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BigMoneyOutVA: Five Republican Members of the VA House of Delegates Shut Down Democracy…Again!

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From BigMoneyOutVA :

Five Republican members of the VA House of Delegates
shut down democracy…again!

By 7:45 am today, Wednesday, February 15th, the House of Delegates Sub-Committee on Campaign Finance had already shut down commonsense campaign finance reform. Last year this same committee blocked 13 campaign finance bills by a partisan 5-3 vote and only two weeks ago they killed 5 campaign finance bills which would have provided Virginia with a solid foundation of campaign finance legislation.

This morning was no exception to this Sub-Committee’s aversion to passing any type of good governance bills that would benefit legislators and voters alike. Advocates voiced passionate support for Senator Boysko’s bill (SB1471) which proposed sensible guardrails on the personal use of campaign funds, long considered the lowest hanging fruit of sensible reform. This bill has been introduced every year since 2014 and this session it moved out of the Senate on a remarkable 38-0 vote, highlighting unanimous bipartisan support. Yet, this House Sub-Committee revealed their disinterest in any bipartisanship, killing the bill by 5-3. Delegate Sickles stated that he was “astounded that we can’t pass this bill.” Other Democrats highlighted that Virginia voters expected legislators to pass this basic ethics bill.

Also down for the count were bills presented by Senators Suetterlein, McPike, and Favola supporting respectively: early disclosure of large PAC donations, electronic filing of campaign finance records, and more transparency in disclosure on the money influencing our elections through obscure attack ads.

It is a sad day for democracy in Virginia when five legislators in our General Assembly (Delegates O’Quinn, Wren, Taylor, Wachsmann, and Bloxom) place their own personal gain and interests over the voters. Virginians care, irrespective of party, about transparency, accountability, and good governance. The Commonwealth is already ranked 46 out of 50 on the S.W.A.M.P. index. How much lower can we go? As one member of BigMoneyOut despondently commented at the end of the meeting, “Fri….king unbelievable”.

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BigMoneyOutVA is a non-partisan group which champion good governance and transparency in Virginia, while promoting increased public discourse between citizens of the Commonwealth and their legislators. Follow us on Twitter: @MoneyOutVA

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