Terry McAuliffe has the lead in the Virginia governor’s race, which, like Cory Booker’s lead in a state he doesn’t even seem to live in, seems inexplicable. I mean, it’s not that I doubt Virginia voters’ enthusiasm for a man whose penchant for Hawaiian shirts and Clinton playbook politics, it’s just that I doubt their enthusiasm for Terry McAuliffe.
Thankfully, Terry is on a campaign to out-shady himself as much as possible before election day and he might have finally topped the allegations that he ran a “green energy company” for years a personal piggy bank for himself, taking in billions in government subsidies only to abandon the plan when Hillary Clinton needed a test candidate for her state-based Presidential campaign.
It turns out, not only does McAuliffe apparently have a taste for the Captain Morgan lifestyle as opposed to the Sailor Jerry we all enjoy, he’s apparently willing to cast his lot with convicted estate planners to get himself there. This week’s unleashed a flurry of reports that he was a “passive investor” in a company that reaped millions off extorting terminally ill patients. The Washington Post named TerBear as “one of dozens of investors with a Rhode Island estate planner charged with defrauding insurers by using the stolen identities of terminally ill people.”
That estate planner is one Joseph Caramadre, who went on to plead “guilty to stealing the identities of terminally ill patients and using that information to falsely apply for annuities and bonds with death puts.” This guy and “co-worker” Raymour Radhakrishman milked the stolen identities of the terminally ill to the tune of $30 million.
Their system was simple: stalk out unknowing AIDS patients at hospices, hoist up ads offering them $2,000, throw out some lies to acquire personal information, and take that to get bonds and annuities for themselves.
What’s illegal about that, right?
Specifically, The Wall Street Journal Friday detailed McAuliffe’s alleged personal profiteering from his investment:
According to the recently-filed document, Mr. McAuliffe invested in an insurance annuity with Midland National taken out in the name of a terminally ill man, Donald Duarte. Total losses to Midland from this investment were $13,745, the document says.
An earlier 2011 indictment in the case listed a “T.M.” as the client who invested in Mr. Duarte’s annuity. The indictment said the estate planner directed an unidentified person to falsely tell the insurer that Mr. Duarte and T.M. were “acquaintances.” Mr. McAuliffe’s spokesman said he believed it was a “reasonable assumption” that this T.M. was Mr. McAuliffe.
Mr. McAuliffe’s spokesman said the candidate didn’t know Mr. Duarte and until this week had never heard his name. He said Mr. McAuliffe had been introduced to Mr. Caramadre by a friend in Rhode Island, and at the time believed “he was investing in a legitimate pooled annuity.”
The spokesman said Mr. McAuliffe invested $33,000 with Mr. Caramadre and made a profit of $47,000. He said Mr. McAuliffe has donated that same amount, $47,000, to the American Cancer Society.
Note the line “Mr. McAuliffe’s spokesman said he believed it was a “reasonable assumption” that this T.M. was Mr. McAuliffe.” That line has since been removed from the WSJ piece, now brandishing a note claiming it was used without permission. No doubt the change came as a result of a Team McAuliffe eruption, not unlike the one that happened after opponent Ken Cuccinelli received a prominent tech-sector endorsement. The AP retracted the same allegation, just shortly before the Washington Post took their story public.
Yet despite Terry’s sheepish denials, others sources seem to say there’s no way he was in the dark about what was going on. Caramadre’s own ex-lawyer claimed “was fully disclosed to everyone involved, the terminally ill and investors alike.” That guy is also a former Rhode Island Supreme Court justice, meaning he’s probably more qualified to be governor than Terry is, and he was also an investor himself. And Caramadre ponied up $26,000 in contributions to McAuliffe’s first campaign for governor in 2009, also for Virginia, though it was in doubt for a bit. He also, of course, donated to McAuliffe’s fellow 1990s pop culture trivia answers, including Hillary Clinton and the DNC. Both parties have since decided to return Caramadre’s money.
I mean, it is entirely possible that Terry McAuliffe, who once told the same tech company that eventually endorsed Cooch that he would make an excellent, business attracting governor because he can hold his Guinness like any good Irish Catholic, was off enjoying an open bar while close companions, including a man named “Poochie” Angell, who is a noted bookie with a mob Rolodex, were busy sealing real estate deals in the back room and just including his name on their list, and Terry just thought they were planning his surprise birthday party or something. But, well, you know.
Regardless of McAuliffe’s knowledge of any given situation, which appears to be an across the board problem if you actually hear him talk, this is the latest splash in a sea of downright troubling decisions by a man seriously (sort of) asking the people of Virginia to elect him to office. But hey, everyone loves a little nineties nostalgia, right? Chris Kirkpatrick has been milking it for years for better tips at his Red Lobster job. No reason you can’t lust for a little McAuliffe…right?