When political operatives use the legal system to attack their opponents, we all lose. We have seen numerous examples of this in recent years. In 2002 House Majority Leader Tom Delay was charged with money laundering as part of a plan to redraw the Texas political map in 2002. He was finally cleared in 2014, thousands of dollars later. He also lost his position as House Majority Leader. Recently we saw the indictment of David Daleiden who took undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood‘s selling of aborted baby body parts (later overturned).
Fred and Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In January 2014, Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife were indicted on federal corruption charges. Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled on the case.
Politico reported yesterday:
A unanimous Supreme Court has overturned the corruption convictions of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, ruling that federal prosecutors relied on a “boundless” definition of the kinds of acts that could lead politicians to face criminal charges.
The decision from the eight-justice court could make it tougher for prosecutors to prove corruption cases against politicians in cases where there is no proof of an explicit agreement linking a campaign donation or gift to a contract, grant or vote.
If you read the details of the case, there was definitely some sleazy behavior there, but the actions of Governor McDonnell were not illegal under Virginia law. Also, note that this was a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court. That is rare.
Our political system has become toxic. It is time for all Americans to do their own research and draw their own conclusions. When you see the media gang up on a candidate or office holder, don’t believe anything you hear. This is an election season, and nothing should be a surprise. When you read in the mainstream media that the Trump campaign is being run by aliens that Donald Trump meets with in Dennis Kucinich‘s back yard, pay close attention–the media has an ulterior motive.
CBN News posted a story today about the federal corruption charges against Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. This is a federal case brought by the federal Department of Justice because no laws in Virginia were broken.
The article reports:
The McDonnells have been charged with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts, vacations and personal loans from Jonnie Williams, a former business executive, in exchange for promoting his products.
***The major question is whether McDonnell actually broke the law. Jay Sekulow, chief counsel with the American Center for Law and Justice, offered his insight on the case on The 700 Club, August 12.
There is no law in Virginia barring political figures from accepting gifts. I think there should be some sort of a limit on gifts to politicians, but since that is not the law in Virginia, no law was broken. The federal charge is that there was quid pro quo for the gifts.
I can’t help but wonder if the Justice Department would have brought this case if they hadn’t seen McDonnell as an up-and-coming Republican. Although I think that the governor exercised poor judgement in accepting the gifts, and I think the law should be changed, the fact is that he did not break the law. I fear that this is another example of the Justice Department being used as a political tool under the Obama Administration.
As a conservative, I have been known to blame the press for the politics of personal destruction aimed at Republican candidates. However, the politics of destruction would be much more difficult if many candidates did not do really stupid things.
Bob McDonnell was a rising star in the Republican party. He did a good job as governor of Virginia. Why did he think he was getting those gifts?
CBN News quotes Governor McDonnell on the corruption charges against him:
“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,” McDonnell said in response to the indictment.
“However, I repeat emphatically that I did nothing illegal for Mr. Williams in exchange for what I believed was his personal generosity and friendship. I never promised — and Mr. Williams and his company never received — any government benefit of any kind from me or my administration.”
I realize that Democrats do such things are raise campaign money in churches and pass (or not pass) laws the help their friends (see rightwinggranny.com), but Republicans can’t do that. The attacks on Chris Christie continue whether he did anything or not. Meanwhile, when was the last time you heard Hillary Clinton mentioned in the same breath as Benghazi? It’s just the way it is. Republicans have to be totally above board or they will be destroyed. Democrats–not so much.
The other recent stupid political mistake was made by Wendy Davis in Texas. If you can’t get your own life story straight, chances are remembering other fabrications is going to be a problem.
Both political parties need better candidates.
Image via Wikipedia
One of the things that President Obama continues to repeat is that the infrastructure of America–our roads and bridges–is falling apart and we need to spend large amounts of government money to fix them. I agree that many of our roads are in need of repair, I just question how effective the government will be in repairing them in a timely manner for a reasonable price.
Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia has a different idea. He applied to the Department of Transportation for permission to place a toll on Interstate 95 in southern Virginia.
The article reports:
Because the toll will essentially raise money from I-95 users to pay for I-95 improvements — including out-of-state travelers — there’s no concern people will view this as an unnecessary tax, Caldwell (McDonnell spokesman Jeff Caldwell) said.
I hate the idea of a toll road, but I can see the wisdom of the plan. If the money raised by the tolls is used exclusively to fund improvements and maintenance on that specific highway, the tolls make sense–those who use the road will pay for its upkeep.
The article further reports:
Federal highway authorities approved placing tolls on Interstate 81 in 2003 under the Interstate Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program, but that plan stalled. State Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton lobbied Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez in April 2010 to shift the tolls to I-95, a more heavily traveled highway that runs the length of the East Coast.
As I said, I hate the idea of tolls, but this actually makes sense.