There was an update on this yesterday on HLN and I just caught a clip of it. Was not sure what it was referring to and for some reason had missed this going on.
For further reading on that one:Star Scientific promotes Anatabloc through radio and online advertising — and it even has a billboard at The Diamond in Richmond.
Beyond the celebrity endorsements for Anatabloc, Star Scientific has suggested in public statements that the supplement, which contains an ingredient called anatabine along with Vitamin A and Vitamin D3, might be able to do a lot more than just soothe aches and pains.
In its marketing of the product, the company says Anatabloc helps users “reduce inflammation and support a healthy metabolism.”
While Star Scientific has not made any explicit claims that Anatabloc can cure diseases, it has put out at least 15 news releases since April 2010 announcing or detailing various scientific studies backed by the company and indicating that anatabine could mitigate the underlying causes of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, thyroiditis and traumatic brain injuries.
Maureen McDonnell pitched Anatabloc to Ann Romney for her MS
BY FRANK GREEN AND JIM NOLAN Richmond Times-Dispatch email@example.com(804) 649-6061Twitter: @RTDNolanfgreen@timesdispatch.com(804) 649-6340Twitter: @RTDFrankGreen | Posted 2 days ago
A bus figured into the federal corruption trial of Bob and Maureen McDonnell on Monday. And by the time the day was over, the former first lady of Virginia appeared to have been literally on board — and figuratively thrown under it.
In January 2012, Gov. Bob McDonnell boarded Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign bus in South Carolina, and went to the rear with the Republican hopeful, whom he had just endorsed.
Williams says no 'physical contact' with first lady
But Maureen McDonnell sidled up to Romney’s wife, Ann, — and made a pitch for Anatabloc, suggesting it as a possible cure for Mrs. Romney’s multiple sclerosis.
“I was horrified,” former McDonnell campaign manager Phil Cox told prosecutor David Harbach at the McDonnells’ trial.
“I thought it was a train wreck. I thought it was improper that Maureen would try to push this product on Ann Romney, and I didn’t think it showed the governor in a great light.”
Cox said he interrupted the pitch at a break in the conversation and helped change the subject, sparing Romney’s wife — and Virginia’s governor, who was being mentioned at the time as a potential vice presidential running mate.
The vignette, elicited on the trial’s sixth day, appeared designed to demonstrate the extent to which Maureen McDonnell went to assist CEO Jonnie R. Williams Sr., then the CEO of Star Scientific, in the promotion of Anatabloc, his unregulated dietary supplement.
Prosecutors allege that Bob and Maureen McDonnell conspired to use the governor’s office to help Williams in exchange for more than $165,000 in luxury trips, gifts and vacations — including $120,000 in loans handed over by Williams to a financially struggling first family.
Cox, the first witness to testify after Williams, recounted how Maureen McDonnell arrived in South Carolina with Williams and in an airport conference room told the governor and those present that she wanted to discuss Anatabloc with Mitt Romney.
“It wasn’t going to happen,” Cox testified. But it wasn’t the first time Cox apparently had to intervene in Maureen’s bid to promote a product.
“The governor should not twitter about a product launch”
In earlier testimony, Cox said he learned that Mrs. McDonnell was pitching to her husband’s campaign donors the line of beauty products she was selling.
“I talked to the governor about it,” Cox testified. “He agreed and it didn’t happen and it stopped.”
Cox also advised the governor against a suggestion forwarded to his scheduler by Williams’ assistant, suggesting that he tweet about the launch of a Star product.
“The governor should not twitter about a product launch,” he said, adding later: “There is a line between supporting an industry and supporting a separate product. You can’t pick winners and losers.”
On cross examination by defense lawyers, Cox explained that his concern for the governor in light of his wife’s actions was more political than legal.
WATCH videos on the McDonnell trial
MORE COVERAGE of the McDonnell trial
He also lent support to defense contentions that the former first lady had a “crush” on Williams, although Williams again testified that there was no physical component to their relationship.
“She adored him — she would light up when he walked into the room,” Cox said.
But Cox had also testified that he was unaware that the McDonnells had solicited and received many gifts from Williams, including the loans — until he read about it in the newspapers in March 2013.
He also testified that he had advised against Williams buying Maureen McDonnell’s inaugural gown.
Cox testified he was present at a dinner in New York in December 2009 when Williams offered to help get the first lady an Oscar de la Renta dress. “I didn’t think it was a good idea,” he said.
He explained the country was in the middle of a recession and such an expensive dress might not play well.
He consulted with Jasen Eige, the governor’s counsel, to see if there might also be a legal reason not to accept such a gift. He said he did not know who gave Maureen the bad news. “She was not happy about it,” he said.
Cox testified that he got an email from Maureen McDonnell on Christmas Eve 2009.
“Sort of an insane rant,” he said.
He said she called into question his loyalty and whether he had the best interests of her and her husband at heart.
“It really angered me,” he said.
"A bit of a snake oil salesman"
Cox said that Williams raised red flags with him and that he had expressed some concern about Williams to the governor in 2012.
“Mr. Williams struck me as an over-the-top salesman. ... He was trying too hard, and he was always around,” said Cox.
“I thought he was a bit of a snake oil salesman,” said Cox. The political aide said of Anatabloc: “It was a cure for everything, according to him.”
Cox said he was told a weekend at a posh Cape Cod, Mass., resort including meals, a sailing trip and golf attended by the McDonnells, Cox and his wife, the Williamses, and others was paid for by Williams, who won it in a charity auction. Cox said McDonnell told him the trip would be reported.
In July 2013, when Cox first learned in the media of the $50,000 loan to MoBo, the struggling real estate management company that Bob McDonnell owned with his wife and sister, also named Maureen, he said he called the governor.
“I think I was angry, frustrated and upset,” said Cox. He told McDonnell he thought he had shown poor judgment in accepting the loan.
“I think he felt bad about the whole thing,” said Cox of Bob McDonnell. McDonnell did not blame his wife, said Cox.
But Cox said he knew Maureen McDonnell could be difficult to manage.
“When she was happy, she could be incredibly sweet and caring,” he said. “When she was unhappy, she could be incredibly difficult and mean.”
As for the governor, Cox told the court on cross examination: “I think he tried to think the best of everybody.”
First week of McDonnell corruption trial tells tale of money, influence