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Bob McDonnell

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Title: Bob McDonnell  
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Bob McDonnell

Bob McDonnell
McDonnell in February 2010
71st Governor of Virginia
In office
January 16, 2010 – January 11, 2014
Lieutenant Bill Bolling
Preceded by Tim Kaine
Succeeded by Terry McAuliffe
44th Attorney General of Virginia
In office
January 14, 2006 – February 20, 2009
Governor Tim Kaine
Preceded by Judith Jagdmann
Succeeded by Bill Mims
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 84th district
In office
January 3, 1992 – January 14, 2006
Preceded by Glenn McClanan
Succeeded by Sal Iaquinto
Personal details
Born Robert Francis McDonnell
(1954-06-15) June 15, 1954
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Maureen Gardner
Alma mater University of Notre Dame
Boston University
Regent University
Religion Roman Catholic
Military service
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service Active: 1976–1981
Reserve: 1981–1997
Rank Lieutenant Colonel

Robert Francis "Bob" McDonnell (born June 15, 1954) is a former American politician. He was the 71st Governor of Virginia. McDonnell served on the executive committee of the Republican Governors Association.[1] McDonnell was a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army Reserve. He served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1992 to 2006, and was Attorney General of Virginia from 2006 to 2009.

McDonnell was elected Governor of Virginia after using the campaign slogan "Bob's for Jobs."[2] He defeated Democratic state Senator Creigh Deeds by a 17-point margin in the 2009 general election, which was marked by the severe recession of the late 2000s. McDonnell succeeded Democrat Tim Kaine.[3][4] Virginia law does not allow a governor to run for re-election. After taking office as governor, McDonnell advocated privatization and promoted offshore drilling for Virginia. He moved to extend a contract to outsource the state's computer operations and sought to fund transportation improvements from asset sales, including a proposal to auction off liquor stores operated by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The state's unemployment rate declined from 7.4% in January 2010, when McDonnell took office, to 5.2% in December 2013, comparable to the decline in the national unemployment rate from 9.8% to 6.7% during the same period.[5] McDonnell's governorship ended with a 55% to 32% approval to disapproval rating among registered voters.[6]

On January 21, 2014, McDonnell and his wife, Maureen (born 1954), were indicted on federal corruption charges for receiving improper gifts and loans from a Virginia businessman. They were convicted on most counts by a federal jury on September 4, 2014. McDonnell, the first Virginia governor to be indicted or convicted of a felony, was sentenced on January 6, 2015 to two years in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. He has been free on bond during the appeals process, which upheld his convictions on July 10, 2015.[7] On February 20, 2015, his wife was sentenced to twelve months and a day in prison, also followed by two years of supervised release. She is free on bond.[8]


  • Early life, education, and family 1
  • House of Delegates (1992–2006) 2
  • Attorney General (2006–2009) 3
    • Tenure 3.1
  • 2009 campaign for governor 4
    • Issues 4.1
    • Abortion 4.2
    • Energy 4.3
    • Gun rights 4.4
    • Gay rights 4.5
    • Marijuana 4.6
    • Transportation 4.7
    • Transparency 4.8
    • Thesis 4.9
    • Campaign organization and financial support 4.10
    • Endorsements 4.11
  • Governor of Virginia 5
    • Social issues 5.1
      • Confederate History Month proclamation 5.1.1
      • State health benefits for same-sex partners 5.1.2
      • Death sentence for Teresa Lewis 5.1.3
    • Abortion 5.2
    • Voting rights restoration for felons 5.3
    • Transportation 5.4
    • Health care 5.5
    • Education 5.6
    • Offshore drilling 5.7
    • Budget 5.8
      • Results from 2010 Fiscal Year 5.8.1
      • Liquor sales 5.8.2
    • Job creation 5.9
    • Redistricting 5.10
    • Improper spending 5.11
    • Federal corruption charges, conviction, sentencing, appeals 5.12
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • Further reading 8
  • External links 9

Early life, education, and family

McDonnell was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Emma B. Meta (née Meiller; 1928–1994) and Lt. Col. John Francis McDonnell USAF Ret. (1916–2010).[9] His paternal grandparents were Irish immigrants, and his maternal grandparents were from Alsace-Lorraine in what was then the German Empire.[10] His family moved to Fairfax County, Virginia, in 1955 when he was a year old. He spent four years of his early childhood in Germany when his father, a United States Air Force officer, was sent out on assignment. After returning to Virginia, the McDonnells permanently established residence in Fairfax County. McDonnell's mother worked at Mount Vernon. McDonnell graduated from Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1972.[11][12]

McDonnell attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, on an ROTC scholarship, graduating with a B.B.A. in management in 1976. Immediately following graduation, he served as a medical supply officer in the United States Army for four years.[13] His military posts were medical clinics in Germany from 1976 to 1979, and in Newport News, Virginia, from 1979 to 1981.[14] In addition, he took night classes and received an M.B.A. from Boston University in 1980. After leaving active duty in 1981, McDonnell worked for the American Hospital Supply Corporation, primarily in the custom products regional division.

His career path shifted from business to law and public policy when he selected a joint degree program at Christian Broadcasting Network University now known as Regent University.[15] He obtained an M.A./J.D. there in 1989.[11][12] During his studies, McDonnell interned under Congressman Jerry Lewis (R-California).[16]

McDonnell is married to Maureen Patricia McDonnell (née Gardner), with whom he has five children. The oldest, Jeanine, served as a U.S. Army Signal Corps officer in Iraq.[17][18] Their younger daughter, Cailin, coordinated youth outreach for the Republican Party of Virginia's election efforts in 2009. McDonnell has twin sons, both of whom graduated in 2014 from the University of Virginia.[19]

House of Delegates (1992–2006)

McDonnell first ran and was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1991, defeating Democratic incumbent Glenn McClanan 53%–47%.[20] He won re-election in 1993 against Thomas Carnes 64%–36%,[21] and was unopposed in 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, and 2003, serving seven terms. He represented the 84th district in

Virginia House of Delegates
Preceded by
Glenn McClanan
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 84th district

Succeeded by
Sal Iaquinto
Legal offices
Preceded by
Judith Jagdmann
Attorney General of Virginia
Succeeded by
Bill Mims
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jerry Kilgore
Republican nominee for Governor of Virginia
Succeeded by
Ken Cuccinelli
Political offices
Preceded by
Tim Kaine
Governor of Virginia
Succeeded by
Terry McAuliffe
  • Bob McDonnell for Governor Official campaign website
  • Interview with Governor-Elect Bob McDonnell, Cal Thomas,, December 4, 2009
  • New Face for the GOP, Cal Thomas,, December 4, 2009

External links

  • "Past members; Robert F. McDonnell". Virginia House of Delegates. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 

Further reading

  1. ^ a b "Va.'s McDonnell succeeds Perry at GOP governors group". 15 August 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Walker, Julian (17 January 2010). "Can McDonnell's proposals revive job creation?". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 8 August 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Bob McDonnell in Va.: From Conservative to Pragmatist". Time. 22 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "National Implications: McDonnell's Win Is a Model for Conservative Revival". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 4 November 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "Unemployment in the U.S. – Google Public Data Explorer". Retrieved 19 July 2013. ; "Local Area Unemployment" Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  6. ^ McDonnell "Approval Rating Status Qu" (PDF).  
  7. ^ a b Matt Zapotosky; Rosalind S. Helderman (4 September 2014). "Robert McDonnell guilty of 11 corruption counts".   Cain, Andrew, and Frank Green. "Appeals court panel upholds former Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell's convictions," Richmond Times-Dispatch, 10 July 2015.
  8. ^ "Maureen McDonnell Former Virginia First Lady Sentenced to One Year, One Day," NBCWashington, 21 Feb. 2015.
  9. ^ Bernstein, Adam (3 November 2010). "John F. 'Jack' McDonnell, retired Air Force officer and father of Va. governor, dies at 94". The Washington Post. 
  10. ^ "Bob McDonnell ancestry". Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Session 2005; McDonnell, Robert F. (Bob)". Virginia House of Delegates. Retrieved 26 November 2008. 
  12. ^ a b Queen, Karen Haywood (2006). "Commonwealth Conservative; As Attorney General, Regent graduate Bob McDonnell is poised and present.". Christian Leader. Regent University. Retrieved 26 November 2008. 
  13. ^ "10 Things You Didn't Know About Bob McDonnell – US News and World Report". Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  14. ^ "Bob McDonnell". Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  15. ^ "Robert F. McDonnell – Bio". Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  16. ^ "Governor Robert F. McDonnell's bio". Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  17. ^ "McDonnell appoints daughter to an advisory council". Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  18. ^ "Jeanine McDonnell". LinkedIn. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  19. ^ "Headlines @ U.Va.". 
  20. ^ "Candidate Data for 1991RVAHH84". Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  21. ^ "Candidate Data for 1993RVAHH84". Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  22. ^ "Session 2003; McDonnell, Robert F. (Bob)". Virginia House of Delegates. Retrieved 26 November 2008. 
  23. ^ "Session 2000; McDonnell, Robert F. (Bob)". Virginia House of Delegates. Retrieved 26 November 2008. 
  24. ^ Morello, Carol (22 December 2005). "McDonnell Clinches Attorney General Race". Washington Post. Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  25. ^ O'Neil, John (8 November 2006). "A Virginia Recount Would Not Come Soon". New York Times. Retrieved 26 November 2008. 
  26. ^ "Attorney General". Virginia Public Access Project. Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  27. ^ Nuckols, Christina (5 April 2007). "General Assembly approves compromise transportation plan". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 26 November 2008. 
  28. ^ "Court rules transportation taxes unconstitutional". News & Messenger. 1 March 2008. Archived from the original on 5 September 2008. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  29. ^ Barnes, Lindsay (February 7, 2008). "Lust bust: Porn case prompts statewide crackdown?". The Hook. 
  30. ^ Benton, Nicolas (May 29 – June 4, 2008). "Battle for Episcopal Properties Back in Court". Falls Church News-Press. p. 5. 
  31. ^ Kumar, Anita (3 February 2009). "McDonnell Resigns To Run for Governor". The Washington Post. 
  32. ^ Kumar, Anita (31 May 2009). "Robert F. McDonnell Accepts GOP Nomination for Virginia Governor". Washington Post. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  33. ^ "Toplines – Virginia Governor Election – June 10, 2009 – Rasmussen Reports". 10 June 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  34. ^ "Election 2009: Virginia Governor Election". Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  35. ^ "Toplines – Virginia Governor Election – September 16, 2009 – Rasmussen Reports". 16 September 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  36. ^ "Can the Clinton Coalition Survive Obama?". RealClearPolitics. 13 November 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  37. ^ Tyler Whitley (4 November 2009). "McDonnell leads GOP sweep of statewide races". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Archived from the original on 7 November 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  38. ^ 20 mei 2009 (20 May 2009). "Bob McDonnell – A Jobs Governor VA". YouTube. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  39. ^ "McDonnell for Governor | Issues". 26 March 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  40. ^ a b Kumar, Anita (13 August 2009). "Virginia Notebook: Where Is McDonnell From?". Washington Post. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  41. ^ a b "Bobby McSlick: Virginia's Own – Zelig?". 28 August 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  42. ^ Fairfax’s Own" Bob McDonnell""". 28 August 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  43. ^ a b McCartney, Bob (October 8, 2009). "Can Northern Virginia trust McDonnell's promises?". Washington Post. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  44. ^ "McDonnell: "I am focusing on the economic issues" « Decision Virginia". Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  45. ^ "Candidate Bob McDonnell promotes tourism in the Commonwealth". WDBJ7 Roanoke News and Weather NRV Lynchburg Danville. Archived from the original on 22 March 2010. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  46. ^ "McDonnell Releases Virginia Education Funding Plan | NewsChannel 8". 2 September 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  47. ^ "McDonnell for Governor | Issues". Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  48. ^ Kunkle, Fredrick (23 August 2009). "Fact Checker". Washington Post. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  49. ^ "Bob McDonnell on Abortion". Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  50. ^ "News and Features". Richmond Magazine. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  51. ^ a b "McDonnell for Governor | Issues". Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  52. ^ "McDonnell Asks Candidates to Support Offshore Drilling". Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  53. ^ [3]
  54. ^ Kumar, Anita (May 10, 2011). """McDonnell: Gay marriage ban was "the right decision. The Washington Post. 
  55. ^ Walker, Julian (24 March 2011). "Va. gov. signs bill criminalizing synthetic marijuana | |". Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  56. ^ "Medical Marijuana Bill Goes Before Virginia House Committee | Marijuana and Cannabis News". Toke of the Town. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  57. ^ "Virginia's Transportation Mess". 29 July 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  58. ^ a b Kumar, Anita (7 March 2010). "McDonnell's public schedule omissions draw complaints". Washington Post. p. C1. 
  59. ^ "The Republican Party's Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issue of The Decade" (PDF). The Washington Post. 1989. 
  60. ^ a b c "'89 Thesis A Different Side of McDonnell: Va. GOP Candidate Wrote on Women, Marriage and Gays" by Amy Gardner, Washington Post, August 30, 2009. Retrieved 8/30/09.
  61. ^ Gardner, Amy (30 August 2009). "Va. Candidate McDonnell Says Views Changed Since He Wrote Thesis". Washington Post. p. 2. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  62. ^ a b Gardner, Amy (30 August 2009). "Va. Candidate McDonnell Says Views Changed since He Wrote Thesis". p. 1. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  63. ^ Kumar, Anita (15 September 2009). "Virginia Politics Blog – McDonnell: $2.9 Million in July–August". Washington Post. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  64. ^ "Virginia Public Access Project; Bob McDonnell". Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  65. ^ "Virginia Public Access Project; Bob McDonnell". Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  66. ^ Fairfax's Own" Bob McDonnell""". 28 Aug 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  67. ^ Helderman, Rosalind (April 9, 2013). "New documents raise more questions about financing of McDonnell's daughter's wedding". The Washington Post. 
  68. ^ "McDonnell for Governor | Press Releases | Sheila Crump Johnson Endorses Bob McDonnell for Governor". Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  69. ^ "McDonnell for Governor | Press Releases | McDonnell Endorsed by Virginia AgPAC: the Political Action Committee of the Virginia Farm Bureau Fed". Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  70. ^ "McDonnell for Governor | Press Releases | McDonnell Endorsed by Virginia Realtors". Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  71. ^ "McDonnell for Governor | Press Releases | Virginia Credit Union League Endorses Bob McDonnell". Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  72. ^ "McDonnell for Governor | Press Releases | Virginia NFIB Endorses Bob". Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  73. ^ Helderman, Rosalind (10 February 2010). "Virginia governor's anti-bias order removes language regarding sexual orientation". Washington Post. Retrieved 10 June 2010. McDonnell is the first Virginia governor in more than 30 years not to sign an order on the issue of discrimination on the grounds covered by federal law as one of his first acts in office. 
  74. ^ "Governor McDonnell Signs First Executive Orders". Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  75. ^ "Governor McDonnell Announces Members of Governor's Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring". Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  76. ^ a b "Va. delegate says commission chair anti-Semitic". WTOP. May 10, 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2010. 
  77. ^ "McDonnell unaware of reform chairman's past". WTOP. May 25, 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  78. ^ Helderman, Rosalind (May 26, 2010). "McDonnell Says he didn't know of Malek disputes: Made List of Jews for Nixon". Washington Post. p. B1. 
  79. ^ "Nixon aides discussed job offers to get candidates out of primary races". The Washington Post. June 3, 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  80. ^ Smith, Jeffrey (June 3, 2010). "New memos detail Republican Frederic Malek's role in Nixon campaign against Jews". The Washington Post. 
  81. ^ Kumar, Anita (June 1, 2010). "Malek apologizes for his role in compiling a list of Jews for Nixon". Washington Post. Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
  82. ^ Bowman, Rex (31 December 2009). "McDonnell commerce appointee intends to keep corporate board positions". Roanoke Times. Archived from the original on 3 January 2010. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  83. ^ Whitley, Tyler (18 January 2010). "McDonnell withdraws Sledd nomination for commerce post, makes him unpaid adviser". Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  84. ^ Whitley, Tyler (18 January 2010). "McDonnell withdraws Sledd nomination for commerce post". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 4 September 2010. 
  85. ^ Condon, Stephanie (21 January 2010). "Bob McDonnell to Give GOP State of the Union Response – Political Hotsheet". CBS News. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  86. ^ a b Kumar, Anita (February 2, 2010). "Howell challenged on use of House chamber". Washington Post. p. B4. Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  87. ^ a b Slipek Jr., Edwin (February 9, 2010). "Hollow Hall". Style (Richmond, VA). Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  88. ^ "Opportunity Virginia PAC". Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  89. ^ "Opportunity Virginia PAC". Retrieved 7 June 2010. 
  90. ^ a b Helderman, Roslind (April 7, 2010). "Va. revises irksome Northrup contract". Washington Post. p. B1. 
  91. ^ <Vander Veen, Chadd (August 18, 2010). "CIO Sam Nixon Tries to Fix Virginia's IT Outsourcing Effort". Government Technology. Retrieved 28 September 2010. 
  92. ^ Mearian, Lucas (2 September 2010). "Northrop Grumman takes blame for Va. IT services outage". Computerworld. Retrieved 28 September 2010. 
  93. ^ a b Helderman, Rosalind (13 September 2010). "Northrop to pay $250,000 for study of August computer outage". Washington Post. Retrieved 27 September 2010. 
  94. ^ Rosalind Helderman and Anita Kumar (2 September 2010). "Computer crash has tech world watching". Washington Post. p. B1. 
  95. ^ Jeff E. Schapiro and Peter Bacque (3 September 2010). "Northrop Grumman regrets computer outage". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 3 September 2010. 
  96. ^ a b Ly, Sherri (31 August 2010). "Computer Problems Persist at Virginia DMV, Other Agencies". Fox News Channel 5. Archived from the original on 4 September 2010. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  97. ^ Kumar, Anita (3 September 2010). "Driver license applicants must return to DMV following computer outage". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 September 2010. 
  98. ^ "Bill Tracking SB563". Retrieved 22 June 2010. 
  99. ^ a b c Helderman, Rosalind (18 May 2010). "Democrats criticize Cuccinelli donation: Donor's group scrutinized". Washington Post. p. B1. 
  100. ^ "Letter barring USNVA from soliciting in New Mexico" (PDF). 1 April 2010. Retrieved 6 September 2010. 
  101. ^ Sluss, Michael (May 18, 2010). "McDonnell to give away $5K from Navy vets charity". Roanoke Times. Retrieved 22 June 2010. 
  102. ^ Cornwell, Lisa (5 August 2010). "Ohio AG: Navy vets group leader stole identity". Associated Press. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  103. ^ Kunkle, Frederick (January 20, 2011). "McDonnell lifts ban on open-carry in Va. parks". Washington Post. p. B1. 
  104. ^ a b Kumar, Anita (April 8, 2010). "McDonnell admits a 'major omission'". Washington Post. p. A1. 
  105. ^ "'"Governor Is Criticized For 'Confederacy Month. The New York Times. April 11, 1997. 
  106. ^ Antia Kumar and Rosalind Helderman (7 April 2010). "McDonnell revives storm over VA.'s Confederate past". Washington Post. p. A1. 
  107. ^ Antia Kumar and Rosalind Helderman (7 April 2010). "McDonnell's Confederate History Month proclamation irks civil rights leaders". Washington Post. 
  108. ^ "Original Confederate History Month Declaration & Governor's Apology". Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  109. ^ "Why Does McDonnell Think This Is A Good Time For 'Confederate History Month'?". National Public Radio. 7 April 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2010. 
  110. ^ Wing, Nicholas (7 April 2010). "Bob McDonnell Apologizes For Slavery Omission In 'Confederate History Month' Proclamation". Huffington Post. 
  111. ^ "Gov. Bob McDonnell doesn’t rule out running for Vice-president in 2012". Richmond Times Dispatch. 24 February 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  112. ^ Cillizza, Chris (8 April 2010). "Bob McDonnell, the Confederacy and the Veepstakes". The Washington Post. Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  113. ^ "'"McDonnell's Mea Culpa: Virginia's GOP Governor Says Slavery Omission Was 'Mistake. ABC News The Note. 7 April 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2010. 
  114. ^ Helderman, Rosalind (September 25, 2010). "Va. governor: 'confederate' month no more". Washington Post. p. A1. 
  115. ^ Kumar, Antia (4 December 2009). "Kaine plans to extend health benefits to same-sex partners". Washington Post. Retrieved 11 June 2010. 
  116. ^ Walker, Julian (1 February 2010). "Same-sex partner benefits tossed out: Outgoing Gov. Tim Kaine proposed the policy change, but the state's new attorney general advised against it.". Roanoke Times. Archived from the original on 6 October 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  117. ^ Johnson, Chris (April 27, 2010). "Pro-gay life insurance bill becomes law in Va.". Washington Blade. Retrieved 11 June 2010. 
  118. ^ Steinmetz, Katy (10 September 2010). "Virginia Woman Faces Execution amid Calls for Leniency". TIME. Retrieved 24 September 2010. 
  119. ^ "Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signs pre-abortion ultrasound bill" The Los Angeles Times
  120. ^ "Restoration of Rights". Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  121. ^ a b Kumar, Anita (April 12, 2010). "Another squall for McDonnell". Washington Post. p. C1. 
  122. ^ Kumar, Anita (April 14, 2010). "'"McDonnell spokesman says voting rights letter sent to felons 'without approval. Washington Post. 
  123. ^ [4]
  124. ^ "David Englin comments on his website". 21 May 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  125. ^ Kumar, Anita (26 September 2010). "More Va. felons get rights restored". Washington Post. p. C1. 
  126. ^ "Bonds to fund VDOT projects". Washington Post. May 1, 2010. p. B6. 
  127. ^ Whitley, Tyler. "McDonnell authorizes sale of transportation bonds". Richmond Times Dispatch. Archived from the original on 2 May 2010. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  128. ^ Anita Kumar and Rosalind S. Helderman (10 December 2010). "McDonnell outlines transportation plans". Washington Post. p. B5. 
  129. ^ Anita Kumar and Rosalind S. Helderman (January 10, 2011). "McDonnell would tap sales tax to fund roads". Washington Post. p. B1. 
  130. ^ "Governor Files Application to Toll Interstate 95 Near North Carolina Border". Governor's Office. 10 May 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
  131. ^ "WMATA Compact, Article III Section 5". Archived from the original on 15 December 2008. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  132. ^ "Virginia Code § 15.2–4503.1". Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  133. ^ Alpert, David (June 18, 2010). "McDonnell makes case for rider seats on Metro board". Washington Post. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  134. ^ "McDonnell's Plan May Threaten Metro Funding". NBC 4. 17 June 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  135. ^ McCartney, Robert (24 June 2010). "Revitlizing Metro, not grandstanding, is a fitting tribute to crash victims". Washington Post. p. B1. 
  136. ^ Lisa Rein and Anita Kumar. "Va. could jeopardize Metro plan". Washington Post. p. B5. 
  137. ^ Kumar, Anita (June 24, 2010). "Virginia commits money to Metro, Connaughton says". Washington Post. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  138. ^ Lisa Rein and Anita Kumar (July 2, 2010). "Metro's directors back $300 million accord with Va.". Washington Post. p. B4. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  139. ^ BOB LEWIS AP Political Writer. "Va. votes to block health care mandate". Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  140. ^ "Press Release". Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  141. ^ Nolan, Jim (23 March 2010). "McDonnell backs Cuccinelli on challenge to health-care bill". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 25 June 2010. 
  142. ^ a b Walker, Julian (22 April 2010). "McDonnell bid to restrict abortion funding upheld". Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  143. ^ "Children’s National Disappointed in Gov. Bob McDonnell’s Veto of Newborn Heart Disease Screening Legislation". Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  144. ^ a b c d "K-12 Education" (PDF). Washington Post. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 
  145. ^ Kumar, Anita (February 17, 2010). "After weeks of pressure, McDonnell releases budget cut proposals". The Washington Post. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 
  146. ^ "State Senate Passes 2010–2012 Biennial Budget". Rockbridge Weekly. February 26, 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 
  147. ^ Hightower, Ed (April 2, 2010). "Virginia: Hampton Roads schools face major budget cuts". World Socialist. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 
  148. ^ "Vivian's Views on Budget and Taxes". Del. Vivian Watts. Retrieved 11 June 2010. 
  149. ^ Stuart, Bob (October 18, 2009). "Deeds: Toll fix to road woes?". News Virginian. Retrieved 11 June 2010. 
  150. ^ Kumar, Anita (1 June 2010). "McDonnell on MSNBC: Race to the Top too burdensome". Washington Post. 
  151. ^ "Virginia's stance against national standards is a blow for students". Washington Post. 5 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  152. ^ Nick Anderson and Rosalind Helderman (27 May 2010). "Virginia Withdraws from Obama's Race to the Top". Washington Post. p. B4. 
  153. ^ "Race to the Top Program Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions" (PDF). US Department of Education. 27 May 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2010. Race to the Top does not endorse any particular consortium or set of standards. Criterion (B)(1) specifies characteristics of consortia and standards that earn States points under this criterion. 
  154. ^ Garofalo, Pat (1 June 2010). "McDonnell Falsely Claims That Race To The Top Would Force Virginia To Lower Its Academic Standards". Retrieved 11 June 2010. 
  155. ^ "McDonnell on MSNBC: Race to the Top would bring "burdensome" federal standards". Retrieved 11 June 2010. 
  156. ^ "Overview Information: Race to the Top Fund". Federal Register. November 18, 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2010. A State may supplement the common standards with additional standards, provided that the additional standards do not exceed 15 percent of the State's total standards for that content area. 
  157. ^ Kumar, Anita (May 24, 2009). "Va. Candidates Weigh In on Offshore Drilling". Washington Post. Retrieved 28 September 2010. 
  158. ^ a b Kumar, Anita (17 March 2010). "Virginia leaders express interest in offshore drilling". The Washington Post. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  159. ^ "Offshore Oil Benefits". WTVR. 17 March 2010. 
  160. ^ "Sullivan, Kathleen and Pratt, Marirose. Six Months of Oil Not Worth a Disaster on Southern Coasts, Says SELC". 21 September 2009. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  161. ^ "Twelve Reasons Why Offshore Drilling for Natural Gas is Wrong for Virginia". Sierra Club, Virginia Chapter. 8 July 2008. Archived from the original on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  162. ^ Straub, Noelle (May 6, 2010). "Interior Suspends Planned Va. Offshore Oil and Gas Lease Sale". New York Times. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  163. ^ "Statement on the Interior Dept.’s Suspension of Oil and Gas Lease Sale off Virginia’s Coast". 6 May 2010. Archived from the original on 9 August 2010. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  164. ^ "Virginia Off-Shore Drilling Off-Limits, says DoD report". 18 May 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  165. ^ "McDonnell: Oil spill a setback to offshore drilling". WTOP. May 25, 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  166. ^ "Transcript of President Obama's May 27, 2010 Press Conference". Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  167. ^ Kumar, Anita (May 27, 2010). "Environmentalists cheer Obama's offshore drilling decision". Washington Post. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  168. ^ Nealon, Cory (May 27, 2010). "Obama cancels Virginia's drilling plans". Newport News Daily Press. Retrieved 5 July 2010. 
  169. ^ Kumar, Anita (February 17, 2010). "In private, Virginia governor pushes deep budget cuts". Washinigton Post. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  170. ^ Nobles, Ryan (February 17, 2010). "Gov. McDonnell outlines budget cuts proposal". NBC12. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  171. ^ Sluss, Michael. "Virginia budget debate heads into overtime". Roanoke Times. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  172. ^ "Governor McDonnell Returns Amendments to Biennial Budget". Press Release. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  173. ^ Wilkinson, Karen (April 16, 2010). "Legislation Changes Virginia's Online Tax Preparation Program". Government Technology. Retrieved 26 September 2010. 
  174. ^ Nolan, Jim (14 April 2010). "State to end free online tax-filing service". Richmond Times Dispatch. Retrieved 26 September 2010. 
  175. ^ Anita Kumar and Rosalind Helderman (April 15, 2010). "McDonnell favors development funding". Washington Post. p. B1. 
  176. ^ Rosalind Helderman and Anita Kumar (April 22, 2010). "House bucks governor on some issues". Washington Post. p. B1. 
  177. ^ Lewis, Bob (14 July 2010). "Va. ended last budget with $220 million surplus". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  178. ^ "The so-called Virginia budget surplus". Washington Examiner. July 19, 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010. 
  179. ^ Whitley, Tyler (July 15, 2010). "State budget surplus assures bonus for workers". Richmond Times Dispatch. Retrieved 22 July 2010. 
  180. ^ Kumar, Anita (20 August 2010). "In Va. bipartisan calls to reverse budget methods". Washington Post. p. B1. 
  181. ^ Kumar, Antia (August 20, 2010). "In Va., bipartisan calls to reverse budget methods". Washington Post. p. B1. 
  182. ^ a b Rosalind Helderman and Anita Kumar (23 October 2010). "No Va. special session on liquor". Washington Post. p. B1. 
  183. ^ Helderman, Rosalind (5 August 2010). "Va. liquor profits set a high bar for McDonnell privatization plan". Washington Post. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  184. ^ "Proposed ABC Privatization Model". Retrieved 12 September 2010. 
  185. ^ a b c Shapiro, Jeff (11 September 2010). "Virginia retailers split on ABC privatization". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 12 September 2010. 
  186. ^ Kumar, Anita (September 4, 2010). "Virginia may add to fees on alcohol". Washington Post. p. A1. Retrieved 4 September 2010. 
  187. ^ a b Anita Kumar and Rosalind Helderman (9 August 2010). "McDonnell unveils plan to privatize liquor sales". Washington Post. p. B1. 
  188. ^ Kumar, Anita (September 4, 2010). "Legislator says ABC special session will be in November". Washington Post. Retrieved 4 September 2010. 
  189. ^ Kumar, Anita (16 September 2010). "Updated: Beer and wine wholesalers oppose McDonnell's ABC privatization plan". The Washington Post. Retrieved 28 September 2010. 
  190. ^ Kumar, Anita (27 November 2010). "Rural Va. communities' long liquor runs could come to a halt". Washington Post. p. B1. 
  191. ^ "Fraternal Order of Police endorses McDonnell liquor privatization". The Washington Post. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  192. ^ Helderman, Rosalind (30 September 2010). "To woo more support, McDonnell alters liquor privatization plan". Washington Post. Retrieved 1 October 2010. 
  193. ^ Helderman, Rosalind (1 October 2010). "McDonnell alters liquor-sale proposal: Plan could be more palatable to restaurant owners, conservatives". Washington Post. p. B1. 
  194. ^ a b Kumar, Anita (5 October 2010). "McDonnell vows trims to make liquor plan work". Washington Post. p. B1. 
  195. ^ Anita Kumar and Rosalind S. Helderman (14 October 2010). "Liquor proposal causing discord in Virginia GOP". Washington Post. p. B1. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  196. ^ Walker, Julian (22 October 2010). "McDonnell won't call special session on privatizing liquor sales". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 24 October 2010. 
  197. ^ Kumar, Anita (24 November 2010). "McDonnell plan on liquor sores off by millions". Washington Post. p. B1. 
  198. ^ Anita Kumar and Rosalind S. Helderman (February 9, 2011). "McDonnell's bid to privatize liquor stores is rejected". Washington Post. p. B1. 
  199. ^ Olympia Meola and Jeff E. Schapiro (January 8, 2010). "McDonnell: Northrop Grumman move, IT dispute not linked". Richmond Times Dispatch. Retrieved 28 September 2010. 
  200. ^ Maclauchlan, Shawn (September 28, 2010). "McDonnell meets with Defense Department". NBC12. Retrieved 28 September 2010. 
  201. ^ Helderman, Rosalind (September 27, 2010). "Look who's not coming to breakfast: Defense Secretary Gates". Washington Post. Retrieved 28 September 2010. 
  202. ^ Pershing, Ben (November 24, 2010). "Va. confronts Gates on future of jobs". Washington Post. p. B6. 
  203. ^ a b c d e Kumar, Anita (24 April 2011). "VA. House GOP vents over veto". Washington Post. p. C1. 
  204. ^ "Letter to the House of Delegates on H.R. 5001" (PDF). State of Virginia. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  205. ^ Helderman, Rosalind S. (25 April 2011). "Senate opens bipartisan negotiations on redistricting". Washington Post. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  206. ^ "Lawmakers return Monday to consider governor’s veto of Virginia redistricting legislation". Washington Post. Associated Press. April 24, 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  207. ^ "Statement of Governor Bob McDonnell on Passage of Redistricting Legislation". State of Virginia. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  208. ^ Vozzella, Laura (16 June 2013). "Mansion spending records indicate improper billing by Virginia governor and his family". Washington Post. Retrieved June 17, 2013. 
  209. ^ Laura Vozzella (8 July 2013). "McDonnell lawyer says children took minimal food from mansion". Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  210. ^ O'Dell, Larry (January 21, 2014). "Former Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell, Wife Indicted". 
  211. ^ Helderman, Rosalind (January 21, 2014). "Former Va. Gov. McDonnell and wife charged in gifts case". The Washington Post. 
  212. ^ Camia, Catalina (January 21, 2014). "Ex-Va. governor McDonnell, wife charged in gift scandal". USAToday. 
  213. ^ Burns, Alexander, Titus, Elizabeth (January 21, 2014). [l "Bob McDonnell and wife indicted in gift scandal"] . Politico. 
  214. ^ Julian Walker; Bill Sizemore (22 January 2014). "Ex-Gov. McDonnell and wife charged in gifts scandal".  
  215. ^ Helderman, Rosalind; Zapotosky, Matt; Vozzella, Laura. "Back on stand, Williams says he didn’t tell McDonnell about his wife’s actions". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  216. ^ a b Greem,, Frank; Meola, Olympia; Nolan, Jim (September 4, 2014). "Jury finds former Gov. Bob McDonnell guilty on multiple counts".  
  217. ^ a b "Verdicts in the McDonnell trial".  
  218. ^ Matt Zapotosky (12 December 2014). "Early federal sentencing recommendation for McDonnell: At least 10 years in prison".  
  219. ^ "Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell loses Liberty University teaching job". New York Daily News. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  220. ^ "Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell given 2 years in prison". CNN. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  221. ^ "Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Free, Pending Appeal". 
  222. ^ United States v. McDonnell, F.3d ___, ___ (2015).
  223. ^ "Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Free, Pending a decision from the Supreme Court to Hear or Not Hear the Case.". 
  224. ^ "Inmate Locator". Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 


See also

McDonnell's Federal Bureau of Prisons register number is 83758-083.[224]

On August 31, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Circuit ordered that McDonnell remain free pending a decision from that court to hear or not hear the case.[223]

On January 26, 2015, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that McDonnell remain free pending appeal,[221] but on July 10, 2015, the court affirmed McDonnell's conviction.[222]

On January 6, 2015, Judge Spencer sentenced the former governor to two years in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Prior to sentencing, the judge agreed with the defense counsel; believing McDonnell's gifts were overstated, and reduced McDonnell's potential sentence. In arguing for leniency, McDonnell's attorneys produced over 400 letters, including ones from McDonnell's predecessor, former Democratic Governor and United States Senator Tim Kaine, and former United States House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor, arguing that McDonnell lead an exemplary public life marred by one mistake.[220]

Following his conviction, McDonnell lost his Liberty University teaching job.[219]

After a five-week trial and three days of jury deliberations in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, McDonnell and his wife were found guilty of public corruption charges on September 4, 2014.[7] He was convicted of honest services wire fraud, obtaining property under color of official right, and extortion under color of official right.[216][217] His wife was convicted of honest services wire fraud, obtaining property under color of official right, extortion under color of official right, and obstruction of a federal proceeding.[216][217] Senior United States District Judge James R. Spencer set sentencing for January 6, 2015. The United States Probation Office recommended sentencing between ten years and one month to twelve years and seven months.[218]

On January 21, 2014, McDonnell and his wife were indicted on federal corruption charges. The charges followed a months-long federal investigation into gifts McDonnell received from a political donor.[210][211] They were charged with fourteen different counts, relating to their acceptance of more than $135,000 in gifts, loans, trips and other items from Jonnie Williams Sr., former CEO of Star Scientific, a company developing a compound called anatabine as a dietary supplement and as a drug. In 2013, McDonnell repaid more than $120,000 to Williams and apologized for bringing "embarrassment" to the state. McDonnell insisted he did not break the law and vowed to fight "these false allegations."[212][213] He became the first Governor of Virginia to be indicted for actions committed during his tenure.[214] In July and August 2014, Williams testified at McDonnell's federal corruption trial.[215]

Federal corruption charges, conviction, sentencing, appeals

In July 2013, according to the Washington Post, McDonnell reimbursed the state about $2,400 for the food and other items that the governor's children, Sean, his twin brother Bobby, and their sister Rachel, had removed from the Executive Mansion to take to their college dorms.[209]

In June 2013, McDonnell and his wife were the subject of a critical Washington Post article detailing their improper spending at the Executive Mansion, for items such as energy drinks, dog food, and a "detox cleanse". Following the report, a McDonnell spokesman explained that energy drinks were a standard part of their breakfast routine.[208]

Improper spending

McDonnell has played a significant role in the redistricting conducted in response to the 2010 census. McDonnell appointed his own bipartisan advisory commission on redistricting.[203] In a special session of the General Assembly, the redistricting of both the House of Delegates and the State Senate were passed in single bill that was approved by the House with an 86 to 8 vote and the Senate with a 22 to 18 vote.[203] The bill was developed without regard to the advisory commission's recommendations.[203] On April 15, 2011, McDonnell vetoed the reapportionment bill on the grounds that "the Senate plan is the kind of political gerrymandering that Virginians have ask that we leave in the past."[204] Although McDonnell had the power to amend the bill with his veto, he simply sent it back for the General Assembly to either over-ride the veto or adopt a different bill. Because the Democrats lack the 2/3 majority necessary to over-ride the veto, the State Senate must adopt a new plan. At first, Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw promised to merely readopt the vetoed redistricting map, but has now begun negotiations with the Governor's office regarding a new plan.[203][205] Republican members of the House and Senate have criticized the Governor for overturning the timetable for approval of new districts prior to the 2011 elections.[203][206] After lengthy negotiations, on April 28, both houses passed a revised set of district maps and Governor McDonnell announced that he would sign the revised bill.[207]


McDonnell amended the budget to increase the incentives that a governor can provide employers to relocate to Virginia or to remain in Virginia. He campaigned to have Northrop Grumman relocate its 300-job headquarters to Virginia, but stated that the renewal of Virginia's computer outsourcing contract was not linked to the relocation decision.[199] When Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced the closing of the 6,000-job Joint Military Command in August, 2010, McDonnell sought private meetings to seek to preserve the jobs.[200] However, McDonnell was disappointed that Secretary Gates would not meet with him to discuss the issue.[201] McDonnell was later included in a meeting between Gates and Virginia's congressional delegation on November 23, 2010.[202]

Job creation

In what the Washington Post described as "the biggest legislative defeat of his tenure," both houses of the Virginia General Assembly refused to hold hearings on McDonnell's plan during the 2011 legislative session. Both the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate killed the bill implementing McDonnell's proposal without a vote. McDonnell's director of policy, Eric Finkbeiner told the Post, "Whether we do it this year, next year or the year after, it's going to get done in this administration."[198]

On November 23, 2010, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee released a report which found that the McDonnell proposal had overstated the expected proceeds of liquor store sales and licenses. In response, McDonnell's spokesman said that he is committed to privatization and is considering alternative plans. McDonnell has hired a consultant to formulate a new privatization plan at a cost of $75,000 prior to the new legislative session in January 2011. The Auditors found that McDonnell's proposal would rise the retail price of distilled spirits 11 to 26 percent, which in turn would lead to a drop in liquor sales that could result in a loss of as much as $15.4 million in sales tax revenues.[197]

In October 2010, McDonnell's modified plan drew criticism from Republican members of the House of Delegates, including Del. Thomas D. Gear who chairs the House subcommittee that will consider the proposal and Del. Timothy D. Hugo, chair of the House Republican caucus. Concerns heightened when Phil Cox, who heads McDonnell's political action committee, threatened to withhold campaign funds from Republican delegates who fail to support the modified plan. According to the Washington Post, "Delegates have privately complained that the plan was developed with too little input from legislators and too much from lobbyists for retail and alcohol interests."[195] On October 22, 2010, McDonnell decided not call a special session, but to instead appoint a "working group" to further refine the plan so that implementing legislation could be on the first day of the 2011 legislative session. McDonnell's working group of Republican legislators, wholesalers, distillers, and retailers seek to develop a compromise that could win adoption by the legislature.[182][196]

On the eve of McDonnell taking the plan to the restructuring commission for their endorsement, the Washington Post reported that he modified the plan by dropping the restaurant tax and certain other proposed fees. McDonnell is proposing to set aside over 100 licenses for companies that employ less than 50 people in order to help small, family owned stores. He also wants to give small businesses several years to pay off their auction bids. The Post suggests that "he might call off plans for a November special session" of the General Assembly.[192][193] On October 4, the Malek commission voted 22 to 3 to endorse McDonnell's modified plan.[194] The Commission proposed a number of cost savings in government operations which would offset the projected $47 million annual revenue loss from selling the ABC liquor stores.[194]

The plan drew immediate opposition from conservative lawmakers as a "tax increase". It was also opposed by the Virginia Retail Federation,[185] the Virginia Beer Wholesalers Association, and the Virginia Wine Wholesalers Association.[189] The Baptist General Association of Virginia and the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy oppose the plan out of concerns that it will increase alcohol consumption.[190] The plan is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police,[191] the Virginia Transportation Construction Industry, and the Virginia Retail Merchants Association and the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce.[185]

On September 8, 2010, McDonnell presented his plan for auctioning liquor licenses to his government reform commission.[184] Under the plan, the number of stores selling liquor would triple to 1,000, with the licenses to operate these new stores being auctioned. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, "Of the 1,000 licenses, 600 would be available to big retailers, whose lawyers and lobbyists helped craft the governor's proposal. An additional 150 licenses would be reserved for package stories, with 250 for small retailers, such as convenience-store operators."[185] McDonnell estimates that winning bidders would pay $265 million for the licenses, and that the state could receive $33 million from selling existing state-owned liquor store properties. In addition $160 million would be collected in wholesale license fees. To make up from the annual loss of general fund revenues from the current state-owned stores, McDonnell proposes a $17.50 per gallon excise tax (which is above the national average and above that charged in neighboring states). He would also charge an annual fee of $500 to $2,000 to each store license holder, and would impose a new 1% gross receipts tax on wholesalers of liquor. Restaurants and bars that chose to purchase alcohol from wholesalers instead of retail outlets would pay a 2.5% tax. Just before the presentation, McDonnell dropped his proposed 1.5% fee on all restaurants and retail establishments that was in earlier drafts of his plan.[186][187] McDonnell proposed to call a special session of the Virginia legislature in November 2010 to consider the proposal.[187][188]

In August 2010, McDonnell embarked on a promotional tour advocating legislation to sell Virginia's liquor stores to private owners. McDonnell held eight town hall meetings around the state to discuss the plan.[182] McDonnell argued that retail alcohol sales is not an appropriate state activity and proposes that any sales proceeds could be used to finance transportation needs. Opponents noted that the liquor stores generate $248 million per year for Virginia's general fund.[183]

Liquor sales

The first budget enacted under the McDonnell administration took effect on July 1, 2010.[177] Two of McDonnell's legislative initiatives did increase the surplus for the 2009–2010 fiscal year. First, the budget bill accelerated the payment of state sales taxes resulting in a one-time shift of revenues that would otherwise have been collected in July 2010 into the old fiscal year. Second, the budget bill deferred a $620 million payment to the Virginia Retirement System to future years.[178] The end of year surplus will trigger the payment of a 3% bonus to state employees in December 2010.[179][180] Members of both parties McDonnell to use the surplus to reverse the Virginia Retirement System deferral.[181]

Results from 2010 Fiscal Year

On April 14, 2010, McDonnell proposed 96 budget amendments to the two-year 2010–2012 budget resulting in $42.1 million in spending increases and $51 million in additional budget cuts, tax increases, and court fees for criminals.[142][172] He proposed to increase spending by $15 million to give incentives for SRI International and Bank of America to keep offices in Virginia. To boost revenue, McDonnell proposed raising $7.2 million by increasing the fines on motorists who exceed the speed limit. He proposes to cut an additional $9.9 million from state funded programs for at-risk and troubled children and proposed cutting $600,000 from state grants to public radio and television stations. McDonnell also issued amendatory vetoes on non-budget legislation. For example, although Virginia has provided free electronic filing of tax returns for years, his veto would outsource electronic filing to firms that would charge a fee for that service.[173][174] McDonnell also amended a bill that would authorize Planned Parenthood car license plates to prohibit Planned Parenthood from spending the funds raised from those "affinity" license plates on abortions.[175] The Legislature met to vote on the Governor's amendments on April 21. A bipartisan majority accepted some of McDonnell's proposed cuts while rejecting others including those to public broadcasting, the funding for at-risk and troubled children and the shifting of Virginia Medicaid mental health program to a managed-care plan.[176]

On December 18, 2009, outgoing Governor Tim Kaine proposed $76.8 billion of expenditures for adoption by the incoming state legislature. Kaine's budget proposed to rationalize state revenues by increasing the income tax while lowering property taxes and other fees. As incoming Governor, McDonnell refused to publicly recommend any modifications to Kaine's budget and instead worked with the House of Delegates to bring Kaine's plan up for a quick vote and defeat. Privately, McDonnell advocated cutting $300 million from health programs, $730 million from K-12 education, changing the state retirement system, and requiring 10 days of furloughs for state employees, to offset budgetary shortfalls for 2010–2012.[169] On February 17, 2010, after political pressure, the Governor publicly released his proposed cuts.[144][170] The Senate adopted a budget which restored a number of cuts to education, health and human services, and a House-Senate conference managed to work out a compromise on March 14 containing about $250 million in cuts before the expiration of the legislative session.[171] However, a number of interest groups lobbied the Governor to use his amendatory veto power to alter the adopted budget.


McDonnell advocated drilling off the Virginia coast of the Atlantic Ocean as a possible revenue source for the state. However, under current law, Virginia will not receive any revenues from drilling in federal waters, which includes all drilling sites more than 3 miles off the coast.[158] On May 6, 2010, the Department of Interior suspended the proposed auction of offshore Virginia leasing rights.[162] Congressman James P. Moran (D-Va), chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Interior Department, issued a statement commending the decision.[163] On May 18, Moran forwarded to McDonnell a Department of Defense report finding that the proposed lease site would interfere with naval operations.[164] On May 25, McDonnell reaffirmed his interest in having oil drilling off the Virginia coast notwithstanding the BP oil spill and the inability of Virginia to get any of the royalty income from such drilling under current law.[165] On May 27, President Obama announced that the offshore Virginia lease sale was cancelled.[166][167] Subsequently, McDonnell has proposed continuing a federal environmental study of drilling off the Virginia coast or drilling for just gas and not oil. However, a consulting firm has said that liquids are almost always produced with gas offshore and so the proposed idea may not be possible.[168]

Previously, the General Assembly passed a bill in 2006 that would allow offshore exploratory gas drilling outside a 50-mile limit.[157] On March 11, 2010, McDonnell signed into law bipartisan offshore drilling legislation that would allow the drilling for oil and gas in federal waters 50 miles or more off the Virginia coast if also permitted by the Federal government.[158] (see Offshore drilling on the US Atlantic coast). The plan has been criticized by some environmentalists and Democrats who argue that tourism and wildlife would be threatened and that oil drilling would not make a difference in achieving long-term energy independence.[159][160] Congressman Moran, among others, argued further that most of the proposed drilling area was located in an area reserved for naval operations.[161]

Offshore drilling

Although McDonnell supported the Race to the Top federal education funding program during McDonnell's campaign for governor,[150] on May 26, 2010, McDonnell withdrew Virginia from the second round of "Race to the Top". Virginia had finished 31st out of 41 states in the first round; McDonnell decided that Virginia should not file its application for the second round because he erroneously believed the competition required the use of multi-state education performance standards instead of Virginia's current standards.[151] However, the use of common performance standards were not required and counted for 40 points out of a possible 500 total points in evaluating state proposals.[152][153] McDonnell later stated on MSNBC that the Race to the Top rules precluded participating states from adopting more rigorous standards in addition to whatever multi-state standards they join.[154][155] However, the "Race to the Top" regulations award the points even if states adopt standards more rigorous than the optional, common standards.[156]

Because K-12 education comprises 37% of the general fund budget, critics note that McDonnell's proposal to fund transportation bonds from the general fund would result in further education cuts in future years. McDonnell disagrees, saying he’ll lean heavily on growth in revenues rather than pulling from existing money.[148][149]

The House adopted $620 million in education cuts, and the Senate adopted a budget with $133 million in education cuts.[146] The final, signed budget cut over $646 million for public schools.[147]

In Virginia, public schools are funded from both local real estate taxes as well as state general funds under a formula that attempts to assure minimum statewide standards called "The Standards of Quality." Virginia also earmarks revenues from its state lottery for education. Outgoing Governor Tim Kaine proposed $11.4 billion for K-12 education in the 2010–2012 budget.[144] On February 17, 2010, McDonnell proposed $268.8 million in additional cuts.[144][145] McDonnell's cuts included 1) changing the formula for measuring the ability of localities to pay for education, 2) reducing funding for technology expenditures, and 3) reducing funding under the Standards of Quality.[144]


In April 2012 McDonnell vetoed HB 399, which sought to improve neonatal care by fast-tracking implementation of newborn screening for life-threatening congenital heart malformations.[143]

In April 2010, McDonnell signed a bill seeking to nullify the insurance purchase requirement in the then proposed federal health care legislation. On March 10, 2010, before Congress finished its final consideration of the package, a bipartisan Virginia Healthcare Freedom Act passed the General Assembly by an 80–17 majority,[139] which McDonnell signed on March 24, 2010.[140] McDonnell supports Virginia's legal challenge to the Constitutionality of the final Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[141] Although abortion funding was not debated during the regular session of the General Assembly, McDonnell raised the issue through the use of his amendatory veto power. During the April 21, 2010 veto session, the Virginia legislature passed restrictions on state public funding for elective abortion except in the instances of rape, incest, life of the mother, or life-threatening fetal anomaly.[142]

Health care

In 2008, the Federal government and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) reached an agreement for federal funding of $1.5 billion in capital improvements contingent on Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia pledging to develop dedicated funding for the Metro system. WMATA was created by an interstate compact (a kind of agreement between states similar to a treaty or contract which must be approved by the U.S. Congress) founded in 1967 with a board of directors whose members are appointed by each local jurisdiction in its service area, including four from Virginia appointed by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC). In June 2010, McDonnell threatened to withhold Virginia's WMATA funding unless the composition of WMATA's board was modified to allow Virginia's Governor to appoint two of the seats. Currently, the interstate compact establishing WMATA specifies that its Virginia members are selected by the NVTC.[131] In turn, Virginia law specifies that local jurisdictions appoint that Commission's members.[132] Rather than proposing to amend either law, McDonnell merely threatened to withhold Virginia's "dedicated" matching funds if the NVTC did not appoint two people that he selected instead of appointing representatives from local jurisdictions.[133][134][135] On June 17, 2010, Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff required a formal commitment from Virginia to match its share of the federal funds if the federal funding is to continue.[136] On June 24, 2010, McDonnell withdrew his request to appoint two members of the Metro Board as a precondition for making the scheduled "dedicated" payment under the 2008 agreement.[137] On July 1, 2010, the WMATA Board of Directors approved an agreement with Virginia to provide matching funds without regard to McDonnell's request for Board seats. Based on this agreement, the federal funds were reconfirmed, and WMATA signed a $886 million contract for 428 new metrorail cars.[138]

On May 10, 2010, McDonnell filed an application with the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) seeking permission to collect tolls on Interstate 95 near the North Carolina border. The highway had been constructed with taxpayer funds, 90% from the federal government and 10% from Virginia gasoline taxes. However, Virginia claims that they do not have sufficient revenues to maintain I-95 at a safe level and proposes a toll booth to raise a projected $30 to $60 million annually. McDonnell is asking FHA to authorize the toll under its "Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program."[130]

On April 30, 2010, McDonnell authorized issuing $493 million in transportation bonds in May 2010 and an additional $1.493 billion over the five years to finance previously approved transportation projects. The bonds were a part of a transportation package enacted three years ago, but the bonds were not issued while Republican State Delegate Robert Marshall filed a lawsuit challenging the Constitutionality of that package and while certain transportation notes issued during the Gilmore Administration had not been paid off. Critics note that Virginia lacks a revenue source to amortize these new bonds.[126][127] On December 9, 2010, McDonnell announced a revised transportation funding plan which includes both $1.8 billion in bonds that had been approved in 2007, as well as an additional $1.1 billion in bonds which McDonnell proposes to pay back from future federal transportation funds. He also proposed to spend $150 million of the 2009–2010 budget surplus and $250 million in reserves protect against gasoline tax revenue shortfalls.[128] On January 9, 2011, McDonnell proposed funding projects to address traffic congestion in Northern Virginia and Hampton roads by diverting 0.25% of the sales tax collected in those areas from the General Fund into the transportation fund. Legislation is required to implement McDonnell's proposal, and Democrats responded that the revenues were needed in the General Fund for schools and public safety and that the projected revenues were insufficient to make a difference on highway needs.[129]


On May 21, McDonnell announced new policy on the issue of restoration of rights, imposing a 60-day deadline for his administration to act on an application once all of the required documentation is received from the applicant and the courts; reducing to two years from three years the time nonviolent felons must wait to apply for restoration of rights, and cutting to one year from two years the waiting period for reapplication if a request is denied.[123] Of the new policy, Democratic Delegate David Englin commented, "By establishing a timely and more clearly defined process for non-violent ex-offenders seeking to have their rights restored, the Governor’s new policy has the potential make an important step in the right direction."[124] By the end of his term on January 11, 2014 McDonnell restored the rights of 8,013 ex-felons; more than any Governor in Virginia history.[125]

In April 2010, McDonnell drew criticism from black leaders and civil rights groups when a draft policy proposal was mistakenly sent to 200 felons, informing them of his decision to require a written essay from each applicant seeking to have voting and other civil rights restored.[120] Previously, applicants were required to fill out a one-page application.[121] Only Virginia and Kentucky require the Governor to act on individual requests for restoring voting rights.[121][122]

Voting rights restoration for felons

In 2012, national attention was focused on a bill before the Virginia state legislature, controlled by Republicans, to require a trans-vaginal ultrasound for any woman contemplating an abortion in Virginia. McDonnell initially supported the bill, but backed off after public protests. He persuaded the legislators to pass instead a slightly watered-down version of the bill requiring less invasive abdominal ultrasound before an abortion and exempting women who were pregnant as a result of rape or incest, provided they reported it to the police. The redrafted bill was opposed by pro-choice groups and a minority in the legislature, but McDonnell signed it into law on March 7, 2012. McDonnell was called "Governor Vagina", "Governor Ultrasound", and other similar pejorative monikers by legislators opposing the controversial bill.[119]


In a decision that drew controversy, McDonnell declined to commute the death sentence to life imprisonment in the case of Teresa Lewis, who was executed on September 23, 2010. She was the first woman executed in Virginia since 1912. Calls had been made for leniency, citing her below average mental capacity.[118]

Death sentence for Teresa Lewis

In December 2009, Governor Tim Kaine had started a process which would extend Virginia employee health benefits to same-sex partners.[115] At McDonnell's request, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued a legal opinion that this change to the coverage of the state's health plan could not be made without explicit legislation authorizing it, thereby halting the administrative process to make the change.[116] However, McDonnell did sign a law which would allow Virginia employers to offer private insurance coverage for employees' same-sex partners, after the bill passed with bipartisan support.[117]

State health benefits for same-sex partners

On September 24, 2010, McDonnell addressed an academic conference on slavery and announced that he will declare April 2011 as "Civil War in Virginia" month rather than "Confederate History Month". He also called the April 2010 proclamation an "error of haste and not of heart."[114]

On April 7, 2010, McDonnell conceded that omitting slavery from his proclamation was "a major omission", apologized and amended the document.[104] McDonnell had previously refused to rule out the possibility that he would run for Vice President in 2012;[111] while news analysts Chris Cillizza, Mark Plotkin, and Teddy Davis have speculated that the mistake may have a significant adverse impact on McDonnell's chances for a future Vice Presidential nomination, a May 22 Time Magazine article described McDonnell as "a politician who inexplicably kneecapped himself is clawing his way back."[3][112][113]

Unlike Gilmore's proclamation, which included anti-slavery language, McDonnell's initial proclamation left out any direct mention of slavery, drawing criticism from the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus and the NAACP.[106][107][108][109] When initially asked why he had made the omission, McDonnell stated that "there were any number of aspects to that conflict between the states. Obviously, it involved slavery. It involved other issues. But I focused on the ones I thought were most significant for Virginia."[110]

, but unlike the two Democratic governors immediately preceding McDonnell, who did not designate such a month. James S. Gilmore and [105] On April 2, 2010, at the request of the

Confederate History Month proclamation

Social issues

On August 15, 2011, McDonnell was named chairman of the Republican Governors Association.[1]

In January 14, 2011, McDonnell issued a directive ordering the Department of Conservation and Recreation to cease enforcing regulations that prohibit carrying firearms in state parks. He also gave preliminary approval to amend the regulations to allow people to carry open or concealed firearms in state forests. The regulations were already amended in 2003 to allow concealed weapons on park property.[103]

[102] In August 2010, Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray announced that a nationwide arrest warrant had been issued for Bobby Thompson, who had stolen the identity and Social Security Number of a victim who was not connected to the USNVA. Corday stated, "We know he bilked Ohioans out of at least $1.9 million, and we estimate that nationally he collected at least $20 million."[101] However, McDonnell later donated to charity the $5,000 campaign contribution that he had received from Thompson.[99] The bill was introduced at the request of Bobby Thompson, director of the U.S. [98] The 2010 session of the General Assembly passed a bill exempting certain veterans' organizations from the registration and reporting requirements that apply to most charities which solicit donations in Virginia.

In April 2010, McDonnell renegotiated and extended a contract for outsourcing the state's computer operations to Northrop Grumman.[90] At that time, McDonnell proposed legislation which was adopted to have the Virginia Information Technologies Agency report directly to the Governor instead of to an independent board.[90][91] Subsequently, McDonnell was criticized when the Northrup computer systems experienced a week-long computer outage from August 25 through September 2, 2010.[92][93] As a result, 45,000 people were unable to renew their drivers licenses. Computer systems for nearly a third of the state's agencies were affected.[94][95][96] Over 4,000 people had to return to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get their photos retaken after an August 25 computer outage left their original photos unrecoverable.[97] The system also experienced an unrelated outage on August 9.[96] Subsequently, Northrop Grumman agreed to pay $250,000 to fund a state investigation of the computer outage.[93]

Since McDonnell's election as Governor in November 2009, he has shifted his fundraising activities to his "Opportunity Virginia PAC" which has raised $1,194,934 through June 2010.[88] Many of these donations came from industries regulated by the state.[89]

On January 27, 2010, McDonnell delivered the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address. The response was delivered to GOP lawmakers and invited friends in the chamber of the Virginia House of Delegates.[85][86][87] Critics have argued that the use of House chamber for McDonnell's speech did not comply with House Rule 82.[86][87]

Two of McDonnell's appointments drew criticism. On May 7, 2010, McDonnell appointed Fred Malek to chair a 31-member advisory commission on reforming state government.[75] On May 10, 2010, several Democratic members of the Legislature criticized the appointment due to Malek's controversial actions while personnel director in the Nixon administration and due to a 2007 SEC investigation settlement.[76] On May 25, 2010, McDonnell was asked about the Malek appointment and stated that he was unaware of Malek's role in the Nixon administration,[77] a remark which State Senator A. Donald McEachin (D-Richmond) told The Washington Post that McDonnell's claim was "absolutely stunning and, frankly, beyond belief."[76][78][79][80][81] McDonnell also nominated Robert C. Sledd to Secretary of Commerce and Trade, but withdrew the nomination in the face of bipartisan opposition prompted by Sledd's refusal to give up paid outside corporate directorships.[82][83][84]

On January 16, 2010, McDonnell was inaugurated as the 71st governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, succeeding Kaine as governor. This was the first inaugural ceremony to occur on the newly renovated steps of the Virginia State Capitol. In keeping with tradition, McDonnell signed executive orders after taking the oath. Instead of keeping with a 30-year practice[73] by signing an executive order banning discrimination in state employment (which he later signed on February 5), McDonnell signed orders establishing a Commission on job creation and a Virginia Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring.[74]

Governor of Virginia

McDonnell was endorsed by Sheila Johnson, co-founder of Black Entertainment Television and owner of the Washington Mystics;[68] Virginia AgPAC: the Political Action Committee of the Virginia Farm Bureau, representing over 147,000 members;[69] the Virginia Association of Realtors, the largest trade association in Virginia with over 33,000 members;[70] The Virginia Credit Union League, a trade association representing the Commonwealth’s 194 not-for-profit credit unions and the 3 million member-owners residing in Virginia;[71] The Virginia Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), a group whose membership consists of over 6,000 small businesses across Virginia;[72] and the National Rifle Association, which reversed its pro-Deeds 2005 endorsement for Attorney General.


The McDonnell For Governor campaign printed a variety of bumper stickers appealing to many interest groups, including "Women for McDonnell", "Sportsmen for McDonnell", and "Independents for McDonnell". Some appealed to the diverse minority groups throughout the Commonwealth. Some featured the mascots of select public universities such as the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, James Madison University, Virginia Military Institute, and Old Dominion University. "Irish for McDonnell" stickers were printed for the select Virginia residents who attended the University of Notre Dame as well. His road-side billboard varied with geographic location, describing him as "Tidewater's Own", "Northern Virginia's Own" and "Fairfax's Own."[40][41][43][66] It is suspected that McDonnell has failed to comply with gift disclosure requirements over a $15,000 gift that a major campaign donor, Jonnie Williams Sr., made to cover the cost of catering for his daughter's wedding. McDonnell himself paid $8,000 towards the catering and a $3,500 refund for overpayment was returned to McDonnell, rather than to his daughter, potentially giving McDonnell a financial stake in the donor's gift.[67] Virginia requires public disclosure of all gifts to public officials over $50.

McDonnell's campaign headquarters was located in Richmond. His campaign finance report for September 15, 2009 indicates that he had nearly 1,500 more new donors than the Deeds campaign had total donors, a total of 6,239 donors, 4,946 of them new.[63] During the campaign, McDonnell's largest individual donor was former coal magnate Richard Baxter Gilliam, who was also McDonnell's fifth largest overall donor after the United States Chamber of Commerce.[64] McDonnell received over $1.5 million from the energy and natural resources sector, including $622,198 from coal mining interests.[65]

Campaign organization and financial support

The Washington Post reported that McDonnell maintained: "Like everybody, my views on many issues have changed as I have gotten older." McDonnell says his evolved position on family policy is best represented by his 1995 welfare reform legislation where he "worked to include child day care in the bill so women would have greater freedom to work".[60]

McDonnell "criticized a landmark 1965 Supreme Court decision" which legalized the use of contraceptives, writing that "man's basic nature is inclined towards evil, and when the exercise of liberty takes the shape of pornography, drug abuse, or homosexuality, the government must restrain, punish, and deter." McDonnell responded to the article, stating "Virginians will judge me on my 18-year record as a legislator and attorney general and the specific plans I have laid out for our future – not on a decades-old academic paper I wrote as a student during the Reagan era and haven't thought about in years."[60]

This agenda includes opposition to abortion, support for school vouchers and covenant marriage, and tax policies that favor heterosexual families.[61] In his thesis, McDonnell wrote "government policy should favor married couples over 'cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators.'"[62] McDonnell "described working women and feminists as 'detrimental' to the family."[62]

McDonnell's 1989 thesis for Regent University[59] was a 93-page document titled The Republican Party's Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issue of The Decade. The document explored the rise in the numbers of divorces and illegitimate births, and examined public policies that may have contributed to that increase and proposed solutions. The document gained attention in the campaign because it outlined a 15-point conservative agenda, including 10 points McDonnell pursued during his years in the General Assembly, according to press analysis.[60]


During McDonnell's campaign, he criticized then-Governor Tim Kaine for not disclosing his full schedule and for making out-of-state political appearances as Chair of the Democratic National Committee. McDonnell stated, "The citizens must be certain that the governor is attending to the duties for which he was elected. The governor is Virginia's chief executive and represents the commonwealth at all times."[58] In March 2010, McDonnell received similar criticism for disclosing very few meetings or political appearances on his publicly released schedule.[58]


McDonnell's campaign also turned to transportation, a major issue in heavily congested areas of Virginia, advocating issuing $3 billion in transportation bonds that had been approved by the Virginia General Assembly in 2007 but not funded with a revenue source, modernizing the Virginia Department of Transportation, and encouraging public-private partnerships to improve infrastructure.[57] He has supported widening I-66 inside the Beltway, improving I-95, and finishing the Metrorail to Dulles Airport project.


McDonnell opposes legalizing marijuana. He signed a bill which criminalized the use of synthetic cannabis. It was approved unanimously on both the house and the senate by both political parties.[55][56]


McDonnell opposes gay marriage. He has advocated a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.[54]

Gay rights

However, McDonnell campaigned as a gun rights advocate. He holds an "A" rating from the NRA Political Victory Fund and won their endorsement in his 2009 gubernatorial campaign.[53]

According to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, McDonnell sent personal letters to the governors of the remaining 49 states urging them to follow his state in closing loopholes that allows mentally unstable people to purchase guns. After the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, Virginia made this issue a top priority. McDonnell wrote in his letter: "I believe that we can all work together to help prevent these acts from occurring again anywhere in our Nation. I write to ask for your support in providing critical information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System".

Gun rights

McDonnell advocated making Virginia the energy capital of the East Coast.[51] He supported drilling for oil off of the coast of Virginia while simultaneously developing new technologies for wind, solar, biomass, and other renewable energy resources.[52] He intends to expand investments in renewable energy sources and incentivize green job creation.[51]


Identifying as pro-life, McDonnell campaigned as an opponent of elective abortion. He has not favored standard exceptions on abortion in cases of rape and incest.[49] As a state legislator, he was the lead sponsor for legislation that would have banned partial birth abortions, as well as legislation requiring parental consent before a minor has an abortion and informed consent for women seeking an abortion.[50] He opposed state and federal government funding for elective abortions.


The McDonnell campaign strategy cast itself as focusing on economic issues, transportation, and public safety.[44] Bob McDonnell's proposals included new job initiatives, boosting Virginia’s tourism, hospitality, and film industries, making Wallops Island the top commercial spaceport in America, and expanding growth in rural Virginia.[45] McDonnell proposed measures that would move $480 million per year from school administration and put it directly into the classroom; establish more specialised high schools to support high-demand industries; increase online learning through virtual schools; and support educational mentoring programs.[46][47] McDonnell has frequently expressed his support for President Barack Obama's ideas on increasing parental choice through charter schools.[48]

In a political and economic climate marked by the late-2000s recession, McDonnell promised that his priority as Governor would be employment for Virginians, with such campaign slogans as, "Bob's for Jobs". He supported right-to-work laws, low operating cost of government and a simplified tax code.[38][39] Having lived in various parts of the state, his road-side billboard varied with geographic location, describing him as "Tidewater's Own", "Northern Virginia's Own" and "Fairfax's Own".[40][41][42][43]


In early June, Creigh Deeds possessed a slight edge with a 47%–41% advantage in the early polls.[33] As the campaign continued to progress, the polls shifted toward McDonnell's favor, with several giving him a commanding lead.[34] When the Washington Post released McDonnell's thesis from Regent University, McDonnell's lead dwindled to only two percentage points per Rasmussen polling.[35] As the election proceeded, McDonnell's campaign regained steam. McDonnell defeated opponent Creigh Deeds in the general election by a vote of 59%–41%, receiving the highest percentage of the vote for any candidate for governor since 1961.[36] At the same time, the other two statewide offices on the ballot were also won by Republicans.[37]

McDonnell announced his candidacy for the 2009 Virginia Gubernatorial election at American Legion's Boy's State of Virginia 2007, making him the seventh consecutive elected Attorney General to run. The statewide candidates, including McDonnell as Governor, were selected at a Republican State convention rather than a primary.[32] Fewer than two weeks later, State Senator R. Creigh Deeds won his party’s nomination in a primary, setting up a "rematch" from the state attorney general's race four years earlier.

2009 campaign for governor

In February 2009, McDonnell resigned as Attorney General to campaign full-time for the Governorship of Virginia in the 2009 election.[11][31]

Prior to a performance of the Sex Workers' Art Show at the College of William and Mary in 2008, McDonnell forbade the sale of the group's books on school grounds.[29] McDonnell took the side of defecting Northern Virginia Episcopalians in a property lawsuit over the right of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia to retain church property.[30]

In 2007, McDonnell "played a key role in early negotiations" on the transportation package that was the key issue of contention in the General Assembly.[27] However, subsequently the package was declared unconstitutional based on a challenge filed by a Republican state senator.[28]


In 2005, McDonnell ran for Attorney General. He campaigned on issues including protecting children from sexual predators, drug enforcement, identity theft, gang violence, and terrorism. The first result showed him with a victory of 323 votes, out of over 1.9 million votes cast, over his opponent, Democratic state Senator Creigh Deeds. Deeds filed for a recount, which began on December 20, 2005. A court decision limited the recount to just recompiling vote totals instead of examining individual optically scanned ballots.[24] After preliminary figures revealed 37 more votes for McDonnell and that Deeds could not make up the difference, he conceded the next day, giving McDonnell a 323-vote margin of victory.[25] McDonnell outspent Deeds in the general election by nearly $1 million.[26] He was inaugurated on January 14, 2006, in Williamsburg along with Democratic Governor Tim Kaine and Republican Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling.

Attorney General (2006–2009)
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