Lt. Gov. Northam at visit to the Harrison Museum of African American Culture
In a party-line vote, Virginia House Democrats today sustained Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s veto of a Republican bill to defund Planned Parenthood.
During the debate, Republican Del. Matt Fariss, a white man, asked Democratic Caucus Chair Charniele Herring, a black woman, whether fetuses could be selectively aborted based on race.
“More than-one third of Planned Parenthood patients are Hispanic women or women of color, and both those demographics are disproportionately more likely to die from cervical cancer,” said Herring. “An attack on Planned Parenthood is an attack against women, especially low-income women an
Cuccinelli on government transparency and campaign finance
In Part III see the video below shot at the VCOG Annual Meeting in October 2009 when he was running for Attorney General.
March, 2012: Cuccinelli first saw the printed copy of the Center for Public Integrity report that gave Virginia an “F” during an interview with the Roanoke Free Press last Tuesday. He dismissed the grade questioning how could Internal Audit receive an “A” but receive an “F” overall.
He rebuked it calling the center a George Soros organization. “They can call it what they want but they have an agenda,” he said. “Nonetheless I think some of the things they point out are legitimate areas of concern.”
He said during his senate years and as AG he has tried to make improvements. But at this stage for him “it’s awkward to run for governor and say I’m going to police them. They need to do it themselves.”
The Open Society Foundation (a George Soros supported foundation for liberal causes) is one of 50 donors to the center. This was confirmed in a call to Randy Barrett communications director for the center.
Barrett firmly stressed that they were “staunchly nonpartisan.”
The budget could be more transparent. Financing an antiquated computer system is the problem. The budget and accounting should both be online instead of waiting three months for the auditor of public accounts to update it on a CD. “Why don’t we get LP albums,” he laughed. “I believe that there are people who prefer a muddled lousy budget information system because less people can understand it and that smaller number of people are in a stronger position of control.”
Campaign finance as a part of transparency:
Cuccinelli agreed that “it was a legitimate concern” that there was no law saying a legislator couldn’t use money from their campaign coffers for personal use like paying relatives or going on vacation.
With a question regarding the State Board of Elections being a “toothless tiger” having any authority when policing campaign finance reports he said, “it is fair to call them a toothless tiger.” They do a good job running and policing elections, access laws, voter fraud and financing requirements. “They don’t have any manpower for policing and they don’t have any legal authority.” They do randomly audit political accounts.
There are two ways to look at this from an investigative standpoint said Cuccinelli. “You can either have a low threshold for suspicion and that doesn’t presume they are doing anything wrong but you police it more vigorously or you have more investigations but than you have a smaller percent of those investigations resulting in conclusions of wrongdoing – either civil wrongdoing or criminal wrongdoing. Or you have this really high standard where you don’t even look essentially until somebody basically brings you a criminal case and drops it in your lap.”
“I think we are far more the latter,” he said. “I don’t think that is an ideal way to operate. I don’t think it encourages trust by the people of Virginia”
For the state board members to refer a possible law infringement to the AGO they have to have a 3-0 vote. One of three could block it. ”That is ludicrous,” said Cuccinelli.