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xcurmudgeon

Scams and Shysters Will Flourish Under McDonnell

by: Dan Sullivan

Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 09:06:43 AM EDT


(Thanks, Dan, for making sure we remember our real target. - promoted by teacherken)

During his three plus years as Attorney General, Bob McDonnell established an undistinguished record of advocacy for the people. Instead, he padded his law and order credentials and focused on things like making movies of questionable value. Maybe that is why he has embraced the concept of tax credits for filmmakers.

Most of the many failures of McDonnell's term in office in this area are acts of omission. Take the failure to adequately advise the legislature on the pay day loan legislation last year. During an appropriate review, the defect in that bill should have been evident to anyone with adequate business and criminal fraud experience. So at once this calls into question McDonnell's business and legal acumen. Based upon the failure of the office to successfully prosecute almost any of the entire set of perpetrators on the "Top Ten Scams" or the "Consumer Alert of the Month" list, his advocacy was an abject failure. But it is worse than this. No effort was made to review the current statutes to discover instances where the balance tipped the scales of justice. One of the most egregious laws in this regard is the Virginia Condominium Act. There is almost no protection for buyers and all kinds of opportunity for developers to walk away with the farm.  

Dan Sullivan :: Scams and Shysters Will Flourish Under McDonnell
There is a low incidence of consumer advocacy in Virginia in any case. Matters are obfuscated by the assignment of responsibility. The Attorney General enforces state and federal consumer protection laws, keeping Virginians safe from things like identity theft, consumer fraud and telemarketing scams, and enforces antitrust laws that protect businesses and consumers from behavior that defeats healthy competition. The Attorney General also provides consumer alerts and educational materials that are designed to increase consumer awareness of scams, and help our citizens, particularly our seniors, protect themselves.  When there is a pattern of deception or other wrongdoing, the Attorney General is authorized to take action to stop the illegal conduct, and, where appropriate, seek refunds for affected consumers. Meanwhile the Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is charged with promoting consumer education and regulating the practices of organizations and businesses. OCA serves as the central clearinghouse for the collection, evaluation, investigation or referral of consumer complaints. McDonnell has never complained about or acted to ameliorate this structural disconnect.

So there is every reason to believe that a McDonnell gubernatorial administration would turn a blind eye to the citizen while inviting more consumer abuse in an effort to attract "business" to Virginia. "Bob's 4 Jobs" would be humorous if it weren't for the possibility that it might become "Bob's 4 $4 an Hour Jobs." Just ask Bob his position on the minimum wage or the "right to work (for lower wages)." It is unfortunate that there is no competition in the political party that thrills over mantras about competition so that we might be reminded that he is all about competition on an uneven playing field.

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