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Former Governor Bob McDonnell Charged With Corruption

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Things have gone from bad to worse for Bob McDonnell, the once highly touted Governor from Virginia that had national ambitions but ended his tenure with a tarnished reputation and a federal investigation that he just couldn't get rid of. That investigation has now concluded and McDonnell and his wife were charged in Federal Court with a multitude of felony counts. The McConnell's stand accused of accepting thousands of dollars in gifts, luxury vacations, and loans from a wealthy businessman, Jonnie R. Williams. They have been charged with 14 felony counts ranging from wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and obtaining property under color of their official office, among other counts. Mr. McDonnell was separately charged with making a false statement to a financial institution.

    McDonnell's fall from grace would have seemed unthinkable a few years ago. He was a popular Governor that was not shy about his ambitions for a much higher office. Now he is facing multiple felony counts and looking at the real possibility of spending a long time behind bars and facing massive financial penalties for his actions.

    This sad series of events just goes to show how absolute power corrupts absolutely. The unsettling aspect about this story is that the cynic inside of me believes this kind of stuff happens all of the time, regardless of political party, but only makes national headlines when one of these politicians is dumb enough to get caught. Do you agree with me, or do you feel that McDonnell is just one bad apple that bit off more than he could chew?
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    jaredsxtn Wrote: This have gone from bad to worse for Bob McDonnell, the once highly touted Governor from Virginia that had national ambitions. McDonnell and his wife were charged in Federal Court today and stand accused of accepting thousands of dollars in gifts, luxury vacations, and loans from a wealthy businessman, Jonnie R. Williams. The former Governor and his wife have each been charged with 14 felony counts ranging from wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and obtaining property under color of their official office, among other counts. McDonnell was separately charged with making a false statement to a financial institution.

    McDonnell's fall from grace would have seemed unthinkable a few years ago. He was a popular Governor that was not shy about his ambitions for a much higher office. Now he is facing multiple felony counts and looking at the real possibility of spending a long time behind bars for his actions. It just goes to show that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    The sad thing about this story is that the cynic inside of me believes this kind of stuff happens all of the time, inside of both political parties, but only makes national headlines when one of these politicians is dumb enough to get caught. Do you agree with me, or do you feel that McDonnell is just one bad apple that bit off more than he could chew?
    I believe it's called an occupational hazard, some get caught , but most don't. This why lobbyist and other special interest groups should be banned from politics, these groups are formed with the sole interest of providing influence for their particular group and by any means necessary.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    You're not a cynic! This is what politics is all about. I'll cover you if you cover me.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    jared the list of disgraced politicians is long and varied. McDonnell joins some other notables such as:

    John Edwards. He was the first person I thought of while reading your post. He had dreams of being president, too. Amazingly, he was probably one of the three or four finalists to get the Democratic nomination at one time. How did he possibly think he was going to get away with having an affair, and fathering a baby, while his wife was dying of cancer?

    Newt Gingrich had similiar circumstances, wife dying while he was having an affair.

    Richard Nixon was "not a crook" until he was.

    Gary Hart and his "Monkey Business" with Donna Rice.

    Ted Kennedy and Chappaquidick. (I probably spelled that wrong)

    Bill Clinton and his sexcapades are well documented.

    Arnold Swarznegger and the maid.

    The city of New York should have it's own catagory with Weiner and Spitzer just in the past couple of years.

    Which has ruined more political ambitions? Sex or everything else combined?
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    So, is McDonnell a Democrat or Republican ? I'm not yet sure how to feel about hearing this news. Do tell.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    I think he was/is a Repub.

    If he would have been a Dem, I don't know if jared would have mentioned him.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    You might know him better as "Governor Ultrasound." You might not get that if you don't watch Rachel Maddow.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    I later saw his speech on CNN where he insisted these were false charges and how he and his wife did nothing illegal and how the loans were repaid in full with interest. I thought that's an interesting comment because it could easily be documented - if true.
    He's a republican......... which is why I don't thinks it's a bad thing. Hopefully it's a win for our team.
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    Is Christie next to fall? I heard on the media investigative reports due to the public during February. I would hope that Christies tires are about to become flat and his car gets stalled. What's Christie going to do? Run against Hillary? HA HA HA that was a joke.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    I have posted a few times that there is very little difference between the two major parties, they all are out for themselves periods, it doesn't matter whether they are a Democrat or a Republican, if they are not already corrupt when they enter the arena, then it's only a matter of time when they too will be corrupted.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Below is a link to the list of gifts that the McDonnell's are charged with accepting. Among them is over $140,000 in cash, an engraved Rolex with the words "71st Governor of Virginia" inscribed on it, two sets of golf clubs, two iPhones, and 30 boxes of Anatabloc--an anti-inflammatory dietary supplement.

    List of Gifts Bob McDonnell is Charged With Accepting
  • Democrat
    Kirkwood, MO
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    You may in time add Jonnie R. Williams and Mrs. McDonnell to your list. Is he married? If so what does his wife say about these shopping sprees with Mrs. McDonnell or Mr. McDonnell?
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    This has been great entertainment, its gotten so bad over the years that they can't even hide it anymore. They don't even care about getting caught. there's some disease out there that they can claim and just seek treatment. Sex addiction....laughable

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    This thread kind of died for lack of interest while trial preparations were underway. To summarize events, former Governor McDonnell and his wife, Maureen were indicted on January 20th on federal corruption charges. It was a 14-count indictment charging the McDonnell's with accepting more than $177,000 in gifts and loans from Jonnie R. Williams, the CEO of Star Scientific, in exchange for helping promote the company's products, principally the so called "Miracle drug" Anatabloc, and other dietary supplements.

    What makes this case interesting now is McDonnell's rather bizarre defense that heaps all the blame on his wife, Maureen McDonnell, who he said was having an affair with Jonnie Williams. I won't go through the whole list of stuff that Williams "lavished" on McDonnell, his wife and their children over several years, but if it can be proven that it is all Maureen's doing, she is less culpable because she is not an elected official and not subject to many of the laws that applied to McDonnell.

    Included as evidence that his marriage was on the rocks, McDonnell produced a long e-mail that he allegedly wrote to his wife in 2011. It's a doosy...you can read it here:

    Huffington Post: Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's Sad Letter To His Wife

    Has this e-mail dated September 5, 2011, been concocted and somehow back-dated to 2011? It's has a ring of phoniness to me, like his working on his 2010 taxes in September 2011 to reinforce the date stamp...except don't most people work on their taxes in March and April? Why put that at all in the "husband scorned" e-mail letter to his wife? If he did concoct the whole thing, could it be considered another crime on falsifying evidence? You read it and judge. And don't start crying reading McDonnell's sob story. Ha!

    The soap opera continues on Monday when Maureen McDonnell, represented by her own counsel, begins her defense. I am suddenly interested and will tune in.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    I'm having a hard time believing that this case is garnering such little attention. I think that's for a variety of reasons, but mainly because it's a complex case that confuses the average person. The media also doesn't tend to care much about former politicians on trial for committing felonies, so that may be another reason why it's not being talked about much by the national media.

    That's an interesting viewpoint on the email. It's a theory that could gain some traction if McDonnell were an average person, but rich people get to do their taxes at their own pace. That's because they know they can file a Form 4868. This form gives you the ability to file your taxes up to six months past the time they are due. Anyone can fill this form out, but the Federal Government or media doesn't seem to think it's important to inform the average American about it.

    This soap opera has been quite interesting to watch. It's always interesting watching a former chief executive of a state who has been caught committing criminal acts do verbal jiu jitsu as they try to convince a jury that the only thing they were doing was business as usual. Let's just hope this jury is smarter than that.