Tag Archives: Spiro Agnew

Orange is the New Black: Gubernatorial Edition

Maryland has much more experience with corruption than Virginia, so I thought it might be helpful to offer a few tips to our sister state. After all, we had much of our political class arrested in the 1960s. The Old Line State can speak from experience.

Watch the Future McDonnell Income Taxes
Conviction doesn’t always end corruption or shamelessness. Spiro Agnew became the only person ever to resign the vice presidency after his 1967 tax evasion conviction for unreported income. That didn’t stop him from trying to deduct the bribe money he had to repay Maryland from his California taxes in 1989.

Make Your Marital Problems Convincing
The “I have no idea where the money for this Rolex or my daughter’s wedding reception came from because my wife and I are having marital problems” defense didn’t fly with the jury. Those supplements have stronger effects than realized if they expected them to believe that sad hodgepodge.

In contrast, Gov. Marvin Mandel had believable problems since he divorced the first Mrs. Mandel to marry the second–and won reelection after he left his first wife. Indeed, the source of Mandel’s corruption was his need to pay hotel bills and alimony.

Mandel’s first wife, Barbara or Bootsie, refused to leave the governor’s mansion stating “I will remain Mrs. Mandel” until the former first couple negotiated an alimony settlement. I would have hired her to negotiate for me anytime.

No Need to Grasp for the Smelling Salts, Virginia
The Commonwealth is no doubt worried about its honor and reputation in the wake of its first gubernatorial conviction. But have no fear, you can still look down on Maryland which is waaay ahead in terms of corruption and isn’t even in the race for national leaders. Virginia remains the mother of presidents, while Agnew is the only Marylander to serve as president or vice president–a jinx Martin O’Malley would like to break.

Maryland pols convicted in the same era as Vice President Agnew and Governor Mandel include:

Anne Arundel County Executive Joseph Alton
Baltimore County Executive Dale Anderson
Baltimore County State’s Attoney Samuel Green, Jr.
Congressman William Mills
Speaker A. Gordon Boone
State Senator Clarence Mitchell III
Delegate James “Turk” Scott
U.S. Senator Daniel Brewster

And yet some still seem to think you just aren’t anyone in Maryland unless you’ve been indicted. The lack of Montgomery and Prince Georgians on the list is more testimony to our lack of influence then rather than our probity.

Good Governor, Shame about the Corruption
Ironically, despite the corruption problem that forced him to leave office, Marvin Mandel was considered an excellent, reformist governor. Similarly, McDonnell was well-regarded in Virginia until his Rolex and supplement problem came to light.