Top Terry McAuliffe Aide Works for Top McAuliffe Donor

McAuliffe, Clinton confidante obscures employment info on disclosure forms

July 17, 2013

A top aide on Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s Virginia gubernatorial campaign also works for a company run by one of the campaign’s top donors, and has obscured that information on documents disclosing financial contributions to the campaign.

Patrick Hallahan donated a total of $900 to McAuliffe’s campaign in two separate contributions in March and June. Both list his employment information as a "self-employed" "consultant."

However, according to a Washington Free Beacon investigation Hallahan was at the time, and remains, an employee of both the McAuliffe campaign and Chopper Trading, a Chicago securities firm whose chief executive is one of McAuliffe’s largest donors, a major Obama bundler, and a long-time Hillary Clinton supporter.

Hallahan has been an employee of the McAuliffe campaign since at least Jan. 15, when the campaign paid him $2,734.97 for an expense listed as "salary" on campaign finance reports.

He has continued to receive salary payments twice a month through June, the latest month for which campaign finance reports are available. The payments list the same Washington, D.C., address as Hallahan’s contributions to the campaign.

Hallahan has worked with McAuliffe for a decade in various positions for Democratic candidates and organizations, including on his unsuccessful 2009 gubernatorial campaign.

News reports indicate that Hallahan currently works as a "senior adviser" for the current campaign.

He donated $5,000 to McAuliffe’s campaign in December of last year. He listed Chopper Trading as his employer at the time.

A source familiar with the company’s workings told the Free Beacon that Hallahan was a full-time employee until December, and remains with the company in an advisory position.

Calls to Chopper were forwarded to Hallahan’s company voice mail. He did not return requests for comment.

Hallahan represented Chopper at a June meeting with officials at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, according to public records. Chopper CEO Rajiv "Raj" Fernando also attended the meeting.

Fernando was McAuliffe’s largest individual campaign contributor in June, and has donated a total of $190,000 to the campaign. He also donated more than $100,000 to McAuliffe’s 2009 campaign.

He also bundled at least $500,000 for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. Those contributions, and Fernando’s six-figure donations to the William J. Clinton Foundation, came under scrutiny after he was appointed to a top State Department advisory board.

Fernando stepped down from the post after reporters asked how he secured a role "advis[ing] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on crucial security matters," as ABC News reported, despite his lack of foreign policy experience.

Hallahan is among a top echelon of McAuliffe staffers who are expected to work on Hillary Clinton’s campaign if she opts to run for president in 2016.

Fernando and four other Chopper employees gave Clinton a combined $34,000 from 2005 through 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Hallahan’s ties to Clinton and McAuliffe go beyond the Virginia governor’s race. According to the Washington Post, Hallahan is "a longtime McAuliffe confidante." A National Journal report says he was "mentored by Terry McAuliffe when he ran the DNC."

McAuliffe even said on his Facebook page last year that he had "performed a civil ceremony in the backyard of our home for friends Natalie Jones & Patrick Hallahan."

Jones and Hallahan met when they worked under McAuliffe in 2004. Both were finance assistants for the Democratic National Committee. McAuliffe was then the DNC’s chairman.

Hallahan went on to work on Clinton’s 2006 Senate campaign. He and Jones were reunited on Clinton’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign, which McAuliffe chaired. Jones went on to work in Clinton’s State Department.