The Campaign Spot

Did You Know Terry McAuliffe Took $25,000 From Donald Trump?

I wonder how Virginia Democrats feel about their gubernatorial candidate, Terry McAuliffe, taking five-figure checks in 2009 from mogul Donald Trump, who publicly argued that President Obama’s birth certificate may not be authentic.

Donald Trump is just one of many big name donors funding Terry McAuliffe’s campaign to win the Virginia governor’s mansion this fall, according to newly released financial disclosure reports — and he isn’t even among the most generous givers.

The New York real estate magnate cut McAuliffe a check for a whopping $25,000 in late March, but that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the largest single donation in McAuliffe’s report — a $251,000 gift from billionaire media tycoon Haim Saban in January. That check narrowly bested a $250,000 contribution the following month from Steve Bing, another big fish in the entertainment industry.

McAuliffe raised $4.2 million in the first quarter of 2009, and thanks to Virginia’s permissive fundraising laws, more than 80 percent of his cash came from donors who live outside the state.

The campaign of Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli and the Virginia GOP have been pretty relentless in demanding McAuliffe release his tax returns for recent years. The latest from the Cuccinelli team:

Last July, the Virginian-Pilot editorial board called on Mitt Romney to release his tax returns to “provide a consistent measure of transparency” and said not doing so suggested he had “something to hide.”

Last Thursday, in the spirit of transparency, Ken Cuccinelli released eight years of returns. So far, the McAuliffe campaign has been mum on whether they intend to follow suit. If McAuliffe decides not to release his returns, at the very least, he should explain his reasoning. As is the case with any important election, voters deserve more information, not less.

More on the tax-return issue to come . . .

Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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