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Terry McAuliffe

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Terry McAuliffe opening the 2004 Democratic National Convention

Terrence R. "Terry" McAuliffe (born 1957) is an American political leader from the Democratic Party; he served as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee from February 2001 to February 2005.

McAuliffe grew up in Syracuse, New York; his father was treasurer of the local Democratic organization. He received his undergraduate degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.. Immediately after graduation, McAuliffe took a job in the campaign of Jimmy Carter, who was running for reelection as President of the United States. After the campaign failed, McAuliffe got his law degree from Georgetown University, graduating in 1984. After this, he went into private business in the fields of banking, real estate, and insurance, while also working in the Democratic party; he has served as the finance director (chief fundraiser) of the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

In February of 2001, McAuliffe was confirmed as the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee; his promotion was widely seen as a bid to secure more soft money for the party. He was regarded to have been a great fundraising success during the Clinton years. McAuliffe was the architect of the 2004 Democratic primary schedule, which "front-loaded" the race with numerous early primaries, ensuring that a nominee would be chosen very quickly.

Some Republicans argue McAuliffe's public attacks on George W. Bush on issues such as corporate responsibility are hypocritical given McAuliffe's business activities. In the past McAuliffe's business partners were investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor, which sued two union officials, both of them with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers pension fund, for entering into business arrangements the Department deemed were inappropriate with McAuliffe. The union and the two officials were required to pay in excess of $5 million to the pension fund to compensate it for resulting losses.

Terry McAuliffe
Terry McAuliffe

McAuliffe and the union pension fund entered into a partnership to buy commercial property in Florida. Court documents show McAuliffe put up $100 for the purchase, while the pension fund put up $39 million. McAuliffe received a generous 50% interest in the partnership and emerged with $2.45 million from his original $100 investment. In another deal, the pension fund lent McAuliffe money, he didn't pay interest for five years and the fund lost money.

McAuliffe's dealings with the electrical workers' pension fund are detailed in a 1999 lawsuit Herman v. Moore. The party names refer to Jack Moore, a friend of McAuliffe's who ran the pension fund and Alexis Herman, the Secretary of Labor when the suit was filed.

On October 2001, the union officials agreed to pay six-figure penalties for their role in the McAuliffe ventures, and the electrical workers union reimbursed the pension fund for its officers' failure to act "with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence...that a prudent person acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters would use."

McAuliffe was not formally charged with any wrongdoing for his involvement in the transactions although opponents point to the ethical issues associated with doing business with Democratic allies who are the custodians of workers or public monies.

While his real estate deals have attracted little attention, McAuliffe's investment in then hot technology stock Global Crossing, in which McAuliffe invested $100,000 and made $18 million received much press coverage.

McAuliffe chose not to seek another term as DNC Chairman, and his successor, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, was elected at the DNC's Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C. on February 12, 2005.

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