Just two weeks before abandoning his party and endorsing Democrat Terry McAuliffe for Virginia governor, veteran GOP consultant Boyd Marcus reached out to top aides to the Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli with an offer.
“I could be available to advise on overall strategy, organization, and grassroots activities,” Marcus said in an Aug. 4 email to Chris LaCivita, Cuccinelli’s top political consultant during the campaign, adding, “I would anticipate needing something in the range of $75,000-$100,000 for this project.”
The email, released by LaCivita Thursday, raises new questions about Marcus’s improbable journey from veteran GOP operative to recently-announced appointee of the McCauliffe administration. Wednesday, McCauliffe named Marcus chairman of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
“This is perhaps one of the most blatant examples of political payback – and it’s just a week into the McAuliffe Administration,” LaCivita, who considers Marcus his political mentor, said Thursday. Asked why he released the email, LaCivita told Breitbart News, “if you are a traitor to your cause, you should be held accountable.”
Friday, McAuliffe told the Associated Press that Marcus was “well qualified” for the ABC position, which carries a salary of $124,000 a year, and asked “am I not supposed to appoint Republicans who, you know, honestly had the courage to step up and endorse me?”
“This is little petty political whatever,” he added.
In disclosing the email from Marcus to reporters Thursday, LaCivita alleged Marcus had openly boasted to friends over the summer that the ABC appointment was part of a deal to secure his endorsement of McAuliffe.
“Boyd let several people know that part of his arrangement would also get him an appointment to the ABC Board, should McAuliffe win,” LaCivita said.
Marcus has a long history as a Republican political operative in Virginia politics. In the 1990s he served as the chief of staff for Republican Governor Jim Gilmore. He has also called House Majority Leader Eric Cantor a client. Marcus had been a supporter of Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling.
In the email, Marcus said he was responding to LaCivita’s interest in hiring him, but LaCivita said he had merely offered to check with some contacts to see if there were other opportunities available for Marcus to pursue.
“It was a non-starter,” he told Breitbart News about potentially hiring Marcus. “I never made an approach to bring him on the campaign. Ken [Cuccinelli] would never have agreed to it.”
Marcus did not immediately return a phone message left at his house.
The full email:
I greatly appreciate our long friendship and for that reason I am responding to you contacting me about potentially helping on the Cuccinelli campaign. I am outlining some things that I believe I could be helpful in doing.
I could be available to advise on overall strategy, organization and grassroots activities as I did in the Allen campaign in 2012, give fundraising advice and assist in outreach to the business community and segments of the party that are not yet supporting the campaign. I could also serve as a liaison with some outside groups, and other local and statewide campaigns.
You are the one who would need to decide in what areas the campaign could use my services and I am willing to consider other responsibilities you may suggest. Clearly however the campaign appears weak among the more traditional business community and some segments of party activists.
In order for me to seriously consider any offer of working with the campaign I would need higher than normal compensation because of the likelihood I would lose one or more of my current clients who would not approve of my working for this campaign. While I am open to discuss any offer of employment by anyone I would anticipate needing something in the range of $75,000 – $100,000 for this project.
I hope you and the family are doing well and I look forward to speaking with you in the next few days.