By William Callahan
Virginia Gov.Bob McDonnell apologized last week for the “ embarrassment” an ethics scandal has brought to his home state and repaid more than $120,000 in loans to Star Scientific head Jonnie Williams.
McDonnell released the statement while on a trip to visit U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Kuwait. It marked a change in strategy for handling the federal and state investigations into thousands of dollars in gifts that Williams gave McDonnell and his family.
His statement didn’t directly address the gifts from Williams, including a $15,000 catering bill for McDonnell’s daughter’s wedding and a Rolex watch that was eventually given to the governor.
McDonnell maintains he did nothing wrong, and that Williams gave the gifts to members of his family, which is legal according to Virginia’s gift disclosure laws.
While abroad this week, McDonnell told NBC Washington he has no plans to give up his office or to even consider it.
“I love this job,” he said.
Other politicians have urged him to disclose and return the gifts or to resign, including state Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax).
Even Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Republican candidate in the 2013 Virginia governor’s race, said it would be “appropriate” for McDonnell to think about resigning. Cuccinelli made the statement during a debate against Terry McAuliffe in Southwest Virginia last week.
The scandal has caused both candidates to roll out their own gift disclosure policy proposals and has taken some of the spotlight from the governor’s race, the premier election in the nation this year.So, what do you think? Do you think McDonnell’s apology and loan repayment is enough, or does he have more to answer for? Tell us in the comments.