McDonnell's Political Ties Endure
Bob McDonnell still remains close with many of his old political friends.
Tonight, the Republican gubernatorial nominee attended a fundraiser at the Fairfax County home of Kevin Gentry, one of the founders of a now defunct group that found itself playing a cameo in the coverage of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.
According to a 2005 report, in The Washington Post, the group funded a range of secret political efforts, including one by Abramoff. The Faith and Family Alliance was used as a pass-through to fund a campaign against an Internet gambling ban and to attack U.S. Rep. Eric I. Cantor in his 2000 primary race, according to the Washington Post report.
No one involved in the group was ever accused of any wrongdoing in connection with its activities. While McDonnell, then a state delegate from Virginia Beach, provided legal advice and his law firm did work for the group, the Republican candidate said at the time that his law firm was hired to file "routine" incorporation papers for the group with the state but that he was not connected to any of the group's activities.
But three of the group's founders, whose names appeared on its articles of incorporation filed at the State Corporation Commission, have found prominent roles to play in this year's race for Virginia governor.
Gentry, Phil Cox, who is now McDonnell's campaign manager, and Pat Mullins, the new chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, were all listed on the Faith and Family Alliance incorporation papers.
All three have said in interviews that they had no knowledge of any of the group's ties to Abramoff and that they resigned before Faith and Family engaged in any arrangements with him.
Gentry, eastern vice chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, has given donations to many Republicans over the years. He gave $1,000 to McDonnell in December.
May 14, 2009; 7:45 PM ET
Categories: 2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell
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