Virginia’s largest power company is funneling money to a Democrat-aligned political action committee to attack GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin from the right ahead of the state’s upcoming gubernatorial election.
According to an Axios report, Dominion Energy’s political action committee has “donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, a group with ties to prominent Democrats that’s been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin from the right.”
Moreover, the report notes how Dominion has provided “four cash infusions for Accountability Virginia totaling $250,000 from July through September,” with the company recalling “one $50,000 payment in August.” The amount represents the company’s largest donation to any statewide political committee in Virginia this year — despite Youngkin opponent Terry McAuliffe having sworn that he would not take contributions from Dominion.
In its bid to weaken Youngkin’s support among conservative voters in the commonwealth, the Accountability Virginia PAC has been running social media ads questioning the Republican candidate’s record on gun rights.
“While the NRA backs Donald Trump, they REFUSED to endorse Glenn Youngkin,” one of the ads says. “We can’t trust Glenn Youngkin on guns. Youngkin should tell us the truth about where he stands.”
“If we can’t trust Glenn Youngkin on guns, what can we trust him on? Youngkin should tell us the truth about where he stands,” another states.
While initially defending their donations in a statement to Axios, Dominion has seemingly backtracked, with CEO Robert Blue telling employees in an internal email obtained by The Washington Post that the company is asking that the Accountability Virginia PAC return its donations.
“Although familiar with the Accountability Virginia PAC sponsors, we failed to vet sufficiently the scope of their intended activities,” Blue said. “In as much, we have asked that our contributions be returned.”
The attacks against Youngkin come amid a closely contested gubernatorial race, which public polling has shown to be a dead heat. According to a newly released survey from the Trafalgar Group, Youngkin holds a less than 1 point lead over Democrat candidate Terry McAuliffe (48.4 to 47.5 percent), with 2.8 percent of voters still undecided. The results fall within the poll’s 2.96 percent margin of error.
Youngkin has razor thin lead in #VAGov race:
— Robert C. Cahaly (@RobertCahaly) October 15, 2021
McAuliffe and Youngkin will face off at the ballot box when Virginia voters head to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 2.
Shawn Fleetwood is an intern at The Federalist and a student at the University of Mary Washington, where he plans to major in Political Science and minor in Journalism. He also serves as a state content writer for Convention of States Action. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood