Terry McAuliffe is a Democratic Party politician and fundraiser most notable for serving as the 72nd Governor of Virginia. Throughout his career McAuliffe has raised over $1 billion for the Democratic Party and leaned on his political connections to create a web of often controversial business enterprises.
McAuliffe first worked as then-President Jimmy Carter’s finance director in 1980.  He then served as finance chairman for President Bill Clinton’s re-election campaign and raised over $300 million for the Clinton’s various committees. In December 1999, President Clinton referred to McAuliffe as his most loyal friend. McAuliffe has remained a close confidant of the Clintons, serving as Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign chairman and financing the couple’s 1999 home purchase. McAuliffe has been involved in many federal investigations relating to the Clinton’s fundraising efforts, so much so that a 2011 New York Times editorial labeled him “a walking symbol of the wretched excess of the Clinton years.”
From 2001 through 2005 McAuliffe was Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). During this time he reportedly raised $578 million for the DNC and more than $1 billion total for the Democratic Party.
McAuliffe was elected Governor of Virginia in 2013. During his four-year term, he supported Obamacare and sought to expand Medicaid,  pushed for a $65 million tax increase, called for gun control using blatant exaggerations, and opposed a ban on late-term abortions. 
For more than three decades, McAuliffe has used his powerful connections to develop a network of politically overlapping businesses that have amassed him a small fortune.  In 2013, the Washington Post reported that McAuliffe used his political connections to generate big profits for himself while many of his the businesses he invested in failed. Similarly, Larry Sabato, head of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said that McAuliffe has had enough business controversies “for any 10 regular people” and noted that many of his ventures were unsuccessful.
Terrence R. McAuliffe, was born on February 9, 1957 in Syracuse, New York. McAuliffe’s father was the Onondaga County Democratic Party treasurer and a real estate salesman.
McAuliffe entered politics in 1980, at the age of 23. McAuliffe served as national finance director for President Jimmy Carter’s unsuccessful re-election campaign. From 1985 to 1987 he was finance director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which was chaired at the time by Rep. Tony Coelho (D-California)
In 1988, at the age of 31, McAuliffe became chairman of the Federal City National Bank in Washington. That same year he served as finance director for U.S. Rep. Richard “Dick” Gephardt’s (D-Missouri) presidential campaign, which had millions of dollars in deposits and loans at McAuliffe’s bank. 
Ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton
In December 1999, then-President Bill Clinton said, “It is safe to say that I do not have a more loyal friend than Terry.”
In 1992, McAuliffe helped raise money for the Clinton campaign. In March 1994 he became finance chairman for the Democratic National Committee (DNC). By 1995, McAuliffe was named the national finance chairman of the Clinton-Gore 1996 reelection committee. He later presided over Clinton’s 1997 inaugural celebration.
In total, McAuliffe raised over $300 million for the Clinton’s various different committees, including $75 million for the Clinton presidential library, $8 million for Clinton’s legal bills, $5 million for Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign, and $17 million for President Clinton’s millennium celebration.
In late 1999 McAuliffe provided the cash to secure a $1.35 million mortgage for the Clintons to purchase a home in Chappaqua, New York from which Hillary Clinton could run for the U.S. Senate seat in New York.
McAuliffe served on the board of directors at the Clinton Foundation from its “beginning” in 2000 through at least 2007.
In 2008, McAuliffe served as Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman.
During McAuliffe’s 2013 campaign for Governor of Virginia, former President Clinton went on a four-day, nine-city campaign tour of Virginia with McAuliffe, while Hillary Clinton emphatically endorsed and raised money for him in California.
1996 Fundraising Investigations
McAuliffe was tied to a number of controversial fund-raising practices that took place during President Clinton’s 1996 re-election.
A 2011 New York Times editorial chastised McAuliffe as “a walking symbol of the wretched excess of the Clinton years.”
During the 1996 election, Martin Davis, a Democratic fund-raising operative, who later pleaded guilty to fraud in relation to their dealings, implicated McAuliffe in an illegal contribution swap scheme. According to David, McAuliffe knew that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ (IBT) planned to raise extra money for the DNC in exchange for the DNC arranging a $100,000 contribution to the Teamsters President Ron Carey’s reelection campaign.
In Senate depositions, McAuliffe denied participation in any “swap” scheme.
In January 1995, McAuliffe penned what he would later refer to as the “infamous Lincoln Bedroom memo.”  McAuliffe’s memo made recommendations intended to reward past and future large-dollar contributors. McAuliffe’s memo suggested that major financial supporters be treated to time with President Clinton at breakfasts, lunches, coffees, morning jogs, or golf outings and requested reserved dates on which the President could meet “major supporters” for a meal. Among the individuals on McAuliffe’s initial top supporters list were Arthur Coia, then-president of the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) and McAuliffe’s business partner Carl Lindner.
In total, the White House hosted at least 100 “coffees” that raised approximately $27 million from those who attended.
These coffees became the focus of multiple investigations by Congress and the Justice Department related to allegations of campaign finance abuses by the Clinton Administration.
Another focus of the Congressional investigation was whether McAuliffe devised a plan for the President to host “overnights” in the Lincoln Bedroom for large campaign donors. In total, at least 49 individuals who stayed overnight contributed a total of $4.1 million to the DNC for the 1996 elections. McAuliffe maintained that he had no part in devising the “overnight” plan, and President Clinton took credit for the idea.
2016 FBI Investigations
In 2016 the F.B.I. launched an investigation into $120,000 worth of contributions given to McAuliffe’s gubernatorial campaign by American companies owned by Wang Wenliang, a Chinese billionaire and a former delegate to the Communist Chinese rubber-stamp parliament, known as the National People’s Congress. The investigation also focused on McAuliffe’s tenure as a board member for the Clinton Global Initiative.
Wenliang attended a 2013 fundraiser at the Clinton’s home in Washington, D.C., after being invited by McAuliffe. He gave the Clinton Foundation $2 million and had met with both Bill and Hillary Clinton.
On May 24, 2016 McAuliffe said that he had never met Wenliang and denied involvement in the Clinton Foundation contribution. However, the following day, McAuliffe acknowledged that he had in fact met Wenliang saying, “They say he may have come to the inaugural, not sure. We may have had him over for a cup of coffee with the secretary of agriculture.”
Also, in 2016, it was reported that McAuliffe’s PAC had given nearly $500,000 to the 2015 state senate campaign of Democrat Jill McCabe, who is the wife of F.B.I. agent Andrew McCabe who was subsequently tasked with supervising the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for official business. In January 2017, the Justice Department’s Inspector General announced that it was evaluating the FBI’s Clinton server investigation, including whether or not FBI Deputy Director McCabe should have been recused from certain investigative matters.
In 2000, McAuliffe raised $26.5 million at a single fundraiser supporting then-Vice President Al Gore’s Presidential candidacy; at the time, this was the largest dollar amount raised at a single campaign event. At the event, Gore called McAuliffe “the greatest fund raiser in the history of the universe.” Gore also later asked McAuliffe to serve as chairman of the 2000 Democratic National Convention. 
From 2001 through 2005 McAuliffe was Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). During his tenure, the Washington Post reports that McAuliffe raised $578 million for the DNC and more than $1 billion total for the Democratic Party in general.
During the 2004 presidential primary campaign McAuliffe accused President George W. Bush of having gone absent without leave (or AWOL) during his Air National Guard service. Ed Gillespie, then chairman of the Republican National Committee, called McAuliffe’s comments “slanderous.”
Governor of Virginia
In 2009, McAuliffe lost the Democratic gubernatorial primary to state legislator Creigh Deeds (D-Bath County) receiving only 26.4% of the vote. During the race, McAuliffe raised $7.5 million and spent an average of $90 per vote.
In November 2012, McAuliffe announced his second candidacy for Governor. McAuliffe would win the 2013 gubernatorial election over Republican state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in a race that Politico described as a “harrowingly close contest between two obviously flawed candidates.”
During the 2013 campaign a number of notable Democrats stumped for McAuliffe including, then-President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm.
McAuliffe’s campaign raised $34.4 million, compared with his opponent’s $19.7 million. The New York Times labeled McAuliffe’s list of top donors “a roll call of former business partners and politicians he has helped elect” including hundreds of thousands of dollars from liberal billionaires Fred Eychaner and Ron Burkle, and longtime Clinton adviser Douglas J. Band. Similarly, labor unions contributed a total of $2.5 million to McAuliffe’s campaign.
Liberal Policies as Governor
As Virginia Governor, McAuliffe sought to implement a number of left-wing policies. McAuliffe pushed multiple Medicaid expansion plans and in 2017 criticized President Donald Trump’s attempt to repeal Obamacare while calling again for a permanent expansion of Virginia’s Medicaid program.
In 2017, McAuliffe proposed a $65 million tax increase on real estate sales, hotel stays and wholesale gasoline to provide $150 million annually to the mismanaged Washington, D.C. Metro system, which serves the Virginia suburbs of the capital.
In June 2017, McAuliffe called for gun control, including expanding background checks to private-party firearm sales. In support of his proposition, McAuliffe said, “we lose 93 million Americans a day to gun violence.” The Washington Examiner responded to McAuliffe’s claim by noting, “if 93 million Americans died every day, the whole U.S. population — 321 million — would be gone by Sunday.” 
In 2017, McAuliffe said that he would veto a ban on late-term abortions, because it could harm Virginia’s ability to lure multinational corporations. McAuliffe also vetoed a state bill that sought to cut funding to Planned Parenthood.
In 2017, The Hill reported that McAuliffe was “seriously considering” a 2020 presidential candidacy.
Terry McAuliffe has used his closeness to powerful political players, including former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to create a web of private business deals, which have netted him tens of millions of dollars. 
In 1999, the New York Times wrote that McAuliffe “transformed the art of raising money for public figures into the art of raising money for himself, leveraging a personal fortune from his political fund-raising contacts.” 
In 2013, the Washington Post reported that McAuliffe used his political connections to generate big profits for himself while many of his the businesses he invested in failed.
Similarly, in 2013, Larry Sabato, head of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said that McAuliffe has had enough business controversies “for any 10 regular people” and noted that many of McAuliffe’s ventures were unsuccessful except for the fact that they benefited McAuliffe’s personal bank account.
American Pioneer Bank
In 1979, McAuliffe met Richard R. Swann, an Orlando lawyer who was overseeing fund-raising in Florida for President Carter’s re-election. McAuliffe married Mr. Swann’s daughter and invested $800,000 in Swann’s American Pioneer Savings Bank.  In 1990, federal regulators took over the American Pioneer Savings Bank and Mr. Swann petitioned for bankruptcy.
A federal agency rescued the bank and placed it in receivership –costing taxpayers $500 million.
In 1991 and 1992, McAuliffe conducted a series of real-estate deals with a joint pension fund controlled by two labor unions, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). Through these deals, the partnership purchased some distressed properties from the federal trust agency holding the assets from American Pioneer Bank’s bankruptcy.
McAuliffe arranged the financing for these deals through IBEW Secretary Jack F. Moore, who McAuliffe had grown close to during the Dick Gephardt presidential campaign in 1988. 
The joint union pension fund gave more than $50 million in loans to McAuliffe’s real estate ventures. In 1992, McAuliffe received a $6 million loan from the joint union pension fund that helped him eliminate debts owed to the failed American Pioneer bank.
In 1999 the U.S. Department of Labor sued the union executives, calling the $6 million loan imprudent and noted that the pension fund lost money on it after McAuliffe’s pledged collateral “vaporized.” McAuliffe was not a party to that suit.
In 1997 Los Angeles billionaire and prolific democratic donor, Gary Winnick created the company Global Crossing Holdings, a intercontinental telecommunications cable company,  which he based in Bermuda for tax reasons. Winnick hired McAuliffe to assist with the deal (specifically for his political contacts) and allowed McAuliffe to invest $100,000.
In 1999, the year Global Crossing stock peaked, McAuliffe sold many of his shares in the venture for an $8 million profit. Politifact summarized, “McAuliffe made a fantastic profit through an insider deal that allowed him to buy Global Crossing stock before it was offered to the public.” 
In 1999, McAuliffe joined the board of directors of Telergy, a Syracuse company that he reportedly had been working with for several years. At McAuliffe’s urging, Global Crossing invested $40 million in Telergy, and Telergy paid McAuliffe $1.2 million for his help in raising that money. 
In August 2001, two weeks after McAuliffe resigned from the Telergy board, the company laid off 150 employees and by the end of the year had filed for bankruptcy.
McAuliffe was once the largest individual investor in the company but stepped down as chairman in 2012 and sold his shares. That same year he reported $9.5 million in income from his various ventures.
In 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission launched an investigation into GreenTech and a sister-company run by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s brother, Anthony “Tony” Rodham. According to the Washington Post, the investigation focused in part on alleged claims that the companies guaranteed returns to foreign investors through a special visa program, known as EB-5. As of 2013, the company had collected about $46 million from overseas EB-5 investors but had shown little progress in the way of making cars.
Additionally, a 2015 Department of Homeland Security inspector general report said that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas created “an appearance of favoritism and special access” for GreenTech’s EB-5 visa applications by responding to entreaties from McAuliffe and Rodham to speed up action on their project’s visa applications. 
In January 2017, the company’s Mississippi manufacturing plant closed and consequently the firm owed the state $6.4 million for not meeting the promises it made to obtain a $5 million state-financing package.
Also in 2017, a group of 32 Chinese citizens that invested an average of $560,000 filed a $17 million fraud lawsuit against Greentech Automotive, Terry McAuliffe, and Anthony Rodham. The suit alleged that McAuliffe and Rodham marketed their political connections to assure the investors of their ability to obtain American citizenship, but investors, in the wake of the company’s decline, faced the threat of deportation by the Department of Homeland Security.
In October 2013, the Washington Post reported that McAuliffe had invested money with a Rhode Island estate planner, Joseph Caramadre, who was “charged with defrauding insurers by using the stolen identities of terminally ill people.” Caramadre would obtain the names of dying people and then set up annuities that would ultimately benefit outside investors, including McAuliffe.
In 2013, Caramadre was sentenced to six years in prison on charges of conspiracy and wire fraud.  McAuliffe earned $47,000 from the annuity deal, and received another $27,000 in political contributions from Caramadre during his 2009 gubernatorial campaign, but denied any wrong-doing.
McAuliffe called himself a passive investor and unaware of any wrongdoing. However, a 2013 Washington Post report found that he chose not to publicly disclose the investment on his 2009 Virginia electoral candidate financial disclosure. 
The Washington Post wrote, “the ghoulish quality of that investment could add to the impression — created by his long history of controversial business and political schemes — that McAuliffe is an unscrupulous dealmaker.”
Lobbying and Legal Consulting Career
From 1985 through 1994, McAuliffe was a founder and partner of the McAuliffe, Kelly & Raffaelli law firm and lobbying shop based in downtown Washington.
By 1991, the firm had about 60 federal lobbying clients. Among those clients were tobacco giant Philip Morris, a company that was fighting to exclude women from certain jobs, and a number of foreign governments.
A 2008 report by the Center For Public Integrity entitled “The Torturers’ Lobby” reported that the nation of Turkey, which has been accused of torturing its Kurdish minority population, had paid McAuliffe’s lobbying firm hundreds of thousands of dollars to put a positive spin on its image in the United States and to lobby Members of Congress and the administration.
A 1997 Mother Jones article wrote, “in light of Democrats’ foreign money scandals some of McAuliffe’s other business ties look questionable.” The article indicated that months before McAuliffe left his lobbying firm to run the DNC’s financial operation, the firm represented the unofficial embassy of Taiwan. The article further noted that illegal campaign contributions from Taiwan had become a central focus of the investigation into Democratic fundraising that took place during the Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign.
Prudential Deal Investigation
In 1995 the Washington Business Journal reported that the Department of Justice was investigating a 1993 deal in which the insurance company Prudential paid McAuliffe’s firm a possibly illegal $375,000 contingency fee after the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), a federal agency, inked a 15-year $187 million lease at Prudential’s Washington D.C. building.
Prudential “was later charged with falsely certifying that it had not paid anyone to influence the bidding.” The company settled the case for $317,000 without admitting wrongdoing, and McAuliffe was never charged.