A “Grass-roots Coalition” Has How Many Lobbyists?


A pro-uranium mining group, the Virginia Energy Independence Alliance, that has just begun airing ads in Virginia, is calling itself a “grass-roots coalition of more than 1,500 citizen members.”

But just how many lobbyists do you think this 1,500 member grass-roots coalition has looking out for it in Richmond?

The 2,000 members of the Virginia State Police Association are represented by one lobbyist according to VPAP.  The Virginia Tech Foundation that represents the school and arguably the 30,000 plus full-time students who go there has two.

But after just a quick look at VPAP this afternoon, the sponsors of this 1,500 grass-roots coalition have over 20 lobbyists working on their behalf.  That’s right, if we round down to 20 – while Virginia Tech has conservatively 1 lobbyist for every 15,000 students, the Virginia Energy Independence Alliance has 1 lobbyist for every 75 members. 

For a full breakdown of some of the Virginia Energy Independence Alliance’s sponsors listed in the Members section of their website, please continue reading.

The Alpha Natural Resources, a “leading coal producer with significant operations in Northern Appalachia,” has Settle & Associates, LLC, lobbying on its behalf.  Additionally, here’s a look at the top 5 committees they’ve given money to in from 2003 to 2011:




   Kilgore for Governor – Jerry


   Opportunity Virginia PAC


   Bolling for Lt Governor – Bill


   Republican Party – Virginia House Campaign Committee


   McDonnell for Governor – Robert


Areva, a French based, multinational energy company has lobbyists Steven J Cuevas and J Reginald Pugh, III working on their behalf.  Additionally, the only committee they’ve ever given money to is McDonnell for Governor.

Astrum Solar employs both Joy Bechtold Jones, and Robert W Shinn.

The Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, which operates under the name of the Association of Electric Cooperatives, has, wait for it…, C David Hudgins, Richard G Johnstone, Jr, Susan B Rubin, Allan A Sharrett, James P Guy, II, and Jackson E Reasor, Jr.  Additionally, in 2011 they gave 78% of their Virginia donations to Republicans.

Virginia Uranium, last but certainly not least, has 13 registered lobbyists from 4 different firms all to itself according to VPAP.

Do you think all these folks are really working on behalf of a 1,500 member grass-roots coalition?   Do you think the Virginia Energy Independence Alliance is lobbying for jobs or cares about the Commonwealth’s environment?  We don’t think so either.

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