Feds investigating MZM’s Martinsville facility.

The Roanoke Times recently broke the story that Common Cause has petitioned the newly-active House Ethics Committee to investigate Rep. Virgil Goode’s relationship with MZM, Inc, which was followed by Goode saying that an investigation “is fine with me.” (Goode also wrongly claimed that Sen. Harry Reid has received thousands of dollars from Jack Abramoff. He hasn’t.)

I missed the most interesting part of the Roanoke Times article, but Michael Snook didn’t. It’s this:

Last month, The Roanoke Times made a request under the Freedom of Information Act for records of any audit, inspection or investigation of the facility conducted by the inspector general’s office of the Department of Defense.

In a response this week, the Defense Department denied the request because the information sought is part of an open investigation.

“The disclosure of any portion of the investigation at this time could reasonably be expected to interfere with law enforcement proceedings,” Darryl Aaron of the department’s FOIA office wrote. “We do not have a time frame for the completion of this investigation.”

Martinsville’s Foreign Supplier Assessment Center is the subject of a federal investigation. This is a big deal.

Presumably this is connected to the signs that the FSAC facility is not long for this world. It seems tremendously unlikely that any investigation of FSAC’s contracts would not include Rep. Goode, the man who is proud to say that he’s responsible for the establishment of the facility.

The Goode/MZM story has been quiet for the past few months while the case metastasized, but between Duke Cunningham turning informant and these particular chickens coming home to roost, I believe things are about to heat up again.

15 thoughts on “Feds investigating MZM’s Martinsville facility.”

  1. There are two reasons why my favorite part of the RT article is:

    Goode, who donated all of his MZM-linked money to charity last year, did not respond Friday to a question about Common Cause’s statement. Following the usual practice with MZM issues, his press secretary directed that all questions be put in writing. In the past, it has taken Goode several days to respond.

    First, he must be having every word he says checked by someone before it’s made public. I feel that anyone who refuses to answer questions and insists that they be put in writing for later response is afraid of something. It’s my opinion, but I think that he doesn’t want to say something that might come back to haunt him during an investigation. I’m hoping that some skeletons from his past discussions before, during and after MZM located in Martinsville come out in the future to cause him problems.

    Then, I like the part about donating the money to “charity.” I don’t usually consider my fire department and rescue squad organizations as authentic charities—although they do receive donations. You can really tell that Virgil’s staff was not writing this article. They never fail to mention how he’s given money to our loyal firemen and rescue workers. Of course, they do fail to mention that it was only illegal contributions that he was handing out. It’s too bad that most of the volunteer units I know are so desperate for funds at times that they would keep Virgil’s “dirty” money. He can give away the money, but it still doesn’t make it any less illegal. Nor does it make the actual donations disappear from his record.

    When it comes down to it: what legitimate money has he given to our fire departments and rescue squad units from a bill that he introduced in Congress, worked to get it back on the floor and supported the measure in the final vote? Isn’t this the same person who voted against First Responders? In many areas of this district, a First Responder unit can mean the difference between an accident victim living or dying.

    Thanks, Virgil, for looking out for your constituents in the 5th.

  2. I stated earlier today, Virgil has been acting funny, really uncomfortable in public.

    Also, several people down south have told me that they think he is losing his mojo: that lately he hasn’t had the same “good’ol’boy sheen; that instead, he has been down right shifty. Is he starting to feel the heat?

    Lets only hope, it could have only been something he ate.

    Though, it cant feel good to be getting so much national attention for something so potentially bad.

  3. I just hope his name pops up in the hookergate scandal. Remember the rumours a few years ago about him cheating on his wife? There’s already traction for a sex scandal, and hookergate is the best name I’ve ever heard for any political bruhaha.

  4. Well, to be fair, one can only assume that he cheated on his first wife in order to end up with his second wife. If memory serves, they met while she was working for his campaign. Though he could hypothetically have left his wife on the off chance that his employee might, after he professed his love, consent to marry him, I suspect it didn’t actually unfold like that.

    The point here is that infidelity is, I think we can infer, something not altogether unfamiliar to him.

    [Update: See my follow-up below.]

  5. I don’t give much of a damn about Virgil’s sex life. Actually, let’s not bring it up again, ever. But there are two things, here: first, the crack about Harry Reid will come up again, and smacks of desperation, but it could be good ol’ boy nativism, too. I mean, Harry Reid, senator from Nevada, took campaign contributions from gambling interests? Thank god that John Ensign, his Republican fellow Nevada senator, never has. Oh, wait…Really, there were two no more certain votes against Indian gaming in Congress than those two, which is why Abramoff’s associates didn’t waste their time on them besides token cash. Virgil’s take from MZM and Wade dwarfs those contributions. Second, has Goode ever answered this question: If he wanted MZM to move into Martinsville to mitigate the town’s poor jobs situation, in other words for the good of his constituents, then why take the 90,000 bucks? If the benefits to Martinsville were enough, why didn’t Wade keep his money to himself? I’m not the smartest businessman, but I’m smart enough to know that I’m not going to spend $90,000 for a pure and simple nothing. Unless Goode can explain it otherwise, in detail, it’s quid pro quo. Wade delivered the money and the jobs when Virgil secured the state and national support (from you and me).

  6. the signs that the FSAC facility is not long for this world

    Heh. Seriously morbid wishful thinking there, Waldo.

    How about a wager? (I’m sure Harry Reid wouldn’t be too offended).

    I say the FSAC keeps on chugging, under new management (which we’ll hear about sometime this summer), and does quite well for both Martinsville and the DoD. And the worst thing that happens to Virgil is a few lefty bloggers foaming at the mouth and gnashing their teeth over the one that got away.

    Whaddaya say?

  7. Oh, I don’t know. Since the FSAC wasn’t something that the Pentagon actually wanted it’s hard to see how its existence conveys some good to a Department of Defense that seems to be struggling to buy body armor. If it existed only as a Virgil Goode earmark, and Virgil’s authority diminishes because everybody’s watching him, or worse, then all the competent, enthusiastic management in the world won’t help it. And If the risks of its collapse is borne by the state and not the stockholders, then there’s not much reason for management to keep going. Capitalism. Bummer.

    I note a press report of a certain novelty: the various influence peddling/bribery pleas around Abramhoff feature legal campaign contributions. Accepting a legal contribution in return for a gubmint action is, apparently, still taking a bribe.

  8. Correct Waldo, Harry Reid took over $60,000 from Abramoff CLIENTS…which makes it OK huh? Split hairs anyway you like. Fact is this, Virgil Goode is believed, by a supermajority of his constituents, to be honorable and hard-working, just like his ancestors. Sorry to disappoint ya, but as long as Al Weed has credit problems. Two years ago, when NEW HOLLAND CREDIT COMPANY, filed against Weed with the UCC Division, Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office. Not sure what came of it, but I think a reporter would have more fun with that story than this Goode/MZM story that you keep beating like a dead horse. You should look into the filing…it’s available in Richmond and I know you can find your way around a government building.

  9. Correct Waldo, Harry Reid took over $60,000 from Abramoff CLIENTS…which makes it OK huh?

    I didn’t say it was OK; you did. But Abramoff’s clients are not, in fact, Abramoff any more than my clients are me. There’s reason to be suspicious of those who have received contributions from Abramoff’s clients, but far less reason than those who have received contributions from Abramoff himself.

    Fact is this, Virgil Goode is believed, by a supermajority of his constituents, to be honorable and hard-working, just like his ancestors.

    That’s swell. It’s a good thing that I didn’t claim otherwise. And that’s nice for his…er…ancestors. Never again shall I disparage his great-great-great-grandfather.

    Al Weed has credit problems. Two years ago, when NEW HOLLAND CREDIT COMPANY, filed against Weed with the UCC Division, Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office.

    I’m not able to connect this to the topic of MZM’s Martinsville facility. Perhaps I’m missing something. Could you fill me in?

  10. Regarding Abramoff’s clients contributions to Harry Reid: Is there some evidence that Abramoff directed these contributions to Reid? Were the clients (say, Indian tribes in Nevada) contributing to Reid before they became Abramoff clients? Did Abramoff actually encourage the diminution of such contributions in favor of contributions to Bob Ney or Conrad Burns?

    As far as Virgil goes, I can’t defend general credulity. I can ask that, if his heart was good and his acts purely for the benefit of us in the 5th District, why did it take 90 grand to his campaign fund to make it happen?

  11. I just had a nice chat with a friend in Southside who knows Virgil Goode, as he knew him at the time of his marriage to the current Mrs. Goode, who explained that my assumption is wrong: an altogether decent span of time separated Rep. Goode’s divorce from his remarriage, and not only is there no reason at all to suspect any hanky-panky but that, to the contrary, his divorce and remarriage were unrelated.

    There’s an expression that accompanies this that perhaps we all learned from our fifth-grade teachers: “when you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.” My apologies.

  12. Virgil Goode is keeping his campaign schedule under wraps. Apparently he does not want trackers or other folks asking embarrassing questions that may put a wrinkle in his “I’m just an honest good ol boy” image.

    If anyone knows his schedule, posting it for all to see would help open up the debate.

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