- NYT’s David Brooks: Obama has ‘manhood problem’ in Middle East
- Ted Cruz thanks Obama for denying visas to terrorists
- Survivors recall chaos, fear in Everest avalanche
- General Mills apologizes for ‘right to sue’ confusion, reverses policy
- Dealer wanted in U.S. for art fraud nabbed in Spain
- Easter morning delivery for space station
- Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76
- Probe could complicate Rick Perry’s prospects
- Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout
- Obamas head to church on Easter morning
Cuccinelli unworried by legal probes of Va. governor
Ruling expected this week on case against McDonnell’s chef
Neither embezzlement charges against Virginia’s former Executive Mansion chef nor ongoing federal and state investigations into Gov. Bob McDonnell’s gift disclosures will be enough to weigh down the gubernatorial campaign of Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, political observers say.
At least not yet.
Mr. Schneider is accused of stealing food from the mansion kitchen and has countered by saying he was told to take food as payment for catering events.
Defense lawyers argued the case should be dismissed because Mr. Cuccinelli had a conflict of interest when Mr. Schneider told the attorney general’s office last year about a $15,000 payment from businessman Jonnie Williams to cover wedding costs for one of the governor’s daughters.
The attorney general’s office defends the governor in lawsuits, and Mr. Cuccinelli eventually recused himself from the case. In November, he asked Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael N. Herring to look into Mr. McDonnell’s financial disclosures. Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Gregory D. Underwood, appointed to handle the Schneider case, says that move has quashed any possible conflict.
Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, said granting motions to dismiss in criminal cases are rare — but this is not a typical case.
“I guess what’s not clear is what the voters think of all this. We just don’t know yet,” he said. “I don’t know yet. I don’t think anybody knows.”
In Norfolk on Monday, Mr. Cuccinelli told The Associated Press that the case doesn’t involve him, so he’s not worried about how it might affect his campaign.
“It is a good thing Ken Cuccinelli wasn’t under oath” when talking about the case, McAuliffe spokesman Josh Schwerin said.
Former Virginia Govs. George Allen, a Republican, and Mark R. Warner, a Democrat currently serving in the U.S. Senate, are the only governors in more than two decades to hand the keys to the mansion to successors in their own party after their constitutionally mandated single four-year terms. Mr. Allen, whose 1993 campaign stressed job creation and law-and-order issues, oversaw tremendous economic growth in the state and effectively abolished parole. In 1997, former Gov. James S. Gilmore III, a Republican, coasted to victory with 56 percent of the vote.
Mr. Warner, meanwhile, left office in 2006 with high approval ratings, and many voters who supported current Sen. Tim Kaine in the 2005 gubernatorial contest saw themselves voting in part for a second Warner term, said Paul Goldman, a longtime Democratic strategist in the state.
Complicating things for Mr. McDonnell, his office had to beat back sudden rumors over the weekend that he was about to resign after the conservative blog Bearing Drift said a plea deal involving a resignation was in the works.
On Monday, Mr. McDonnell told WWBT-TV in Richmond that such resignation claims are a “really, really bad rumor that you shouldn’t pay attention to.”
In polls since May conducted by The Washington Post, NBC/Marist and the Democrat-leaning Public Policy Polling firm, Mr. McDonnell has averaged a 56.3 percent approval rating compared to a 29.3 percent disapproval rating — a net positive of 27 percentage points.
Not so fast, Mr. Goldman said.
“Anybody who thinks they know how this thing will turn out politically ” he began, before trailing off. “Everything depends on what the facts are.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Supreme Court weighs appeal to concealed-carry gun laws
- Michael Bloomberg charts $50M challenge to NRA: 'Got to make them afraid'
- McAuliffe's PAC off to fast start, with $254,000 raised in two weeks
- Virginia Republican Bob Marshall stands by remarks that raise eyebrows
- Obama urged to enforce ban on importing military-style firearms
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- WILLIAMS: Bill Maher, comedian or bigot?
- NYT's David Brooks: Obama has 'manhood problem' in Middle East
- USAID documents cite Hillary Clinton in chaos of Afghan aid
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.