Problems of his own making

Published 11:34 am Saturday, April 19, 2014

He’s been out of office for nearly four months now, but the Bob McDonnell campaign machine is working harder than ever.

The cause has nothing to do with getting the former governor elected to public office. Rather, it’s keeping him out of the slammer.

McDonnell’s so-called Restoration Fund is bombarding potential sympathizers with email appeals for money to pay high-priced lawyers to defend him against federal corruption charges.

McDonnell is “in the fight of his life and he needs your help,” the latest email implores.

It continues:

Just recently five former Virginia Attorney Generals, three of them Democrats, signed an open letter to the federal judge to drop the so-called corruption charges against Governor McDonnell stating that the foundation for 11 of the counts “is completely alien to any legal advice that any of us would have given to any Governor of Virginia” and noted that it would create terrible legal precedent of federal prosecution of normal political participation.

The weakness of the federal case against the McDonnells is further underscored by the recent United States Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission that was decided earlier this month. While the ruling was on limits on aggregate federal donations, the Court stated that “government regulation may not target the general gratitude a candidate may feel toward those who support him or his allies, or the political access such support may afford….” and “ingratiation and access … are not corruption.”

MAKE A CONTRIBUTION TO THE RESTORATION FUND TODAY. We estimate that Bob’s defense will cost in excess of a million dollars. The trial alone will cost approximately $1 million for legal fees, housing, experts, transcripts etc. We need to insure that the legal team has the resources to prepare and defend Bob at trial.

The purpose of the Restoration Fund is to raise the funds needed to cover Bob McDonnell’s legal expenses, which can be ruinous for a man who has spent over four decades in service, first to America as a United States Army officer, then to the Commonwealth as a Delegate, Attorney General and Governor.

So many of you have stood with Bob in so many of his political races and fights. We are asking for you to stand with him one more time.

Please take the time and click on the link and stand with our good friend.

To which we say: McDonnell and his wife should have considered the possibility of their current predicament before jumping in bed with snake-oil salesman Jonnie Williams of Star Scientific infamy. Legally shaky as prosecutors’ case may seem, the McDonnells have no one but themselves to blame for the poor judgment that gave their adversaries fodder.

McDonnell’s descent from popular governor and presidential prospect to accused felon begging for donations to his legal defense fund is stunning — and a reminder to politicians everywhere of the danger of greed when it trumps a heart for public service.