To the Editor:
Delegate Comstock laid out a clear plan for ethics reforms at the McLean Citizen’s Association debate. Delegate Comstock pointed out that currently there are no substantial punishments or penalties for breaking an ethics law. In order to change the behavior of certain politicians, on both sides of the aisle, laws need to be in place to hold candidates that misuse campaign money accountable with financial or personal penalties.
Delegate Comstock’s opponent, Kathleen Murphy, wanted to add new rules and regulations, further complicating an already unclear and tangled process of disclosure. The problem is that making new regulations makes new loopholes, and no punishments. Delegate Comstock suggested that we must look at not allowing politicians convicted of felonies to receive retirement pensions and requiring the pre-clearance of trips and events as well as requiring the disclosure of family gifts. New regulations would have no effect, but penalties would. Just like real life, decisions have consequences; let’s hold everyone accountable.
Delegate Comstock brought to light that Murphy herself is delinquent on her taxes, not just here in Virginia but in numerous other states. How is she able to run for public office while owing taxes, which would in turn pay for her tax-funded job? When asked about the taxes she just awkwardly smiled neither denying nor confirming and the moderator said, “we will move on.”
A number of candidates at the debate, representing multiple political parties, all called for the ethics regulations to be clearer so the people of Virginia can understand the rules that their elected officials are expected to follow. Delegate Comstock agreed with the other candidates, with the addition of the suggestion to increase punishments for breaking ethics regulations, I believe that we can make Virginia’s government more transparent and representative of the people starting with the re-election of Delegate Comstock. This is why I am supporting Delegate Comstock, she is honest, transparent and knows she is not above the tax code or law.