MILWAUKEE (AP) —
The head of the Republican Governors Association is calling Virginia Democratic candidate for governor Terry McAuliffe untrustworthy in a new television ad, in light of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission of his former company.
“Bottom line is Terry McAuliffe has disqualified himself from being governor of Virginia,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said.
Jindal was attending the National Governors Association meeting in Milwaukee.
His attack and the 30-second advertisement, which begins airing Monday, refer to the investigation of Green Tech, an automobile manufacturer McAuliffe helped found, over its effort to lure foreign investors.
McAuliffe said Saturday he hadn’t known about the investigation until reading about it.
The development comes as both McAuliffe and his opponent Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli have been touched by scandal.
“This scandal is the final nail in the coffin,” Jindal said. “I think it’s time for the Democrats...to find a different candidate.”
As a candidate, McAuliffe has pointed to his leadership at GreenTech as proof of practical economic know-how. He stepped down from the electric car manufacturer to seek the governorship.
The SEC investigation is the latest in a series of ethical questions that have also affected Republicans, chiefly Gov. Bob McDonnell.
McDonnell has said he is returning many thousands of dollars in gifts and roughly $125,000 in cash he and his family received from major campaign contributor Jonnie Williams.
Williams has also given to Cuccinelli. However, Cuccinelli said last week he won’t return any gifts or reimburse him for the estimated $18,000 in gifts.
On Sunday, Jindal praised McDonnell for trying to make amends, but declined to say whether Cuccinelli ought to return the gifts or reimburse Williams.
“The McAuliffe campaign wants to make this about everything but the real issues,” he said. “There’s only one candidate in here that’s under SEC investigation.”
Democrats said Jindal’s failure to ask Cuccinelli to also return the money only highlights Cuccinelli’s part in the Williams and McDonnell case.
“Jindal’s right. McDonnell did the right thing by returning his gifts, and he should obviously call on Cuccinelli to do the same,” Democratic Governors Association spokesman Danny Kanner said.