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GOP May Lodge Complaint Against Kaine

Anita Kumar

Republicans are considering lodging a complaint against Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), who they say is violating state law by raising money during next month's legislative session.

Kaine, along with Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) and Sen.-elect Mark R. Warner (D), are hosting a Virginia inaugural ball Jan. 19 at the Westin Arlington Gateway. The 45-day session begins Jan. 14.

The black-tie event, which sold-out in hours, is a fundraiser for the Virginia Democratic Party and the Arlington Democratic Party. Tickets are $200 but donors can be listed as sponsors for a $10,000 contribution.

House Majority Leader H. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem) said Kaine is violating both "the spirit and the letter of the law."

"The event is taking place during session,'' he said. "They knew or should have known that this was a violation of state law."

Republicans could file a complaint either with the State Board of Elections or the Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney's Office.

Under Virginia law, state office holders and the members of the General Assembly are barred from raising money during the regularly scheduled legislative session.

Jared Leopold, a spokesman for the state Democratic party, defended the event, saying it is a fundraiser for the state party, not for Kaine, and that all the money will be collected by Jan. 7, the week before session starts.

Leopold said the Republicans should be ashamed of themselves for investing energy in criticizing the governor rather than trying to solve the state's transportation and budget problems.

Republicans also complain about the state Democratic Party's annual Jefferson Jackson Day dinner, which is usually held in February and is attended by Kaine and legislators.

Del. Jeffrey Frederick (R-Prince William), chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, said if Democrats want to fundraise during session then the General Assembly should vote to change the law.

By Anita Kumar  |  December 29, 2008; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2009 , James Webb , Mark Warner , Timothy M. Kaine  
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