Author Topic: Former Gov & 1st Lady Spend Their Way to an indictment (on someone else's tab!)  (Read 4010 times)

hownowbrowncow

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This is such a ridiculous tale of getting in your own way due to greed.  This was a guy two years ago on the short list for Romney's VP.  Coincidentally elected the same day as Chris Christie....

I've pasted some links below but the short version is former VA gov Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen have just been indicted for accepting lavish gifts and tens of thousands in loans from a Virginia businessman looking to promote his diet supplement. 

Why?  Because $175,000/year + free housing wasn't enough to live on!  Not with lavish weddings, fancy clothes and a vacation home mortgage to pay for.

Quote
“We are broke, have an unconscionable amount in credit card debt already, and this Inaugural is killing us!!” Maureen McDonnell wrote in an e-mail to an aide to the then-governor-elect in December 2009, after the aide expressed concerns about an offer by Williams to buy her inaugural gown.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/former-va-gov-mcdonnell-and-wife-charged-in-gifts-case/2014/01/21/1ed704d2-82cb-11e3-9dd4-e7278db80d86_story.html

http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/local/robert-f-mcdonnell-indictment/751/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2014/01/22/bob-and-maureen-mcdonnell-werent-cheap-friends/?uuid=77ccfc5e-83a7-11e3-a273-6ffd9cf9f4ba&wt=BlogStory&tid=hpModule_ea22e378-b26e-11e2-bbf2-a6f9e9d79e19&hpid=z3

olivia

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I'm originally from VA, so have followed this closely.  I am filled with schadenfreude given that he is supposedly a family values fiscal conservative. 

greaper007

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The thing that blows my mind about these kinds of stories is that they generally don't get that much money for the scam.    To even think about pulling something like this off I would have to be pulling down over a million.   Yet I think these guys only made off with something like $200,000.   That's only a years salary, not to mention he could probably double his pay in the private sector after his term was up.

Bizarrely stupid short term con.

MgoSam

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I haven't followed this much since the 2013 elections, but does anyone know if the former AG or other officials face indictment? I recall reading that the former AG who ran for governor (can't spell his name) also received gifts from that diet company. I will look into this later tonight.

MissStache

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schadenfreude

This word was inveted for situations like this.  I am relishing it!

joleran

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Bizarrely stupid short term con.

Exactly.  You (as a politician) don't get your serious dirty money until after you leave office, this is politics 101 people!  Pander those special interests hard, getting nothing but favors in return while you sit as an elected official, then leave politics and go sit on the board of a company or three pulling in a few million a year in perpetuity.  Don't try to skip ahead, and you can get away with it forever because you haven't actually done anything legally wrong.

greaper007

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Bizarrely stupid short term con.

Exactly.  You (as a politician) don't get your serious dirty money until after you leave office, this is politics 101 people!  Pander those special interests hard, getting nothing but favors in return while you sit as an elected official, then leave politics and go sit on the board of a company or three pulling in a few million a year in perpetuity.  Don't try to skip ahead, and you can get away with it forever because you haven't actually done anything legally wrong.

Funny, Sad, True

TrulyStashin

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I haven't followed this much since the 2013 elections, but does anyone know if the former AG or other officials face indictment? I recall reading that the former AG who ran for governor (can't spell his name) also received gifts from that diet company. I will look into this later tonight.

Virginian, here. Cuccinnelli, our former arch-conservative AG, who recently lost the gubernatorial election, has not been indicted.  That was surprising to many of us who have been watching this because he bought and sold stock in the company with suspiciously fortunate timing leading to hefty profits and he did not disclose his stock purchases as required by VA law.  Given that the company has NEVER made a profit and it's stock has, in general, done very poorly, it was quite serendipitous that Cooch made money.  There were also vacations at the CEO's luxury estate at Smith Mountain Lake which were not reported and overnight stays at the CEO's Richmond-area "house."

The real kick in the nuts is that because Cuccinnelli had a conflict-of-interest while serving as AG, he had to recuse the entire AG's office from defending Gov. McDonnell during the last 6 months of McD's term.  As a result, McD's high-priced lawyers billed the state for almost $200k in legal fees.

Now that he is out of office, McD will have to pay for his own defense.  Apparently his legal defense fund has raised a grand total of $11,400. 

What a mess.   And yes, I am enjoying their downfall.  Both McD and Cooch held themselves up as icons of virtue - fiscal and personal -- while pushing through laws that seriously infringe on privacy rights.   I'm glad to see the back of both of these scoundrels.

jimmymango

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This is the same thing that just happened to Ray Nagin, former mayor of New Orleans - http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/12/justice/louisiana-nagin-convicted. I heard on the radio that he received trips to Jamaica, New York, and Chicago; thousands in cash payments; and paid for expensive family dinners with city money, among other benefits that just don't seem worth it. Why wouldn't he just wait and take a private sector lobbying job and rake in serious cash after he was out of office. Silly goose that one.

MgoSam

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I don't know, mayors I can see being way more corrupt because their ability to get money comes from being in power. The moment they leave power they don't have access to the same levers of money.

While there can be an implicit agreement, like take care of me now and I'll take care of you later, it is hard to do so unless there is trust. Lockheed Martin and other defense contractors need deal from the Pentagon, so I can believe that there might be an implicit agreement between procurement officers and the contractors. But it might be a lot harder with the people that are bribing mayors like Nagin.