Given the arc and timbre of this still-young gubernatorial campaign, conducted as it has been in the shadow of ethical missteps taken by the current occupant of the Governor’s Mansion, it may well be true that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli needs a break or two in his battle with Washington insider Terry McAuliffe. He appears to be getting them.
For starters, to the surprise of few in the cognoscenti class, Mr. McAuliffe played a bit fast and loose with factual truth at the campaign season’s first debate last weekend in Hot Springs. He essentially said an investigation that cleared Mr. Cuccinelli of ethical wrongdoing in the serial gift-giving web that snagged Gov. McDonnell did nothing of the sort. In fact, the Democratic candidate said, it all but implicated Mr. Cuccinelli. Not so.
The debate buzz was just beginning to recede when Mr. McAuliffe’s name — and that of his as-yet-unrealized electric-car initiative, GreenTech Automotive — was mentioned in connection with an investigation of the man President Obama would like to see named deputy secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas.
It seems Mr. Mayorkas, while director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, may have used his office to secure E-5 visas for foreign nationals eager to invest in GreenTech. Make no mistake, Mr. Mayorkas is the one under federal scrutiny, not Mr. McAuliffe, but the nature of the inquiry hardly sheds beneficial light on an enterprise that has attracted its share of skepticism — and not only for its lack of productivity but also for its location in Mississippi rather than Virginia.
And it hardly helps the McAuliffe cause when Mr. Mayorkas admits under oath to meeting with The Macker on the visa issue on the same day two newspapers — the Memphis Commercial-Appeal and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review — report GreenTech officials as saying the company “does not interact with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.”
This factual variance does not suggest illegality by either Mr. McAuliffe or his company; it does show, yet again, the extent to which truth can be an elusive commodity in his presence. And hence the question: Is this what Virginians desire in a chief executive?