Dominion CEO Heaps Money on Virginia Candidates; Son Holds Elected Office

The Washington Post profiles Virginia Delegate Peter Farrell of Henrico County, son of Thomas Farrell, CEO of Dominion Resources, and nephew of Richard Cullen, chairman of Richmond law firm McGuireWoods.

Farrell, as the progeny of two of Virginia’s most prominent power brokers, naturally has come under scrutiny during his three years’ tenure in the House of Delegates. He’s at least avoiding the appearance of being a shill for Dominion by abstaining from votes which could be conflicts of interests. But you have to ask if an elected official can actually do his job if he must stay away from all legislation having to do with energy and utility regulation.

Aside from Farrell the younger, the Post profile offers this tidbit about Farrell Sr.:

Thomas Farrell has given about $500,000 to candidates at all levels of Virginia politics over the past decade, including $120,000 to former governor Robert F. McDonnell’s campaign and his political action committee. He also consistently gave the maximum donation under federal limits directly to [former US Rep. Eric] Cantor.

Thomas Farrell’s donations to Cantor and others probably “played a factor” in his son’s election.

Keep in mind that half a mill is the sum of donations Farrell made to Virginia politicians over the years out of his own pocket, a number which is dwarfed by contributions by Dominion itself. In the last year alone, the energy giant has handed out $800,000 to campaigns and PACs (source: VPAP). No wonder Dominion cracks the whip in the General Assembly.

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