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Editorial: A clean slate?

Gov. Bob McDonnell told a radio interviewer on Tuesday that he plans to return to his generous supporter Jonnie Williams Jr. all the gifts—the Rolex watch and everything else—given to the governor and his family members by Mr. Williams. This will clean his slate, he apparently believes, as he has already recently repaid loans from Mr. Williams.

And then the governor called for revisions to Virginia’s law on gifts to public officials.

He joins a growing chorus. Apparently it is the state’s fault that he and others in office have been oblivious to the perception and implications of accepting largesse from supporters.

Just fix the law, they seem to be saying, and the horse won’t get out of the barn ever again. The problem lies with the law, not with ourselves.

We expected better.


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