Hedge fund manager Michael Bills and his wife Sonjia Smith, the largest sources of individual political donations this cycle in Virginia, used a green energy PAC to push money to Democratic candidates.
Bills—a former Goldman Sachs VP who now runs the Bluestem Asset Management LLC hedge fund—and Smith have spent over $2 million on the Virginia elections. The donations came through direct contributions to Democratic candidates as well as large investments in the Clean Virginia Fund, a PAC purportedly focused on fighting energy monopolies that has given predominately to Democrats.
The couple has made more political donations in the past two years than in the previous decade.
From 2008 to 2017, Bills gave just over $1 million to Virginia candidates and causes while Smith gave about $1.5 million. In 2018 and 2019, Bills cut checks for slightly more than $2 million while Smith donated roughly $1 million, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a website that tracks political spending in the state. Bills’s direct contributions to Democratic campaigns range from $2,000 to $90,000.