Virginia governor-elect Bob McDonnell has named to his cabinet a Bush administration official who, according to one former colleague, took direction from Team Abramoff.A week before it officially begins, the administration of governor-elect Bob McDonnell is looking more and more ethically challenged.
McDonnell, a Republican, announced today that Doug Domenech will be his secretary of natural resources.
During the Bush administration, Domenech served at the Department of the Interior as a liaison to the White House. In 2005, Wayne Smith, the point man at Interior for Indian casino policy, told the Denver Post (via Nexis) that Domenech would take calls from Abramoff operative Italia Federici, who would inform him of what Abramoff wanted. Domenech would then convey the message to Smith.
Said Smith: "Doug would come down and say, 'Italia called and Jack wants this.' That's how it all happened internally."
Smith added that Domenech told him "we had to pay attention to [Jack] Abramoff, because otherwise the religious right and (Ralph) Reed are going to come up and bite us, and our whole base will go crazy. They will light up our phones, shut down our phone lines."
If Doug Domenech's name sounds familiar, it may be because he is the father of Ben Domenech, the conseravtive blogger forced to resign from The Washington Post as the result of plagiarism.