Comments to the Commission

Submit your suggestion or comment using: our online form or our email address integrity@governor.virginia.gov

 


Written Comments Submitted to the Commission:

 

On-line Comments Submitted to the Commission:

  • November 20, 2015
    I would really like to see some reining in of various county Board of Supervisors. Many have 'gone rogue' and are not listening to citizens concerns, esp. in the areas of land use and development. They are ignoring guidelines set by Comprehensive Plans, abusing Special Exception permits to do so, and let members stay on the board even if acts of questionable ethics have risen. This is happening in several places across the commonwealth. There is no governing of the Boards, just the presence of VaCo, which could possibly be more of the same ilk, so I don't know where to go to get some help for us in this county. The board is abusive and out-of-control with development disease - as well as disrespectful of citizens - please help!  ~Karen Shaffer
  • May 23, 2015
    I've caught a few mentions in the news about a state senator in Vermont, Norman McAllister, who was arrested earlier this month & has plead not guilty to three felony counts of sexual assault and three misdemeanor counts of soliciting sex workers. While these cases work their way through the court system, he has refused to resign and continues to draw his salary & benefits. Based on these few facts, I would like to see rules (laws?) put in place to provide 'oversight' to our elected state officials, (who potentially have some control over laws that they could be charged with violating at that point in time). While in this case the senator has not been convicted, I would suggest that 1) any state legislator (perhaps extended to also cover judges and any state-level appointees) who has been charged with a felony should immediately stop receiving their paycheck -- the funds would be held in a reserve account, and at the conclusion of the case(s) they could receive the funds IF found innocent; if found guilty, perhaps even if they take an Alford plea, the funds would then be forfeited. Perhaps they could be issued to a related state agency with the goal of helping the victims of the crimes? 2) any state legislator, judge, etc. who is convicted of a felony should immediately be relieved of all authorities, duties, etc. & removed from office (Note: a rule like this may already be in place). I truly appreciate the efforts being made to assure the citizens of the Commonwealth that those in positions of authority over us, over the legislation, over the courts, etc. be held to the same standards that we (should) hold ourselves, if not higher. Thank you. Ron Ramsey  ~Ron Ramsey
  • December 26, 2014
    Partisan redistricting is an affront to democracy and a national embarrassment. Electoral mechanics that offer third party candidates only the role of "spoiler" are unnecessarily undemocratic. The reforms advocated by FairVote (see https://governor.virginia.gov/media/3407/fairvote-testimony-redistricting-in-virginia.pdf), including Ranked Choice Voting for statewide office and within multi-seat districts, are excellent, non-partisan ideas that would make an enormous and positive difference for elections in the Commonwealth. Seize the opportunity to make Virginia a leader for the rest of the nation.  ~John Dowd
  • December 8, 2014
    I am writing in support of FairVote’s proposals on redistricting reform submitted October 31, 2014. Particularly, I endorse FairVote’s advocacy of multi-seat districts with ranked choice voting. Furthermore, I would ask the commission to consider endorsing ranked choice voting even in the absence multi-seat districts, such as in statewide elections. I am submitting more extensive comments to the commission at integrity@governor.virginia.gov. I encourage my fellow Virginians to read FairVote’s reforms as proposed to the commission at https://governor.virginia.gov/media/3407/fairvote-testimony-redistricting-in-virginia.pdf.  ~Joe Pabis
  • November 17, 2014
    Please focus upon any official charged with granting approval for the public's interest, not solely elected officials. Public servants should disclose influences which affect ministerial judgment. The convicted governor was essentially selling access to the Department of Health's staff. Any public servant accepting compensation from more than one source should be compelled to report with a high penalty for failure to disclose. Any policy would benefit from recognition of the elements of risk, and elevate higher officials to a higher standard. A building official must be reliable and neutral in consideration of all applicant's interests that is essential to open government.  ~Jeff Walker
  • November 17, 2014
    This commission should have been created and approved by the Virginia General Assembly rather than the Governor. The issue for 'study' for the Integrity Commission which is most suspect is the proposal to extend the term of the Governor, which is a CONFLICT OF INTEREST. If this commission is under the oversight of the Governor as it appears to be because he created it, then it looks to be an attempted power grab. He wants a second term or an extended term, and the importance of TERM LIMITS is to protect Virginia from 'career politicians'. Other states should follow Virginia's example instead of Virginia following in the path of other states. Pursuing the attempt for a second term for the Governor is counter-productive and an unethical step for Gov. McAuliffe to take. It is a gross lack of integrity to task this commission with changing a law which works currently works very well to PREVENT corruption. We need term limits at all levels of government -- local, state, and federal.  ~Irene Terrill
  • November 12, 2014
    "Gerrymandering is the byproduct of a failed democracy. Every voter should be guaranteed a voice that matters and is heard. Citizens need to strip partisan state legislatures of their control over redistricting before the legislature strips the citizens of their power to vote. We must devise an independent redistricting system before risking further voter disenfranchisement" I couldn't word it any better, with thanks to Robert Weiner and Tom Sherman.  ~Neal Frankel
  • November 7, 2014
    Please address the issue of gerrymandering. My district covers Faquier down to the NC line. How ridiculous. We no longer have a representative government when district lines are drawn for political gain vs representation.  ~Donna Goings
  • November 6, 2014
    Power corrupts. Dilute power by eliminating “ownership” of voting districts. Objective redistricting AND the ability to cast a vote without fear of “spoilers” or “wasting your vote” will make that possible. Voting districts should preserve county boundaries, be compact, be competitive, and fairly represent their constituents. This may require that elected officials choose from designs created by nonpartisans (see work done by groups like www.drawthelinemidwest.org/ohio ). Also, voters should be able to choose from among several candidates and not have to pick the lesser of two evils. Having a ballot where voters can rank the candidates according to their preference would level the playing field for independent and minor party candidates (see http://www.fairvote.org/reforms/instant-runoff-voting for how this can be done).  ~Muriel Grim
  • November 4, 2014
    Fair, non-partisan redistricting is paramount. Gerrymandering not only disenfranchises millions of voters, it means we have weaker candidates. A candidate who knows there is no opposition doesn't have to be vetted or show his or her true positions.  ~Rebecca Quinn
  • November 3, 2014
    I would like to see a policy that made it unethical for elected officials to use their unelected paid attorneys to threaten Virginia's educational directors into cancelling policies that would conflict with their (the elected officials) political agendas. Can you examine the role of the state government in administrating Virginia's public universities? I understand that there needs to be some oversight, but manipulating how individual university presidents and provosts manage their schools in order to make political points does not feel ethical to me.  ~Lea Ann Douglas
  • November 3, 2014
    There is a completely bias-free method of drawing districts. It is a very sophisticated computer program invented my Brian Olsen. See it at: http://handsoffredistricting.net/category/brian-olson/ It restores the constitutional requirement to have compact and contiguous districts. I urge you to consider adopting it.  ~Dave Goodridge
  • November 3, 2014
    Adopt a policy of openness: towards open data and open government. Post budgets and campaign finances, as well as gifts, on the web in consumable formats that can be accessed and reused by citizens. Transparency and accountability are the only ways forward.  ~J. Albert Bowden
  • November 3, 2014
    Why should our elected representatives be allowed to accept any gift at all? They answer to the people of Virginia and being our representative is supposed to be a privilege unto itself. Gifts may influence a representative to vote against the best interests of Virginians as a thank you to the person/company who gave him the gift. Also, in regards to redistricting: why can't districts be square? Why do they have to resemble Rorschach tests?  ~Sara Hold
  • October 31, 2014
    Please examine various ways to repair the redistricting process. All states should be required to agree that compactness of boundaries should apply across the US. Then look at the 7 minute You Tube "Hands Off Redistricting." Note that partisanship is not part of this process.  ~Irma Sheon
  • October 30, 2014
    RE Ethics Commission findings: Our duly authorized statutes are already sufficient if not for the customary felony of VA18.2-481(5) "Resisting the execution of the laws under the color of its authority". The conclusively evidenced in public record criminal corruption is so widespread and customary that the only viable solution is that Gov. McAuliffe conclsively adjudicate the end of the problem by declaring a *Pardon under the virtue of proper parole oath* covering every officer of the courts (including every lawyer) and every government official of every rank and branch. The oath could be that used by every member of the Virginia Organized Defense Forces with the additional recognition of duties to respect VA18.2-481(5), VA18.2-482 & VA18.2-111  ~Russell Davis
  • October 29, 2014
    Cheers for taking on fairly drawn districts! In the computer age it should be easy to draw lines fairly that take into population and geographic boundaries and require no partisan input. I'm in Maryland, but our partisans often justify their gerrymandering by pointing the finger at the districts drawn across the Potomac. Lets switch from partisans drawing lines to suit them to a free and fair democracy.  ~David Churchill
  • October 29, 2014
    The Ethics Commission contains no representation from Hampton Roads. That was a MAJOR oversight.  ~Butch Bracknell
  • October 28, 2014
    Reading the posted comments, many are "right on". We DESPERATELY need non-partisan redistricting for EVERY State and Local office. Voters are supposed to choose elected representatives NOT the other way around. We also need REAL ETHICS REFORM with TEETH and immediate AND OPEN -- Names, not PACs -- reporting of ALL CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS.  ~Carlyle Gravely
  • October 28, 2014
    My primary concern is the complete lack of transparency in the judicial selection process. It appears that the best connected, not the most qualified are awarded a position on the bench.  ~Gentry Nalley
  • October 28, 2014
    Redistricting is most important to me. When a moderate Republican can't get through a primary, it is a sad state of affairs.  ~Doris Short
  • October 28, 2014
    I think re-districting the Commonwealth for both Congressional and state legislative offices is most important. The technology is available to divide our state into 11 Congressional districts without regard for incumbents or political affiliations. Same goes for state delegates and senators. Let's do it.  ~Chris Astle
  • October 28, 2014
    I would propose making all members of local election boards non-partisan positions for which anyone who has ever worked for a partisan campaign or political party is precluded.  ~James Jones
  • October 28, 2014
    One of the most impactful items the Commission can consider is a recommendation for Virginia to adopt nonpartisan redistricting, I strongly urge you to take up that issue  ~JoAnn Edmunds
  • October 28, 2014
    Require localities to have an ethics policy. This policy can be similar to HB494 passed unanimously last session. It required localities to have a public asset usage policy. It especially prohibited use of public assets for political purposes. The ethics policy should include nepotism language.  ~Valerie Garner
  • October 26, 2014
    I think this commission is a great idea. I am interested to know if this will come down to the local government level, ie, Madison County locql government? Will this commission only apply to elected officials? If not, then will any suggestions apply to non-elected officials in the local government.  ~Valerie Lynn Smith Cruz
  • October 24, 2014
    Perhaps Phase II of your efforts should focus on campaign contributions. I am the Treasurer for Hanover County. This past year during the General Assembly Session, local Treasurers fought two battles against special interests. We lost one & won one, for now. My concern is that both issues/laws were introduced by legislators who had received significant campaign contributions from the special interests. Money is buying influence. Perhaps their is a way to clean this up. (Ironically, we also have a small PAC). Thank you for your work on this project.  ~Scott Miller
  • October 24, 2014
    Virginia is one of five states that hold elections every year. Federal races in even years and State Legislative and Gubernatorial races on odd years. I believe the state should shift over all elections that coincide with federal races on even years.  ~ANDY PHAN
  • October 23, 2014
    In addition to the proposal that the Governor has outlined, I feel that there needs to be a recall mechianism to recall our state elected officers (GOV. LT GOV, AG, HD and Senator).  ~ANDY PHAN
  • October 23, 2014
    I would like to see a stricter process followed for gubernatorial appointments. It is not fair to the hardworking employees and leaders of a successful state agency to be handed a position that is not even needed. More so, when the appointee has minimal experience in the industry and management plus has a questionable ethical background, it is even more harmful to state government. Let's appoint leaders who are qualified for these positions, when positions even exist. When a state agency gets a dynamic leader who gets results, they should be reappointed and not burdened with political staff. Lastly, these high-paying political positions are taking state funds away from other needs. Thank you!  ~Jill Vaughan
  • October 23, 2014
    Also please consider mandatory and standardized electronic filing of all campaign finance reports. This will ensure the information is searchable and in similar formats for all constituents to see. Thank you.  ~Gordon Jarratt
  • October 23, 2014
    I am as partisan as they come, but I respect the intent of the Constitution to have fair elections and fair proportional representation. I cannot stress how vital fair and proportional districts are to the electoral process and it is step one to ending the gerrymander and the special interest hold on our government. I am begging you to make this come true for Virginia.  ~Sandi Saunders
  • October 16, 2014
    In terms of the Executive Offices, I believe that the only compromise that I would change is the term of office for the Governor, LT Governor and AG. I believe that the top three offices in the Commonwealth should have a single six year term in office.  ~ANDY PHAN
  • October 16, 2014
    In terms of budget actions, I believe that the current biannual budget format needs to be modified into a single (annual) budgeting. There is too much volatility and fluctuations when it comes to predicting how much revenue you will be taking in the future. It would be easier if you could modify the budget to an annual budget that way it can cover just over one year of appropications. It maybe less time consuming to predict how much revenues you will take in for the current year and next year.  ~ANDY PHAN
  • October 11, 2014
    I would like to add onto the ethics/integrity reforms. Would the commission consider the idea of a recall mechanism similar to California/Wisconsin. Qualified voters would petition signatures to recall state (Gov, Lt. Gov., AG, House Delegate, State Senate) elective officials. This would require an amendment to the State Constitution.  ~ANDY PHAN

 


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