Friday, 5 September 2014

Bob McDonnell convicted of corruption, whilst 'MLM' racketeers continue to buy US politicians.

Despite spending much of his political life steadfastly pretending to be a highly moral heterosexual Christian patriot and happily-married father of five heterosexual children, the former Governor of Virginia, Robert F. (Bob) McDonnell (centre), disclosed during his recent corruption trial that he has split from his wife, Maureen (right); whilst the couple's eldest daughter, Jeanine, revealed in court that her father's squeaky clean public image has been a sham for many years. These tragicomic revelations were the flimsy foundation on which Bob McDonnell's defence rested.

Bob McDonnell is currently living with his family's Catholic Priest, Father Wayne Ball, who has the dubious distinction of once being arrested (with a young man) for performing sex acts in a car parked in a public place.

In a sensational court case, which must be causing sleepless nights for the many US politicians, and former politicians, who have been co-opted by 'MLM' racketeers (particularly those peddling pseudo-medical wampum), the former (Republican) Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell (b. 1954), and his wife, Maureen, have been convicted of conspiring to use his public office to promote what has been (somewhat generously) described as a 'dietary supplement,' in return for substantial bribes.

The first Afro-American Federal Judge in Virginia, James R. Spencer

A federal jury convicted Bob McDonnell of 11 of the 13 counts with which he was charged; Maureen McDonnell was convicted of 9 of the 13 counts with which she was charged. Sentencing will not take place until Jan 2015. Both  McDonnell and wife now face up to 20 years in prison for each of their combined total of 20 conspiracy, fraud, extortion and bribery convictions. In reaction to the mounting list of guilty verdicts, the couple hung their heads in shame and wept profusely before Senior US District Judge James R. Spencer. The McDonnells then left the courtroom separately.
Bob McDonnell, who is the first ever Governor of Virginia to be indicted for a criminal offence, has declared (via his attorney) his intention to appeal his convictions.

Michele Bachmann, Bob McDonnell and Mitt Romney are shown. | AP Photo

Although it now beggars belief, Bob McDonnell (an outrageous hypocrite who evidently couldn't even manage his own finances, let alone those of his country) had once been widely-tipped as Mitt Romney's running mate for the 2012 Presidential election. However, Mr. Romney's own extensive, sleazy connections with wealthy  'MLM' racketeers (particularly, those behind the latter-day snake oil known as 'Nuskin' ) are even more astonishing.

To date US federal prosecutors, have not  taken the slightest action against any of the numerous public officials, and former public officials, co-opted by 'MLM' racketeers. Yet, it has been widely-reported that Madeleine Albright, and her consultancy company, have been in receipt of $10 millions from 'Herbalife.' Although she no longer holds public office, Ms. Albright's current silence on the embarrassing subject of 'MLM' in general, and 'Herbalife' in particular, should in itself be considered to be an unlawful favour. As I've previously stated in another article, if Ms. Albright still sincerely believes that 'Herbalife' has been an entirely lawful enterprise offering a viable 'income opportunity,' then she's probably too stupid to be held to account.
The McDonnells had been charged with doing favours for the controversial former CEO of 'Star Scientific,' Jonnie Williams, in exchange for more than $165,000 in 'gifts' and 'loans.' They were also charged with submitting fraudulent bank loan applications, and Maureen McDonnell was charged with one count of obstructing justice.
Apparently in return for his co-operation with federal prosecutors, Mr. Williams was not charged with any criminal offence, and it has been reported that he received a 'rare blanket immunity'
During the trial, attorneys acting for Bob McDonnell and his wife, provided painfully-intimate details of the breakdown of their marriage.
For obvious reasons, Maureen McDonnell chose not testify during the trial. However, the former Governor testified in his own defence, claiming that he only gave 'routine political courtesies' to Jonnie Williams.

Bob McDonnell, and other witnesses (including eldest daughter, Jeanine), divulged embarrassing details about his secret marital problems; particularly concerning Maureen McDonnell's obsessive behaviour towards Jonnie Williams. However, this was perceived by the jury as being part of a defence strategy designed to prove that the McDonnells could not be guilty of a conspiracy, because they had not really been on speaking terms.

Claim: Star Scientific claims its Anatabloc product may be useful in the treatment of traumatic brain injuries
Jonnie Williams testified (under immunity) that he actually spent lavishly on the McDonnells in order unlawfully to obtain their help promoting his 'cure-all, tobacco-derived anti-inflammatory, Anatabloc.' 

Heading the list of bribes was:

  •  approximately $20 000 of designer clothing and accessories for Maureen McDonnell.

  •  a $6 500 Rolex watch for Bob McDonnell. 
  • $15 000 for the catering at one of the MacDonnell daughter's weddings.
  • $2 800 golf club membership fees for Bob McDonnell.

  • various golf equipment and golf trips for Bob McDonnell.
  • various vacations for the McDonnells. 
  • Jonnie Williams also admitted supplying what were described as 'loans' totalling $120,000, to Bob and Maureen McDonnell.
In exchange, the McDonnells:
  • appeared at various 'Anatabloc' promotional events which were reported in the media.
  • hosted a lunch at the Virginia Governor's Mansion which 'Star Scientific' propaganda described as a 'product launch.' 
  • permitted Jonnie Williams to invite a number of his associates to a reception for Virginia health care leaders (also held at the Governor's mansion) 
  •  arranged private meetings for Mr. Williams with two state health officials. 
(It was, thus, revealed in court that Jonnie Williams had tried to legitimize his so-called 'Antabloc' product by being seen to associate with Governor, and Mrs., McDonnell and with senior public officials, and by trying to obtain state funds for research. However, in the end, no applications for research grants were submitted).
Prosecutors explained that it was the McDonnells who had approached Jonnie Williams, because they were in deep financial trouble. Yet, it would seem that the couple must have been a perfect target for an experienced charlatan. Their credit card debt had been around $90,000, whilst they were losing between $40,000 and $60,000 annually on family-owned, vacation rental properties.

Two of  Williams 'loans' to the McDonnells (totalling $70,000) had apparently been intended to subsidise their two loss-making, Virginia Beach, rental houses.

Mr Williams openly stated in court that he first wrote out a cheque for $50,000 in response to Maureen McDonnell's desperate confession that she and her husband had major problems. Williams testified that Maureen McDonnell offered to help his company and that she had experience of selling nutritional supplements.
Bob McDonnell testified in court that he had now repaid all the outstanding loans to Jonnie Williams, but apparently, it has not been disclosed exactly where he suddenly obtained this money.

David Brear (copyright 2014)


  1. Jonnie Williams is a slimey crook and more to blame here than anyone. He's managed to escape by playing along with the Feds knowing they wanted to jail Bob McDonnell.

  2. Anonymous - Lets face it, the USA's absurd two party political system is perhaps as much to blame here as any of the mediocre little liars who, sadly, now infest it.

    The majority of people in the USA have decided that it doesn't change anything no matter who they vote for. Consequently, they seem to have got the politicians they deserve.

    We've got to the stage where it might be much cheaper to get rid of human candidates and replace them with grinning robots, programmed to recite a script. In effect, we've got many robot politicians already, but robots that have been hiding the truth (i.e. their human failings) from the electorate.

    The problem is, public officials with things to hide, are far too easily blackmailed by racketeers.

  3. David, I have also been following this story. I was considering writing on the same topic, but I was holding off until a verdict was reached. It amazes me sometimes how you can keep your ear to the ground and digest so much information.

    State governments in the U.S. have a long history of corruption. This is especially true in those states that are linked to questionable and corrupt industry. The state of West Virginia is a good example where coal is king. The coal industry is rife with political pandering and corruption. Former Republican governor, Arch Moore, in retrospect being the poster boy for being on the receiving end of bribery, and when the bribes weren't forthcoming, of extorting them. West Virginia has been an equal opportunity scandal state. Former Democratic governor William Wallace Barron ran what was known as the Democratic 'Machine' and possibly was even more corrupt than Republican Moore.

    At one time, legislatures in Charleston were treated to free liquor at the Marriott hotel lounge paid for by lobbyists. Corruption also extended well into the County levels of government. One notable scandal which placed former Hancock county Commissioner, Prosecutor, Sheriff and mafia crony behind bars in a Northern Panhandle scandal where officials were proven to be in bed with mobsters operating illegal gambling. At a time when slot machines and gaming tables were strictly forbidden, several mafia owned nightclub operators ran lucrative backroom casino style 'speakeasy's' and lined the pockets of numerous county officials to include the Prosecutor and Sheriff. During this time period, the state's attorney general had no power to prosecute corruption, that power being given to each individual county prosecutor. A system rife for political cronyism. In so many ways, West Virginia was very much for sale. Although, reforms have been incorporated, the state still ranks near the top of the lists of the most corrupt, politicians for sale states. Sadly, West Virginia is just one of many states that have had their share of scandal.

    Cash is considered 'free speech' and the influx of same has become the defining factor of political power in the U.S. (from dog catcher to president). Whereas the news media secretly harbors their own agenda and interests to protect questionable corporations. The coal industry is supposed to be highly regulated to ensure miner safety, while the industry as a whole has a dismal record on safety, but is just as successful as MLM at avoiding enforcement. Mountain top mining has rained pollution down into the valley, killing fish and making water unusable for human or animal consumption, and while all this goes on, bribery and graft continues in the background. A similar situation involves the new phenomenon of deep well 'fracking' for natural gas where statistics prove that catastrophic well casing failures are inevitable. All of this has proven to be a gravy train for aspiring politicians even at the lowest levels of government. Like Jack Black's 'school of rock', politicians learn the seedy side of the trade long before they manipulate themselves into national politics.

    When so many other, so called 'respectable' industries are also jockeying for their own blank check, is it any wonder that MLM is just one small player in an even larger corrupt system where the voter is disenfranchised. I agree with your assessment that our two party system may only offer two sides to the same coin--bad and worse.

  4. quixtarisacult - Thank-you for your thoughtful observations

    I've posted this latest article by Robert Fitzpatrick, partly in response to your comment about the level of corruption in State government.

    It should never be forgotten that when the rule of law breaks down, and people lose all faith in their democratically elected leaders, that is the moment when dangerous individuals pretending moral and intellectual authority, who at other times would be immediately recognized as absurd charlatans and would-be demagogues, can become widely-accepted as authentic saviours.