Goode named in baad way
Central Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode, who was now returned over $90,000 in campaign contributions, might wish he'd never heard of Mitchell Wade. The former CEO and owner of defense contractor MZM, Inc., Wade admitted to bribing former California Congressman “Duke” Cunningham as part of a series of guilty pleas to bribery and conspiracy charges Friday.
Among the other charges are that Wade attempted to curry favor with Goode, who represents Virginia's 5th District, and with Florida Representatie Katherine Harris, by making illegal campaign contributions. Goode and Harris have denied knowledge of the illegality– which was Wade's plot to have his employees make the contributions in their own names and get reimbursed by MZM.
The government press release yesterday included Goode's and Harris' names, but their connection to this mess had been long been publicized. Goode promised in December that he'd donate suspect funds to charity, and the Roanoke Times is reporting that Goode has indeed scattered the MZM-ish $90,500 to 194 volunteer fire departments, rescue squads, and animal shelters in his 5th District. But the big jolt went to Gleaning for the World, a Central Virginia-based ministry that finds food and supplies for destitute people. It received $30,000.
The Washington Post reports that Wade-directed payments helped MZM win more than $150 million in government contracts since 2002– and that Wade corrupted the procurement process. A glaring example of the coziness between Wade and the Pentagon was reported by the Post back in July: MZM's hiring of the son of William S. Rich Jr. who until 2003 was executive director of the Army's National Ground Intelligence Center located here in Charlottesville.
A member of the House Appropriations Committee, Goode helped win $3.6 million in federal funding for the Foreign Supplier Assessment Center that MZM opened in Martinsville. Goode has defended the Center as a boost for this district.