This article originally appeared in the Washington Post.
RICHMOND — A populist-style Republican running for Virginia governor traveled to the Capitol on Tuesday to praise a Democrat’s failed effort to rein in the power of the state’s largest utility.
Denver Riggleman, a distillery owner making an outsider bid in June’s crowded GOP primary, wanted to draw attention to two bills brought by state Sen. J. Chapman “Chap” Petersen (D-Fairfax).
Both measures were aimed at Dominion Virginia Power, which has put nearly $4 million into state-level races over the past decade. One would have subjected electricity rates to review by the state. The other would have prohibited Dominion and other state-regulated monopolies from donating to legislators and statewide candidates.
Republicans and Democrats alike teamed up to kill the bills.
Riggleman said the demise of the legislation is part of lawmakers’ long pattern of allowing Dominion to “take from the needy and give to the greedy.” “Perhaps we should just stop putting on appearances and get rid of the ‘Old’ from our nickname and just go with ‘the Dominion State’ instead,” he said.