Posts Tagged ‘bribery’

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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Sepp Blatter to Leave the Game

June 3, 2015

Sepp Blatter to Leave the Game
Zurich’s Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, recently reelected President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), will be leaving that position in a few months, if he is not arrested first. Herr Blatter has ruled the international sports empire since 1998, and has helped FIFA bring the lucrative World Cup matches to places like Russia and the North Pole Qatar. The abrupt resignation followed news that Herr Blatter’s top assistant, Jérôme Valcke, was involved in a questionable $10 million money transfer.

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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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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

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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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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

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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McDonnell Trial: The Soap Opera Defense

August 1, 2014

McDonnell Trial: The Soap Opera Defense

The former NFL cheerleader had feelings for the shady millionaire snake-oil salesman, who gave her gifts, favors, and cash in order to influence her husband, the state’s Governor. That’s the Exculpatory Soap Opera Theory introduced by the defense in the corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen, and they’re sticking to it.

Political tragedy? Please. More like campy, middle-age melodrama.

More:

“Ex-First Couple’s Defense in Virginia: The State of Their Union,” Trip Gabriel, New York Times

“McDonnells pin acquittal hopes on bad marriage in Virginia trial,” Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times

“Testimony seems to back up ‘bimbo defense’ in McDonnell corruption trial,” Mark Holmberg, WTVR-TV News

“Trial of Virginia Ex-Governor and His Wife Is an Amazing Soap Opera,” Erin Gloria Ryan, Jezebel

“Star witness in Bob McDonnell corruption trial refutes ‘crush’ defense,” David Sherfinski, Washington Times

Related:

“10 gifts U.S. wants ex-Va. governor, wife to forfeit,” USA Today

“Virginia’s First Lady-elect Maureen McDonnell was a Former Redskins Cheerleader,” UltimateCheerleaders.com

“Of Course! Disgraced Gov. McDonnell Is Now Teaching At Liberty U,” karoli, Crooks & Liars

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Image (Midday Melancholy, after Constance Charpentier) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Walmart Introduces Foreign Aid Program

April 25, 2012

Walmart Introduces Foreign Aid Program

Stung by bad publicity because of its Chinese sweatshops, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. decided to institute its own foreign aid program, beginning south of the border with its Wal-Mart de Mexico branch. The corporation generously donated $24 million to our southern neighbor. Unfortunately, the financial assistance consisted of illegal bribes to obtain construction permits for its stores across the country, which currently number 2,099.

Who says? Sergio Cicero Zapata, the lawyer who was in charge of making Wal-Mart’s bribes. These payments aren’t just against Mexican law; they’re illegal in the USA under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the law prohibiting bribes to officials of other countries.

How did Wal-Mart react when an internal investigation found this pattern of corruption? With a cover-up.

More:

“8 Revelations From Walmart’s Mexican Bribery Scandal,” Andrew Carter and Matthew DeLuca, Daily Beast

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-d3O

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Berlusconi Jailbreak!

February 25, 2012

Berlusconi Jailbreak!

The bribery case against former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was dismissed today in a Milan court. Mr. Berlusconi, a billionaire, stayed out of jail the same way Mafia chiefs do, by running out the clock. Unlike every other European country, Italy keeps the statutory limitation clock running during trials, so rich defendants just stall the proceedings, drawing their trials out until they reach the limit and the cases are thrown out of court.

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