McDonnell-Williams relationship goes beyond expensive gifts

Posted at 7:04 PM, Jul 10, 2013

RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) - Another day, another development regarding Governor Bob McDonnell and his relationship with Star Scientific CEO Jonnie R. Williams Sr.

The Washington Post first reported Tuesday that McDonnell received a $70,000 loan from Williams to offset losses suffered by his rental home company, MoBo, which he owns with his sister.

[VIew 57-page financial disclosure document here]

This loan is in addition to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gifts McDonnell and his family received from the mega donor over the years.

CBS 6 Political Reporter Joe St. George went to Williams home Wednesday, however was asked by personnel at the property to leave.

"Essentially what you have here is a story of a bailout," CBS 6 Political Analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth said.

Holsworth said this latest revelation shows the relationship between the donor and the governor goes beyond a desire to own expensive gifts.

It shows that when the housing crisis hit the governor financially suffered by being heavily invested in real estate.

"It puts these McDonnell gifts and loans at the heart of the family finances," Holsworth added.

However legal experts say while the loan warrants scrutiny it is not necessarily illegal. As Virginia law states politicians do not have to disclose loans given to their corporate interests.

Tucker Martin, a spokesman with the governor, issued the following statement:

“Star Scientific and Jonnie Williams have not received any board appointments, economic development grants, targeted tax incentives or government contracts during this administration. The governor has been diligent over the years in making his financial disclosures. As this article notes, the loan to the First Lady was disclosed in accordance with Virginia's reporting requirements. As the article also notes, loans to businesses are not required to be disclosed. Finally, regarding a gift to one of the governor's children, Virginia law does not require the reporting of gifts to family members.”- Tucker Martin