Home Virginia Politics Sen. Saslaw Continues to Oppose Strengthened Ethics Laws; Says “Everyone Knows” Sierra...

Sen. Saslaw Continues to Oppose Strengthened Ethics Laws; Says “Everyone Knows” Sierra Club “Crazy”


For more on Saslaw’s obnoxious, bizarre comments see the Checks and Balances Project (C&BP). A few highlights:

  • C&BP Executive Director Scott Peterson “pointed out that last year, Dominion was the largest donor to state-level politicians with over $1.3 million in campaign contributions.* ‘No wonder Dominion Virginia gets its way when it comes to energy in Virginia.'”

    *Peterson writes: “I had Senator Saslaw’s attention now. In fact, he appeared to be glaring at me.
  • Saslaw doubled down on what he said in March 2014 (“Video: In Crude Language, Sen. Dick Saslaw Argues that Ethics Laws are Irrelevant, Unnecessary”), regarding how you “can’t legislate ethics,” because “either you’re dishonest or you’re not.” Ugh.
  • Saslaw refused to let Peterson respond, then “before I could sit down…bounded up the aisle toward me…walked up and leaned in within inches of my face…told me that he had been interviewed by the FBI who told him that the way he handled campaign contributions was not corrupt.”
  • As for the following exchange, it needs to be quoted in full to believe:

He seemed not to understand, so I repeated the word “apologist.” He then explained how he had gotten Virginia Dominion President Robert Blue and a solar chieftain together to try and work out their differences. I countered with the fact that the Sierra Club’s climate and energy scorecard had given Senator Saslaw an overall grade of D, while three Republican delegates received B’s.

“Well,” Senator Saslaw huffed. “Everyone knows they’re crazy!” He invited me to visit him in Richmond, then walked off.

Of course, when Saslaw talks about how “everyone knows,” he’s talking about the people corporate interests he hangs out with (lobbyists from Dominion, the Virginia Bankers Association, Verizon, the Beer Wholesalers, the Auto Dealers, the Trial Lawyers, the Wine Wholesalers, the Realtors, the coal companies, etc, etc.).

Bottom line: Dick Saslaw continues to represent the antithesis of where Virginia should be going on ethics legislation. He also should be an embarrassment to any Virginia Democrat with a moral compass. Sad to say – at least as far as I can determine – he remains as Majority Leader in large part due to his ability to raise s***-tons of money from Dominion Power and many other wealthy, powerful corporations. The problem, other than the massive ethics #FAIL of doing the bidding of companies who contribute huge sums of money to you, is that Saslaw’s utterly incompetent in what he DOES with the money, such as blowing hundreds of thousands of dollars on an unwinnable special election for Phil Puckett’s Senate seat in a 2:1 Cuccinelli district, or losing control of the State Senate in district lines drawn/approved by him. And that’s not even counting the fact that Saslaw completely missed the embezzlement of $600,000 of his own money by trusted advisors. But, again, as Saslaw himself says, you can’t legislate that kind of thing. So,  by that fascinating “reasoning,” I guess Saslaw won’t be pressing charges against the people who stole his money? Talk about “crazy.”  

  • See Saslaw Plans To Step Down As Senate Minority Leader:

    Sen. Richard L. Saslaw said Friday that he plans to relinquish his post as minority leader after this General Assembly session.

    Saslaw, who owns a chain of service stations in Northern Virginia, has come under fire from some black Democrats in the past few weeks for voting with Republicans to help end the career of Newport News Circuit Court Judge Verbena Askew.

    That backlash was only a minor factor in his decision, Saslaw said Friday. Primarily, he’s giving up the leadership position because of a demanding work schedule, he said.

    If he wins re-election to the Senate this fall, Saslaw said he will not run for minority leader when he returns to Richmond for his seventh term.

    “If I was retired, I’d seek re-election as minority leader and I think I could get re-elected,” Saslaw said. “But it’s a full-time job and I just can’t do it. They need to find somebody else.”

    Other Senate Democrats said the Askew debate contributed to Saslaw’s decision to give up the job as the top-ranking Democrat in the Senate, a position he has held in some form since 1996.

    P.S. For more on the Verbena Askew case, see here, including then Delegate Bob McDonnell’s belief “that engaging in anal or oral sex might disqualify a person from being a judge because both activities violate state law.”

  • Russell Patton Davis

    because he is either a moral imbecile, a compulsive liar, in advanced mental decay, or under compulsion by some threat – or any combination of those possibilities.

    I can support any of those arguments if someone thinks it worth the time – But there are real arguments to address that don’t appear merely to hold the people in contempt.

    Saslaw’s argument even when lie is likely the result of those things that none of us can change so perhaps we should just leave it alone.

    Even given the Democratic Party’s current weakness in the legislature there is still profoundly great & good works that the VaDP can accomplish.

    To EVERY willing & clear minded witness to

    1) the facts conclusively evidenced in the public record and

    2) the facts of OUR lawful laws conclusively evidenced in the public record of our Constitution and statutes

    means that

    A) EVERY member of the GA present or in likely living past has perpetrated VA18.2-481(5), VA18.2-482 and several varieties of VA18-111 with most counts being felony, though criminal intent may be honorably contested;

    B) EVERY officer of the VA courts particularly including every member of the Va Bar which includes every high officer of the federal courts in VA has perpetrated VA18.2-481(5), VA18.2-482 and at least one variety of VA18-111 with most counts being felony, though criminal intent may be honorably contested by those not members of the Bar.  Members of the Bar may lawfully only establish reasonable doubt as to their criminal intent by pleading by their incompetence at law;


    C) that MANY present and living past officers of the executive branch not also a member of A) or B) are likewise perpetrators of those three crimes.

    THE CUSTOMARY CORRUPTION IN VIRGINIA IS SO BROAD, DEEP & HUGE that the only feasible fix is Governor McAuliffe’s adjudication of the guilty by broad grant of PARDON under the virtue of PENITENT PAROLE OATH.

    Explore the facts. Challenge me to defend my assertions.  Please start at the most significant. Since I am human also there will likely be some error but the error will likely be insignificant to those who strive for the best for all Virginians.

    The VaDP could serve both its self and Virginia well by convincing both themselves and Governor McAuliffe of the truth here.


  • kindler

    He is in so many ways an affront to Democratic values.  Keeping him as Senate Minority Leader is a slap in the face to Democrats statewide.  For Heaven’s sake, people, listen to your base for a change and send this guy into a well-deserved retirement.