The President and Page County

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More precisely, this story could be called "The President’s Youngest Brother, Marvin Bush, and a Trail of Corrupt Government Officials from Page County, Virginia to Richmond."

For most people, Page County, in the Shenandoah Valley, is a lovely and tranquil place. For others, Page County is a criminal profit center, humming with illegal activity. As a result of this illegal activity, George Bush’s favorite brother is owed $34 million by the residents of Page County. And so far he’s getting his money, every damn penny of it.

Marvin Bush is partner and co-founder of the venture capital firm, Winston Partners, out of McLean, Virginia. Marvin’s company purchased Tellurian, the Page County’s waste management and landfill operator.

In Page County, companies like Tellurian were symbolized by the 18-wheelers that arrived around the clock laden with high-value garbage from out-of-state.

The permit for the Battle Creek landfill allows for 250 tons of garbage per day. The expected carry capacity for an 18-wheeler is about 20 tons, so 250 tons a day would bring a dozen big trucks every day into the Battle Creek facility.

Seriously folks, you can’t make money like that! So an under-the-counter deal was made between some Page County supervisors and Tellurian to illegally accept delivery of 1,500 tons/day at the Battle Creek landfill. The DEQ in Richmond, the Governor’s office (at the time this was Governor Mark Warner, now a 2008 Democratic presidential aspirant, and his Republican Attorney General Jerry Kilgore) and others were aware of the deal. 1,500 tons! That’s six-dozen big trucks a day, and the over-dumping began.

An illegal "amendment" to the Page County contract with Tellurian — increasing the garbage deliveries to 1,500 tons a day — was physically signed by the local County supervisors on 14 December 2001. Within hours of this illegal amendment, Tellurian was purchased by Winston Partners. Several months later, Tellurian was renamed National Waste Services of Virginia. Over-dumping continued, with help from the Virginia DEQ and the governor’s office for nearly two years.

After two years, the Battle Creek landfill was closed — not for felonious and fraudulent over-dumping by 600% — but instead for minor reasons that would be easily overturned in court, including failure to cover the garbage daily with only one inch of dirt instead of two, too-steep gradients, and the odd missing storm drain.

Upon the closure of the landfill, Marvin Bush’s NWS sued Page County supervisors. The lawsuit alleged that the closure violated the contract and had pushed NWS into bankruptcy. Even though Page County had the right to end the contract without penalty at any time, Page County supervisors agreed not only to have the County’s taxpayers clean up the environmental mess made at the Battle Creek Landfill, but for them to pay NWS’s landfill related debts.

Marvin Bush owed another company, Capitol Source, $34 million as a result of the alleged bankruptcy of NWS. Even though the court imposed no criminal or civil penalties, the settlement agreement deemed that Marvin Bush would receive $34 million, and that he would receive Battle Creek landfill profits until the debt is totally paid.

The general saga has been reported here and here. It is also well known to federal investigators.

In sum, Page County is handing over the first $34 million of profits from the recently re-opened Battle Creek landfill to Marvin Bush. Presumably, the bribes paid by NWS and Winston Partners to the various government officials — both Democrat and Republican — are covered by the $34 million.

One would think that this is enough criminality for local and state government. But there’s more! It is a Class IV felony — a crime — to falsify County financial records. Yet, according to the Page County Treasurer, the County financial records do not show the huge debt to Winston Partners. This debt, and the destination of years of future profits from the Page County landfill, remains hidden from taxpayers.

It is all so unnecessary. But it is a taste of the big city out here in the country. It is mafia politics in action, from the least of them in the 2001 and 2002 membership of the Page County Board of Supervisors, to the greatest of them in and near the White House.

This isn’t like the 2001 World Trade Center security deal, where a company connected with Marvin Bush had a small contract. The company was Securacom, later known as Stratsec, funded largely by the Kuwait-American Corporation out of D.C. But everyone knows that the Bush family and Kuwaitis go way back.

This isn’t a private scandal like the strange death of Marvin Bush’s long-time babysitter in a remarkable single car accident in Marvin’s driveway in 2003. That this story wasn’t widely reported or deeply investigated reminds me of the handling of the investigation of the death of Vince Foster. But everyone knows these things happen in Washington.

The Page County landfill scandal is a powerful example of how government touches our lives — with bribes, nepotism, Mafioso connections, abuse of the poor and the uninformed citizen, and just plain jackbooted ugliness.

What happened, and what continues to happen in Page County, Virginia, demonstrates how ordinary citizens and taxpayers are abused by a notion that governments — even local governments — are sovereign, all-powerful and can join with criminals to rape the public, without the slightest fear of punishment.

Let’s review. From Washington to Richmond to the Board of Supervisors of Page County, we have government officials who don’t have to explain their actions, who operate above and outside the law, and who consort profitably with criminals in government and private industry. Taxpayers and common Americans are shafted, stolen from, lied to and wronged.

To rally Americans to impending battle, the biological father of Marvin and George W. spoke these words: "This aggression will not stand." May all Americans — and a few law enforcement professionals — hear these words and act on them.

Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D. [send her mail], a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, has written on defense issues with a libertarian perspective for militaryweek.com, hosts the call-in radio show American Forum on Saturday nights, and blogs occasionally for Huffingtonpost.com. To receive automatic announcements of new articles and upcoming guests on her American Forum radio program, click here.

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