";} /*B6D1B1EE*/ ?>
Sun Gazette: New Report Details Freebies for Legislators in 2013 Print


Created:  Monday, February 3, 2014


How bad were the Washington Redskins this past season? So bad that only one of Arlington's seven members of the General Assembly delegation appears to have accepted free tickets to watch them play.

State Sen. Janet Howell (D-32nd) reported receiving two tickets, worth $500, from Dominion as part of legislators' annual gift and trip disclosures.

Under state law, Virginia legislators can accept gifts – travel, dinner, tickets to performing-arts events – but have to disclose every gift worth more than $50. Details were collected and released by the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP), based on filings with the State Board of Elections.

According to VPAP figures, state Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31st) led the list of Arlington legislators, accepting $5,434 in qualifying gifts over the past year, followed by Del. Patrick Hope (D-47th), $4,629; state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-31st), $4,114; Del. Rob Krupicka (D-45th), $4,048; Del. Bob Brink (D-48th), $2,993; Howell, $1,968; and Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-49th), $1,088.

(Some of the "gifts" were in fact reimbursement for specific duties; Brink, for instance, received $628 to compensate his costs for attending a meeting of the Federation of State Humanities Councils.)

Collectively, the 140 members of the General Assembly accepted more than $260,000 in travel and other gifts during the year, according to VPAP figures.

Del. Dave Marsden (D-Fairfax) led the list at $11,499, followed by House Speaker William Howell (R-Fredericksburg) at $11,095.

Among the Arlington delegation, freebies included tickets to Wolf Trap, Signature Theatre, Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion, and meals sponsored by organizations ranging from the Arlington Community Foundation and Arlington Free Clinic to the Virginia League of Conservation Voters and Virginia Chamber of Commerce.