LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Focus on Williams is a distraction

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I bet more Virginians could tell you who businessman Jonnie Williams is than can name the two candidates for governor, or name the candidates for attorney general (“McDonnell apologizes, repays Jonnie Williams‘ loan,” Web, July 23). The press’s laser focus on Mr. Williams is hindering the ability of Virginians to participate in the public debate — and in this case, the debate is over who will lead the commonwealth for the next four years.

Mr. Williams, for all his infamy, has not received a single benefit from his association with Gov. Bob McDonnell or the governor’s family. The governor has said as much, Star Scientific has said as much, and even former state Attorney General Tony Troy, a Democrat, has said that.

I feel confident that the investigations now going on will get to that same truth, which will come as a great disappointment to the Washington press corps. Without Mr. Williams, the media will have to go back to reporting the routine business of government under Mr. McDonnell — and that includes state surpluses over the course of three consecutive years, improved education at all levels, putting agriculture on the same level as other businesses, job creation and providing state workers their first base raise in six years.

KEN LONGO

Virginia Beach

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