I think it’s fair to say that “safe VP choice” Virginia Senator Tim Kaine is now officially off the Clinton list.
Sen. Tim Kaine legally accepted more than $162,000 in gifts when he served as lieutenant governor and governor of Virginia..
The disclosures have been publicly available for years, but they could be under some scrutiny now, since Kaine has been floated as a possible vice presidential pick for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Virginia Democrat disclosed the gifts from 2001 to 2009, according to reports filed by the Virginia Public Access Project, which Politico reported.
Most of the gifts were for travel to and from political conferences and events. Accepting gifts is legal under Virginia’s lax ethics rules, and Kaine’s aides pointed out there was no suggestion of official favors in return, and he has exceeded the reporting requirements.
“During his eight years as lieutenant governor and governor, Sen. Kaine went beyond the requirements of Virginia law, even publicly disclosing gifts of value beneath the reporting threshold,” a spokesperson told Politico. “He’s confident that he met both the letter and the spirit of Virginia’s ethical standards.”
Dude, Virginia has no ethical standards, so that’s not really saying very much. Given that Hillary taking money for speeches and to fund the Clinton Foundation are among the key attack lines of the right wing noise machine, the last thing she needs is a running mate who has had his hand out for money and gifts as an elected official.
Elizabeth Warren, please. And if not her, then Sherrod Brown, Ohio Senate seat be damned. Yes, I know I’ve changed my mind on Warren, but good lord, the woman can fire up a crowd and swing a 2×4 with the best of them.