Terry McAuliffe Has Already Begun His Reign of Sleaze

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 20 2013 2:35 PM

Terry McAuliffe Begins His Reign of Sleaze

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Terry McAuliffe looks on as President Obama speaks.

Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Say what you will about newly elected Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, but he's never tried to seem anything that he's not. Quite the opposite, he relishes being known as "the ultimate political insider" who's bosom buddies with the Clintons.

He may be a veteran political animal in Washington's groteque menagerie, but he has the public office experience of Arnold Schwarzenegger—which is to say, none. Quoth the Richmond Times-Dispatch: "His ignorance of state government is laughable and makes Rick Perry, the notorious governor of Texas, look like a Founding Father."

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McAuliffe has now appointed Levar Stoney, a GreenTech employee and McAuliffe's former deputy campaign manager, to be secretary of the commonwealth. Aside from the whole GreenTech ethics investigation, in 2004 Stoney was embroiled in a scandal involving Democratic operatives who slashed the tires of vans mean to drive Republican voters in Milwaukee County to the polls. He told the jury he wanted to become a U.S. senator one day.

What does the secretary of the commonwealth, which is the fifth rung down in the governor's Cabinet, actually do? Watchdog.org:

Duties of the secretary of the commonwealth include managing extraditions, clemency petitions, service of process, restoration of voting rights, pardons, authenticating foreign adoption documents, certifying notary publics and handling lobbyist registration, disclosures and conflict-of-interest filings.

Stoney will also be responsible for more than 4,000 appointments to state boards and commissions. Let the circle of quid pro quo be unbroken.

Emma Roller is a Slate editorial assistant. Follow her on Twitter.

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