Amid an ongoing scandal involving the receipt of gifts from a campaign contributor, embattled Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) declined a Monday request by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to hold a General Assembly special session on campaign finance rules.
In a statement obtained by WWBT-TV, NBC News' Richmond, Va. affiliate, McDonnell spokesperson Tucker Martin said the governor didn't believe that now was the right time or place.
"The Governor was informed of the Attorney General's position on this matter," Martin said. "However, he believes the proper time and place for the consideration of such changes would be during the next session of the General Assembly, which begins in January.
According to a Monday Washington Post report, Cuccinelli urged McDonnell to call the ethics session to restore the faith of Virginia residents in light of the scandal fallout. Cuccinelli is currently running to replace McDonnell in 2014.
“Trust is something that is easy to lose and hard to recover,” Cuccinelli told the Post. “I think the longer we let this go, the more difficult it is for Virginians to achieve the level of faith in their government that I think they’re accustomed to. And I think that’s something we can achieve if we move quickly.”
As the McDonnell scandal has grown in recent weeks, Cuccinelli has attempted to distance himself. In a July 11 statement, he called the events "very painful" for Virginia.
“Right now there are two investigations running, one of which began with my referral, and we need to let those play out; however, all of this emphasizes the need for clearer and faster disclosures that cover the whole family, as well as a cap on the size and types of gifts," Cuccinelli said.