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Candidates for governor speak out about McAuliffe investigation

Published On: Aug 03 2013 10:53:23 PM EDT

Democratic Governor Candidate Terry McAuliffe is speaking out about an investigation involving his old electric car company.

The investigation is looking into claims that Green-Tech Automotive guaranteed financial returns for investors.

On Saturday, McAuliffe released a statement about the matter:

"I left GreenTech in early December of 2012 to focus full time on running for Governor.   The first I learned of this investigation was earlier this week when the Washington Post reached out to my campaign.

I have no knowledge of the investigation other than what I have read in the papers. I find it unfortunate that a Republican Senator from Iowa - who has a long history of support for the EB-5 program - selectively released information for the purpose of partisan attacks instead of getting facts.

If there are concerns as to whether procedures were properly followed, those concerns should be examined and I'm glad the company said it is cooperating fully.

The EB-5 program is designed to inject capital into the American economy and to create American jobs.  It has broad bipartisan support, including from every member of Virginia's delegation and the current administration in Richmond.  There has been widespread frustration, however, both inside and outside USCIS about the bureaucracy there and the pace of the investment program.

Like many business leaders and political officials from both parties, I was among those who expressed frustration on several occasions to multiple individuals. I never asked for any preferential treatment, nor did I ever expect to receive any.  Both Republican Senators from Mississippi also met with DHS to voice their concerns about the bureaucratic pace of the program."

His opponent, Republican and current Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, released his own statement about the investigation through his campaign manager:

"Earlier today, in a press release that fell one step short of claiming a 'vast right wing conspiracy' against his candidacy, Terry McAuliffe insulted the intelligence of Virginians.

The most significant point is not whether the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation led to McAuliffe's silent resignation from GreenTech Automotive, but that both the SEC and Department of Homeland Security are investigating actions taken by his company before he resigned as chairman.

Tellingly, McAuliffe's statement did not deny that central fact.  The question is, what did McAuliffe and GreenTech do to warrant not one, but two federal investigations?

The former Democrat National Committee chairman also deliberately misled Virginians when he addressed the EB-5 visa program.  The question isn't about the program itself, as even the best government programs are susceptible to fraud and reckless behavior, but the actions taken by GreenTech executives to fatten their pockets while risking national security.

Rather than provide clarity regarding the situation, it’s unfortunate that Terry McAuliffe has decided to double down on denial, dishonesty and finger pointing.

It is time for Terry McAuliffe to stop the political doublespeak and step forward and address this issue forthrightly.  It is the minimum required from someone seeking the Commonwealth's highest office."