April 12, 2016

Terry McAuliffe Is Really Bad At Economic Development

When longtime political hack Terry McAuliffe ran for governor of Virginia in 2013, he sought to position himself as a job-creating businessman, and even cooked up a long since abandoned mini-car company funded with Chinese money to bolster his business cred.

But McAuliffe’s economic development efforts as governor have ranged from embarrassment to complete disaster.

In January, the Roanoke Times broke the story that, relying on a phony Chinese website as its sole source of information, the McAuliffe administration lost $1.4 million in Virginia taxpayer dollars to a shady Chinese company as part of a failed economic development deal in Appomattox County, VA. That failed deal is now the subject of a criminal probe.

Apparently shady Chinese-tied investments are Terry’s version of Nigerian princes.

Now the Washington Post is reporting that McAuliffe’s signature economic development program may not be…um…allowed:

Go Virginia, a program at the heart of Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s economic development strategy, is on the ropes, after McAuliffe abruptly withdrew his support, and Attorney General Mark R. Herring said late Thursday that the $35 million program probably violates the state constitution.

Par for the course for McAuliffe, he was all talk and little action:

McAuliffe gave a full-throated endorsement of the program last summer, pinning his hopes on Go Virginia as the best way to attract companies to the state and train workers — dual challenges for a state still smarting from cuts in federal defense contracts and budget reductions associated with sequestration.

“By the time we’re done with this I’m going to feel bad for those other 49 governors,” McAuliffe said last July during the statewide rollout. “Go Virginia — I am all in.”

McAuliffe’s incompetence even extends to his administration – his Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Maurice Jones, is embroiled in an unresolved scandal for organizing a party for government officials in a luxury box at a Redskins game under the guise of an economic development event.