As you know, former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen were served with a 14-count federal indictment for corruption associated with receiving gifts and loans from Jonnie Williams, the former CEO of Star Scientific.
We do not know if the McDonnells actually broke any laws, or if they will even be found guilty in a court of law, but what we do know is that there is a strong appearance of unethical conduct. Most would agree that it is not always important to just stay within the boundaries of the law, but it's important to do the right thing.
The same ethics that you would use in non-political life are the same ethics that should be on display in political life. None of us are perfect and we have all made mistakes, but that is why stricter guidelines need to be in place so that if there is a question about what is or is not acceptable, it will be in writing.
Governor McDonnell says that this is an overreach by the federal government and that if he is guilty of illegally accepting gifts from donors, based on current law, that every public official from President Obama on down is guilty as well. Time will tell.