Brewer continues to outspend Drewry, receives more Dominion money

Published 12:22 pm Thursday, October 28, 2021

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect Emily Brewer’s having received an additional $25,000 from Dominion Energy on Oct. 28.

Republican incumbent Emily Brewer has now spent more than five times the amount of money as her Democratic challenger, Michael Drewry, according to the latest campaign finance reports the two 64th District House of Delegates candidates filed with the Virginia Department of Elections on Oct. 25.

According to those reports, Brewer has spent $144,786.65 this election cycle compared to Drewry’s $28,728.62. Her total cash receipts for the current election cycle, including two last-minute $25,000 contributions from Dominion Energy on Oct. 28, totaled just over $200,000 — more than five times the roughly $35,000 raised by Drewry.

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Brewer’s campaign finance reports spanning Jan. 1 through Aug. 31 showed a $10,000 donation on May 12 from Dominion Energy. Brewer’s Oct. 15 and Oct. 25 reports show she received two additional $10,000 contributions from Dominion, one on Sept. 8 and the other on Oct. 6.  The $25,000 last-minute contribution she reported on Oct. 28, coupled with $2,500 she’d received from the power company on July 1, 2020, bring Dominion’s cumulative contributions to Brewer’s campaign to $57,500.

Drewry’s largest cash contribution, on the other hand, came on Sept. 9 via a $5,000 donation from Clean Virginia, a Charlottesville-based political action committee that describes its mission as advancing “clean government and clean energy” by “fighting utility monopoly corruption in Virginia politics.”

Brewer’s finance reports show large non-cash contributions, one on Sept. 24 from the Republican Party of Virginia valued at $13,934 and the other on Oct. 8 from the Realtors Political Action Committee valued at $9,898. Both are described on the reports as the actual cost of direct mailings.

Drewry is also reporting a non-cash, last-minute contribution on Oct. 25 valued at $12,000 from Rock Eagle Productions. According to the Virginia Department of Elections’ campaign finance reporting deadline rules, General Assembly candidates must file a separate “Large Pre-Election Contribution” report if they receive a direct or non-cash contribution or a loan of $1,000 or more within 11 days of the election.

Rock Eagle Productions, according to the State Corporation Commission, is a “fictitious name” registered to Amy S. Drewry. A fictitious name, according to the SCC’s website, is a name that a person or business entity uses instead of the person’s true name, sometimes referred to as an “assumed name” or “trade name.” It is often identified after a person’s true name with the abbreviation “t/a” (trading as), “dba” (doing business as) or “aka” (also known as).

“My wife Amy professionally produces documentaries,” said Michael Drewry. “She owns Rock Eagle Productions. She has produced multiple campaign videos for our use. The $12,000 is the market value of her time of filming and production.”

Neither Brewer nor anyone with her campaign responded to The Smithfield Times’ requests for comments by press deadline regarding the Dominion donations. The Smithfield Times called Brewer’s Richmond and Smithfield offices the afternoon of Oct. 26 and emailed Brewer’s campaign and House of Delegates email addresses, as well as her campaign manager, Michael Kemp.

State lawmakers had proposed a series of bills during the General Assembly’s 2021 regular session that, according to reporting by The Richmond Times-Dispatch, were designed to restore the State Corporation Commission’s authority to regulate what Dominion is allowed to charge consumers for electricity. Brewer voted “no” on most of the Dominion-related bills this year, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonprofit organization with the stated mission of organizing and presenting information on state politics without partisan bias.

But Dominion isn’t solely backing Republicans this election cycle. VPAP reports the company has funneled nearly $7 million into the 2021 state elections. Of this, $1 million went to Republicans, $1.8 million went to Democrats and the majority of its contributions, totaling $4 million, went to Dominion’s own political action committee.

The campaign finance reports the candidates submitted on Oct. 15 (for Sept. 1-30) and Oct. 25 (for Oct. 1-21) are linked below: