Intrigue at Virginia's Governor's Mansion

Mary Evans
Rivaling the twists and turns of the British soap opera "Downtown Abbey," the Virginia Governor's mansion has all the intrigue of a smear campaign to discredit the lord of the manor, Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell.

In this case, it looks like his former chef, fired for embezzlement, dimed out the governor.

Will the brouhaha over a $15,000 catering bill for McDonnell's daughter's wedding, a couple of trips to a corporate donor's lake home and a Rolex watch sink the governor? Did he do any favors in return for the donor's generosity?

How about the state's attorney general, Republican Ken Cuccinelli, who's hoping to take McDonnell's place in 2014? He already had to recuse his office from prosecuting the governor's chef, citing conflicts of interest. Will McDonnell's troubles spill over to Cuccinelli?

We may soon learn the answers because Eric Holder's FBI is on the case. The same law enforcement agency that treats the murder of Mexican nationals, government agents and a U.S. ambassador with a "what difference does it make" attitude is putting many man-hours into pursuing the truth about 'wedding-gate.'

Besides, the FBI has a left-wing press who are more than happy to stay on the story. Of course, this same press ignored a huge Democrat scandal involving former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, now Senator Kaine, and the state's former Secretary of Health Marilyn Tavenner, now Obama's chief at Centers for Medicaid and Medicare. However, progressives routinely bury corrupt practices coming from their own side.

When Kaine's and Tavenner's relationship with Joey Jacobs and the scandal-ridden Psychiatric Solutions Institute (PSI) came out in 2009 complete with damning emails, it fell to the cutting room floor. PSI ran psychiatric hospitals across the country where sexual and physical abuse of adolescents was well documented, but that didn't stop the pair from trying to throw some business to their own donor pals.

But hey, what are alleged crimes against emotionally-disturbed kids compared to some corporate crony paying for a wedding? Like Alinsky wrote, keep the focus on the enemy's foibles, hold them to their own rules. That's easy to do when Alinskyites are running all sectors of the government.

So do we really think the same Washington Post, whose reporters followed orders to ignore stories like Kaine's and Tavenner's involvement with PSI, not to mention spinning the truth about that regrettable "botched sting operation" Fast and Furious, would pass up a chance to bring down a Republican governor?

The paper's "investigative journalists" Rosalind S. Helderman and Laura Vozzella wrote in detail about the McDonnell's relationship with Star Scientific and their CEO Jonnie Williams on March 30. Their in-depth expose began with the 2011 wedding catered by the now embroiled ex-chef's side business.

"The menu included fresh poached jumbo shrimp, bruschetta topped with Virginia tomatoes and stuffed free-range chicken breast," the two wrote. The lengthy piece ended with Star Scientific -- that allegedly helped pay for all that jumbo shrimp -- receiving subpoenas from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern Division of Virginia. Wow. Those DOJ guys move fast when it comes to their political enemies.

In their latest article, Helderman and Vozzella reported that the mansion's ex-chef Todd Schneider accused the McDonnell's kids of raiding the refrigerator.

An attorney for Gov. Robert F. McDonnell on Monday vigorously defended him against allegations that his children had taken large quantities food and household supplies from the governor's mansion to their college dorm rooms... Attorney Tony Troy said the children had taken "de minimis" -- minimal -- amounts.

State records also "showed the McDonnells put a digestive system cleanse, cherry-flavored sleep elixir and a variety of vitamins on the mansion Visa card. Those non-grocery products added up to more than $200; the McDonnells only partially reimbursed the state at the time, with a check for $117."

Gosh, where are these two investigative go-getters when Mrs. Obama takes Malia, Sasha, Momma, and the in-laws all around the world on the taxpayers' dime? When the tab goes over a hundred million and it happens to be a Democrat spending all that loot, apparently, the rules don't apply.

To top it off, three short months after the loyal Washington Post attack dogs came out, rumors are swirling that Governor McDonnell may resign.

Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report

Rivaling the twists and turns of the British soap opera "Downtown Abbey," the Virginia Governor's mansion has all the intrigue of a smear campaign to discredit the lord of the manor, Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell.

In this case, it looks like his former chef, fired for embezzlement, dimed out the governor.

Will the brouhaha over a $15,000 catering bill for McDonnell's daughter's wedding, a couple of trips to a corporate donor's lake home and a Rolex watch sink the governor? Did he do any favors in return for the donor's generosity?

How about the state's attorney general, Republican Ken Cuccinelli, who's hoping to take McDonnell's place in 2014? He already had to recuse his office from prosecuting the governor's chef, citing conflicts of interest. Will McDonnell's troubles spill over to Cuccinelli?

We may soon learn the answers because Eric Holder's FBI is on the case. The same law enforcement agency that treats the murder of Mexican nationals, government agents and a U.S. ambassador with a "what difference does it make" attitude is putting many man-hours into pursuing the truth about 'wedding-gate.'

Besides, the FBI has a left-wing press who are more than happy to stay on the story. Of course, this same press ignored a huge Democrat scandal involving former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, now Senator Kaine, and the state's former Secretary of Health Marilyn Tavenner, now Obama's chief at Centers for Medicaid and Medicare. However, progressives routinely bury corrupt practices coming from their own side.

When Kaine's and Tavenner's relationship with Joey Jacobs and the scandal-ridden Psychiatric Solutions Institute (PSI) came out in 2009 complete with damning emails, it fell to the cutting room floor. PSI ran psychiatric hospitals across the country where sexual and physical abuse of adolescents was well documented, but that didn't stop the pair from trying to throw some business to their own donor pals.

But hey, what are alleged crimes against emotionally-disturbed kids compared to some corporate crony paying for a wedding? Like Alinsky wrote, keep the focus on the enemy's foibles, hold them to their own rules. That's easy to do when Alinskyites are running all sectors of the government.

So do we really think the same Washington Post, whose reporters followed orders to ignore stories like Kaine's and Tavenner's involvement with PSI, not to mention spinning the truth about that regrettable "botched sting operation" Fast and Furious, would pass up a chance to bring down a Republican governor?

The paper's "investigative journalists" Rosalind S. Helderman and Laura Vozzella wrote in detail about the McDonnell's relationship with Star Scientific and their CEO Jonnie Williams on March 30. Their in-depth expose began with the 2011 wedding catered by the now embroiled ex-chef's side business.

"The menu included fresh poached jumbo shrimp, bruschetta topped with Virginia tomatoes and stuffed free-range chicken breast," the two wrote. The lengthy piece ended with Star Scientific -- that allegedly helped pay for all that jumbo shrimp -- receiving subpoenas from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern Division of Virginia. Wow. Those DOJ guys move fast when it comes to their political enemies.

In their latest article, Helderman and Vozzella reported that the mansion's ex-chef Todd Schneider accused the McDonnell's kids of raiding the refrigerator.

An attorney for Gov. Robert F. McDonnell on Monday vigorously defended him against allegations that his children had taken large quantities food and household supplies from the governor's mansion to their college dorm rooms... Attorney Tony Troy said the children had taken "de minimis" -- minimal -- amounts.

State records also "showed the McDonnells put a digestive system cleanse, cherry-flavored sleep elixir and a variety of vitamins on the mansion Visa card. Those non-grocery products added up to more than $200; the McDonnells only partially reimbursed the state at the time, with a check for $117."

Gosh, where are these two investigative go-getters when Mrs. Obama takes Malia, Sasha, Momma, and the in-laws all around the world on the taxpayers' dime? When the tab goes over a hundred million and it happens to be a Democrat spending all that loot, apparently, the rules don't apply.

To top it off, three short months after the loyal Washington Post attack dogs came out, rumors are swirling that Governor McDonnell may resign.

Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report