Well, this is going to be awkward.
- In 2000, Bob McDonnell set up the Faith and Family Alliance, a non-profit that was run by McDonnell’s one-time campaign manager, Robin Vanderwall. (Vanderwall is currently serving a seven-year sentence for child molestation.)
- The Faith and Family Alliance was used to launder money for political purposes, by Vanderwall’s own confession.
- The Faith and Family Alliance got nailed for a dirty mailer in June 2000. Sent out four days before the election, that mailer attacked Eric Cantor, who was running for the nomination for the House, accusing him of being a “millionaire lawyer” who “didn’t pay his own [taxes]. He got caught. He got fined. And he finally was forced to pay $31,527.17 in back taxes.” That along with a nasty anti-Semitic whisper campaign made for a truly nasty campaign against Cantor. The mailer was funded by Sen. Steve Martin (R-Chesterfield), who was running against Cantor.
- Pat Mullins was one of the founders of the Faith and Family Alliance. The same Pat Mullins who is now the head of the Republican Party of Virginia.
That final revelation comes courtesy of Brian McNeill, writing in the Daily Progress on Sunday. Mullins claims to have known nothing about the mailer, and Cantor puts on a brave face about the thing, but it’s tough to believe that they’re being honest. Now, of course, Cantor is the House Republican Whip, the face of the RNC these days. To the extent that there’s any bad blood between Cantor and Mullins & McDonnell, that’s got to be bad for the RPV and McDonnell’s odds. If only we could get Ed Matricardi involved in this somehow.