Establishment Abandons McDonnell During Legal Defense Fund Push
The front-running members of the Republican establishment have abandoned former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, once a Republican political darling.
According to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP), McDonnell's legal defense fund raised just under $12,000 in six months, despite McDonnell's heavy connections and Rolodex from his days as head of the Republican Governors Association.
McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were indicted on 14 felony counts related to public corruption due to their association with Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams. The McDonnells could spend up to 80 years in jail and be fined at least $1.25 million if they are found guilty on all charges. Bob McDonnell has insisted that he has done nothing illegal and that no favors were traded for the lavish gifts that Williams gave him and his wife.
According to recent filings, those who have donated to McDonnell's legal defense fund include the fund's chairman, Stanley Baldwin, who gave $5,000. Others include "retired Dollar Tree co-founder J. Douglas Perry of Norfolk, who contributed $2,500, and Aubrey Eugene Loving Jr., chairman of the Beach-based Max Media LLC broadcasting company, who gave $1,000 to the group."
Prominent GOP establishment fundraisers who strongly backed McDonnell are absent from the list.