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Why Business Fears Terry McAuliffe

Ken Cuccinelli, Bill Bolling, Terry McAuliffe
The Northern Virginia Technology Council’s political action committee, TechPAC, whose 25-member bipartisan board includes top executives from many sectors of the technology industry, voted last Thursday to endorse Ken Cuccinelli for Governor of Virginia.

The endorsement announcement, made after the group conducted lengthy interviews of both candidates, was delayed due to an aggressive behind-the-scenes attempt by supporters of Democrat Terry McAuliffe, to, as Washington Post writer Fredrick Kunkle put it, “wrest the prize away.”

Actually, it was more like to threaten and intimidate the Northern Virginia Technology Council into withdrawing their endorsement of Cuccinelli.

McAuliffe’s influence-peddling insider supporters allegedly told Technology Council and TechPAC leaders that “doors will be closed” to the group if it backed Cuccinelli.

According to a variety of sources, the pressure exerted on the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s political arm, TechPAC, came from Virginia’s Democratic Senator Mark Warner, Bill Bolling, the current Republican lieutenant governor who is at odds with Cuccinelli, Aneesh Chopra, the former U.S. chief technology officer (and Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor) and Virginia state house insiders who are backing McAuliffe.

The Washington Post team covering the Virginia Governor’s race, Laura Vozzella, Antonio Olivo and Fredrick Kunkle, suggests that “McAuliffe’s campaign is worried that a Cuccinelli endorsement could undermine the central premise of the Democrat’s campaign — that he, an entrepreneur who started his first venture at 14, is the pro-business candidate and that Cuccinelli, a social conservative popular with the tea party, is too extreme for the state’s centrist business leaders.”

That is the line being pushed by Ken Cuccinelli’s opponents – that being an outspoken social conservative somehow disqualifies Cuccinelli from having thoughtful, intelligent, well-thought-out positions on economic and legal issues of interest to the business community.

This is of course nonsense and the real difference in the two candidates was revealed rather starkly in their interviews with TechPAC and how they conducted themselves afterwards.

According to reporting by the Post’s Vozzella, Olivo and Kunkle, Cuccinelli impressed TechPAC’s board majority as a serious, detail-oriented candidate while McAuliffe seemed to wing it.

“Terry was his normal, flamboyant self,” the Post quotes a board member present for both interviews as saying. “He didn’t want to get pinned down to any details. He didn’t give any details. He was all about jobs, jobs, jobs — ‘I’m just going to take care of the situation when the time comes. I’m just going to do it.’ It was all [expletive].”

Cuccinelli, by contrast, the person said, “was precise. He was thoughtful. He thought through all the issues. He had a clear position on all those issues, and he didn’t agree with the council on all the issues.”

Then of course there was the aftermath when McAuliffe didn’t get what he wanted from the business group.

What was the McAuliffe team’s first instinct?

Use the “Chicago way” so familiar to the Clinton and Obama administrations to threaten and intimidate business into going along with what they wanted – or else “doors will be closed.”

Terry McAuliffe claims to be a technology businessman, but the reality is that he is not a free market entrepreneur; he is little more than an influence peddler who has created few jobs for workers in Virginia.

This apparently came through loud and clear in his interview with TechPAC.

If there’s one thing business fears, it is not a social conservative like Ken Cuccinelli, with whom they may not always agree, as Governor. What business really fears is an influence peddling Governor Terry McAuliffe who will govern Virginia like a Democratic ward Boss where “doors will be closed” if you don’t do what the Boss and his minions say.

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