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Opinion

Local Editorial: Some questions for Terry McAuliffe

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Opinion,Local Editorial

Now that he's running for governor, Terry McAuliffe suddenly wants to get money out of politics and limit campaign contributions to Virginia candidates to $100. This is rich, considering that the multimillionaire McLean resident and former head of the Democratic National Committee was one of the most successful political fundraisers of all time.

Such blatant hypocrisy should put Virginia voters on notice that what McAuliffe says and what he does are not always the same. But there's an even deeper disconnect between McAuliffe's claim to be a successful businessman and his well-documented track record.

It's been widely reported that GreenTech Automotive, the electric car venture McAuliffe chaired until last year, set up shop in Mississippi because Virginia officials had serious doubts about its commercial viability. But few Virginians know that GreenTech's Chinese partner, Jianghuai Automobile Co., was forced to pull its 4R3 pickup from the 2012 Beijing Auto Show after Ford complained that it was a cheap knockoff of its F-150, down to the iconic blue oval,

McAuliffe still hasn't explained how he parlayed a $100,000 investment in Global Crossing into $18 million in less than a year and a half, and made millions more trading artificially inflated stocks and options a year before the telecommunications company went belly up. Stockholders lost their shirts and employees lost their jobs and their 401(k) retirement funds while a Chinese firm snapped up the remaining assets for pennies on the dollar.

What brilliant business insight allowed McAuliffe to make an 18,000 percent profit from what would become the fourth largest bankruptcy in U.S. history? Virginia voters would like to know.

Speaking of campaign donations, most of McAuliffe's donations are from out of state, just like his first run in 2009. That January, Hassan Nemazee, one of President Obama's top 2008 Democratic "bundlers," hosted a New York fundraiser for McAuliffe that netted the candidate $350,000. The following year, Nemazee pleaded guilty to defrauding three major banks out of nearly $300 million in a scheme to make campaign contributions to federal, state and local candidates, according to Reuters.

Does McAuliffe still think that wealthy out-of-staters should decide who governs Virginia? If not, does he plan to give those outside donations back?

Just asking.

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