Tim Kaine on Government Reform

Democratic Senate Challenger; previously Governor


Term limits for members of Congress

Q: Should there be term limits set for members of Congress?

Tim Kaine's answer: Yes, term limits will increase performance and prevent corruption

Mike Pence has not answered this question yet.

Evan McMullin's answer: Yes

Q: Should political candidates be required to release their recent tax returns to the public?

Tim Kaine has not answered this question yet.

Mike Pence has not answered this question yet.

Evan McMullin's answer: Yes

Q: Should the presidential debates include candidates with less than 15% of support in national polls?

Tim Kaine has not answered this question yet.

Mike Pence has not answered this question yet.

Evan McMullin's answer: Yes

Source: iSideWith.com analysis of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 1, 2016

No photo ID requirement for voting

Q: Should a photo ID be required to vote?

Tim Kaine's answer: No

Mike Pence's answer: Yes

Donald Trump's answer: Yes, this will prevent voter fraud

Gary Johnson's answer: No

Evan McMullin's answer: Yes

Darrell Castle's answer (Constitution Party): Yes, this will prevent voter fraud

Source: iSideWith.com analysis of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 1, 2016

Public companies should publish their political spending

Existing SEC rules have enabled public companies to keep their political spending below their shareholders' radar screen. For one, public companies can engage in political spending that does not register in any public record by channeling such expenditures through intermediaries like the US Chamber of Commerce. [There was a] political ad sponsored by the US Chamber of Commerce against Tim Kaine, who won a Senate race in Virginia.
Source: N.Y. Times, "Let Shareholders Know", on 2016 Veepstakes , Jul 23, 2016

Citizens United erodes democracy and undermines elections

The Supreme Court's ruling will allow the money of corporate interests to flood the political process, will undermine free and fair elections and further erode voters' confidence in our system of Democracy. It is a major victory for oil companies, banks, health insurance companies and other special interests that already use their power to drown out the voices of regular Americans.
Source: 2016 Veepstakes: DNC press release, "Campaign finance" , Jun 28, 2016

Citizens United encourages lobbyists to influence votes

We have seen how armies of corporate lobbyists descend on Capitol Hill to fight everything from health care and financial regulatory reform to efforts to lower energy costs and reverse the effects of global climate change. This ruling undermines the free speech rights of citizens whose views will be drowned out by wealthy corporate interests whose aim will not just be to influence which candidates get elected -- but how they vote once they are in office.
Source: 2016 Veepstakes: DNC press release, "Campaign finance" , Jun 26, 2016

Blocking Supreme Court nominees is a perversion of justice

Sen. Kaine released the following statement: "Sen. McConnell's pre-emptive statement that he will try to block any nominee of Pres. Obama to the Supreme Court--no matter how qualified--is a perversion of the very notion of justice. Surely the American public is entitled to a Senate that will examine a nominee on his or her own merits. I urge the President to nominate a successor to Justice Scalia of stellar qualification and integrity. And I urge the Senate to consider any such nominee fairly."
Source: Kaine's Senate office press release, "Supreme Court" , Feb 14, 2016

Voting Rights Advancement for marginalized groups

Sen. Kaine joined a group of colleagues to introduce the Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA), legislation that would restore and advance voting protections for all Americans. Since the Supreme Court ruling, states and localities throughout the country have passed sweeping laws that disproportionately suppress the voting rights of traditionally marginalized groups, like racial, ethnic, and language minorities, and the disabled. These laws have left voters without the protections they need to exercise their Constitutional right to vote.

"This legislation aims to reverse a troublesome trend of voter suppression and discrimination that still exists in parts of the country today," Kaine said. "By ending these discriminatory practices we can restore a fundamental right that makes up the fabric and essence of our democracy. [This act] would place greater transparency in the federal election process and ensure that the next generation of Americans will always be free to exercise their right to vote."

Source: Kaine's Senate office press release, "Voting Rights" , Jun 24, 2015

Mandate a three-part process to start war

Senator John McCain and I want a better process for the initiation of military action. The bill has three components: One: what is war? War is use of American troops in combat, for more than seven days. Two: The bill establishes a consultation committee that would be a permanent committee in Congress. The President would be required to meet with that committee to talk about hot spots in world. Three: members of Congress have to vote.
Source: Coursera Lecture #55, "Repairing War Powers" , Jan 29, 2015

Senate working on filibuster reform to speed appointments

We've already begun filibuster reform in the Senate. I think Democrats have been right to make reforms of Senate procedural rules. We were in a position where it was so hard to get appointments through, and the people's business wasn't getting done. There ought to be a prompt and certain way to get Presidential appointees on the floor and for an up or down vote for executive and judicial positions, and in the Senate, we've made reforms to advance that.
Source: Coursera Lecture #60, "Post-lecture discussion" , Jan 29, 2015

We must ban secret money from campaigns

We've gotta do something on campaign finance, and the rule should be at a minimum no secret money. Now, the prevalence of campaign funding is these 501C4 super PACs that don't have to disclose their donors. A fundamental principle is the public should be able to know who's financing campaigns.
Source: Coursera Lecture #60, "Post-lecture discussion" , Jan 29, 2015

Regulate re-districting so incumbent is not always favored

I don't think the states should be doing Congressional reapportionment in ways that basically maximize incumbent control, which is what they do now. It would still be done by state legislatures because the states have control of the districts, but we could put guidelines and a framework in place. It's an important antidote to the voters' sense that sometimes elected officials get to pick your own voters. Redistricting should be done in a way that's not about maximizing incumbent control.
Source: Coursera Lecture #60, "Post-lecture discussion" , Jan 29, 2015

Voter suppression the worst kind of political corruption

[Kaine attended an event for a candidate for a local special election; the candidate noted that] this election is all about turnout, and how he views this race as "one big voter suppression effort out of Richmond: a combination of a some election fatigue, as well as the timing, in the dead of August, is designed to keep vote turnout low."

Kaine said, "Democrats are always trying to maximize participation of people in elections, and Republicans are always trying to minimize the participation of people in elections across the country. So that's why you have an election on August instead of November, which should have been obvious. This is the worst kind of political corruption to do; doing things intentionally to try to minimize people's participation in the choice of their leaders is the worst kind of political corruption."

Source: Blue Virginia video from 48th House of Delegates campaign , Aug 17, 2014

Time to rethink Patriot Act

More than a dozen years after Congress authorized the use of military force against nations, groups or individuals involved in or aiding the perpetrators of the Sept. 11, attacks, Sen. Tim Kaine said it's time to rethink that declaration. "The Bush and the Obama administrations have said, 'If a group pops up that affiliates with al-Qaida, even if they had nothing to do with 9/11... this authorization," Kaine said. Kaine said new scrutiny would likely lead to reconsiderations of the Patriot Act.
Source: Kaine's Senate office website, during 2016 Veepstakes , Jan 27, 2014

For making public companies publish their political spending

Existing SEC rules have enabled public companies to keep their political spending below their shareholders' radar screen. For one, public companies can engage in political spending that does not register in any public record by channeling such expenditures through intermediaries like the US Chamber of Commerce. [There was a] political ad sponsored by the US Chamber of Commerce against Tim Kaine, who won a Senate race in Virginia.
Source: New York Times, "Letting Shareholders Know" , Dec 14, 2011

Yes to disclosing sources of secret donations

"The DISCLOSE Act would make long-overdue changes to our nation's campaign laws by bringing needed transparency to political spending," said Kaine."Allowing special interest groups to conceal their donors encourages the onslaught of false, negative advertising that Virginians are sick of seeing during political campaigns. Congress needs to step up and make reforms that shine a light on secret money."
Source: 2016 Veepstakes: Senate office press release "DISCLOSE Act" , Jan 21, 2010

Matching fund for small donors, with debate requirements.

Kaine co-sponsored Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act

Congressional Summary:Fair Elections Now Act--Amends 1971 FECA with respect to:

Statement of support for corresponding Senate bill: (Sunlight Foundation) Now we bring you the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act, a bill that should probably be the least controversial of all. S. 375 would simply require senators and Senate candidates to file their public campaign finance disclosure reports electronically with the Federal Election Commission, the way House candidates and presidential candidates have been filing for over a decade. A version of the bill has been introduced during every congress starting in 2003 (!) yet it has been blocked repeatedly, a victim of political football.

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., has introduced the most recent version, which would ensure that paper Senate campaign finance reports are a thing of the past. But even with 50 bipartisan cosponsors, the bill faces an uphill battle. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, has repeatedly prevented the bill from coming to the Senate floor. We won't be deterred--as long as McConnell continues to block the bill, we'll continue to highlight that his intransigence results in delayed disclosure of vital, public campaign finance information, not to mention wasting $500,000 in taxpayer money annually. Eventually, we'll win.

Source: S375/H.R.269 14_S375 on Feb 25, 2013

Public financing of federal campaigns by voter vouchers.

Kaine co-sponsored H.R.20 & S.366

Congressional Summary:<

Supporters reasons for voting YEA:Rep. Sarbanes: Big money warps Congress' priorities and erodes the public's trust in government. This bold new legislation returns voice and power back to the American people:

  1. Empower everyday citizens to fuel Congressional campaigns by providing a My Voice Tax Credit.
  2. Amplify the voices of everyday Americans through a 6-to-1 match.
  3. Prevent Super PACs from drowning out small donor-backed candidates.

Opponents reasons for voting NAY:(Bill Moyers, Feb. 19, 2015): This citizen engagement strategy, particularly when used to court small donors, is not without its critics. Small donors, at least in the current system, often tend to be political ideologues. That trend leaves many asking: won't moving to small donors just empower extremists? Sarbanes counters, if Congress changes the political fundraising rules, they will also change the calculus for "the rational small donor who right now isn't going to give $25 because they've figured out that it's not going to matter." The prospect of a 6-to-1 match might very well impact how those less ideologically extreme potential donors think about political giving.

Source: Government By the People Act 15_S366 on Feb 4, 2015

Other candidates on Government Reform: Tim Kaine on other issues:
VA Gubernatorial:
Bob McDonnell
Frank Wagner
Ken Cuccinelli
Robert Sarvis
Terry McAuliffe
Tom Perriello
VA Senatorial:
Corey Stewart
Ed Gillespie
Nick Freitas
Robert Sarvis

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