VA Lt Governor Gives Illegal Funding to Non-Profits

by Lewis Loflin

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling has violated Virginia law by porking out another $130,000 to a group of five useless non-profits. This took place at the so-called Heartwood regional artisan center in Abingdon. That $17 million pork-barrel project created four full time jobs and is designed to funnel subsidies to various "artists" to help them pursue their hobbies. The funds were diverted from needed healthcare and education. While Heartwood itself is a State agency, Virginia Law prohibits the transfer of tax dollars to non-profits. Because Heartwood has no business plan and is expected to lose money, the taxpayers of Abingdon and Washington County will be forced to subsidize it.

The recipients of the latest illegal funding from the Virginia Tourism Corporation were the Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail, Friends of Southwest Virginia, Round the Mountain Artisan Network and the Depot Arts Association. None of these organizations has been able to present a shred of proof they produce anything for the people of Southwest Virginia. They exist it seems for the sole purpose of getting and spending government grants in my opinion.

Anytime they want to forward a list of jobs they created outside of their own circle of friends they know where to contact me. So far my requests for a list of those jobs has been refused. The only jobs and income in this is the grants themselves and those paid to market tourism. As for a living wage jobs for the general public, forget it. Ref. BHC September 21, 2011.