Home Virginia Politics Progress VA: Ethics Reform Bill “falls far short of the mark”

Progress VA: Ethics Reform Bill “falls far short of the mark”

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ProgressVA released the following statement from executive director Anna Scholl in response to passage by the General Assembly of the final conference report for HB2070 and SB1424.

“Virginians should have no doubt that our elected officials are working on our behalf. Recent events, including the high profile felony conviction of former Governor Bob McDonnell, undermine public integrity. Whether or not members of the General Assembly broke our trust, by virtue of their position they do bear responsibility for earning it back. The ethics reform legislation the General Assembly passed today is a step forward and it includes important reforms, such at a $100 gift cap, but it still falls far short of the mark. Notably, legislators refused to establish an independent and impartial ethics commission with the power to randomly audit ethics filings, investigate signed complaints, and refer findings for prosecution.

“The approved bill also carves out a loophole for privately-sponsored travel for legislators and elected officials to private conferences such as the American Legislative Exchange Council. ProgressVA has long expressed concern that Virginia lawmakers meet with corporate lobbyists behind closed doors at ALEC conferences with little disclosure. Under the new ethics bills, lobbyists would now be allowed to pay for that travel with no disclosure since the travel will not qualify as a gift. Several high profile and controversial bills in the 2015 General Assembly session bear ALEC fingerprints, including HB2238 which would have siphoned money away from public schools to private and parochial academies as well as HB1608 and HB2395 which would eliminate localities’ ability to ensure local contractors are paid a living wage.

The 98-page conference report contains multiple changes from the original bills introduced in the House and Senate and we expect additional problems may come to light as legislators and advocates have time to actually read the bill.”

  • From his Facebook page:

    “The very last bill the General Assembly approved before adjourning last night was ethics reform. While I applaud the General Assembly for passing an ethics reform bill, and it does include some significant improvements in our current laws, there are still several loopholes in the legislation they approved. I hope Governor McAuliffe will offer amendments to the bill that will address these issues. I’ll have more to say about this in coming days.”

  • Russell Patton Davis

    Unbelievable.

    “Lord,I have sinned but I have several excellent excuses.”

    It is as if they(government officers) think “Thou shalt not steal.” is not God’s law,

    It is as if they think “Obtaining property under the color of official right” is not made felony by law of the land 18USC1591 –

    – And so was not McDonnell’s felony.

    It is as if they think when “an officer personally receives property that was given by virtue of the office held” the property did not belong to the office and so they did not perpetrate VA18.2-111 “Embezzlement, Larceny”

    – And neither did McDonnell.

    It as if they think that just because these crimes are their custom they cannot have committed these VRICO felonies.

    Just as McDonnell.

    ===============================

    Unbelievable.

    It is as if they(government officers) think that even though the VA Constitution PROHIBITS the GA from making

    1) Special Laws,

    2) and laws for special people,

    3) and laws that change the penalties for crime if committed by special people,

    4) and laws that make civil penalties a replacement for due criminal penalties (shakedown & blackmail under the mere color of law or its threat),

    that they could make such an ‘ethics’ law that was actually law rather than a ridiculous fetish without the power to redeem them from their SIN.

    It is as if they think that ridiculous ethics ‘law’ could so whitewash their corruption that it would not make them sink to both men and God.

    ===================

    It is as if the GA thinks that ridiculous ethics ‘law’ did not compound their felonies in a fashion that is conclusively evidenced criminal act with criminal intent.

    By wrongly adulterating the true law of Virginia with what cannot lawfully be made law the GA has “Resisted the execution of the laws under the color of its authority”.

    This is conclusively evidence criminal VA18.2-481(5) “Treason”

    and VA18.2-111 “Embezzlement” by wrongfully adulterating the laws that are authorized by our Virginia Constitution with unlawful laws.

    The GA’s immunity extends only to what is SAID IN SESSION.

    ================================================

    All the GA has accomplished with their ridiculous ethics fetish is that they have made EACH of them OWNED by those whose tyrannical caprice or RICO purpose is “rewarding ‘friends’ and punishing enemies” by selectively punishing individuals among the herd of the guilty.

    We cannot afford to let our elected representatives be made anyone else’s slaves.

    And If they cannot own their own honor why should we want them at all?

    The only feasible, lawful and right way of ending a mess this huge and deep is for our Governor to adjudicate the criminal guilt of EACH by PARDON on the VIRTUE OF PENITENT PAROLE OATH.



    And since beggaring our legislators just asks for trouble we should promptly pay our legislative representatives a FULL TIME wage for FULL TIME representative duty made explicit. I believe it can prove a good bargain for ALL.