Virginia Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, whose once-shining political reputation has taken a beating in recent weeks, is repaying more than $120,000 in loans that were made to his wife and a family business by Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams, a donor at the center of an FBI investigation of the first family.

McDonnell apologized for the entire episode and continued to insist that he broke no Virginia laws. Those laws do not require elected officials to report gifts to family members, though past governors have disclosed such gifts.

Williams lent first lady Maureen McDonnell $52,278 in 2011 and made two additional loans totaling $71,837 to a business owned by McDonnell and his sister.

The CEO reportedly also paid for vacations, a Rolex watch, clothes and dental work for McDonnell and his wife.

"I am deeply sorry for the embarrassment certain members of my family and I brought upon my beloved Virginia and her citizens," the governor said in a statement. "I want you to know that I broke no laws and that I am committed to regaining your sacred trust and confidence."

Federal authorities continue an investigation into whether Williams was granted any special considerations in exchange for gifts to the McDonnells.




Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney who recently announced that she'd run against Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi in a Republican primary next year, has an unusual problem. Most Wyomingites don't even believe she's one of them.

A poll by Public Policy Polling shows that only 31 percent of Wyoming voters believe Cheney qualifies as a state resident. And that polling sample was 62 percent Republicans and 22 percent Democrats.

Cheney moved back to Wyoming in 2012 after living for years in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. Voters' view of Cheney as an outsider fits right in with Enzi's campaign plans to portray Cheney as a carpetbagging opportunist.

Cheney insists her Wyoming roots are deep, that her family arrived in the state in the 1800s and that she spent part of her childhood in Casper. Her father represented Wyoming in the U.S. House.

Cheney's decision to challenge Enzi in a primary riled national Republican leaders and many donors, who lined up to express their support for the incumbent senator. Koch Industries, run by billionaire brothers and uber- donors David and Charles Koch, sent Enzi a check for $7,500 following Cheney's announcement. Enzi's fellow senators are tapping their own leadership PACs to help him.

A GOP poll taken just after Cheney announced her candidacy showed Enzi with a 30-point lead over the vice president's daughter.




At the tail end of what was largely a civil debate over immigration, a Republican chairman recently took a break from the civility to accuse a top White House aide of being a "demagogic, self-serving political hack."

A House Judiciary subcommittee was hearing testimony on legislation that would legalize children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents, when Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., the chairman, went after Dan Pfeiffer, an aide to President Obama who earlier ripped Republicans over immigration.

Pfeiffer wrote on Twitter that the bill House Republicans are considering amounted to a plan that would "allow some kids to stay but deport their parents."

Gowdy said Pfeiffer couldn't win a local school board race, let alone a seat in Congress.