Pledge to Refuse Dominion & Appalachian Power Contributions



This pledge originated as an attempt to address the corrupt campaign finance system in Virginia. We understand that legislative solutions can't be expected anytime soon - not with a legislature funded by corporate interests and dominated by Republicans. So instead of focusing on the law, we decided to focus on the culture. 

We're inherently suspicious of pledges, and as pragmatists, we're uneasy with the rigidity they impose. But given the extraordinary grassroots recruitment effort this year in Virginia, we saw the value in building a coalition on the record. These candidates are not pledging to oppose Dominion or Appalachian Power or even to oppose the contentious pipelines. These candidates are, however, aware that many citizens don't believe politicians have been serving the interests of their constituents.

This pledge is an effort to avoid the appearance of undue influence via campaign contributions. It's based on the assumption that, if elected, all signatories will be willing to sit down with these entities to formulate policy that benefits their constituents. But these constituents will have a renewed trust in their representatives, a reason to believe that legislators are having clean conversations with corporations. 

The Pledge

We, the undersigned, believe all elected officials should be making decisions about the environment without monetary influence from the fossil fuel industry. For years, Appalachian Power and Dominion in particular have pumped cash into the coffers of politicians from both political parties in Virginia - and, of course, into the parties themselves. These interests are not driven by the protection of our environment or concerns about public health, but by the profit motive.

If we’re to be credible as candidates willing to fight to protect our environment, willing to stand up to corporate interests when they conflict with the interests of everyday Virginians, we must remove the appearance of influence through campaign donations. 

We therefore pledge never to accept campaign contributions from either Dominion or Appalachian Power. This small step towards a Democratic Party of Virginia free from Dominion and Appalachian influence is, we feel, the absolute least we can do. We hope our fellow Democratic politicians in Virginia will join us. Because it’s only together, as a unified progressive force, that we’ll be able to reinstate a government dedicated to preserving and protecting our beautiful - yet fragile - environment.


2019 Candidates, Virginia General Assembly:

SD 4: Stan Scott SD 5: Jeff Staples (Independent) SD 7: Cheryl Turpin SD 11: Amanda Pohl

SD 12: Debra Rodman SD 15: Virginia Smith SD 16: Joe Morrissey SD 17: Amy Laufer SD 19: Flo Ketner

SD 22: Dakota Claytor SD 24: Annette Hyde SD 25: Elliott Harding (Independent) SD 26: April Moore

SD 27: Ronnie Ross HD 6: Jim Barker HD 7: Rhonda Seltz HD 14: Eric Stamps HD 15: Beverly Harrison

HD 18: Laura Galante HD 19: Dean Davison (Libertarian) HD 20: Jennifer Lewis HD 24: Christian Worth

HD 25: Jennifer Kitchen HD 26: Brent Finnegan HD 27: Larry Barnett HD 28: Joshua Cole HD 29: Irina Khanin

HD 30: Ann Ridgeway HD 33: Mavis Taintor HD 40: Daniel Helmer HD 49: Terry Modglin (Independent)

HD 55: Morgan Goodman HD 56: Juanita Jo Matkins HD 57: Sally Hudson HD 58: Elizabeth Alcorn

HD 59: Tim Hickey HD 60: Janie Zimmerman HD 61: Trudy Berry HD 62: Lindsey Dougherty HD 65: Mike Asip

HD 66: Sheila Bynum-Coleman HD 71: Pete Wells (Libertarian) HD 73: Rodney Willett HD 76: Clinton Jenkins

HD 82: Gayle Johnson HD 83: Nancy Guy HD 84: Karen Mallard HD 87: Suhas Subramanyam HD 88: Jess Foster

HD 96: Mark Downey HD 96: James Jobe (Libertarian) HD 97: Kevin Washington HD 100: Phil Hernandez

House of Delegates Members:

HD 2: Jennifer Foy HD 10: Wendy Gooditis HD 11: Sam Rasoul HD 13: Danica Roem HD 21: Kelly Fowler

HD 31: Elizabeth Guzman HD 38: Kaye Kory HD 42: Kathy Tran HD 50: Lee Carter HD 51: Hala Ayala

HD 68: Dawn Adams HD 72: Schuyler VanValkenburg HD 73: Debra Rodman HD 85: Cheryl Turpin

HD 86: Ibraheem Samirah

State Senate Members:

SD 25: Creigh Deeds

U.S. House of Representatives Members:

VA-02: Elaine Luria VA-10: Jennifer Wexton

Unsuccessful in 2019 Bids for Democratic Nomination:

SD 7: Susan Hippen SD 7: Kim Howard SD 10: Zachary Brown SD 10: Connor Wood SD 11: Wayne Powell

SD 12: Veena Lothe SD 13: Kyle Green SD 13: Lucero Wiley SD 17: Ben Hixon SD 28: Laura Sellers

SD 31: Nicole Merlene SD 33: Charlotte McConnell SD 35: Yasmine Taeb HD 18: Tristan Shields

HD 25: Lauren Thompson HD 26: Cathy Copeland HD 38: Andres Jimenez HD 49: J.D. Spain HD 52: Kevin Wade

HD 57: Kathy Galvin HD 62: Tavorise Marks HD 86: Kofi Annan HD 86: Chad Thompson HD 86: Michael O’Reilly

HD 87: Johanna Gusman HD 87: Akshay Bhamidipati HD 88: Kecia Evans HD 91: Michael Wade

HD 92: Monique Gatling HD 96: Rebecca Leser HD 96: Christopher Mayfield

Unsuccessful in 2018 General Election Bids:

CD 1: Vangie Williams CD 5: Leslie Cockburn CD 6: Jennifer Lewis CD 8: Thomas Oh (Republican) 

CD 9: Anthony Flaccavento

Unsuccessful in 2018 Bids for Democratic Nomination:

CD 1: Ryan Sawyers CD 1: Edwin Santana CD 1: John Suddarth CD 2: Karen Mallard CD 2: Garry Hubbard

CD 2: David Nygaard CD 5: Andrew Sneathern CD 7: Diane Fraser CD 7: Dan Ward CD 9: Justin Santopietro

CD 10: Julia Biggins CD 10: Alison Friedman CD 10: Daniel Helmer CD 10: Julien Modica CD 10: Deep Sran

CD 10: Lindsey Stover CD 11: Jonathan Park

Unsuccessful in 2017 General Election Bids: 

HD 1: Alicia Kallen HD 3: Bill Bunch HD 7: Flo Ketner HD 8: Steve McBride HD 9: Stephanie Cook

HD 17: Djuna Osborne HD 18: Will King (Green) HD 20: Michele Edwards HD 23: Natalie Short

HD 25: Angela Lynn HD 26: Brent Finnegan HD 27: Larry Barnett HD 28: Joshua Cole HD 29: Casey Turben

HD 30: Ben Hixon HD 33: Tia Walbridge HD 55: Morgan Goodman HD 56: Melissa Dart HD 58: Kellen Squire

HD 59: Tracy Carver HD 59: Marcus Sutphin (Green) HD 60: Jamaal Johnston HD 62: Sheila Bynum-Coleman

HD 64: Rebecca Colaw HD 65: Francis Stevens HD 66: Katie Ann Sponsler HD 69: Montigue Magruder (Green) 

HD 81: Kimberly Tucker HD 74: Preston Brown (Independent) HD 77: Jeff Staples (Green) 

HD 82: Leigh Anne Bowling HD 83: David Rose-Carmack HD 84: Veronica Coleman HD 88: Steve Aycock

HD 88: Gerald Anderson (Green) HD 91: Michael Wade HD 96: Kelly DeLucia HD 97: Cori Johnson

HD 98: Sheila Crowley

Unsuccessful in 2017 Bids for Democratic Nomination:

LG: Susan Platt LG: Gene Rossi HD 2: Josh King HD 13: Steven Jansen HD 13: Mansimran Kahlon

HD 21: Tom Brock HD 73: Sarah Smith HD 73: Chelsea Savage HD 51: Ken Boddye HD 73: Bill Coleman

HD 26: Cathy Copeland HD 30: Annette Hyde HD 62: Tavorise Marks HD 84: Erin Edlow HD 57: Ross Mittiga

HD 42: Tilly Blanding HD 67: John Carey HD 67: Hannah Risheq HD 33: Mavis Taintor 56: Lizzie Drucker-Basch

HD 64: John Wandling HD 64: Jerry Cantrell HD 70: Alex Mejias HD 81: Nancy Carothers HD 92: Mic Harris

Pledge in the Press

10.30.19, New York Magazine

“Democrats Lost the States. A New Book Says Activists Are Fighting Back.”

Sarah Jones

10.26.19, The Guardian

“The 'AOC effect' is real – and it's helping wean the Democrats off mega-donors”

Meaghan Winter

10.9.19, Virginia Public Media [Audio]

“Democratic Party Accepts $200k from Clean Energy Donor After Forgoing Dominion”

Ben Paviour

9.19.19, The New Republic

“How Energy Companies Corrupt State Politics”

Meaghan Winter

9.6.19, The Dogwood

“How money in politics may have kept dangerous chemicals secret”

Keya Vakil

6.6.19, WCVE

“Done With Dominion, Some Dems Spurn All Corporate Dollars”

Ben Paviour

4.25.19, Greater Greater Washington

“Virginia Senate candidates Favola and Merlene debate housing, child care, and ethics”

David McAuley

4.5.19, Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Here's your guide to June primary elections to watch in Virginia”

Patrick Wilson

3.16.19, The Washington Post

“Challenge from the left: Moderate Democrats in Va. under fire from liberals”

Antonio Olivo

1.7.19, ARLnow

“Hope Swears Off Campaign Cash from Dominion, Calls on Fellow Democrats to Follow Suit”

Alex Koma

12.26.18, Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Stoney: No plans of turning down Dominion Energy donations in future campaigns”

Mark Robinson

12.18.18, Richmond Times-Dispatch

“AG Mark Herring says he will no longer take money from regulated monopolies, including Dominion”

Patrick Wilson

9.20.18, Huffington Post

“Human Rights Attorney Yasmine Taeb To Challenge Top Virginia Democrat”

Daniel Marans

8.3.18, InsideNoVa

"Republican in 8th District pledges not to take energy-company funds"

Scott McCaffrey

7.30.18, The Daily Press

"Virginia requires campaign finance reform"

Editorial Board

7.26.18, The Washington Post

"Virginia lobbyist defends a client in unexpected way: by saying no to politicians"

Gregory Schneider

7.19.18, Facing South

“Virginia anti-corruption movement faces down corporate backlash”

Sue Sturgis

7.6.18, The News & Advance

"'Pay to Play' in the State Legislature"

Editorial Board

6.25.18, Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Lobbying firm to Va. lawmakers: If you refuse Apco money, you won't get any from us"

Patrick Wilson

5.24.18, The Washington Post

"Fellow Democrats target Wexton over corporate money in House primary"

Jenna Portnoy

3.12.18, Waging Nonviolence

"Inside the grassroots plan to get fossil fuel money out of politics"

Will Lawrence

2.12.18, Huffington Post

"What A Battle Over Virginia’s Most Powerful Monopoly Can Teach Democrats Everywhere"

Daniel Marans

2.8.18, InsideNoVa

"Congressional candidates refusing cash from utility companies"

Alex Koma

2.8.18, Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Major Democratic donor in Virginia aims to counter Dominion donations with his own money"

Graham Moomaw

2.7.18, Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Majority of Democrats running for Congress in Va. pledge not to take money from Dominion, ApCo"

Patrick Wilson

11.30.17, InsideNoVa

"Dominion Power faces new Prince William delegation"

Alex Koma

11.28.17, The Washington Post

“Campaign to elect a pipeline:” Va.’s most powerful company ran multi-front fight"

Gregory Schneider

11.15.17, Augusta Free Press

"On pipelines, will Terry McAuliffe side with Virginia, or with Donald Trump?"

Jonathan Sokolow

11.12.17, Huffington Post

"McAuliffe’s Folly: The Atlantic “Trump” Pipeline"

Jonathan Sokolow

11.11.17, Associated Press

"Trump opposition inspires Dem focus on statehouse wins"

Alan Suderman

11.10.17, Climate Investigations Center

"Will Virginia Governor-elect Ralph Northam accept Dominion money for inaugural committee?"

Charlie Spatz

11.9.17, Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Thirteen candidates who refused Dominion money win seats in General Assembly"

Robert Zullo

11.8.17, Huffington Post

"How Democrats Won Big In The Virginia House — And Why It Matters"

Daniel Marans

11.8.17, The Washington Post

"Is it finally blue? Democrats speed Virginia’s transformation — thanks to Trump"

Gregory Schneider

11.8.17, Blue Virginia

"Thirteen “Dominion $ Deniers” to Serve in the State Legislature, Countering Climate Deniers"

Will Driscoll

11.8.17, Energy and Policy Institute

"The other big loser in Virginia’s elections was Dominion Energy"

David Pomerantz

11.3.17, The American Prospect

"Between Pragmatism and Purity: Virginia Democrats Try to Come Together"

Manuel Madrid

10.13.17, Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Dominion executives bundle donations to Virginia lawmakers' campaign accounts"

Patrick Wilson, Graham Moomaw

10.13.17, Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Is Dominion's grip on political power at a crossroads?"

Robert Zullo

7.28.17, Virginia Business

"Pipeline battle"

Paula C. Squires

7.15.17, The News-Virginian

Monkey puzzles and lawmakers: make 'em take the pledge!

Stephen Nash

7.8.17, Richmond Times-Dispatch

"House Republicans going their own way"

Jeff Schapiro

7.2.17, The News & Advance

"Lobbyists, Donors and Returns on Investments"

Stephen Nash

6.26.17, Rolling Stone

"How to Tell If Your Reps Are Serious About Climate Change"

Bill McKibben

6.22.17, The American Prospect

"Virginia's Power Broker"

Manuel Madrid

6.8.17, WhoWhatWhy

"Dominion Energy Pulls Out All Stops For Pipeline Win: Will populism trump power politics?"

Celia Wexler

6.4.17, The Daily Progress

"The Pledge: A money puzzle's missing pieces"

Stephen Nash

6.3.17, Suffolk News Herald

"Make lawmakers take the pledge" 

Stephen Nash

6.1.17, News Leader

"Monkey puzzles and lawmakers: make 'em take the pledge"

Stephen Nash

5.24.17, The Washington Post

"Democrats running for Va. lieutenant governor vow not to take Dominion money"

Fenit Nirappil

5.23.17, CBS 19, Charlottesville [Video]

"Dozens of candidates reject campaign contributions from energy companies"

Bria White

5.21.17, Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Three Democrats inspired by Trump's election vying to challenge Loupassi"

Michael O'Connor

5.20.17, Blue Virginia

"Dirty Dominion Pushes Fracked Gas and Super-Expensive Nuclear While Offshore Wind Costs Plummet. Brilliant!"

Lowell Feld

5.19.17, The Washington Post

"A once all-powerful corporation is suddenly politically toxic in Virginia"

Mike Tidwell & LaDelle McWhorter

5.18.17, Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Under pressure for Dominion donations, Northam calls for sweeping campaign finance reform in Virginia"

Graham Moomaw

5.18.17, Daily Press

"State senator wants to ban Dominion Energy campaign contributions"

Travis Fain

5.11.17, Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Perriello sold financial stake in company linked to pipeline and Trump's border wall"

Graham Moomaw

5.10.17, Bristol Herald Courier

"Tell your lawmakers to take the pledge: No more corporate cash"

Stephen Nash

5.8.17, The Roanoke Times

"Make 'em take the pledge: no more snuff boxes!"

Stephen Nash

5.3.17, The Washington Post

"Virginia power broker in the hot seat in governor's race"

Gregory Schneider

4.25.17, Style Weekly

"Former Virginia AGs Argue That Regulators Should Be Allowed to Approve Utility Rates"

Jackie Kruszewski

4.24.17, Associated Press

"Va. Supreme Court case could cut electric bills"

Alan Suderman

4.22.17, The Washington Post

"‘Dark money’ vs. corporate cash: Virginia Democratic rivals clash over funding"

Gregory Schneider

4.18.17, Richmond Times-Dispatch

"More than 50 Democrats running for Virginia House pledge to refuse Dominion money"

Graham Moomaw