Who is Funding Pete Snyder’s Run for Lt. Governor of Virginia?

Currently there are seven candidates vying for the republican nomination for Lt. Governor.  One of them is Fairfax county’s Pete Snyder, a very successful businessman and entrepreneur.   He was less successful in 2012 when Governor McDonnell chose him to run the victory campaign for the Republicans in Virginia.   While I keep hearing that his stock is rising, I’ve yet to understand the reasons for that rise just as I do not understand why establishment Richmond, and the Governor, are so enamored with Snyder.  I’ve heard him speak twice and was underwhelmed both times.  At a forum of the seven Lt. Governors on Sunday, there were several candidates (nearly all of them) who were much more impressive than Snyder.

I’ve been told Snyder’s  big advantage is his ability to raise money.   So I looked at Snyder’s campaign funding page at VPAP.   I immediately noticed that only 1/4 of Snyder’s donors actually  live in Virginia.  Contrast Pete’s page with that of another candidate, Corey Stewart, whose page rarely shows a donor who does not live in Virginia.  My first question is, why are so many out of state people funding a Virginia race for Lt. Governor?  And why have they chosen Pete Snyder?  I’ve never seen any Virginia candidate with so much out of state money.

I also noticed that Pete has received a huge chunk of his funding, $235,000, from a Denver based PAC called “Ending Spending Fund” (sounds like a contradiction in terms).   Their webpage says they are “a non-partisan political action committee that independently sponsors advertisements which advocate for the election or defeat of candidates across the country on the basis of a particular candidate’s position on fiscal issues.”   Since all the candidates are fiscal conservatives, and all of the current candidates who have held political office have proven themselves to be fiscal conservatives, again, why Snyder?  Since Snyder has never held office, we will have to take him at his word that he will be a fiscal conservative in office.   So why did this PAC choose Snyder for their candidate and why did they choose to give him so much money?

Digging further I found that the “Ending Spending Fund” is owned by Joe Ricketts, the reclusive 70 year old founder and chairman of Ameritrade investment company.  The Washington Post said this about Ricketts:

“he’s a man with some pretty close ties to Obamaworld and the Democratic Party.

Ricketts himself is a former Democrat who became a Republican and later an independent.

His daughter, Laura, is a gay and lesbian activist and big-time Obama bundler, having raised around half a million dollars for the man her father would apparently like to bring down.

The Ricketts family also owns the Chicago Cubs, which is in negotiations with former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel (now the mayor of Chicago) to get city help in renovating the team’s 98 year old stadium, Wrigley Field. One of Joe’s sons, Tom, leads those negotiations as the Cubs’ chairman.

The family’s net worth has been ranked as high as 93rd on the Forbes list of wealthiest Americans. In 2009, Joe Ricketts himself ranked 371st, with assets estimated at $1 billion.”

A previous Washington Post article on Joe Ricketts is here.

I’m left wondering, who is Pete Snyder, why is he running for LG, and why is he getting so much attention and money from outside Virginia?

More to come.

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12 thoughts on “Who is Funding Pete Snyder’s Run for Lt. Governor of Virginia?

  1. It’s disgusting to see this kind of behavior from a reputable blog. You are going after people who donate to PACs – and their family members, because of who the PAC supports?

    Attacking a campaign’s supporters, and their family members is a tactic typically reserved for the left. This reads more like a Rachel Maddow diatribe on the Koch brothers.

    VV should be above this kind of “gotcha” stuff. Are we really getting to “the daughter of a donor to a PAC that supports my opponent is my enemy and must be outed?”

  2. You are dead WRONG William. I sure want to know the source of funding of candidates……duh…….sounds like someone else wants to buy our State Government. Better to know who and why BEFORE the election………TACTIC? this borders on the ridiculous………hummmmmmmm maybe the Cubs want to move to PWC………….hohohoho

  3. ACK William! you’ve got me agreeing with Ken Reynolds…
    We need to know who is funding these campaigns to determine if candidates will be beholden to particular special interests.

    I do agree that relatives of donors are irrelevant.

  4. Mississippi??????? Terry McAuliffe is a native of my hometown, Syracuse, NY. He is a protege of President Clinton and has lived in Virginia for about 20 years. Truthfully, Terry is more of a national figure although he is a long-time resident of Virginia and attempted to get the Governor nomination 4 years ago. Where do you get this “Mississippi” stuff from? It may well be he has never even been to Mississippi and if he did, Haley Barbour could not understand his upstate NY dialecti!!!!!

  5. Knowing who a candidate is taking money from is fine, and it’s not an attack on the contributors to say so. Personally, I’ve often felt the best response to that is to say, I’ll take votes from all over. But if Snyder ends up being well–funded without noticeable VA grassroots support it’s a reasonable line of attack for his opponents.
    As an aside, I recently donated money to one of Snyder’s less-funded opponents, and am on mailing lists for others. I get daily emails from the ones I am on the mailing lists for, even though some are participating in the session (and the emails are therefore about policy) but I have not received a followup email, call, or letter from the candidate I sent funds to. Candidates, this is a terrible mistake. The automation available in even relatively inexpensive websites makes it easy to do followups. Missing the chance to use that technology to keep in contact with someone who contributed to you, even if the amount was small, is both surprising and disappointing to me.

    • King, you are right. Any contribution to a campaign should be acknowledged immediately. It’s a huge missed opportunity to contact with a potential delegate and supporter. The only thing that I can say in defense of the campaign is that some of the ‘little guys and gals’ running for LG are very under staffed because they don’t have any money. Still, you should have heard from the candidate.

  6. Chris, I am not surprised that Bolling people have migrated to Snyder, they’re all the establishment Richmond folks. I am sick of being fooled by republicans like McDonnell and Bolling who claim to be conservatives and then throw us under the bus at the first opportunity. My fear is Snyder is the same. We are judged by the company we keep.

  7. I learned today that Pete Snyder’s wife, Burson, is the deputy chief of staff to Senator Roy Blount. Pete is not quite the ‘outside the beltway’ candidate that he pretends to be. I wonder if Governor McDonnell helped her to get that job? What are the ties between McDonnell and Snyder?

    More to come………..

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