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The Democratic senator also calls on Virginia legislators to emulate federal law on gift giving to lawmakers in response to this year's ethics scandals.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine today backed President Barack Obama’s position on how America should respond to heightened violence in Egypt, and called upon Virginia lawmakers to change state law to curtail future scandals over gift giving.
Kaine spoke briefly this afternoon to a crowd of supporters in downtown Roanoke at an event announcing the opening of his newest regional office on the first floor of the Patrick Henry building.
The senator arrived to a crowd of more than 70 people, including local politicians and businesspeople from across the Roanoke Valley. His trip through the valley was preceded by stops in Harrisonburg, Waynesboro and Rockingham County.
Kaine said he was pleased to open a sixth regional office in the city’s downtown, stressing it as a way to stay in touch with constituents in the area. By the end of his first seven months in office, the senator said he had received more than 160,000 communications from people across the state.
“It’s really important to have state offices, and you have to be in Roanoke,” he said.
Kaine’s visit to Roanoke came hours after the president spoke publicly about outbursts of violence in Egypt. The former Virginia governor, who sits on the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, echoed the president’s sentiments about the situation.
“Look, there’s no easy answer,” Kaine said, “and obviously the answer isn’t ours to snap our fingers and devise. It’s for the Egyptian people to devise. But we need to use the leverage that we have to promote respect for all.”
He said he supported the president’s decision to cancel joint military exercises with Egypt next month.
When queried about the state of the Virginia gubernatorial race, Kaine said too much negative attention has been focused on the candidates, though both could communicate better with voters on how they plan to solve problems.
On the Star Scientific scandal in which Gov. Bob McDonnell has been embroiled, Kaine said state politicians should look to change the law.
“The way that something good can come out of all of this is if the legislature embraces change to Virginia law,” he said. “I think just use the federal gifts policy as a starting point — you don’t have to adopt it without a change — but use it as a starting point. It dramatically limits gifts, and if you were to do that, it would be very, very positive.”
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