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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Clinton Show Returns -- Review & Outlook, The Wall Street Journal

Terry McAuliffe's GreenTech fiasco recalls the 1990s' scandals.

Hillary and Bill Clinton are gearing up for a 2016 presidential run, and Tuesday's election for Virginia Governor is a preview of coming attractions. Terry McAuliffe, Bill and Hill's longtime friend and financial impresario, is leading Republican Ken Cuccinelli despite a federal probe of one of his businesses. For aficionados of the 1990s, the story includes the familiar cast of Clinton characters leveraging connections for political favors.

The focus is GreenTech Automotive, which was supposed to produce electric vehicles. Mr. McAuliffe launched GreenTech in 2009, looking to burnish his business credentials in anticipation of a second Virginia run (he lost a primary in 2009). In its hunt for cash, GreenTech turned to the federal government's EB-5 program, which provides visas to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 to create U.S. jobs. 

EB-5 was created in 1990, and a federal immigration agency approves "regional centers"—often private companies—to administer the program. This outsourcing has raised national-security alarms, while federal authorities have a growing list of investigations into, or enforcement actions against, U.S. entities that have used the program to defraud foreigners.

GreenTech's use of EB-5 first raised red flags in 2009 as part of its application for Virginia state incentives to build a manufacturing plant. The state development agency refused, with one agency official writing in an email to colleagues that she couldn't view GreenTech's EB-5 program as anything other than "a visa-for-sale scheme with potential national security implications."

Mr. McAuliffe turned to Mississippi, where he landed $5 million in state incentives to build a factory on the promise of creating 350 jobs by 2014 and producing thousands of cars. Mr. McAuliffe's business partner, GreenTech co-founder Charles Wang, got another of his companies, Gulf Coast Funds Management, certified as a regional center for EB-5 visas for Mississippi and Louisiana.

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