Mystery groups spend thousands trashing GOP candidates for governor

Mystery groups spend thousands trashing GOP candidates for governor
An anti-Pete Snyder mailer funded by the Commonwealth Conservative Fund. (Source: Virginia Mercury)

In Virginia Cornerstone PAC’s video ads, Glenn Youngkin is an out-of-touch elitist whose global investment firm did business in China and paid Hillary Clinton $200,000 in speaking fees.

In mailers sent out by the Commonwealth Conservative Fund, Pete Snyder, aka “Sneaky Pete,” is a RINO who once said Donald Trump sounded like a “racist jerk.”

On the First Principles Fund website, Kirk Cox is a career politician, phony conservative and a “lead architect” of Medicaid expansion in Virginia.

Who’s behind the vaguely named groups spending thousands to attack three of the leading Republican candidates for governor?

Good luck finding out.

The GOP nominating contest is the latest example of how lax campaign finance rules allow outside groups to try to influence Virginia elections without leaving much of a trail showing who’s doing it.

On Wednesday, Cox’s campaign called attention to new anti-Youngkin mailers that it said created the false impression Cox was behind them by listing a return address in Colonial Heights, his hometown, and mimicking the name of his leadership PAC.

“This is the latest in a series of attacks launched by shadowy PACs that are potentially violating the letter and spirit of Virginia’s campaign finance laws,” Cox said. “Nearly every candidate in this race has been subjected to some kind of attack from a shadowy front group set up specifically to shield the individuals responsible for the ads. Every candidate in this race should disavow these tactics.”