Another day and more stories of woe for Terry McAuliffe’s rapidly imploding gubernatorial campaign. After yesterday’s wave of bad press courtesy of the WashPo, NBC12 in Richmond, and National Review Online, today sees another wave cresting with the Wall Street Journal slamming him for what they call “a crony-capitalist embarrassment.”
Mr. McAuliffe continued flogging his GreenTech credentials this year, appearing in January at a trade show under the title “chairman of GreenTech Automotive.” Recent media reports have also used that title—with no protest from the candidate. But as the heat mounted, his campaign last week released a letter that claims Mr. McAuliffe had resigned from GreenTech by Dec. 1, 2012. The company, Mr. McAuliffe would now like everyone to know, has nothing to do with him.
The Democratic pol may not shake the story so easily, given the degree to which he made the firm central to his gubernatorial run. Green crony capitalism is proving to be one of the more politically toxic stories of our time. And in this case, just in time for an election.
But wait! There’s more! The website WatchDog.org has apparently been sued for libel by Greentech over their investigations into the company’s business practices. Now there is a local angle to this as well as the Fauquier Free Citizen is reported to have been contacted by the law firm of Adams and Reese, which claimed to be representing Green Tech Automotive. The law firm threatened to sue the bloggers who run Fauquier Free Citizen if they did not take down a post linking to the WatchDog.org investigative articles. The web site did remove the article and published a retraction.
These are the political bullying tactics of self-described “hustler” Terry McAuliffe and shows him for who he really is.
UPDATE: We now have the correspondence between Adams and Reese and the Fauquier Free Citizen.
——– Original Message ——–
From: Kelly Hatter <Kelly.Hatter@arlaw.com>
Date: Wed, April 10, 2013 8:57 am
To: “Editor@fauquierfreecitizen.xxx” <Editor@fauquierfreecitizen.xxx>
Cc: Vickie Neely <Vickie.Neely@arlaw.com>, Lindsey Oswalt
Please find attached legal correspondence from Adams and Reese LLP on behalf of GreenTech Automotive, Incorporated. This letter should be directed to your legal department, if any.
Kelly S. Hatter
Assistant to A. Jerry Sheldon,
Phillip Buffington, Jr. and Lindsey N. Oswalt
Adams and Reese LLP
1018 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 800
Ridgeland, MS 39157
To which FFC replied:
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: RE: Greentech
Date: Thu, April 11, 2013 3:04 pm
To: “Kelly Hatter” <Kelly.Hatter@arlaw.com>
Cc: “Vickie Neely” <Vickie.Neely@arlaw.com>, “Lindsey Oswalt”
Ms. Hatter et al,
I received your letter via email concerning a post on Fauquier Free Citizen regarding Green Tech Automotive (GTA).
First off let me say this; I don’t know where you or your lawyers grew up, or how you were raised, but I was raised to ask before demanding and threatening people.
Had you contacted FFC and pointed out the alleged inconsistencies of the article about GTA as posted on Watchdog.org, and asked us to take it down and print a retraction, I would have gladly looked into it and probably complied.
I recognize that your firm has a job to do, but demanding and threatening at first contact should not be your standard operating procedure.
Learn some manners!
FFC has removed the article and will post a retraction shortly. Once posted, you will find the retraction here:
Keep in mind we are a spare-time-not-for-profit publication, so have some patience before you commence to suing us.
Since your firm was so gracious as to send us information on GTA which provides us some insight into GTA’s dealings, we have a few questions; perhaps you can answer them for us.
Since there is obviously something going on with GTA, we may wish to research them and write our own story.
You can answer our questions or not of course, but a non-response will probably just create the impression that GTA is indeed hiding something.
Here are our questions:
How much of GTA’s funding source IS based on EB-5 funding?
What IS GTA’s long term plan for continuing capital?
How does GTA know it is not under investigation? (The feds don’t normally divulge this information to the company they are investigating.)
Please provide the name and current address of GTA’s parent company.
Although you state that EB-5 funding is not a substantial part of GTA’s funding strategy, in Count One, Defamation number 24, you state “irreparable harm” has been done to GTA’s “reputation and goodwill”, and that multiple current and potential EB-5 investors have contacted GTA “expressing concerns”, and have refused to transfer funds “until they receive guarantees of the articles’ falsity.”
How much of GTA’s funding strategy is based on EB-5 funding?
What percentage of GTA’s funding is EB-5 funding?
In round dollars, how much GTA capital has been obtained through EB-5?
Where is the current GTA plant located in the United States?
Where is the new plant located in the United States?
When will the new plant be opened in the United States?
How many people does GTA employ in its United States factory actually manufacturing automobiles?
How many automobiles has GTA manufactured in the United States?
How many automobiles has GTA sold in the United States?
At this writing, FFC has yet to receive a reply.
Before Adams and Reese get in a snit over publication of this correspondence here and try to bully or threaten us based upon the disclaimer at the bottom of their email . . .
The contents of this e-mail and its attachments are intended solely for the addressee(s). In addition, this e-mail transmission may be confidential and it may be subject to privilege protecting communications between attorneys and their clients. If you are not the named addressee, or if this message has been addressed to you in error, you are directed not to read, disclose, reproduce, distribute, disseminate or otherwise use this transmission. Delivery of this message to any person other than the intended recipient(s) is not intended in any way to waive privilege or confidentiality. If you have received this transmission in error, please alert the sender by reply e-mail. Treasury Circular 230 requires that we inform you that any statements regarding tax matters made herein, including attachments, cannot be relied upon for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties, and such statements are not intended to be used or referred to in any marketing or promotional materials. Additionally, Adams and Reese LLP does not and will not impose any limitation on the disclosure of the tax treatment or tax structure of any transactions to which such statements relate.
. . . this correspondence was provided to Virtucon by the named addressee. Adams and Reese has no expectation of confidentiality once that has been waived by the receiving party. Furthermore, there is no privilege that can be invoked to begin with as the addressee is not a client and such confidentiality only attaches to the client and not the counsel. (I hope that they do teach that in the fifth-rate law school this attorney attended and, believe it or not, is now employed as an adjunct professor.)