by Brandon Jarvis

Virginia is the wild west of campaign finance with very few restrictions on what an individual or corporation can donate to a political candidate or elected official. Democratic candidate for Governor, Jennifer Carroll Foy (Woodbridge), announced a plan on Tuesday that she says will elevate the voice of Virginians by rooting out corruption in politics. 

“When politicians give special interests a seat at the table, they kick the people out of the room,” said Carroll Foy. “Virginia has a well earned reputation for corruption, with two governors facing FBI investigations in the last eight years. It’s far past time to pull back the curtain on behind-the-scenes political dealings with corporations and special interests and close the loopholes that facilitate a rigged system.”

Carroll Foy says she wants to get big corporations out of Virginia politics by prohibiting them from donating to candidates – this is already a law in federal elections. She also wants to mirror federal law by limiting contributions from individuals, PACs, and party committees to candidate committees in Virginia to the federal limit of $2,800 per election.

Additionally, Carroll Foy wants to ban lobbyists, their immediate family members, and their employers from making political contributions to candidates in Virginia. She wants to take it further than that by restricting legislators or state elected officials from lobbying for five years after they leave elected office. Under current law, elected officials only have to wait one year before they can register as a lobbyist. 

In an effort to provide Virginians with more transparency about who is advising their representatives, Carroll Foy wants to require candidates and officeholders to disclose the names and clients of any lobbyist who works on their political campaigns, paid or unpaid, or on transition teams for new officeholders. 

Carroll Foy wants to use revenue created by enacting a tax on excessive corporate lobbying and raising lobbyist registration fees to boost legislative staff resources. This would be an attempt to prevent legislators from relying so heavily on the work of lobbyists.  

“Constituents have a right to know who advises their representatives, and cozy relationships with lobbyists must end,” said Carroll Foy. “ We’ll take action as an administration to stop the undue influence and corruption in our government. In order to serve the people, elected officials need to listen to the people, not special interests.”

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