The Associated Press’s royal mess of a reporting job on the issue aside, longtime Democratic fundraiser and “businessman” Terry McAuliffe was not accused of any technical wrongdoing in federal prosecutors’ report on the illicit activities of Rhode Island estate planner Joseph Caramadre’s fraudulent scheme to essentially steal the identities of the terminally ill. This is what McAuliffe campaign had this to say about the matter:
A McAuliffe spokesman, Josh Schwerin, said: “Terry was one of hundreds of passive investors several years ago and had no idea about the allegations against the defendant – who, at the time, was widely respected by business leaders and elected officials. The allegations are horrible and he never would have invested if he knew he was being deceived.”
Huh. A passable defense, but weirdly — as Ed pointed out yesterday in noting the Washington Post editors’ lingering trepidation over the issue — McAuliffe could have disclosed this uncomfortable piece of his financial history when he started his campaign with little fanfare, and he chose not to do so. I would also point out that, if you feel like you’ve heard something along the “don’t look at me, I was just an investor” line before… it’s because you have. McAuliffe also offered a “don’t look at me, I was just in charge” defense on the SEC investigation into GreenTech Automotive, the startup green car company with foreign backers from which he just resigned his chairmanship just last December:
“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.”
Riiiight. Again, McAuliffe has yet to be directly implicated in technical wrongdoing there, either, but as a Virginia voter, I might be starting to develop some curiosity about McAuliffe’s propensity for repeatedly managing to get in at the ground level of such sketchy business dealings. I might be wondering about his seeming penchant for having just enough involvement to make himself a buck, but never enough to be culpable — and wondering how careful he’s going to be handling Virginia’s money as governor.
That looks like the thought process with which the Cuccinelli campaign is running:
Anyhow. Quinnipiac released another poll on Thursday girding McAuliffe’s lead, as Scott Conroy summarizes at RCP:
Virginia voters might not be enamored of either of their choices for governor, but a Quinnipiac poll released Thursday is the latest evidence to indicate that Democrat Terry McAuliffe is the odds-on favorite.
With less than a month to go until Election Day, the former Democratic National Committee chairman leads Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli by eight percentage points among likely voters (47 percent to 39 percent). Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis earns just 8 percent of the vote. …
In the latest RealClearPolitics polling average, McAuliffe now has a 6.7 point lead and has not trailed in a single public survey since mid-July.