Drip, drip, drip. The Post continues its slow and steady assault on Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, via his wife, First Lady Maureen McDonnell. Shopping sprees for clothes, jewelry, and now the apparent gift — unreported — of a Rolex to the governor.
It has the reek of scandal, or so some hope it does. Was any of it illegal? The state’s ethics laws are just loose enough to make it possible for anyone to ply a politician or his or her family with gifts and no harm done — so long as they are reported and there was no quid pro quo. Unlike the case with Del. Phil Hamilton, who was convicted on charges of bribery and extortion in his quest to set up a snug teaching job for himself at Old Dominion University, there is, so far, no indication that either the governor or Mrs. McDonnell used their positions to grant state favors to Star Scientific.
But it is unseemly. And to use a good old Southern phrase, it’s also tacky.
We could ask questions about who is leaking all this information to The Post. Is it score settling? Is it CYA? It’s almost beside the point. The information is out there. Is it doing the governor harm? Opinion polls show conflicting results. When the Star Scientific/McDonnell tiff first broke, I suggested that this all be viewed through the lens of the 2014 Senate race. Bob McDonnell, though never really warming to a run against incumbent Sen. Mark Warner, would have been a somewhat formidable candidate.
[Continue reading Norman Leahy’s post at Bearing Drift.]
Norman Leahy blogs at Bearing Drift. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.