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Notebook: Virginia Beach GOP backs candidates in nonpartisan local races; Wagner has fundraising edge in mayor’s race

Ed. — From the Sunday, Sept. 20, print edition. THE INDEPENDENT NEWS VIRGINIA BEACH — The Republican Party of Virginia Beach recently endorsed a number of candidates in nonpartisan local races on the general election ballot this year.  The endorsed candidates… Continue Reading

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Elections: Education group that made endorsements in Virginia Beach fined for failing to file as PAC, late campaign finance report

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH –  State elections officials have fined a nonprofit organization based in Virginia Beach that made a series of surprise endorsements on Election Day for failing to file as a political action committee last year. State… Continue Reading

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Political Notebook: Dem prez primary absentee voting; fines for late reports by VB pols; School Board candidate bows out

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS Absentee voting for Virginia’s Tuesday, March 3, Democratic Party presidential primary is underway in Virginia Beach — and voting opportunities will expand in the coming month. More on that in a moment. First, a word about a… Continue Reading

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Stolle letter: Virginia Beach nonprofit group that endorsed pols on Election Day may have violated state election law

Ed. — This story first appeared in the Friday, Jan. 17, print edition. BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH — A letter by Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney Colin Stolle says a group formed by a member of the School Board may have violated… Continue Reading

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Missed reports add up to huge penalties for short-lived campaign that raised, but never spent, only $200

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH – Kerry Reynolds decided to run for the Lynnhaven District seat on the Virginia Beach City Council last year.  Reynolds, a city employee, had a straightforward goal.  “Do some good things,” he said.  But that… Continue Reading

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Sandbridge businesses help fund challenger in race to represent Princess Anne District on Virginia Beach City Council

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE SANDBRIDGE – Big real estate names in this rental-driven residential resort are backing up opposition to City Councilmember Barbara Henley with campaign contributions to one of the incumbent’s challengers, campaign finance records show. Recent donations to the… Continue Reading

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Campaign finance: Politicians report political action committee help, but may not need to disclose when the candidate controls the PAC

THE ISSUE: Candidates helped by political action committees they control apparently do not need to disclose the PAC spending as in kind contributions, according to guidance provided to a state senator’s campaign. Campaigns must report other PAC assistance in disclosure reports… Continue Reading

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Editorial: After secrecy in light rail fight, greater transparency is needed in Virginia’s campaign finance law

POSITION: A bill to end an exemption for some nonprofits seeking to influence referenda could mean our public policy and spending choices will be made by better-informed citizens. It deserves support in Richmond. Every Virginian should know who is paying to influence… Continue Reading

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DeSteph bill would end exemption for nonprofit advocacy that kept voters in the dark during light rail referendum

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH – State Sen. Bill DeSteph, R-8th District, has introduced a bill to change language in Virginia law that can let some nonprofit groups shield the identities of financial backers and the extent of their spending to… Continue Reading

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Nonprofit light rail advocacy group named 2012 donors, but takes a different approach in 2016

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE – Virginia Beach Connex, a campaign seeking “yes” votes in the November light rail referendum, is part of  the nonprofit Light Rail Now, Inc., which was also active during the 2012 referendum about the Tide’s future… Continue Reading