McAuliffe on New Coal Regulations: Um, I'll Get Back to You, Virginia

Posted: Sep 23, 2013 5:12 PM

Does this guy have a cogent position on anything, aside from "Ken Cuccinelli is a dangerous extremist"? Within the last two weeks, he's shown himself to be utterly unprepared for a sit-down with Northern Virginia techies -- which touched off the damning endorsement firestorm -- then had nothing of substance to offer at a forum on higher education. Now he's hit the trifecta (via Washington Post reporter Ben Pershing):

Here is McAuliffe assuring a reporter that he'll enlist "experts" to "look at 'em," referring to the EPA's new anti-coal regulations (which the agency itself admits will have "negligible" environmental impact, but will devastate the coal industry):

This "hey, I'll look into it" punt is the same crutch McAuliffe used to deflect a question on the state budget last month. One supposes he'll also look into how to be a governor once you elect him, Virginia. Meanwhile, the Washington Post published a tough story over the weekend, detailing McAuliffe's long history of highly lucrative insider dealings. Among other things, the Post report reveals that the Democrat remains the largest individual shareholder of GreenTech Auto -- the sputtering company he founded, which now sits under a cloud of federal investigation. McAuliffe told Virginians that he left the company in December, but he's maintained financial and legal ties to the failed enterprise ever since:

Dated March 12, the previously undisclosed prospectus, provided to The Washington Post by the nonprofit watchdog group Cause of Action, notes that McAuliffe is “currently the largest individual shareholder” of GreenTech. The prospectus, along with other documents reviewed by The Post, shows how 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. That formula has made McAuliffe a millionaire many times over, paving the way for a long list of business ventures, including his law firm, from which he resigned in the 1990s after profiting — along with his partners — from fees paid by domestic and foreign clients seeking results from the federal government. A review of McAuliffe’s business history shows him often coming out ahead personally, even if some investments fail or become embroiled in controversy.

Terry McAuliffe has exploited his influence and access to enrich himself, profiting handsomely even when taxpayers and enterprises got the shaft. This is called "cronyism," and Americans hate it. Cuccinelli reacts:

“After telling the public and media for months that he had no involvement with the company, today we’re finding out that statement is blatantly untrue,” Cuccinelli said in a statement. “As it turns out, not only was McAuliffe still involved, but GreenTech was also using that ongoing involvement to lure investors and promote its brand ... There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a risk or starting a business that does not reach the success one had hoped. That’s a fundamental and important part of free market capitalism,” Cuccinelli added. “But what’s very troubling about Terry McAuliffe’s unsuccessful leadership of GreenTech is his continued pattern of misleading Virginians and keeping critical information from them about the company, its operations and the ongoing federal investigations it is embroiled in.”

The Post also notes that McAuliffe has out-spent his Republican opponent by nearly $2 million on television ads so far; more than three-quarters of the Democrat's ads are negative attacks. In fairness, shouting "Cuccinelli hates women and gays!" is a lot easier than actually having a remotely plausible spending plan, explaining your flagrant reversal on immigration policy, or adhering to your own standard on candidates releasing their tax returns. The Richmond Times-Dispatch has it right: McAuliffe is a "deeply unserious" candidate for the highest office in the Commonwealth.

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