A Plug for VPAP – Tracking Money in Charlottesville and Albemarle Elections

All real estate is local – $84,014 in Albemarle County and $9,150 in Charlottesville City .

The Charlottesville City Council and Albemarle County Board of Supervisors races are going to be interesting this year. Take note: local politics matter.

What’s VPAP?

The Virginia Public Access Project is a non profit group that demonstrates how technology can improve public understanding of money’s role in Virginia politics.

VPAP was formed to address a long-standing problem with Virginia’s system of financing state and local election campaigns. Virginia imposes no limits on campaign contributions. The sky is the limit, as long as candidates file reports that identify donors who give more than $100. For decades, however, the public had no practical way to view — much less analyze — the paper disclosure reports on file at the State Board of Elections and local voter registrars.

Albemarle County on VPAP

City of Charlottesville on VPAP

If you don’t think local politics matter, read this story in yesterday’s Daily Progress about the proposed ramp at Best Buy … you have City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County and VDOT folks discussing a transportation project that will affect how many of us get around.

Heck, John Grisham is mighty involved in local politics, having given $20k to local candidates over the past two years. So are Realtors. One gentleman has given over $600k in the past two years to Republicans across Virginia.

Note: The awesome Charlottesville Tomorrow donates to VPAP to keep our local election data there and transparent.

Disclosures:

I will be sitting on the local Realtors’ candidate funding task force this year in which we choose to fund and I have donated very small amounts to VPAP over the years. In fact, you too can donate to VPAP.


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3 Comments

  1. Barbara Hutchinson September 7, 2011 at 02:18

    I am embarrassed to say I didn’t know about VPAP.  Information is fascinating, thanks for sharing this.

    Reply
    1. Jim Duncan September 7, 2011 at 12:45

      Then I’ll go ahead and consider this post a success!

      Reply
  2. Politics Matters September 29, 2011 at 18:01

    Like the opening of the article says, politics does matter! More Virginia political figures, including Mayor Dave Norris, appear on the locally-produced Charlottesville politics interview program Politics Matters with host Jan Madeleine Paynter: http://bit.ly/polmatters. The interview can be found in the Program Library. The current program features Bob Gibson, Executive Director of the UVA Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, discussing journalism and the media.

    Reply

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