As the details surrounding Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s (R) corruption scandal become more damaging, calls for the Republican governor’s ouster are growing louder.
Yesterday, the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin, a prominent voice in Republican media, said it’s time for McDonnell to go, and today, The Virginian-Pilot, a Norfolk-based paper that’s the largest in the commonwealth, reached the same conclusion.
[T]he revelations have raised substantial new questions about the governor’s ties to the company. Those details include additional gifts provided by Williams to the governor’s family, as well as confirmation that the governor’s wife, Maureen McDonnell, twice purchased shares of Star Scientific stock with money loaned to her by Williams.
As The Pilot’s Julian Walker reported, those stock purchases establish a direct financial connection between the McDonnells and the company that the governor and first lady have touted during his term. The governor’s explanation – that he didn’t know the extent of his wife’s financial dealings with Williams – doesn’t change that.
The paper’s editorial board stressed that the story has “diminished” McDonnell’s “credibility and drained his capacity to lead the commonwealth.” The latest revelations “make the prospect of his continued leadership untenable.”
The Virginian-Pilot editorial will certainly make the governor’s tenuous hold on power more difficult, though it’s worth noting that it isn’t the only Virginia newspaper calling for McDonnell’s resignation – last week, the Daily Progress in Charlottesville also urged the governor to step down.
This isn’t the kind of problem an “opportunity” bus tour can fix.