Sunday, July 14, 2013

Even Bob McDonnell’s Friends Are Bracing for the Worst - What About Cuccinelli?

The greed and unbelievable hypocrisy of Bob McDonnell and his idiot wife has even McDonnell's friends bracing themselves for the worst as the investigation into the now hundreds of thousands of gifts - dare we say bribes? - received by the McDonnell's continues.  One can only hope that some of the focus of the investigations will shift to Ken Cuccinelli who likewise acted like a pig at the trough when it came to receive gifts (and insider trading tips?) from Star Scientific and its CEO.  A column in the conservative Richmond Times Dispatch looks at the festering situation:

Paul Nardo is spending hours these days in the attic of the state Capitol. He’s rummaging through the records of the House of Delegates. In those damp-smelling volumes, the clerk is searching for clues on the legislature’s role in the unprecedented: the resignation or removal of a Virginia governor.

They’re on a lot of people’s minds as Gov. Bob McDonnell descends deeper and deeper into the inferno of scandal.

No lawmakers asked Nardo for this research. He’s trying to stay ahead of the curve. Nardo has been studying ancient journals, perusing scholarly commentaries and reviewing how the House handled the closest thing to a gubernatorial impeachment: the impeachment of two judges in the 1940s.

That Nardo, as chief administrator of the Republican-dominated House, is considering how the abstract might become reality is an ominous sign for McDonnell.
This is not in the Democrats’ script. It doesn’t call for them to intervene in this slow-motion Republican suicide. Plus, the more Republicans dissemble on ethics, the less Democrats have to defend the supposed misdeeds of their gubernatorial nominee, Terry McAuliffe. In the backstairs debate among Democratic leaders, candidates and strategists, the consensus is to be cautious.

McAuliffe and running mates Ralph Northam and Mark Herring are in lockstep on a gifts ban for the elective class. Donald McEachin, chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, launched an online petition pressing McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli, the GOP candidate for governor, to make public all gifts.

McDonnell’s situation is made worse by Cuccinelli. He, too, is stuck in the briar patch that is Jonnie Williams Sr. and Star Scientific. Cuccinelli’s effort to distance himself from McDonnell achieves the wrong objectives. It magnifies their shared humiliation. It is a reminder Cuccinelli is better at sticking it to McDonnell than sticking with him.

Cuccinelli isn’t the only Republican statewide candidate avoiding McDonnell — or availing himself of the opportunity to do so.

Mark Obenshain, the nominee for attorney general, is holding a fundraiser in Virginia Beach on Wednesday evening. The governor was supposed to be the headliner. But McDonnell’s office now says the appearance is off, that he’ll be on vacation all week with his family.

As Richard Nixon was 39 summers ago for Watergate-worried congressional Republicans, McDonnell could become, with apologies to the late columnist Nicholas von Hoffman, a “dead mouse” to legislative Republicans: Everyone can see it. Everyone can smell it. Who’s going to throw it away?

Defending their majority this fall, House of Delegates Republicans will cut and run on the first sign that McDonnell’s problems are becoming theirs. Their survival instinct will demand it.

An alarming harbinger for Republicans: conservative bloggers, who had already turned against McDonnell for raising taxes, report as fact that his resignation is inevitable, part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. An administration that ordinarily ignores the blogs did otherwise this time, issuing a forceful denial.

Should pressure intensify because of hostile public opinion, fed by unflattering news reports that go unanswered by McDonnell, House Republicans may have no option than to tell him he has none: that it’s time for him to go.  And all Democrats have to do is watch a great Republican tradition: cannibalism.

Virginia voters truly need to know what gifts Cuccinelli has received, particularly in light of Cuccinelli's continued attitude that he is above the law - even the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court rulings.  Personally, I find it hard to believe that there isn't considerable dirty to be found on Cuccinelli.

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