Tag Archives: Bob McDonnell

Gov. Ultrasound Gets Ultra Indicted As Bob McDonnell Is Hit With 14 Counts

bob_mcdonnell_605_ap

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell

Power corrupts…

PoliticusUSA

On Tuesday afternoon, Bob McDonnell and his wife were indicted on federal corruption charges stemming from gifts they had accepted while McDonnell was in office. The former Republican Governor of Virginia, McDonnell just recently left office after serving his single term (Virginia only allows one term for a Governor.) The scandal had been plaguing McDonnell for months to the point that he was a detriment to Ken Cuccinelli’s campaign, his hand-picked successor.

Among the 14 counts that McDonnell and his wife are charged with are three counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, two counts of lying to a federal credit union and multiple counts of obtaining property under color of official right. The indictment states that McDonnell and his wife received at least $140,000 worth of gifts, which included a Rolex, expensive designer clothes and golf clubs, among other things.

Obviously, McDonnell denied any wrongdoing whatsoever. After the indictment came down, the former Governor had this to say:

“I deeply regret accepting legal gifts and loans from Mr. Williams, all of which have been repaid with interest, and I have apologized for my poor judgment for which I take full responsibility. However, I repeat emphatically that I did nothing illegal for Mr. Williams in exchange for what I believed was his personal generosity and friendship.”

McDonnell has insisted that the gifts and ‘loans’ that he received from Johnnie Williams, the CEO of a pharmaceutical company, were only received as a friend, and that Williams received nothing in return for his generosity to the McDonnells. McDonnell has stated that he has repaid Mr. Williams all the money that Williams ‘lent’ to him, as well as gave him back the gifts.

Even if McDonnell can somehow avoid jail time or a guilty verdict, his political career is pretty much toast. At one time, he was looked at as a rising star in the Republican Party, as he was being groomed for a potential run at the Presidency. He easily won election in 2009 as Governor of Virginia when he defeated Creigh Deeds by 18 points. This was after serving as the Attorney General of Virginia.

However, things started getting sour for McDonnell even before the corruption allegations as, in 2012, he advocated for a measure that would require women who were seeking an abortion to submit to a trans-vaginal ultrasound. Many critics saw this as a way for conservatives to shame women if they chose to have an abortion. The bill was changed prior to passage to require an abdominal ultrasound be done prior to an abortion being performed. Regardless, it was still seen as both intrusive and unnecessary and McDonnell started to see his approval ratings plummet.

By the middle of 2013, McDonnell and his family were plagued by allegations of improper spending at the Governor’s mansion. McDonnell paid the state back thousands of dollars to try to put it away, but by that time, the bigger scandal was starting to brew, as the word was out that McDonnell was using his position to straight up accept gifts and money in return for government favors.

Bye bye, Bob. It was nice knowing you. (Not really.)

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Filed under Corrupt Politicians, VA Governor Bob McDonnell

The 9 best sore-loser moments in politics

A fan wears a paper bag on his head during the Detroit Lions-New Orleans Saints NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008. New Orleans won 42-7 to drop Detroit to 0-15. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

A fan wears a paper bag on his head during the Detroit Lions-New Orleans Saints NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008. New Orleans won 42-7 to drop Detroit to 0-15. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

The Washington Post – Chris Cillizza

Ken Cuccinelli is declining to call and congratulate Terry McAuliffe on his win in Tuesday’s Virginia governor’s race.

Meanwhile, in the other governor’s race held that day, state Sen. Barbara Buono (D) blamed her loss on an “onlslaught of betrayal” from her own political party.

But these two are hardly the first to take losing so hard. Here’s a look at some other notable sore-loser moments in recent political history.

Did we miss any? The comments section awaits, and we may re-visit this if Fix readers come up with a bunch of good ideas.

Steve Lonegan

As the GOP New Jersey Senate candidate conceded to Cory Booker in last month’s special election, his wife lovingly rubbed his back to comfort him. After she did it for a while, he decided that was enough, and promptly brushed her hand aside. No word on whether he slept on the couch that night.

Joe Lieberman

Lieberman, in his 2006 reelection campaign, lost the Democratic primary but, through a quirk in election law, was allowed to file as a third-party candidate under the newly created “Connecticut for Lieberman” party. Other states have laws that prevent such maneuvering, not coincidentally called “sore loser” laws.

Lieberman, of course, went on to retain his seat, so it’s hard to call him a “loser” at all.

Al Gore

Gore’s decision to press on with challenging the results of the 2000 presidential race eventually earned some detractors among his fellow Democrats and led Republicans to label the Gore-Lieberman ticket,  Sore-Loserman.

Of course, many Democrats still think they were robbed and that Gore was right to pursue the matter to the full extent of the law.

Bill Bolling

The Virginia lieutenant governor was none-too-happy that Cuccinelli decided to run for governor this year, believing it was his turn to grab the Republican nomination (after being leapfrogged by Bob McDonnell in 2009). And given the state party chose to nominate via convention rather than primary, the more moderate Bolling saw the writing on the wall.

Bolling said Cuccinelli had promised him he wouldn’t run and had manipulated the state party’s decision to use a convention. He also questioned Cuccinelli’s electability, praised McAuliffe’s work on a bipartisan transportation bill and publicly weighed an independent campaign that Republicans feared would torpedo Cuccinelli’s changes in the general election. He eventually opted against it.

Bill Clinton

After Barack Obama won the South Carolina primary in 2008, former president Bill Clinton appeared to try and downplay the victory by noting that Jesse Jackson had carried the state twice in the 1980s. The comment was roundly criticized as racially insensitive and for being dismissive of Jackson.

Anthony Weiner

After his embarrassing loss in this year’s New York mayoral primary, the former congressman exited with a one-finger salute to photographers snapping pictures of him in his car exiting his election night party.

We’re a family newspaper, so we won’t post the photo here, but feel free to click through and have a look.

Maotan Dalimbang Kasim

Behold, from just this week:

A candidate for chairman of a remote village in Maguindanao (Philippines) who was defeated in the barangay (village) elections last October 28 and his followers burned down a daycare center in their community on Monday night, the military said.

Captain Antonio Bulao, spokesperson of 602nd Brigade, said Maotan Dalimbang Kasim, who lost in his bid for the chairmanship of Barangay Nabundas in the Municipality of Datu Montawal, and his brother Tatoh led an undetermined number of followers in setting the center on fire.

Gary Smith

This 2012 New Mexico congressional candidate was arrested after allegedly slashing the tires of his primary opponent — and got caught doing it on video! The worst part: He wasn’t even close to defeating her, taking just 3 percent of the vote.

Richard Lugar

After losing to Richard Mourdock in his 2010 primary, the longtime senator pointedly refused to campaign for Mourdock and took issue with a mailer that said he supported the GOP nominee.

Of course, Lugar wound up being on the right side of history on this, as Mourdock wound up bungling the race.

Richard Nixon

Update 11:54 a.m.: As longtime political reporter Walter Shapiro notes, this list somehow excluded Richard Nixon’s “You won’t have Nixon to kick around any more.”

This egregious oversight needed to be corrected immediately, so we’re appending video of it here.

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Filed under Elections, U.S. Politics

7 reasons why Terry McAuliffe is going to win

FILE - In these Oct. 10, 2013, file photos Virginia candidates for governor, Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli, talk during a forum at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Va., prior to the November election. With polls indicating more public resentment toward Republicans than Democrats in the budget battle raging on Capitol Hill, federal work stoppage directly affecting thousands of Virginia residents has put Cuccinelli on the defensive, while giving McAuliffe an opening in a race that has been neck-and-neck for months. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

In these Oct. 10, 2013, file photos Virginia candidates for governor, Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli, talk during a forum at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Va., prior to the November election. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

I don’t always follow Chris Cillizza’s column, but in this instance, I totally agree with him…

The Fix – Chris Cillizza

There are lots of reasons for McAuliffe’s expected victory — GovBeat’s Reid Wilson hits on a number of them, including the Democrat’s massive spending edge – but the new WaPo poll is chock full of data points that provide a roadmap for how the race got to this point. We combed through the poll — it’s like Christmas morning for us when a new poll comes out — and came up with seven reasons that McAuliffe is almost certainly going to be the next governor of the Commonwealth.

1. People don’t like Cuccinelli. Roughly six in ten likely voters (58 percent) have an unfavorable opinion of the state Attorney General including 43 percent who have a “strongly” unfavorable view of him.  In fact, more people are strongly unfavorable toward Cuccinelli than are either strongly  (17 percent) or somewhat (24 percent) favorable about him.  You almost never win races when you unfavorable ratings are so high and/or when the intensity behind those unfavorables is so strong.

2. People think Cuccinelli is too conservative. A majority (54 percent) of likely voters said that Cuccinelli’s views are “too conservative” for them while 36 percent said his stances were just about right. (Forty percent said McAuliffe’s views were too liberal while 50 percent said they were just about right.) When more than half of the electorate believes you are well outside of their political beliefs — to the right or left — it’s bad news.

3. Women, especially, think Cuccinelli isn’t their candidate. McAuliffe is beating Cuccinelli 58 percent to 34 percent among women voters in Virginia. (By way of comparison, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) beat Democrat Creigh Deeds by eight points among women in 2009.) Asked which candidate would do a better job handling “issues of special concern to women”, McAuliffe leads by 27 points. On which candidate would do a better job handling abortion, McAuliffe’s edge is 17 points.

4. Cuccinelli is losing the values fight.  Cuccinelli’s great strength in past races for state Senate and Attorney General was that even if voters didn’t agree with all of his issue stances, they believed he was a principled candidate who genuinely believed what he said. That reputation has taken a major hit in this race.  McAuliffe, whose reputation coming into this year was that he would say or do anything to get himself (or his preferred candidates) elected, has a nine-point lead over Cuccinelli on which candidate is “more honest and trustworthy”.  And, McAuliffe has an eight-point edge when voters are asked which candidate “more closely shares your values”.

5. The race is a referendum on Cuccinelli. Two-thirds of McAuliffe supporters say their vote is more against Cuccinelli than for the Democrat.  That number makes clear that the McAuliffe campaign has successfully turned this contest into a referendum on Cuccinelli and his views.

6. The federal government shutdown hurt Cuccinelli. Eighty two percent of likely voters disapprove of the government shutdown and a majority (51 percent) say that Republicans were mainly responsible for it. (Thirty percent say the blame primarily rests with President Obama.) When asked how important the government shutdown was in deciding their votes, 55 percent of the sample say it was “very” important. Worth noting: Aside from the damage the shutdown did to Cuccinelli, it also kept attention away from the disastrous launch of Healthcare.gov, a potentially terrific issue for Cuccinelli who was a leading voice nationally in opposition to the law.

7. The Republican brand stinks in the state. The GOP brand is struggling in the Commonwealth. Fifty seven percent of likely voters view the Virginia Republican party unfavorably and 65 percent view the national Republican party in an unfavorable light. By contrast, a majority — albeit it a slim one — have a favorable view of the state Democratic party (53 percent) and the national Democratic party (50 percent).

Add those seven factors up and combine the fact that McAuliffe is outspending Cuccinelli by $8 million and you see that this race is lost for Republicans.

 

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Filed under Terry McAuliff, Virginia Politics

Democrat McAuliffe leading Tea Party [Candidate] Cuccinelli in latest poll for VA Governor’s race

Ken Cucinelli should not become Governor of the State of Virginia.   The following article poits out how Cucinelli’s warped view of governing won’t be good for Virginians.

Forward Progressive

With elections just a few months away, the latest Quinnipiac Poll is showing Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe with a 6 point lead over Virginia’s current attorney general and Republican hopeful Ken Cuccinelli. The poll has McAuliffe at 48% while Cuccinelli sits at 42% with a 2.9% margin of error.

This is going to be a very important election for the state of Virginia, as Ken Cuccinelli embraces many conservative ideals that will without a doubt set this state back a few decades. With his almost comical quest to reinstate Virginia’s age-old anti-sodomy statute and regressive opinions on abortion, immigration, marriage equality and LGBT rights, it is a must that Virginia’s progressive independent voters make their way to the polls in November.

While most have made a joke out of his quest to have a stay of execution for the anti-sodomy law, there is a very real, very scary agenda being pushed here that tells you just how he will handle his duties as Governor if elected — with his bible in one hand and gavel in the other.

The law was struck down by a three-judge panel of the 4th United States Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia in March of this year as it was declared unconstitutional. Judge Robert King and Diana Gibbon Motz both voting to overturn the law against oral and anal sex on the grounds that it violates the Constitution’s due process clause. They based their decision on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling in the Lawrence v. Texas case, which brought the end to a similar anti-sodomy law in other states through-out the country.

“It is shameful that Virginia continued to prosecute individuals under the sodomy statute for 10 years after the Supreme Court held that such laws are unconstitutional, this ruling should bring an end to such prosecutions.” –Rebecca Glenberg, Virginia ACLU

Cuccinelli filed an appeal with the Supreme Court over the decision, but his request was denied by Chief Justice John Roberts.

This is exactly the type of action by Cuccinelli that leaves him at odds with many Virginia voters, and not just for the obvious reason. A blanket law banning oral and anal sex would leave a massive grey area leaving the door open for broad prosecutions not in the spirit of the law’s intent, which Cuccinelli has argued was to protect minors from sexual predators. Some Virginians have expressed concern that the law, if reinstated as-is, could also be used to prosecute gay and lesbian residents of the state.

With all this working against Cuccinelli among the states growing progressive population, he is likely also feeling some negative effect from the dark cloud hovering over current Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R), who is embroiled in scandal over whether or not he and his wife received gifts and financial compensation in exchange for aiding Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams Sr. on the launch of his company’s latest product. While he has said he plans on serving out the rest of his term as the state’s governor, many are calling for his prosecution and/or resignation. None of this scandal bodes well for Cuccinelli, who in the past has had close ties to Governor McDonnell.  In 2009, the pair were on stage together raising their hands in victory when both were elected to their current positions — and yet now McDonnell can’t even endorse him publicly due to concern it could further hurt his turnout.

Both McAullife and Cuccinelli are showing at least 90% support from their base and a 44 to 42 percent split among independent voters; the poll also found that the number of likely Democratic voters should outnumber Republicans 39 to 32 percent. Coincidentally, that’s the same number from the exit polls in the 2012 presidential election.  It will be a very interesting race to say the least, and one that could have great influence in the 2016 presidential election depending on the victor in November. Both candidates have also ramped up the attack ads of late, and we’re coming down to the wire so it’s bound to get even nastier.

Here’s to hoping that independent voters could be the group that helps keep the progressive train chugging in Virginia.

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Filed under VA Politics

PA GOP Governor Defends Ultrasounds Bill: Tells Concerned Women ‘You Just Have To Close Your Eyes’

 

I’m speechless…

Think Progress

More than 10 state legislatures are considering or have passed bills forcing women to receive an ultrasound before having an abortion. And Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering one of the most far-reaching ultrasound bills in the nation.

Gov. Tom Corbett (R) reaffirmed this week that he supports the anti-abortion measure so long as it’s not obtrusive because women could simply close their eyes during the procedure:

QUESTION: Making them watch…does that go too far in your mind?

CORBETT: I’m not making anybody watch, OK. Because you just have to close your eyes. As long as it’s on the exterior and not the interior.

Watch his answer:

Critics say Corbett’s comments show he doesn’t understand how the bill would even work. While the Pennsylvania legislation has been amended to remove references to invasive transvaginal ultrasounds, the language suggests a transvaginal ultrasound could still be required if the embryo is too small. Patrick Murphy, a Democrat running for attorney general, called for Corbett to apologize for his statement. “It’s unthinkable that he would so casually dismiss this by advising women to just close their eyes,” Murphy said.

The state House canceled a vote on the bill this week because medical associations have voiced concerns about the measure. And 48 percent of Pennsylvania voters oppose the ultrasound bill, with 42 percent supporting the measure, according to a new Quinnipiac poll. And 64 percent of voters oppose requiring transvaginal ultrasounds.

Meanwhile, Corbett’s approval rating among Pennsylvanians is dropping.

 

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Filed under GOP, GOP Cluelessness

‘Zombie Obama’: A GOP group’s ‘disgusting’ email

A county GOP committee in Virginia sent out this Obama illustration as part of an invitation to a Halloween parade, and ended up offending Democrats and Republicans alike.

I originally opted to avoid this story but the more I read about it, the more I realized I needed to be among the chorus of people and organizations that spoke out against this very offensive gesture…

The Week

Virginia Republicans apologize after sending a mailer depicting the president as a zombie with a bullet hole in his head. What were they thinking?

Best Opinion:  Death + Taxes, Slate, Ology

The image: A Halloween-themed mailer from Virginia’s Loudon County Republican Committee sparked bipartisan outrage this week for its gruesome rendering of President Obama as a zombie with a bullet hole in his head. (See the image at right and below.) The email, which invited supporters to the county GOP’s Halloween parade, also featured undead versions of Democratic voters and Nancy Pelosi, with the tagline, “We are going to vanquish the zombies with clear thinking conservative principles and a truckload of Republican candy.” The mailer has been condemned by the chairman of Virginia’s Republican Party, and Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell branded it as “disgusting.” The county committee has since apologized for the “Zombie Obama” image, calling it a “light-hearted attempt to inject satire humor into the Halloween holiday.”

The reaction: “Have these people no sense?” says Andrew Belonsky at Death and Taxes. It’s in the worst of taste, both morally and politically, to depict any politician with a gunshot wound, particularly after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was nearly killed by a bullet earlier this year. This is “too gruesome for words.” I guess “I’m nearly impossible to offend,” says David Wiegel at Slate. The blog that first posted this image crashed “under the weight of traffic from liberals who want to be pissed off at something,” but I just don’t see what the big deal is. Regardless, this “zombie madness contributes heavily to my dislike for Halloween,” says Noah Rothman at Ology. “Thank God it’s November.”

Related articles

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Filed under GOP Malfeasance, Obama Derangement Syndrome

Major winter storm barrels up East Coast

We actually had a brief “white” Christmas here in Atlanta.  Snow fell here about 4:00 pm on Christmas Day.  It lasted for about a half hour.  The kids were excited, but couldn’t go outside because they all had colds. 

At about 5:30 pm it started to rain and what little snow accumulated had quickly disappeared.

Yahoo News

A winter storm that brought a rare white Christmas to parts of the South was barreling up the East Coast early Sunday, with forecasters predicting 6 to 10 inches of snow for Washington and blizzard conditions for New York City and New England.

Airlines canceled hundreds of Sunday flights in the Northeast corridor, with more likely to come as the storm intensifies.

Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina declared states of emergency early Sunday or Saturday night. As North Carolina road crews tried to clear snowy and icy highways, Mid-Atlantic officials spent Christmas Day preparing for up to a foot of snow, plunging temperatures and high winds.

“Our concern is tomorrow it’s going to get significantly colder,” Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell told The Weather Channel on Saturday evening. “Winds with gusts up to 45 miles per hour will cause blowing snow and that’s going to cause the worst of it … and we’re urging extreme caution in travel. Try to get home early and if you don’t have to travel don’t go.”   More…

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Filed under Holiday Snow