Thursday, April 11, 2013

Let's be crystal clear: Bob McDonnell lied about the bribe he received

From Tuesday's Washington Post:
Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell has said his daughter and her husband paid for their own wedding. So a $15,000 check from a major campaign donor to pay for the food at the affair was a gift to the bride and groom and not to him and therefore did not have to be publicly disclosed under the law, the governor says.

But documents obtained by The Washington Post show that McDonnell signed the catering contract, making him financially responsible for the 2011 event. The governor made handwritten notes to the caterer in the margins. In addition, the governor paid nearly $8,000 in deposits for the catering.

When the combination of the governor’s deposit and the gift from the donor resulted in an overpayment to the caterer, the refund check of more than $3,500 went to McDonnell’s wife and not to his daughter, her husband or the donor.
Game. Set. Match.

It's a clear case of quid pro quo: McDonnell allowed Jonnie R. Williams Sr., chief executive of Star Scientific Inc. to use Virginia's Governor's Mansion to try to sell his snake oil tobacco-based food supplement and McDonnell's wife even made a sales trip for the company. In return the McDonnells received $15,000, part of which went to pay for their daughter's wedding catering and part of which--$3,500--went into Mrs. McDonnell's pocket.

This is corruption, plain and simple, and now McDonnell has been caught lying, trying to cover his tracks. The people of Virginia deserve a full investigation of every "gift" his family has received during his government service. Was this a one time occurrence, or has Bob McDonnell been for sale throughout his career.

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