Second week with no public appearances for Gov. McDonnell

Posted at 6:55 PM, Jul 23, 2013

RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) -- For the second straight week Governor Bob McDonnell has no public events scheduled.

Back in 2012, McDonnell enthusiastically announced the Redskins would be coming to Richmond.

"As a 45-year Washington Redskins fan I am excited to announce the Redskins have decided to make Virginia their new home," McDonnell said in 2012.

But when the Redskins take the field for training camp for the first time in Richmond this week, McDonnell will be no where near the facility.

"There is a certain advantage to going quiet," Brian Ellis, a public relation executive and crisis management specialist told CBS 6 political reporter Joe St. George.

Ellis says it is obvious why McDonnell is limiting his public appearances. After all, every time he goes out the ongoing scandal involving him and Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams is all people want to talk to him about.

"Every time he steps out, this issue is going to be in the paper the next day," Ellis added.

Sources tell CBS 6, this "going quiet" strategy is perhaps the advice of privately hired PR Consultant Rich Gallens.

Gallens has been handling the publicity for the governor regarding this controversy as of late and not his usual state funded communications team.

On Tuesday, McDonnell apologized to Virginians while announcing he paid back personal loans to Williams. He did so on Twitter and not through a traditional press conference.

We asked the governor's office why the schedule seems to include no public events.

"Last week the governor was on his regular summer vacation. This week he is actively engaged in state business but does not have any public events," Tucker Martin, McDonnell's spokesperson said.

Ellis, however, warns the governor's team that while "going quiet" may work for now, the governor can not stay quiet forever.

"If you are gone too long, it really does start to raise suspicions," McDonnell said.