Home Virginia Politics Progress VA: “Unfortunately, both bodies…rejected establishing an independent ethics commission”

Progress VA: “Unfortunately, both bodies…rejected establishing an independent ethics commission”

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The following statement is from Progress Virginia. I completely agree that while the General Assembly made some progress here, there is a loooooooong way to go. I also completely agree that: a) it’s unfortunate/unacceptable that “both bodies have rejected establishing an independent ethics commission to enhance public trust in government by providing real oversight and enforcement;” and b) “we could not be more disappointed with remarks from legislators on both sides of the aisle this afternoon, insinuating ethics reform is unnecessary.” On “b,” I’d point particularly at Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-Dominion), who has repeatedly expressed his contempt for the very IDEA of ethics laws, reform, etc. For that reason alone, Saslaw should not be a State Senator, let alone Minority Leader. I mean, seriously, WTF?

ProgressVA Statement on House and Senate Passage Of Ethics Proposals

Richmond, VA – ProgressVA released the following statement from executive director Anna Scholl in response to House and Senate passage of ethics legislation.

“We commend members of the General Assembly for taking important steps forward to close the outrageous gift loopholes that allow any elected official to accept unlimited free vacations and junkets. However, we continue to believe that real ethics reform must include oversight and accountability. Unfortunately, both bodies have rejected establishing an independent ethics commission to enhance public trust in government by providing real oversight and enforcement. A toothless ethics council that still allows legislators to police themselves is insufficient for restoring public confidence in government.

“Additionally, we could not be more disappointed with remarks from legislators on both sides of the aisle this afternoon, insinuating ethics reform is unnecessary. Public trust in government and our elected officials is of the upmost importance and Virginians should have no doubt that legislators are working on our behalf. Recent events, including the high profile felony conviction of former Governor Bob McDonnell, undermine public integrity. While members of the General Assembly may not have broken our trust, by virtue of their position they bear responsibility for earning it back. When it comes to public trust and government ethics, perception is as important as reality. “Just trust us” is no longer an acceptable option. Serious ethics reform is necessary to reassure Virginians that those individuals we have trusted with vast responsibility are beyond reproach, so they may return their focus to advancing a Virginia that works for everyone.”

  • Does this guy think we’re all complete imbeciles?  Does he think we all have lost our memories? Well, see Video: In Crude Language, Sen. Dick Saslaw Argues that Ethics Laws are Irrelevant, Unnecessary and Sen. Saslaw Continues to Oppose Strengthened Ethics Laws; Says “Everyone Knows” Sierra Club “Crazy”.

    SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP STATEMENT ON ETHICS REFORM PACKAGE

    Richmond, Va. – This afternoon, the Virginia Senate passed a bipartisan ethics reform package. The final bill, SB 1424, includes many changes originally proposed by Senate Democrats, including chief co-patrons Senator Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), Senator John Edwards (D-Roanoke), Senator Dave Marsden (D-Fairfax), Senator Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax), and Senator Jennifer Wexton (D-Loudoun).

    Among other changes, the bill strengthens Virginia’s Ethics Council, imposes more stringent limits on gifts to lawmakers, and restricts unethical gifts and contributions by those seeking grants and loans from the Commonwealth.

    Speaking after the vote, Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) said, “Today’s vote is an important next step towards restoring Virginians’ trust in government. The Democratic Caucus still has reservations, but feels that this reform package is necessary progress. Virginians deserve to have confidence in their elected officials — and we will continue to work towards that goal.”

    Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax) said, “The passage of today’s ethics reform legislation is a step in the right direction. It remains a work in progress that will continue to evolve as it works its way through the House of Delegates. I always urge my colleagues that when in doubt, do without.”