Terry McAuliffe

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Terry McAuliffe
McAuliffe Herndon crop.png
72nd Governor of Virginia
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 11, 2014
Lieutenant Ralph Northam
Preceded by Bob McDonnell
Chairman of the Democratic National Committee
In office
February 3, 2001 – February 12, 2005
Preceded by Ed Rendell (General Chairman)
Joe Andrew (National Chairman)
Succeeded by Howard Dean
Personal details
Born Terence Richard McAuliffe
(1957-02-09) February 9, 1957 (age 57)
Syracuse, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Dorothy McAuliffe (1988–present)
Children Dori
Jack
Mary
Sally
Peter
Residence Executive Mansion (official)
McLean, Virginia (private)
Alma mater Catholic University of America
Georgetown University
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website Official website

Terence Richard "Terry" McAuliffe (/məˈkɔːlɨf/; born February 9, 1957) is an American businessman, Democratic politician and the 72nd Governor of Virginia.[1] He previously served as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2005, was co-chairman of President Bill Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign, and was chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. His first run for office was in the 2009 Virginia gubernatorial election, when he was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination. He ran again in the 2013 gubernatorial election and won the Democratic primary unopposed. In the general election, he defeated Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Libertarian Robert Sarvis with 48% of the vote[1] and took office as the 72nd Governor of Virginia on January 11, 2014.

Family and education[edit]

McAuliffe grew up in Syracuse, New York, the son of Millie and Jack McAuliffe.[2] His father was a real estate developer who was treasurer of the local Democratic organization.[3] He is of Irish Catholic background.[4][5] He graduated from Bishop Ludden Junior/Senior High School in 1975. In 1979, McAuliffe received a bachelor's degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. After graduation, McAuliffe took a job in the 1980 presidential reelection campaign of Jimmy Carter, and at the age of 22 became the national finance director. After the campaign, McAuliffe enrolled in law school at Georgetown University Law Center. He received a Juris Doctor degree in 1984.[6]

Business career[edit]

At the age of 14, McAuliffe started his first business,[7] McAuliffe Driveway Maintenance, sealing driveways and parking lots. The Washington Post said McAuliffe has "earned millions as a banker, real estate developer, home builder, hotel owner, and internet venture capitalist."[8]

Federal City National Bank[edit]

In 1985, McAuliffe helped found the Federal City National Bank, a small bank based in Washington, D.C.[9] In January 1988, when he was 30 years old, the bank’s board elected McAuliffe chairman, making him the youngest elected chairman of a federally chartered bank in the history of the United States.[10]

The bank lent $125,000 to a political action committee that supported Richard Gephardt's presidential campaign. McAuliffe told The New York Times that he abstained from voting on the loan because he was also the Gephardt campaign's finance chairman.[11] The bank also provided loans to former U.S. Representative Tony Coelho and the then-Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Jim Wright.[12]

In 1991, McAuliffe helped to negotiate a merger with Credit International Bank (then under the management of Republican Richard V. Allen), which he called his "greatest business experience".[12] McAuliffe went on to become vice chairman of the newly merged bank, leading to questions from shareholders that he was given special treatment, which Allen denied.[12][13]

American Pioneer Savings Bank[edit]

In 1979, McAuliffe met Richard Swann, a lawyer who was in charge of fundraising for Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign in Florida. In 1988, McAuliffe married Swann's daughter, Dorothy.

In the late 1980s, Swann's finances collapsed, entangling McAuliffe, who then used his political contacts to help Swann.[12] In 1990, federal regulators seized Swann's American Pioneer Savings Bank, causing Swann to file for bankruptcy, and McAuliffe to lose $800,000 he had invested in American Pioneer.[12] The Resolution Trust Corporation, a federal agency, seized American Pioneer's assets and liabilities.[12] Under the guidance of Swann, McAuliffe partnered with a pension fund controlled by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Electrical Contractors Association to buy American Pioneer real estate, valued at $50 million, for $38.7 million from the Resolution Trust Corporation.[12][14] Of the purchase amount, McAuliffe paid $100, while the pension fund paid $38.7 million;[12] McAuliffe still received a 50% equity stake.[14] The deal was arranged by pension fund trustee Jack Moore, who was an acquaintance of McAuliffe from the Gephardt presidential campaign.[12][14] Following the deal, the Department of Labor filed a lawsuit against McAuliffe and Moore, accusing them of imprudent business practices.[12][14]

Global Crossing[edit]

In 1997, McAuliffe invested $100,000 in Global Crossing,[10] a Bermuda-registered telecommunications company providing fiber-optic networking services worldwide.[15] Global Crossing went public in 1998.[16] The following year, McAuliffe sold the majority of his holding for a $8 million profit (other accounts have said his profit was $18 million).[17] McAuliffe sold the rest of his shares in January 2002.[17] The company filed for bankruptcy that same month, causing investors to lose over $54 billion, and 10,000 employees to lose their jobs.[17][18] McAuliffe, who lambasted Republicans after the Enron scandal, was criticized as hypocritical in the media, prompting him to set up television interviews to explain himself.[19] On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity pointed out McAuliffe's large profit, to which McAuliffe responded, "What are you, jealous or something? I mean, you buy stock. It was a great company."[20] According to McAuliffe's book, he played no management role in Global Crossing.[10]

GreenTech Automotive[edit]

In 2009, McAuliffe founded GreenTech Automotive, a holding company, which purchased Chinese electric car company EU Auto MyCar for $20 million in May 2010.[21][22] Later that year, McAuliffe relocated GreenTech's headquarters to McLean, Virginia. GreenTech subsequently announced plans to manufacture vehicles in Mississippi.[23][24]

In April 2013, McAuliffe announced his resignation from GreenTech.[25] Although he resigned from his position, McAuliffe still holds majority ownership in GreenTech.[26][27]

In December 2012, McAuliffe was questioned as to why he chose to locate the factory in Mississippi as opposed to Virginia. McAuliffe claimed that he wanted to bring the factory to Virginia but the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), the state's business recruitment agency, chose not to bid on it.[28] However, in January 2013, PolitiFact declared McAuliffe's claim to be false. According to PolitiFact, VEDP and GreenTech formally discussed building the factory in Virginia, and its representatives even toured potential sites with GreenTech representatives.[28] McAuliffe said he disagreed with PolitiFact's report, and said other GreenTech executives made the decision, but did not offer specifics as to how the report was mistaken.[29]

Fundraising career and relationship with the Clintons[edit]

McAuliffe has had a prolific fundraising career within the Democratic Party, and a long personal and political relationship with Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.[12] McAuliffe and his staff raised about $275 million, a then unprecedented sum, for Clinton's causes while he was in office. Once Bill Clinton's term was served, McAuliffe loaned them $1.35 million to purchase a New York City home, in a deal that raised ethical questions.[30][31] In 2000, McAuliffe chaired a tribute fundraiser to Clinton, which set a fundraising record for a single event, raising $26.3 million.[32]

McAuliffe told The New York Times in 1999, "I've met all of my business contacts through politics. It's all interrelated." When he meets a new business contact, he continued, "then I raise money from them."[12] He acknowledged the success of his business dealings stemmed from his relationship with Bill Clinton, saying, "No question, that's a piece of it." He also credited his ties to former congressmen Dick Gephardt and Tony Coelho, his Rolodex of 5,000-plus names, and his ability to personally relate to people.[12] He told New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich in 2012 that his Rolodex held 18,632 names.[33]

Chairman of the Democratic National Committee[edit]

In June 2000, as organizers of the 2000 Democratic National Convention (DNC) were scrambling to raise the last $7 million needed to pay for the convention, McAuliffe was named chairman of the convention.[30]

In February 2001, McAuliffe was elected chairman of the DNC, and served in that role until February 2005.[34] McAuliffe had tried and failed to persuade his top rival, Maynard Jackson, to drop out of the race for chairman, but was still the heavy favorite.[35] During his tenure, the DNC raised $578 million, and emerged from debt for the first time in its history.[36]

In the transition period between the 2002 elections and the 2004 Democratic convention, the DNC rebuilt operations and intra-party alliances. McAuliffe worked to restructure the Democratic primary schedule so that states such as Arizona, New Mexico, and South Carolina would be allowed to vote earlier, in a move designed to bolster ties to African-American and Hispanic communities. According to The Washington Post, the new schedule gave United States Senator John Kerry enough time to raise more than $200 million for the general election.[37] The DNC also rebuilt its headquarters, and created a computer database of more than 170 million potential voters known as "Demzilla".[38] Five-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader alleged that in 2004, McAuliffe offered him cash to withdraw from certain pivotal states in the 2004 election.[39] McAuliffe's staff admitted that he indeed engaged in a conversation with Nader about his campaign, but denied that he offered any money.[39]

In January 2005, a few weeks before his term ended, McAuliffe earmarked $5 million of the party's cash to assist Tim Kaine and other Virginia Democrats in their upcoming elections. This donation was the largest non-presidential disbursement in DNC history, and was part of McAuliffe's attempt to prove the Democrats' viability in southern states in the wake of the 2004 presidential election.[40] Kaine was successful in his bid, and served as the Governor of Virginia from 2006 to 2010.

Post-DNC chairmanship[edit]

McAuliffe served as one of Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign chairmen,[41] and was one of her superdelegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention.[42]

He was a visiting fellow to Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. In addition to several faculty and student lectures, McAuliffe hosted a study group entitled "The Making of a Candidate: From Running Campaigns to Running on my Own".[43]

McAuliffe was an adviser to the video game company ZeniMax Media.[44][45]

Virginia gubernatorial campaigns[edit]

2009[edit]

On November 10, 2008, McAuliffe formed an exploratory committee for Governor of Virginia in the 2009 election.[46] He told reporters that he had planned to spend the next few months traveling to "every corner of Virginia" to measure interest in his possible run.[46] McAuliffe told The Washington Post that he was "best suited to carry the Democratic banner because he [would] campaign as a business leader who can bring jobs to Virginia".[46] He also cited his ability to raise money for down-ticket Democratic candidates.[46]

McAuliffe's political team included campaign manager Mike Henry, senior strategist Mo Elleithee, and communications director Delacey Skinner.[47] McAuliffe raised over $7.5 million over the course of the campaign, and donated an additional $500,000 to himself.[48][49]

In the primary election, McAuliffe faced two other high-profile Democrats, State Senator Creigh Deeds, 2005 nominee for Attorney General, and Brian Moran, a former state representative, and former Democratic Caucus chairman. In the June 9, 2009 primary, McAuliffe placed second with 26% of the vote to Deeds's 50%.[50][51]

2013[edit]

On November 8, 2012, McAuliffe emailed supporters announcing his intention to run for Governor of Virginia in 2013. In his email he stated, "It is absolutely clear to me that Virginians want their next Governor to focus on job creation and common sense fiscal responsibility instead of divisive partisan issues."[52]

On April 2, 2013, The Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) certified that McAuliffe was the only candidate to file for the June primary, and was therefore the Democratic nominee.[53] He campaigned against Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli and Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis. He received 47.8% of the vote to Cuccinelli's 45.2% and Sarvis's 6.5%.[1]

Governor of Virginia[edit]

McAuliffe took the oath of office on January 11, 2014. Following the ceremony, McAuliffe signed four executive orders, including one instituting a one-year ban on gifts over $100 to members of the administration,[54] and an order prohibiting discrimination against state employees for sexual orientation and gender identity.[55] The other executive orders deal with government continuity.[56]

Financial disclosure reports showed McAuliffe routed $211,000 from his inaugural fund back to his gubernatorial campaign fund and to the Democratic Party of Virginia. It is illegal in Virginia to donate excess inauguration funds to political causes; excess funds must be returned to donors or donated to charity. McAuliffe's aides said the money was used to rent email lists, though campaign finance analysts quoted in The Washington Times said the costs reported for the lists appeared exorbitant and suggested the transactions were an "end run around the state prohibition".[57]

After McAuliffe took office, a power vacuum was created at the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, as McAuliffe removed the board chairman, J. Neal Insley, and another board member, Sandra Canada. As a result, at least one criminal court case was dismissed as the department was not able to carry out its responsibilities. A Virginia Beach prosecutor asked the Virginia State Police to open an inquiry into the matter. The police concluded that a full investigation was not needed.[58]

McAuliffe appointed campaign staffer and former GreenTech executive Levar Stoney as Secretary of the Commonwealth. Stoney lied to police regarding an incident in Wisconsin in which Democratic operatives slashed tires of vans being used by Republicans to drive voters to the polls.[59][59]

In January 2014, McAuliffe appointed Boyd Marcus, a prominent Republican campaign consultant who had endorsed McAuliffe over Cuccinelli in 2013, to the board of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. After Marcus's appointment, emails were released showing that Marcus offered to endorse and work for Cuccinelli if he paid him between $75,000-$100,000, and when the Cuccinelli campaign refused, Marcus endorsed McAuliffe and was hired by the campaign, which paid him $40,000 between September and November 2013.[60] Marcus was paid an additional $100,000 by the Democratic Governors Association's super PAC, most of it coming after McAuliffe won the election.[61] Quinton Kidd of Christopher Newport University said the controversy "confirms the worst perceptions that people have about politics, in both high and low places, which is that individual people are getting something personally from it, and there are all these deals being cut, and there are all these backs being scratched."[60] McAuliffe described the controversy as "little petty political whatever", saying, "I mean, am I not supposed to appoint Republicans who, you know, honestly had the courage to step out and endorse me?"[62] Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins asked the Attorney General of Virginia to investigate the appointment, saying McAuliffe bought Marcus's endorsement and that the appointment to the ABC board was “"essentially selling a state office."[63][58]

Between January and March, McAuliffe hosted nightly receptions with state legislators at the Executive Mansion. The receptions, payed for by McAuliffe, included an open bar stocked with premium liquor.[64] According to McAuliffe, the receptions were relationship-building in nature.[64] McAuliffe coined the phrase, "Sixty parties in sixty days!", referring to the length of the General Assembly session.[64] In March 2014, McAuliffe launched the Common Good Virginia PAC, and advertised meetings with himself and "policy experts" at events in exchange for donations of $10,000 to $100,000.[65]

Political positions[edit]

Energy and environmental issues[edit]

McAuliffe has declined to go into detail on his stance on many of his own views on energy and environmental policy, sticking to broad outlines.[66] McAuliffe believes human activity has contributed to global warming, and characterizes clean energy as a national security issue.[67] He supports reducing dependence on foreign oil through investment in technologies such as carbon capture and storage, solar farms, and offshore wind turbines.[67][68] McAuliffe is endorsed by both billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer and the League of Conservation Voters.[66][69]

Coal[edit]

In his 2009 campaign, McAuliffe said, "I want to move past coal. As governor, I never want another coal plant built."[70] In his 2013 campaign, McAuliffe said he supports tougher safety requirements on coal plants.[71] He also announced his support for the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed reduction in coal plant licensing.[72] However, McAuliffe has expressed his support for exporting coal to countries like China and South Korea.[73]

Offshore drilling[edit]

In his 2009 bid for governor, McAuliffe said he opposed offshore drilling, but in 2013, he changed his position and now supports offshore drilling in Virginia, saying he has "learned more about offshore drilling from experts in Virginia."[74]

Abortion[edit]

McAuliffe said he supports "keeping existing Virginia laws on when abortions are legal."[71] He opposes new state health and safety regulations on abortion clinics.[75][76]

Health care[edit]

McAuliffe supports the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. He supports expanding Medicaid, arguing that Virginia should get back the money it sends to Washington in taxes.[71]

Taxes and spending[edit]

McAuliffe supports eliminating several business taxes, such as the business professional license tax, and using revenue from local government taxes to make up the difference.[77]

Gun control[edit]

McAuliffe supports universal background checks, an assault weapons ban, and limiting gun purchases to one a month.[78] In January 2013, he purchased a shotgun for the purpose of skeet shooting.[78]

Education[edit]

McAuliffe has spoken extensively on workforce development, with education proposals being funded through savings from the proposed Medicaid expansion.[79]

Transportation[edit]

McAuliffe was among those who supported the bipartisan transportation bill that passed the General Assembly in 2013. He is also in favor of the Silver Line, which would expand Metrorail services into Northern Virginia.[80]

Gay rights[edit]

McAuliffe supports same-sex marriage, and supported the U.S. Supreme Court rulings in June 2013, which deemed the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional.[81]

Personal life[edit]

McAuliffe married Dorothy Swann, the daughter of one of his business partners, in 1988. They have five children together, four of whom attend the Potomac School.[82]

Memoir[edit]

Terry McAuliffe's memoir, "What a Party! My Life Among Democrats: Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators, and Other Wild Animals", was published in 2007 with Steve Kettmann and made the New York Times Best Seller List, debuting at #5 in February 2007.[83] The Washington Post called it a "A rollicking ride through the world of celebrity, fundraising and politics that certainly entertains” while The Miami Herald said, “Terry McAuliffe delights in this laugh-out-loud look at American politics.”[84]

Among anecdotes told in the memoir was McAuliffe wrestling an eight-foot, 260-pound alligator for three minutes to secure a $15,000 contribution for President Jimmy Carter in 1980.[85] McAuliffe and the alligator would appear on the cover of LIFE magazine.[85] Others included hunting with King Juan Carlos of Spain, golf outings with the President and reviving the Democratic National Convention.[86]

However, the book attracted negative publicity during McAuliffe's 2013 gubernatorial race.[87] For instance, McAuliffe wrote about the September 11 attacks and his experiences in the Democratic National Committee office immediately after.[88] He recalled, "I was one of our party’s most visible spokesmen, and I had to keep a low profile after the attacks. I was like a caged rat. I couldn’t travel. I couldn’t make political calls. I couldn’t make money calls."[89] Even with the negative publicity, McAuliffe hasn’t walked away from the book, carrying boxes of it across Virginia in his campaign, in order to introduce himself to voters.[87]

Election history[edit]

Virginia gubernatorial election, 2013[90]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Terry McAuliffe 1,069,859 47.75% +6.49%
Republican Ken Cuccinelli 1,013,355 45.23% −13.38%
Libertarian Robert Sarvis 146,084 6.52% +6.52%
Write-ins 11,091 0.50%
Plurality 56,594 2.52% −14.86%
Turnout 2,240,379 100.00%
Democratic gain from Republican Swing

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  87. ^ a b "In Virginia, Terry McAuliffe’s Memoir Comes Back to Haunt Him". Thedailybeast.com. May 7, 2013. Retrieved July 29, 2013. 
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  90. ^ "Unofficial Results - General Election - November 5, 2013". Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Dick Gephardt
Permanent Chairperson of the Democratic National Convention
2000
Succeeded by
Bill Richardson
Preceded by
Tom Daschle
Preceded by
Ed Rendell
as General Chairman of the Democratic National Committee
Chairman of the Democratic National Committee
2001–2005
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Howard Dean
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Joe Andrew
as National Chairman of the Democratic National Committee
Preceded by
Creigh Deeds
Democratic nominee for Governor of Virginia
2013
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Bob McDonnell
Governor of Virginia
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Joe Biden
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Otherwise John Boehner
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Maggie Hassan
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