Bob McDonnell noted during his 2009 gubernatorial campaign that citizens could go online to watch General Assembly debates in real time and said he wanted to bring the same transparency to the state's executive branch.
"Bob McDonnell will have legislation introduced requiring all major executive branch boards and commissions to provide live streaming video on the commonwealth's website," McDonnell's campaign wrote in a news releases that September. "Video files will be archived so that citizens can view them at their convenience."
The statement said many important decisions occur at the agency level, and Virginians "should have the opportunity to see the discussions, debates and votes made by these bodies."
Late last year, we wrote that McDonnell had not delivered on his promise to have the video-streaming bill introduced. But because, as the governor's office noted then, McDonnell still had 2013 General Assembly session to act, we rated his pledge "Stalled" and said we'd revisit it before McDonnell's term ended.
The update: McDonnell, who leaves office Jan. 11, has abandoned his pledge to seek the legislation.
Taylor Keeney, a McDonnell spokeswoman, emailed us to say there's been plenty of progress in live streaming meetings without any legislation.
"Evaluation by the governor's policy office, the technology secretariat and (the Virginia Technologies Agency) concluded that live streaming within the executive branch did not require legislation," she wrote.
The upshot is that the governor has encouraged the use of video streaming within the executive branch, has provided through VITA the technology and assistance to do so, but has left the final decisions about whether to broadcast meetings with individual boards and commissions.
We visited the websites of many major boards and commissions to get a rough idea of which ones provide video streaming, and came away with a hodgepodge of results:
.*The University of Virginia Board of Visitors video streams its meetings, but the boards at the Virginia Commonwealth University and the College of William & Mary do not.
*The Board of Education video streams its meetings.
We couldn't find any record of Alcohol Beverage Control Commission and the boards of Corrections, Elections and Medicine providing video streaming.
*The Board of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Commonwealth Transportation Board provide links to audio streams of past meetings, but not video.
The varied approaches underscore that McDonnell never sought the legislation he pledged. We rate this a Promise Broken.