As Gov. Bob McDonnell’s tax-payer funded legal fees continue to add up, the reasons why McDonnell should resign from office grow in parallel fashion. Over the month of June alone, McDonnell’s team of private attorneys racked up a $90,068 bill, bringing the total McDonnell welfare costs to $143,500.
The private attorneys were hired by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in April to “assist” the governor in the embezzlement case McDonnell has been embroiled in with his former chef. While Cuccinelli wisely decided that defending McDonnell would present a conflict of interest, he certainly spared no expense finding McDonnell some of the highest priced lawyers in the state. The so-called conservatives Cuccinelli and McDonnell apparently have no trouble throwing away the taxpayers’ money.
For McDonnell’s former chef, Todd Schneider, vindication may be soon at hand as his claims that McDonnell and family received gifts from Star Scientific’s CEO, Jonnie R. Williams Sr., appear to be a smoking gun at this point.
For Virginia’s taxpayers and voters, more generally, vindication may not be so readily at hand. It isn’t likely that the ‘McDonnell tab’ will be stopped anytime soon and what is spent on McDonnell and his all-star team of lawyers won’t be reimbursed unless McDonnell finds a few more wealthy friends and a giving spirit.
Ultimately, it is the trust that McDonnell stole which is the biggest disappointment. In our age of cynicism, it’s difficult for a lot of Virginians to believe in the honesty and integrity of their elected representatives, and McDonnell is a perfect example of why.
I recall vividly the image that McDonnell attempted to paint of himself as a practical conservative with a strong emphasis on integrity and family values, and so forth. Wouldn't you know it, McDonnell appears to be the exact opposite of the image he attempted to project of himself.
In the end, I really have one question for McDonnell: was it really worth it?