October 23, 2015

McAuliffe Caught In A Lie As He Campaigns With Clinton

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has already found himself in hot water for using a state-owned aircraft to fly around the country for rock concerts and Hamptons vacations with Bill and Hillary Clinton, forcing his office to engage in a back and forth with reporters about reimbursement to the taxpayers.

Now, Virginia Republicans have caught Gov. Terry McAuliffe in yet another travel flap.
The Hill reports:

A spokesman for McAuliffe’s political action committee Common Good VA told The Washington Post in September that McAuliffe does not use the state-owned plane for political travel.

But Republicans say flight manifests show two political advisers flew with McAuliffe on March 13, 2014: Patrick Hallahan, a political consultant and adviser to McAuliffe’s gubernatorial campaign, and Michael Halle, then-executive director of Common Good VA.

“While you have made repeated claims about your ‘dedication to the taxpayers,’ a troubling pattern has emerged in which information about your use of state-owned and taxpayer-funded resources consistently comes to light only under scrutiny from members of the news media, and not as a result of pro-active disclosure by the Office of the Governor,” Findlay wrote.

McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy confirmed that the consultants flew on the plane, but rejected what he called “a spurious attack even by the Republican Party of Virginia’s low standard.”

The timing is particularly unfortunate for McAuliffe, who is hosting his first campaign event for Hillary Clinton in Virginia today, a rally in Alexandria. McAuliffe’s connections to the Clintons have long raised ethical red flags, and his election as governor was largely seen as paving the way to organize Virginia, a critical swing state, for Clinton. The Washington Post reported in 2013:

If McAuliffe wins the Nov. 5 election, the Clintons will have a trusted ally controlling one of the most important presidential swing states. But McAuliffe’s actions as governor would also reflect upon the Clintons, positively or negatively, far more than the actions of any other officeholder. McAuliffe’s history of using his deep political connections to benefit his private business portfolio would be put under a microscope again if Hillary Clinton runs for the White House.

Then again, with Hillary Clinton’s penchant for private jets, she’s certainly in a position to lend a sympathetic ear to McAuliffe’s travel woes.