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I figure my readers are asking that very question.  A few might think I have run away from the blog in shame at some of the allegations bandied about.  (No chance although there are moments of despair at some of the items discussed.)  Others might think I am a bad blogger – not enough good stories lately.  (You’re right.  Tough to find time to blog in summer with kids home etc.)

And yes I am still praying for BOTH Bob and Maureen McDonnell.  I believe it would be unjust to convict either of them.  (Will I get a subpoena for this?  As a character witness?  No I am not important enough.)

But let me say two or three observations:

  1. I have not been shown Governor McDonnell or his wife were crooks.  That does not mean a law was not violated.  Of course it is not necessary to have a Federal law condemning false statements on loan documents.  Plenty of criminal and civil sanctions at the state level (By the way:  I thought Cong. Goodlatte was going to look into overcriminalization at the Federal level?  Well, he did:  There is a Overcriminalization Task Force so maybe something will be done.  On the other hand, task forces are set up and issue reports and the beat goes on – nothing happens!) to cover any harm to the public.  I also would like in lieu of extensive overcriminalization remedies a misdemeanor failure to file or false filing of a Federal form (maybe income tax could be excluded at least at first) that would be by statute a lesser included offense of any of these failure to file or false filing of a form laws required by Federal law.  Juries should also be told it is a misdemeanor.  I know Ed Gillespie and Robert Sarvis (or their people) read this blog.  Steal another idea!

2.  I am not satisfied that this is a “throw my wife under the bus” defense.  Truth has to be told in court regardless of what the Washington Post thinks of it!  If she was doing things behind the Governor’s back and then screaming at him every night when he came home from the Capitol I’d stay at work late and schedule lots of out of town trips!  (I used to walk about the Capitol and when I first would come up to the mansion, I’d think:  Maybe I can see the Governor walking to or from his office.  I can encourage him a bit!  But I obviously picked the wrong time!)  That brings me to point three:

3.  A cautionary tale for politics (or any other field):  Always keep your fences mended at home.  The rise to power or the thrill of politics can blind you to things going awry at home.  I remember walking from work to a McDonnell event downtown just as he was about to run for governor (I think I still have the plastic cup somewhere) and I ran into the then Attorney General.  He said:  Our paths have taken different ways from the time we met so long ago (he was not even elected yet) and I said rather sheepishly the Lord leads us in different ways.  But inside I wondered:  Why didn’t the Lord lead me to something like how Bob is?  I’m an ordinary guy and he’s probably going to be governor maybe more!  But you never know what the real story is.  And Bob McDonnell had a strikingly attractive spouse and a great political career.  But the family life apparently got out of balance.  But even as a delegate, Bob spent long hours away from his family.  For the first time this week I found myself saying:  I am not sure I’ll ever run for any office (except maybe judge) even just the House of Delegates.  God and family must come first.  Please consider praying for the elected officials (and judges, too!) you know or who are in authority over you.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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