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Friday, 21 April 2017 09:21

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

Written by  Gregory S. Schneider

RICHMOND — One candidate takes money from an international activist group that doesn’t disclose its sources of funding. The other takes money from Virginia’s biggest utility, which is also the top lobbyist in the state.

As Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and former congressman Tom Perriello battle for the Democratic nomination for governor, their fundraising is emerging as an issue that defines them as much as their slim differences on policy.

Northam has called on Perriello to renounce “dark money,” just days after Perriello disclosed $230,000 in contributions from an international activist group called Avaaz, which Perriello helped found a decade ago.

[Perriello’s governor’s bid boosted by several big donors]

As a 501c4 charity, Avaaz is not required to disclose its individual donors. According to its website, it has nearly 45 million members in 194 countries worldwide, with the greatest concentration in Brazil at nearly 9.9 million. It lists just under 2.4 million members in the United States.

Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who is running for governor. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

The organization says it accepts no money from governments or corporations. Avaaz logged $23.4 million in contributions in 2015, according to its tax return, up from $20.1 million the year before.

Read more at WashingtonPost

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