Fairfax News: September 20, 2019

Virginia Democrats vow to take no more money from Dominion

The Democratic Party of Virginia says it will stop taking political contributions from Dominion Energy, the state’s largest electricity utility.

Party Chairwoman Susan Swecker said she and other party leaders “thought it was time for us to just step up and say this is where we are,” according to an interview published by the blog Blue Virginia.

Dozens of Virginia legislators and the state’s attorney general, Mark Herring, had earlier pledged not to take money from Dominion, which critics say has too much influence over Virginia politics.

“Utility monopolies have dominated the Commonwealth’s elections and lawmaking for decades at the expense of our environment and economic health — it’s time to evolve from the old Virginia way into a fair democracy for all,” said Clean Virginia Political Director Lizzie Hylton in the Blue Virginia report.

The decision doesn’t necessarily mean the party will be suddenly bereft of funds. The last time it got any money from Dominion was in 2017, when it got $771, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. However, the year before that, it took in a whopping $100,000, its largest-ever contribution from the utility, according to a Richmond Times-Dispatch report.

Republicans will continue to enjoy Dominion’s generosity. Political committees for House and Senate Republicans took in about $108,000 in the last two years, although the state party has not received any Dominion contributions in recent years.