Virginia Representative from Virginia's 5th Congressional District is yet another example of grotesque, unadulterated, craven Republican greed and entitlement, if reports from Politico are correct.
Numerous former staff members were reportedly made into "personal servants" to Rep. Garrett, his wife and family. They were not only responsible for official duties, but were also made to grocery shop, pick up clothing and even care for the family's pet dog - during work hours! So taxpayer money was paying for this completely unofficial business.
In total, Politico spoke with four former staffers who all echoed the same narrative - Garrett had a "deeply dysfunctional office in which the congressman and his wife, Flanna, often demanded that staff run personal errands outside their typical congressional duties. The couple called on staff to pick up groceries, chauffeur Garrett’s daughters to and from his Virginia district, and fetch clothes that the congressman forgot at his Washington apartment. They were even expected to watch and clean up after Sophie, their Jack Russell-Pomeranian mix, the aides said."
This is not ok. This is not normal. Staffers are not personal assistants. If you want someone to pick up groceries or dry cleaning or shuttle your kids to school, hire a personal assistant - and pay for them out of your own money. Do not make taxpayers foot this bill.
A spokesman for Garrett, Matt Missen, declined to provide any comprehensive response or denial. He merely stated: “We see no reason to respond to anonymous, unfounded allegations primarily targeting Congressman Garrett’s wife, made by POLITICO’s ‘unnamed’ sources. It is easy to spread untruths and even easier to exaggerate and imply wrongdoing when none exists.”
To add to the chaos, Garrett's chief of staff, Jimmy Heady, quit with no notice. Literally, bye Felicia. Out he went. Reports are that this sudden departure had to do with the continued misuse of official resources alleged by the former aids.
On Wednesday, Garrett mulled not running for a second term. But then, he changed his mind a day later.
Who is he running against? Leslie Cockburn. Here is her official website.
She had some thoughts after this news broke:
She isn't wrong.