Tag Archives: Bob McDonnell

Former Governor Wilder stands by McDonnell, courtroom crowd applauds

Bob McDonnellBy Lynn R. Mitchell

As character witness after character witness approached the witness stand, federal prosecutors sat and listened but made no move to cross-examine … until former Governor Doug Wilder stepped up to defend his old friend. Rosalind S. Helderman and Matthew Zapotosky with the Washington Post wrote what happened in the courtroom that caused the pro-McDonnell crowd to explode in applause when he brought up the man who got blanket immunity from the federal government:

L. Douglas Wilder, a fraternity brother of the former  governor and a former Virginia governor himself, told the judge that if not for this case, McDonnell would be on the shortlist for the presidential nomination.

“Without question,” Wilder said.
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Speaker Howell reacts to McDonnell verdict, stands by his friend

Bob McDonnellBy Lynn R. Mitchell

One of the character witnesses at Tuesday’s sentencing trial for former Governor Bob McDonnell was Virginia House of Representatives Speaker Bill Howell who stood up for his friend and fellow Republican. Washington Post reporter Matthew Zapotosky, who was in the courthouse in Richmond, noted the Speaker’s defense of McDonnell:

Speaker of the Virginia House William J. Howell (R-Stafford) has told Judge James Spencer that the trial and conviction of former governor Bob McDonnell has already served as a significant deterrent to other state lawmakers who might be tempted to break the law.

He said both caucuses of both chambers of the legislature have had “people” (FBI agents, presumably) brief them on the trial’s lessons. As a result, he said, legislators were especially concerned to “dot all their i’s and cross all their t’s.”

He noted that the legislature has already enhanced state ethics laws as a result of McDonnell’s actions and is likely to  stiffen those laws when the annual legislative session opens next week.
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Prayers for former Governor Bob McDonnell

Bob McDonnellBy Lynn R. Mitchell

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” –Mother Teresa

My thoughts drift tonight to Bob McDonnell….

I sincerely hope the judge takes the 440 character letters submitted on Bob’s behalf into consideration while deciding the fate of a man’s life, a man who has spent most of his life in service to the citizens of Virginia and America, a military man who spent decades serving his country, and a man who always had time to speak.

On my bookcase sits a photo of Bob and my husband, both smiling for the camera, taken by yours truly.  My husband brought it to the living room when Bob went on trial during the summer and proclaimed he wanted everyone to see it, his way of showing support.  It has not been moved and I suspect it will stay there for a long time.

A good man’s fate will be decided in less than 12 hours. Many prayers will be offered up tonight….

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell
February 2011

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VPAP’s top news stories for 2014

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Virginia Public Access Project, more commonly known as VPAP, polled their subscribers and 475 participated (including me) with their responses about the top news stories for 2014 (see Top News Stories for 2014):

More than 475 VaNews subscribers participated in our annual top stories survey. Here is the result:

Story that will have most asting impact on Virginia:
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LTE: ‘Former governor did not receive a fair trial’

[Editor’s note: This letter to the editor appeared in the Progress-Index on December 31, 2014.]

As the sentencing date for former Gov. Bob McDonnell’s conviction on corruption charges approaches, one wonders “Did Gov. McDonnell receive a fair trial?” Consider:

During the Fourth of July weekend in 2013, a rumor surfaced that McDonnell was about to plead guilty and resign from office. Due to the holiday weekend, the rumor received wide publicity before it could be discredited. McDonnell’s image was severely tarnished and there were several calls for his resignation.

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Did judge in McDonnell trial have conflict of interest?

Bob McDonnell 10

Governor Bob McDonnell

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Many have commented that Judge James Spencer, the Federal judge who presided over Bob and Maureen McDonnell’s trial, ruled almost exclusively against the Governor before, during, and after the trial.

Now we learn that in 1997, McDonnell voted against the judge’s wife when she was nominated to the Virginia Supreme Court (see Should McDonnell have asked for a different judge? by Will Houp at WAVY TV-10).

Would that be a huge conflict of interest?

WAVY TV asked the question, “Should McDonnell have asked for a different judge?”

Good question. Reporter Will Houp investigated the matter:

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Judge refuses to acquit or call for new trial for McDonnells

By Lynn R. Mitchell

[U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer] turned down the requests by former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife for acquittal or a new trial on corruption charges. In September a federal jury convicted Bob McDonnell on 11 of 13 counts and Maureen McDonnell on nine of 13.

The judge also threw out Maureen McDonnell’s obstruction of justice conviction saying “obstruction of justice requires more than a misleading note” (see Judge tosses out one of Maureen McDonnell’s convictions).

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Veterans Day 2014: Their sacrifice enables our freedom

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Today we honor those who have sacrificed to enable our freedom.

At LynnRMitchell.com, two of our contributors are veterans. Today we thank them for their dedication to God and country. Contributor Daniel Cortez is a Marine Vietnam veteran who was wounded in 1970 and was decorated for extraordinary heroism in combat. Managing editor Kurt Michael is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers veteran. My husband, a Southeast Asia-Vietnam era Air Force veteran, is flying American flags in front of our home along with the POW-MIA flag, a reminder of those who did not come back.

Grandfathers, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors … heroes surround us.

As then-Governor Bob McDonnell, himself a U.S. Army veteran, noted in 2012, “The sacrifice of these heroes and their families makes it possible for us to continue to live and to freely pursue our dreams here in the greatest nation this world has ever known. Freedom is not free. Our brave veterans remind us of that every day. … I urge all Virginians to once again renew our pledge to all of those who are serving and have served: an eternally grateful Commonwealth and country stand forever ready to serve you. … We can’t just stop and recognize our heroes on one day. We must recognize them, serve them, and thank them every day. Our liberty depends upon their sacrifice.”

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

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Bill Bolling: Will GOP learn from Gillespie campaign?

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Former Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling has an excellent op-ed in today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch where he noted that Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ed Gillespie was able to pull many factions on the right together to come within a less than a point of beating incumbent Mark Warner. While that’s good, it’s still a loss for the Virginia Republican Party which has lost “nine of the past 10 top-of-the-ticket statewide campaigns in Virginia.”

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Obama greenhouse gas regulatory agenda will have negative effect on Virginia

By Lynn R. Mitchell

The Partnership for a Better Energy Future released the following statement Tuesday night:

Below is a statement from former Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Doug Domenech regarding Tuesday night’s Virginia U.S. Senate debate and the potential negative effect the Obama Administration’s greenhouse gas regulatory agenda will have on the Commonwealth:

“Virginians across the Commonwealth are glad to hear that greenhouse gases are being discussed by our U.S. Senate candidates,” said Doug Domenech, former Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources. “The EPA’s proposed regulations can’t be met without forcing substantial strain on the energy sector.  The result will be so severe that Virginia’s economy and job outlook will be seriously impacted. The cost to light and heat our homes will go up, as will the cost to drive our cars and trucks.  Our next U.S. Senator must take this issue seriously and work to stop the EPA’s job killing energy policy.”

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Bill Bolling to head up governor’s ethics commission

Bill Bolling, Jean Ann 2014 Lt. Gov dinnerBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Former Virginia Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling has one more job to add to his already-full plate of interests along with his full-time job: co-chairing a commission to study ethics, campaign-finance reform, and nonpartisan redistricting.

According to Laura Vozzella with the Washington Post (see In wake of McDonnell conviction, McAulifee to announce ethics commission), Bolling, a Republican, will be appointed today by Governor Terry McAuliffe to head up the new commission along with former Democratic Congressman Rick Boucher. The announcement is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at the State Capitol in Richmond.

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Bob McDonnell, Frontier Culture Museum appointment, and me

Frontier Culture Museum 2By Lynn R. Mitchell

Over my desk hangs a framed document signed by Governor Bob McDonnell when I was appointed in 2010 to the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia’s Board of Trustees. That was Bob McDonnell fitting a hand into a glove, and it had nothing to do with money or power. I didn’t ask to be appointed; in fact, I had never asked for any appointments in all my years of volunteering for the Republican Party.

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Defending Bob McDonnell … will federal government now go on a witch hunt for others?

Bob McDonnell 10By Lynn R. Mitchell

The stunned shock when former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was convicted on questionable federal fraud charges turned into disbelief and concern from his supporters and even some of his adversaries.

Those concerns were addressed Sunday in an article by Bob Rayner in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (see After the verdict: More indictments?):

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PTSD and the McDonnell Verdict

Daniel Cortez 2Electing Veterans To Office A Liability?

By Daniel P. Cortez

As an independent media political operative, I spent more time observing former Governor Bob McDonnell than most folks.  As a veteran, I considered him a friend.

Reading the guilty verdict of McDonnell and his wife Maureen brought reflections of firsthand accounts that things were badly askew with Virginia’s then-first family in spite of what I may have wanted for the family of the Commonwealth’s chief executive.

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Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s statement after McDonnell verdict

Terry McAuliffe 2By Lynn R. Mitchell

Virginia Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe responded after the verdict on Thursday for former Republican Governor Bob McDonnell:

“I am deeply saddened by the events of the trial that ended in today’s verdict, and the impact it has had on our Commonwealth’s reputation for honesty and clean government. Dorothy and I will continue to pray for the McDonnell family and for everyone who was affected by this trial.”

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