Truncated article from The Washington Free Beacon
Megadonor worked to influence leadership elections, two Democratic lawmakers say.
Bills and his wife Sonjia Smith spent upwards of $2 million through both direct contributions and Clean Virginia’s PAC supporting candidates who pledged not to take contributions from Dominion Energy. He made direct contributions to at least 88 candidates who swore off money from Dominion, and gave $200,000 to the Democratic Party of Virginia after it cut ties from Dominion.
Clean Virginia denied the accusation that Bills lobbied against Filler-Corn’s leadership bid, and pointed its finger at Dominion for Saslaw’s accusation.
“Dominion Energy advertises heavily on the John Fredericks Show, and it is all-too-common to hear blatant lies about our work on the broadcast,” Clean Virginia executive director Brennan Gilmore said in a statement. “The allegation that our board chair Michael Bills was calling to lobby against Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn’s leadership bid is yet another one of these falsehoods.”
Fredericks said he was proud to have Dominion as an advertiser, and denied that it influences his show’s programming.
“I’m in the business of selling advertising to reach my growing audience,” Fredericks said. “I am proud to have a great company like Dominion Energy advertising with us. We’d love to have Clean Virginia’s advertising as well.”
Rumors of Bills working to influence leadership decisions in the legislature have circulated among activists in the state for weeks. Filler-Corn was ultimately selected to be speaker, a win Saslaw credits to lawmakers who refused to be bought.
Read the full report from The Washington Free Beacon