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'Virginians for Clean Government' Speak Out Against Cuccinelli - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

'Virginians for Clean Government' Speak Out Against Cuccinelli

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A group backed by a wealthy environmentalist is lashing out against Republican candidate for governor Ken Cuccinelli this week. Virginians for Clean Government says Cuccinelli should pay back more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from a company involved in a lawsuit with southwest Virginia landowners.

Virginians for Clean Government is a group of about 40 southwest Virginians speaking out against Cuccinelli. They say Cuccinelli should be held responsible for his office's involvement in a controversial class-action suit.

Landowners are suing two out-of-state energy companies for more than $28 million in disputed natural gas royalties. One of those companies, Consol Energy, contributed more than $100,000 to Cuccinelli's campaign and reportedly traded emails with a staffer in his office.

Now this group, backed by political action committee Next Gen Climate Action, says Cuccinelli needs to pay back that money.

"The fact that he took over $100,000 in donations from this very company that's in a lawsuit with Southwest Virginians, I just think that's a very big conflict of interest," said Matt Skeens, of Virginians for Clean Government.

The Republican Party of Virginia says the group's complaints are based on a false premise, adding, "This group is backed by a radical environmentalist who wants to destroy Virginia's coal industry."

Both sides are using climate and energy issues to fight over voters in southwest Virginia, a traditionally conservative region.

Election Day is in just over a month, on November 5.

Click here for Cuccinelli's statement.

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