Why Did the Virginia Governor Illegally Use Tax Money to Buy His Deodorant?

Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) is being investigated this week, as records from the governor's mansion indicate improper spending by McDonnell and his family. Expenses that were charged to Virginia taxpayers include an array of small personal items such as body wash, sunscreen, deodorant, dry-cleaning for their children, nasal sprays, sleep-inducing elixirs, dog vitamins, and a digestive system "deep cleanse."

In addition to providing a TMI look into some of the McDonnell family’s personal hygiene preferences, the documents reveal a number of personal errands the family had state staffers make on their behalf. An official was charged with picking up newly-hemmed pants from a tailor for Rachel McDonnell; another was made to take a trip to a dry cleaner to pick up a storage box for Cailin McDonnell's wedding dress

Working for the McDonnells makes the get-me-a-latte intern agenda look pretty nice, actually.

An official who oversees spending at the mansion has told the McDonnell family they need to pay taxpayers approximately $300 for personal expenses charged to the state, though an external investigation of disclosed expenditures reveals that number could be twice as high.

This comes on top of two ongoing investigations into gifts received by the McDonnell family, including a federal grand jury probe and FBI investigation into a $15,000 catering tab from Cailin McDonnell's wedding that was picked up by Jonnie R. Williams Sr., chief executive of the struggling nutritional supplement company, Star Scientific. Virginia state law requires the governor to disclose all gifts valued at over $50, though does not require disclosures of gifts made to family members, which his office claims was the case.

McDonnell, who is considered a potential candidate for the 2016 presidential race, has accepted over $120,000 in donations from Williams, in addition to use of the executive's Ferrari, lakeside vacation home, and private Jet. Both McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, have hosted and spoken at multiple events in support of Star Scientific, forming a questionable partnership that may prove troublesome to the governor's future political ambitions.

But it's all petty change, really, considering the various other perks that Virginia taxpayers give the governor and his family — including a free mansion, free chef, free food, free maids, and one of the only state-funded butlers left in the country. (No nasal spray, unfortunately.)

How much do you trust the information in this article?

T. Chase Meacham

Student at Georgetown University studying theater and government. Writer, director, and Secretary of the Arts for the Georgetown University Student Association.

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