A Washington Post story that isn’t getting much play could put an end to the career of top Democrat senator of Virginia, Mark R. Warner. In order to keep a former state senator in the senate to help with Medicaid expansion, Warner is alleged to have offered his son several high-powered jobs.
The Senate was evenly divided and Warner needed to dissuade State Senator Phillip Puckett from leaving. According to Puckett’s son, Warner offered him a string o high-level jobs, including a federal judgeship, in exchange for his father remaining in the Senate.
The battle over healthcare was heated and divided along party lines. Warner needed Puckett’s vote.
Warner’s spokesperson acknowledged the conversation but said n”o exlicit job offer” was made.
Puckett did resign and MacAuliffe was unable to expand Medicaid.
Puckett’s resignation triggered an investigation because it came at a time Republicans were planning to give Puckett a job on the State Tobacco Commission and confirm his daughter to a judgeship.
Three days before Puckett’s resignation, Warner called Puckett’s son Joseph to discuss a federal judgeship or a corporate position in a high-tech firm.
There isn’t much interest in the story except it did stir up the latent morality of reporter Jennifer Rubin who found it “deeply troubling”. She wrote “We all need more answers on this matter, and he [Warner] owes Virginians a full explanation of his actions”.
Did either side bribe the Puckett’s?
Even if it wasn’t an “explicit” offer, was it a serious inducement, in other words, a bribe?