THE BLOG

McAuliffe Still Sleeping with Dogs

04/12/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I'm not convinced Terry McAuliffe ever had any sound political (as opposed to self-interested) instincts, but if this does not show how out of step he is with the current Democratic Party and its newly enthused rank and file... well... nothing does.

Of course, some of you refused to click the link, so here's an excerpt:

On Thursday, March 24, the BGR Group plans to host a fundraiser for Virginia Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Terry McAuliffe. That "B" in BGR, by the way, stands for Barbour, as in Haley, the Republican governor of Mississippi who also happens to be the vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association, which is aiming to take back the statehouse in the Old Dominion this year. The "R" in BGR stands for Bush 41 White House aide Ed Rogers, who is listed as one of several co-chairs of the
McAuliffe fundraiser. Recommended minimum contribution for the event is $1,000.

If you did click through, you found a page with a link to a pdf of the fundraiser invite. There, you'll find these hosts:

Beth Dozoretz • Steve Elmendorf • Joe Eyer • Adam Goers • Jonathan Mantz • Michael Meehan • Dennis O'Brien • Diana Rogalle • Ed Rogers • Jim Smith • Mike Smith

Let's see who some of these people are:

Beth Dozoretz:

"Doyenne of the Dollars"
Dozoretz, 48, grew up in Worcester, Mass.; her mother was a homemaker, her father a dentist, teacher and sometime inventor. She rose from the retail-sales floor to become president of a women's clothier in New York City. By 1989, only in her late 30s, she had been twice divorced and was financially comfortable enough to contemplate retiring. Then, at a party, she met Ron Dozoretz, head of FHC Health Systems, a large behavioral-health, managed-care outfit. (His estimated net worth, according to Virginia Business magazine: $250 million.) He proposed two weeks after their first date, and she moved with her new husband to Norfolk, Va.

...

Some in her own party call Beth Dozoretz, the Democrats' chief fund raiser, an arriviste, "wily and calculating," in the words of a colleague. There's the zealous way she plays hostess: soon after moving to Washington in 1994, she began holding frequent fund raisers at her posh Georgetown apartment, causing some to dub her a Pamela Harriman wannabe. There's the palatial home hopping: in 1996 she and her husband bought Senator John Warner's former home for more than $2 million, then sold it before moving in so they could snag Michael and Arianna Huffington's digs for twice the price. Then there's her habit of turning up next to Bill Clinton regularly at party events. Last year she named Clinton her baby girl's godfather, throwing a party for the infant that drew an array of Hollywood and political pals, plus a rabbi, a nun and a swami.

...

Beth Dozoretz was a close friend of Marc [Rich's] wife Denise Rich, who had donated heavily to the Democrats during the Clinton years, including a $450,000 contribution to the presidential library foundation that Dozoretz had solicited. Dozoretz spoke with President Clinton about the possibility of pardoning Rich and reportedly called to thank him after he did so. This prompted a few annoying cynics to suggest that there might have been some connection between Denise Rich's political contributions and her husband's pardon. Buying influence? How, one wonders, do people come up with such ideas?


Steve Elmendorf:

"The bloggers and online donors represent an important resource for the party, but they are not representative of the majority you need to win elections. The trick will be to harness their energy and their money without looking like you are a captive of the activist left." Markos Moulitsas, head of The Daily Kos blog, replied: "Here's notice, any Democrat associated with Elmendorf will be outed. The netroots can then decide for itself whether it wants to provide some of that energy and money to that candidate. There's nothing 'extreme left' with demanding Democrats act like Democrats, no matter how much these out-of-touch and self-important beltway insiders think it is."

Also in 2006, Elmendorf gave his support to U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman's independent re-election bid after Lieberman lost the Democratic primary. Elmendorf was listed on Lieberman's campaign Web site as part of the "national chapter" of "Dems for Joe"

Editor's note: It seems like a few reliably progressive bloggers have been beguiled by Terry McAuliffe's impressivve charm. McAuliffe has certainly courted us without abandon. But... I wonder if he is receiving advice from Elmendorf. I wonder if he is making an attempt to "harness their energy and their money without looking like... a captive of the activist left." Maybe someone should ask.

Joe Eyer: this comes from his website. He brags about this stuff; it's a selling point for him...

With more than a decade of diverse political and management experience, Joe Eyer organizes grassroots campaigns for corporations...

In 2003, Eyer served as deputy campaign manager and director of political affairs for Joe Lieberman's presidential campaign. Eyer joined Lieberman in 2001, managing all political outreach and helping to build the infrastructure for Lieberman's presidential bid.

[this next bit I include because I want to remind everyone how fucking poorly Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign was run. He was beaten by George fucking Bush!! (well, kinda). The point is that McAuliffe seems to have learned none of the lessons the rest of us have embraced over the last decade. He's still close - even dependent - on the people that sold the Democratic Party out to corporate interests so that they could line their own pockets. ed.]

From 1996 to 1998, Eyer was assistant to the deputy chief of staff for Vice President Al Gore. From 1998 to 2000 he served as Gore's northeast political director - first for Gore's political action committee and later for his 2000 presidential campaign. Eyer rounded out the 2000 cycle managing Gore's successful campaign in Oregon

Ed Rogers:

McAullife has every right to lie down with dogs. And usually when you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas, right? But as several people have noted, Terry McAuliffe has never been convicted of doing anything illegal. I guess the lesson here is that even fleas can't stand to have anything to do with McAuliffe. So why would anyone that considers themselves a "progressive" support this man?