Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe (D.) is attempting to cash in on Taylor Swift's reputation by highlighting his Republican opponent's ties to the shadowy plot to purchase the pop star's music catalogue in 2019.
The Democrat's campaign is running a series of digital ads attacking Glenn Youngkin, who previously served as co-CEO of the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm that helped finance the purchase of Swift's catalogue. The pop star has likened the controversial sale of her catalogue to financial exploitation.
Axios reports that the ad campaign "highlights McAuliffe's trademark chutzpah," and rightfully so. In addition to being an investor in Carlyle at the time of the sale, McAuliffe and the Democratic Party have extensive ties to the real villains in the controversy: Scooter Braun and George Soros.
Braun, an investor and music executive described by Swift as an "incessant, manipulative bully," acquired the singer's catalogue in June 2019 via his firm, Ithaca Holdings. The sale was financed by Carlyle, as well as the Soros family. Months later, Swift lashed out at Braun and Soros while accepting an award at Billboard's "Women in Music" event.
"After I was denied the chance to purchase my music outright, my entire catalog was sold to Scooter Braun's Ithaca Holdings in a deal that I'm told was funded by the Soros family, 23 Capital, and the Carlyle Group," Swift said. "Yet to this day, none of these investors have bothered to contact me or my team directly to perform their due diligence on their investment, on their investment in me."
Both men are major Democratic donors who have contributed to numerous candidates and party committees. Soros, for example, donated $250,000 to McAuliffe's campaign in August, several months after the billionaire gave $1 million to a "racial justice" PAC that supports defunding the police. In 2020, Braun donated $35,500 to the Democratic National Committee, where McAuliffe previously served as chairman. He also donated (via the Biden Victory Fund) more than $4,000 to the Democratic Party of Virginia.
In more ways than one, McAuliffe has directly benefited from the exploitative financial tactics of Swift's enemies. A seasoned hypocrite, he's now attempting to present himself as her champion. Swift may love the players, but McAuliffe loves the game. It's about what you'd expect from a man who once abandoned his pregnant wife in a hospital delivery room to attend a fundraiser hosted by the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters.