Americans often complain about the choices they have when they go into the polling place.

And they are often right to complain.

But in Virginia there is a clear choice in the governor’s race.

Ken Cuccinelli is the current attorney general of the state and the Republican candidate for governor. He has led the state’s fight against participation in Obamacare. He is a strong proponent of limited government, free enterprise solutions to economic problems, a supporter of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He’s everything conservatives, libertarians and Republicans say they want in a leader.

But he is behind in the polls.

Who is he running against?

He’s trailing flaming liberal Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a political fixer from the Clinton machine. He’s corrupt to the core, one of dozens of investors with a Rhode Island estate planner charged with defrauding insurers by using the stolen identities of terminally ill people, according to court documents filed last week by federal prosecutors in Providence.

McAuliffe’s name appeared on a lengthy list of investors with Joseph A. Caramadre, an attorney and accountant who obtained the identities of dying people to set up annuities that ultimately cost insurance companies millions of dollars, the documents say.

McAuliffe is a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee – a close confidante of Bill and Hillary, who are both campaigning hard for him and raising big money.

In 1985, McAuliffe helped found the Federal City National Bank. The bank loaned $125,000 to a political action committee that supported Richard Gephardt’s presidential campaign. McAuliffe was Gephardt’s campaign manager at the time. The bank also provided loans to former U.S. Rep. Tony Coelho and the then-speaker of the House. In 1991, the bank was cited by federal regulators for unsafe or unsound business practices. But McAuliffe, as is the case throughout his career, not only survived the scandal but wound up as vice chairman of the newly merged bank.

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In 1979, McAuliffe met Richard Swann, a lawyer who was in charge of fundraising for Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign in Florida. In 1988, McAuliffe married Swann’s daughter, Dorothy. In the 1980s, Swann’s finances collapsed. In 1990, federal regulators seized Swann’s American Pioneer Savings Bank, causing Swann to file for bankruptcy and McAuliffe to lose $800,000 he had invested in American Pioneer. The Resolution Trust Corporation, a federal agency, took over American Pioneer’s assets and liabilities and sued McAuliffe, and a former unit of the bank foreclosed on a real estate loan. McAuliffe partnered with a pension fund controlled by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Electrical Contractors Association to buy American Pioneer real estate, valued at $50 million, for $38.7 million from the Resolution Trust Corporation. McAuliffe paid a total of $100, while the pension fund paid $38.7 million, but he got a 50 percent equity stake in the company. McAuliffe then used some of the proceeds from the deal to purchase Jefferson National Title Insurance, a Florida company, and sold back some of McAuliffe’s shares to the pension fund. The Department of Labor then filed a lawsuit against McAuliffe and Moore, accusing them of imprudent business practices in the deal and also in a $6 million loan the fund made to a real estate company controlled by McAuliffe.

In 1997, McAuliffe invested $100,000 in Global Crossing, a Bermuda-registered telecommunications company. The company went public in 1998, and in 1999 McAuliffe sold 176,017 shares of the company for a profit of between $8 million and $18 million. McAuliffe sold the rest of his shares in January 2002. The company filed for bankruptcy that same month, causing investors to lose over $54 BILLION and 10,000 employees to lose their jobs in one of the largest bankruptcies in U.S. history.

In 2009, McAuliffe founded GreenTech Automotive, a holding company he then used to purchase the Chinese electric car company EU Auto MyCar for $20 million in May 2010. McAuliffe moved the company headquarters to Virginia and announced plans for a manufacturing plant in Mississippi. Meanwhile, it turns out McAuliffe was involved in selling visas to foreigners to entice them to invest in the company – which still has produced no cars.

Here’s what the Washington Post said about the deal: “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.”

I could go on and on about McAuliffe. He represents the very worst of what the Democratic Party political machine has become. But he is also a political extremist whose No. 1 issue is abortion on demand at any time for any reason and at any cost to the taxpayer. According to McAuliffe, no abortion should ever be denied – not by parents for their minor children, not because there are frivolous reasons like the desire for a baby of a certain sex, not even at full term.

So, with a choice like that, Virginians have no excuse to get this one wrong.

You can blame McAuliffe’s prolific television commercials. You can blame the media. You can blame the underfunded Cuccinelli campaign. But, in the end, if McAuliffe wins this race, you have to blame the people of Virginia – who have a real, stark choice.

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