Slightly more than two months after taking office, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is responding to questions about ethics reform …as former Governor Bob McDonnell awaits a trial this summer involving gift-giving. The scandal prompted the General Assembly to pass and send to the Governor new ethics reform legislation, which now awaits his signature, amendments, or veto.
The Governor was asked during a radio program if he promised high-dollar contributors to his recently announced PAC... access to himself, his wife, and policy experts. McAuliffe said he did not approve the fundraising solicitation by his aides. He was also asked to respond to a letter sent to him by Senator Chap Petersen, who asks the Governor to strengthen two ethics bills passed by lawmakers. McAuliffe said he had not reviewed the bills nor read the letter but says he's been vocal about the issue and took a major step by limiting gifts to himself, his family, and staff to $100.
One ethics bill places a $250 annual cap on gifts that any one lobbyist can give to an official. Petersen not only seeks to have that amount lowered but also wants lawmakers to ask for permission prior to accepting free travel gifts that exceed this amount.