Fewer than half of the 140 General Assembly members reported accepting meals, gala tickets or other gifts valued at more than $50 in the last eight months of 2016.
VPAP's has produced a data visualization showing a stark difference in the way Republicans and Democrats approach gifts. It also shows the downward trend in gifts reported since 2013, when Gov. Bob McDonnell was named in a gifts scandal. The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned McDonnell's public corruption conviction, but the value of gifts reported continues to fall.
VPAP makes it easy to access the gifts, which are now online at the Virginia Ethics Council.
In addition, legislators are required to disclose "Payments for talks, meeting and publications" that exceeded $200. These include some dinners, entertainment and travel that legislators do not report as "gifts" because these events helped educate them about issues or enhanced their knowlege and skills as a legislator.
Note: The new disclosure forms direct legislators NOT to list paid conferences approved and paid for by the House or Senate. However, some legislators continued to disclose taxpayed-funded conferences. Some listed here may have been funded by taxpayers, not by groups.
March 8, 2017
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