Terry McAuliffe Crony Capitalism Watch

One of the most interesting races this year is the Virginia governorship battle, pitting constitutionalist Ken Cuccinelli, the commonwealth's current attorney general, against Democratic fundraiser and close Clinton pal (chairman of Hillary's 2008 presidential campaign) Terry McAuliffe. You can be sure that the knives will be out of Cuccinelli, seeking to portray his fidelity to constitutional principles as right wing extremism. That's because McAuliffe has so little to offer himself that he is attempting to remake himself into some sort of business leader who will bring jobs to Virginia.

Sadly, there is no substance to McAuliffe's claims to job creation and business leadership. Kimberly Starssel of the Wall Street Journal has reviewed the record of McAuliffe in creating green jobs, and finds plenty of political influence, deal-making, and smoke and mirrors, and also some questionable activity that looks a lot like selling visas to the United States, but very few jobs, and almost none in Virginia. McAuliffe, you see, has his own Solyndra, a company that has raked in lots of money with government help, but which hasn't actually produced any products: GreenTech Automotive.

...Mr. McAuliffe got out the political Rolodex and went on the money hunt. By October 2009, GreenTech announced it would build a plant in Tunica, Miss., after the state (under Republican then-Gov. Haley Barbour) promised at least $5 million in public loans and grants to aid the company moving in.

GreenTech bragged that in its first phase alone it would invest $1 billion, employ 1,500 and produce 150,000 cars annually. Mr. McAuliffe grandly unveiled his signature MyCar last July at a rock-star event attended by Messrs. Clinton and Barbour. Business creds in hand, he then announced his run for governor-and the problems began.

Among the first questions he was asked was why, as a proud "Virginia" businessman, he'd located his business in Mississippi. Scrambling, Mr. McAuliffe stated that he had wanted to bring his jobs home but the Virginia Economic Development Partnership "didn't want to bid on" GreenTech-whereas Mississippi had offered incentives. He went so far as to criticize the state for not going after manufacturing jobs like his, suggesting he'd change that.

After an investigation, media outlets discovered that Virginia never received enough information from GreenTech to proceed.

It gets worse. GreenTech has actually gotten into the business of selling visas to the United States - yes, a private company has been given that power. Read the whole thing to follow this shocking example of crony capitalism.

I look forward to the coming campaign. Crony capitalism has a sorry record under Barack Obama, perhaps because so many of his cronies have no experience actually producing useful goods and services, and have no respect for those who do. I confess that I am not able to listen to McAuliffe speak without experiencing a gag reflex - the man reeks of smarmy manipulation. All the media help in the world will not excuse the boondoggle the wheeler-dealer has foisted on taxpayers.


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