Let the Sun Shine in: Kudos to Kilgore

“Open government” is one of those things that only journalists and policy wonks seem to get exercised about, but I consider myself a bit of both, so I find the latest news from the Kilgore camp eminently praiseworthy. “The people of Virginia are the owners of Virginia’s government, and they deserve a government that is open, honest and accountable,” stated the Kilgore campaign in its latest e-mail salvo.

Kilgore offers some solid ideas. His nine-plank program includes the following:

  • Provide on-line access to Statement of Economic Interests forms filed by executive branch officers and employees, members of the General Assembly and candidates for state office;
  • Revise the Statement of Economic Interests form to more accurately reflect assets and interests held by public officials;
  • Require each executive branch agency to designate an Ethics Compliance Officer;
  • Enhance disclosure of compensation received by legislators from a publicly regulated business regulated by the State Corporation Commission.


There’s more, although the Kilgore campaign does not appear to have posted its summary of the plan on its website yet. Full disclosure is the antidote to conflicts of interest and questionable ethics in government, not more restrictions on contributions or the movement of people in and out of government. Kilgore got this one right.

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  1. Yeah, not bad. Has Kaine come out with ANY policy proposals, other than the property tax plan? Maybe it’s early…

  2. Becky Dale Avatar
    Becky Dale

    Great ideas for more transparency. Let’s hope Kaine will propose some too. Maybe Kaine and Kilgore (and Potts and Fitch) can get into a bidding war over better ideas for open government! That might be more productive than this one over real estate taxes. I’d like to put a plug in for doing something about the cost of copies. No agency should be charging more than 5 cents a page; even that is more than actual cost. At the very least, agencies should do some research to justify the costs they charge and should lay out their breakdowns in coming up with their charges.

  3. Becky Dale Avatar
    Becky Dale

    One more thing: anytime a report is posted on a website, it’s easy for citizens to access it and it’s easy for the agency to provide it. We should do more to encourage documents being posted on websites.

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