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June 10, 2014 5:44 PM 20,000 to 1

By Ed Kilgore

So the controversy over Virginia State Senator Phillip Puckett’s resignation earlier this week, which flipped control of the chamber right in the middle of a complex struggle over Terry McAuliffe’s efforts to let the federal government pay for a Medicaid expansion in the Old Dominion, continues. As you may recall, Puckett, a Democrat and a supporter of the expansion, whose district includes an estimated 20,000 people who would benefit from the initiative, allegedly bailed out to secure a nice gig with the state tobacco commission, and also to remove a bar to his daughter’s confirmation as a state judge. Amidst shrieks of “bribery!” Puckett disclaimed any interest in the tobacco commission job, but did allow as how he was pleased to secure his daughter’s seat on the bench.

Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick has the quote of the day about Puckett’s loyalities:

Del. Terry G. [no relation!] Kilgore (R-Scott), chairman of the tobacco commission, put it this way to the Post last night: “It should pave the way for his daughter. … She’s a good judge. … I would say that he wanted to make sure his daughter kept her judgeship. A father’s going do that.” Maybe. But 20,000 constituents without health care are probably wondering why a legislator is going to do that in order to do that.
Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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