Corruption

Terry McAuliffe's Ethics Hypocrisy

Investigations occasionally have followed in McAuliffe's wake like a slime trail.

|

"Terry McAuliffe is very stern about ethics in Virginia," a reader notes. "How'd he get rich, anyway?"

Good question.

Governor McAuliffe has indeed laid down the law—or tried to—regarding badly needed ethics reforms in the commonwealth. He has imposed a $100 gift cap on himself and his administration. Last year he canceled funding for a new ethics board that he considered a sham. He created an advisory commission chaired by two elder statesmen, Republican Bill Bolling and Democrat Rick Boucher, to propose new rules for the state's politicos. And he recently took the unprecedented step of partially reimbursing the state for the cost of his security detail when he took a personal trip abroad to visit a daughter in Africa.

A few days ago the governor chastised lawmakers for their recalcitrance regarding ethics reform. Lamenting the "many abuses" that have occurred over the years, he continued: "If you want to take free trips and get all kinds of benefits and goodies, well, public service is not where you should be. There are many things in life you can go do. You have made the decision to be in public service. It's not public service funded by private interests. I want to take a trip, I pay for it myself. It's the right thing to do."

This is all to the good. Still, it brings to mind St. Augustine, who wrote many fine words about sexual purity—after he had practiced so much sexual impurity it would have made a satyr blush.

McAuliffe hasn't always been exactly averse to mixing public service and private interests. He was, for example, the chief fundraiser for Bill Clinton's 1996 re-election bid—a role that, by definition, involved using funds from private interests in the pursuit of public service. That pursuit sometimes led to questionable situations, as a 1998 news report made clear:

"WASHINGTON—President Clinton's chief 1996 fund-raiser sought to steer big Democratic donors to Teamster President Ron Carey's re-election despite his sworn denials, two witnesses have told the Senate's investigation into campaign fund-raising abuses. Terence McAuliffe, who was treasurer of the Clinton-Gore '96 campaign, said in sworn Senate testimony that he had no active part in discussions about a contribution swap scheme that triggered a federal grand jury investigation of the 1996 Teamsters election."

That wasn't the only federal investigation in which McAuliffe's name came up. In 1998 the Labor Department subpoenaed "records from a union pension fund," as a news story reported, "as part of a criminal investigation into real estate deals between the fund and Terence R. McAuliffe." The pension fund "invested close to $50 million in McAuliffe's companies without requiring McAuliffe to put up any of his own money." McAuliffe eventually sold his interest in the company at a tidy profit.

Investigations occasionally have followed in McAuliffe's wake like a slime trail.

"Car Company With Ties to Terry McAuliffe Probed by SEC," read a Washington Post headline a couple of years ago. That would be GreenTech Automotive, the company McAuliffe departed (in late 2012) with none of the fanfare he employed when he was running it. GreenTech partnered with Gulf Coast Funds Management, run by Anthony Rodham—Hillary Clinton's brother. Gulf Coast sought to arrange investors for GreenTech through the federal EB-5 visa program, and drew the attention of yet another federal agency. As Politico reported, "A Virginia-based company that helped finance Terry McAuliffe's former auto manufacturing firm GreenTech has been identified as part of an investigation into a potentially problematic visa scheme" that raised hackles at the Department of Homeland Security.

McAuliffe was long gone by the time those stories broke. On the other hand, he seems to have had a hand in arranging meetings with immigration officials regarding EB-5. "Terry knew somebody in Biden's office, and that's how the meeting got coordinated," a GreenTech lawyer told The New York Times.

McAuliffe said he knew nothing about the investigations into GreenTech or Gulf Coast, or the questionable activities that instigated them. But then, he also claimed to know nothing about it last year when his political action committee suggested selling face-time with him for cash. For 10 grand, the proposal went, a donor could get in on roundtable discussions with the governor and policy experts. For 100 grand, a donor could enjoy a private dinner with the governor and his wife and participate in monthly policy talks with advisers.

When the news broke, the governor professed to be shocked and appalled—even though the PAC's director called the arrangement "nothing out of the ordinary." But how's a world-class fundraiser supposed to know that?

Maybe all of this is just a wild coincidence. Maybe McAuliffe just has amazingly bad luck when it comes to picking his associates. Or maybe he is something like St. Augustine, who spoke with authority derived from experience when he denounced sins of the flesh.

The difference, of course, is that Augustine didn't simply lecture others. He first confessed to having done wrong.

NEXT: Four Months Into Philly Marijuana Decriminalization, Cops Still Writing Citations, Making Arrests

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. this isn’t a secret in VA noone, I mean noone, pretended Terry was anything other than a proven crook and craven leech on the public tit. It came down to the republicans basically bailing on Cuchinelli two weeks before election day, which completely mystifies me, and the fact that the feds came down on McDonnell the gov at the time for corruption.

    1. Double whammy right at the end. I still don’t get why republican bailed on Cuccinelli. He was a very good AG for Virginia.

  2. FAYK SKANDULL!! You got nothing on him, so it’s the politics of personal destruction, speculation and innuendo!

    Plus – BOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

  3. We shouldn’t let a person with a hint of unethical behavior within a mile of public office. Naturally, we do the exact opposite and keep giving these scumbags power over us.

  4. “Make me ethically pure….just not yet.”

  5. As bad as McAuliffe’s history is, what’s even worse is that he’s not from Virginia, has no association with the commonwealth at all before running for governor. Starting with Hillary Clinton’s New York senate seat, then Rahm Emmanuel’s Chicago mayorship, and now McAuliffe’s governorship, the Democrats have set a broad precedent for handing out what are supposed to be elected offices like medieval fiefs for the president’s cronies.

    They might as well have Obama sit on a throne and touch these jerkoffs’ shoulders with a sceptre. “I create you governor of Virginia, with lands and title…”

    1. In fairness, Rahm doesn’t belong with Clinton and McAuliffe (whatever else you may think of him). While he spent a good amount of his professional career in DC, he’s no carpetbagger.

      He was born in Chicago, went to college at Northwestern and represented a portion of the city in Congress for several years before being tapped as Obama’s Chief of Staff. I believe he stated he would come back to local politics in Chicago and then run for mayor but the office opened up years before anybody predicted it would.

      1. Yeah, whatever else Rahm is, he is no carpetbagger.

  6. Gonna repost this.

    http://assets.wharton.upenn.ed….._paper.pdf

    1. Interesting, especially in the light of this:

      https://reason.com/blog/2014/07…..-new-study

  7. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is wha? I do……

    http://www.wixjob.com

      1. Double plus ungood.

  8. Why is his hypocrisy a surprise? This man was Chairman of the DNC. The central committees of the major parties are corrupt hellholes where ethics is a joke.

  9. On a side note, Lance Armstrong announces a campaign to eradicate PEDs in bicycle racing.

    1. Will he lie about the campaign’s success and sue anybody who disagreed with him?

  10. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I’ve been doing,,,,,,,,,
    http://www.work-mill.com

  11. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I’ve been doing,,,,,,,,,
    http://www.work-mill.com

  12. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.netjob80.com

  13. Start working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.
    ……………. http://www.Work4Hour.Com

  14. “Terry McAuliffe is very stern about ethics in Virginia”

    I’m surprised your computer didn’t burst into flames when you typed that.

    This is the funniest thing I’ve heard all day. Of course, there’s a saying that I don’t exactly remember. I can paraphrase it as ‘We laugh to keep ourselves from crying.’

  15. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go? to tech tab for work detail

    ———————-WWW.NETJOB80.COM

  16. Free shipping. 100% Satisfaction guaranteed or Your money back.

    We can’t explain the magic of the buckyballs or why they are so addictive, but we are sure that you can’t put them down after you have hold this magnetic puzzle game in your own hands!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.