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Letter: Sold on Terry McAuliffe


As is his usual style, Peter Galuszka apparently sat before the computer and pondered, “How many bad things can I find to say about Terry McAuliffe?”

Yes, it was a dumb thing for McAuliffe to have fundraising email machines running on Easter Sunday and to say he was heading out to Easter brunch, please send me money. Galuszka writes that McAuliffe sent fund raising emails on Easter because he doesn’t understand Virginia.

As McAuliffe’s plea noted, March 31, Easter, was the last day of the reporting period for the first quarter. If McAuliffe didn’t pull in a pile of money that day, reporters would write that he’s struggling to raise campaign funds. That’s where the pressure comes from, even on Easter. Lay off on those stories, reporters, and we can all trim our email by about half. The pressure to show cash is fierce for all candidates at the end of each quarter. That doesn’t have anything to do with understanding Virginia.

Next, despite his glamour, McAuliffe couldn’t beat Creigh Deeds in the 2009 primary, Galuszka writes. Has he forgotten, or didn’t know, that McAuliffe was running against Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran? There were hints that plenty of Republicans voted in the primary for Deeds because they guessed he would be the easiest for Bob McDonnell to beat.

I’ve read McAuliffe’s autobiography, “What a Life,” which Galuszka describes as “gushy.” I would have described it as entertaining and a good read. McAuliffe has led an interesting, productive and fun life. He is fun. Virginia could use some fun!

In 2009, I had never seen Terry McAuliffe and knew very little about him except for his fundraising and work as the head of the Democratic Party. Curious, I read his position papers — all of them. Novel, I know, but I did. They were amazing. Posted online, his positions on education, economic development and many other topics were thorough, knowledgeable, and offered creative ideas.

But what sold me on McAuliffe was his paper on transportation. He wrote about Virginia’s serious transportation situation — all modes — and said what he would like to do about these problems, if elected.

Galuszka did compliment McAuliffe for zeroing in on Virginia’s community colleges. He is correct, they were promoted by Gov. Mills Godwin, but they were established by the General Assembly in 1966, not “the 1970s.”

Bashing is such fun for a reporter but it doesn’t contribute to what should be a serious look at our gubernatorial candidates.

Nancy Finch, Richmond

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