PHILLIPS: Terry McAuliffe the Virginia campaign

Why do Terry McAuliffe and the Democrats want to talk about everything but the issues? Photo: AP

WASHINGTON, July 5, 2013 — Virginia is ground zero for politics this year. The top three state offices — governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general — are all up for grabs with no incumbents, thanks to either term limits or the desire of the current office holder to move up.

New Jersey has some races going on, but Governor Chris Christie made them less interesting when he put his own reelection above the possibility of a GOP Senate gain, a betrayal of his own Party. He called an early special election to fill the seat of the late Frank Lautenberg, neither allowing a Republican to hold the seat long enough to establish serious credentials to keep it, nor allowing a popular Democrat to contest it on the day of Christie’s own reelection, thus bringing more Democrats to the polls who might vote against him.

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Former Clinton money-man and former Democratic National Chairman Terry McAuliffe is running for governor of Virginia. The campaign he is running speaks volumes about him and the modern state of left wing politics in America.

What are McAuliffe and the Democrats doing and why is this so bad for American people?

It is hard to go online in Virginia and not be assaulted by an ad for McAuliffe. His ads have three basic forms: Republican Ken Cuccinelli is an extremist; Terry McAuliffe supports abortion; and Terry McAuliffe supports same-sex marriage. Given that most people in Virginia give Ken Cuccinelli good marks as the Attorney General of Virginia, to whom are these ads supposed to appeal?

There are two groups any Democrat who is running for national office must bow down to: One is the abortion industry; the other is the gay rights movement. Both groups are important campaign contributors to Democrats. Many Democratic politicians such has Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius owe their careers to the abortion industry. Indeed, it is impossible to find any Democrat at the national level who dares to be anything other than pro-abortion and pro-gay.

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McAuliffe’s ads are part of a trend in politics that is not good for America. The problem with his campaign and his ads — a problem facing the Democrats in general — is that they avoid the issues that Americans most care about.

Most people may have an opinion about abortion, but many more are worried about the economy. In late June, a Gallup poll asked Americans what they were most worried about. The economy, the debt and jobs were the top three worries; abortion and gay rights did not even make the top twenty.

Our founding fathers came up with a great idea for America. It was the competition of ideas.  Candidates could come out with their ideas and compete for the voters. The best ideas would win.

Democrats have long since given up on this idea. Why? Americans don’t like their ideas.

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President Obama perfected the tactic of not running on either ideas or a record in 2012, when the sole purpose of his campaign was to demonize Mitt Romney. Because the Republican Establishment offered up the most liberal and most incompetent nominee in the history of the party, that was not too hard.

Instead of talking about issues Virginians are concerned about, McAuliffe has focused on the side show issues of Republican “extremism,” abortion and gay rights. His ads do not allow Virginians to judge McAuliffe on what he would do; rather, they bring in millions of dollars in campaign contributions from the far left.

McAuliffe may well want to avoid his record and his party’s record for good reason. Recently he flip-flopped on coal. He was pretty much in line with Obama’s war on coal before the election, but he now needs votes from the western part of Virginia where coal is mined. 

McAuliffe likes to claim he is a businessman, but his business acumen seems to be as a bagman for the Clintons and being a crony capitalist. He managed to raise the then unheard of amount of $275 million for Clinton’s campaigns and other causes, including a Clinton legal defense fund, the Clinton Library, and Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senate run. He offered to personally guarantee the mortgage on the Clinton’s New York home, earning himself the reputation as the Clintons’ most loyal friend in Washington. Bill Clinton famously said of McCauliffe, “I love this guy,” while Hillary Clinton observed, “Terry’s more wired than your local electric plant.”

McAullife has made a fortune by being wired, turning his political connections into personal wealth. He bought a 50 percent equity stake in a $38.7 million land deal for just $100; a pension fund put up the other $38.6999 million. The deal was arranged by a trustee of the pension fund, a friend from the Gephardt presidential campaign, not the sort of deal available to regular investors. According to Jeff Gerth of the New York Times, McCaullife “transformed the art of raising money for public figures into the art of raising money for himself, leveraging a personal fortune from his political fund-raising contacts.” McAullife himself has admitted, “I’ve met all of my business contacts through politics. It’s all interrelated.” 

McAuliffe’s newest venture, GreenTech Automotive, is supposed to build electric “neighborhood cars.” Part of the fundraising for GreenTech involved attracting foreign investors through a special government program that allowed them to receive American green cards if they made a sufficient investment.

Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, GreenTech announced its decision to build its factory in Mississippi. Asked about that, McAuliffe claimed that the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) had declined to bid on the plant. Politifact reported that claim to be false, discovering that VEDP had in fact been interested, but McAuliffe chose to put the plant in Mississippi before VEDP could do its due diligence. The AP reported that GreenTech had never provided VEDP with necessary documents to answer VEDP concerns about the business proposal. According to a VEDP official, one of those concerns was that GreenTech was “a visa-for-sale scheme with potential national security implications.”

Touted to generate 1,500 manufacturing jobs and 7,000 cars in 2013, GreenTech has so far employed 115* people in both states and produced no cars. McAuliffe says he resigned from GreenTech before December 1 last year, though his resignation was announced only three months ago.

(Editors Note: This number was originally reported as (18), which was a typo on the most widely published number (88) at the time or reporting.  We have been since notified by GreenTech that the number is, as of this writing (115). GreenTech also clarified that they are “working a production line.” We regret the error and omission.)

Perhaps one day we will have candidates of both parties who will lay out their competing ideas and their competing visions for their state or this nation. But as long as the Democrats’ goal is to bring about a one-party state in America, expect them to have one campaign strategy. That is the total demonization and politics of destruction visited on anyone who dares to run against a Democrat.

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More from Judson Phillips: Cold, Hard Truth
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Judson Phillips

Judson Phillips is the founder of Tea Party Nation, one of the largest Tea Party Groups in the country and the number one national tea party site on the Internet.

A lawyer by profession, Judson has been involved in politics since his teens. “Ronald Reagan inspired me,” he says.

Judson became involved in the Tea Party movement in February 2009 after hearing Rick Santelli’s rant on CNBC.   “I heard there was going to be a Tea Party in Chicago inspired by Santelli, but didn’t know if anyone was doing a rally in Nashville where I was based.  Finally I emailed Michelle Malkin and asked her if there was a Tea Party in Nashville.  Malkin sent an email back saying, ‘No, why don’t you organize one?’  I did.”

The first Tea Party in Nashville was held late February 2009 which drew a crowd of about 600. Judson then organized the Tax Day Tea Party in Nashville, which drew over 10,000 people into downtown.   It was at this time that Tea Party Nation was formed.  Later that year, Judson decided to bring activists from across the country together, so he organized the first National Tea Party Convention in February 2010, which featured Alaska’s former Governor and Republican Vice Presidential Nominee, Sarah Palin as it’s keynote speaker.

He currently manages the Tea Party Nation website, writes several daily columns and is working on more projects than any one person should.  He is a frequent guest on cable and broadcast news shows, including on Fox, MSNBC, CNN and others.

Contact Judson Phillips


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