McAuliffe Watch

McAuliffe’s GreenTech Still Falling Fall Short of Promises in Mississippi

Terry McAuliffe / AP
June 18, 2013

No major activity is taking place nor are jobs being created at the Mississippi plants of GreenTech Automotive, even though Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe claimed in 2012 that the plant would be churning out 10,000 electric cars this year.

A special report from Memphis’ WMC-TV Action News 5 took a long look at the disappointment that McAuliffe’s GreenTech has been for Mississippi, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country at 9.1 percent.

"We always be promised something here, and it doesn't always come out normally the way you think it is. You have to wait and wait and wait," resident Sherry Carodine told the local news station.

At a raucous campaign style event last July attended by former President Bill Clinton and former Mississippi Republican Gov. Haley Barbour, McAuliffe said jobs were on the way.

"If I can be successful and make 10,000 cars in the next 12 months in Horn Lake and then ship them over to Denmark, that's a huge win for me, the company, and most importantly Mississippi," said McAuliffe at the event.

According to GreenTech officials, the Horn Lake plant currently employs 78 individuals, but access to the plant was not granted to reporters that wanted to see proof of their employment.

Based on GreenTech’s use of $5 million of Mississippi taxpayer money, it is bound by a deal with the state to create 350 jobs by the end of next year.

Judging by McAuliffe’s claims, this should not be a problem.

McAuliffe claimed at the July event that the company started construction on a second plant worth $60 million.

"We’ve also started construction on a $60 million plant in Tunica, Mississippi that the bulldozers are moving on today," McAuliffe said.

Investigators who recently visited the site said the only progress made since their last visit April is the overgrown grass over the flat gravel lot has been mowed.

The plant was intended to be operational by the beginning of this year.

Mississippi residents are not the first to be disappointed by McAuliffe’s failed promises.

McAuliffe had promised Virginia voters 1,500 jobs during his failed gubernatorial campaign in 2009, even though plans were already being made to move the company’s operations to Mississippi.

Here is the video of the Action News 5 report: