Ex-Republican Gov, Bob McDonnell Charged For Fraud in Federal Court

Looks like Gov Chris Christie may have a Republican roommate waiting for him in the Federal Prison. Headed for the next “Orange Jumpsuit Award for Politicians” is the former (3 days) Governor of Virginia…And is wife.

And since the  former Republican Virginia Attorney General and losing Gubernatorial candidate, Ken Cuccinelli also accepted “gifts” from the same folks…He may well be next.

The only thing that is missing from this one is Mrs. Mcdonnell stuffing cash in her bra ala Orange Jumpsuited former Prince Georges executive Jack Johnson’s wife… So far. Republicans are just so much more classy with their ill gotten money!

Bob McDonnell, Wife Charged In Gifts Case

Days after he left office, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, were charged Tuesday in federal court with illegally accepting gifts, trips, and loans from a Virginia businessman and political donor.

The indictment was filed in the U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va., charging them each with 13 federal crimes.

Prosecutors had spent months investigating the relationship between the McDonnell family and Jonnie Williams, the now-former CEO of an embattled dietary supplements company called Star Scientific. Williams gave McDonnell and his family more than $150,000 in gifts and payments in recent years, at the same time that McDonnell and his wife took steps to support the company.

When their ties to the businessman became a public scandal in 2013, the McDonnells returned the gifts and repaid the money given to them by Williams.

 

You can read the gory details of the Charging Document here.

Orange Jumpsuit Politicians? Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli

Seems that Republican Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife have been playing fancy-free with “gifts” from corporate interests in Va. There was the matter of a $6500 Rolex, A $15,000 “donation” to pay McDonnell’s daughter’s wedding expenses at the Governor’s Mansion. $10,000 gift to McDonnells other daughter before her wedding.  Trips on private planes. A family “vacation”. A $1500 catered Thanksgiving Dinner and $3,000 “vacation”…

And that is just the “$125,000″ or so McDonnell has admitted taking from one wealthy businessman.

Then there is the issue of McDonnell’s wife using campaign funds as a personal piggy bank to buy clothes, furnish the mansion, and finance a lavish lifestyle. While not exactly illegal under Virginia law – it does raise some questions as to propriety.

Prosecutors are investigating what exactly these many gifts paid for.

McDonnell has been on a lot of the Republican Party potential Presidential candidates “short list” of VP picks. There also is some currency that McDonnell would make a run for a Senate seat or the big Kahuna – the Presidency.

Perhaps even more explosive is the fact that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli also benefitted from the largesse of the same group of business interests. Cuccinelli says Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams didn’t give him the kind of presents that can be returned. Gifts from Williams listed in Cuccinelli’s financial disclosure forms include a $1,500 catered Thanksgiving dinner, private jet trips and vacation lodging. When asked about the list of gifts—totaling $18,000—the attorney general responded by saying that “there are some bells you can’t un-ring.” The “Cuch” just happens to be running for Governor this term.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when the State’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer is taking gifts under the table… The Attorney General of all people in a Government is supposed to conduct themselves within the law to be above reproach.

There is the consideration that the uncovered monies may just be the tip of the iceberg…

Donor Jonnie Williams, Star Scientific are cooperating in probe of Gov. Robert McDonnell

A prominent political donor and his dietary supplement company have been cooperating for several months with federal prosecutors in a fast-moving public corruption investigation of Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, according to three people familiar with the probe.

Jonnie R. Williams Sr., chief executive of Star Scientific, has turned over personal financial records and sat for interviews in which he provided firsthand accounts of luxury gifts andmore than $120,000 given to McDonnell (R) and his family members since 2011, the people said.

Star has given prosecutors access to corporate records and offered information from other company officials. The three spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is in a sensitive stage.

The cooperation is an ominous sign for McDonnell, suggesting that federal prosecutors are focused on trying to build a potential criminal case against him.

McDonnell has not been charged, and prosecutors ultimately must determine whether they have the evidence to proceed against him.

But Williams is a critical witness who can offer investigators insight into the key issue for such a case: whether the governor and first lady agreed to take official actions that could help Williams’s company in exchange for his gifts.

McDonnell has repeatedly said he has broken no laws, insisting that he did nothing to help Williams’s company that he would not have done for any state-based enterprise. He has said he was not required by state law to disclose gifts given to his family members or a corporate loan that he said Williams provided. He has said he properly disclosed $50,000 given by Williams to his wife as a loan.

Still, McDonnell recently apologized for breaching the public’s trust and said he had repaid money he received from Williams, along with interest. Last week, he said he was working to return all of Williams’s gifts to his family.

But the federal probe is ongoing, as is an investigation by a state prosecutor in Richmond into whether the governor followed Virginia’s gift disclosure laws. Star Scientific has also told investors that it faces a securities probe.

Rich Galen, a spokesman for McDonnell, declined to comment, as did a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office and an attorney for Williams.

MHP one Ewwwwwwwe Jackson, Republican LT Governor Candidate in Va

Ouch!

Former Republican Governor Backs Obama

I raise your failed Congressman, wannabe Governor, Uncle Tom dejour Artur Davis with

Former successful Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist!

Former Gov. Charlie Crist: Here’s why I’m backing Barack Obama

I’ve studied, admired and gotten to know a lot of leaders in my life. Across Florida, in Washington and around the country, I’ve watched the failure of those who favor extreme rhetoric over sensible compromise, and I’ve seen how those who never lose sight of solutions sow the greatest successes.

As America prepares to pick our president for the next four years — and as Florida prepares once again to play a decisive role — I’m confident that President Barack Obama is the right leader for our state and the nation. I applaud and share his vision of a future built by a strong and confident middle class in an economy that gives us the opportunity to reap prosperity through hard work and personal responsibility. It is a vision of the future proven right by our history.

We often remind ourselves to learn the lessons of the past, lest we risk repeating its mistakes. Yet nearly as often, our short-term memory fails us. Many have already forgotten how deep and daunting our shared crisis was in the winter of 2009, as President Obama was inaugurated. It was no ordinary challenge, and the president served as the nation’s calm through a historically turbulent storm.

The president’s response was swift, smart and farsighted. He kept his compass pointed due north and relentlessly focused on saving jobs, creating more and helping the many who felt trapped beneath the house of cards that had collapsed upon them.

He knew we had to get people back to work as quickly as possible — but he also knew that the value of a recovery lies in its durability. Short-term healing had to be paired with an economy that would stay healthy over the long run. And he knew that happens best by investing in the right places.

President Obama invested in our children’s schools because he believes a good education is a necessity, not a luxury, if we’re going to create an economy built to last. He supported more than 400,000 K-12 teachers’ jobs, and he is making college more affordable and making student loans, like the ones he took out, easier to pay back.

He invested in our runways, railways and roads. President Obama knows a reliable infrastructure that helps move people to work and helps businesses move goods to market is a foundation of growth.

And the president invested in our retirement security by strengthening Medicare. The $716 billion in savings his opponents decry today extended the life of the program by nearly a decade and are making sure taxpayer dollars aren’t wasted in excessive payments to insurance companies or fraud and abuse. His opponents would end the Medicare guarantee by creating a voucher that would raise seniors’ costs by thousands of dollars and bankrupt the program.

We have more work to do, more investments to make and more waste to cut. But only one candidate in this race has proven a willingness to navigate a realistic path to prosperity…(more)

Lighting a Fire – Personhood Bills

The newest group legislation pushed by Republicans across the state legislatures is called Personhood. It is a direct attack on Abortion, by declaring a fetus a person at the moment of conception.

The pushback against this legislation nationwide is just beginning to gain steam… But in Virginia it seems to have gone from zero to 900 MPH in just a few days…

Think maybe Gov McDonnell may be looking at the end of those future political ambitions.

Opposition mounts to Va. personhood bill

A petition opposing two abortion-related bills winding through the Virginia legislature is spreading like “wildfire.” In just over 24 hours, 17,000 people have signed the measure that says the Virginia government is conducting a “war on women.”

The petition is organized by ProgressVA. Most of the signatories say they are Virginia residents and most are women, and the message they give is clear: The government is overstepping its bounds.

“This war on women has got to stop,” the petition reads. “Virginia may be the butt of jokes for late night comedians, but the bills coming out of the General Assembly this year are no laughing matter.”

Catherine from Richmond wrote next to her name: “I say to you men in the Virginia legislature – Leave our bodies alone. This is not your place; this is not your right. What you’re doing is immoral.”

The online petition through signon.org has been spreading quickly, largely through social media. (In the thirty minutes it took me to write this story, 300 additional people added their name.)

“We’re absolutely pleased and frankly a little overwhelmed,” with petition response, Anna Scholl, Executive Director of ProgressVA, said. “It’s been spreading like wildfire.”

The petition is addressed to The Virginia State Senate, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and Governor Bob McDonnell as they are instrumental in the future of these bills. (McDonnell is considered a rising star in the Republican Party. He has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate.)

The Virginia House of Delegates passed HB 1, also known as the “personhood” bill, this week. It defines a fertilized egg as a person, and according to the legislation, “provides that unborn children at every stage of development enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the Commonwealth.”

Virginia would be the first state in the nation to define a fetus – and a fertilized egg – as a person. It passed the General Assembly and the Senate could take it up as early as this week, if it chooses.

The second bill petitioners object to is HB 462, which requires a woman receive a transvaginal ultrasound before an abortion. Both bodies of the legislature have passed this measure and only needs Republican Gov. McDonnell’s signature before it becomes law.

Scholl says they will continue to spread the word and hope to deliver the petitions as early as this week.

“These recent policies turn my stomach. I believe in fiscal conservatism. Stop mixing it with my personal rights,” Lisa Schroeer of Charlottesville, Virginia wrote.

Bad Night for the Reich Wing – Good Night for America

In what are considered bellweather elections prior to the 2012 contests, Republicans went down on a lot of fronts…

Miss. defeats life-at-fertilization ballot prop

Mississippi voters Tuesday defeated a ballot initiative that would’ve declared life begins at fertilization, a proposal that supporters sought in the Bible Belt state as a way to prompt a legal challenge to abortion rights nationwide.

The so-called “personhood” initiative was rejected by more than 55 percent of voters, falling far short of the threshold needed for it to be enacted. If it had passed, it was virtually assured of drawing legal challenges because it conflicts with the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a legal right to abortion. Supporters of the initiative wanted to provoke a lawsuit to challenge the landmark ruling.

Ohio voters reject Republican-backed union limits

The state’s new collective bargaining law was defeated Tuesday after an expensive union-backed campaign that pitted firefighters, police officers and teachers against the Republican establishment.

In a political blow to GOP Gov. John Kasich, voters handily rejected the law, which would have limited the bargaining abilities of 350,000 unionized public workers. With more than a quarter of the votes counted late Tuesday, 63 percent of votes were to reject the law.

Democrats, unions cheered by election results

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, a folksy moderate Democrat, cruised to victory as expected with about 56 percent of the vote over a Republican and an Independent candidate.

The only bad news? Johnny Dupree lost in his run for Mississippi Governor. Republican Phil Bryant had 59 percent of the vote to 41 percent for Democrat Johnny DuPree, with 43 percent of the votes counted. If DuPree had won, the mayor of Hattiesburg would have been the first African-American to win statewide office in Mississippi in modern times.

 

Black Folks in Texas Speak Up About “Big Hair” Perry

One of the ways to find out how good or bad a candidate is…

Is to ask the folks at home.

Texas Blacks advise looking at the real Rick Perry

Not Just and Empty Suit... But an Empty Toupe

Perry’s standard line is that he can do for the nation what he has done for Texas, which he says is create jobs, maintain public education and balance the budget without raising taxes. But the numbers, and Black residents of the state, tell a different story.

“I just want America to wake up and look at the true picture,” said Karen Hasan, a postal service supervisor and Texas resident for 32 years. “He’s [Rick Perry] talking out both sides of his neck.”

Residents speaking to the AFRO about Gov. Perry were largely in agreement, citing unemployment, substandard jobs and a failing public education system among the governor’s biggest shortcomings. “I haven’t seen him try to create any jobs for people or anything,” said Texas native Regina Holley, 53. “I don’t think he’s done anything that’s worked out well for Texas.”

Charles Dorsey, 62 and a Texan for 35 years, said many of the jobs being created don’t even pay minimum wage, adding, “Texas has the lowest average hourly income of any state in the United States other than Mississippi. I think people need to understand the type of jobs being created.”

Along with the unemployment and jobs situation in the state, native Texan Ronni Bowman, third year student at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, referenced the large number of residents without health insurance.

Saying that he panders to special interests, Melanie Spratt-Anderson, the first Black and three-term Upton County attorney, said Perry’s only interest in health care came in the form of a 2007 executive order to inoculate girls, by the sixth grade, with Merck’s Gardasil while at the same time refusing to sign legislation to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The state legislature was able to stop this action and Perry’s connections to Merck were under scrutiny. She said, “Anybody that has enough money to contribute to him, will get what they pay for.”

Dorsey questioned Perry’s transparency. “Unfortunately, the people of Texas cannot even get his calendar for last month or months before. … One of the things that really bothers me is that the guy is so secretive about what he’s doing that every seven days all of his emails are purged. So people don’t really know what he is doing and what he has done.”

Dorsey also called Perry “one of the biggest phonies I have ever seen,” with George Powell, a 15 year Texas resident, adding, “He has a reputation for being all fluff. Everything is ceremonial.”

Which probably explains why each one dismissed Perry’s Houston day of prayer and fasting. Powell said, “Clearly it was just to jumpstart his campaign.” Hasan added, “I think it’s a ploy to get more votes.”

Saying that Texas politicians pander to conservative Christians, Spratt-Anderson added, “It was purely to get the votes. I wish Christians would stop falling for that.”

“That’s why I’m saying he’s a phony,” said Dorsey. “Up until recently, Rick Perry has not been a very religious person. In fact, if you ask his church, he’s only tithed like $98 for the whole year. But now, all of a sudden, he’s become this religious person, [saying] that we can pray everything away. 

“Unfortunately if people fall for this, we’re in a world of trouble.”

No one recommended Perry as a candidate to look at when voting for president. “I think we’d be looking at another George Bush,” said Spratt Anderson. “… I don’t think it would be good.”

Powell concurred, saying that while Perry is probably the best in the Republican field right now, all that really means is that he is just the least objectionable of a lot of really bad choices. Holley said, “He’d just bring more destruction to the people of the United States.”

“The country is in trouble and needs someone with the ability to get us out reasonably,” said Dorsey. “I want people to really look at the true Rick Perry. Because if they did, they would never vote for him.”

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 144 other followers