!
I don’t know what the hell is going on in your state…..BUT, IT IS WRONG!
Please try to be a decent human being, if that’s possible and donate the money to some VA charity.
From: Gary V., Green Bay, Wisconsin
Sent: Thursday, May 20, 2010 9:50 PM
Subject: 55,000 dirty bucks
As a Navy vet, I ask that you give that 55,000 given to you by Bobby Thompson to a charity.
Then investigate this thief who robs people by claiming he’s helping veterans like myself.
The nation is watching you closely on this one.
Naked ambition is a dangerous thing.
From: Tina C., Harrison City, Penn.
Sent: Thursday, May 20, 2010 9:53 PM
Subject: GIVE AWAY THE $55,500
I’m watching Rachel Maddow’s coverage of Bobby Thomopson’s $55,000 contribution to AG Cuccinelli’s campaign. He needs to give that money to a charity.
2nd, AG Cuccinelli needs to investigate this nonprofit. Or, is it OK to rip off Veterans in Virginia?
This is giving your state a black eye. His views on sexual orientation blackens the other.
But I digress….
From: Travis P., Stanley, Va.
Sent: Thursday, May 20, 2010 11:42 PM
Subject: Bobby Thompson
You owe an explanation to the people of Virginia about your association with Bobby Thompson, his fraudulent “charity”, and his contribnutions to your campaign.
I would also like an explanation as to why you refuse to surrender the ill-received funds and why you refuse to pursue prosecution against this individual.
I suppose you are too busy attempting to sue the federal government for actually trying to help the people of Virginia.
From: Zach V., Richmond, Va.
Sent: Thursday, May 20, 2010 11:53 PM
Subject: I hope you keep the funds
Then, I hope an investigation leads to YOU KooKinelly! You are a crooked as Italian boy, And I have no idea how you got into our Party???
This is the Republican Party, boy, not the GUMBA Party…
If, you would like I would be happy to whip your g—– ass you crooked greaser!
From: Carolyn H., Glade Spring, Va.
Sent: Friday, May 21, 2010 3:58 AM
Subject: USNVA contribution
It is disgraceful that you have not already returned this money. Maybe you have been too busy filing merit-less lawsuits and otherwise making a laughingstock of Virginia to actually consider just doing the right thing for once.
Also, I am glad to hear that you think your useless lawsuits will only set VA taxpayers back $350 per. I assume that you and your staffers will reimburse us for time spent on said lawsuits.
Please keep accurate records of time spent on this so we can bill you directly.
I do not want, or need, one of your canned responses, and I know you are way too busy to give a constituent a personal answer.
From: Mary Ann B., Leesburg, Va.
Sent: Friday, May 21, 2010 8:13 AM
Subject: Bobby Thompson Contribution
In light of the recent investigation of Bobby Thompson, you should now contibute every penney of the $50,000+ donation made to your campaign to a REAL veterans group.
Or better yet, why not donate the money to Equality Virginia.
You do believe in equality for ALL VIRGINIANS, don’t you?
From: Elsie W., Newport News, Va.
Sent: Sunday, May 23, 2010, 12:04 AM
Subject: Rachel Maddow
I have heard about an allegation abotu a $50,000 campaign contribution from a scam artist.
I did not see the Rachel Maddow show but my out of state relatives who did see it brought this to my attention.
I would like to know, will the monies be returned and do you intend to make a public comment on the matter?
From: Bob S., Midlothian, Va.
Sent: Sunday, May 23, 5:40 PM
Subject: The $55,000 Campaign Donation
Dear Mr. Attorney General,
Do the right thing. Return the $55,000. It’s making us all look bad.
From: Pat L., Blacksburg, Va.
Sent: Monday, May 24, 2010 8:10 PM
Subject: Navy Vets, UVA Scientists, etc.
I am flummoxed and embarrassed by our Attorney General’s actions … spending precious tax dollars chasing headline grabbing, controversially dividing topics … nudity on Virginia state seals, equal right for homosexuals on college campuses (believe this is guaranteed by US Constitutional laws) and harassment of UVA scientists (not to mention the intimidation element on those two pursuits)
BUT taking contributions from a spooky, questionable “Navy Vets” organization … well this is supposed to be just hunky dory.
Our budgets are stretched so thin, cutting jobs and resources every day and yet these precious dollars are squandered when they could be used to provide medical and social services to Virginia’s citizens,; possibly real Navy vets, to provide them with meals, medical service or help them pursue and education by providing more dollars to our educational system.
It’s time to stop the campaign rhetoric and focus on serving the citizens of the Commonwealth.
From: William G. USMC (Ret.), Lexington, Va.
Sent: Thursday, May 27, 2010 10:31 AM
Subject: Handling of improper donations
As a retired military officer and resident of the commonwealth I am dismayed by any involvement with the Navy Vets fundraising organization.
This organization and its representatives are shady at best. Holding onto money solicited from them until a criminal conviction is not the best course of action.
I expect my elected officials to rise above the standard of “guilty beyond reasonable doubt” in any of their relationships.