Public Comments for: HB973 - Campaign finance; prohibited personal use of campaign funds, complaints, hearings, civil penalty.
Last Name: Nicholls Locality: Chesapeake

HB71 - VEPCO's comments on 2/1/22 were that they had first amendment rights. They do, but NOT to run this state and its people into the ground in the name of profits. Virginia: owned and operated by VEPCO is a saying that should not occur but it is. HB85, HB174, 205, 524, 575, 973, 1296, 1302 - This helps the people. Please move to report.

Last Name: Mott Organization: Virginia Chapter of American Promise Locality: Arlington

Jessica Mott, VA Chapter of American Promise. We support these bills, which both restrict the personal use of campaign funds. Virginia is one of only two states with no restrictions on personal use of campaign funds. A recent poll by Wason Center shows that 73% of Virginians support restricting personal use of campaign funds. The enactment of this bill would help ensure that contributions to political campaigns are used for campaign purposes rather than personal enrichment of candidates. We commend, inter alia, the reference to Federal Election Commission regulations as a source of guidance. It is high time that Virginia adopts standards that are already in place in other jurisdictions, and that reflect the will of its citizens. Thank you.

Last Name: Mitchell Organization: Big Money Out Virginia branch of the American Promise Locality: Arlington

Comments Document

Support for the passage of the following bills: HB1302, HB973, HB1296, HB575, and HB85

Last Name: Morgan Organization: VA Chapter of American Promise Locality: Alexandria

I’m Nancy Morgan, Coordinator of the VA Chapter of American Promise. Please pass this bill (HB973) which has been pending for years. We are one of only two States which has no restrictions on personal use of campaign funds. If you remember, this bill passed 100-0 in the House and didn't get out of the Senate. It was finally redrafted by last year’s bicarmeral-bipartisan Joint Subcommittee to address the concerns laid out on the Senate floor last year. It adopts federal standards, addresses frivolous complaints, and moves Virginia forward in terms of good governance legislation. You should be aware that the Dept of Elections might have difficulty monitoring/enforcing this legislation because of lack of capacity. But a great bill (Del Bulova’s bill HB492) addressing these gaps just passed out of this sub- committee last week and hopefully will be passed over to the Senate.

Last Name: Morrissey Organization: Money Out Virginia/American Promise Locality: Sterling, Loudoun County

Our team from Money Out Virginia, the VA affiliate of the nation-wide American Promise campaign finance reform advocacy organization, worked hard this past year with the "Joint Subcommittee to Study Comprehensive Campaign Finance Reform," and produced a "Citizens' Report" for the Subcommittee that articulated principles and priorities for improving transparency, preventing corrupt campaign finance practices and moving towards more equity in campaign financing in Virginia elections. The partnership between the Subcommittee and Money Out Virginia has resulted in a series of important bills that improve the requirements, process and electronic infrastructure for disclosure of campaign donations. We strongly support Delegate Bulova's HB 492, HB495, and HB500, Delegate Helmer's HB489, Delegate Anderson's HB86 and Delegate Davis' HB125, which provides for penalties for violations of disclosure laws. We also support Delegate Bulova's HJ53 to extend the mandate of the Joint Subcommittee so that we can continue our partnership in developing sensible campaign finance reforms for Virginia.

Last Name: Stephen Spitz Locality: Falls Church in Fairfax County

Virginia is one of only five states that has no limits on the amount of money any individual, corporation, or other entity can contribute to candidates for public office. Virginia is the only state that permits candidates to spend campaign donations on whatever they want. It is past time for Virginia to have real campaign finance reform. The public strongly supports campaign finance reform. Please take this issue seriously this session. I strongly support HB 973, HB 71, and HB 575. There is an inherent conflict of interest for State regulated monopoly public utilities to make contributions, let alone unlimited contributions, to those who are responsible for regulating them. There is a strong public perception of corruption in Virginia when there are no limitations whatsoever on how much money can be donated to candidates nor any restrictions on how such money can be spent. My own State Senator brags that he is the largest recipient of money from one of the public utilities and also openly states that he launders money from that utility to give to other candidates. That does not give me or my neighbors confidence that he is representing out concerns rather than his funders. The Virginia Way of pay-to-play must end if we are truly going to be a democracy. The proposed campaign finance limits should be reduced to match the limits for Federal candidates. I believe it is reasonable for there to be a child care exception to the ban on personal use of campaign funds. Public confidence in elections and elected officials will only increase if the public does not have the perception that their elected officials are “bought” by special interests. The time for comprehensive campaign finance reform is now. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: Stephen Spitz Locality: Falls Church in Fairfax County

Virginia is one of only five states that has no limits on the amount of money any individual, corporation, or other entity can contribute to candidates for public office. Virginia is the only state that permits candidates to spend campaign donations on whatever they want. It is past time for Virginia to have real campaign finance reform. The public strongly supports campaign finance reform. Please take this issue seriously this session. I strongly support HB 973, HB 71, and HB 575. There is an inherent conflict of interest for State regulated monopoly public utilities to make contributions, let alone unlimited contributions, to those who are responsible for regulating them. There is a strong public perception of corruption in Virginia when there are no limitations whatsoever on how much money can be donated to candidates nor any restrictions on how such money can be spent. My own State Senator brags that he is the largest recipient of money from one of the public utilities and also openly states that he launders money from that utility to give to other candidates. That does not give me or my neighbors confidence that he is representing out concerns rather than his funders. The Virginia Way of pay-to-play must end if we are truly going to be a democracy. The proposed campaign finance limits should be reduced to match the limits for Federal candidates. I believe it is reasonable for there to be a child care exception to the ban on personal use of campaign funds. Public confidence in elections and elected officials will only increase if the public does not have the perception that their elected officials are “bought” by special interests. The time for comprehensive campaign finance reform is now. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: Martin Locality: Fairfax

Voting is a constitutional right. Any law that restricts rather than expands our constitutional right & DUTY to vote is simply voter suppression. We must not repeal any expansions of absentee ballots. Do not decrease early voting. - extend the number of days allowed. Do not eliminate any ballot box locations- expand. We have no need to re-register absentee ballots every year. No excuse absentee voting is absolutely crucial. The state must provide easy and free access to voter ID if a photo is required. Since the USPS has slowed considerably, we must keep the 3 day rule for receiving ballots after election day. All local elections must be on Election Day (in Nov). Election Day should be a holiday. Until we do a complete overhaul of campaign finance & eliminate dark money/special interests there must be no restrictions on outreach, education & registration or from where a candidate may collect funds. Voter registration up to and including Election Day is absolutely crucial to ensure all citizens vote. I support all bills expanding our rights and abilities to make voting as easy as possible. I oppose all bills attempting to restrict any access to our ballot and our vote. The process is too important for the elected officials to be able to restrict us from our duty to be informed voters. Keep expanding our rights. Do not restrict, suppress or subvert them.

End of Comments