Last Friday morning, I was a guest on Charlottesville’s WCHV, talking about AG candidate Bob McDonnell’s mystery $1M in income on “AM Charlottesville.” I think I can objectively say that I was very fair to McDonnell — I’m not sure that I could have been much more open, balanced, or nice, having gone out of my way to be considerably less biting than I adopt as my traditional tone on this blog.
This morning, McDonnell was a guest on AM Charlottesville to respond to the charges. The show’s host, Bo Short, had e-mailed a copy of the interview to McDonnell, so that he could prepare. McDonnell hadn’t bothered to listen, though, and he asked the host to summarize what I’d said. Bo said, simply, that his campaign had taken in a great deal of money from the Republican State Leadership Committee, and that was inconsistent with his stated position that all income should be disclosed (which was to say nothing of the law).
McDonnell’s response? He attacked me. He said that there’s a “grand conspiracy” between me, Creigh Deeds, and other bloggers, and that such accusations come just short of libel. He derided blogging on the whole, finding it to be a useless exercise. Oh, and other candidates for office have taken money from 527s, so, y’know, whatev.
And that’s it. That was the whole of the content of his response.
So, what about all that money? He ain’t sayin’. What about his extensive, intimate connections to a money-laundering 527 that he personally established? He ain’t sayin’.
I assume that McDonnell’s inability to defend himself results from his actions being indefensible. I’d assumed that he may well have a good defense that would explain how all of this has come to be. Perhaps he’d demand that the RSLC disclose his contributors, or else he’d give the money back. Perhaps he’d explain that he’d made some poor choices in friends and business associates in the past, but he’s severed ties with them now, and it was a mistake. But no. He’s got nothin’.
If I wanted to show Bob McDonnell blogging that stops just short of libel, I’d damned well show him. The trouble is that nearly everything I’ve written is based on the published accounts of major newspapers — the Washington Post, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Charlottesville Daily Progress, etc. — which were wholly fact-based accounts.
For the record, neither the Deeds campaign nor anybody affiliated with them has given me a lick of information for anything I’ve written as I’ve followed this story. Nothing. There goes McDonnell’s “grand conspiracy.”
Perhaps this is another instance of when the facts don’t favor Republicans.
I don’t care who wins the election tomorrow. Whether McDonnell wins or Democrat Creigh Deeds wins, I intend to continue to pursue this story. I’m no investigative reporter, and I don’t pretend to be, but I’ll remain as interested as ever. I might have dropped it, but with McDonnell attacking the messenger — namely me — my interest is newly piqued.
If McDonnell is elected, Virginia bloggers should steel themselves for their new AG to propose cracking down on bloggers. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least.