Week in Review: Duplicate voters and McAuliffe’s coffers

By Bre Payton | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau

This week, voters were found to be registered in two states, while McAuliffe’s donor’s cause controversy in light of a recent veto.

A voter-integrity group found thousands of voters who were registered in both Virginia and Maryland, and they’re just getting started.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s political action committee got a big boost from labor unions, a campaign finance report revealed.

Another campaign donation from a red-light camera manufacturer is causing a controversy in light of McAuliffe’s recent veto of a bill allowing motorists to appeal their traffic tickets from red light cameras.

This is your week in review.

Group finds duplicate voters around Virginia
A crosscheck of voter rolls in Virginia and Maryland turned up 44,000 people registered in both states, a vote-integrity group reported Wednesday. And that’s just the beginning.

Reagan George, president of the Virginia Voters Alliance, acknowledged that the number of voters who actually cast multiple ballots is relatively small. In the case of Maryland and Virginia, he revealed that 164 people voted in both states during the 2012 election.

George said his group will expand its search for duplicate voters in the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Georgia.

Unions boost McAuliffe PAC coffers
The most generous donors to McAuliffe’s new PAC come from organized labor — firefighters, specifically.

In its first-ever quarterly filing, Common Good VA raised close to half of its funds — $110,000 of roughly $250,000 — from unions. All but $10,000 of those dollars came from the International Association of Fire Fighters.

Big labor’s support for McAuliffe is nothing new. Unions donated roughly $3 million, including $150,000 from IAFF, to McAuliffe’s successful 2013 campaign for governor. After his win, the governor-elect thanked union bosses for their support with an exclusive steak dinner.

Green light for McAuliffe: Veto override fails

McAuliffe’s controversial veto of a driver-rights bill survived by one vote Wednesday. Lawmakers were poised to override the Democrat, who rejected legislation giving camera-ticketed motorists a second appeal.

Hunton & Williams, a law firm that represents Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia, a leading red-light camera company in the United States, was one of McAuliffe’s political supporters.

Red-light cameras are popular moneymakers with local officials. Watchdog.org reported the state’s largest city, Virginia Beach, netted $3.5 million through its ticket-issuing cameras in 2011.

Watchdog.org subsequently found that Virginia Beach illegally shortened the timing of its yellow lights to generate still more ticket revenue. McAuliffe asserted that HB 1040 would have clogged the courts. Yet officials say photo enforcement is already shaky.

Tax Day is over, but Virginians are still toiling to pay Uncle Sam
April 15 has passed, but Virginians still have to work a few more days to placate Uncle Sam.

Old Dominion residents must work, on average, four days longer this year than last to pay off their federal, state and local taxes. Tax Freedom Day, when your average citizen has finally earned enough to pay off that tax bill for the year, doesn’t fall until April 24 this year for Virginians.

Contact Bre Payton at bpayton@watchdog.org or follow her on Twitter @Bre_payton.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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