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McAuliffe needs to come clean on his role at GreenTech.
Friday, April 12, 2013
By itself, Terry McAuliffe’s failure to announce his resignation as chairman of GreenTech Automotive Inc. would not raise many eyebrows. But when the news was reported last week — four months after McAuliffe quietly resigned — it added to questions about the gubernatorial candidate’s ties to the electric car company he founded in 2009, and claims he has made about it on the campaign trail.
McAuliffe, the Democratic nominee by default, promotes himself as a job-creating entrepreneur. He has used GreenTech to try to burnish that image. He should have a clear explanation why GreenTech chose Mississippi, not Virginia, for a manufacturing plant.
McAuliffe told reporters in December that Virginia economic development officials weren’t interested in the project. But The Associated Press and Politifact Virginia obtained emails showing that GreenTech failed to provide enough information to qualify for incentives and address doubts about the company’s finances and business plan. Among other things, state officials raised concerns about GreenTech’s plan to rely on a federal program that awards visas to foreign investors who commit at least $500,000 to a job-creating project.
If McAuliffe wants voters to see him as something more than a Democratic power player, he should clearly explain the decision-making that led GreenTech to Mississippi rather than Virginia. Otherwise, the slow drip of news stories might weigh down his candidacy before the campaign kicks into high gear.
Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli, who brings his own heavy baggage to the race, would like nothing better.
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