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GOLDMAN: Richmond judge damages GOP — big time

Paul Goldman is a local lawyer who helped run Doug Wilder's historic campaign for governor of Virginia.

Paul Goldman is a local lawyer who helped run Doug Wilder's historic campaign for governor of Virginia.

by Paul Goldman

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – More evidence of the GOP GUV campaign meltdown: The failure of anyone in the Virginia GOP to complain about Richmond Circuit Court Judge Margaret Spencer setting October 15 as the trial date for the embezzlement case against Todd Schneider, the former chef at the Governor’s Mansion.

It is quite clear from news reports that Mr. Schneider and his lawyers are key “anonymous” sources in the leaks leading to the growing scandal surrounding Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife’s “sticky fingers” over huge alleged “gifts” from a politically connected business guy.

By now, we know the growing list of “entitlements” claimed by the governor and his wife from his political backers: $15,000 given to offset expenses of his daughter’s wedding, roughly $15,000 in gifts of clothing and shoes to his wife, a $6,500 Rolex, $22,000 for a trip to the NCAA Final Four, the list keeps growing weekly.

While the First Family’s “entitlement lifestyle” is not a direct part of the criminal case to be tried in October, the lawyers for chef are going to bring up all this dirty laundry as part of their defense. They have been saying this from day one.

Their trial strategy: blame the governor and his wife for a bogus indictment in an attempt to divert attention from their “gold-digging” lifestyle at the Mansion.

Meaning: Start playing Don Henley’s big hit “Dirty Laundry” as the trial date nears, and keep playing it for a full week as the chef’s lawyers say the trial itself will take four days.

Then you add the preview pieces and the post-trial stories and this criminal trial will define the closing three, critical weeks of the Virginia governor’s race!

In fact, Democrats should start buying the record now and keep buying it so that it is being played all the time on the radio.

The point being: EVEN ASSUMING THE GOVERNOR IS CLEAN AND THE CHEF IS CONVICTED ON ALL COUNTS, it is all big, bad news for the GOP in the court of public opinion.

Earth to the GOP: If the shoe were on the other foot, Democrats would be up in arms demanding a new trial date in the name of fairness. Democrats know how to run a campaign for governor. They know how to fight, they know how win a political battle.

The silence of the lambs here shows precisely the brain-dead nature of GOP strategists in recent months here in Virginia. Politics is about anticipating what is going to happen, not reacting to what happens.

My take: The Cuccinelli campaign specifically and the Virginia GOP generally are simply amateurs in terms of running for governor.

As Yogi Berra said, some things are too coincidental to be a coincidence.

A Democratic judge sets a trial date that will likely kill the GOP chances for governor and no one in the GOP is complaining? Not even the GOP editorial board at the Richmond Times Dispatch?

This tells me all that I need to know about what is going on behind the scenes.

Paul Goldman is in no way affiliated with WTVR. His comments are his own, and do not reflect the views of WTVR or any related entity. Neither WTVR nor any of its employees or agents participated in any way with the preparation of Mr. Goldman’s comments.



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