By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – A controversial figure in Democratic Party fund-raising circles Monday night is hosting a California gala for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.
Laura Hartigan served as deputy to McAuliffe when he chaired the Democratic National Committee.
In 1998, Senate investigators alleged that Hartigan participated in efforts to swap party contributions with the Teamsters Union.
According to testimony and evidence obtained by the investigators, Hartigan gave Martin Davis, campaign consultant for Teamsters President Ron Carey, a memo instructing the union to make $236,000 in political contributions to various state Democratic parties around the country.
“The contributions were credited to McAuliffe on Democratic tally sheets that keep track of how much money fund-raisers bring in,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Feb. 20, 2001.
On March 19, 2001, The New Republic wrote that McAuliffe tried to “illegally launder contributions” through the DNC to Carey’s campaign against James Hoffa for president of the Teamsters.
Under federal law, it is illegal to use union funds to pay union campaign expenses.
The Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs twice deposed McAuliffe, who also served as the Clinton-Gore ’96 national finance chairman.
On June 6, 1997, McAuliffe testified that ‘‘he didn’t do anything with the Teamsters.’’
On Sept. 18, 1997, when presented with specific evidence of his dealings with Davis, McAuliffe remembered a meeting in which Davis said he wanted to help raise money for the DNC from the Teamsters.
McAuliffe testified, however, that after this meeting, he passed Davis off to Hartigan and didn’t deal with him again on this issue.
‘‘I would tell you, to my knowledge, no one ever did anything. I know I never talked to anybody, I never talked to any donors. … All I know is when the first story or when the first stories on the Teamsters came out, I didn’t have a clue about any of this.’’
After McAuliffe declined to appear for a third round of questioning, the Senate committee concluded that “Terry McAuliffe and/or other officials of the DNC participated in efforts to engage in a contribution swap scheme with Martin Davis and Carey’s campaign.”
The committee recommended “further investigation” into the matter and urged Clinton’s Department of Justice to get involved. But no action was taken.
Alexandra Shapiro, an organizer of McAuliffe’s Monday night fund-raiser at West Hollywood’s SoHo House, told Watchdog that the event would be “closed to the press.” She declined to discuss McAuliffe’s whereabouts.
The Hollywood Reporter calls SoHo House “a private club (that) has quickly ascended to the top of the food chain — mostly for its exclusivity. Like at an A-list commissary of Hollywood where table-hopping is the main course, everyone who is anyone is here.”
The conservative America Rising PAC, which provided documentation for this report, blasted McAuliffe.
“Terry McAuliffe has a history of skirting the edges of campaign finance law, creating sweet deals for his friends and wealthy individuals looking to get access to power. The Teamsters swap scandal was one of the most vivid examples of this track record,” said Tim Miller, executive director of America Rising.
“Terry might try to refashion his biography to try to be a more appealing candidate, but you can see from those funding his campaign that he’s the same wheeler-dealer, political insider he’s always been.”
McAuliffe’s gubernatorial campaign has regularly tapped Southern California donors. Since 2012, the Virginia gubernatorial hopeful has raised more than $250,000 from the 90210 ZIP code, making Beverly Hills the campaign’s fourth highest giving ZIP code, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
McAuliffe is the founder and former chairman of GreenTech Automotive. The company and its funding arm, Gulf Coast Funds Management, have been subpoenaed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which is investigating their participation in the EB-5 visa-investor program.
Contact Kenric Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (571) 319-9824. @Kenricward
- VA: As he runs for governor, McAuliffe wheels and deals electric cars in Mississippi
- VA: Media echo Watchdog exclusive on McAuliffe’s electric car maneuvers
- No news here: PolitFact brands Terry McAuliffe’s electric-car claim ‘false’
- Experts question source of McAuliffe car-company funding
- Terry McAuliffe on business ventures: ‘Some work, some don’t’
- How McAuliffe’s car company failed the Virginia test, landed in Mississippi
- Virginia official wants probe of McAuliffe company ‘visa-for-sale’ program
- McAuliffe car company sues Watchdog in libel claim
- Barack Obama’s GreenTech connection: Rick Wade
- Silence, secrecy, cops follow GreenTech’s China deal
- McAuliffe hones China’s crony-capitalism model in U.S.
- Promises keep Tunica County afloat
- McAuliffe company’s China hook-up: Will it work?
- McAuliffe car lags in Domino’s delivery
- McAuliffe car co. parent in off-shore tax shelter
- Lawmaker gives feds one more week for EB-5 answers
- Bolling: McAuliffe’s Mississippi package ‘attractive’
- Inside, execs knew McAuliffe plan had ‘substantial risk’
- Union darling McAuliffe and his non-union car company
- Did Clinton aid the birth of ‘McAuliffe’ car company?
- McAuliffe feels heat over GreenTech resignation
- TV report: One year later, ‘party is over’ at GreenTech
- Months after he said he left company, McAuliffe kept talking GreenTech
- Clinton connection: More money for McAuliffe
- Terry McAuliffe used loophole to avoid key SEC oversight of his car company
- VA officials: McAuliffe green car more politics than biz
- McAuliffe car company announces it’s ready to roll — again
- Before Watchdog, McAuliffe blamed federal officials for money trouble
- McAuliffe gets cash from GreenTech exec, board members
- Watchdog report on McAuliffe spurs FOI request to Homeland Security
- McAuliffe leaves GreenTech questions hanging at debate
- Totally wired: McAuliffe went to Napolitano to expedite company funding
- McAuliffe bragged about GreenTech’s cash position while begging feds for faster processing of ‘cash for visas’
- Investigation targets Homeland official’s relationship to McAuliffe company
- Even before news of federal probe, McAuliffe ducked GreenTech questions
- McAuliffe company pressed Homeland official on 81 investor visas
- Rodham company sought visa for controversial Chinese exec
- Immigration official says he met with McAuliffe to discuss visas for foreign investors
- Whiners: Mayorkas says Gulf Coast ‘continues to complain’
- VIDEO: Ex-GreenTech employee says little happened at Horn Lake plant
- Online ad to Terry McAuliffe: Drop your lawsuit
- National security on ‘hold’: Lawmakers press McAuliffe for answers
- Citizens United documentary film delves into McAuliffe, GreenTech
- VIDEO: Terry McAuliffe’s 15 million-square-foot car plant … in China
- Feds call McAuliffe car company’s use of investment program ‘possible fraud’
- GreenTech courted Obama’s Solyndra aide
- GOP legislators call for McAuliffe to answer GreenTech questions
- McAuliffe ‘desperate’ over documentary, Citizens United says
- GreenTech weighed Fisker-style federal loan
- Group tells Terry: Follow ‘McAuliffe Standard’ on disclosure
- Car and Driver races into GreenTech controversy
- Congressman: McAuliffe owes Virginians explanation about White House meeting
- Feds loosen oversight as McAuliffe car company makes mysterious management change
- GreenTech execs use Times and ABC to throw McAuliffe under the (non-electric) bus
- Aide in union contribution swap hosts California fund-raiser for McAuliffe
- Despite denials, docs show McAuliffe company asked feds to fast-track visa for investor tied to spy list
- Former Democrat Party director was on GreenTech payroll
- More bad news for McAuliffe car company as GreenTech China venture stalls
- Clinton Foundation posts deficits on McAuliffe’s watch
- VIDEO: GreenTech record dogs McAuliffe at energy forum
- Auto industry expert labels McAuliffe electric car ‘preposterous’
- Democratic leaders have their own Bain pain in Mideast private equity deal
- Hillary PAC adviser served as GreenTech spokeswoman
- New emails add evidence McAuliffe pressed U.S. officials to approve GreenTech funding
- After endorsement, Post shrinks facts to cover Terry McAuliffe
- Ties that bind: Following the McAuliffe-Clinton money trail
- McAuliffe tilts at windmills; Chinese venture goes bust
- Federal investigations cast shadow over McAuliffe on Election Day
- DHS inspector over GreenTech-McAuliffe case is under investigation
- McAuliffe names former GreenTech employee secretary of commonwealth
- McAuliffe lawyers, accountants sort GreenTech stock amid federal investigations
- Nuking filibusters, Dems clear way for Mayorkas at Homeland Security