McAuliffe: My Phone Calls to Legislators Can Get Things Done!

by Jim Geraghty

After an introductory ad that put the spotlight on his odd behavior during the births of his children, Terry McAuliffe’s second ad suggests he’s responsible for the passage of a tax-hiking transportation bill in the Virginia legislature.

The ad declares McAuliffe “reached out” to Democrats, and they subsequently supported the bill.

Unfortunately, quite a few Democrats in the state legislature say they don’t remember McAuliffe being a factor in the bill’s passage at all:

Sen. Charles J. Colgan, Manassas Democrat and the longest-serving member of the Senate, was an informal adviser to the conferees as they hashed out differences between the House and Senate versions. But Mr. McAuliffe never spoke to him about it, he said Tuesday.

“When I was there, he didn’t,” Mr. Colgan said…

Several other Democratic aides in the General Assembly also said their offices were never contacted, though they acknowledged that lobbying on the bill was possible.

“There was no contact between Terry McAuliffe and our office and nobody thought he had any impact on the outcome,” one Senate aide said.

McAuliffe may have put himself in a difficult spot, in that no Virginia lawmaker, Democrat or Republican, will want to tell his constituents, “I opposed the legislation, until Terry McAuliffe called me up and persuaded me it was a good idea.”

Also interesting: “When the bill passed, McDonnell and McAuliffe even shared what the governor’s spokesman called ‘a brief congratulatory phone call.’”

The Campaign Spot

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