Like so many Northern Virginians, I’m deeply frustrated by the “pay to play” game we see year after year in Richmond.
The old “Virginia Way” has led to a former Republican Governor being convicted on corruption charges, courts throwing out district maps for illegal racial gerrymandering, and a legislative process rigged in favor lobbyists and trade groups. The lesson is clear—if you can’t afford a lobbyist, chances are you aren’t going to win.
Sadly, too many of our lawmakers seem to prefer it this way. They believe that you can’t legislate ethics, or that gerrymandering is the smart thing to do to maintain power. Worst yet, many lawmakers are rewarded with campaign cash and more powerful committee seats for adopting this mentality.
This cycle of legalized corruption is wrong, and it has to stop. That’s why as your state Senator, I will:
- Fight for a Constitutional amendment establishing a non-partisan, independent redistricting commission with strong rules prohibiting the use of election data, instead focused on keeping communities together. Politicians should not be in the business of choosing their own voters.
- Push for ethics reform by supporting a new non-partisan, independent ethics commission to handle complaints and investigations. Elected officials should not serve as their own judges.
- Reduce “pay-to-play” by prohibiting lobbyists from making campaign contributions. North Carolina and Tennessee already do this, and it’s badly needed in Virginia.
- End the revolving door in Richmond by making it so no elected or high-ranking official can lobby under any circumstances for four years. If you want to serve the public, you have to commit 100% to the public.