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McAuliffe leaves GreenTech questions hanging at debate

By   /   July 20, 2013  /   1 Comment

Part 31 of 73 in the series Terry McAuliffe - Carmogul
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SCRUM: Journalists surround Terry McAuliffe, left, the Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia, after a debate Saturday in Hot Springs.

 

By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau

HOT SPRINGS, Va. — Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli repeatedly mocked Democratic rival Terry McAuliffe on Saturday for the decision to locate GreenTech Automotive in Mississippi.

McAuliffe, former chairman of the electric-car company, tried to deflect the criticism, touting his goal to bring “21st” century jobs” to Virginia.

“Not many people would have started an electric car company. Nissan took 18 years. Our company has done it in four,” McAuliffe said during a debate hosted by the Virginia Bar Association and moderated by PBS’ Judy Woodruff at The Homestead resort. It was unclear what he meant by the comparison.

Beyond that, McAuliffe had little to say about the firm he says he founded.

In a short encounter with reporters after the 90-minute debate, McAuliffe defended GreenTech’s decision not to place a plant in economically depressed Martinsville, Va., while he chaired the company.

“A lot of people make the decisions on the plants,” said McAuliffe, who reportedly stepped down Dec. 1. “I would certainly hope in future expansion plans that (Martinsville) would be included.”

In fact, McAuliffe reiterated during the debate that he had a “fiduciary responsibility” to take the company where it could obtain the most favorable terms.

McAuliffe left without responding when a Watchdog.org reporter asked what he thought about his former company suing the news organization over coverage of GreenTech.


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In all, McAuliffe spent barely five minutes with reporters. Amid a scrum of jostling journalists, Cuccinelli entertained questions for roughly 15 minutes.

During the debate,Cuccinelli scored points early on by invoking McAuliffe’s time with GreenTech,” Politico reported.

“OK, so you picked Mississippi; so run for governor in Mississippi,” Cuccinelli said to laughter and applause.

“You walked over the people of Martinsville on the way to Mississippi,” the GOP attorney general added.

Cuccinelli then drove home the theme that McAuliffe has failed to deliver on job-creation promises.

“(McAuliffe) promised 900 jobs by end of 2012. It wasn’t true when he said it. It wasn’t true at the end of 2012,” he said.

And ridiculing the Democrat’s reputation as a businessman and political fund-raiser, Cuccinelli said McAuliffe “went to Mississippi for its tax money. He thinks that’s how government is supposed to work.”

Branding the former Democratic National Committee chairman a “Washington insider and Virginia outsider,” Cuccinelli concluded the debate with a final salvo at GreenTech – this time over the company’s use of the little-known EB-5 visa-investor program for financing.

According to documents obtained by Watchdog, 92 EB-5 investor petitions had been approved for GreenTech by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services as of January 2013. That would yield a total of $46 million.

“We should be able to know how much of the money he’s getting,” Cuccinelli said. McAuliffe did not respond.

Kenric Ward is chief of Watchdog’s Virginia Bureau. Contact him at kenric@watchdogvirginia.org or at (571) 319-9824. @Kenricward

Part of 73 in the series Terry McAuliffe - Carmogul
  1. VA: As he runs for governor, McAuliffe wheels and deals electric cars in Mississippi
  2. VA: Media echo Watchdog exclusive on McAuliffe’s electric car maneuvers
  3. No news here: PolitFact brands Terry McAuliffe’s electric-car claim ‘false’
  4. Experts question source of McAuliffe car-company funding
  5. Terry McAuliffe on business ventures: ‘Some work, some don’t’
  6. How McAuliffe’s car company failed the Virginia test, landed in Mississippi
  7. Virginia official wants probe of McAuliffe company ‘visa-for-sale’ program
  8. McAuliffe car company sues Watchdog in libel claim
  9. Barack Obama’s GreenTech connection: Rick Wade
  10. Silence, secrecy, cops follow GreenTech’s China deal
  11. McAuliffe hones China’s crony-capitalism model in U.S.
  12. Promises keep Tunica County afloat
  13. McAuliffe company’s China hook-up: Will it work?
  14. McAuliffe car lags in Domino’s delivery
  15. McAuliffe car co. parent in off-shore tax shelter
  16. Lawmaker gives feds one more week for EB-5 answers
  17. Bolling: McAuliffe’s Mississippi package ‘attractive’
  18. Inside, execs knew McAuliffe plan had ‘substantial risk’
  19. Union darling McAuliffe and his non-union car company
  20. Did Clinton aid the birth of ‘McAuliffe’ car company?
  21. McAuliffe feels heat over GreenTech resignation
  22. TV report: One year later, ‘party is over’ at GreenTech
  23. Months after he said he left company, McAuliffe kept talking GreenTech
  24. Clinton connection: More money for McAuliffe
  25. Terry McAuliffe used loophole to avoid key SEC oversight of his car company
  26. VA officials: McAuliffe green car more politics than biz
  27. McAuliffe car company announces it’s ready to roll — again
  28. Before Watchdog, McAuliffe blamed federal officials for money trouble
  29. McAuliffe gets cash from GreenTech exec, board members
  30. Watchdog report on McAuliffe spurs FOI request to Homeland Security
  31. McAuliffe leaves GreenTech questions hanging at debate
  32. Totally wired: McAuliffe went to Napolitano to expedite company funding
  33. McAuliffe bragged about GreenTech’s cash position while begging feds for faster processing of ‘cash for visas’
  34. Investigation targets Homeland official’s relationship to McAuliffe company
  35. Even before news of federal probe, McAuliffe ducked GreenTech questions
  36. McAuliffe company pressed Homeland official on 81 investor visas
  37. Rodham company sought visa for controversial Chinese exec
  38. Immigration official says he met with McAuliffe to discuss visas for foreign investors
  39. Whiners: Mayorkas says Gulf Coast ‘continues to complain’
  40. VIDEO: Ex-GreenTech employee says little happened at Horn Lake plant
  41. Online ad to Terry McAuliffe: Drop your lawsuit
  42. National security on ‘hold’: Lawmakers press McAuliffe for answers
  43. Citizens United documentary film delves into McAuliffe, GreenTech
  44. VIDEO: Terry McAuliffe’s 15 million-square-foot car plant … in China
  45. Feds call McAuliffe car company’s use of investment program ‘possible fraud’
  46. GreenTech courted Obama’s Solyndra aide
  47. GOP legislators call for McAuliffe to answer GreenTech questions
  48. McAuliffe ‘desperate’ over documentary, Citizens United says
  49. GreenTech weighed Fisker-style federal loan
  50. Group tells Terry: Follow ‘McAuliffe Standard’ on disclosure
  51. Car and Driver races into GreenTech controversy
  52. Congressman: McAuliffe owes Virginians explanation about White House meeting
  53. Feds loosen oversight as McAuliffe car company makes mysterious management change
  54. GreenTech execs use Times and ABC to throw McAuliffe under the (non-electric) bus
  55. Aide in union contribution swap hosts California fund-raiser for McAuliffe
  56. Despite denials, docs show McAuliffe company asked feds to fast-track visa for investor tied to spy list
  57. Former Democrat Party director was on GreenTech payroll
  58. More bad news for McAuliffe car company as GreenTech China venture stalls
  59. Clinton Foundation posts deficits on McAuliffe’s watch
  60. VIDEO: GreenTech record dogs McAuliffe at energy forum
  61. Auto industry expert labels McAuliffe electric car ‘preposterous’
  62. Democratic leaders have their own Bain pain in Mideast private equity deal
  63. Hillary PAC adviser served as GreenTech spokeswoman
  64. New emails add evidence McAuliffe pressed U.S. officials to approve GreenTech funding
  65. After endorsement, Post shrinks facts to cover Terry McAuliffe
  66. Ties that bind: Following the McAuliffe-Clinton money trail
  67. McAuliffe tilts at windmills; Chinese venture goes bust
  68. Federal investigations cast shadow over McAuliffe on Election Day
  69. DHS inspector over GreenTech-McAuliffe case is under investigation
  70. McAuliffe names former GreenTech employee secretary of commonwealth
  71. McAuliffe lawyers, accountants sort GreenTech stock amid federal investigations
  72. Nuking filibusters, Dems clear way for Mayorkas at Homeland Security
  73. U.S. judge hands Watchdog a victory over VA governor’s green-car company

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Kenric Ward is a veteran journalist who has worked on three Pulitzer Prize-winning newspapers. A California native, he received a BA from UCLA (Political Science/Phi Beta Kappa) and holds an MBA. He reported and edited at the San Jose Mercury News and the Las Vegas Sun before joining Watchdog.org in 2012 as Virginia Bureau Chief.

  • Dennis Bouse

    I can see why he was trying to avoid any questions about his former company!
    Did some research on GreenTech and the EB-5. It is all a scam to get money from investors and the government in exchange for green cards. Now, parts of it may be legal, but I think it is deplorable ethics. If he is unethical/dishonest, then what would he be as Governor? We certainly deserve better.

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