The Corner

McDonnell Repays Star Scientific CEO

Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia issued a statement today saying he has repaid the more than $120,000 that his wife and small business took from the CEO of Star Scientific. McDonnell’s relationship with the CEO, Jonnie Williams, raised serious ethics concerns, and several members of the legislature have called for his resignation.

“I am deeply sorry for the embarrassment certain members of my family and I brought upon my beloved Virginia and her citizens,” the statement says. “I want you to know that I broke no laws and that I am committed to regaining your sacred trust and confidence.”

The press release notes that the repayment includes both the principal and interest, and that the money used for repayment came from McDonnell, his family, or the family business.

Spokesman Rich Galen tells me the office has no comment on why McDonnell took the money in the first place. And Shaun Kenney, a Virginia conservative consultant and political editor at, says this question may dog the governor. Still, he tells me he found the governor’s statement effective.

“It’s the very definition of penance,” Kenney says. “You admit your guilt, you make a firm resolution to sin no more, and you go out and make reparations for what you’ve done.”

And James Parmelee, chairman of the Northern Virginia GOP PAC, also thought issuing the statement and repaying the debt was smart.

“I think it’s a good move to answer some of the public concerns out there,” he says.

But behind the scenes, some Republicans say that McDonnell’s political future is perilous, and he’s still under federal investigation.

Most Popular


Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More