Quite a Finish

The Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary is getting increasingly dicey — and interesting — down the stretch to the election on June 9. This report explains that Terry McAuliffe is facing new scrutiny about his investment in Global Crossing. If your memory is hazy, that was the deal in which McAuliffe plunked down $100,000, made $8.1M, and got out before the firm went bankrupt (which resulted in 10,000 lost jobs and decimated shareholders). Given the economic climate today it’s not surprising one of his rivals is beating him over the head with this:

State House Democratic Caucus leader Brian J. Moran’s only television ad, which debuted last week, accuses McAuliffe of “working insider deals for himself.”

But here’s the latest kicker:

Consumer activist Ralph Nader accused Terry McAuliffe Thursday of orchestrating an effort to remove him from the presidential ballot in 2004 when McAuliffe was chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Nader said that McAuliffe offered him an unspecified amount of money to campaign in 31 states if Nader would agree to pull his campaign in 19 battleground states.

What’s more, McAuliffe isn’t denying the claim (at least not yet). Now Democratic primary voters still smarting over the 2000 presidential loss might think this was a good thing but it sounds, well, not exactly kosher. Are you allowed to pay off opponents to leave the race?

Virginia voters are getting quite an education about McAuliffe in a short period of time. Whether it makes a difference remains to be seen.