Sen. Kaine wants Gov. McAuliffe, state lawmakers to ‘look in the mirror’ and make ‘dramatic change’ after scandals

Posted at 9:27 AM, Oct 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-24 13:16:24-04
An earlier version of this article misquoted Sen. Kaine. This article has been revised to correct “Virginia’s officials” to “Virginian’s ethics rules.”  

RICHMOND, Va. — Sen. Tim Kaine (D – Virginia) is calling for ethics reform in Virginia in light of a series of recent political scandals, including the one surrounding the resignation of former state senator Phillip P. Puckett.

“It’s just very unfortunate. We’ve now had since I left as governor, we had three what I would call high profile challenges,” Kaine said when asked about the Puckett scandal in a brief interview with VCU’s “iPadJournos” project after an appearance at the Public Square event of the Richmond Times-Dispatch earlier this week.

Kaine referred to the conviction of former Del. Phil Hamilton, the conviction of former Gov. Bob McDonnell and the investigation into the circumstances of Puckett’s resignation this summer. Kaine called Puckett his friend.

The Puckett scandal has also found entry into the current race for the U.S. Senate, in which Republican challenger Ed Gillespie criticized Kaine’s fellow Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner, for his involvement in the matter.

“When you have these things happen in such short length, the main thing it tells me is that there has got to be a dramatic change in Virginia’s ethics rules,” Kaine said. “And I really hope that Gov. McAuliffe and the legislature look in the mirror and say we all have to have a reputation and that they embrace reform.”

In response to the conviction of McDonnell, Gov. McAuliffe established a commission last month to study and propose changes in ethics regulations in Virginia government. Initial recommendations from the commission are expected by the end of the year.

By Nicole Czaja, Brianna Graves, and John Hussar (Special to

This story was reported by the “iPadJournos” mobile and social media journalism project, a cooperation between and VCU’s Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture.