Virginia Gov. McAuliffe rerouted funds for inaugural

Legislature banned uses for politics

David Sherfinski
The Washington Times

The Virginia legislature years ago banned governors from donating excess inauguration funds to political causes, but that hasn’t stopped Gov. Terry McAuliffe from finding a way to route $211,000 from his inaugural fund back to his election campaign and the Virginia Democratic Party, disclosure records show.

Mr. McAuliffe’s aides say the two $78,000 checks his inaugural committee sent to his campaign committee along with a $55,000 check to the state Democratic Party were expenditures for the rental of email lists. But campaign finance analysts told The Washington Times that the costs of the email rentals appeared to be exorbitant, and critics suggest the transactions look like an end run around the state prohibition.

“It’s Terry McAuliffe,” said Bradley A. Smith, a Federal Election Commission member during the George W. Bush administration. “It’s probably legal, but it may make you raise an eyebrow.”…

…“Color me surprised that Terry McAuliffe is involved with what looks like a highly questionable decision involving money and politics,” said Garren Shipley, a spokesman for the Republican Party of Virginia. “Whether it’s renting out the Lincoln Bedroom, cashing in on Global Crossing as the company tanked, or investing in a program state officials worried was a visa-for-sale scheme, Terry McAuliffe continues to give Virginians every reason to be skeptical of his actions.”

The question of how leftover inaugural funds are spent became a big issue in Virginia in 2006 after Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, used $400,000 of his inaugural funds as seed money to form a political action committee. Mr. Kaine raised nearly $3.2 million for his 2006 inauguration and contributed roughly $80,000 to Democratic candidates out of the inaugural fund. The total included donations made in the period after his election and before he was sworn in…


The entire article is at The Washington Times.


H/T The Virginian





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