The Virginia Way: Politics, Power and Profit

-- by Dave Ress in The Daily Press (Hampton Roads), November 16, 2014

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and former Newport News state Del. Phil Hamilton have one thing in common beyond felony convictions: They both sincerely believe that they did nothing wrong.

It's easy to see why. In Virginia, the line between right and wrong -- or, more correctly, between legal and illegal -- is very thin.

This eight-part series explores the many ways that Virginia lawmakers can use to benefit themselves while minding the public interest.

The research behind the series
To report The Virginia Way, the Daily Press looked at roughly 200 current and former elected officials' financial disclosure forms and campaign finance reports from the past two decades, as well as data from Freedom of Information Act requests with the clerks of the state Senate and House of Delegates...