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Captain of scandal could win major race
Posted By Garth Kant On 11/03/2013 @ 4:22 pm In Front Page,Politics,U.S. | No Comments
WASHINGTON —Terry McAuliffe is the ultimate Clinton insider.
The Democrat has been at the center of major scandals during every step of his career, though he’s never been charged.
He is also the leading gubernatorial candidate in Virginia, although his double-digit lead over his Republican opponent, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, has plummeted to just two points, with the election on Tuesday.
The left-leaning website Counterpunch called McAuliffe the Clintons’ “chief emissary” whose “implacable loyalty” was amply rewarded in 2001.
Read WND’s related story: Does GOP want to lose Virginia race?
That’s when “Bill Clinton engineered the ouster of Joe Andrew as head of the DNC and installed McAuliffe … as the chief of the party. As the head of the DNC, McAuliffe was now in a position to protect the Clintons’ legacy, reward loyalists, punish party dissidents and select the next presidential nominee.”
Back in 2004, the website claimed, “Terry McAuliffe didn’t just use his business contacts to fatten the accounts of the Democratic National Committee; he also deftly exploited them to inflate his own fortune, which now nudges toward nine figures.”
The Washington Post called McAuliffe “a Washington insider who got rich as he rose to power within the Democratic Party” and “even called himself a ‘huckster’ in his autobiography.”
“For McAuliffe, politics and business have always been intertwined,” the paper stated.
According to Watchdog.org, “McAuliffe even put up $1.35 million toward the purchase of a New York home for Bill and Hillary in 1999, when the Clintons were burdened by legal debts from the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal and Hillary needed to establish residency for a U.S. Senate run from the Empire State.”
Fast-forward to the Virginia governor’s race of 2013 and Examiner.com noted in August, “Terry McAuliffe is a scam artist” who “could teach a few things to Bernie Madoff.”
In September, the website declared, “McAuliffe is hiding enough scandals to sink 10 candidates.”
McAuliffe’s scandals include:
1990-1999: Florida real estate
The Labor Department sued Jack Moore and John Grau in May of 1999 for mismanaging the pension fund for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Moore controlled the $6 billion IBEW pension fund.
Regulators said the fund lost money because its sweetheart real-estate deals in Florida were “imprudent.”
Moore and Grau settled the case for more than six figures, and the union paid $5 million to cover losses to the pension fund.
However, “the person at the center of the scandal,” according to Counterpunch, was McAuliffe, who by 1999 was head of the Democratic National Committee, and he “made out in the deal very well, indeed.”
The pension fund put up $39 million to purchase the property in central Florida.
McAuliffe only put up $100 but somehow made a $2.45 million profit.
Despite investing only that $100, he and his wife ended up owning 50 percent of the project.
After that, Moore gave McAuliffe another $6 million from the pension fund to purchase more land, south of Orlando, to be subdivided into 500 single-family homes. Half the homes were built and many did not sell.
Labor Department records show McAuliffe was in default on repaying the loan from 1992 to 1997, until he eventually found a buyer.
Counterpunch reported, “The Labor Department didn’t have any authority to go after McAuliffe. That was up to the Clinton Justice Department and they took a pass. He wasn’t sued or otherwise inconvenienced. So a labor fund got looted and Terry McAuliffe got very rich.”
The Washington Post reported McAuliffe made $16 million from his Florida land deals.
1996: More union money
“McAuliffe helped devise a political money-cycling scheme that led to the downfall of several leaders of the Teamster’s Union” in 1996, according to Counterpunch.
Former director of finance for the Democratic National Committee Richard Sullivan testified that McAuliffe asked him and other top DNC fundraisers to ask big Democratic donors to make contributions of at least $50,000 to the re-election campaign of Ron Carey, who was up against James Hoffa Jr. for leadership of the Teamsters.
Sullivan testified that under McAulife’s scheme the Teamster’s Union would recycle those donations back into Democratic Party accounts.
Again, McAuliffe was not charged.
1996: Clinton re-election campaign
In 1994, President Bill Clinton made McAuliffe the chief fundraiser for his 1996 re-election campaign.
A series of dubious fundraising efforts ensued.
Vice President Al Gore attended a fundraising luncheon at the Hsi Lai Buddhist temple in Hacienda Heights, Calif., in 1996.
PBS reported that during that event “$100,000 illegal contributions were funded to the Democratic National Committee.”
Counterpunch described the “notorious coffee klatches, where for a six-figure contribution to the DNC, corporate executives were brought to the White House for some face-time with Bill and Hillary, Al and Tipper, and a retinue of Cabinet secretaries, with pen in hand ready to address any nagging problem.”
But investigations into those incidents, as well as “the 45 telephone (calls) the vice president made from the White House … to solicit soft money contributions for the Democratic National Committee’s general campaign fund” led nowhere.
“[A]fter 32 often partisan public hearings, testimony from more than 70 witnesses and thousands of pages of documents, there were few tangible results,” PBS reported.
Renting out the Lincoln bedroom to top donors? That was also McAuliffe’s idea.
But it all paid off.
McAuliffe raised more than $600 million for the DNC over six years.
1997-2001: Global Crossing
McAuliffe made another killing, somehow earning $8 million from a $100,000 investment in something called Global Crossing.
Following the Clinton re-election“McAuliffe also served as an on-call DC fixer” for Gary Winnick, who ran Global Crossing, a fiber-optics company chartered in the tax haven of Bermuda.
McAuliffe said Winnick hired him as a consultant to “help work some deals” with the federal government.
Global Crossing was looking to cash in on the deregulation of the telecom industry and new opportunities in China. In 1997, Winnick offered McAuliffe the opportunity to purchase $100,000 worth of Global Crossing stock.
The stock value skyrocketed when Global Crossing’s shares went public in 1998.
“Operating with an acute sensitivity to the fluctuations of the market bordering on ESP,” according to Counterpunch, McAuliffe “sold his shares at the precise moment the stock peaked.”
McAuliffe told the New York Times he made $18 million in the deal.
Global Crossing’s stock collapsed within months and the company went bankrupt.
A year earlier, in 1997, President Clinton said, “Gary Winnick has been a friend of mine for some time now and I’m thrilled by the success that Global Crossing has had,” despite any evidence the two had met.
But the endorsement led to a $400 million contract from the Pentagon “after repeated prodding from the White House.”
After the contract was awarded, Winnick played golf with Clinton, and then Winnick donated $1 million to the Clinton presidential library.
However, the Pentagon canceled the Global Crossing deal in 2001 following an investigation by the Inspector General of the Defense Department, “which raised questions over how the contract was awarded and Global Crossing’s ability to fulfill its obligations.”
The company went bankrupt after that.
McAuliffe bought 25 percent of an upstart electric-car company and became chairman of GreenTech In 2009.
Since then, according to ABC News, there have been “questions about political favoritism, national-security risks, and the government’s role in foreign investments.”
McAuliffe tried to base the company in Virginia, but it landed in Tunica, Miss., after state officials raised doubts over the business plan in an internal Virginia Economic Development Project memo obtained by ABC News, and after Mississippi offered millions in financial incentives.
Bill Clinton attended the plant’s opening in 2012.
McAuliffe promised to put a plant in Virginia that would create thousands of new jobs.
However, instead of creating thousands of jobs, GreenTech told ABC it employs “more than 80″ workers.
Critics such as Examiner.com called the venture a scam.
“Greentech, which is a company that makes electric cars, that McAuliffe claims he bought from China and moved to the United States, appears to have only one factory it rented in Mississippi where one demo version of the car it was supposed to product, has been manufactured to show investors.
“As exposed in the movie, Fa$t Terry by Citizens United, Greentech hired workers and created what appears to be an assembly line that built cars, and when investors showed up the workers ‘put on a show’ to make it look like they were building cars, and when the investors left, the assembly line show was put on hold.
“Both companies were scams, where investor money was collected and went who-knows-where, because no pellets and only one demo car was made.”
The project also has numerous legal problems, including possible national security concerns.
According to a memo obtained by ABC News, McAuliffe personally lobbied Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to expand federal approval for Gulf Coast Funds Management – a firm headed by Tony Rodham, the brother of Hillary Clinton – to obtain visas for Chinese investors giving more than $500,000 to the project.
The network learned in July that the SEC has been investigating GreenTech, and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, began raising national-security concerns about its funding plan.
According to ABC, “GreenTech has sought to rely on funding from Chinese investors, who could obtain conditional U.S. visas in exchange for $500,000 investments under a federal program known as EB-5, designed to attract foreign investments in the U.S. economy. The SEC is investigating … whether investors were “guarantee[d]” returns, according to Dept. of Homeland Security documents obtained and posted online by Grassley.”
Additionally, Grassley has asked DHS about potential national security risks of the EB-5 visa program.
That’s because DHS is investigating a high-ranking department official and nominee, Alejandro Mayorkas, over his possible role in the approval of Gulf Coast’s application for visas with U.S. Customs and Immigration Services.
Furthermore, the nonpartisan government watchdog group Cause of Action, meanwhile, is asking whether McAuliffe’s political influence helped GreenTech avoid “the typical loopholes a foreign-owned company has to run through to do business.”
2010: Sister of GreenTech
McAuliffe was also the chairman of a sister entity called WM GreenTech Energy Holdings.
It signed a joint agreement with A-Power Energy Generation Systems, a China-based firm, to develop renewable power projects.
According to Watchdog.org, McAuliffe vowed to invest up to $1 billion in wind energy with A-Power.
The joint venture was to pursue “new energy projects covering wind, solar and biomass power generation in the global market” and it also involved other Democratic Party fundraisers and lobbyists who pushed for $450 million in federal stimulus money for an A-Power wind farm in Texas.
But the company went bust, and the wind farm was never built.
The deferral funds did not materialize. A-Power investors sued the company, alleging securities fraud and demanding their money back.
GreenTech Energy was classified as “delinquent” by the Virginia Corporation Commission.
Watchdog said, “A-Power paid a $3.6 million settlement to investors, and the company’s stock was valued at 6-cents a share on April 23. The Securities and Exchange Commission has since banned A-Power from the U.S. securities market.”
McAuliffe once again escaped any blame and was not named in the suit. He has not said whether he made good on his pledge to invest $1 billion in A-Power.
How much money McAuliffe made on GreenTech appears to not be known publicly.
But the Washington Post said, “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.”
Follow Garth Kant on Twitter @DCgarth
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