A self-styled populist Democratic candidate for the Virginia governorship received an honorarium payment from the alumni organization of an elite secret society at Yale University, according to financial disclosure forms.
Tom Perriello, a progressive who served as a representative from Virginia's 5th Congressional district from 2009 to 2010 but lost his congressional seat during the Tea Party wave, is running against Ralph Northam, the state's lieutenant governor, in June's Democratic gubernatorial primary.
Perriello attended Yale as an undergrad and again for law school and has described himself on numerous occasions as a "pragmatic populist."
"I'm a populist in the sense that I think the people are often smarter about what's going on than the leadership in Washington," Perriello said in an interview with the Collegiate Times. "I'm a populist in the sense that I think we need to understand that growth really comes from the purchasing power of the working middle class out, it doesn't trickle down from the top. I'm a pragmatist in that I'm not out here to be a bomb thrower, I’m out here to solve problems."
Despite his populist claims, Perriello's financial disclosure forms during his time in Congress show he was paid by a group of elites who operate in secrecy.