Wowza. Rachel just devoted the first two segments of her show to the growing scandal surrounding Virginia Governor Bob "Ultrasound" McDonnell. The timing of this attention is thanks to a story broken last night by The Washington Post:
RICHMOND — A prominent political donor gave $70,000 to a corporation owned by Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and his sister last year, and the governor did not disclose the money as a gift or loan, according to people with knowledge of the payments.http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
The donor, wealthy businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr., also gave a previously unknown $50,000 check to the governor’s wife, Maureen, in 2011, the people said.
The money to the corporation and Maureen McDonnell brings to $145,000 the amount Williams gave to assist the McDonnell family in 2011 and 2012 — funds that are now at the center of federal and state investigations.
Williams, the chief executive of dietary supplement manufacturer Star Scientific Inc., also provided a $10,000 check in December as a present to McDonnell’s eldest daughter, Jeanine, intended to help defray costs at her May 2013 wedding, the people said.
Yowch. Maddow said that the 50,000 dollars to the Governor's wife was an example of, "if it's a gift to the governor, it has to be reported, but if it's to the wife, maybe it can be kept secret" (paraphrased)
Rachel also tallied up all the other gifts the same donor gave Governor Bob and family:
A $6,000 Rolex watch that the Governor dishonestly claimed was a gift from his wife.
A multi-thousand dollar suede Oscar De La Renta jacket for the wife.
A multi-thousand dollar Louis Vuitton handbag, also for the wife.
2 pairs of sooper fancy shoes for the wife.
An expensive designer dress for the wife.
These are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head.
Rachel then showed excerpts of an interview the Governor gave yesterday, in which he said the donor "received nothing" in exchange for all these riches. Rachel quickly proved this was a lie. He got a launch party at the Governor's mansion for his 'magic quit smoking drug'. He also got meetings with state officials regarding the same drug. And the Governor's wife has also been criss-crossing the country touting the awesomeness of this drug. The donor even got a photo of the Governor himself smiling as he holds up a bottle of said drug. "Nothing", Governor? really?
But Rachel wasn't done. There's apparently a second scandal, in which the Governor charged thousands of dollars to the state for 'off to college' supplies for his children. She enumerated those as well, from snack foods to toiletries.
Rachel brilliantly reminded viewers that the Governor receives a yearly salary of $175,000, but that all this stuff was not paid for with that money. What a grifter!
I thought Rachel couldn't have been more thorough in her take-down of Señor Ultrasound. But after the break, she had a Virginia State Senator with her, live, who demanded that Governor McDonnell resign immediately.
Go Rachel! I will try to post the video the moment it becomes available.
10:55pm ET - video not available yet, but The Rachel Maddow Show has exclusive access to the Governor's financial disclosure statements from 2008 to the present:
12:16am ET - The video!:
My diary fails to mention that in these segments, Rachel also describes VA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's deep involvement in this same scandal. He, too, has received thousands of dollars worth of gifts from the same donor. You may know Ken as the one trying to recriminalize oral and anal sex in Virginia, among other talibantastic endeavors. And, he's running to replace McDonnell as Governor! Not. Gonna. Happen. (h/t sofa turf and Rosalie907)