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McDonnell: ‘Can I be reasonably expected to know every gift?’

Bob McDonnellTimes-Mirror Staff Photo/Trevor Baratko Gov. Bob McDonnell, left, speaks with Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) Tuesday at Claude Moore Park in Loudoun. Both Republicans have been targeted in grand jury investigations in the past month.
As the brouhaha over lavish gifts bestowed on Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife intensified Tuesday, McDonnell said he's open to a thorough review of the state's financial disclosure laws, including what types of gifts from friends to family members should be required reporting.

“I think it's certainly a decent discussion that could be had on who is required to report,” McDonnell, a Republican, said during a brief interview at Claude Moore Park in Loudoun, following a ceremonial signing of Lyme disease legislation.

“For instance,” the governor said, “I've got a 32-year old daughter who's married, that's an Iraq War veteran, that's lived outside of my house for 15 years. And I don't know what she gets for her birthday or Christmas presents … Can I be reasonably expected to know every gift?”

The interview took place just hours before the Washington Post reported Maureen McDonnell, the governor's wife, urged a political donor to buy Bob McDonnell a $6,500 Rolex watch two weeks after the donor, Jonnie Williams, met with state officials to discuss his company, Star Scientific, a Virginia-based supplement manufacturer for which both McDonnells have advocated.

News of the Rolex gift was the latest in the Post's ongoing examination of the McDonnells' spending habits and relationships with political donors. Beginning in late March, the newspaper has published a series of articles specifically examining the McDonnells' relationship with Williams. Questions about the friendship escalated in April after it was revealed in the Post that Williams had paid a $15,000 catering tab for McDonnell's daughter's wedding in 2011.

Several sources, including local state Del. David Ramadan (R-87th), have told the Post federal investigators are looking into the McDonnells and their relationship with Williams. Ramadan was the first to publicly state he'd been called to testify before a grand jury.

Ramadan has since declined to comment on the investigation.

The governor reiterated his claim Tuesday that political donations or gifts haven't affected his decisions on state affairs or business incentives.

“In my office, we never let donations, gifts in any way affect board appointments, contracts or anything else… but I do think it's certainly not inappropriate to have a discussion now about gift limits, about who should report, about definitions to tighten up what certain things mean in the code. I think it's probably a good time to do that,” said McDonnell.

Virginia has a unique combination when it comes to financial disclosure laws, the governor continued, in that the law requires full disclosure from the politicians themselves but also places no limits on how much individuals can donate.

Indeed, the Code of Virginia mandates elected officials disclose all gifts exceeding $50. However, the law doesn't require politicians to disclose gifts given to family members or received from family members or personal friends.

McDonnell chats with Delgaudio

This week's event at Claude Moore Park in Northern Virginia's Sterling community served as a converging point for McDonnell and another embattled elected official, Eugene Delgaudio.

Delgaudio, a Republican who represents Sterling on the Loudoun Board of Supervisors and leads a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated “hate group,” attended the Lyme disease signing ceremony and had a brief conversation with McDonnell.

As founder and president of his controversial organization, Public Advocate of the United States, Delgaudio “is fighting liberals, homosexuals, Obama, pornography, gay marriage, high taxes, over-regulation, obscenity, abortion, atheists ...” according to the organization's website.

Just a day earlier, a grand jury concluded its investigation of Delgaudio for claims he used elected office for personal, political and financial gain.

The grand jury, while not indicting Delgaudio, recommended the Virginia General Assembly form a committee to research and amend the Virginia Campaign Finance Disclosure Act of 2006, and that the Virginia General Assembly amend the “misuse of public assets” statute so that it applies to anyone that works for or is elected to any government body in the commonwealth.

Public Advocate, on its website, condemns “Bob McDonnell for his embrace of an openly pro-homosexual judge in Richmond and his tax hike betrayal of his previous pledge to not raise taxes.”

Contact the writer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


The answer to the question is yes. Part of being a elected official is to run your office to a certain standard. It does appear that the Gov has failed when it comes to gifts. So much for the Vice-President bid next election. You’ll have plenty of time to look at your Rolex watch. bye bye!

workhardgetahead - Where’s the evidence leading to a connection to Obama under your foil hat?

@Fedupdude and @workhardgetahead, get in context this publication, they focus on local events to Loudoun County. They never focus on nation issues here.

Delgaudio+republican fools gold

seriously man, you are blinded. The IRS has nothing to do with Obama? really, you must be living on Venus. This all points to Obama and his staff. The order probably came from him. Give me a break.
Benghazi? Showed Obama had no Kahuna’s to get those people out and instead he went to bed because he had to go fundraise the next day
AP Wiretapping? DOJ and the AG (a Obama appointee) ordered it. Do your research.


IRS - Nothing to do with Obama or democrats
Benghazi - Mistakes made but nothing illegal done
AP wiretapping - No connection to Obama

Delgaudio, McDonnell, even Cuccinelli all found to have broken some of the loosest ethic laws in the USA.

redirect? are you kidding me, if anything, this story is a redirection to demonize the GOP in the media’s eye’s. Public officials taken money? How about Public officials telling other Public officials to go after conservative groups because of their beliefs. you don’t find anything wrong with that? Whose heads in the sand? Again, I don’t condone anything that the Governor might have done wrong but why isn’t the FBI investigating the IRS when that scandal is much worse than this? It’s a double standard

Like I’ve stated so many times over. Every, and I mean every politician is corrupt. That goes for local, state and federal level. They vote how they feel on the issues, not how their constituants feel. Funny how they all have amnesia when it comes to gifts….Right thing to do, apologize, give the gifts back and then resign.

Nothing about McDonnell matters because (a) He is out of office this Fall and (b) The VA Assembly doesn’t return to address the issue until Jan 2014.

So this witch hunt for dirt on McDonnell has little value.

Nice bias, Liberal Times. If you don’t change your ways, you’ll find yourself lining birdcages.

What in the world does Delgaudio and McDonnell ethics issues have to do with Obama, Bengazi, IRS, or squirrels for that matter?  Come to think of it that ridiculous comment is probably what D and M were talking about.  Diversions baby, diversions.  Heat reflectors.

workhardgetahead - Redirect.  That solves everything.  Obama and his administration have absolutely zero to do with this story.  A paid public official received a $6,500 Rolex watch from a CEO of a company (among many, MANY other things.)  You don’t have a problem with that?  Go put your head back in the sand.

ridiculous, I’m sure the people that commented on this have no issue with what Obama has done with the IRS, Benghazi and the AP wiretapping. I’m sure they are sticking their heads in the sand on those. As long as a conservative is under scrutiny they have the go get em and punish them attitude, But if it’s a democrat it’s a leave them alone attitude, there’s nothing to see there, or in Obama’s case, you’re a racist. Unbelievable. I don’t condone any wrong doing that Governor McDonnell could possibly have done but on the other hand The Obama scandals dwarf anything McDonnell has done but the media has their heads in the sand and hope it all goes away. I bet my fellow commenters haven’t a clue that a 2nd IRS employee has pleaded the 5th in the IRS scandal.

Caption to that photo:

“Well the best I can tell you can take a secret envelope with $5,000 from a preacher and he can say God made him forgetful and then you don’t have to report the cash gift.  I would suggest Gov you stick to cash and not Rolex watches.”

What you obviously meant to say was “I get so many gifts/bribes from corporate folks, I can’t be expected to remember them all!”  Besides, I would expect ANYONE in public office to decline gifts as a general rule of public service policy, and I’m pretty sure I would remember a $6,500 ROLEX anyway.  You are already paid one of the highest salaries of all governors (at $175,000/yr) and yet you take gifts such as a ROLEX and have donors pay for your daughter’s catering?  And shall we also comment on having your wife ask for the damn watch?  The gall and obvious corruption and misuse of public office of McDonnell and his wife is simply unreal.

Caption to that photo:

“Well Governor, if you weren’t a full-time state employee, my lawyers could help you too”

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