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I got this email from the Hanover County GOP Committee (The Committee did not endorse it but I am thankful and grateful they sent the opportunity out):


Dear Fellow Republican,

Former VA Governor Bob McDonnell has been a sacrificing and successful public servant in Virginia from the time he was elected to the legislature in 1991 through his term as Governor in 2014. As an excellent attorney, he could have spent more time over the years in the private practice of law and making a lot more money, but instead chose to serve the people with hard work and fidelity. He is now in a situation where he could use your help in return.

As you may know from the news, Bob and his wife Maureen have been indicted on Federal corruption charges by lawyers of the Obama administration. The prosecution contends that the loans and gifts that the McDonnell’s received from a Virginia businessman were in exchange for the special favor of promoting the businessman’s business and products. There are no state laws against what the McDonnell’s did and the Federal charges could be argued either way. The McDonnell’s have pled not guilty and have a sound defense against the charges. For all that Bob has done for Virginians he does not deserve to go to prison for 5-10 years if convicted. It is also important to note that Bob McDonnell would make a terrific choice for President of the United States. He would obviously have to beat the charges to run for that office. Therefore, in order to help the McDonnell’s be acquitted of all charges, we are seeking to show the media and the public a great show of support for the McDonnell’s by showing up at the Court House on the first day of the trial Monday July 28th 2014 in Richmond. Bob has sacrificed a lot for Virginians for that last 23 years and we are asking you to sacrifice at least one day to show the media that many Virginians support their favorite Governor Bob McDonnell. There is also an effort to have people show up at the trial inside as it continues for at least six weeks.

To show your support for Bob and Maureen, you would need to show up at the Eastern District of VA Federal Court House at 8:30am on July 28, 2014. It would be really good if you could show up with a sign that says something like “We support you Bob and Maureen” or “Go Bob Go”. The address of the Court House is 701 E. Broad St. Richmond, VA. There are parking garages in the area.

As far as the ongoing trial and showing up in the Court room, the following is a link in which you can sign up for a particular day or days.  (Blogger’s note:  Here’s the link)

Hopefully we can have at least 300 people show up on the first day of the trial to make a big media splash and impress the public. Thank you in advance for what you can do for the McDonnell’s and victory.

Your fellow Republicans

Well, 300 didn’t show up.  Not a hundred.  Not even 25.  Not even a sign.  (That is partly my fault – I was going to make a sign.)  TWO people came to support and encourage former Virginia Bob McDonnell today.  Only two people (as far as we could tell) were there.  I came at 8:50AM with my small Virginia flag and a determination to encourage Bob and Maureen.

I was met there by Paul O’Brien, a paid campaign worker from Bob’s 1991 delegate campaign.  Bob had beaten a long time incumbent in that election.  O’Brien had come all the way form Fairfax to root for McDonnell.  I admire him much for that sacrifice.

In a few minutes, Maureen came into the courthouse with her legal team.  I did not shout out because I did not know Maureen McDonnell (I may have met her once but I do not recall it.) although I suspected the strikingly attractive woman was her.

Why did I not shout out?  I do not like shouting out to people – it is a very shy and scary moment for me.  I feel rude.  But missing Maureen made me more determined to say something to Bob.  I still wasn’t sure I’d do it.  There was a huge pit in my stomach.

When the former governor came up, I made sure best I could that Paul was first to see him and I saw the knot of people surrounded by camera crews and reporters.  I suddenly worked up every ounce of courage I had and shouted something like this:  “Governor McDonnell, I am praying for you and Maureen!”  (A neighbor told me when I told the story that I was on the radio today in Richmond.  My shout and McDonnell’s thank you was heard.  I was not interviewed by any media organization and that was a surprise although I did not seek media attention.)  I felt like a fool for a second or two until I heard the distinct thank you from inside the door.  Then I was pleased.  I had done what I set out to do:  Encourage Bob McDonnell.

I had prayed up to the courthouse and prayed back to the office.  I wondered about the fall of powerful men (or women) and how few will be there when you’re down.  I’ll continue to pray.  Bob McDonnell is not a crook and neither is Maureen.  Foolish, yes.  Caused political harm to the GOP?  You bet.  But that’s not a crime.  You can join me if you choose or not.  But I’m settled on this issue.

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)


  1. Scott says:

    I guess the trial will determine whether Bob and Maureen are crooks or not. Personally, I think they are. Any half-wit would suspect that if someone gives you hundreds of thousands of dollars, they expect something in return. Bob gets elected governor, then he gets a new ‘friend’ that wants to give his wife designer shopping trips and pay for his daughter’s wedding? And he didn’t think there was anything wrong with it? So, he promoted his new “friends” product to state agencies, and used his position as governor to open doors. And, he didn’t see anything wrong with that, even when he was warned by his staff? Please. The man is smart. He knew what was going on.

    Its good that he got caught. It would be better if he was convicted and punished.

  2. Scott says:

    Nice try, Sandy, but you don’t know what Johnnie Williams is going to testify to. He may establish there was a “quid pro quo”. Then it will be up to the jury to decide the “he said, she said” aspect of it.

    However, I think the prima facie evidence shows by itself that there probably was a quid pro quo. It appears that Johnnie did not become “friends” with Bobby and Maureen until he shelled out some big bucks. And, his product wasn’t promoted by Bobby and Maureen until after the governor’s election. As for being ‘friends’, is there any evidence that Bobby and Maureen gave expensive gifts to Johnnie? Or made him loans? When did the friendship start? As far as I can determine, it started when Johnnie thought Bobby might be able to help him hawk his products. As for the “loans’ apparently they become “loans” when the transactions were discovered by investigators.

    I think its evident from the massive show of support for Bobby that his political career is over, regardless of the outcome. Unfortunately, the Republican Party will probably continue to push him on the public for some other office, and he will fail as badly as George did.

    They will probably get off, but I hope not. This kind of sleazy politics should be stamped out. And, it doesn’t matter what party does it.

    Thanks for the comeback. It will be interesting to see how this develops.

  3. Scott says:


    By Joanne Kimberlin
    The Virginian-Pilot
    © July 29, 2014


    “A bombshell from day two of the corruption trial of former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell and his wife:

    Their marriage is and has been “broken” for some time, and Maureen McDonnell had a “crush” on Jonnie Williams, the businessman from whom the two are accused of accepting bribes.

    Those revelations came Tuesday morning during the opening statement of Maureen McDonnell’s defense team.”

  4. Gene Lefty says:

    What send a message to the rest of the GA and Executive Branch it’s business as usual?

    That whole bunch is nothing but crooks. The Virginia GA has legalized crime. Thank God Eric Holder has the “Balls” to stick it to a punk crook like McDonnell for betraying the trust of the Virginia taxpayer.

    I don’t give a damn what Party they are. The Feds need to send a message to the rest of the crooks in Virginia Government by sending McDonnell up the river for a long time.

    He made a mistake, by his own admission, now take his punishment like a man. Just what kind of messages does it send our kids if he gets off? Anyway you slice the pie he is going to make millions off a book or movie deal.


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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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