Jeff Schapiro of the Richmond Times Dispatch offers this piece, entitled "McAuliffe says he won't take Dominion's money." But that statement is somewhat deceptive. McAuliffe won't take contributions from the corporate PAC,
because the utility is resisting mandatory goals on so-called renewable energy. But he will still take contributions from Dominion employees, present and past. The same piece notes a private fundraising event at the home of former CEO Thomas Capps, who has iven him $2,500, and
McAuliffe's kitchen cabinet includes Dominion's retired chief lobbyist, Eva Teig Hardy. Hardy, who knows McAuliffe through Bill and Hillary Clinton, has donated about $5,000 to the candidate. Both of these notables are retired. Individual contributions from current employees will not be rejected. And there is no mention of refusing funds from other corporate PACs. Is this just meaningless symbolism, or is McAuliffe making an important distinction?
I was in Chicago in 2007 for Yearly Kos when John Edwards announced that we would not accept money from Washington lobbyists. I immediately wondered if he would return my $100 contribution. After all, I regularly lobby on the Hill on education. No, I am not a registered lobbyist, but he had not offered that qualification. And even if I were, I could legally contribute no more in a Federal campaign than could a CEO like Warren Buffett, who can get into any Congressional office he wants at any time, but is not a registered lobbyist either.
Yes, politics is perception, and perception and appearances matter. And Terry Mac is making an issue of his focus on alternative, non-polluting fuels.
So I wonder what others thing of this parsing?