Days after finally admitting that he will support energy pipeline construction in Virginia, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam is taking fire from members of his own party opposed to pipeline projects. Over the weekend, Northam was “peppered with questions” by anti-pipeline protesters at a campaign stop. Despite desperate attempts by the Northam campaign to falsely spin Northam’s pipeline support as “the same thing he has been saying all along,” even Democrats aren’t buying it. Anti-pipeline anger directed at Northam was clear when every question Northam faced at his event was “about his support for the pipeline.”
NBC 29 reports:
“Anti-pipeline protesters in central Virginia are challenging Democratic candidate for governor Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam to change his views on Dominion’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
They peppered him with questions at Saturday morning’s monthly breakfast meeting of the Albemarle County Democratic Committee.
Northam supports the ACP. He fielded many questions after his speech to party members; all of them were about his support for the pipeline…
‘You can’t just talk out of both sides of your mouth and say you’re pro-environment and pro-pipeline, those things don’t go together, at all,” Jennifer Lewis, president of Friends of Augusta, said. “Pipelines burst, they leak, they explode, if you have one leak in a water source and it’s gonna go down stream, and it’s gonna end up in the bay…’
Virginia Democrats are concerned that Northam is the only person on their party’s ticket who is pro-pipeline. They hope to change his mind.
‘In a perfect world I would love to see our Democratic governor candidate return the money he’s gotten from Dominion and come out against the pipelines,’ Lewis said…
Lewis is also the vice chair of the Waynesboro Democratic Committee. She says she will not vote for Northam unless he has a change of heart about this issue.”
During his divisive primary against Tom Perriello, Northam was constantly attacked by anti-pipeline protesters and Perriello’s own campaign for refusing to give a yes or no answer on pipelines. Protesters even went so far as to hijack his primary victory party, taking over the stage at the event to harass Northam. And now with Virginia’s top Democrat blog accusing Northam of giving “the finger to Progressives” and local Democrat party leaders, including the vice chair of the Waynesboro Democratic Committee, pledging not to “vote for Northam unless he has a change of heart” on pipelines, it is increasingly clear that anti-pipeline Democrats will not give Northam a pass for taking the opposite position from them, leaving their party increasingly divided ahead of the November election.