Are Virginia’s leaders less gifted than their predecessors? In a manner of speaking, yes. Today, the Virginia Public Access Project released the list of each fruit basket, book, necktie and knickknack given to Governor Bob McDonnell, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Gifts to the three officials totaled $53,667 in value. All gifts valued at $50 or greater must be disclosed.
As the Richmond Times-Dispatch points out, McDonnell received fewer gifts than former governors Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. (The gifts also totaled a smaller overall value.) McDonnell’s gifts totaled more than $25,000, while the value of Bolling’s gifts fell just under the $25,000 mark. Cuccinelli disclosed $3,393 in gifts.
A few of McDonnell’s gifts have local ties. In addition to $400 in football tickets and President’s Box privileges from the University of Virginia, Governor McDonnell received $442 in Virginia wines from Patricia Kluge, and $125 in assorted gifts (including a pewter Jefferson cup) from UVA politics professor Larry Sabato.
And, of course, there are always those gifts that are hilarious in their specificity. Below, try to match the gift with the correct official! Is is Attorney General Cuccinelli (A), Governor McDonnell (B) or Lieutenant Governor Bolling (C)?
2. $325 clock shaped like a ship’s wheel, and an accompanying porcelain figure
3. $60 book-on-CD, titled Maximize Your Leadership