- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
- De Blasio’s wife irks former mansion chef with ‘servant’ remark
- Russia’s neighbors shiver amid Putin’s Cold War moves in Ukraine
- New SAT: The essay portion is to become optional
- Military group can’t march to honor the fallen at Boston Marathon due to security changes
- Senate passes bills deleting ‘retarded’ from laws
- China announces biggest military hike in 3 years: We are not ‘boy scouts with spears’
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.
“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.
- CPAC 2014: McConnell works to reassure conservatives
- CPAC 2014: GOP optimism, agenda emerge at CPAC
- CPAC 2014: NRA's LaPierre says gun owners won't back down
- CPAC 2014: Marco Rubio says U.S. 'must be involved in leading the world'
- CPAC 2014: Christie says GOP has to shake contrarian image
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
- Back to the Future: HUVr Tech marketing video goes viral with hoverboard release tease
- Aronofsky's 'Noah' banned in Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- Russian lawmaker wants to outlaw U.S. dollar, calls it a Ponzi scheme
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- Two liberals say Sarah Palin is right: Obama lacks substance
- MSNBC's Rachel Maddow: Bush to blame for Ukraine
- 1M kids stop school lunch due to Michelle Obamas food standards
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again