January 10, 2014
As the Governor prepares to step down tomorrow, it is difficult to know how he will be remembered.
The next few weeks will tell us a lot, as we find out whether or not federal prosecutors will ask a grand jury to indict him on corruption charges.
A federal investigation into his relationship with Star Scientifics Jonnie Williams and the $165,000 worth of gifts to him and his family has overshadowed the tail end of his term.
So the man that wanted to be remembered for being a results-oriented conservative leader is instead facing the possibility that one of his biggest legacies will be ethics reform.
Delegate David Toscano is hoping that ethics reform will be the result of the scandal.
"I think the public wants a restoration of the trust they previously felt in their elected officials in the aftermath of the McDonnell scandals and the Cuccinelli scandals. We need to move forward with some genuine ethics reform so that it makes a difference and restores that trust."
In his final state of the commonwealth address, McDonnell said he broke no laws but apologized for the ordeal.
University of Virginia Center for Politics spokesman Geoffrey Skelley says beyond the ethics scandal, McDonnell was in line to be remembered for his historic transportation deal.
"Besides the fact that we are kind of waiting to see what happens with the gift gate scandal, and whether or not Governor McDonnell is indicted over it, his legacy is more or less tied up in the fact that he is a pragmatist who oversaw kind of an economic recovery of sorts. And probably his biggest accomplishment was the transportation bill that he helped broker."
So the governor still has hope that he will be remembered for more than this scandal.
"I have prayed fervently over the last months that the collective good that we have done would not be obscured by this ordeal."