Special Interest Party in Richmond
February 8, 2012
In 2011, Virginia lawmakers took more than $245,000 in gifts from special interest groups.
Progressive Point: Virginia Uranium, Dominion Power, and other special interest groups in Richmond have one thing in common--they are trying to buy votes from lawmakers in Richmond. Lawmakers think fancy trips and special gifts are just part of doing business, but the most important part of the job is talking to constituents, not going to France. Lawmakers can accept unlimited gifts from special interests and Virginia families simply can't compete. Instead of hobnobbing with corporate interest groups, lawmakers need to get to the business of looking out for their constituents and creating jobs. Most Virginians jobs don't come with free fancy vacations and their lawmakers' jobs shouldn't either.
Get the Facts:
- In total, lawmakers received $245,393 in gifts from corporate special interest groups in 2011.
- Virginia Uranium alone spent $120,000 trying to buy votes to lift the uranium-mining ban.
- Governor McDonnell took over $55,000 in gifts last year.
- Virginia lawmakers can take unlimited gifts from corporate interest groups as long as they are disclosed, giving corporate interest groups unlimited power to buy votes on the issues that matter to them.