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Updates from

Spending in 38th District Special Election

Last month’s State Senate special election in Southwest Virginia broke one spending record and likely will break a second one once all the money is counted.
1. TV/Radio Spending: The two major party candidates devoted 90% of their non-inkind spending to TV and radio ads – the highest percentage recorded in a state House or Senate contest.  

  • Republican Sen.-elect Ben Chafin spent 84%
  • Democrat Mike Hymes preliminarily reported spending 97% 
  • Independent Rick Mullins spent only $12,000, none of it on media. (A final accounting of Hymes’ and Mullins’ spending is due later this month)
Chafin-Hymes Spending
*Does not include inkind services or items
The geography of southwestern Virginia is ideal for a media-based campaign. Long distances, crooked roads and sparse population make door-to-door canvassing difficult. Located well beyond the reach of the state’s major TV markets, airtime is relatively inexpensive. The candidates bought time on 26 small TV and radio stations scattered in four states: Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
2. Total Spending: So far, the three candidates spent a total of $1.52 million, nearing the record of $1.55 million for total spending in a Senate special election. Chafin spent $775,000, according to his post-election disclosure filed last week. The post-election disclosures by Hymes and Mullins could push total spending above $1.6 million.
The current record was set in January in an Eastern Shore contest to replace Democrat Ralph Northam, who was elected Lt. Governor.


Legislators' Appointments

Fifteen of the 66 legislators who left office after January 2010 have received salaried state jobs:

Legislators Who Did Not Seek Re-Election

  • Watkins Abbitt Jr. - Board of Game and Inland Fisheries
  • Clay Athey - judicial appointment
  • Bill Cleaveland - judicial appointment
  • William Wampler - Executive Director of New College Institute
  • Kris Amundson
  • John Cox
  • Anne Crockett-Stark
  • Al Eisenberg
  • William Fralin
  • Frank Hargrove
  • Clarke Hogan
  • Joe Johnson
  • Don Merricks
  • Harvey Morgan
  • Dave Nutter
  • Albert Pollard
  • Bob Purkey
  • Lacey Putney
  • Chris Saxman
  • Jim Scott
  • Jim Shuler
  • Bob Tata
  • Patsy Ticer
  • Onzlee Ware
  • Mary Margaret Whipple

Legislators Who Resigned Mid-Term

  • Bob Brink - Deputy Commissioner for Aging Services
  • Algie Howell - Virginia Parole Board
  • Sal Iaquinto - judicial appointment
  • Matt Lohr - Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • Henry Marsh - Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control Board
  • Sam Nixon - Virginia Information Technologies Agency
  • Glenn Oder - Executive Director of the Fort Monroe Authority
  • Phil Puckett - resigned in part to clear the way for a judicial appointment for his daughter
  • Harry Blevins
  • Dave Englin
  • Tom Gear

Legislators Elected to a Higher Office

  • Ken Cuccinelli
  • Morgan Griffith
  • Mark Herring
  • Robert Hurt
  • Ralph Northam

Legislators Who Sought Another Office

  • Bill Janis
  • Steve Shannon
  • Ken Stolle

Legislators Redistricted Out of Office

  • Bud Phillips - judicial appointment
  • Fred Quayle - Virginia Parole Board
  • Paula Miller

Legislators Defeated in Re-Election

  • Margi Vanderhye - Executive Director of the Virginia Commission for the Arts
  • Robin Abbott
  • Ward Armstrong
  • Bill Barlow
  • Joe Bouchard
  • Dan Bowling
  • Chuck Caputo
  • Mark Dudenhefer
  • Jeff Frederick
  • Edd Houck
  • Bob Hull
  • Bob Mathieson
  • Joe May
  • Paul Nichols
  • David Poisson
  • Roscoe Reynolds
  • Bev Sherwood
  • Shannon Valentine
  • Mike Watson


Annual Lobbyist Disclosures

VPAP has posted annual lobbyist spending reports that cover the period from May 1, 2013, to April 30, 2014. 
Nearly 2,200 disclosure reports were filed by 882 lobbyists representing 940 companies and trade associations registered with the Secretary of the Commonwealth.


Total spending was up nearly 5% from the previous reporting year:
  • 2012-13 - $1.64 million*
  • 2013-14 - $1.72 million

* This number was adjusted for inflation



The number of entertainment event disclosures reported increased 15%:
  • 2012-13 - 804 event disclosures
  • 2013-14 - 925 event disclosures 

Note: Some events may appear in multiple entertainment event disclosures. Lobbyists can divide the cost of the same event among several clients.

Entertainment spending was down nearly 9% compared to 2012-13:

  • 2012-13 - $701,144*
  • 2013-14 - $639,739

*This number was adjusted for inflation




The number of "tangible" gifts fell sharply in 2013-14:
  • 2012-13 - 390 gifts
  • 2013-14 - 95 gifts
Caveat -- The number of gifts from 2012-13 was unusually high.

Note: There was some confusion among some lobbyists on whether something should have been reported as an entertainment expense or as a gift. Some of the items listed in gifts this year appear to have been not gifts, but entertainment and, in one case, an in-kind campaign donation.



New Independent Expenditures

VPAP has posted the latest independent expenditures. 

Virginia Progress PAC made three independent expenditures in opposition of Ed Gillespie for Senate totaling $520,647.




Ethics Bill Impact -- Seminar at Tysons

Virginia Public Access Project

What does Virginia's new ethics law mean for you?

If you're not sure, join the nonprofit Virginia Public Access Project at Tysons for a seminar designed to help government affairs professionals understand the impact of House Bill 1211.

A recent course in Richmond was sold out. Ninety-five percent of lobbyists who attended the Richmond session said they would recommend this course to others.

The course is focused on the practical impact of the law -- the new definition of "gift," more frequent registrations and disclosures, and the practical issues involved with oversight from two different agencies. There will also be a discussion of the uncertainty surrounding the law -- and the potential for additional changes over the course of the next 24 months.

The seminar will be led by VPAP Executive Director David Poole, who has nearly two decades of experience studying Virginia's disclosure laws.

Date:          September 24, 2014

Time:          8:00-10:00 a.m.

Location:   Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce -- 7900 Westpark Drive, Suite A550, Tysons Corner, VA  22102

Cost:           $150 per person (All proceeds support the nonprofit Virginia Public Access Project)

Seating is limited. Reserve your spot today.


Note: VPAP is seeking CLE certification from the Virginia Bar for this course. We'll keep you posted once the Virginia Bar acts on the application.

Payments can be made online (select "VPAP General Fund" and "Make a one-time donation") or by mailing a check made out to "Virginia Public Access Project" to PO Box 1472, Richmond, VA 23218.

Questions? Contact Katy Johnstone Hurtz at 804-353-4300 or

VPAP expresses its deep appreciation for its host partner:

Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce


$10K+ Donations to PACs

Here are large donations that PACs recently reported to the State Board of Elections:

Common Good Virginia
  • $25,000 from Genentech
  • $25,000 from Cheniere Energy Shared Services
Catalist Virginia
  • $20,000 from Catalist, LLC
House Democratic Caucus
  • $10,000 from Commonwealth Victory Fund


State law requires non-candidate political committees to report any single donation of $10,000 or more within three business days.


New Lobbyist Registrations

The nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project has posted 68 lobbyist registrations received from the Secretary of the Commonwealth since August 1. The latest batch contained the following:



VPAP will continue to provide updates as the SOC makes the information available.