In 2009, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell raised $24 million in a winning campaign that outspent his Democratic opponent by $7 million. Four years later in 2013, Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli raised $20.9 million in a losing campaign in which his Democratic opponent outspent him by more than $13 million.
Most of the fundraising dropoff between McDonnell in 2009 and Cuccinelli in 2013 can be traced to two dozen individuals, groups, and corporations who each donated more than $50,000 to McDonnell’s gubernatorial campaign and nothing to Cuccinelli’s. Between them, they accounted for $2.5 million of the $3.1 million by which Cuccinelli’s 2013 fundraising fell short of McDonnell’s in 2009.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce was the most visible group that shunned Cuccinelli. In 2009 they donated $972,877 to McDonnell. In 2013, they made no donation at all to Cuccinelli. On Thursday, Breitbart News asked Chamber Executive Director of Media Blair Latoff Holmes to explain why the Chamber failed to support Cuccinelli in 2013, but Ms. Holmes had not responded to our inquiry by the time of this story’s publication.
R. Ted Weschler of Charlottesville, who donated $125,000 to McDonnell in 2009, donated $50,000 to McAuliffe in 2013. In 2011 Weschler, a successful money manager, was hired by Warren Buffett to manage part of Berkshire-Hathaway’s portfolio.
Paul Singer, a wealthy New York investor, donated $100,000 to McDonnell and $25,000 to Cuccinelli in 2009, but gave nothing to Cuccinelli in 2013.
One surprising name on the list is the NFL’s Washington Redskins, who donated $50,000 to McDonnell in 2009 and nothing to Cuccinelli in 2013. On Thursday, Breitbart News left a message with the Redskins’ Vice President of Communications, Tony Wyllie, to ask for an explanation of the organization’s record of political donations in Virginia, but as of the time of this story’s publication had not received a response.
Cuccinelli’s campaign apparently did little to court the Republican donors who stayed away. One veteran Virginia Republican fundraiser told Breitbart News that the fault was less the candidate’s than his campaign staff, whose style, the source said, was described by alienated high net worth donors as “arrogant.”
The entire list of the two dozen biggest 2009 McDonnell donors who shunned Cuccinelli in 2013, included the following, according to the Virginia Public Access Project website:
$972,877 – U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, DC
$125,000 – R. Ted Weschler, Charlottesville
$100,000 – Paul Singer, New York, NY
$95,000 – William A Royall, Jr., Richmond
$93,503 – Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, Washington
$82,632 – Mark J Kington, Alexandria, Virginia
$80,000 – Bob J Perry, Houston, Texas (deceased, before 2013)
$75,000 – EAM Services LLC, New York, NY
$75,000 – Joseph Douglas Perry, Virginia Beach, Virginia
$71,959 – Thomas F Farrell, II, Henrico, Virginia
$70,000 – Dwight C Schar, McLean, Virginia
$70,000 – Virginia Association of Realtors, Glen Allen, Virginia
$60,000 – Frank E Genovese, Midlothian, Virginia
$59,264 – Richard L “Rick” Sharp, Henrico, Virginia
$56,000 – Premium Distributors of Virginia LLC, Chantilly, Virginia
$55,000 – Window World, Virginia Beach, Virginia
$50,500 – Northrop Grumman, Los Angeles, California
$50,000 – Clifford S Asness, Greenwich, Connecticut
$50,000 – Cumberland Resources Corporation, Abingdon, Virginia
$50,000 – Edward B Via, Roanoke, Virginia
$50,000 – Howard Gary Heavin, Gatesville, Texas
$50,000 – John O Wynne, Virginia Beach, Virginia
$50,000 – Joseph W Luter, IV, Smithfield, Virginia
$50,000 – Washington Redskins, Ashburn, Virginia