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McDonnell still mulling options on release of schedule

Rosalind Helderman

As Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Commerce Secretary appointee Bob Sledd travel to Martinsville and Danville today, a release indicated that either McDonnell or Bolling plan to visit the economically-depressed Southside region of the state at least every 30 days.

The promise is a smart way to demonstrate that the new administration is focused on the problems of that part of the state. It also has got us thinking about the new governor's schedule.

After all, McDonnell has pledged to release his full schedule after he takes office, including his political activities -- which would make his promise on Southside easy for reporters and local residents to track.

McDonnell made his pledge at a time when Republicans were pushing Gov. Kaine to provide a fuller accounting of how he was splitting his time between gubernatorial duties and his job as head of the national Democratic committee. Gov. Tim Kaine decided this summer to put out a calendar at the end of each month that shows where he had spent each day of that month. The release is on top of a release, each week, of a schedule of Kaine's public appearances.

Kaine's office always maintained that the state's public information laws did not require the list's release, but that he decided to put it out voluntarily because of his role as DNC chair.

So will McDonnell continue to release the list of his travels, even though he plays no similar role on the national scene? And, given McDonnell's pledge to make government make more transparent than it has been under his Democratic predecessor, might he go a step further and release his full schedule weekly?

Tucker Martin, a spokesman for McDonnell, said the governor is still looking at his options but wants to be open with the public.

Or, as he put it in an e-mail: "The Governor-elect is committed to transparency in the incoming administration. We will release a weekly public schedule and are currently determining other means by which we can ensure that the public is kept fully informed of the Governor's public schedule and events."

By Rosalind Helderman  |  December 16, 2009; 11:28 AM ET
Categories:  Bill Bolling , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Say one thing, do another when you get elected - things wont change under Bob. And Roz, really, he wont have the national profile of Tim Kaine? Bob McDonnell is the next big thing in the Republican Party and Republicans all over the country are going to want a piece of him. The press needs to make as big of a stink about his schedule as they did about Governor Kaines and should at a minimum get the same detail as they did about the outgoing Governors.

Posted by: notjoeabbey | December 16, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

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