Just when it seemed the controversy surrounding Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) couldn’t get worse, it gets worse.
A prominent political donor purchased a Rolex watch for Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, according to two people with knowledge of the gift, and the governor did not disclose it in his annual financial filings.
The $6,500 luxury watch was provided by wealthy businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr., the people said. He is the chief executive of dietary supplement manufacturer Star Scientific and the person who paid for catering at the wedding of the governor’s daughter.
Coincidentally, the governor’s Rolex, engraved with the inscription “71st Governor of Virginia,” arrived about two weeks after Williams met with a leading state health official about his products. The meeting was arranged by Maureen McDonnell, the governor’s wife.
And given the luxurious gifts Maureen McDonnell received from Williams, this isn’t a good development.
Indeed, in this case, the Washington Post reported that Virginia’s First Lady was the one who encouraged Williams to buy the Rolex for the governor – a recommendation she made “moments before the meeting she had arranged” with the state health official.
Making matters slightly worse, the governor’s office insisted months ago that neither McDonnell nor his wife ever “led an effort to lower health care costs in Virginia by encouraging the use of Anatabloc,” Williams’ product. What the statement neglected to mention that what happened outside Virginia: “On June 1 – three days before [the governor’s daughter’s] wedding – Maureen McDonnell flew to Florida, where she touted the potential benefits of Anatabloc before a gathering of doctors and investors interested in learning more about its key chemical. There, one attendee said, she said she believed Anatabloc could be used to lower health costs.”
Remember when Bob McDonnell’s biggest problem was that he was “Governor Ultrasound”?
I don’t think this ongoing corruption controversy could get much worse, but then again, I’ve thought that before and been proven wrong.