Looks like the big guns are being rolled out by the environmentalist left as yet another billionaire is choosing to play ball in Virginia. From the Richmond Times Dispatch editors:
Billionaire Michael Bills, a former vice president at Goldman Sachs, is offering up to $5,000 per candidate for the House of Delegates and up to $20,000 per candidate for the state Senate to those who promise to take no campaign contributions from Dominion Energy. The effort is called the Clean Virginia Project, and it’s being run by Tom Perriello, who ran against Northam in the Democratic primary.
There’s a word for that sort of activity. Call it whatever you want — a bounty, taking the King’s shilling… either way, it’s all too obvious that one special interest can come in and purchase candidates who like the sound of a title next to their name.
The breathless hypocrisy of adopting the very activity the progressive wing of the Democratic Party seems to claim exists within the halls of power in Richmond is, well, terribly dizzying. One more case of an activist group creating a simulacrum of what they think the opposition actually does.
…and yet even Tom Perriello — anti-energy crusader — is playing ball:
PLEASE take time today to:
1. Contact your delegate and tell them to vote NO on HB 1558
2. Share this video and this ask far and wide. https://t.co/yesiQzhFlS
— Tom Perriello (@tomperriello) February 11, 2018
Who funds Clean Virginia again? Billionaires, of course. And what do they want? Power… or at least, an issue they can leverage to gain power.
As the Richmond Times-Dispatch eloquently notes, the amount of money that environmentalist groups have poured into Virginia dwarfs anything Dominion Energy has done — yet this hypocrisy doesn’t seem to make a single progressive flinch one iota:
The national and Virginia arms of the League of Conservation Voters alone have ponied up $12.7 million. NextGen Climate Action, a project of billionaire Tom Steyer, has kicked in $3.6 million. By way of comparison: The billionaire Koch Brothers, the bugbears of every progressive nightmare, have spent less than $882,000, which is only slightly more than the $797,000 spent by the Sierra Club.
Yet Dominion spending draws the lion’s share of attention. Critics slammed Northam’s predecessor, Terry McAuliffe, for taking $75,000 from Dominion and then backing its Atlantic Coast Pipeline — proof, in their eyes, that money automatically buys political support. But McAuliffe received far more ($3.8 million) from environmental groups. Maybe the power of money is not quite so automatic after all.
Dominion’s critics seem to want to have things both ways: If the company makes a political donation, that corrupts the political process — but if environmental groups make a political donation, that doesn’t. Convenient, but false.
Which is true across the spectrum. Pro-lifers and pro-family groups pouring money into causes and legislation is “dark money” while pro-abortion and marriage equality forces pouring money into referenda and judicial activism is “love not hate” — just to give an instance.
Same holds true for any other institution that remains a shibboleth of the left. Failing public schools? Need more money. Charter schools and private schools? Blood sucking parasites of the far right.
Of course, it’s a basic premise of lawyers and rhetoric to argue (and see) the very worst in your opposition and keep hammering it home. In this instance, we have a court of public opinion, and the Democrats have a problem that is not easily resolved should they choose to live up to their own standard.
“Billionaires for me; not for thee” isn’t exactly a rabblerouser, unless you happen to be fighting against affordable energy solutions and for the pet causes of the left.