Things are once again heating up as we come down to the wire in the Virginia governor’s race between Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe and Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin, with McAuliffe, in particular, being hit with one bad wave of negative press after the other, most often brought on by his own words when he allows his notoriously big mouth to overload his tiny circuits.
McAuliffe’s troubles got worse over the weekend after Axios news outlet reported that Virginia-based Dominion Energy, which donates heavily and generously to Democrats and affiliated PACs far more often than Republicans and which has been on shall we say “friendly” terms with the former Governor in the past (more here), was “quietly supporting” a deceptive PAC called “Accountability Virginia,” which is running ads on social media and on TV targeting Youngkin from the right on issues like the Second Amendment:
Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe’s gubernatorial bid, records show.
Driving the news: Dominion’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.
Dominion provided four cash infusions for Accountability Virginia totaling $250,000 from July through September, according to a quarterly financial report filed this month. It recalled one $50,000 payment in August.
It’s the most the company has given to any statewide political committee in Virginia this year, according to disclosures on its website.
There are some rather obvious questions here in light of this report, and Sen. Tom Cottom (R-Ark.) was around Sunday night to demand some answers:
He also tagged Facebook to find out why they were allowing the deceptive ads from Accountability Virginia, which he called “suppression ads to help Terry McAuliffe,” to run on their platform:
The especially sweet part? Cotton’s not so subtle threat issued to Dominion Energy warning of consequences should Republicans take back control of the House in 2022.
“Republicans will take back Congress soon. Dominion’s leadership—especially CEO Robert Blue—ought to think very carefully about the consequences of funding disinformation to suppress voter turnout,” he wrote.
The threat apparently worked, as the Washington Post reported earlier today that Dominion Energy was requesting that the $200,000 they gave to the PAC be returned.
So far, McAuliffe and his campaign are staying mum on this issue. But rest assured, if they are eventually shamed into responding, expect them to tap dance around the issue like Pinocchio on stilts in hopes that this issue, like all the rest that have plagued his campaign over the last month or so, will simply go away.