By Josh Stanfield of Activate Virginia
Back in January, I reported that a majority of Richmond City Council refused to accept campaign contributions from Dominion Energy and its CEO, Tom Farrell. I first asked them the question because Tom Farrell is leading the NH Foundation development group – which hopes to push through a $1.4 billion Coliseum redevelopment deal.
Since then, Councilman Parker Agelasto announced he won’t seek reelection, so there’s now a special election for his 5th District seat on Richmond City Council this November. As Mark Robinson reported in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, 8 candidates have filed for this special: Nicholas Da Silva, Stephanie Lynch, Jer’Mykeal McCoy, Robin D. Mines, Henry “Chuck” Richardson, Graham Sturm, Mamie Taylor, and Professor Thad Williamson.
So I asked them: Will you refuse to accept campaign contributions from Dominion Energy and Tom Farrell?
Here are their responses:
“Our campaign will not accept any campaign contributions from Dominion Energy, Tom Farrell, or any individuals with executive authority at Dominion. Furthermore, our campaign will not take campaign contributions from Altria, real estate developers, payday lenders, or property management companies. We will not solicit donations from for-profit corporations that seek to yield an imbalanced control over direction of City Hall.
Campaign contributions are just one facet of economic conflicts of interest. I pledge to have no investments, shares, or economic interests in Dominion, Altria, or any other for-profit corporation based in Richmond.
Tom Farrell and Dominion seek to secure support for the Coliseum project and other ongoing real estate deals. I will not compromise my vote against appropriating tax payers’ dollars for private development.
As representatives of our communities we must divest ourselves from conflicts of interest in order to serve the people. In order to stand up for working class residents I will not have financial entanglements to the corporations that profit at the expense of the citizens of Richmond.”
“I will absolutely not accept gifts or campaign contributions of any kind from either party (Dominion or Tom Farrell).”
“I will refuse donations from Dominion Energy and Tom Farrell.”
“I refuse to make any pledges pursuant to any contributions.”
“You can categorize me as refusing to accept contributions from Dominion (but again, they won’t come seeking me out).”
“My campaign is not soliciting or accepting contributions from Dominion Energy or Mr. Farrell.”
“I have also previously stated I am not taking money from Altria, and by this email I am also stating I won’t take money from payday lenders.”
“I will not receive any campaign funds from Dominion Virginia or Tom Farrell.”
Mamie Taylor hasn’t responded yet.
Read via Twitter thread.