Ignorant or Unethical?

Dear Cooch,
We here at Cooch Watch just read a very interesting article online in today’s Richmond Times Dispatch.  In the article, it talks about a company called Star Scientific Inc, in which you apparently have made healthy financial investments.  Not only have you invested in this company, but it seems they have invested in you….giving you $6,000 box of food supplements, a $3,254 trip to Kentucky and the use of a lake house and boat valued at $3,000.  Oh, and apparently you get to shack up at Star Scientific’s chief executive officer, Jonnie Williams’ house in Richmond when you are too tired to drive back to Fairfax County. 


The article also talks about how in 2011 Scientific Star decided to litigate a $700,000.00 tax bill and sued the Commonwealth of Virginia (of which you are the lead attorney…in case you’ve forgotten.)  Apparently in all this time neither side has managed to try to hash things out and get going with the trial.  The attorney representing your buddies over at Scientific Star say they hope the case gets a trial date in the latter part of THIS YEAR, meaning the case would go to court next year….when you have the possibility of being Governor. 


WHEW!  That’s a little confusing to put together, so we were thinking you might not understand all the little ins and outs of how this is what is commonly known as A CONFLICT OF INTEREST. 


A “conflict of interest” is defined by Wikipedia as “when an individual or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in another.” 


See, if you had stepped down as Attorney General when you announced you were running for Governor, like the past 6 Attorneys General have done, then this situation would not be a “conflict of interest.” 


Let us give you another example of a “conflict of interest”.  Remember when you said one of your goals was to “make abortion disappear in America?”  And then do you remember last June when the Virginia Board of Health ruled that abortion clinics didn’t need to make costly renovations that would shut them down?  Then you told the Board  they didn’t have the “authority” to make that decision?  And proceeded to play God and wipe out their decision and pretend it never happened?  That is another prime example of a “conflict of interest.” 


We know you are a lawyer.  Heck, you are the biggest lawyer of them all in Virginia.  So, we’re trying to figure out why you don’t seem to understand this term “conflict of interest.”  So, Cooch, it boils down to two things:  Either you are ignorant or unethical.  Which is it?