FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Diana Williams, Clean Virginia Communications Lead
[email protected], 540-836-8125
BREAKING: Del. Hala Ayala Accepts $100K Donation From Dominion Energy, Betraying Public Commitment
Running for lieutenant governor, Ayala now the only statewide Democratic candidate to take campaign contributions from Dominion
CHARLOTTESVILLE — Virginians learned this morning that Delegate Hala Ayala, candidate for lieutenant governor, accepted $100,000 from Dominion Energy despite publicly promising to refuse donations from the state’s largest electric utility monopoly. This has made Del. Ayala the only Democratic candidate running statewide to accept any campaign contributions from Dominion. Clean Virginia had previously supported Ayala’s campaign for the House of Delegates and contributed $25,000 to her current run for lieutenant governor based on her previous public commitment to refuse utility monopoly money. She reiterated this commitment in Clean Virginia’s candidate questionnaire for both the 2019 and 2021 election cycles.
“In the final days of the primary campaign for Virginia’s lieutenant governor, with tens of thousands of votes already cast, Del. Hala Ayala chose to break a public commitment taking $100,000 from Dominion Energy and betraying the public’s trust,” said Clean Virginia Executive Director Brennan Gilmore. “Virginians should know that Del. Ayala chose to side with a corporate monopoly that has unjustly overcharged Virginians by $1.3 billion.”
In response, Clean Virginia will be launching a $125,000 statewide digital ad campaign in the final days of the lieutenant governor primary campaign to ensure that voters across the Commonwealth are aware of this broken promise and the harmful effects of decades of Dominion’s legalized corruption on everyday Virginians. Dominion has overcharged Virginians by more than $1.3 billion since 2015 and Virginia customers pay the 6th highest bills in the country. Yet, Dominion refuses to issue refunds and has even requested an increase to its authorized profit level from 9.2% to 10.8% as part of its rate review by the State Corporation Commission. If approved, this request would immediately raise bills even higher.
“Del. Ayala’s actions are uniquely disappointing and deceptive – she has campaigned for statewide office on a promise to Virginians that she would hold polluting utility monopolies accountable and then accepted a massive contribution from Dominion Energy. That is not leadership — it is desperation,” said Clean Virginia Executive Director Brennan Gilmore.
Through the Clean Virginia Fund, Clean Virginia’s political action committee, Clean Virginia transparently and predictably gives to Virginia candidates or incumbents who refuse contributions from Virginia’s regulated utility monopolies (i.e., Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power Company) and their employed registered lobbyists and who do not own stock in those corporations. Del. Ayala denied accepting contributions in Clean Virginia’s 2021 Statewide Candidate Questionnaire: “I did not accept campaign contributions from Virginia utility monopolies or their employed lobbyist during any of campaigns, and I will not accept them while running for Lieutenant Governor.”
Clean Virginia also contributed to the Lieutenant Governor campaigns of Delegates Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach), Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William County), Mark Levine (D-Alexandria),Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke), and Sean Perryman.