If you’re a gun owner who lives in Virginia, there’s a good chance you’ve seen ads that raise questions about Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin’s support for gun rights. An operation called Accountability Virginia is running tens of thousands of dollars in ads designed to keep Old Dominion gun owners from voting in the increasingly tight race for governor on November 2.
Youngkin has been narrowing the lead of former Democrat Governor Terry McAuliffe, who’s running for a second term. Some polls now have Youngkin with a slight lead. The oleaginous McAuliffe is a big supporter of current Governor Ralph “Coonman” Northam’s efforts to roll back gun rights in the state. In fact, he’d like to accomplish what Governor Blackface couldn’t and outlaw “assault weapons” … one way or another.
Youngkin has taken a cagy approach to the issue of guns during the campaign. In fact, he’s mostly avoided the subject. He hasn’t made much of an issue of Northam’s many attacks on gun rights or McAuliffe’s avowedly anti-gun positions. And in a clearly strategic move, he declined to complete the NRA’s candidate questionnaire, so he didn’t get the Virginia-based organization’s endorsement.
The Youngkin campaign has apparently made the calculation that, in a purple-trending-blue state, keeping the candidate’s stance on gun rights below the radar and foregoing the increasingly toxic NRA’s endorsement will probably hurt him less among the state’s gun owners than it will help him with (or at least not antagonize) northern Virginia suburban voters. Whether or not that strategy works will be revealed in two weeks.
In the mean time, Dominion Energy, one of the biggest utilities in the state, is funding attack ads intended to raise doubts in gun owners’ minds about Youngkin and, they no doubt hope, keep them away from the polls next month.
As Stephen Gutowski is reporting, Dominion is using its political action committee to fund Accountability Virginia’s attack ads.
One Facebook ad reads, “While the NRA backs Donald Trump, they REFUSED to endorse Glenn Youngkin. We can’t trust Glenn Youngkin on guns. Youngkin should tell us the truth about where he stands.”
The ads are a clear attempt to discourage and suppress gun voter turnout…and tip the close race to McAuliffe. Worse, lots of Virginia gun owners are involuntarily paying for the campaign.
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) October 9, 2021
Richmond-based Dominion Energy provides power to about 2.5 million homes in the state. That means a piece of every monthly bill payment is going to fund Dominion’s efforts to install yet another gun-grabbing politician in the governor’s mansion. How great is that?
UPDATE: Dominion Energy apparently isn’t happy with all of the publicity that’s resulted from their contributions to suppressing gun owners’ votes in Virginia. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the company announced today that it didn’t go a good job vetting the secretive political action committee, Accountability Virginia, that ran the ads described above they the company is now asking for its contributions (totaling $200,000) back.
Dominion Energy’s CEO sent an email to company employees Monday morning saying the company’s political action committee had failed to properly vet an anti-Glenn Youngkin PAC it gave large donations to, and is asking for its money back.
So it was all just an unfortunate misunderstanding. An administrative screw-up.
[CEO Robert M.] Blue told employees the company has a long history of transparent and bipartisan political giving.
“This weekend we were reminded that going above and beyond in transparency is necessary but not sufficient. Based on our own disclosures, two news stories highlighted activities of the Accountability Virginia PAC that we would not approve or knowingly support,” he wrote.
“Although familiar with the Accountability Virginia PAC sponsors, we failed to vet sufficiently the scope of their intended activities. In as much, we have asked that our contributions be returned.
Oopsie! It seems Virginia’s political climate got a little too hot for Dominion, what with national attention being drawn to the famously corrupt McAuliffe and the unwelcome exposure of the secretive support provided to him via the utility’s cash contributions.
Here’s how corrupt Terry McAuliffe is:
He promised to not take $ from Dominion Energy, a public utility.
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) October 18, 2021