WaPo: Say, that McAuliffe tells a hell of a (false) story [link fixed]
posted at 11:28 am on October 11, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
I’m prepared to cut the Post some slack on its coverage of Terry McAuliffe. After all, they were practically the only news media to point out that the rest of the Caramadre story made the Virginia Democrat look pretty bad, even once the AP’s atrocious reporting was taken out of the equation. Their fact-check of an oft-used anecdote in McAuliffe’s stump speech has a headline that makes it sound charming, but the reporting by Laura Vozzella is actually quite a bit more harsh:
It’s a standard nugget in Terry McAuliffe’s stump speech, a tale of government procurement gone so bad that $800 taxpayer-funded chairs blocked the careers of 100 would-be nursing students.
Very little of it is true.
Here’s how the Democratic candidate for governor has been telling it:
McAuliffe met a college president who grumbled about having to buy campus furnishings from the state. Assembled by prisoners under a training program, the furniture is overpriced, with some chairs costing $800. If the school, Piedmont Virginia Community College, could buy from private stores instead, it could use the savings to enroll the 100 qualified nursing students it turns away each year.
Here are the facts:
Piedmont hasn’t turned away anything close to 100 applicants for nursing school. Even if it had, the college could not possibly squeeze the $400,000-a-year cost of instructing them out of its prison furniture purchases, which were below $100,000 last year. Piedmont is not even required to buy furniture from the state, though it must get a waiver to shop elsewhere.
As for the “$800 chairs,” McAuliffe’s campaign tried to back up that claim by providing information about a single $600 chair.
But other than that — yeah, that’s exactly what needs fixing in Virginia.
Vozzella notes a number of whoppers from McAuliffe during the campaign. It should be required reading for Virginia voters.
Update: I forgot to put in the link, which makes it difficult for a must-read piece. It’s fixed now.