Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Virginia Is For Looters

Via the Washington Post:

Former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were charged Tuesday with illegally accepting gifts, luxury vacations and large loans from a wealthy Richmond area businessman who sought special treatment from state government.

Authorities allege that for nearly two years, the McDonnells repeatedly asked executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr. for loans and gifts of money, clothes, golf fees and equipment, trips, and private plane rides. The gifts and loans totaled at least $165,000.

In exchange, authorities allege, the McDonnells worked in concert to lend the prestige of the governor’s office to Williams’s struggling company, Star Scientific, a former small cigarette manufacturer that now sells dietary supplements.

McDonnell, 59, is the first governor ever to face criminal charges in Virginia, a state that has prided itself on a history of clean and ethical politics, and the charges will probably accelerate a push for the legislature to tighten state ethics laws.

The criminal prosecution marks a stunning crash for a politician who was considered for the Republican vice presidential nomination in 2012 and who, just a year ago, was considered a credible prospective candidate for president.

Mr. McDonnell insists that he is innocent and blames it all on — wait for it — “overreach by the federal government.”

Wow.  That’s a rather ironic statement from someone who tried to pass a law that required that women getting an abortion have a transvaginal ultrasound whether they wanted it or not.

If convicted, Mr. McDonnell could go to prison.  I will leave it to others to come up with their own conclusions as to what kind of overreach he might face there.

5 barks and woofs on “Virginia Is For Looters

  1. He clearly thought he was a powerful guy and that to be governor meant that he could have whatever he wanted. Power corrupts.

  2. someone who tried to pass a law that required that women getting an abortion have a transvaginal ultrasound whether they wanted it or not.

    To McDonnell, that wasn’t overreach – that was a reach-over. Different thing. Boat is boat… (H/T Shirley Valentine)

    Cooch has so far narrowly missed the same fate – primarily because his price was significantly lower than McDonnell’s and because he actually admitted that his “arrangements” might not be “appropriate.” It didn’t help any in the election. The greed factor in the VA GOTea runs high, and Big Tobacco (Jonnie Williams’ Star Scientific is little more than a new and exciting way to peddle nicotine) has deep pockets.

    • Speaking of Cooch, have you seen Benen’s latest snippet on that sorry excuse? Apparently he’s joining the crowd stabbing Christie in the back:

      Former Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli said Tuesday that it “makes sense” for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to resign as the head of the Republican Governor’s Association amid the controversies surrounding his administration.

      Motes and beams, indeed.

      Not that Cooch and Christie would ever have worked together well: the former is a die-hard culture warrior (and escaping Star Scientific holding), and the latter is a more mainstream petty tyrant without the pseudophilosophical baggage. But it’s interesting that the AG of a state administration bound and determined to recreate antebellum economic and social conditions because Gawd told him to is going after a fellow pol whose apostasy is legend to the Fundie set yet has somehow proven less unsuccessful and less unelectable – and whose predilections don’t go to Rolexes, haute couture wardrobes and vacations at clients’ constituents’ country lodges.

  3. The most fascinating bit of reporting on this ho hum not-unusual-for-Republicans flap was the list Rachel ran last night. It was yards of items bought for the Governor and his missus. Business expensed Chanel dresses for example. I loved it.

  4. I cannot think of another wife that has been charged along with her politician husband. ? Does anyone know of another similar case?

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