McAuliffe on GreenTech investigation: I don’t know anything, I was just in charge
posted at 7:01 pm on August 17, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
It seems that the Republican camp’s hits on Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe and his oversight of GreenTech Automotive, currently under an SEC investigation, are at least hitting the target to some degree. Earlier this week, the Washington Post editors posed a rather uncomfortable question or two for the Democrat, who resigned as the barely-productive company’s chairman just last December and remains the largest shareholder.
In answer, McAuliffe wrote a piece for Friday afternoon — ahem — that took some rather interesting positions on his fiduciary responsibilities as the erstwhile leader of the company. For instance: You might think that the chairman of a fledgling company would have not merely the personal desire but the professional responsibility to review the content of promissory notes — but you’d be wrong.
Two weeks ago, I first learned from The Post about documents that Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R- Iowa) obtained showing that the Securities and Exchange Commission recently started an inquiry into GreenTech, where I previously served as chairman. My opponent in the Virgina governor’s race, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, has since devoted much of his energy to misleading attacks based on that story.
Here are the facts: I’ve not been contacted in any way by those conducting the investigation and have no knowledge of it beyond what has been reported. From what has been reported, the investigation appears to be looking at a document allegedly prepared for potential investors — something I was not responsible for as chairman.
Republicans have also criticized the company for employing only about 100 people. Of course, that’s about 100 jobs that would not have existed if we had not taken a risk on this company. The company has taken longer to develop than many people expected, including me, but taking a risk on an innovative company is a critical part of the American system, and most business leaders I speak with agree that it’s not uncommon for a company to face challenges meeting its goals. …
…I’d direct you to Guy Benson for more of the shady deets on the so-called green company and to Jim Geraghty over at National Review for a tidy rejoinder to McAuliffe’s op-ed, and merely add that to me it sounds like Team McAuliffe is taking a leaf out of President Obama’s recent playbook. Nutshell version: “Don’t look at me, I’m just the president!”
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