VPAP is up with graphics showing the “Top 10 Donors” to Republican and Democratic Virginia legislative candidates running in 2019, and they are *very* revealing about the GOP in particular. First, let’s check out the Republicans.
See below for the graphic, which shows the top 10 donors to 2019 Virginia Republican legislative candidates as: 1) the Republican State Leadership Committee (over $1 million to House non-incumbents, $790k to House incumbents, $500k to Senate non-incumbents and $483k to Senate incumbents); 2) Dominion Energy ($240k to House incumbents, $311k to Senate incumbents); 3) Richard E. Uihlein ($500k to House incumbents -); 4) the Virginia and National Association of Realtors ($209k to Senate incumbents, $255k to House incumbents); 5) GOPAC ($252k to Senate incumbents, $127k to House incumbents); 6) Virginia Beer Wholesalers ($123k to Senate incumbents, $197k to House incumbents); etc. Let’s go through these quickly:
- The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC): According to SourceWatch, the RSLC is ” a 527 group which surged onto the political scene in 2010 in an effort to elect right-wing politicians to state offices under the direction of former George W. Bush advisor Ed Gillespie, who is closely tied to Karl Rove…According to journalist Jane Mayer, the RSLC served in 2010 as a ‘catchall bank account for corporations interested in influencing state laws’.” Top contributors to the RSLC, according to SourceWatch, have included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (of course), America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ditto), Koch Industries (double ditto), ExxonMobil (uh, yep), etc. In other words, fossil fuel interests and some of the most powerful corporations in America donating to folks they presume and expect will do their bidding.
- Dominion Energy: What else is there to say about Dominion, given how many times we’ve posted about this corrupted, corrupting corporation from hell? Just that it’s not at all surprising they spew money in every direction – particularly to Republicans and a few Dominion Dems – in an attempt to influence the very people who are supposed to be regulating this theoretically state-“regulated” monopoly utility. It’s the epitome, or maybe the nadir, of the slimy “Virginia Way,” and it really needs to die.
- Richard E. Uihlein: See below for more on this piece of work (rabidly anti-union, rabidly homophobic, etc.), who poured $500k into right-wing extremist Nick Freitas’ campaign this past cycle. Of course, Freitas didn’t *need* $500k, given his safe “red” district, so he in turn took Uihlein’s money and spread the wealth around to his fellow Republicans, all of whom happily accepted the cash. Disgusting, but also very telling about who and what the Virginia GOP is all about.
So…here’s more info on the Virginia GOP’s third-largest donor in 2019 – Richard E. Uihlein – including the following passages from NY Times and Washington Post articles on him. That’s right, this guy “underwrites firebrand anti-establishment candidates who typically defend broad access to assault weapons and assail transgender rights…and backed Roy Moore in Alabama even after he was accused of sexual misconduct with underage girls.” And Uihlein’s “particular target?” “Few issues…appear to have energized him more than dismantling the influence of labor unions.” So…yeah, this is the Virginia GOP’s third-largest donor in 2019.
Any further questions about the Virginia GOP at this point? Fortunately, Democrats defeated them this past November, but still, we can’t assume they’re defeated forever, or even that we’ll hold them back in 2021, particularly if Democrats take back the White House (which could cause Democratic voters to go back to sleep, while energizing Republican voters). So…stay vigilant and don’t ever forget who we’re fighting against.
P.S. In stark contrast, check out the top donors to 2019 Democratic candidates…mostly environmental groups, anti-Dominion Energy folks like Michael Bills and Sonjia Smith, gun violence prevention organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety, women’s equality and reproductive freedom groups, etc.