Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling challenges gubernatorial candidates to pledge ethics reforms

Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling

Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling

Lieutenant Governor Bolling, through his PAC, the Virginia Mainstream Project, proposed a list of ethics reforms today. Bolling announced he was forming this PAC last year describing it as a funding/support mechanism to encourage moderate Republicans to seek office.

One of the Virginia Mainstream Project goals is to propose specific policy solutions to the important issues facing Virginia.  These ethics reform proposals are the first policy proposals released by the Virginia Mainstream Project.  Additional proposals will be made in the weeks to come he said.

“This is an election year in Virginia and it is important for candidates seeking our support to speak out on the important issues facing our state.  Clearly, we need to make significant changes to our ethics laws, and by putting forth a series of specific proposals it is my hope that we can begin discussing these issues in earnest.   I call on every candidate for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and the General Assembly to join me in supporting these proposals, and I challenge the candidates for Governor to pledge to implement these proposals for themselves and their staffs through Executive Order until they can be acted on by the General Assembly.”

The changes he proposes are designed to enhance Virginia’s ethics laws and begin the process of restoring the confidence of the people of Virginia in their state government.

Bolling said, “Over the past few months, a series of unfortunate events have revealed to us several deficiencies in Virginia’s current ethics laws.  As a result, the confidence of the people of Virginia in their state government has been eroded.  In order to begin the process of restoring this confidence, we need to take immediate action to strengthen Virginia’s ethics laws and the proposals I am releasing today are designed to do just that.”

The list of reforms Bolling proposes are:

  • Banning the receipt of gifts in excess of $250 in aggregate for a calendar year.
  • Expanding gift reporting requirements and limitations to spouses and dependent family members.
  • Requiring the disclosure of additional information regarding Board memberships, income, investments and loans.
  • Prohibiting the use of campaign funds for personal expenditures.
  • Prohibiting lawyer legislators from representing clients before state agencies.
  • Prohibiting law firms who are assigned business by the Office of the Attorney General from making political contributions or giving other gifts to the Attorney General, any candidate for Attorney General or any member of the Attorney General’s staff.
  • Creating a statewide Ethics Review Commission to review ethics related complaints against elected officials and issue advisory opinions on ethics related issues.

Using campaign funds for personal expenditures came up in a complaint against Delegate Onzlee Ware because there was no law against it.

State Board of Elections takes “no action” on complaint against Delegate Onzlee Ware

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe in a press release applauded the ethics reform proposal and if it didn’t pass the legislature he would issue an executive order. “While my opponent has so far refused to support any specific gift ban, I urge him to reconsider and join me in supporting the plan announced today.”

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2013, Elections, Politics, State Politics

Tags: , , , ,


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