Terry McAuliffe: Get money out of politics

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Photo - NEW YORK - JUNE 03:  Terry McAuliffe, campaign chairman for Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, June 3, 2008 at Baruch College in New York City. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 03: Terry McAuliffe, campaign chairman for Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, June 3, 2008 at Baruch College in New York City. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Local,Virginia,Steve Contorno,Campaign Finance

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe raised eyebrows in Republican circles Monday for his full-throated endorsement of strict campaign finance laws that would limit the money state politicians can raise.

McAuliffe, known as one of the most successful Democratic fundraisers of all time from his days as a party chairman and Clinton family insider, told Virginia public television station WVPT that as governor he would seek to limit contributions to candidates running for office. Virginia now puts no limit on campaign contributions, but requires candidates to report what they received.

"There's just way too much money in politics, and whatever we can do to move it to get some of the money out of politics and to limit it, I would be 100 percent for, and would be glad to sign that piece of legislation on my desk," McAuliffe said.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican in this fall's governor's race, said McAuliffe's statement doesn't match what the Democrat has preached throughout his career.

"McAuliffe complaining about money in politics is the equivalent of Bobby Knight criticizing cursing among college basketball coaches," Cuccinelli spokeswoman Anna Nix said.

McAuliffe has so far taken advantage of the system he wants to change, raising $5.1 million in the first quarter of 2013, including $3.9 million from outside the state. Cuccinelli, too, has benefited from the lack of limits, receiving a $1 million check from the Republican Governors Association that accounted for 40 percent of his $2.3 million haul for the quarter.

- Steve Contorno

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