Ben Paviour at Virginia Public Media has fleshed out additional substantial details on the political activities of Power for Tomorrow, a utility advocacy group with major funding from Dominion Energy Virginia.
Questions asked and issues hinted at by this report on Bacon’s Rebellion now have more clarity.
Yes, Paviour found quite a few Virginia incumbent legislators are being supported by the group, not just Senators George Barker (D) and Siobahn Dunnavant (R). Other beneficiaries include Senator Joe Morrissey (D), Senator Scott Surovell (D), Delegate Delores McQuinn (D), Delegate Buddy Fowler (R) and Delegate Emily Brewer (D). Most but not all are involved in party nomination contests.
Yes, there is a strong correlation with the people receiving support from Power for Tomorrow not receiving support from Clean Virginia, with the exception of Surovell. He has received help from both. Along with the mailings mentioned before, Power For Tomorrow is also spending on digital advertising (as Clean Virginia also does.)
Paviour also found the group is active in South Carolina, another Dominion Energy state, attacking a proposal that South Carolina utilities be forced to join a regional transmission organization. He turned up the 2021 IRS 990 report for “Power 4 Tomorrow,” but of course that is now out of date. The IRS reports for these groups lag badly.
The key issue that somebody needs to keep watching is how all of this is reported – or not – in campaign finance disclosures. No question now, these are political expenses intended to influence an election. Period. Power for Tomorrow still only shows up as having a registered lobbyist on the Virginia Public Access Project database, with no mention of any campaign donations. That is the point where this may be stretching Virginia law and should irritate voters who care about transparency.