Greed for money, lust for power, and the craving for impunity are powerful forces; loosed in the political system by judicial decree, they are swiftly devastating any remaining shreds of dignity and honor. Mc Donnell may another step toward an autocracy of wealth, ruled by the rich and by the shameless politicians, like Bob Mc Donnell, who serve them.
When Bob Mc Donnell burst onto the national scene in 2009, he was everything the Republican Party needed—a good-looking family man who stopped the Obama juggernaut in its tracks in the swing state of Virginia just 12 months after the party’s Mc Cain humiliation of 2008.
The fall of the Mc Donnell family (the governor’s wife, Maureen, stood trial with him; her appeal is pending before the Fourth Circuit) had its roots in the financial collapse of 2008.
Mc Donnell, an Army veteran and former Virginia attorney general, was bit wealthy when he was elected governor in 2009.
After the crash, his family real-estate holdings had become a monthly cash drain. But into his life, and Maureen’s, came an angel named Jonnie Williams, owner of a nutritional-supplement firm called Star Scientific.
At their first social encounter, Williams dazzled the Mc Donnells, ordering a ,000 bottle of cognac and offering to speak to his friend Oscar de la Renta about a custom inaugural gown for Maureen. Eventually the Mc Donnells arranged 0,000 in personal and family-business loans, and another ,000 loan to pay the bills for their daughter’s wedding.
Mc Donnell’s defense team pinned the couple’s hopes for freedom on persuading the jury that Mrs.
Mc Donnell was a lovelorn, possibly mentally ill, “angry,” “manipulative,” “unpredictable,” “deceptive,” “nut bag,” all descriptions of the former first lady that came from defense witnesses, including several of Bob Mc Donnell’s relatives.
On April 22, Terry Mc Auliffe, the current governor of Virginia, issued an order restoring full civil rights—including the right to vote—to more than 200,000 Virginians who had been convicted of felonies.
Until now, a felony conviction in the commonwealth had carried with it lifelong disfranchisement—unless a governor issued an individual order restoring rights.