A New Low: Sleazy Attempt to Get Youngkin Voters to Stay Home

by Kerry Dougherty

There are all sorts of slimy political campaigns. There are campaigns that try to scare folks into voting against a candidate. There are campaigns built on distortions and outright lies.

Perhaps the most repulsive campaigns are those that engage in subterfuge to try to discourage citizens from voting.

Voter suppression is profoundly undemocratic. Surely we can all agree about that.

Yet we learned this week that Dominion Power gave generously to a shadowy PAC that has exactly one purpose: to pretend that conservatives are unhappy with Glenn Youngkin’s stand on guns in an attempt to convince rural Virginians to stay home in November.


Virginians in the west and southwestern parts of the commonwealth tend to be  enthusiastic supporters of the 2nd Amendment. So, it appears that a group of lefties formed the Accountability Virginia PAC to launch a social media and direct mail campaign using Democrats posing as conservatives to accuse Youngkin of being soft on gun rights.

They figured these voters would never go for McAuliffe, but they might be persuaded to sit out the election. Clever, I suppose, if these greasy charlatans were about to get away with it.

They didn’t, thanks to excellent reporting by Axios and The Richmond Times-Dispatch. That Axios investigative piece is headlined, “Dems Sneaky Sabotage.”

According to the TD, the PAC incorporated on July 1 and on the 28th Dominion donated $50,000. A week later, on August 4, the company gave another $50,000 and on September 15th, Dominion gave the PAC $75,000.

The TD reports there was a stop payment on the August 4th donation, but yet another Dominion cash dump of $75,000 on September 29th. The day after Axios published its investigation.

Explain THAT, Dominion.

Dominion may have given the PAC even more loot. The most recent campaign finance reporting period ended on September 30 and the company refused to respond to questions from the Richmond newspaper about any additional donations. Likewise, the McAuliffe campaign ignored questions about whether they’d coordinated with the PAC.

Did I mention that the sole purpose of the outfit appears to be to attack Youngkin with lies so conservatives will not vote?

Now that Dominion has been exposed, its CEO, Bob Blue — a former policy advisor to Democrat Mark Warner — is asking for a refund from the PAC.

“This weekend we were reminded that going above and beyond in transparency is necessary but not sufficient. Based on our own disclosures, two news stories highlighted activities of the Accountability Virginia PAC that we would not approve or knowingly support,” the CEO wrote.

“Although familiar with the Accountability Virginia PAC sponsors, we failed to vet sufficiently the scope of their intended activities. In as much, we have asked that our contributions be returned.

“As with any failure in terms of living up to our core values, we will learn from this and implement lessons learned going forward. We will not be giving to organizations of this nature in the future.”

Translation: Nuts! They caught us.

Imagine any business stroking checks of this size to a brand new PAC without knowing how the money would be used.


On the other hand, if Dominion really didn’t know about the chicanery afoot with these phony ads, its executives should all be fired.

According to The Times-Dispatch, the Youngkin campaign reacted angrily to the news:

The Youngkin campaign on Saturday issued a statement attacking Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe and Dominion. Youngkin himself unloaded on both Monday morning on WCHV radio in Charlottesville, referencing a recent finding by state regulatory staff that Dominion earned $1.1 billion above a fair profit over four years.

“I’m going to disrupt all of these entrenched interests in Richmond,” Youngkin said. Dominion wants “to keep Terry McAuliffe because they know they have somebody that they can manipulate. Terry is bought and sold by them. I’m going to stand up to Dominion Energy and say, ‘This is Virginians’ money.’ ”

And once again, we’re seeing the Republican candidate take on the mantle of the populist while the Democrat comfortably plops into the role of entrenched big-government fat cat.

There was a time when Virginia politics were serious, but fun. There were smart, likable and eccentric characters on both sides of the aisle.

With the arrival of Terry McAuliffe in 2013 (actually 2009) and his distasteful brand of New York and Clinton-style vulgarity, the fun disappeared and so did any ethics.

Virginia deserves better.

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20 responses to “A New Low: Sleazy Attempt to Get Youngkin Voters to Stay Home”

  1. DJRippert Avatar

    You heard it here first …. https://www.baconsrebellion.com/my-advice-to-glenn-youngkin-wake-up/

    As I wrote on Aug 13, “I’ll give you the perfect issue to shove down the Macker’s throat — Virginia’s unlimited campaign contributions. It’s a disgrace. Virginia is one of only four states that allows anybody to contribute any amount of money to any state political campaign. Dominion pours money into the pockets of the very politicians who are supposed to regulate that monopoly. Dear Lord, Glenn — how is that possibly a good idea?”

    It’s time, Glenn. Pin the Dominion tail on the Democrat donkey.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      It’s not unlimited that is the problem. It’s who gave it to who. Dom COULD have donated through legal means anonymously and we would never had known how much or even that it was Dom.

      That’s not just a Virginia problem.

      1. DJRippert Avatar

        Given that Virginia is one of only four states with no limits on state political contributions I guess ypu can say it’s not just a Virginia problem. Three other states are as corrupt.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          Given that Citizen United said that money is free speech with no limits…

          the “theory” has been that’s “ok” because we have “disclosure”.


          or do you not support the Citizens United decision?

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    As I’ve pointed out, there is an existing PAC called Donor’s Trust that allow anonymous donations since 1999.

    Who knows who has contributed and for what purpose and all you can say about Dom is that they might have been incompetent because apparently the law already allows anonymous donations.

    Here’s the thing. If you want to howl “WRONG” – don’t wait until the election – do it so we don’t allow it – period for either party – anytime.

    Otherwise, such efforts to “howl” when your ox gets gored and zip it when it’s the other guy are more hypocritical than honorable.

    1. DJRippert Avatar

      As I’ve repeatedly stated, Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) is the leading Virginia politician in trying to fix the problem of unlimited campaign contributions, especially by Dominion. However, in a state with laws heavily supporting incumbents (including the unlimited campaign contribution law) the governor’s election is one of the few times anybody pays attention to the issues.

      I see nothing wrong with using this election to pin McAuliffe into a corner with regard to unlimited campaign contributions, especially from regulated companies like Dominion.

    2. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      Larry, I too have been a consistent and equal opportunity critic of the system we have and have written about the issue often. You are are just an untruthful person who daily disrespects us all to make your cheap partisan points. You are that word that Twitter wouldn’t let me use the other day. (Five letters, sex for money….)

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        You’re a pretty sad guy sometimes and you actually confirm it yourself by admitting what you really want to say in conversation.

        I really made no partisan points. I said and will again that support for disclosure should be consistent and not just when one’s own ox is gored.

        And if we all did that – we might actually get some change.

        AND I would INCLUDE myself in that – and DO!

        I have never wavered from that position. I think Citizens United is wrong but if it passes Constitutional muster then disclosure seems the only other option and it’s clear that both Virginia and National Laws have so many loopholes, it’s a joke.

        We should KNOW – EVERY transaction, no matter the party – and I put my money where my mouth is – no matter what political party.

        Interesting your behavior on Twitter…. though…and your willingness to admit it….

      2. LarrytheG Avatar

        Don’t you think it ironic that we have to have folks in charge of adults in terms of how they address themselves to others?

        We have teachers in K-12 telling kids to learn to be adults and address each other with “respect”.

        Then they grow up and what the heck! 😉

  3. tmtfairfax Avatar

    PACs and all bundling of contributions should be banned. Everyone has right to make contributions but directly under her/his own name.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      I’d be fine with the PACs if all donors to them had to be identified. Otherwise, the combination of Citizens United AND anonymous donors make a mockery of our election process. We portray ourselves to the rest of the world of how to do Democracy “right”. It’s turning out that , that is a lie and the rest of the world is seeing it.

  4. If the system is corrupt, then it means candidates are accepting the money that is being offered. It takes two to tango (unless you’re Billy Idol).

    Perhaps we are electing the wrong people across the board.

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      I suspect in many cases it is the candidates themselves asking donors to send the money through those dark channels. If not them, then the party apparatchiks. Truly independent action is rare.

  5. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    These pop-up, mystery PACs that appear every election are always about some form of skullduggery, whatever side. Nothing new there. The funding from the state’s dominant utility, probably at the direct request of the Democratic candidate or some intermediary, THAT is the story. And an aggressive state media would chase that down. Let’s see what the lapdogs do….Kudo’s to Patrick Wilson for his work on this.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Let’s see if Youngkin Or McAuliffe promise to fix it or both just keep on trucking….

      1. DJRippert Avatar

        Exactly my point for Youngkin (see comment below). This is a big issue and it was the Dems that most recently mollycoddled Dominion. As well as Dominion having a CEO that used to be a policy advisor to Mark Warner.

  6. James Kiser Avatar
    James Kiser

    There is an easy way to fix the money issue but it will never happen especially on the fed level. Here goes in state elections ( and local) only people who live in that local district (ex city or county elections) can donate, state delegate or senator only people who live in that district can donate state elections only people who live in VA. In Federal only people who live in the state can donate and for president well all 50 states. Here are some kickers for all local, state and state fed elections you must live in VA full time – no out of state college students and snowbirds are allowed. Exception for the military. The other kicker is a max donation of 500 dollars per election cycle No donations by any ” groups”. If groups want to run an issue ad they can run an ad with their name prominently displayed at the bottom of the in large letters.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      The only real way to do this at any level is to outlaw any and all direct transactions and force ALL of them to go through an agency that specifically receives the money and then forwards it to the recipient.

      Much like Donors Trust works EXCEPT every donor and every recipient is public knowledge.

      no exceptions. felony law if you violate.

      1. James Kiser Avatar
        James Kiser

        Sorry but no I can’t see another bureaucracy siphoning off money too many of those already

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          Do you know how it works right now in Va?

          Do you know how VPAP gets that data?

          Anytime you have direct transactions between two parties who then have to “report” the transaction, and someone else as to look at it to see if it is correct..you already have that bureaucracy and worse than that – a volunteer group has to do them organize it and report it.

          We already do simple transactions with PayPal.

          You send money from one person to another and it gets reported automatically.

          We just need a Govt site to do this same function, and every transaction gets automatically reported to the public.

          No problem.

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