On Monday the Virginian-Pilot published the first review of Fast Terry, the new documentary film produced by the conservative non-profit group Citizens United, and it is not good news for the film’s subject, Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic nominee for governor of Virginia.
According to the review’s headline, the documentary “flays McAuliffe’s Virginia [business] deals,” that “haven’t met the bold job claims Virginia’s Democratic nominee for governor once boasted they would.”
Julian Walker, the Virginian-Pilot’s political columnist, wrote in his review that “[t]hrough a mix of narration, press clippings, McAuliffe excerpts, and on-camera interviews, the gubernatorial candidate is cast as a cash-obsessed politician who’s given false hope to job-starved residents of two rural communities.”
Walker describes how the film’s message reenforces efforts by his opponent, Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli, to create a negative view of McAuliffe in the minds of Virginia voters.
“The film’s examination of McAuliffe’s unfinished projects dovetails with the Republican charicature [sic] of the Democrat as a out-of-towner hustling for votes,” he notes. He adds that “[t]hroughout the race, GreenTech has proved a handy cudgel for Republicans to undercut the McAuliffe argument that his business record is an asset by highlighting his decision to put the factory in Mississippi instead of Virginia.”
The film focuses on promises of job creation McAuliffe made at two of his ventures–GreenTech Automotive in Tunica County, Mississippi and Franklin Pellets in Franklin, Virginia–and features interviews of former and would be employees of these projects, none of whom have kind things to say about Mr. McAuliffe.
Walker notes that “[a]ccording to the film, residents of Northwest Mississippi, where the still-in-development car plant is located, and the Southeastern Virginia community where McAuliffe promised a green energy project, are the ones harmed by McAuliffe’s empty rhetoric.”
The film points out that “Mississippi offered millions in incentives to lure the company, but GreenTech’s progress has been slow–a planned factory in Tunica County is just moving into the construction phase,” according to Walker. As for the Virginia project, Walker adds that “[p]lans to make wood pellets — they are used in European power plants–at the International Paper mill site near Franklin [Virginia] likewise remain in development.”
The Virginian-Pilot was the second Virginia media outlet to highlight the damage the documentary does to McAuliffe’s political fortunes. In its 11 pm broadcast on Monday, Richmond television station NBC News 12 called the the film “a damning but controversial look at McAuliffe.”