In politics, money talks.
So what are the donations to Virginia politicians’ campaign funds showing?
Both gubernatorial candidates are getting lots of out of state money – 70 percent of Terry McAuliffe’s money and 50 percent of Ken Cuccinelli’s so far in this election cycle, including funds raised last year and so far this year, according to data from the Virginia Public Access Project.
What’s it mean? One hint is in the biggest giver: The Republican Governor’s Association has given a cool $1 million to Cuccinelli. (No. 2 on his list, by the way, is retired Roanoke Realtor Lynn Via, who has given $126,000.)
As one of only to gubernatorial races in the year after a presidential election, many politicos see Virginia is an important early signal of how the next presidential race might go.
McAuliffe’s biggest donor was himself, at just under $295,000. Among his other big donors is one William Jefferson Clinton (yes, that’s how he is listed) who gave $100,000. McAuliffe, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee was co-chairman of Clinton’s 1996 campaign. He knows something about winning a national elections after Virginia votes. (The year after Clinton’s first election, Virginia voted for conservative Republican George Allen as governor.) Other big donors to McAuliffe’s effort include the International Association of Firefighters, which gave $200,000, and the Liberian International Ship and Corporation Register, which gave $120,000. Huh?
For the House of Delegates races, the usual crew is making the big donations: Dominion Resources, giving a total of $322,018; the Virginia Bankers’ Association, giving $255,881 and the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, giving $225,300. Other six figure givers include the medical society, the beer wholesalers’ association, the wine wholesalers’ association, the auto dealers’ association, the trial lawyers, the telecom giant Verizon, energy firm Alpha Natural Resources and cigarette-maker Altria.
All, of course, have lots of money of their own at stake when the legislature considers regulatory, tax and workplace laws.
Makes you wonder, who’ll be listening?