Richmond, VA – In case you missed it, yesterday Delegate Marcus Simon announced that the Democratic Party of Virginia will submit two FOIA requests regarding Governor Youngkin’s out-of-state travels.
The first FOIA request is to the Office of the Governor seeking documents related to Governor Youngkin’s past travel/advance logs itineraries, all contracts, invoices related to any private security services and/or Virginia State Police services provided to Governor Glenn Youngkin outside of the public office.
The second FOIA request is to the Virginia State Police seeking documents related to all contracts, and invoices related to any private security services and/or Virginia State Police services provided to Governor Glenn Youngkin outside of the public office.
WHAT VIRGINIANS ARE READING:
The Democratic Party of Virginia on Thursday said it plans to file public record requests designed to shed light on Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s travels. A spokesperson for the governor said he pays for his own political travel and dismissed the inquiry as a “baseless partisan attack.”
At a press conference Thursday, Del. Marcus Simon (D-Fairfax) accused Youngkin of hiding information and said Virginians deserve to know about his whereabouts amid speculation he’ll run for president in 2024.
“I think Virginians really want to know, did we elect the governor or did we just put somebody on the next step … on his own political ladder,” Simon said.
From Wyoming to Michigan, media reports indicate Youngkin spent time this summer fundraising and campaigning for Republicans. He’s reportedly making more stops to stump for candidates in New Mexico, Maine, Nevada and Georgia, among others.
VPM News asked to see Youngkin’s calendar for three weeks in July to learn more about his activities. But his office rejected that inquiry, citing a law that shields the release of working papers of the governor.
Simon said the party will ask Youngkin’s office and Virginia State Police to see Youngkin’s travel schedule as well as invoices or contracts for security services.
Democrat Tim Kaine faced similar questions about his national travels toward the end of his term as governor, while he served as chair of the Democratic National Committee. Simon argued Youngkin’s case was “different in scope and scale,” citing what he characterized as Youngkin’s extensive travel and relatively short time in office.
“It's sort of like when Donald Trump says, ‘Well, other presidents played golf, too,’” Simon said, referencing the former president’s regular outings on the links.
Macaulay Porter, a spokesperson for the governor, claimed Virginia Democrats were using the request as a distraction from their own record in power.
“The governor donates his salary and pays for his political travel,” she said. “This is a baseless partisan attack against a governor rising in popularity for following through on his promises.”
Speaking to reporters last week, Youngkin blamed the media for the presidential chatter.
“I can't make up for the fact that the media is more interested in national issues than Virginia issues,” Youngkin said. “My focus is on the commonwealth of Virginia.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Democrats file FOIAs seeking detail on Youngkin's travels
Virginia Democrats said Thursday that they are filing two FOIA requests with the governor’s office and Virginia State Police, seeking details about Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s out-of-state travel and any potential cost to Virginia taxpayers.
This summer Youngkin has made a number of out-of-state trips to back fellow Republicans, including stops in Nebraska, Colorado and Michigan. This coming Wednesday he will appear at a Maine fundraiser for Republican Paul LePage, who is seeking to return to the governor’s office. Youngkin’s upcoming campaign stops include trips to boost GOP candidates in Georgia and Nevada.
Youngkin has said that he has not yet decided whether to run for president in 2024. He has downplayed his out-of-state travel, saying reporters are more interested in discussing it than he is, but he has not dismissed the speculation.
“Virginians deserve full transparency on how Governor Youngkin is spending his time and how he’s spending our money,” Del. Marcus Simon, D-Fairfax, said on a Zoom call with reporters on Thursday.
“It’s very clear that Governor Youngkin is putting his personal political aspirations ahead of his duties as governor.”
“The Governor donates his salary and pays for his political travel. This is a baseless partisan attack against a Governor rising in popularity for following through on his promises.”
Simon, asked about Kaine’s political travel as governor, asserted a difference of “scale and scope.”
“That’s sort of like when Donald Trump says, ‘Well, other presidents play golf, too,’” Simon said.
“So far Governor Youngkin has been in office for less than a year. ... He’s already scheduled all of these out-of-state trips and he’s got more to go — and, frankly, there’s no sign that any of this is going to abate after the election.
“If he’s up to what we all think he’s up to, this is just the beginning of his travels. ...
“I think Virginians really want to know: Did we elect a governor or did we just put somebody on the next step on his own political ladder?”