After reading the letter to the editor about Bob Marshall and noticing Marshall's Web site "Help" page had been updated since the letter was written, I was curious to learn more about the four interesting cases cited in the "Claims Bills Passed Into Law" section of the page. (Thanks for helping us with oppo research, Marshall Web team!)
I've lived here for more than a decade and I never knew (until I started reading bills with our volunteer Legislative Sentry project) that corporations and ordinary people could have a member of the General Assembly write a bill asking for direct compensation from the Commonwealth for things like flooded basements or claims that have been rejected in state courts.
One of the claims that Marshall successfully patroned is from Summit Roofing Contractors. That name rang a bell because they are Marshall's single largest contributor this year and I've wondered for a few months what Marshall's connection was with the company.
Interestingly, since Marshall successfully secured their claim of $8,588 from the Commonwealth in 1995, Summit Roofing Contractors, Inc. has made 8 contributions to Marshall's campaign fund, totaling $9,450. In fact, Summit Roofing is Marshall's second largest contributor overall since 1996. (VPAP does not report contributions before 1996. The Virginia Board of Elections online database only goes back as far as 1999, so I'm not sure if Summit Roofing contributed to Marshall in 1995 or earlier.)
Not that there's anything illegal about a company making big contributions to Marshall after he helps the company win money from the Commonwealth...there's nothing illegal about it at all. Virginia campaign finance laws allow for unlimited contributions from corporations, individuals, and PAC's, as long as they're disclosed. Yee-hah! It's the wild, wild West, new and improved with detailed monthly reporting!