Why Terry McAuliffe’s Fundraising Excesses are Problematic

OK, I get it. Terry McAuliffe’s supporters don’t like it when others criticize McAuliffe’s past as the Democratic Party’s fundraiser in chief. My message to them: deal with it.

The fact is that the nation’s campaign finance system is broken. Virginia, with no limits on campaign contributions, allows the very wealthy to have a bigger microphone than the rest of us. As a Democrat, that’s antithetical to everything I believe our party stands for. In my opinion, Virginia’s system is among the worst in the country.

But back to McAuliffe. To me he personifies what’s wrong with our government-up-for-auction political culture. It was not just his role as the go-to guy for the Clintons — see Lincoln bedroom auction, Chinese Temple auction, Mark Rich pardon auction, Hillary’s Senate and Presidential runs — but it’s also his approach in this governor’s campaign, too.

As I reported last night, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, McAuliffe raised more money than anyone else. He’s raised it from out of state and in huge chunks. In the first quarter, McAuliffe raised more money than McDonnell, Moran and Deeds combined.

That’s why if we nominate McAuliffe to run against McDonnell, the McAuliffe’s role in our broken campaign financing system will be front and center. Videos like the ones below will be plentiful. As for me, I’m still trying to decide between Deeds and Moran. Any suggestions?

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Filed under corruption, Virginia Governor's Campaign

5 responses to “Why Terry McAuliffe’s Fundraising Excesses are Problematic

  1. I have a suggestion – McAuliffe.

  2. a dude

    Virginias campaign finance laws are awesome. Total sunshine. Quick disclosure. If you want to call Terry corrupt then go for it, but at least you can see who gives him money. The system is awesome! Do you think Warner would be where he is without huge support from Nova IT?

    • I agree with you that the disclosure is progress, but I believe that there should be significant limits on personal contributions, no corporate contributions, no PACs, free air TV in exchange for mandatory participation in candidate debates, no self-funding and perhaps no out of state funding.

      The reality is under Virginia’s laws, which you call “awesome” all voters are not created equal.

      With regards to Sen. Warner, I don’t approve of his approach to fundraising, especially his self-funding. Your point seems to be to that if I agree with his votes in the Senate or his policies as governor, I should give him a free pass. Sorry, I don’t buy that logic.

      More than likely when the campaign concludes, the winning candidate will have raised more than $20 million. I expect the losers in the Democratic primary to have raised close to $10 million between them. The amount of time candidates must spend raising money is obscene.

      As for voters, they don’t participate in elections because they don’t believe giving someone their vote is simply enough. Look at the governors of Virginia — GOP & Democrat — of the last 30 years. Look at who they appoint to office and commission memberships. There is a LARGE number of campaign contributors and fundraisers appointed to jobs they otherwise wouldn’t be considered for.

      In my view, Terry McAuliffe isn’t corrupt, but he is a potent symbol for everything that turns off voters from participating in our system. Nominating him would be a huge mistake for Democrats. Electing him would be an even bigger mistake for Virginia.

  3. Pingback: Dear Mr. McAuliffe: You’re Pretty Slick on Oil « Fake Virginia

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