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People wait to receive a wristband number for medical treatment at the Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic in Wise, Virginia July 20, 2012.  RAM clinics bring free medical, dental and vision care to uninsured and under-insured people across the country and a
They'll still be waiting in line for free health clinics in Virginia.
Democratic Virginia state Sen. Phillip P. Puckett created a firestorm when he colluded with Republicans to resign from the now-evenly split legislature, giving a seat to Republicans—ending the narrow support Medicaid expansion had in the chamber. Puckett was apparently encouraged to resign his seat in order to take a position on the state tobacco commission, and so that his daughter could get a judgeship. After the massive outcry against what appears to be bribery, Puckett is withdrawing from the state job.
But after Democrats accused Puckett of selling out, he decided to remain with his job in banking, according to two people who were familiar with his decision. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss his decision.

It’s not clear whether the criticism fueled his decision. Puckett has not returned repeated messages seeking comment Sunday and Monday.

No word yet on whether Puckett's daughter—who has been waiting for the judicial seat for some time, but came up against the Senate's policy "against appointing close relatives of active legislators to the bench"—will continue to pursue the seat.

Puckett could potentially be facing more than recriminations from his former colleagues. If the reporting on the story has been accurate, Puckett and the Republicans who struck this deal with him might have broken Virginia's bribery law. That's true whether or not Puckett ultimately takes the tobacco commission job or not. Seems like an investigation is in order here.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 12:25 PM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and Daily Kos.

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