Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife were charged in Federal Court for illegally accepting thousands of dollars in gifts, vacations, and loans from businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr. in exchange for special treatment from the Governor. McDonnell is the first Governor to face federal charges in Virginia's long history. Update: Governor McDonnell was convicted on 11 counts. He will be sentenced on January 6th, 2015.
A former aide to Representative Frank Farenthold has sued the congressman and his office staff for creating a hostile work environment and gender discrimination. The former aide accused the congressman of making sexual comments about her and claimed he is regularly drunk on the job, which caused him to say a plethora of inappropriate things. She is seeking an unspecified amount of money for lost pay and emotional distress.
Representative Don Young has been ordered to repay $60,000 in illegally spent campaign donations he received over a period of twelve years. Young was found to have violated House ethics rules by illegally using campaign funds to go on fifteen trips to hunting lodges during that time. The Ethics Committee found that Young used more than $30,000 of his own campaigns funds and $28,000 in gifts he failed to disclose in his annual financial disclosures.
Federal investigators are looking into whether Governor Chris Christie's administration committed securities law violations by spending nearly $2 billion of Port Authority funds on a state owned bridge. It is illegal to spend Port Authority funds on state owned infrastructure, but the Christie administration lobbied heavily to classify the bridge as an access road to the Lincoln Tunnel even though they are not connected. Investigators are attempting to determine if Governor Christie violated the Martin Act, which enables the state of New York to file suit if they feel Christie intentionally misled bond holders.
A major political donor under indictment in Utah has admitted to laundering thousands of dollars in donations to now Senator Mike Lee's 2010 campaign for the United States Senate. Businessman Jeremy Johnson informed investigators that John Swallow, Lee's friend and now disgraced former Attorney General of Utah, requested he give thousands of dollars to various individuals who then donated that money to Mike Lee. Senator Lee's office released a statement claiming "at no time during or since the 2010 campaign was Sen. Lee or anyone associated with the Lee campaign aware of any unlawful contributions to the Lee campaign."
A judge seated a grand jury in Austin last week to consider whether Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is weighing another run for the White House, abused his power when he carried out a threat to veto $7.5 million in state funding for public corruption prosecutors last summer. Aides to Perry say he legally exercised his veto power. Others say Perry was abusing his state office and is finally getting his comeuppance. The grand jury is impaneled for three months. In the original complaint, McDonald accused Perry of breaking laws related to coercion of a public servant and abuse of official capacity.
Louisiana U.S. Representative Vance McAllister, who ran on a platform of Christian conservatism and family values, was caught passionately kissing a Congressional aide on videotape. McAllister admitted that it was him on the tape and asked for forgiveness from God, his family, staff, and constituents.
Shortly after his election, Governor Christie appointed two of his friends and political donors, John and Mary Kay Strangfeld, to the typically ceremonial positions of chairman and vice chairman at the Drumthwacket Foundation, a nonprofit that has restored and maintains the New Jersey Governors mansion. John Strangfeld is also the chairman of the insurance agency Prudential, a company that received a record-setting $250 million dollar tax incentive to move its Newark headquarters only a few blocks down the street. The number averages out to the taxpayers spending $527,000 per job that was created in the handout.
Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the number four Republican in House leadership, is facing a House Ethics Committee investigation over allegations that she illegally combined campaign and Congressional funds to help her win her 2012 House leadership race. The Office Of Congressional Ethics recommended that the House Ethics Committee conduct a full investigation into the allegations and the committee reported that they will begin their preliminary investigation into the matter.
The state Ethics Commission has approved Governor Chris Christie's recommendation of Susana Espasa Guerrero, a longtime loyalist and former employee of the Governor, to head the ethics panel that will investigate the bridge closure scandal the Governor finds himself in. Ms. Guerrero has also worked with every single individual who has been subpoenaed in the case.
A former prosecutor in New Jersey has come forward to claim that he was fired after refusing to drop a criminal case against a friend of Governor Chris Christie. Ben Barlyn, the former prosecutor in question, claimed that he was fired shortly after filing multiple charges against Republican Sheriff Deborah Trout. He was replaced with a Christie ally that quickly dropped the charges. Mr. Barlyn has petitioned the state Attorney General's office to release grand jury testimony that he says will back up his accusations.
The Administration of Chris Christie has been accused of withholding millions of Sandy emergency relief funds for a New Jersey town that refused to approve a massive redevelopment plan that the governor favored. The mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, claimed that Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and Richard Constable, who is Governor Christie’s community affairs commissioner spoke on behalf of the Governor in making the demand. While the two officials in question have denied the allegations, recently released documents seem to say otherwise. Dawn Zimmer, who is the mayor, also said that she will be happy to speak under oath and take a lie detector in order to prove her claims.
The National Rifle Association has agreed to pay a $63,000 fine to the state of Rhode Island after admitting to violating state campaign financing laws. The case stems from a lawsuit filed by the Rhode Island Progressive Democrats that alleged the NRA failed to disclose donor names to one of its now defunct PAC's going all the way back to 2002. It is a violation of Rhode Island state law for a national PAC to donate to a state PAC in Rhode Island.
Governor Chris Christie is under a Federal investigation regarding possible misuse of federal funds given to New Jersey after the state was ravaged by super storm Sandy back in 2012. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has concluded after an initial audit that a full investigation is warranted into whether Christie used his position to choose a politically friendly public relations company to air television advertisements encouraging people to visit New Jersey over another company that bid over two million less.
A forthcoming book by Gabriel Sherman interviews a woman that worked with Roger Ailes in the 1980's who claims that Mr. Ailes offered her a pay raise in exchange for weekly sex with him whenever he would like. Randi Harrison, the woman in question, claims that Mr. Ailes said he would pay her an extra $100 per week if she would agree to the demand.
Dinesh D'Souza, a prominent conservative commentator, has been charged with "making illegal contributions to a United States Senate campaign in the names of others and causing false statements to be made to the Federal Election Commission in connection with those contributions." D'Souza is accused of reimbursing upwards of $20,000 to individuals that donated to an unnamed candidate. Update: D'Souza plead guilty to a single felony charge of 'making illegal campaign contributions to a U.S. Senate campaign.' The felony count carries a maximum of 24 months in prison, but the deal D'Souza struck with authorities asks for a sentence between 10 and 16 months.