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Virginia Gubernatorial candidate, Terry McAuliffe is one of the DNC’s top fundraisers in the nation. McAuliffe raised millions for the Clinton White House. That is what he does and he does it well. McAuliffe even writes in his book that he left his wife and newborn in the maternity ward on the day of her delivery to fundraise for the DNC. Recent reports are indicating that McAuliffe’s campaign has raised twice as much as his Republican rival Ken Cuccinelli.
McAuliffe raised $6.2 million in July and August while Cuccinelli received only a fraction of that. And yet, during the same period, Cuccinelli received contributions from 10,300 donors while McAuliffe received contributions from only 7,400 donors.
But McAuliffe has also received major dollars from outside the Commonwealth including major fundraising dollars from Billionaire, Tom Steyer. Steyer is a partner of a private equity firm in San Francisco and New York.
He previously helped finance the Senate race of Massachusetts’s Ed Markey to replace John Kerry and recently dropped $30 Million into a campaign for higher taxes to ensure “greener” energy. At the same time, this man has lobbied the President against the Keystone Oil Pipeline.
Steyer has promised not only to help with television advertising, which he has, but with funding the get-out-the-vote effort as well. What is interesting is that Steyer has largely refrained from gushing over McAuliffe, saying, that he doesn’t know McAuliffe well but thinks that he’d be a good governor. Steyer’s only concern and the focus of his Super PAC is climate change legislation. Steyer wants to choke coal power plants in Virginia, affecting the jobs of thousands in southwest Virginia.
Steyer himself, while a commendable philanthropist, made much of his fortune in the energy industry he now attacks. In addition, Steyer has repeatedly attacked many names and faces connected with both the Canadian government and the TransCanada Corp’s Keystone XL Pipeline and even his own Democratic President.
While Steyer has many admirable traits, he is a rabid extremist on climate change attempting to impose Billionaire California energy values on a Commonwealth that relies heavily on coal.
What is also interesting about Steyer is that one of his organizations, Nextgen, is reliant on liberal legislation declaring a war on coal in order to maximize the opportunities for green companies. Steyer has a financial interest in moving Virginia away from coal. And we can only speculate as to what Steyer and McAuliffe have discussed with regard to off-shore oil drilling.
Steyer’s contributions have trumped anything Cuccinelli has received from similar billionaires. It is important to note that Steyer’s goals aren’t simply to help democrats in other states but to impose his radical viewpoint on a state that has values, goals and resources vastly different from our counterparts on the west coast.
Ken Cuccinelli is not a tool of big business, corporations or billionaires and unfortunately, his fundraising totals show it. But his fight for Virginia will result in jobs and lower energy prices than we could hope to see under McAuliffe.