McAuliffe Refuses to Return Donations from Controversial Businessman

Terry McAuliffe / AP


Democrat Terry McAuliffe said Thursday that he has no plans to return funds donated to his gubernatorial campaign by a Washington D.C. businessman at the center of a pair of campaign finance scandals.

Jeffrey Thompson is accused of running a "shadow campaign" for Hillary Clinton in 2008. He allegedly spent more than $600,000 supporting the campaign without disclosing the expenditures, as legally required.

Williams also backed a shadow campaign for D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray.

Republicans called on McAuliffe to return the $2,500 that Williams donated to his 2009 Democratic primary campaign for governor. McAuliffe, through a campaign spokesman, refused, the Washington Post reports:

"It’s now been revealed that Terry McAuliffe accepted campaign cash from a fellow shady businessman Jeffrey Thompson who engaged in secret and allegedly illegal action to help Hillary Clinton take down Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign," said Pat Mullins, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. "Given Thompson’s actions and the fact that other prominent Democrats have already acted, the right thing for Terry McAuliffe to do is to return these tainted contributions."

McAuliffe spokesman Josh Schwerin said the candidate would not return or donate Thompson’s cash, which went to McAuliffe’s previous campaign for governor.

"This is a pathetic attempt by Ken Cuccinelli to try to avoid answering questions about federal investigators questioning him over his ties to Star Scientific and the $100,000 he got from the out-of-state energy company his office was helping in their legal fight against Virginia landowners," Schwerin said.

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