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Squaring ethics reform in Va. with FOIA crackdowns

Sunday - 7/14/2013, 11:30am  ET

AP Political Writer

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Virginia lawmakers can't seem to embrace ethics and financial disclosure reform fast enough since troubling questions about unreported gifts to Gov. Bob McDonnell triggered federal and state criminal investigations.

Transparency didn't seem much of a concern in January and February. That's when lawmakers exempted emails written and sent on state accounts by themselves and their staffs from the state's Freedom of Information Act.

They also exempted some records regarding disaster preparedness and exempted a new Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority from FOIA's provisions.

Every year, Virginia's elected representatives try -- and usually succeed -- in cloaking more information about what they do and how government does the public's business from the people who elected them.

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