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Author Topic: A growing gift scandal for the Governor of Virginia; State and Federal Investigations continuing Back to Topics
RNorm

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San Bernardino

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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 1:02:49 PM

"A prominent political donor gave $70,000 to a corporation owned by Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and his sister last year, and the governor did not disclose the money as a gift or loan, according to people with knowledge of the payments.

The donor, wealthy businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr., also gave a previously unknown $50,000 check to the governor’s wife, Maureen, in 2011, the people said.

The money to the corporation and Maureen McDonnell brings to $145,000 the amount Williams gave to assist the McDonnell family in 2011 and 2012 — funds that are now at the center of federal and state investigations.

Williams, the chief executive of dietary supplement manufacturer Star Scientific Inc., also provided a $10,000 check in December as a present to McDonnell’s eldest daughter, Jeanine, intended to help defray costs at her May 2013 wedding, the people said.

Virginia’s first family already is under intense scrutiny for accepting $15,000 from the same chief executive to pay for the catering at the June 2011 wedding of Cailin McDonnell at the Executive Mansion.

All the payments came as McDonnell and his wife took steps to promote the donor’s company and its products.

The payments to the corporation, confirmed by people familiar with the transactions, offer the first public example of money provided by Williams that would directly benefit the governor and not just his family.

The money went from a trust, controlled by Williams, to MoBo Real Estate Partners, a limited-liability corporation formed in 2005 by McDonnell and his sister, the sources said.

McDonnell viewed the payments to MoBo and to his wife as loans and not gifts, according to three people familiar with the transactions. State law requires elected officials to disclose their personal loans but not loans made to their corporate interests."





Bobby, it seems we hardly knew you...
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RNorm
Champion Author San Bernardino

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Message Posted: Jan 24, 2014 11:46:40 AM

"Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, who's set to appear for his arraignment in Richmond Friday morning, rejected a plea deal that would have spared his wife criminal charges, according to a source familiar with criminal case.

***

The McDonnell team asserted that they did not believe the Justice Department could get a conviction against McDonnell at trial based on the evidence they had, the source added.

The Washington Post first reported McDonnell's rejection of the plea deal.

McDonnell, who left office earlier this month, and wife, Maureen, were indicted Tuesday on federal charges of accepting illegal gifts.

The McDonnells each face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison if convicted. The 14-count indictment, culminating a lengthy investigation of their relationship with a Virginia business executive, alleges fraud by a public official, false statements, and obstruction."



The source characterized McDonnell's decision as "throwing his wife under the bus."
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RNorm
Champion Author San Bernardino

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Message Posted: Jan 22, 2014 12:53:42 AM

This is an update to this story...

"Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, once viewed as a rising star in the GOP, and his wife were indicted Tuesday on federal corruption charges accusing the couple of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in loans, shopping sprees, money for their daughter's wedding — and even a joyride in a Ferrari — from the owner of a company that makes health supplements.

The 14-count indictment portrays the former governor as deeply entrenched in credit card debt even before he took office and willing to accept lavish gifts from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams, who hoped the first couple's endorsement for his products would propel his company to fortunes.

McDonnell and his wife both have firmly denied wrongdoing, and Bob McDonnell repaid thousands to Williams while he was still in office. Limited to a single term by state law, McDonnell left the executive mansion earlier this month in disgrace, his approval numbers low and his political future in tatters. At one time, McDonnell had been considered a possible running mate for Mitt Romney, and the governor's seat has opened the door to higher office since Thomas Jefferson held the post from 1779 to 1781. McDonnell delivered the 2010 Republican response to the State of the Union Address, and became chairman of the Republican Governors Association in 2011.

Twelve of the counts are punishable by up to 20 years in prison each, and two are punishable up to 30 years. Fines can range from $250,000 to $1 million.

The 43-page indictment portrays a cozy relationship between the McDonnells and Williams that began even before he took office, with many of their interactions initiated by Maureen McDonnell. In 2009, just before the governor's inauguration, first lady Maureen McDonnell wrote to a senior staffer for her husband: "I need answers and Bob is screaming about the thousands I'm charging up in credit card debt. We are broke, have an unconscionable amount in credit card debt already, and this inaugural is killing us!"

Even before they took up residence in the governor's mansion, Williams was offering the family money. He was known as a donor who allowed the McDonnells use of his private jet on the campaign trail. In December, he was willing to pay for an Oscar de la Renta dress that the cash-strapped first lady could wear to the inauguration. Although she was the one who asked for the dress, she later refused the offer at the staffer's urging. But the partnership between Williams and the McDonnells was already underway.

However, the indictment says Maureen McDonnell cut a deal with Williams about two years later: if he bought her dresses and accessories for her daughter's wedding and the couple's anniversary, she would make sure he had a prime seat next to her husband at a political event in New York City.

Williams paid her nearly $20,000 tab at stores like Oscar de la Renta and Louis Vuitton, the indictment says. As promised, Williams was seated next to the governor at the event on April 13, 2011.

The indictment also details a $50,000 loan Williams made to the McDonnells in May 2011, along with $15,000 for their daughter's wedding. The money was later used to pay for catering costs for the wedding, as well as payments totaling nearly $20,000 for the family's credit cards."


Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were indicted on federal corruption charges for loans, shopping sprees and wedding money.
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sgm4law
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2013 10:57:04 AM

<<Being as close as you are to VA, I would not have expected you to fall for the stories in your links.>>

It's not a matter of "falling for" the stories, it's a matter of knowing him for what he is: a creative, inventive lawyer willing to exploit the law to advantage his "moral" positions, no matter what the people of his state want. What a dangerous man to become governor. I will surely boycott the state if he is elected. I spend too much of my vacation time in Virginia as it is.
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MiddletownMarty
Champion Author Connecticut

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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2013 7:53:16 AM

"I don’t know what party he is with and could look it up if I wanted..."

He's the Governor of Virginia and conservatives here are most quiet over the matter. Take a wild guess what party he's with.

[Edited by: MiddletownMarty at 7/16/2013 7:54:32 AM EST]
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plastic
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2013 3:34:57 AM

Charges? Hmm. I wasn't aware of any charges.

Last I knew, the Feds were looking into the allegations.
---

No, sgm. Your other posts, throughout time, related to the AG. Being as close as you are to VA, I would not have expected you to fall for the stories in your links.
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johnnyg1200
Champion Author St. Louis

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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2013 8:33:05 PM

If the charges are found to be true he needs to be sent to jail, all government benefits ended to include pension and medical. Well he can have prison medical but that’s it. Then he needs to return funds that may have been received illegally.

I don’t know what party he is with and could look it up if I wanted, but I don’t care if he broke the rules put him under the jail as an example.
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sgm4law
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2013 1:53:12 PM

<<Sgm keeps referring to Cuccinelli as "far worse" or "extreme" but never said why. He seems like an extrememly fair person who will stand against the party for the sake of the people and the law.>>

"Keeps referring" -- you mean my one post on the subject, or have I been discussing this for a long time somewhere else?

Why I don't like Cuccinelli? Because he's a true culture warrior best suited to the Deep South, not caring about Northern Virginia moving into this century.

Pressuring colleges to rescind their nondiscrimination policies as soon as he got into office. Early on

Interfering with the scientists who perform climate research because of his own anti-science religious beliefs. On and on with this stuff.

[L=http://jezebel.com/5984095/text deleted antiabortion zealotry.[/L]

Not condemning birtherism

Asking to keep the anti-sodomy law on the books to make it easier to prosecute molesters.

Fighting Obamacare - and comparing it to slavery.
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RNorm
Champion Author San Bernardino

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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2013 10:09:41 AM

"He's cooperating fully with the Star Sci thing and will be completely absolved of the media charge."


It's not media charges that one has to worry about. It's those state and federal charges that become problematic.
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plastic
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2013 9:55:20 AM

Scandal? That's exactly what it is. The media has been trying for years to find dirt on the Governor. They can't! This "scandal" is the closest they have come to finding anything wrong. He's cooperating fully with the Star Sci thing and will be completely absolved of the media charge.

Sgm keeps referring to Cuccinelli as "far worse" or "extreme" but never said why. He seems like an extrememly fair person who will stand against the party for the sake of the people and the law.
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RNorm
Champion Author San Bernardino

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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2013 7:47:09 AM

Maybe conservatives around here are quiet because there are no more defenses they can use to explain this:

"Bob McDonnell and his dwindling band of apologists have offered two main excuses, one public and one private, to justify the Virginia governor’s acceptance of so many gifts and loans from a friendly businessman.

The public argument is, “Everybody’s done it.” An additional one, coming privately from some supporters, has been, “His wife made him do it.”

Neither defense was strong to begin with. Now both have collapsed entirely with last week’s revelation that the generosity showered on McDonnell (R) and his family included two checks and a wire transfer totaling $120,000.

The payments came on top of previously reported gifts including a $6,500 Rolex watch, $15,000 New York shopping spree and $15,000 worth of wedding catering. All came from Jonnie Williams Sr., chief executive of the diet supplement company Star Scientific.

The latest disclosure prompted even Republicans to say that the scandal has permanently stained McDonnell’s reputation. Federal and state investigators will decide whether to bring charges against the governor amid speculation in Richmond he might have to resign.

Even if he stayed on the right side of the law, it’s clear that McDonnell betrayed the public trust by becoming so beholden to the head of a company whose products the governor and his wife were actively promoting.

Sadly, the public defense that McDonnell was doing nothing out of the ordinary has had an element of truth. Other governors and Virginia politicians have accepted private plane rides and free vacations from well-to-do supporters, as McDonnell did from Williams.

State laws are so lax that all of it is legal as long as the largess is disclosed. McDonnell has stretched the disclosure requirements to their limits and then argued that he’s just following “rules that have been in place for decades.”

But veterans of state politics could not remember another sitting governor accepting cash from a supporter for personal or family purposes, even if the law allows it.

Most of the $120,000 in newly disclosed payments went to shore up the McDonnell family finances, which were strained by ill-timed investments in beach rental property. McDonnell reportedly viewed the payments as low-cost loans. None has been repaid.

“This kind of money coming from interested parties who are not truly personal friends, this is unprecedented,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. “This is not the norm, and they shouldn’t be trying to pass it off as business as usual.”

A similar point was made by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the GOP’s nominee to succeed McDonnell in the November election.

“What we’ve all been seeing has been very painful for Virginia, and it’s been completely inconsistent with Virginia’s very reserved traditions,” Cuccinelli said."


Cuccinelli pointedly declined to opine on whether McDonnell should resign. “That’s a question for the governor,” he said, adding that the controversy has become “a distraction” in his race against Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe.
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Cliffisher
Champion Author Wisconsin

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Message Posted: Jul 14, 2013 9:56:24 PM

Thisd is not passing the smell test for most honest folks.
But the Republicans have no problem with a little graft.
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MiddletownMarty
Champion Author Connecticut

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Message Posted: Jul 14, 2013 11:06:08 AM

"Maybe they think if you don't talk about it, it just doesn't exist?"

Ostrich politics. At least the Republican Party is dealing decisively and effectively with him.
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sgm4law
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jul 14, 2013 10:53:18 AM

I was worried that McDonnell would have to step down, leaving the far worse (politically) Cuccinelli in his place--so he wouldn't have a difficult time beating Terry McAuliffe in the election this year, but it turns out that Cuccinelli may be similarly tainted.
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RNorm
Champion Author San Bernardino

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Message Posted: Jul 14, 2013 9:55:41 AM

Maybe they think if you don't talk about it, it just doesn't exist?
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Cliffisher
Champion Author Wisconsin

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Message Posted: Jul 14, 2013 9:46:57 AM

For some reason those on the right like to hide GOP corruption in office.
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michaelphoenix2
All-Star Author Tucson

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Message Posted: Jul 13, 2013 7:06:26 PM

Just posting here because my point was completely proven... at the time of this posting it is the 2nd to last topic on the front page.................
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Cliffisher
Champion Author Wisconsin

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Message Posted: Jul 12, 2013 2:55:47 PM

Quick.
Change the headline to a Sen. Issa "The Right is Under Attack"
No solid evidence required.
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michaelphoenix2
All-Star Author Tucson

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Message Posted: Jul 12, 2013 2:39:54 PM

I'm sorry Norm. However, this is not an Obama thread nor could it be construed as an anti-Obama thread. As such it will get ignored by the conservative members of the forum (About 70% of the political forum) and will die a slow painful death, as it slides slowly to the bottom of the page.
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Cliffisher
Champion Author Wisconsin

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Message Posted: Jul 12, 2013 11:24:14 AM

His replacemnet has the same under the table sticky finger problem.
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RNorm
Champion Author San Bernardino

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Message Posted: Jul 12, 2013 11:15:51 AM

"In 2010, the political world pegged Bob McDonnell as a president in the making. Last year, they put him on every VP list. As recently as May, they called the popular Virginia governor a political model for his would-be successors in Richmond, Democrat and Republican alike.

And now – well, now nobody’s sure what to call Bob McDonnell.

Suddenly under legal and political siege, McDonnell is the subject of one of the swiftest downfalls in recent memory: once known as a spotlessly clean, law-and-order politician, the governor stands accused of questionable financial dealings that range from the tacky to the jaw-dropping.

The McDonnell saga has gripped Richmond – and increasingly Washington – as a cascade of embarrassing disclosures have buffeted the governor and his wife, Maureen. A series of Washington Post stories have documented their cozy relationship with a donor, Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams, who gave financial gifts to the McDonnell family including a cumulative $120,000 in the form of a check to Maureen McDonnell and a cash infusion to a family company.

With a federal investigation well underway, downcast McDonnell allies say they see little hope that the governor’s reputation will recover, and some privately express doubt that he’ll be able to serve out his term. They describe a pervasive mood of shock and gloom throughout the governor’s extended political family.

McDonnell himself is said to be frustrated and distraught, in a state of disbelief but not denial about the gravity of his predicament. His friends say that McDonnell firmly believes that he has done nothing illegal, and he told the Richmond station WTVR that in his 37 years of adult life, “No one’s raised questions about my integrity or my character.”

The question everyone’s raising now is: How on earth did McDonnell let this happen? How did a famously disciplined politician set himself up for this operatic dive from the peak of American political life?"



Bob McDonnell's stunning fall from grace
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RNorm
Champion Author San Bernardino

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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 1:55:23 PM

LOL, Cliff!

There are simultaneous state and federal probes descending upon Bob right now....
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Cliffisher
Champion Author Wisconsin

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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 1:14:41 PM

Maybe Gov. Ultrasound will be getting his own probe very soon.
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