Many states limit the amount that an individual can directly give to a campaign. Maryland’s cap is $4,000, although it will increase to $6,000 in October under the Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2013.The District does not allow individuals to give more than $2,000 to candidates for mayor.
In an interview last week, Walker rejected any suggestion that he or McAuliffe’s campaign had done anything improper. Walker pointed out that he frequently donates to the campaigns of democrats, and that the group of alumni are willing to work with either party. Walker said that the other advocates, not all of whom are wealthy, have used passion and not money to make their point — and they have yet to see the results they want.
Josh Schwerin, a spokesman for McAuliffe, said in a statement that the candidate has met with a wide range of university and college stakeholders, including presidents, to discuss his higher education policy. The platforms on the campaign Web site would apply to all public institutions, not just U-Va.
“Our policy to reform the Board of Visitors appointment process is a commonsense proposal to incorporate college and university communities into the decision making process and take politics out of the equation,” Schwerin wrote. “[W]e would never let campaign contributions impact policy proposals.”
The U-Va. alumni group plans to reach out to Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate. Walker wrote in the July 23 e-mail that U-Va. board member John L. Nau III, a beer distributor from Texas, had “indicated that he is willing to coordinate a discussion with Ken Cuccinelli.”
Nau donated $37,500 to Cuccinelli’s campaign this year, including donations of $12,500 in March and $25,000 in June. Nau has yet to respond to an e-mail requesting comment.
The Cuccinelli campaign said Tuesday that it has not communicated with or met with the alumni involved with this cause — and they criticized McAuliffe for siding with U-Va. donors who have quietly advocated for the elite flagship university to have more control over selecting its governing board and increasing in-state tuition to keep up with costs.
“It appears that Terry McAuliffe is willing to sell out the families of Virginia and raise tuitions to please a bunch of rich New York donors,” said Richard T. Cullen, communications director for Cuccinelli’s campaign. “Ken Cuccinelli believes that the University of Virginia is not for sale and he will hold the line on tuition.”