Gov. Tim Kaine defies Freedom of Information Act Request for travel records and information about who is footing the bill for his trips

From the Roanoke Times:

When Gov. Tim Kaine started moonlighting as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, he promised his night job would not hinder his day job in Richmond. He should prove it by releasing travel records and information about who is footing the bill for his trips.

Last week, the Virginia Republican Party filed a Freedom of Information Act request for those records.

The administration indicated it probably would deny the request, citing two reasons.

First, when it comes to taxpayer-funded security, officials claim that revealing details could endanger the governor.

Security concerns might be convincing if this were not the first time the administration has raised them regarding the governor's travel schedule. When he headed overseas on trade missions in the past, the governor's team trumpeted his itinerary in press releases.

The case for withholding his DNC travel records is legally stronger. When Kaine hits the road for the party, he is not acting as governor but as a private citizen. FOIA does not cover that. The DNC and its donors pay for the travel, not taxpayers.

Nevertheless, the governor has a duty to Virginians beyond just the letter of FOIA. The only way the public can verify that his moonlighting has not interfered with his gubernatorial responsibilities is if it knows where and when he traveled and on whose dime. If big Democratic donors who have business before state agencies have provided free flights, people ought to know. . . .

See also Hotline's article on this issue.



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