Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) has sent Bob McDonnell (R-Virginia) a letter requesting that he reveal all his connections to a wealthy businessman or resign as governor.
Petersen suggests in the letter to McDonnell that connections between the Governor and Star- Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams are inappropriate and that the McDonnell family has "materialistically and systematically benefited by this person and his company for at least the past two years."
Petersen is a liberal, but well respected member of the State Senate and pondered openly on his blog earlier this week, why his fellow Democrats decided to take a "hands-off" approach to the governor during this weekend's Jefferson-Jackson dinner.
He also flirted with the idea of a run for governor himself this year, but ultimately decided not to run.
Petersen calls on McDonnell to come clean on this matter. He said admitting openly and specifically to what if any benefit the First Family received from Williams and his company is the only way to regain the public trust.
You can read the full letter here.
Petersen is the first sitting member of the Virginia General Assembly to directly call for the Governor's resignation.
McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin called Petersen's request "political".
"This blatantly political statement from Senator Peterson was not unexpected," said Martin pointing to the Petersen blog post. "The Senator's letter appears to be premised on unconfirmed and inaccurate media reports."
Martin went on to defend the Governor's disclosure record and emphasised that there is no proof that Williams benefited from his relationship with McDonnell.
"The governor has been diligent over the years in making his financial disclosures. As we have stated before, we are aware of no economic development grants, targeted tax incentives, government contracts or board appointments received by Star Scientific or Jonnie Williams during this Administration. As an attorney, certainly Senator Peterson understands this office's not discussing the details of matters pending in the legal process. And, as a legislator, certainly Senator Peterson is aware that Virginia's disclosure requirements do not pertain to the families of elected officials."
Senator Petersen will join me live on NBC12 First at 4 on Wednesday to discuss his letter to the Governor. It will be his first interview to discuss his challenge to McDonnell.