Kimberley Strassel tells Virginians about the Democrat's candidate for Governor that you won't find in the Virginian Pilot. They're still trying to use Democrat Party press releases to smear Governor McDonnell and presumptive Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli.
Running for governor of Virginia, the Democrat's main business credential is fast turning into a crony-capitalist embarrassment.
Turn over any green-energy rock, and wiggling underneath will be the usual creepy mix of political favoritism and taxpayer-funded handouts. Add to this the Clintons, Mississippi and a murky visa program, and you've got a particularly ripe political embarrassment for Terry McAuliffe.Everyone remember The Macker? Best Friend of Bill. Chairman of Hillary's 2008 presidential campaign. Famed money-tree shaker. Former Democratic Party chief. Failed 2009 contender for the Virginia governorship but now back as the party's nominee for that position in this fall's election. Oh—and in Mr. McAuliffe's words—"a Virginia businessman" intent on "creating jobs."Or at least that was the image Mr. McAuliffe sought to portray in 2009, when he became chairman of a car company called GreenTech Automotive, with plans to produce golf-cart sized electric vehicles. The former DNC chief is no stranger to moneymaking, having once used a friendly union pension fund to spin a $100 investment in a Florida land deal into $2.45 million. GreenTech, however, was designed to shed the moneyman image and to reposition Mr. McAuliffe as a (clean) job creator the way Mark Warner and Bob McDonnell used their pro-business credentials to win office in Virginia....GreenTech bragged that in its first phase alone it would invest $1 billion, employ 1,500 and produce 150,000 cars annually.
Turns out that McAuliffe was raising money using a government program that sells green cards to foreigners willing to fork over $500,000.
This is of particular interest, since GreenTech looks to be a lemon. Despite promising production in 2011, there is no evidence the company is manufacturing any cars in volume. It is operating out of a temporary site and has yet to begin building its flagship factory in Tunica. GreenTech is the latest proof (after Solyndra, Fisker, A123 and others) that the political class is adept at hooking up cronies and investors with taxpayer dollars. But creating jobs? No can do.
So why no stories about McAuliffe in Virginia's papers? Oh, that's simple. McAuliffe put out a press release saying he had nothing to do with GreenTech. So move along folks, nothing to see. Well, we may not see anything in the Virginian Pilot of the Washington Post, but we're not limited to these gatekeepers anymore.
This may explain the latest news bomblet. Mr. McAuliffe continued flogging his GreenTech credentials this year, appearing in January at a trade show under the title "chairman of GreenTech Automotive." Recent media reports have also used that title—with no protest from the candidate. But as the heat mounted, his campaign last week released a letter that claims Mr. McAuliffe had resigned from GreenTech by Dec. 1, 2012. The company, Mr. McAuliffe would now like everyone to know, has nothing to do with him.The Democratic pol may not shake the story so easily, given the degree to which he made the firm central to his gubernatorial run. Green crony capitalism is proving to be one of the more politically toxic stories of our time. And in this case, just in time for an election.
You can look back to McAuliffe's tenure at Global Crossing if you are interested. This is a pattern, not an event. I'd vote for some random used car salesman first.
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