Free Lance-Star reporter Chelyen Davis covers Virginia government.
Cuccinelli reveals more gifts from Star Scientific, others
It turns out that Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli received more gifts from Jonnie Williams than he had previously reported.
Today Cuccinelli revealed three trips and two vacations, spread over the past five years, that he says he forgot to list on his annual financial disclosure statements.
Some were from Jonnie Williams, who is CEO of dietary supplement company Star Scientific.
Cuccinelli said the omissions were inadvertent and that after discovering them he has revised his disclosure statements.
Cuccinelli’s relationship with Star Scientific and Williams became a controversy several weeks ago when it was reported that he held stock in the company, even as Star Scientific was suing the state of Virginia over a tax bill dispute.
Williams had given Cuccinelli gifts and travel worth about $13,000, according to Cuccinelli’s original financial disclosures.
Today Cuccinelli revealed more:
– A $628 trip from Jonnie Williams to and from New York City for a Jewish community center meeting in 2009
– A $7,751 charter flight from Alpha Natural Resources in 2010 to take Cuccinelli and his parents to a Virginia Mining Association meeting in Southwest Virginia. Cuccinelli was a speaker at that meeting, which he described as the association’s annual mine land reclamation awards.
– A 2010 Thanksgiving stay at Jonnie Williams’ Smith Mountain Lake lakehouse for Cuccinelli and his family, plus dinner that Williams had delivered. Valued at $1,500.
– In 2012, transportation to and from a rally by the Federation of American Coal, Energy and Security, valued at $795.
– In 2012, the Cuccinelli family also spent most of a week at Williams’ lake house for a summer family vacation, valued at $3,000
– In 2011, Cuccinelli revised his report to show that a $6,711 box of food supplements came from Star Scientific, not from Williams.
Cuccinelli told reporters he initiated a review of his past reports after a campaign staffer, who had formerly worked in the attorney general’s office, asked about a trip she thought he had taken that Cuccinelli thought had been reported but wasn’t.
He said it was simply an error to have left those five items off his disclosure forms, and was “unintentional on my part.”
“I declared everything I remembered when I filled out the forms,” Cuccinelli said.
He said it was coincidence that some of the omitted gifts were from Williams.
Cuccinelli also said that if elected in this November’s election, he will propose changes to the disclosure laws. He wants to require all state office-holders to report gifts worth more than $500 within ten days of receiving such a gift, and extend the disclosure rules to cover an office-holder’s immediate family.
Cuccinelli also said he would like to see the state police oversee the disclosure reports of the attorney general, since the current system has the attorney general overseeing all reports, including his own.
Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe on Thursday had proposed banning any gift worth more than $100.
Cuccinelli said he doesn’t think the legislature would pass that, while he thinks they would pass his own proposal.