93 Facts About Bob McDonnell


Robert Francis McDonnell was born on June 15,1954 and is an American politician, attorney, businessman, academic administrator, and former military officer who served as the 71st governor of Virginia from 2010 to 2014.


Bob McDonnell later served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1992 to 2006, and was attorney general of Virginia from 2006 to 2009.


Bob McDonnell succeeded Democrat Tim Kaine, who was term-limited by Virginia law.


Bob McDonnell 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.


Bob McDonnell served on the executive committee of the Republican Governors Association.


Bob McDonnell currently serves as a professor at Regent University and runs the Bob McDonnell Group, a real estate consulting firm, with his sister.


Bob McDonnell's family moved to Fairfax County, Virginia, in 1955 when he was a year old.

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Bob McDonnell spent four years of his early childhood in Germany when his father, a United States Air Force officer, was sent out on assignment.


Bob McDonnell graduated from Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1972.


Bob McDonnell attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, on an ROTC scholarship, graduating with a BBA in management in 1976.


Bob McDonnell became Chair of the Courts of Justice Committee in 2003.


In 1994, Bob McDonnell supported, and was a major co-sponsor of George Allen's initiative to abolish parole for those convicted of a felony.


Bob McDonnell was inaugurated on January 14,2006, in Williamsburg, along with Democratic Governor Tim Kaine and Republican Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling.


In 2007, Bob McDonnell "played a key role in early negotiations" on the transportation package that was the key issue of contention in the General Assembly.


Bob 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.


In February 2009, Bob McDonnell resigned as attorney general to campaign full-time for the governorship of Virginia in the 2009 election.


Bob 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.


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.


Bob McDonnell proposed measures to move $480 million per year from school administration, and put it directly into classrooms; establish more specialized high schools to support high-demand industries; increase online learning through virtual schools; and support educational mentoring programs.


Bob McDonnell frequently expressed his support for President Barack Obama's ideas on increasing parental choice through charter schools.


Bob McDonnell advocated making Virginia the energy capital of the East Coast.


Bob McDonnell supported drilling for oil off of the coast of Virginia while simultaneously developing new technologies for wind, solar, biomass, and other renewable energy resources.


Bob McDonnell intended to expand investments in renewable energy sources and incentivize green job creation.


Bob McDonnell held an "A" rating from the NRA Political Victory Fund and won their endorsement.


Bob McDonnell advocated a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

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Bob McDonnell later signed a bill that criminalized the use of synthetic cannabis.


Bob McDonnell's campaign 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.


Bob McDonnell supported widening I-66 inside the Beltway, improving I-95, and finishing the Metrorail to Dulles Airport project.


Bob McDonnell criticized Governor Tim Kaine for not disclosing his full schedule, and for making out-of-state political appearances as Chair of the Democratic National Committee.


Bob McDonnell's 1989 thesis for Regent University was a 93-page document titled The Republican Party's Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issue of The Decade.


Bob McDonnell received over $1.5 million from the energy and natural resources sector, including $622,198 from coal mining interests.


On January 16,2010, Bob McDonnell was inaugurated as the 71st governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, succeeding Kaine as governor.


In keeping with tradition, Bob McDonnell signed executive orders after taking the oath.


On May 7,2010, Bob McDonnell appointed Fred Malek to chair the 31-member advisory commission on reforming state government created by one of his initial executive orders.


On January 27,2010, Bob McDonnell delivered the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address.


Critics argued that the use of House chamber for Bob McDonnell's speech did not comply with House Rule 82.


At that time, Bob McDonnell proposed legislation, which was passed, to have the Virginia Information Technologies Agency report directly to the governor instead of to an independent board.


Subsequently, Bob McDonnell was criticized when the Northrup computer systems experienced a week-long computer outage from August 25 through September 2,2010.


Bob McDonnell later donated to charity the $5,000 campaign contribution that he had received from Thompson.


On January 14,2011, Bob McDonnell issued a directive ordering the Department of Conservation and Recreation to cease enforcing regulations prohibiting the carrying firearms in state parks.


Bob McDonnell gave preliminary approval to amend the regulations to allow people to carry open or concealed firearms in state forests.


At the request of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, McDonnell issued a proclamation designating April 2010 as "Confederate History Month" following similar designations by two of his Republican predecessors, George Allen and James S Gilmore, but unlike the two Democratic governors immediately preceding McDonnell, who did not designate such a month.


However, Bob McDonnell signed a law allowing Virginia employers to offer private life insurance coverage for employees' same-sex partners, after the bill passed with bipartisan support.


Bob McDonnell was the first woman executed in Virginia since 1912.


Bob McDonnell initially supported the bill, but backed off after public protests.

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The redrafted bill was opposed by pro-choice groups and a minority in the legislature, but Bob McDonnell signed it into law on March 7,2012.


Bob McDonnell was called "Governor Vagina", "Governor Ultrasound", and other similar pejorative monikers by legislators opposing the controversial bill.


On December 9,2010, Bob McDonnell announced a revised transportation funding plan which included both $1.8 billion in bonds that had been approved in 2007, as well as an additional $1.1 billion which he proposed to pay back from future federal transportation funds.


On May 10,2010, Bob McDonnell filed an application with the Federal Highway Administration seeking permission to collect tolls on Interstate 95 near the North Carolina border.


Bob McDonnell asked the Federal Highway Administration to authorize the toll under its "Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program".


In June 2010, Bob 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.


Rather than proposing to amend either law, Bob 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.


On June 24,2010, Bob 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.


Bob McDonnell supported Virginia's legal challenge to the constitutionality of the final Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.


On February 17,2010, Bob McDonnell proposed $268.8 million in cuts.


Bob McDonnell's cuts included changing the formula for measuring the ability of localities to pay for education, reducing funding for technology expenditures, and reducing funding under the Standards of Quality.


Bob McDonnell disagreed, saying he could lean heavily on growth in revenues rather than pulling from existing money.


Virginia had finished 31st out of 41 states in the first round; Bob 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 standards.


Bob 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.


On March 11,2010, Bob McDonnell signed into law bipartisan legislation to allow the drilling for oil and gas in federal waters 50 miles or more off the Virginia coast if permitted by the Federal government.


Bob McDonnell advocated drilling off the Virginia coast of the Atlantic Ocean as a possible revenue source for the state.


Subsequently, Bob McDonnell proposed continuing a federal environmental study of drilling off the Virginia coast or drilling for just gas and not oil.


On February 17,2010, after political pressure, Bob McDonnell publicly released his proposed cuts.


Bob McDonnell proposed to increase spending by $15 million to give incentives for SRI International and Bank of America to keep offices in Virginia.


Bob McDonnell proposed 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.

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Bob McDonnell amended a bill to prohibit Planned Parenthood from spending funds raised from its affinity license plates on abortions.


The first budget enacted under the Bob McDonnell administration took effect on July 1,2010.


Bob McDonnell held eight town hall meetings around the state to discuss the plan.


Bob McDonnell argued that retail alcohol sales is not an appropriate state activity and proposed that any sales proceeds could be used to finance transportation needs.


On September 8,2010, Bob McDonnell presented his plan for auctioning liquor licenses to his government reform commission.


Bob McDonnell proposed tripling the number of stores selling liquor to 1,000, with the licenses to operate these new stores being auctioned.


Bob McDonnell proposed to call a special session of the Virginia legislature in November 2010 to consider the proposal.


Bob McDonnell proposed to set aside over 100 licenses for companies that employ less than 50 people in order to help small family owned stores, and wanted to give small businesses several years to pay off their auction bids.


In October 2010, Bob McDonnell's modified plan drew criticism from Republican members of the House of Delegates, including Del.


Bob McDonnell's working group of Republican legislators, wholesalers, distillers, and retailers sought to develop a compromise designed to win adoption by the legislature.


On November 23,2010, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee released a report which found that the Bob McDonnell proposal had overstated the expected proceeds of liquor store sales and licenses.


Bob McDonnell hired a consultant at a cost of $75,000 to formulate a new privatization plan prior to the legislative session in January 2011.


Bob McDonnell amended the budget to increase the incentives that a governor was able to provide employers to relocate to or remain in Virginia.


Bob McDonnell campaigned to have Northrop Grumman move its 300-job headquarters to Virginia, but stated that the renewal of Virginia's computer outsourcing contract was not linked to the relocation decision.


When Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced the closing of the 6,000-job Joint Forces Command in August 2010, Bob McDonnell sought private meetings to seek to preserve the jobs.


However, Bob McDonnell was disappointed that Secretary Gates did not meet with him to discuss the issue.


Bob McDonnell was later included in a meeting between Gates and Virginia's congressional delegation on November 23,2010.


Bob McDonnell played a significant role in the redistricting conducted in response to the 2010 census.


In July 2013, according to The Washington Post, Bob McDonnell reimbursed the state about $2,400 for the food and other items that the governor's children had removed from the Executive Mansion to take to their college dorms.


The charges followed a months-long federal investigation into gifts Bob McDonnell received from a political donor.

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In 2013, Bob McDonnell repaid more than $120,000 to Williams and apologized for bringing "embarrassment" to the state.


Bob McDonnell insisted he did not break the law and vowed to fight "these false allegations".


Bob McDonnell became the first Governor of Virginia to be indicted for actions committed during his tenure.


Bob McDonnell said in a 2017 interview that prosecutors threatened his children to be careful of conversations with their parents lest the children be charged with obstruction of justice.


Bob McDonnell was convicted of honest services wire fraud, obtaining property under color of official right, and extortion under color of official right.


Bob McDonnell's 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.


On January 26,2015, the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that Bob McDonnell remain free pending appeal, but on July 10,2015, the court affirmed Bob McDonnell's conviction.


Bob McDonnell married Maureen Patricia Gardner in 1976; they have five children, the eldest of whom, Jeanine, served as a US Army Signal Corps officer in Iraq.