Paul Jacob

Virginians are poised to elect Democratic Party gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe to the highest office in the Commonwealth. McAuliffe holds a significant lead in the governor’s race in every published poll, even while more Old Dominion residents get a decidedly negative rather than positive vibe from the notorious loudmouth huckster.

A recent Hampton University poll showed only 31 percent of Virginians with a positive view of McAuliffe against 37 percent with a clearly negative assessment.

There are the old scandals from the 1990s, like the Florida real estate deal wherein McAuliffe invested $100 and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers pension fund put in $39 million, somehow giving McAuliffe a 50 percent stake, from which he profited $2.45 million, even while the Department of Labor investigated the deal before forcing the IBEW to reimburse their pension fund to the tune of $5 million.

And there are always new scandals popping up. Yesterday, the liberal Talking Points Memo reported that, “A company linked to questionable arms deals in West Africa has given $120,000 in campaign contributions to Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.” The McAuliffe campaign offered no direct statement on the donations, but TPM explained, “Though it is based in Virginia, LISCR serves as a regulator of the shipping industry in the African nation of Liberia through a contract given to the company by former Liberian president and convicted war criminal Charles Taylor.”

Just more grassroots, community-centered politics to protect the middle class, eh?

At the beginning of this campaign, McAuliffe touted his entrepreneurial acumen by boasting that his electric car company, GreenTech, would bring jobs to Virginia. Turned out, not so much, as those jobs, or only a small slice of them, were created in Mississippi, not Virginia. McAuliffe’s role in the company, with which he has now severed ties, only reinforces his image as political wheeler-dealer rather than a businessman. As a Washington Post reporter put it, “GreenTech fits into a pattern of investments in which McAuliffe has used government programs, political connections and access to wealthy investors of both parties in pursuit of big profits for himself.”

The Republican Party’s nominee for governor, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has been filling the airwaves with commercials calling McAuliffe a “corrupt insider” and one ad recently charged that Terry McAuliffe “invested in an insurance scam that . . . profited off the terminally ill.”

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.