August 20, 2021 •
News You Can Use Digest – August 20, 2021
As Population Grows, So Does Debate on How to Reach Latino Voters in ’22 Midterms
MSN – Stephanie Akin and Suzanne Monyak (Roll Call) | Published: 8/18/2021
Democrats know that, overall, the party does better with Latino voters than Republicans, but there is more recognition that the Hispanic electorate is far from monolithic, and outreach needs to start much earlier. Republicans, meanwhile, saw candidates do better with Latinos – even flipping two South Florida congressional seats – and want to build on that success. While a majority of Americans eligible to vote said they were contacted by a campaign or a group supporting a campaign in the month before the November election, fewer Latino and Asian American citizens reported such contacts.
Colorado’s Boebert Discloses Husband’s Work for Energy Firm
Federal News Network – Nicholas Riccardi (Associated Press) | Published: 8/18/2021
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert’s husband made $478,000 last year working as a consultant for an energy firm, information that was not disclosed during Boebert’s congressional campaign and only reported in her financial disclosure forms filed recently. Rep. Boebert reported her husband, Jayson Boebert, received the money as a consultant to Terra Energy Productions in 2020, and earned $460,000 as a consultant for the firm in 2019. Ethics and campaign finance laws require candidates and members of Congress to disclose sources of their immediate family’s income, along with major investments and assets.
DeJoy Bought Up to $305,000 in Bonds from USPS Board Chair’s Investment Firm
MSN – Jacob Bogage and Douglas MacMillan (Washington Post) | Published: 8/14/2021
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy purchased up to $305,000 in bonds from an investment firm whose managing partner, Ron Bloom, also chairs the U.S. Postal Service’s governing board, the independent body responsible for evaluating DeJoy’s performance. DeJoy’s financial adviser purchased the bonds on the open market, Postal Service spokesperson Jeffrey Adams said, and Bloom manages a division separate from the one that sells public securities. Two ethics experts disagreed over whether the bond purchases could cause conflict-of-interest issues in the agency’s top ranks.
Election Officials Call for Audit Guidelines After Trump-Fueled Surge
Yahoo News – Zach Montellaro (Politico) | Published: 8/17/2021
The nation’s top election officials are calling for more stringent guidelines for post-election audits, as supporters of former President Trump continue to relitigate his defeat in 2020. At the summer meeting of the National Association of Secretaries of State, members approved a series of recommendations for post-election audits on everything from a timeline to chain of custody of election materials. Trump has pushed his supporters to export the audit in Maricopa County, Arizona, to other states. Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have tried to launch their own, but so far neither have made similar sort of progress as in Arizona.
House Revises Voting Rights Bill to Boost Justice Department Powers to Challenge States
MSN – Michael Macagnone (Roll Call) | Published: 8/17/2021
House Democrats introduced the latest version of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, intent on beefing up a civil rights-era law cut back by a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions. The effort still faces significant Republican opposition and the prospects of a filibuster in the Senate. The bill comes after a series of House committee hearings over the past several months to establish a legislative record for modern efforts to suppress minority groups’ voting power.
Inspector General Urges Ethics Review at Federal Election Commission Following ProPublica Report
MSN – Jake Pearson (ProPublica) | Published: 8/12/2021
The FEC’s inspector general called on the agency to review its ethics policies and internal controls after a media investigation last year revealed a senior manager openly supported Donald Trump and maintained a close relationship with a Republican attorney who went on to serve as the 2016 Trump campaign’s top lawyer. It raised questions about the impartiality of the official, Debbie Chacona, who oversees the unit responsible for keeping unlawful contributions out of political campaigns. The division’s staffers are supposed to adhere to an ethics code and forgo any public partisan activities because such actions could imply preferential treatment for a candidate or party.
Pelosi Announces House Staffers Can Now Earn Higher Salaries Than Lawmakers
MSN – Cristina Marcos (The Hill) | Published: 8/13/2021
Some U.S. House staff will now be able to earn higher salaries than the members of Congress for whom they work under a new order announced by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to help retain top talent on Capitol Hill. Staff salaries have remained stagnant for more than a decade thanks to the lawmaker pay freeze that has been in place since 2009, leading many people to leave Capitol Hill for higher-paying jobs at lobbying groups or in the executive branch. But under the new policy unveiled by Pelosi, the salary cap for House staffers will be $199,300, up from the maximum salary of $173,900 in 2020 for both the House and Senate.
State Redistricting Can Start with New Census Data, but Litigation Looms
MSN – Michael Macagnone (Roll Call) | Published: 8/12/2021
The Census Bureau kicked off a shortened redistricting season with the release of detailed mapmaking data from last year’s count, as most states across the country scramble to finish their maps in time for next year’s midterm elections. A handful of states, including Ohio and Colorado, face redistricting deadlines before the end of September. Others, like Texas, will have to draw their maps in a special legislative session. Democratic-aligned groups in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Louisiana have sued over the process. The parties have split control over state government in each of those states, making a deadlock over new maps likely.
Canada – Canada’s Trudeau Calls Snap Election in Bid to Regain Parliamentary Majority
MSN – Amanda Coletta (Washington Post) | Published: 8/15/2021
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, betting his standing has been improved by his government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic while his main opponent has failed to gain traction with voters, called a snap federal election for September 20 in a bid to regain a majority in the House of Commons. Opposition party leaders decried the decision to hold an election at a time when public health officials have said the country is in a delta variant-fueled fourth coronavirus wave. Most cases are among those who are unvaccinated.
From the States and Municipalities
Alaska – Alaska Lawmaker Critical of State Move in Campaign Caps Case
MSN – Becky Bohrer (Associated Press) | Published: 8/18/2021
The decision to not seek further legal review of a split court ruling that struck down several campaign contribution caps in Alaska was criticized by a state lawmaker who said the state should have pressed forward with a legal fight. The dissent in the case was strong, said Sen. Bill Wielechowski. He said Gov. Mike Dunleavy has an obligation to defend the laws of the state. A divided federal appeals court panel struck down a $500-a-year limit on what an individual can give a candidate, a $500-a-year cap on individual contributions to non-party groups and a $3,000-a-year limit on total nonresident donations a candidate for office like state House can raise.
Alaska – Mayor Bronson Replaces Head of Solid Waste Services with Father of Former Campaign Manager
Yahoo News – Emily GoodyKoontz (Anchorage Daily News) | Published: 8/18/2021
Dan Zipay, a longtime player in Anchorage’s trash-hauling industry and the father of Mayor Dave Bronson’s former campaign manager, will be the new head of the city’s garbage collection agency. Zipay is a part-owner of Denali Disposal, a private trash collection company, which is run by his daughter, Bernadette Wilson, who was also Bronson’s campaign chairperson. Anchorage Assemblyperson Chris Constant said he has a “a lot of questions” about Dan Zipay’s appointment and potential conflicts-of-interest, including if the city were to privatize Solid Waste Services.
Arkansas – Hung Jury on All but One Count in Gilbert Baker Corruption Trial
KUAR – Debra Hale-Shelton (Arkansas Nonprofit News Network) | Published: 8/12/2021
A federal jury acquitted former lobbyist and political fundraiser Gilbert Baker of conspiracy but failed to reach a verdict on eight other charges, including one count of bribery and seven of wire fraud. In the indictment and trial, prosecutors argued Baker was the middleman in an alleged plot in 2013 to bribe former Faulkner County Circuit Court Judge Mike Maggio on behalf of Michael Morton, a wealthy nursing home owner and campaign financier. Maggio, who testified for the prosecution, pleaded guilty to bribery in 2015 and is serving a 10-year prison sentence. Morton has not been charged and denies wrongdoing.
California – El Monte Council Removes Colleague’s Title, Extra Duties Following Lobbyist Gift Scandal
San Gabriel Valley Tribune – Jason Henry | Published: 8/13/2021
The El Monte City Council removed Vicky Martinez Muela from her position as mayor pro tem and revoked her membership in outside commissions in response to allegations she accepted thousands of dollars in gifts from a lobbyist, including a partial payment for a breast augmentation surgery. Under state law, local government officials are prohibited from receiving gifts over $520 as of January 2021. Martinez Muela did not report any of the gifts from Lopez on her annual economic disclosures, though she had previously reported meals as low as $15 in the past.
California – Federal Lawsuit Challenges California Recall as Unconstitutional
Politico – Jeremy White and Debra Kahn | Published: 8/12/2021
Two California voters are challenging the legality of the state’s recall system less than a month before Election Day, echoing concerns from constitutional scholars as Gov. Gavin Newsom fights for his political life. A complaint argues the state’s recall provision violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by allowing sitting governors to be replaced by candidates who have received fewer votes. The plaintiffs want a court order either prohibiting the recall election or adding Newsom’s name to the replacement candidate list.
Colorado – Colorado Republican Official Accused After Voting System Passwords Are Leaked to Right-Wing Site
MSN – Kim Bellware (Washington Post) | Published: 8/13/2021
A bizarre security breach of a rural Colorado county’s voting system has escalated into a criminal probe of the clerk’s office, a ban on the county’s existing election equipment, and heightened partisan divides over election-fraud claims. Footage that showed passwords related to the county’s voting systems was surreptitiously recorded during a May security update and published recently on a far-right blog. Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold determined Mesa County cannot use its existing equipment for its November election.
Florida – Donations to Fried, Crist Campaigns Linked to Dark Money Group in Election Fraud Case
Florida Daily Tribune – Samantha Gross and Bianca Padró Ocasio (Miami Herald) | Published: 8/18/2021
A “dark-money” donor at the center of a public corruption investigation into the 2020 election cycle helped back three groups that recently contributed to 2022 Democratic candidates for governor, including Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist. Urban Action Fund and Democratic Action Network PC, and Democratic Services Network received a total of $85,500 from Grow United Inc. last October. Grow United, which does not disclose its money sources, paid for more than $500,000 in misleading mailers targeting Democrats in three key state Senate races in 2020.
Florida – Florida Gov. DeSantis Promotes Regeneron, a COVID-19 Treatment Connected to One of His Largest Donors
MSN – Zac Anderson, Michael Kennedy, and Jeffrey Schweers (Sarasota Herald Tribune) | Published: 8/18/2021
Gov. Ron DeSantis has zeroed in on monoclonal antibody therapy as a lifeline for COVID-19 patients, holding press conferences around the state where he name-checks a specific drugmaker, Regeneron, which is a major investment for one of his largest campaign contributors. As DeSantis ramps up his reelection bid, the largest donation to his political committee this cycle is a $5 million contribution from Kenneth Griffin, the chief executive of hedge fund Citadel, which owns $15.9 million shares in Regeneron. Griffin also gave DeSantis $5.75 million in 2018, during his run for governor.
Florida – How Florida Condo Associations Wielded Political Power Before the Surfside Collapse
MSN – Jon Schuppe (NBC News) | Published: 8/12/2021
Florida, where millions of homes are vulnerable to hurricanes, rising seas, and saltwater corrosion, has some of the country’s strictest regulations for high-rise condominiums. But the collapse of a 12-story condo tower in Surfside has drawn fresh attention to loopholes that allow condo associations to delay inspections, renovations, and compliance with directives they say are too expensive or burdensome. Veteran lobbyists hold outsize sway over part-time lawmakers constrained by term limits and a 60-day window each year to decide which among hundreds of bills should become law.
Florida – Jurors Convict Prominent Tallahassee Businessman J.T. Burnette on Public Corruption Charges
Tallahassee Democrat – Jeff Burlew | Published: 8/12/2021
J.T. Burnette, one of Tallahassee’s leading businesspeople whose formula for success included dangling money in front of local politicians and officials, was convicted on a host of public corruption charges. Burnette is the third major player to go down as part of the FBI’s “Operation Capital Currency,” a two-year undercover investigation into “pay-to-play” in Tallahassee. Former mayor and city commissioner Scott Maddox, along with his girlfriend and longtime business partner, Paige Carter-Smith, pleaded guilty in 2019.
Georgia – Potential G.O.P. Takeover of Atlanta-Area Election Board Inches Forward
New York Times – Nick Corasaniti | Published: 8/18/2021
The Georgia State Election Board appointed a majority-Republican panel to review the performance of the Fulton County board of elections, another step toward a potential Republican takeover of the election system in the biggest Democratic county in the state. The moves surrounding the Fulton County board have come as Republican-controlled Legislatures across the country angle for greater power over election administration, often seeking to strip it from election officials and give it to partisan lawmakers.
Illinois – Ontario PC Fundraising Letters Labelled ‘Invoice’ Blasted as a ‘Scam’ as Calls Mount for Investigation
CBC – John Rieti and Karina Zapata | Published: 8/18/2021
An Ontario woman says she was incensed after receiving a fundraising letter from the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario that looks like an invoice, something opposition parties are already criticizing as a “scam.” Part of the letter is labelled “invoice” and looks like a bill to be sent to the Ontario PCs in Toronto. The only line item says, “Election Readiness Fund” and lists a total of $300, then lower down the page states there is a “balance due.” The word donation does appear, but only at the bottom of the page. The Ontario Liberal party called for an investigation by Elections Ontario and the anti-fraud branch of the Ontario Provincial Police.
Iowa – Gov. Kim Reynolds Didn’t Violate Iowa’s Self-Promotion Law with COVID Mask Ads, Board Finds
MSN – Stephen Gruber-Miller (Des Moines Register) | Published: 8/13/2021
The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board found Gov. Kim Reynolds did not violate the state’s ban on using taxpayer funds for self-promotion when she appeared in advertisements last year encouraging Iowans to wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Step Up, Stop the Spread” advertisements, which featured Reynolds sitting in her formal office with her name and title onscreen, used about $150,000 of federal stimulus funds. State Auditor Rob Sand’s complaint said using those funds violate the law, which prohibits using taxpayer money for self-promotion.
Iowa – No Evidence That National Conservative Group Heritage Action Lobbied for Iowa Election Law, Ethics Board Says
MSN – Stephen Gruber-Miller (Des Moines Register) | Published: 8/13/2021
The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board said it found no evidence a national conservative organization illegally lobbied the state Legislature for a law that cut the amount of time residents have to vote. The board opened an investigation into Heritage Action after video surfaced of the group’s executive director, Jessica Anderson, claiming credit for writing parts of the bill. Lobbyists in Iowa must register with the House and Senate and list specific bills they intend to influence.
Kansas – After Resignation, Michael O’Donnell Asked Sedgwick County for Money for New Employer
MSN – Chance Swaim (Wichita Eagle) | Published: 8/17/2021
The Sedgwick County Commission delayed a $36,000 payment to Mayflower Clinic after the nonprofit’s founder failed to disclose the involvement of former county Commissioner Michael O’Donnell, who resigned amid scandal and is now the clinic’s executive director. In 2018, O’Donnell was indicted and later acquitted on federal charges of money laundering for paying friends out of his campaign account. He admitted the payments violated state law and agreed to pay a $12,500 fine to the state ethics commission.
New Mexico – City Investigation Supports Allegations Against Gonzales’ Campaign
Albuquerque Journal – Olivier Uyttebrouck | Published: 8/16/2021
An investigation by Albuquerque’s inspector general has found Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales’ mayoral campaign cut corners in its quest for more than $600,000 in public financing. The report substantiated allegations made against Gonzales’ campaign, including that it submitted a substantial number of qualifying contributions for which voters neither signed the receipt nor paid the required five-dollar contribution. In so doing, the campaign violated city laws that spell out what candidates must do to tap into public financing.
New York – #MeToo Take 2? Movement’s Strength Hailed Amid Cuomo Fallout
MSN – Jocelyn Noveck (Associated Press) | Published: 8/12/2021
A number of leading figures connected with #MeToo say the movement, launched in 2017 with revelations about Harvey Weinstein, reached a significant milestone with the resignation of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, regardless of fits and starts along the way. To attorney Debra Katz, who has represented women accusing powerful men of sexual misconduct for four decades, said the Cuomo resignation would never have happened before #MeToo. She noted the domino effect of one accuser coming out and then others emerging, inspired by the courage of fellow accusers and enraged by attempts to discredit them.
New York – Cuomo Fallout? Two Ex-Governor’s Aides Leave Kivvit Consulting
Albany Times Union – Chris Bragg | Published: 8/16/2021
The apparent fallout is continuing for former aides to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo who became involved in the controversies that enveloped the governor. Former Cuomo chief of staff Joshua Vlasto and ex-communications director Richard Bamberger abruptly left the consulting firm Kivvit, whose managing partner is another high-ranking Cuomo aide, Maggie Moran. While Moran was not mentioned in a scathing report issued by the state attorney general’s office that detailed Cuomo’s alleged harassment of multiple women as well his office’s response to the allegations, Vlasto and Bamberger were both discussed.
New York – Cuomo-Appointed Ethics Chair Resigns
Albany Times Union – Chris Bragg | Published: 8/13/2021
The chairperson of the New York the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), Camille Joseph Varlack, submitted her resignation. While the timing might suggest Varlack’s departure is tied to Gov. Andrew Cuomo stepping down – Varlack was appointed as chair by Cuomo in February – the resignation had apparently been in the works for some time. The resignation comes at a time of tumult for JCOPE and state government generally, and with one commissioner trying to void the prior approval of Cuomo’s $5.1 million book deal last year.
New York – Firm Denies Lobbying Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul for Husband’s Company
Albany Times Union – Chris Bragg | Published: 8/12/2021
Kathy Hochul, scheduled to become governor of New York on August 24, is already facing questions about whether her position running the state, and her husband’s job, present a conflict-of-interest. Disclosure filings from last year that say Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul was lobbied at least twice by a firm representing Delaware North Companies contained incorrect information, the firm maintained. Delaware North Companies is a major food, hospitality, and gaming company where Hochul’s husband, William Hochul, has been a high-ranking official since 2016.
New York – Kushner Friend Ken Kurson Charged in N.Y. Eavesdropping Case After Trump Pardon
MSN – Shayna Jacobs (Washington Post) | Published: 8/18/2021
Ken Kurson, a close friend of former President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, was charged in a state eavesdropping and computer-trespass case in New York months after receiving a federal pardon while facing similar harassment allegations. The former New York Observer editor’s arrest marks what is likely the first instance of a local prosecutor pursuing state-level charges against a person after that individual was given a pass by Trump for the same alleged conduct that federal authorities had pursued. A president’s clemency grants apply only in federal cases.
North Carolina – Got $10,000? You Can Watch a Football Game with NC Lawmakers.
WRAL – Travis Fain | Published: 8/16/2021
A group with ties to Republican lawmakers sent out fundraiser invitations, asking for donations up to $10,000 to mingle with half a dozen North Carolina. lawmakers at college football game. Greater Carolina is a 501(c)(4), one of several “dark money” groups that can raise unlimited cash without identifying donors. It sent invites to lobbyists and others in the General Assembly orbit, inviting them to the September 2 game between East Carolina University and Appalachian State, which will be played in Charlotte.
North Carolina – No Prison Time for NC Politician Who Took Almost $400,000 from Donors for Personal Use
MSN – Will Doran (Raleigh News and Observer) | Published: 8/17/2021
After admitting to financial crimes like not paying taxes, as part of a scheme to take hundreds of thousands of dollars from his political supporters for his own personal use, a powerful North Carolina politician will avoid prison. Prosecutors say former state Rep. David Lewis will have to pay a $1,000 fine and avoid getting in trouble again for the next two years. He could have faced up to 30 years in prison if he had gone to trial and lost. Federal prosecutors had agreed not to seek any prison time against Lewis in exchange for his guilty plea and repayment of the $365,000 he took.
North Carolina – Two Coronavirus Cases Known at NC Legislature as Rumors Stir Worry
WRAL – Travis Fain | Published: 8/16/2021
There were two confirmed cases of coronavirus at the North Carolina Legislature in the past week and an additional negative test. Some Democratic House members expressed concern, as did some lobbyists who heard about a Senate staff case through the grapevine. One House Democrat said they were worried about coming to the Legislative Building. Most state lawmakers, and particularly Republicans, did not when asked recently whether they were vaccinated. Some Republican members traveled to Utah for the annual American Legislative Exchange Council meeting, a gathering of conservative lawmakers from around the country.
North Carolina – Utilities Commission Makes It Tougher for Companies to Charge Political Expenditures to Ratepayers
NC Policy Watch – Lisa Sorg | Published: 8/16/2021
A ruling by the North Carolina Utilities Commission will hinder public utilities from passing along lobbying and advertising expenses to ratepayers. This “discretionary spending” includes advertising that appears on social media, as well as promotional materials that serve only to burnish a utility’s image, compete with other utilities for customers, and are unrelated to providing service to the public. Utilities must also keep detailed lobbying records involving conversations with the executive branch of state government. Other expenses, such as political advertising and lobbying, must be covered by company shareholders.
Ohio – County Coroners’ Multiple Side Jobs Raise Concerns
MSN – Josh Swigert (Dayton Daily News) | Published: 8/15/2021
The elected coroners of Montgomery, Warren, and Clark counties in Ohio all had side jobs last year for other counties their offices also do business with, raising concerns about potential conflicts-of-interest. Payroll data and financial disclosure forms coroners file with the Ohio Ethics Commission show some elected coroners also do private work in addition to their multiple government jobs. The coroners said these arrangements happen because of a lack of forensic pathologists and places that can do autopsies. Warren County Coroner Russell Uptegrove’s multiple publicly funded jobs paid him more than $600,000 last year.
Rhode Island – Ethics Commission Finds Probable Cause of Violation by Former Warwick Official
MSN – Edward Fitzpatrick (Boston Globe) | Published: 8/17/2021
The Rhode Island Ethics Commission found probable cause to believe former Warwick City Council President Steven Merolla violated the ethics code by approving $195,000 in payments to an accounting firm whose partners included his campaign treasurer and personal accountant. Merolla not only voted for the increases of $30,000 and $165,000 in a city contract with the accounting firm YKSM, he also signed five invoices for the firm and hounded administration officials when they balked at making the payments, according to a commission report.
South Carolina – South Carolina Politicians Blow Off Their Ethics Fines with Few Consequences
Charleston Post and Courier – Avery Wilks and Joseph Cranney | Published: 8/14/2021
Dozens of public officials across South Carolina disregard fines they owe to the state Ethics Commission, allowing their debts to accrue with little or no consequences. Nearly $2.9 million is owed by 370 politicians, local officials, and others. A media investigation identified at least 50 individuals with more than $250,000 in outstanding debts who currently hold office. Nothing in South Carolina law prevents these debtors from continuing to hold or seek office. Scores of them have won re-election while stiff-arming the state’s ethics watchdog, a strapped agency with little authority to collect on its fines.
Texas – ‘It’s the Height of Hypocrisy’: After Texas Gov. Greg Abbott contracts covid-19, Democrats ramp up calls for mask mandates
MSN – Shayna Jacobs and Eva Ruth Moravec (Washington Post) | Published: 8/18/2021
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has been vaccinated, tested positive for the coronavirus recently. Abbott is among the Republican governors who have resisted public health mandates aimed at stemming the tide of the virus’s delta variant. Videos and photos posted by Abbott’s gubernatorial campaign show him delivering remarks and mingling with a mask-less crowd of more than 100 people indoors at an event when he may have been contagious. Abbott’s escalating efforts to stop mask mandates have ended up in the Texas courts.
Texas – Texas Supreme Court Says House Democrats Can Be Arrested and Brought to the Capitol, Siding with Republicans Trying to Secure a Quorum
Texas Tribune – Joshua Fechner | Published: 8/17/2021
Texas House Democrats who refuse to show up to the state Capitol in their bid to prevent Republican lawmakers from passing a voting restrictions bill can be arrested and brought to the lower chamber, the state Supreme Court ruled. The all-Republican court sided with Gov. Greg Abbott and ordered a Travis County District Court judge to revoke his temporary restraining order blocking the civil arrest of Democratic lawmakers whose absences have denied the chamber the number of present members needed to move any legislation.
Virginia – Citizens Who Want Money Out of Va. Politics Release New Report Urging Changes
The Daily Progress – Patrick Wilson (Richmond Times-Dispatch) | Published: 8/18/2021
After listening to lawmakers and studying other states, a citizen group that wants money out of Virginia politics issued a report it says can be a blueprint for the General Assembly to improve the state’s permissive campaign finance structure. Virginia is one of few states without a limit on campaign donations. Among the recommendations by MoneyOutVA are enhanced disclosures, regular auditing of campaign funding, and creating guidelines for complaints. The report endorses public financing of elections.
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