McDonnell fires back at Democrats over Malek appointment
A visibly angry Gov. Bob McDonnell blamed Democrats for continuing to attack Fred Malek, chairman of his government reform commission, who has been under intense scrutiny for weeks for his role in compiling a list of Jews for former president Richard M. Nixon.
"These are a handful of partisan Democrats at the state and federal level that apparently aren't interested in government reform,'' he told reporters this afternoon. "To those Democrats that just want to complain, that aren't interested in government reform, that don't want to get things done, I tell them to stay out of the way. Watch us reform government. I'm here to get things done, not to engage in partisan rhetoric."
Last week, McDonnell (R) said he did not know about Malek's history with Nixon or that Malek had paid a $100,000 civil fine related to his firm's work with Connecticut's pension fund when the governor selected him to chair the commission. He said today he has since spoken to Malek about both issues, but declined to elaborate.
"I have great confidence in Fred Malek from his days at West Point, Harvard Business School, serving U.S. presidents and turning Marriot Corp. around,'' McDonnell said. "He's the right guy to help lead us.''
The commission is charged with searching for ways to save hundreds of millions of dollars from the state budget and make government more user-friendly. The group, which is holding its first meeting Friday afternoon, will consider closing some of the state's 130 agencies, putting more forms online and eliminating annual reports. Members will also look for a way to sell the state's 350 liquor stores, which McDonnell pledged to do on the campaign trail last year.
The 31 members of the Governor's Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring includes six Democrats, though none have called for Malek's removal.
Malek, founder of Thayer Capital Partners, is a major Republican donor and served as a finance chairman to Sen. John McCain in 2008, and has also been an adviser to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. He chairs the American Action Network, a group that campaigns against Democratic members of Congress.
"Every major Jewish group that I am aware of in the country has said that they support Fred Malek,'' McDonnell said. "This is not about one person. This is about reforming state government. This is small handful of partisan Democrats that want to make this a partisan issue. The DNC. The DCCC. I'm sure they're concerned Mr. Malek supports Republicans. I support Republicans."
In response to a question about whether Malek should continue to donate money while serving on McDonnell's commission, the governor said: "People have their First Amendment rights outside this meeting to do what they want. There are Republicans and Democrats on here. I think they are going to be free to do what they want."
June 4, 2010; 3:40 PM ET
Categories: Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell | Tags: bob mcdonnell, fred malek, government reform commission
Save & Share: Previous: Bill Clinton endorses Republican in 5th district! Or maybe not
Next: Malek apologizes for his role in compiling a list of Jews for Nixon
Posted by: lsf07 | June 4, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: fredmlaw | June 4, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: fredmlaw | June 4, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: blasmaic | June 4, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: slydell | June 4, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: wewintheylose | June 5, 2010 3:19 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: slydell | June 5, 2010 5:00 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: 0460 | June 5, 2010 5:52 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: genbarlow | June 5, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: edismae | June 5, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: mdpilot | June 5, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: NancyNaive | June 6, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.