Featured image from Watchdog.org.
Once you get yourself in quicksand and start flailing around, the harder it is to extricate yourself.
That’s exactly what seems to be happening with the campaign of Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe.
McAuliffe’s troubles began in 2009 with a failed Virginia gubernatorial run. He then became chairman of a car company called Green Tech which was supposed to manufacture golf-cart size cars, as shown in picture above, which run on electricity.
But he didn’t plan to build the plant in Virginia, but instead in Mississippi after then Mississippi republican Governor Haley Barbour promised to grant $5 million in public loans to build the plant. McAuliffe was questioned as to why he didn’t plan to build the plant in his home state of Virginia, and his excuse was Virginia didn’t want to bid on the program. However news outlets later discovered Virginia claimed they never received enough information from McAuliffe in order to proceed. Not only did Virginia claim they didn’t receive enough information, apparently worries began in the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) not only did McAuliffe have a risky business model but the real goal was to use the company to sell wealthy foreigners business visas under the U.S. EB-5 program.
NRO reveals internal communications within VEDP:
Sandi et al. Even if the company has investors “lined up”, I maintain serious concerns about the establishment of an EB-5 center in general, and most specifically based on this company. Not only based on (lack of) management expertise, (lack of) market preparation, etc. but also still can’t get my head around this being anything other than a visa-for-sale scheme with potential national security implications that we have no way to confirm or discount. . . .
This “feels” like a national political play instead of a Virginia economic development opportunity. I am not willing to stake Virginia’s reputation on this at this juncture.
Under the federal EB-5 program a foreigner must invest at least $1 million or $500,000 in a rural area. Many of the visa recipients come from China. While the visa centers cannot sell visas, they can direct an investor on the procedure and projects available to obtain them.
Gulf Coast Funds Management LLC is a company which handles EB-5 projects and it’s interesting one of their clients is Green Tech. The plant has never been built and in February of 2013 it was revealed McAuliffe had stepped down as chairman with nary a peep to anyone outside the company. Not only is he no longer chairman but the company is reportedly being hit with a large tax bill of $17,000 in Tunica Cty Mississippi which was due February 1 and was delinquent for 3 months. Green Tech is exempt from property tax for 10 years, however this tax bill was for small start-up office space.
So no plant, no jobs and no cars. As of yet. Supposedly they will be available late 2013 or in 2014.
McAuliffe’s opponent, Virginia Republican and present Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli had this to say about McAuliffe’s failure to inform the public he had stepped down from Green Tech:
Terry McAuliffe on Saturday claimed he wasn’t being shady by silently stepping down as Chairman of GreenTech. In fact, he went as far as to say that he, “told everyone who asked,” he no longer held the position.
Why would anyone ask?
Not only did numerous news articles go uncorrected, but he continued to speak as if he was chairman and was referred to as “chairman” in a GreenTech release after his resignation.
Bottom Line: McAuliffe deceived the people of Virginia. What else is Terry hiding?
And this came to light yesterday. Green Tech is suing Watchdog.org for alleged libel, complaining they were responsible for an $85 million loss by the company after reporting on Green Tech’s troubles:
“Specifically, as a direct and express result of the articles published by Defendants … investors are wavering in their commitment to provide $25 million in investments already promised to GTA,” the lawsuit said. “GTA…intended to raise $60 million in capital, (and) is now in significant danger as a direct result of the loss of investor confidence in GTA arising from the publication of Defendants’ articles.”
Watchdog claims there is no basis for the suit.
Perhaps Cuccinelli should shoot one over the bow for this found on McAuliffe’s website. Notice the bolding:
But maybe Cuccinelli can relax a bit. McAuliffe is using the mega progressive/Democrat fundraising site of ActBlue in his campaign. As of yesterday McAuliffe has raised only a measly $12,000:
“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive.”