Still sitting Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia got favorable headlines this past week: “McDonnell giving it all back,” said CNN, for instance. Perhaps not good enough to keep him out of prison, but who knows. His comment on a recent trip he made to China and Japan was that “it’s hard–I suppose the force of circumstances–for instance, not to accept gifts. Now, the broader, of maybe letting someone use your house at a lake, private travel, I think those are things that are of fair discussion.” But not a discussion important enough to call a special legislative session on ethics reform, said the governor, though he promised some reform “proposals” soon. Special sessions are reserved for important things such as messing with people’s right to vote.
Meanwhile, Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli has declined to return gifts from the same contributor, Star Scientific (e-cigarettes, dietary supplements) CEO Jonnie Williams, saying “there are some bells you can’t unring.” Or some dietary supplements ($6711 worth) you cannot regurgitate, some private Thanksgiving dinners ($1500)–ditto, and some e-cigs you cannot unsmoke.
- Ken Cuccinelli says he can’t return improper gifts because he already used them all (dailykos.com)
- A debt Cuccinelli will struggle to pay (maddowblog.msnbc.com)
- Virginia governor to return all gifts to campaign donor (reuters.com)
- Virginia’s McDonnell giving it all back (thelead.blogs.cnn.com)