UPDATE: Mr. Martin followed up to correct the amount of investment made in the state as a result of the governor’s economic development missions, saying that upon a detailed review of the numbers, they were responsible for $21 million in new capital investment made in Virginia.
To paraphrase Mel Brooks: It’s good to be governor.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell reported nearly $100,000 in travel and gifts last year, according to newly-released financial disclosure documents.
Trade missions to Asia, Israel and the Paris Air Show were valued at a combined $36,771, with smaller marketing trips to Boston and Chicago and a trip to New York City to meeting with bond rating agencies pushing the official state travel cost to $43,584.
“Those trips got results,” said spokesman J. Tucker Martin. “They were responsible for more than 1,800 new jobs created in Virginia, $300 million in new capital investment made in Virginia, and more than $75 million in new agricultural exports from Virginia, all in 2011 alone.”
“For a very small investment, Virginia has reaped tremendous gain,” Mr. Martin added.
Mr. McDonnell’s reported gifts range from $12,242 for a trip to speak at his alma mater, Notre Dame, to $225 for a speech at the state GOP’s annual confab at the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Va. to $1,105 for 19 football tickets at the University of Virginia, and night vision goggles donated to the Virginia State Police valued at $4,028.
Taking out official travel and gifts associated with official economic development and travel, however, the total comes to $13,000 in travel and $34,000 in gifts.
The nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) noted that Mr. McDonnell does not appear to have much significant personal wealth, however, reporting no stocks, bonds, or mutual funds worth more than $10,000. He reported receiving an income of between $50,001 and $250,000 in Mobo Real Estate Partners and Race Horse Properties, both in Virginia Beach, and $50,000 or less in Blue Ridge Heaven LLC in Chesapeake. McDonnell trips, gifts totaled nearly $100,000 in 2011.