Archive for the ‘Virginia’ Category

Bob McDonnell Corruption Conviction Upheld

July 11, 2015

Bob McDonnell Corruption Conviction Upheld

A three judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the political corruption conviction of disgraced former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell so, pending further appeal to the full U.S. Fourth Circuit Court, he’s going to the slammer for 2 years. He’s lucky; based on Federal Sentencing Guidelines he could have gotten at least 10 years in prison.

During the initial trial ex-Gov. McDonnell, devoted husband and father of five, explained the $150,000 in loans, vacations, golf outings and luxury goods Virginia’s First Couple took from a snake-oil salesman for promoting his dubious nostrums by blaming it all on his screaming lunatic harridan of a wife, Maureen McDonnell. That defense was not successful.

Understandably, Mr. McDonnell left his conjugal home and has been staying at the rectory of Richmond’s St. Patrick’s Church with a sympathetic priest who’s had legal problems of his own. His estranged wife, former NFL Cheerleader Maureen McDonnell, was convicted on 8 counts and sentenced to a year and a day in the hoosegow.

Due to these circumstances, Bob McDonnell is perhaps the only prominent Republican not running for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. Yet.

More:

“Official Acts,” Dahlia Lithwick, Slate

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Court: Virginia’s Racially Gerrymandered Congressional Map is Unconstitutional

June 7, 2015

Court: Virginia's Racially Gerrymandered Map is Unconstitutional
On Friday a federal court panel reaffirmed an earlier decision throwing out Virginia’s map of congressional districts due to racial gerrymandering in violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

“Virginia is widely believed to be one of the most gerrymandered states in the country. In 2012, Republican House candidates won just 51 percent of the votes cast in the state — but they ended up winning eight of the state’s 11 congressional districts.”

— “Virginia’s congressional map has been thrown out by judges for racial bias,” Andrew Prokop, Vox

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A Year and a Day in Prison for Maureen McDonnell

February 21, 2015

A Year and a Day in Prison for Maureen McDonnell

Maureen McDonnell, former NFL cheerleader and estranged wife of disgraced former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell, has been sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison for her conviction on 8 felony counts of corruption. The former First Lady of the Old Dominion accepted lavish gifts from nutritional supplement manufacturer Jonnie Williams and helped him shill his snake oil, even staging a promotional event at the state’s Executive Mansion.

Mr. McDonnell, the first Virginia governor convicted of committing a felony while in office, has been sentenced to 2 years in prison and 2 years of federally supervised release for convictions on 11 counts of political corruption. Mr. &  Mrs. McD are both on the loose while appealing their convictions, and the ex-Governor is bunking with his parish priest.

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Bob McDonnell Gets 2 Years in the Big House

January 6, 2015

Bob McDonnell Gets 2 Years in the Big House

Disgraced former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, convicted of 11 counts of political corruption, was sentenced to 2 years in prison and 2 years of federally supervised release today. Prior to his arrest, many Republicans had proposed Mr. McDonnell for federal office, not a federal prison cell. In December the U.S. probation office had recommended at least 10 years in prison, and Pat Robertson’s charity had tried to wangle a no-prison-time community service deal.

Mr. McDonnell will enter the pokey on February 9th. His estranged wife, former NFL Cheerleader Maureen McDonnell, who was ultimately convicted on 8 federal counts, will be sentenced on January 20th. In another big Republican crime story today, Rep. John Boehner was sentenced to 2 years as House Majority Leader.

Related:

“Unforgivable: The Governor and the Teen-ager,” Evan Osnos, The New Yorker

Updates:

“Court: Ex-Virginia Gov. McDonnell will be free during appeal,”  Michael Felberbaum, Associated Press

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Bob McDonnell Looking at 10 Years in Prison

December 15, 2014

Bob McDonnell Looking at 10 Years in Prison
Disgraced former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, convicted of 11 counts of political corruption, is due to be sentenced on January 6th. Based on Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the U.S. probation office is recommending at least 10 years in prison. His estranged wife, former NFL Cheerleader Maureen McDonnell was ultimately convicted on 8 counts, and will be sentenced on January 20th.

Prior to his arrest, many Republicans had proposed Mr. McDonnell for federal office, but he’ll be getting a federal prison cell instead. On the bright side, maybe he’ll get to play bridge with Bernie Madoff.

Ten years is a pretty long stretch, but it could have been worse for Bob McDonnell. He could have been caught selling loose cigarettes on the sidewalk. That’s punishable by death.

Update:

“Pat Robertson’s Charity Tries To Make A Deal For Bob McDonnell’s Freedom,” Larry O’Dell, AP via Talking Points Memo

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GOP Senate Candidate Plays Defense for DC’s NFL Team

November 2, 2014

GOP Senate Candidate Plays Defense for DC's NFL Team
In what has got to be history’s most desperate “Hail Mary” play, Virginia Republican Senate candidate Ed Gillespie has pledged he won’t back any legislation to change the racist name of Washington’s professional football team. His opponent, incumbent Senator John Warner, never voted for or supported any such bill. The term “political football” is no longer just a metaphor.

Here’s the kicker: Gillespie was an Eagles fan as late as December 2012.

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McDonnell Trial Soap Opera Continues

August 28, 2014

McDonnell Trial Soap Opera Continues

“The more that he describes his wife as crazy, then it begs the question of well, if your wife was crazy, why didn’t you stop her?” — Andrew Cowan, former federal prosecutor.

“But the fact is, is the juror thinking this guy is a cad, or been-there-done-that, ‘I have a wife just like that, I come home and this is all I hear?'” —  Attorney Barbara Van Gelder.

Quoted in:

“McDonnell’s ‘Crazy Wife’ Defense Is Totally Unprecedented,” Catherine Thompson , Talking Points Memo

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Bob McDonnell: Cad or Rotter?

August 25, 2014

Bob McDonnell: Cad or Rotter?

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell testified on his own behalf last week in his corruption and bribery trial. The devoted husband and father of five of the 2009 gubernatorial campaign explained that all the unfortunate events in question could be blamed on his screaming lunatic harridan of a wife, Maureen McDonnell.

There’s no real political downside for Mr. McDonnell, who already lost any chance of getting women’s votes when he backed a vaginal probe clause in a proposed Virginia bill. On the other hand, what Real American Guy wouldn’t want to drive a Ferrari and own a Rolex and doesn’t blame stuff on his wife?

Right before the trial, Mr. McDonnell moved out of the house he shared with his wife of 38 years. He’s been living with his priest at the rectory of St. Patrick’s Church in Richmond. He’s probably thinking that, if the couple are convicted, he can claim sanctuary and Maureen can plead insanity.

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Virginia Firm Stops Hawking Snake Oil

August 16, 2014

Virginia Firm Stops Hawking Snake Oil

Before the prosecution rested in the public corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his former NFL Cheerleader wife Maureen last week, the focus shifted to the patent nostrum sold by Jonnie Williams, who is said to have given the couple high-priced gifts in return for promoting his product, a snake oil named Anatabloc. The active ingredient in Anatabloc is Anatabine, an alkaloid derived from tobacco.

Anatabloc was said to “reduce inflammation and support a healthy metabolism” but was marketed as a “dietary supplement” to avoid those pesky clinical trials required of drugs. That didn’t keep the firm from claiming that the stuff can mitigate Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, thyroiditis and traumatic brain injuries. You know, like a drug. Finally, the FDA caught them at it and issued a stern letter.

But the McDonnell trial has increased scrutiny on and skepticism of Anatabloc, so the manufacturer has finally stopped selling it. If you’re a political memorabilia collector, maybe you can still find a jar behind the counter at your local GNC.

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McDonnell Trial: All In The Family

August 11, 2014

McDonnell Trial: All In The Family

Before he was Virginia’s Governor or Attorney General, Robert Francis McDonnell wrote a Masters Thesis at CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) University, now called Regent University. The thesis: “The Republican Party’s Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issue of The Decade” (1989). It’s in the Regent U Library, but the Washington Post posted it online during the 2009 Virginia gubernatorial campaign.

On page 65 of the thesis (page 71 of the PDF) Mr. McConnell lists the “real enemies of the traditional family” as “materialism, irresponsibility, feminism, lust, and ultimately selfishness….” Well, the McDonnell corruption trial hasn’t involved feminism so far, anyway. On the other hand, the author of that thesis did acknowledge that his wife Maureen provided “expert clerical support” for the 94-page document ….

More:

“Focus on the Family,” Daliah Lithwick, Slate

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Image (“McDonnell Defense, In One Bumper Sticker”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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