Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Asked To Resign Amid Snowballing Scandal

It seems Virginia's "Governor Ultrasound" Bob McDonnell is going to have a lot more to worry about than whether anyone would ever consider him a viable candidate for president or vice-president ever again: Virginia Dem calls for McDonnell's resignation:

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has been the subject of quite a few news stories lately, but all of the developments have been discouraging -- the growing scandal surrounding the governor's ties to Star Scientific's Jonnie R. Williams Sr. isn't just humiliating for McDonnell, it also raises the prospect of criminal charges.

This morning, the story reached a new level, with a Democratic lawmaker calling for the governor's ouster.

An elected Virginia Democrat is publicly calling on Gov. Bob McDonnell to resign as a gift controversy mushrooms around the Republican.

Fairfax City Sen. John Chapman "Chap" Petersen makes the appeal in a letter sent today to McDonnell that urges the governor to return gifts he has received or step down. He is the first sitting member of the General Assembly to take that step.

Citing media reports about the growing gift issue, Petersen urges McDonnell to "come clean" about gifts received from Jonnie Williams Sr., the head of troubled health supplement maker Star Scientific Inc.

Maddow Blog has obtained a copy of the Petersen letter, which is online here (pdf). "If you or your family has received gifts of the type alleged, then you should disclose that fully and immediately," the letter reads. "If those gifts are retail consumer items which you have retained for personal use, then you should return them immediately to the donor or sell them and donate the money to the Literary Fund. That is the only method by which the public can regain trust in your Office. Without that trust, there is no purpose in continuing to serve."

A spokesperson for the governor called the letter "blatantly political," which doesn't seem like much of a response.

But wait, it gets worse.

Steve has additional details on the gifts in his post and here's more on that as well: Rolexes, Clothes, and Wedding Catering: Gov. Bob McDonnell's Gifting Scandal:

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, aka Bob for Jobs, seems to know how to create jobs at Neiman Marcus and the Rolex store. Over the past few days, it has been revealed that the Governor and wife have received luxury gifts from Virginia businessman Jonnie R. Williams. Some of these luxury gifts included:

1) $6,500 Rolex watch
2) $15,000 wedding catering for the McDonnell Family
3) $10,000 suede Oscar De la Renta jacket
4) Two pairs of designer shoes
5) Louis Vuitton handbag

Beyond the gifts list above, Mr. Williams also made generous contributions to the McDonnell campaign. While this gift giving might seem innocuous from the outside, lets dig a little deeper. The governor has repeatedly ignored Virginia’s financial disclosure laws and violated the state’s ethics rules. To add insult to injury, Jonnie Williams’ diet company, Star Scientific, is currently fighting to avoid paying the state of Virginia more than $1.5million in back taxes and penalties.

The relationship between the Mr. Williams and the McDonnell family is currently under federal investigation. However, there is a loophole that Bob for Jobs might be able to utilize to get out of this pickle. According to Virginia law, gifts given to members of elected officials’ families do not need to be disclosed. This loophole will cancel out the shopping spree and the wedding catering, but the Rolex could still get him into some trouble.

Whether he wants to admit it or not, Bob McDonnell and his family are not above the law and should have disclosed these items to the people of Virginia. Meanwhile, the Republican party continues to present themselves as the party that will end fraud, waste, and abuse. As I write this, Gov. McDonnell can now add his name to a long list of GOP leaders such as Tom Delay, Dick Cheney, Mark Sanford, and former President Richard Nixon who not only engage in fraud, waste, and abuse, but lavish in it!

With the Virginia’s Governor’s Mansion up for grabs this year and Bob McDonnell reaching his term limit, one would think this era of corruption would be coming to an end, but not so fast! Virginia’s Attorney General and current Republican Nominee for Governor, Ken Cuccinelli, was forced to recuse his office from prosecuting Jonnie Williams’ case when it came to light that he was a Star Scientific stockholder and utilized Mr. Williams’ private plane and lake house for vacation.

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