As we reported last night, Democratic candidate for Attorney General Steve Shannon took $50,000 from Robin Abbott’s Law Firm and has begun a relentless attack on Republican Delegate Phil Hamilton, Abbott’s opponent. The ethics questions in this matter are obvious.
Steve Shannon put out a press release titled Accountability in Government. Keeping in mind that Steve Shannon is a member of the House of Delegates, he would also be subject to the same laws and ethics code to which he holds fellow Delegate Phil Hamilton. And taking $50,000 from Hamilton’s opponent could definitely be seen as causing “a reasonable person to question the legislator’s impartiality in the matter affecting the donor.”
Shannon quotes the Virginia Code in his press release. Perhaps Shannon should also take a look at his actions to determine his own compliance with the Statutes:
§ 30-103 – 10.
Accept a gift from a person who has interests that may be substantially affected by the performance of the legislator’s official duties under circumstances where the timing and nature of the gift would cause a reasonable person to question the legislator’s impartiality in the matter affecting the donor. Violations of this subdivision shall not be subject to criminal law penalties; or
As a matter of fact, all three of the Democrats running for State office, Candidate for Governor and current Senator Creigh Deeds, Candidate for Lt. Governor and current Treasurer Jody Wagner as well as Shannon are all in potential violation of the ethics code, as they all accepted money. (Note – Section 2.2-3103 – 8 would be applicable to Wagner.)
Will Steve Shannon call for an ethics investigation into his and his ticket mate’s possible ethics violation for accepting a combined amount of over $122,000 and then attacking Phil Hamilton?
Somehow I have to believe Steve Shannon’s indignation at ethics violations extends only to Republicans.