The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Virginia GOP Readying Obama-Style Criticism of McAuliffe


I am reliably informed that Virginia’s GOP gubernatorial candidate, Ken Cuccinelli, will soon release his tax returns for the past eight years and call for his Democratic counterpart, Terry McAuliffe, to do the same.

In a mirror image of the attack against Mitt Romney last summer, Republicans in Virginia and Washington are ready to point to any delay as a sign that there’s something shady or scandalous in McAuliffe’s tax returns and personal finances. Republicans have a long list of quotes from David Axelrod, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former White House Press Secreary Robert Gibbs, and other Obama campaign officials demanding the release of Romney’s returns, with some comments insinuating or explicitly stating that failure to release the returns indicates criminal behavior.

McAuliffe may or may not release all those returns; as the Virginia Pilot notes, candidates for governor in this state typically don’t release tax return information partly because the state requires them to submit personal financial disclosure statements that are considered public records. And the returns may not reveal much in terms of wrongdoing, but two figures might be intriguing or cause indigestion for the McAuliffe campaign. First, just how wealthy is McAuliffe? Back in 2009, the disclosure forms revealed “a net worth of at least $5.8 million. But McAuliffe is likely worth considerably more because candidates in Virginia do not have to report the exact value of an investment that tops $250,000.”

Secondly, how much as McAuliffe made from his investment/role with GreenTech Automotive in the past four years?

Here’s the old quote to get the spotlight: last cycle’s head of the Democratic Governors Association:

Then DGA Chairman Martin O’Malley on Romney’s failure to release his tax returns: “His failure to release those is a bit of an implicit admission of…guilt…” (Zeke Miller, “O’Malley: McCain Saw Romney’s Tax Returns And He Chose Palin,” BuzzFeed, 7/13/2012)


Tags: Terry McAuliffe , Ken Cuccinelli , Mitt Romney , Barack Obama , Tax Returns


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