The Democratic state senator in Virginia who recently stepped down and handed Republicans the majority was poised to get a state job with employee benefits, a cell phone and possibly a car, as well as a judgeship for his daughter, according to emails obtained by the Washington Post.
Virginia State Sen. Phillip Puckett (D) was supposed to go work for the Republican-led state tobacco commission. Emails between Puckett and Tim Pfohl, the panel's interim director, reveal that the two were negotiating as May 29 the terms of Puckett's exit and that Pfohl was going out of his way to avoid an appearance of impropriety or quid pro quo.
Puckett would also be allowed to write his own job description, which was set to be, "Senior advisor to the Commission." His start date was to be June 25.
Puckett's surprise resignation on June 9 flipped the evenly divided Senate to the GOP by one vote, giving them an upper hand in the battle with Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) about whether or not to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. (Republicans are dead set against expansion.) After outrage by Democrats and questions of impropriety, Puckett quickly took himself out of the running for the tobacco panel job.