Transparency News 11/26/18



November 26, 2018


You can smile on VCOG when you shop on Amazon. Click here!


state & local news/editorial


A federal judge has dismissed the Daily Press from a lawsuit by the former head of Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport that claims he was defamed in stories about an investigation into the airport's financial practices. Former airport Executive Director Ken Spirito had asserted that the stories, which reported on his shredding of documents amid the investigation, were based on "unfounded innuendo" and ruined his career. On Wednesday, Senior U.S. District Judge Henry Coke Morgan Jr. agreed with Daily Press attorneys that the newspaper is protected by fair reporting privilege and that Spirito did not adequately prove the paper acted with "actual malice," a requisite in such defamation cases.
Daily Press

Virginia typically has trod lightly in offering incentives to lure incoming companies; the commonwealth has such a good business reputation, usually it hasn’t needed to provide costly inducements. Plus, Virginia has a recent history of some spectacular failures when it has given away benefits; Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration was particularly noted for making bad deals with state incentive money. And so the magnitude of the giveaways to entice Amazon to Northern Virginia is especially staggering. One of those enticements isn’t even monetary: It’s a deal that dishonors Virginians’ right to know what their government is up to, by giving behemoth Amazon advance notice if anyone files a Freedom of Information request seeking to find out more about the agreement. Considering past mistakes made with Virginia incentive money, it’s especially important for citizens or watchdogs to keep an eye on the agreement and its implementation.
The Daily Progress