McDonnell backs full disclosure for campaign contributors
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said Tuesday that he supports full disclosure for campaign donors, a position that seemingly puts him at odds with some close allies currently running groups raising millions in undisclosed donations at the national level.
McDonnell's former campaign chairman Ed Gillespie this year helped Republican Karl Rove found American Crossroads and the affiliated group Crossroads GPS, a political action committee that's spending millions on issues ads that could help Republican candidates.
Fred Malek, a McDonnell ally currently chairing the gubernatorial Government Reform Commission in Virginia, founded a group called the Action Network, which is likewise spending millions on issues ads that could help Republicans but also does not have to disclose its donors.
Democrats have made a major push in the final days before Tuesday's election to argue that corporate interests are using such organizations to buy the election.
On Tuesday, McDonnell said he prefers the system in Virginia, which places no limits on campaign donations but requires that campaigns and political action committees regularly disclose the names of all their contributors.
"I think we do it the right way where we don't have limits on giving, but we have full disclosure on a regular basis, so that people can decide whether money played a role in a particular legislators' decision," McDonnell said on WTOP's "Ask the Governor" program. "I think that's the right approach."
The position is a consistent one for the governor. During last year's campaign, he also said he supported Virginia's campaign finance laws, which allow for unlimited giving paired with donor transparency.
In the interview, McDonnell also defended Malek's role as head of the reform group, despite his partisan activities. He said if partisan activity was a bar to gubernatorial appointment, "you'll never have any person serve in public service."
"So many of the people who serve on boards and commissions, for Republican or Democrat governors, are people who have partisan interests," he said. "They've given money to one party or the other. That's not a disqualifier.
He noted that state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D), who chairs the Democratic caucus in the state Senate, sits on the same commission.
| October 26, 2010; 4:45 PM ET
Categories: Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman
Save & Share: Previous: Obama to campaign for Perriello in tight reelection race for Congress
Next: Pr. William GOP supervisors back Cuccinelli abortion regulation opinion
Posted by: crascal | October 30, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse