Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The McDonnell Indictment

Last night I went to bed in Virginia and this morning woke up in Illinois.

Virginians aren’t used to having their top elected officials brought up on corruption charges. We generally don’t elect the Rob Blagojevichs of the world, although the jury is still out on Terry McAuliffe. So, it was quite disturbing this morning to thumb through a 43 page Federal indictment of our former governor, Bob McDonnell and his wife on corruption charges.

This case presents me with quite a conflict of sympathies. On the one hand, I am predisposed to believe politicians capable of practically anything. On the other hand, the only thing more suspicious than a governor driving a Ferrari is a Federal investigation of a governor driving a Ferrari, politically motivated prosecutions being more numerous than flowers in the spring and all.

I met McDonnell once back when he was Attorney General. He had given a speech at some business meeting I attended and I chatted with him afterward. He seemed nice enough. I voted for him when he ran for governor, but reading through the indictment I am again reminded why I have become so cynical about politicians. They just aren’t very…smart.

Are the McDonnells corrupt or merely naive? Was there a quid pro quo relationship between the numerous gifts received from Mr. Williams, or just cluelessness and horrible judgment? Who knows?

Either way, it’s not a happy day for the State of Virginia.