He helped Hillary Clinton raise a
stunning amount of money in the third quarter. Can he make sure she carries the
Terry McAuliffe is giving it a shot, one small
cluster at a time.
Wolffe Oct 4, 2007
Oct. 5, 2007 - The scene did not exactly reek of triumph. Just two dozen
supporters had gathered at the union hall
perched between a welding company and a gas station in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
room was two-thirds empty, the sign-up sheets on the walls blank. But that did
not deter Terry McAuliffe, the hyperkinetic chairman of
presidential campaign, as he tucked into his speech at the seventh event of his
long day. The campaign is on fire.
great, McAuliffe told the room.
McAuliffe can be forgiven his congenital enthusiasm. He had just helped Clinton
post impressive third-quarter fund-raising numbers outpacing her nearest rival, Sen. Barack Obama, in total dollar
amount as well as the tally of new
donors added to the rolls. A campaign that had already been taking on the aura
of inevitability suddenly surged
forward and was reflected in a fresh round of polls showing an ever-growing gap
between Clinton and the competition.
But McAuliffe wasn’t resting on his laurels. What happens in your state here is
going to be a huge determinant of who
the Democratic nominee for president is, he said. Don’t believe the polls. Four
of the last six polls have put
Hillary in the lead here. But we’re not in first place. We’re bunched up in a
three-way tie … We’ve got to run like
we’re 20 points behind. McAuliffe’s pitch is a sign of both the strength and the
weakness of the Clinton campaign in
Iowa. Taking nothing for granted, the Clinton juggernaut dispatches a key
lieutenant to canvas Iowa in a blue Chevy
Cobalt, meeting small clumps of supporters other campaigns might view as hardly
worth a major fund-raiser’s time.
(McAuliffe says he extends his audience by making hundreds of calls to voters
during his travel time.) But despite the
Clinton camp’s manifest advantages, they need McAuliffe on that road. The New
York senator’s position in Iowa is much
weaker than any other early voting state. While she may have opened up a
daunting lead in national polls33 points,
according to the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll she's neck-and-neck with
Obama and former senator John Edwards
in the Hawkeye State.
A defeat in the first-in-the-nation caucus could imperil
her lead in other early states, if the
pattern of previous elections is repeated. And an early loss would raise serious
questions about her campaign’s
biggest selling point: that she is strongest, most electable candidate in the
field. Even Clinton’s supporters in Iowa
Wally Horn, an Iowa state senator from Cedar Rapids, introduced
McAuliffe at the union hall Wednesday
evening. Horn, who has spent 35 years in the legislature, signed up with the
campaign after persistent pressure from
the candidate’s husband during the Clintons’ first campaign swing together in
early July. He asked me three times in
15 minutes, Horn said, recalling that Clinton had visited him as a sitting
president in 1994. Clinton’s finger-wagging message for Horn was simple: I want you to be for Hillary. But Horn
sounds more supportive of Bill than of
Hillary. You know when he walks in the room; you don’t need to look around, you
just know he’s there, he said.
What’s so sad, for me anyway, is he tries to hide it now because of Hillary. He
can explode a room, but he has to
keep low and small. Horn says he’s convinced that Hillary is ready to be
president. He just isn’t sure that Iowans
can be trusted to vote for her, even when they say they like her. I was a [Dick]
Gephardt supporter before, but
people didn’t show up at the precinct caucus, he said, referring to the former
House Democratic leader from Missouri
in the 2004 caucuses. In Iowa, people are so nice they’ll tell you they support
you, but then they don’t show up.
This is what concerns me about Hillary. You almost know it’s a natural for
people to get out for Obama to the
precinct caucus. But Hillary is going to have to get her people there, and it’s
not a natural. Horn’s views are
supported by the recent NEWSWEEK Poll, which showed a big gap between support
among registered Democrats and likely
caucus-goers. Among all Democrats in Iowa, Clinton enjoys a 6-point lead over
Obama. But among people likely to vote,
Obama is leading by 4 points. That 10-point spread suggests that Obama holds an
early advantage in organization and
enthusiasm. Over the next three months, much can change in Iowa; many
caucus-goers typically make up their minds in
the last month of campaigning. At this stage of the campaign four years ago,
John Kerry was universally written off as
dead in spite of his early front-runner status and his strong performance in the
Clinton might yet pull
away decisively from her rivals in Iowa. Or she may suffer a Dean-like crash.
But for the Clinton campaign, the lack
of obvious enthusiasm for the candidate is troubling. At the union hall in Cedar
Rapids, only two members of the
audience expressed a strong bond with the senator. One was an Arkansas
transplant; the other had recently hosted a
house party for the candidate. But if that bothered McAuliffe, he didn’t show it
as he primed the small crowd for a
campaign swing by Clinton herself early next week. In his mind, Hillary is the
only candidate who can defeat
Republican Rudy Giuliani in states like California and New York. And only
Clinton could lead the Democrats to a
One supporter piped up asking for advice on how to answer a
nagging question: why perpetuate the
Clinton-Bush dynastic hold on the White House? I understand since 1980 there has
been a Bush or Clinton on the
ticket, said McAuliffe, and I understand that people raise that issue. People
like something new. But with the
unique circumstances we have in the world, experience has to trump everything
else. You’ll always have candidates
that come up as an alternative to what people view as the inside. But what is
very unique now is it’s obviously war in
It’s Iran, it’s Afghanistan. You have Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar; all
these countries have issues today. It’s
about to explode in the Middle East! I just pray we can keep everything together
until we can get a new president in
office. I like new things, too. But when you’re in a difficult situation, I’ve
got to go with someone who can do the
job tomorrow. There’s no on-the-job training for Hillary. If that apocalyptic
argument didn't drive Iowans to caucus,
McAuliffe had one last plea. In three months, we can change the course of the
world, he said. I’m asking you, can
you give us an hour a day, two hours a day? In three months, this thing could be
over, and if we don’t do it, we’re
not going to win. We have got to fire people up.
The audience shuffled out, and
McAuliffe jumped in his car to the
Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign was designed
and built to be a dreadnought, an all-big-gun
battleship that would rule the waves without being
dented, slowed or thrown off course. But it has been
caught off guard by a submarine named Barack Obama,
running silent, running deep — until he surfaced
with a spectacular showing in the first round of
fund-raising numbers. What startled Clinton's team
was not just Obama's totals or his success at
drumming up contributions over the Internet, but
also how much he is collecting from the big donors
who have fueled Clinton enterprises for the past
decade and a half. "It was a real wake-up call,"
says a Clinton strategist.
Clinton's campaign still professes publicly to be
unperturbed, maintaining that it never believed the
race would be a cakewalk. "The game plan that we
began this campaign with is the game plan we are
using today," insists spokesman Phil Singer. But
Clinton's advisers privately acknowledge that she is
retooling her strategy on four fronts: intensifying
her fund-raising, emphasizing her experience and
policy depth (she's counting on the upcoming debates
to put those on display), pondering when and how to
go on the offensive against Obama and dusting off
the "two for the price of one" theme of her
husband's 1992 campaign. But this time it's Bill you
would get in the bargain.
fund-raising comes first. As her campaign chairman,
Terry McAuliffe, discovered, Obama "works
the phones like a dog. He probably did three to four
times the number of events she did" in the first
quarter. "No matter who I call," McAuliffe says, "he
has already called them three or four times." So
Clinton is stepping up the pace of her cash raising.
Instead of big galas, she will be doing more
fund-raisers in smaller settings that offer extra
attention from the candidate — especially for those
contributors who can pony up the maximum $4,600
total allowed by law for the primary and general
elections. Whereas her forces once warned donors
that it would be seen as an act of disloyalty to
contribute to anyone but Clinton, they are now
inviting Obama's fund-raisers to consider hedging
their bets by helping her too. And they are
reassuring a new and younger generation of
fund-raisers that despite the size of her operation,
there will be plenty of room at the table for them
and their ideas.
being added are "small dollar" events, like a recent
$100-a-head "Party on the Pier" at New York City's
Pier 94, which are useful for collecting not only
money but also e-mail addresses with which she might
blunt the advantage that Obama has on the Internet.
Having raised her money largely on the coasts until
now, Clinton is going inland. Invitations just went
out for a May 7 fund-raiser in Chicago, which is her
hometown — and Obama's political turf.
Attending all those events across the country,
however, means Clinton will have to spend far less
time in the Senate, a move that, aides say, she had
hoped to put off until later in the election season,
considering she was just reelected to a second term
last fall. Clinton's Senate record — and
particularly the skill she has shown working across
party lines — has been her answer to those who say
she is too polarizing to be elected. But as former
majority leader Bob Dole and others have learned,
the chamber isn't an ideal base from which to run a
Clinton's challenges go well beyond money, though.
She also has what Obama's handlers are calling an
"enthusiasm gap." The New York State Senator still
leads in most polls, but the latest Gallup survey
found that 52% of respondents have an unfavorable
view of her. Her favorable rating has dropped 13
percentage points since February, to 45%, and has
been below 50% in each of the past three Gallup
surveys. By comparison, Obama and former Senator
John Edwards, her two strongest rivals, registered
52% favorable ratings, and — more significantly —
their unfavorables were at about 30%.
Clinton is lavishing more attention on groups like
women, whom she considers her natural
constituencies. After radio host Don Imus got fired
for his controversial remarks about the Rutgers
women's basketball team, Clinton accepted a
long-standing invitation to speak on the campus
about women's equality. And both she and Obama are
aggressively courting African-American voters, who
are torn between their loyalty to the Clintons and
their excitement over the prospect of the first
black President. As Obama was telling his life story
during a recent appearance with Al Sharpton in New
York, Sharpton's cell phone rang. "Is that Hillary
calling?" Obama joked. "Breaking my flow?"
Clinton will also put in more time on the trail, as
well as in smaller sessions with donors and
activists. Part of his job has been to make the case
that his wife and Obama aren't so different in their
records on Iraq: though Obama opposed the Iraq
invasion as a Senate candidate, the former President
argues, Obama's voting on the war has been virtually
identical to Hillary's in the Senate. Bill has
"verged on feckless in this respect," grumbles a
leading Democratic fund raiser who has defected from
the Clinton camp to Obama's. Both Clintons have made
the case to potential fund-raisers that the U.S.
will probably suffer a terrorist attack on the scale
of 9/11 after the next President is sworn in — and
that Hillary is the only Democratic candidate
capable of handling such a crisis because of her
Senate Armed Services Committee tenure and her years
in the White House.
Hillary Clinton is also banking on the grueling
schedule of debates, which is "where she will
shine," says a strategist. "This will be her
strongest point. She knows this stuff inside out."
But her team says she is not yet ready to begin
challenging Obama directly on his lack of
specificity. That's because going on the attack
could further boost her negatives and create an
opening for Edwards, who has offered far more
detailed plans than she has on issues like health
care. "They are worried about both Obama and
Edwards," says an outside adviser. "They think if
Obama flames out, Edwards rises." And if that
happens, Hillary's team will have to consider a
course correction once again.
Terry McAuliffe is credited
with almost single-handedly bringing a financially ailing Democratic party out
of the red and into the black, securing a future for the blue.
At an early age, Terry McAuliffe started a
driveway maintenance company, earning money for contributions to the campaigns
of candidates he thought could make a difference.
That passion led to
establishing more than two-dozen companies in the fields
of banking, insurance, marketing, and real estate,
rebuilding and revitalizing the Democratic Ticket.
After graduating from
Terry McAuliffe served as the
finance chairman of the Carter-Mondale reelection
committee. Establishing himself as a proven wrangler of
donor support, he was appointed national finance
chairman of the Gephardt for President Committee,
national finance chairman, and national co-chairman of
the Clinton-Gore reelection committee.
The life of
the party. His
tenacity proved especially impacting after the 2000
election, when the Democratic party was bankrupt and
decades behind the times in acquiring voter and donor
lists. Pressing state chairmen to give up exclusive
control of their voter lists, Terry McAuliffe invested
millions in a new headquarters, gambling that the party
could mount a challenge to the wealthy GOP and its
peerless fundraising efforts.
Every high-risk tactic
paid off. The Democratic National Committee built an
extensive voter roster, enabling the party to develop a
strong direct-mail donor list. And, the DNC's new
headquarters and infrastructure enabled their operation
to utilize the Internet and modern facilities --
producing state-of-the-art telecommunications and public
relations media. While chairman of the DNC, Terry
McAuliffe raised over $535 million dollars, shattering
all previous records for funds raised by either party.
Under Chairman McAuliffe's tenure, for the first time in
Democratic Party history, the DNC was debt free and
out-raised the RNC.
McAuliffe gained national attention during the
presidential election of 1980 when he wrestled an
alligator to raise $15,000 dollars in funds. Since that
feat, he has continued to demonstrate a drive and
commitment that have helped elect Democrats for more
than 25 years.
Some of Terry
McAuliffe's success at engaging crowds can be attributed
in part to his trademark gravel-voiced charm and
Cheshire cat smile -- but more important, to his
business acumen and communication skills. It's difficult
not to be engaged by his droll, no-nonsense presence.
His abilities to rev-up party supporters and gain the
respect of his Republican critics have been key to
becoming the most successful fundraiser in modern
political history. Serving as the chairman of both the
53rd Presidential Inaugural Committee and the White
House Millennium Celebration, Terry McAuliffe's
leadership and creativity helped the Democrats skyrocket
20 points in the polls during the 2000 Democratic
National Convention. He is currently serving as the
chairman of Hillary Clinton for President.
New York Times and Washington Post
best-selling first book, titled What a Party!: My
Life Among Democrats: Presidents, Candidates, Donors,
Activists, Alligators and Other Wild Animals was
released in January 2007, to rave reviews from critics
and insiders on both ends of the political spectrum.
"We need to make sure
that everyone who has a right to vote can walk into a
polling booth, cast their vote and have their vote
Terence Richard "Terry" McAuliffe
1957) is an American business and political leader.
He served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) from
2001-05. He currently serves as chairman of the Hillary Clinton for President
Terry McAuliffe Biography
Terry McAuliffe lives in McLean, Virginia, with his wife Dorothy and five
children. He is an attorney and is licensed to practice in the District of
Columbia and the United States Supreme Court. He has successfully started more
than two-dozen companies in the fields of banking, insurance, marketing and real
Terry McAuliffe Family and education
Terry McAuliffe grew up in Syracuse, New York; his father was treasurer of the
local Democratic organization. He started his first business, McAuliffe
Driveway Maintenance, at the age of 14. In 1979, he received a bachelors degree
from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. After graduation, McAuliffe took a
job in the 1980 presidential reelection campaign of Jimmy Carter. After the
campaign, McAuliffe enrolled in law school at Georgetown University. He received
a Juris Doctor degree in 1984.
Terry McAuliffe Career
Terry McAuliffe served as Chairman of the Federal City National Bank by the age
of 30. From 1985-87, McAuliffe served as finance director of the Democratic
Congressional Campaign Committee. During the 1988 presidential campaign, he
served as finance chairman for Dick Gephardt. During the 1996 election cycle, he
served as national finance chairman and then national co-chairman of the
Clinton-Gore re-election committee. In 1997, he was chairman of the 53rd
Presidential Inaugural Committee. In 1999 he was chairman of the White House
In 2000, Terry McAuliffe chaired a tribute to outgoing President Bill Clinton,
which set a fundraising record for a single event. The same year, he chaired
the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. Following the convention,
the Democratic ticket received a significant bounce in the polls. In February
2001, McAuliffe was elected as the chairman of the DNC. McAuliffe served until
February 2005, presiding over a period of record fundraising wherein the DNC
raised more than $535 million, outraising the RNC and emerging from debt for the
first time in party history. McAuliffe built a new headquarters and created a
computer database of more than 170 million potential voters known as "Demzilla".
Under his tenure, the Democrats lost House and Senate seats in the 2002 and 2004
Congressional elections, while their Democratic nominee narrowly lost the 2004
presidential election. In 2002, McAuliffe drew some controversy when he
announced that he would not channel funds towards Carl McCall's campaign for
Governor of New York. Congressman Charles B. Rangel protested that this would
alienate the black vote and McAuliffe reversed himself. McCall was defeated
by a large margin by incumbent George Pataki.
Terry McAuliffe stepped down as DNC chair in January 2005. As a former party
chairman, McAuliffe is one of the roughly 796 superdelegates to the 2008
Democratic National Convention.
On January 23, 2007, his book, What A Party! My Life Among Democrats:
Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators, and Other Wild Animals,
was released and debuted at #5 on the New York Times Bestseller list and #1 on
the Washington Post's list.
Terry McAuliffe Controversies
Terry McAuliffe has been criticized by political commentators such as William
Safire  and Arianna Huffington  for his ties to Global Crossing, a
company that went bankrupt in 2002 amidst what The New York Times called
"many of the same accusations that have made Enron into one of the largest
corporate scandals in history."
In 1997, McAuliffe purchased a pre-IPO $100,000 stake in Global Crossing. By
1999, McAuliffe sold his investment, which was then valued at $18 million
dollars. Howard Kurtz of CNN reported that McAuliffe sold his shares years
before there was "any hint of trouble with the company."
In March 2004, former Global Crossing executives paid $325 million without
acknowledgment of wrongdoing to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging fraud. In
April 2005, former executives agreed to pay fines for failing to disclose
"material information" in the company's financial reports, settling a three-year
inquiry by the Security and Exchange Commission.
Rick Perlstein, in his book review of McAuliffe's memoir, What a Party!, wrote
that McAuliffe's involvement with Global Crossing compromised McAuliffe's
ability to attack Republican ties to the Enron scandal during the 2002 midterm
congressional elections. Republicans ended up winning a majority in the U.S.
Senate.  Frank Rich of The New York Times contrasted McAuliffe's
characterization of Enron as "a web of greed and deceit" with Mcauliffe's
defense of his investment in Global Crossing.
Herman v. Moore
In 1999, the U.S. Department of Labor sued Jack Moore, pension fund manager for
the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, on the basis of several
deals made with McAuliffe. In one deal, McAuliffe and the pension fund partnered
to buy commercial property in Florida, with Terry McAuliffe investing $100 while
the pension fund put up $39 million. McAuliffe received a 50% interest in the
partnership and emerged with $2.45 million from his original $100 investment.
The lawsuit was called Herman v. Moore, with Alexis Herman, the Secretary of
Labor, as the plaintiff. In October 2001, Moore and another union official
agreed to pay six-figure penalties for their roles in the deals and the union
agreed to reimburse the pension fund. McAuliffe was not charged with wrongdoing.
Terry McAuliffe, whom we ought to call the Manchurian Chairman, hit a new low
Sunday, saying on ABC's "This Week": "George Bush never served in our military
in our country. He didn't show up when he should have showed up. And there's
John Kerry on the stage with a chest full of medals that he earned by saving the
lives of American soldiers. So, as John Kerry says, 'Bring it on!'"
McAuliffe is to politics what MTV is to Superbowl halftime shows: Low, tacky,
and a failure. He is also increasingly unstable to the point that Democratic
Party pros have to worry about what he'll say next. Yesterday's pratfall was a
perfect example of an attention-starved ego diverting the press from the themes
that the candidates are trying to develop onto a stupid comment and the clean-up
McAuliffe has long been a candidate message-killer – so much so that the
anti-Clinton wing of the Dems suspects he's programmed to take down anyone who
gets in the way of Hillary's potential run in '08. Crackpot allegations from the
Begala school of broadcasting sure don't help the Kerry campaign, so you have to
wonder about the Manchurian Chairman theory, though I think the evidence
supports the much more simple proposition that McAuliffe is a world-class fool
with too much money and powerful friends who didn't think about the Peter
Principle until it was too late.
The Dems are stuck with McAuliffe through the convention, for which the
Republican Party should be thankful. Having a buffoon in charge of the
opposition is the sort of gift that keeps giving, as anyone who can recall
McAuliffe's '02 prediction about the Florida governor's race or his '03
prediction about the California recall will attest.
McAuliffe's decision to deny that service in the national guard is service in
the military – even as thousands of national guard have served in Iraq – is a
blunder larger than any of his others, and trafficking in discredited urban
myths gives you a glimpse of McAuliffe's desperation to turn the conversation to
anything except Kerry's way-left voting record, or his role in the Dean
meltdown, or the failure of Wes Clark to capture any significant support outside
the loon caucus.
For the record: President Bush served in the Texas Air National Guard from May
of 1968 to October of 1973. The long-ago discredited allegations that the
president was AWOL (Absent WithOut Leave) are a feature of the Michael Moore
crowd who point to a period of months when Bush was working on a campaign in
Alabama, from May to November 1972, and did not fly. As the New York Times has
reported in the past: "A National Guard official and Mr. Bush's spokesmen have
said that he made up the missed dates, as Guard regulations allow."
Republican National Committee Chair Ed Gillespie labeled McAuliffe's lies
"slanderous," "despicable," and "reprehensible" – which they are – but not even
the dimwits in the national press corps are going to chase that rabbit, so only
McAuliffe and the party he leads look bad as a result.
I hope the RNC provides a 24x7 cable show for McAuliffe and, in the interim,
invites all those outraged with yet another clownish moment from the Alfred E.
Neuman of American politics to skip the getting mad and go straight to the
getting even via a donation at GeorgeWBush.com.
BUSINESS WEEK, DECEMBER 22,
1997: The U. S. Attorney's Office in Washington is trying to learn more about
how McAuliffe earned a lucrative fee in helping Prudential Insurance Co. of
America lease a downtown Washington building to the government. Prudential just
settled a civil case involving that lease for over $300,000 without admitting
any liability .... The Labor Dept. is probing McAuliffe real estate deals that
were bankrolled by a union pension fund .... And Labor Dept. probes are looking
at possible conflicts of interest in at least two of McAuliffe's Florida real
estate deals that were bankrolled by International Brotherhood of Electrical
Workers pension money. Investigators want to know why McAuliffe got what look
like very sweet deals.
WASHINGTON POST, JANUARY 12,
1998: McAuliffe, the premier Democratic fund-raiser of the decade, has spent
much of the past 12 months dealing with hostile Republican investigators,
federal prosecutors and adverse news stories. He has emerged as a key, but
enigmatic, figure in two overlapping federal investigations: the broadening
inquiry into illegal fund-raising on the part of the Teamsters union conducted
by the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York, and the Justice Department's
investigation into alleged 1995-96 Democratic presidential fund-raising abuses.
In addition, the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Columbia investigated
McAuliffe's role in the award of a $160.5 million federal lease, but decided
against bringing criminal charges. . . McAuliffe has given depositions to
federal prosecutors and congressional investigators, but he has not been called
to testify publicly, and he has not been charged with any crime .... McAuliffe's
success has come from his knack for being in the middle of a deal while
maintaining a critical distance. For almost 17 years - as broker, lawyer,
promoter and facilitator - McAuliffe had estimated with uncanny precision the
sustainable distance between contributor and candidate, as well as between
seller and buyer.
ASSOCIATED PRESS: The Labor
Department is suing two union officials alleging they invested pension funds in
"imprudent" deals with companies owned by a top fund-raiser for President
Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Terence McAuliffe, the fund-raiser who
recently offered to help the Clintons purchase a home in New York, is not a
defendant in the lawsuit. The Labor Department regulates those who manage
workers' pensions, not those who do business with such funds. The lawsuit says
that in one instance McAuliffe made $2.45 million on a deal in which the fund
bought him out of a real estate partnership. He had invested $100, the pension
fund $39 million .... The department alleges the pension fund lost money as a
result of a loan and a partnership deal that comprised more than $47 million in
investments with McAuliffe's companies. Tax records show the fund didn't receive
all the principal and interest due under the loan.
WALL STREET JOURNAL: In his
defense of the [Clinton house] loan, Mr. McAuliffe asks: What can Bill Clinton
do for me? For starters, he could make it tough for the U.S. Attorney's office
to get to the bottom of Mr. McAuliffe's oft-denied role in the sleazy 1996
"contributions swap" between the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and
the Teamsters union .... What Terry McAuliffe did in essence is make a
contribution to Hillary's campaign. Its whole purpose is to enable her to
establish residence in New York, thus the money is absolutely essential to her
campaign .... In the Hillary race, no McAuliffe "loan," no residency, no
campaign. His contribution would seem to be more than $1,000.
AND THERE'S THE LITTLE MATTER
reported by John McCaslin in the Washington Times: Chapter 5 of the Federal
Elections Commission's guide for candidates states: "An endorsement or guarantee
of a bank loan is considered a contribution by the endorser or guarantor and is
thus subject to the law's prohibitions and limits on contributions."
JUDICIAL WATCH: By law, neither
the President of the United States, nor any other federal employee, can
supplement his income with cash gifts. So Bill Clinton, as President, can't use
cash gifts to pay off his legal bills or supplement his income. Therefore he
cannot use cash gifts to qualify for a mortgage. It is also improper for banks
or other lenders to count the Clintons' future earnings potential when
considering them for a mortgage. One qualifies for a mortgage based on current
earnings and savings, not pie-in-the-sky future earnings "estimates."
NEW YORK TIMES: A former
Democratic official has testified that Terence McAuliffe, President Clinton's
friend and chief fund-raiser, played a major role in promoting an illegal scheme
in which Democratic donors were to contribute to the Teamster president's
re-election campaign, and in exchange the Teamsters were to donate large sums to
the Democrats. The official, Richard Sullivan, the Democratic National
Committee's former finance director, testified in Manhattan at the trial of
William Hamilton, the Teamsters former political director, that McAuliffe urged
him and other fund-raisers to find a rich Democrat to donate at least $50,000 to
the 1996 re-election campaign of Ron Carey, the former Teamsters president.
During the three-week-long trial, Sullivan testified that McAuliffe had said
that if a Democratic donor made a large contribution to the Carey campaign, then
the Teamsters would contribute at least $500,000 to various Democratic Party
committees . . . McAuliffe's lawyer, Richard Ben-Veniste, said his client had
done nothing wrong.
Terry McAuliffe Is Dems'
DNC Chair Fought for Stability, Financial Strength
By Thomas B.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 26, 2004
BOSTON, July 25 -- On
Monday night, Terence R. McAuliffe's party will hail him as a hero, the first
Democratic chairman in decades to put the party on secure financial footing --
with an unheard-of $70 million in the bank -- and on the cutting edge of
When McAuliffe gavels the
Democratic convention to order at FleetCenter, he will be honored by the 5,672
delegates and alternates as the man who almost single-handedly put the
Democratic Party back together again.
"Serving as chairman of the
party when you don't have the White House, and you don't have the House, and you
don't have the Senate, is the toughest job in the country," Sen. John F. Kerry
(D-Mass.) told The Washington Post. "Thanks to Terry McAuliffe, we are ready to
lead this country, we're ready to change this nation and I thank him for his
But McAuliffe has not
always enjoyed such a lofty standing in his party. Just six years ago, he
struggled to survive federal investigations of illicit Teamsters campaign
contributions to the party and his fundraising role as national finance chairman
and then national co-chairman of the 1996 Clinton-Gore reelection campaign.
At the nadir of his
political career, McAuliffe threatened to give up politics forever. "My wife and
I decided I don't want to do it anymore. I ought to be left alone," McAuliffe
said during the federal inquiries. "I'm not doing money anymore," he declared.
"I'm not involved in any campaigns."
after he was absolved of any wrongdoing. In 2001, with a helpful nudge from Bill
Clinton, he was elected Democratic National Committee chairman, only to become
the target of grass-roots fury. Loyal Democrats, dismayed by the election of
George W. Bush, complained that their leaders in Congress were acceding to the
new Republican president on everything from Iraq to tax cuts. The outrage fueled
demands that McAuliffe resign after the party lost House and Senate seats in the
Zack Exley, an Internet
aficionado who worked at MoveOn.org, set up a Web site in 2002 that declared:
"Don't blame the American people! Blame the Democratic Party leadership. Terry
McAuliffe is an idiot."
McAuliffe recalled in a
recent interview that "in 2000, we had a devastating loss. This party was
demoralized in 2001, people were madder than heck at the party. 'Why did we
allow this to happen?' and 'Why didn't we fight harder?' . . . We went through a
very tough time in 2002 after the midterm election."
McAuliffe said that after
passage of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law that prevented the parties
from raising and spending unregulated "soft money" from corporations, unions and
wealthy individuals, many "wrote off" the Democratic Party. "It was one of the
darkest times in our party," he said.
McAuliffe fought back.
He forced a controversial change in the primary campaign schedule and pressed
state chairmen to give up exclusive control of their voter lists. He also
invested millions in a new headquarters, and gambled that the party could mount
a challenge to the GOP's three decades of dominating fundraising.
Every one of these
high-risk tactics paid off. The schedule change gave Kerry time to raise more
than $200 million; the DNC now has a voter list with information on more than
170 million people, which allows the party to develop its own direct-mail donor
list. The new headquarters, in turn, is wired to run an operation increasingly
dependent on the Internet and the facilities to produce all forms of
telecommunications and traditional media.
Exley is now one of the key
architects of Kerry's successful Internet fundraising operation, an operation
that will soon be restructured to redirect its hundreds of thousands of donors
to McAuliffe's DNC.
Donna Brazile, who was Al
Gore's campaign manager and one of McAuliffe's early critics, has done an
about-face. "We boxed," she said. "He has been punched, believe me." Now, she
said, "Terry has put the party in a strong strategic position."
McAuliffe first gained
attention in the presidential election of 1980, wrestling an alligator on a
fundraising prospect's dare. His major claim to fame in the 1980s and 1990s was
raising "soft money" contributions in amounts ranging from $100,000 to more than
$1 million. Now, as DNC chairman, McAuliffe has become the champion of the
direct-mail and Internet small giver.
While many assumed the 2002
McCain-Feingold law would gut the Democratic Party, the party has decisively
broken all "hard money" fundraising records (contributions of $25,000 or less),
eliminated debt and built a donor base that could potentially power the party
for years with McAuliffe at the helm.
McAuliffe expects that when
his term ends in early 2005, "I am going to walk off the stage and everything we
said will have been accomplished. . . . The new chairman, whoever it might be,
will take over a party financed by millions of dollars that will automatically
come in at the touch of a button, new facilities, no debt and voter files. This
party is now secure for 25 years."