NBC12 in Richmond is adding weight to the albatross that is Greentech around Terry McAuliffe’s neck as he runs for Governor of Virginia.
Greentech Automotive (GTA), the company designed to show Terry McAuliffe‘s ability to create jobs, has quickly become one of the Democratic nominee’s biggest problems.
In December we broke the story that revealed McAuliffe never finished his application with Virginia’s Economic Development Partnership to open a plant for the green car company in the commonwealth.
As McAuliffe struggled to explain why he chose to open the plant in Mississippi instead of Virginia, new questions emerged about the deals struck to bring the company to the U.S. and just how much progress was being made in making cars. Last week it was revealed McAuliffe quietly stepped down as the company’s chairman in December and did not make that information public.
. . .
Even though McAuliffe has left the company, it will be difficult for him to remove himself from the situation. Today we learned of another lingering issue that seems to have more questions than answers.
Greentech Automotive was required to pay a property tax bill to Tunica County, MS, for more the $17,000 on February 1.
As of Monday, that bill had not been paid.
. . .
The letter is correct in stating that Greentech is not required to pay property taxes on the facility for 10 years. However, that 10 year clock doesn’t start until production at the facility begins. Therefore, the county was correct in charging taxes on the current operation, which currently amounts to a small office space, because the assembly lines in Tunica have yet to produce anything.
There you have it folks. Terry McAuliffe — self-proclaimed “hustler,” can now add being a fraud and a tax delinquent to his checkered resume.
UPDATE: And it gets worse according to Politifact…
Breaking on NRO this morning:
What is the purpose of GreenTech Automotive?
The company, founded by Terry McAuliffe, is now a top issue in this year’s Virginia race for governor. Until recently, the controversy over the company centered on the firm’s October 2009 decision to build a plant in Mississippi instead of Virginia. McAuliffe contended that he wanted to build a plant in Virginia, but the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) — the state’s business-recruitment agency — wouldn’t play ball.
“We had sites, we had meetings, and they chose that they weren’t going to bid on it,” McAuliffe declared. PolitiFact looked at the paperwork and rated that assertion false, concluding that “VEDP asked GreenTech to address its concerns and waited in vain for replies.”
But internal communications from VEDP now reveal that the state agency didn’t merely think that McAuliffe’s company had a risky business model. At least two high-ranking officials actually suspected that the company’s real aim was to make money by selling U.S. residency visas to wealthy foreigners.
In an e-mail dated November 17, 2009, Liz Povar, then the director of business development at VEDP, wrote to her colleagues:
Sandi et al. Even if the company has investors “lined up”, I maintain serious concerns about the establishment of an EB-5 center in general, and most specifically based on this company. Not only based on (lack of) management expertise, (lack of) market preparation, etc. but also still can’t get my head around this being anything other than a visa-for-sale scheme with potential national security implications that we have no way to confirm or discount. . . .
This “feels” like a national political play instead of a Virginia economic development opportunity. I am not willing to stake Virginia’s reputation on this at this juncture.
The e-mails were revealed pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by PolitiFact; 79 pages of documents were posted online in January.
Read the whole thing.
UPDATE 2: And the WashPo weighs in as well. This won’t end well for Terry…