Virginia Republicans aren’t done questioning Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe about his business dealings with GreenTech Automotive, the car company that has become the object of both government and media scrutiny.
Over the weekend, The New York Times examined how McAuliffe used his political connections as the former chair of the Democratic National Committee in relation to the eco-friendly car company.
In the piece, GreenTech co-founder and President Charles Wang detailed a meeting between himself, McAuliffe and Alejandro Mayorkas, who was in charge of signing off on EB-5 visas for foreign investors that McAuliffe wanted.
GreenTech is now the subject of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for making promises to investors, and Mayorkas is under investigation by the DHS inspector general for allegedly using his influence to secure visas for foreign nationals.
Federal officials are also looking at how GreenTech and Gulf Coast Funds Management, the car company’s sister financial firm, got Chinese investors to participate in the EB-5 visa program.
Wang told the Times this weekend that there had been no wrongdoing and that the SEC would not find anything illegal.
But he also admitted that he sometimes wishes he hadn’t gone into business with McAuliffe, whose political aspirations are creating obstacles for the business.
“Politicians or people with political backgrounds are dangerous to business,” Wang told the Times.
Backers of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, McAuliffe’s Republican opponent, seized on the opportunity Monday to discredit McAuliffe’s business background and ability to create jobs.
“Terry is a professional political fundraiser,” said Pete Snyder, an entrepreneur who ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Virginia GOP lieutenant governor nomination this year. Snyder now chairs Cuccinelli’s finance committee.
“I thought the most damning thing in The New York Times article from this weekend was not the fact that his business partner called him dangerous and said that he had regrets about going into business with Terry,” Snyder said. "It was the fact that he said that the entire production schedule for GreenTech was hijacked by Terry's desire to be governor."
McAuliffe has said in a statement that he did nothing wrong and has never received any special treatment because of who he’s friends with or happens to know.