Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Top News

In wake of Dems' threats, bill would bar political 'retaliation'

See also

While Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe talks up ethics reform, three key state Democrats are staying mum about legislation that would prohibit political “retaliation” by legislators.

Watchdog.org reported Thursday that state Sen. Tom Garrett, R-Louisa, has filed Senate Bill 12, which would add a 12th commandment to the state’s code of conduct for public officials.

Garrett’s bill says no state legislator may “use his public position to retaliate or threaten to retaliate against any person for expressing views on matters of public concern or for exercising any right that is otherwise protected by law.”

The measure stems from threats made against the Northern Virginia Technology Council PAC, which endorsed Republican Ken Cuccinelli for governor.

State Sen. Janet Howell, D-Fairfax, wrote Tech PAC leaders that “The ramifications of (Cuccinelli) being endorsed will be huge within the Senate Democratic Caucus.

“The response (from legislators) will be frigid and doors will be closed (when the council seeks help with its legislative agenda). Achieving the goals of NVTC will be difficult to impossible,” Howell stated.

The thinly veiled threat – echoed by Sens. Dick Saslaw, D-Fairfax, andBarbara Favola, D-Arlington – failed to alter the PAC’s position.

At the time, Garrett, a former commonwealth attorney, noted that Section 18.2-447 of the Virginia Code prohibits “any benefit offered, conferred or agreed to be conferred as consideration for or to obtain or influence either the recipient’s decision, opinion, recommendation, vote or other exercise of official discretion.”

Pressing the point, Garrett drafted the proposed addition to the legislative code of conduct.

Howell, Saslaw and Favola did not respond to Watchdog‘s requests for comment, but Garrett said it’s nothing personal.

“I’m not targeting anybody. I’m targeting behavior,” he said in an interview.

“I will carry the whole bill without mentioning name, unless they say ‘Why do we need this?’”

Garrett, who sits on the Senate Courts of Justice Committee, says he may go further and introduce companion legislation covering all state officials – not just legislators.

“It’s sad that we need a law to make this clear,” he said.

Read the rest of the story here.

Advertisement

News

  • Mt. Everest avalanche
    Disaster strikes Mt. Everest as at least 12 people were killed in an avalanche
    Video
    Watch Video
  • Most Earthlike planet discovered
    The Kepler telescope has discovered the most Earthlike, possibly habitable planet yet
    Space News
  • Easter crosses create debate
    Easter crosses spark a debate of separation of church and state in Ohio
    Headlines
  • Chelsea Clinton is preggers
    Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child
    Headlines
  • Stanley Cup playoffs
    The battle for Lord Stanley's Cup is on, don't miss a minute of playoff action
    Sports
  • Ukraine discussed amongst U.S., E.U., Russia
    The U.S., E.U. and Russia agree on ways to diffuse the tension in Ukraine
    Video
    Watch Video

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!