Squaring reform with Virginia FOIA curbs

From The News Leader:  Virginia lawmakers, elected leaders and those trying to get elected can’t seem to embrace ethics and financial disclosure reform for public officials fast enough since troubling questions about unreported gifts to Gov. Bob McDonnell triggered federal and state criminal investigations.

According to news reports the past three months, Virginia’s first family has received more than $140,000 worth of personal largesse courtesy of a deep-pockets political donor who heads a nutritional supplements company now the target of a federal securities probe and the subject of shareholder lawsuits.

And while McDonnell offers vague support for expanding the scope of Virginia’s financial disclosure laws for public officials that are ranked consistently among the nation’s poorest, he refuses to go beyond the letter of the law and detail gifts that The Washington Post and others have reported he received from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams.