Virginia Progressives Worried About 'Fast Terry'

Virginia Progressives Worried About 'Fast Terry'

Progressives in Virginia slammed a new film about Virginia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe because the investigative documentary threatens to define McAuliffe as a heartless plutocrat who lacks empathy and has repeatedly betrayed Virginia and the working class.

Non-profit Citizens United produced the movie, “Fast Terry,” which can be viewed here. It details the duplicity surrounding two of McAuliffe’s most questionable ventures–Greentech and Franklin Pellets. 

Blue Virginia, an influential progressive site in the state, immediately dismissed the film hours after its release in a review titled, “Fast Terry” – The Most Boring, Idiotic ‘Movie’ You’ve Ever Seen?”

The site railed on Republicans for being “the party of money, greed, and crony capitalism” and accusing McAuliffe of raising money, making money, and being a businessman. 

“You win some, you lose some,” the review said, dismissing McAuliffe’s business record.

Except, as the film documents, McAuliffe did most of the winning while workers in states like Virginia and Mississippi did all of the losing. McAuliffe, as progressives so often like to say, socialized the risk and reaped all the profits. 

McAuliffe has claimed his business experience will allow him to be a “jobs creator” in Virginia, but the movie dissects McAuliffe’s record. What makes the movie powerful are the testimonials of the workers McAuliffe’s businesses ultimately impacted and laid off. Nearly all of those who decided to be interviewed for the movie are working-class blacks and whites. If McAuliffe has any chance of winning in the fall, he will need massive turnout from black voters in Virginia on par with their turnout for Obama during his two presidential wins in 2008 and 2012 and keep turnout low among working class white voters who may not have been inclined to vote for him anyway.

The movie threatens to turn working class blacks off from McAuliffe’s candidacy while spurring working class whites to vote against him–that will potentially be a lethal combination in the fall. 

And Democrats seem to to know it.  

In the Virginia-Pilot, a McAuliffe adviser criticized the film even before he saw it. “When the creator of this film made one in support of Newt Gingrich, the candidate was forced to publicly condemn the film for its blatant lies,” the adviser said. 

Aware that McAuliffe is the Democrat’s version of Mitt Romney who was less successful in the private sector, the McAuliffe adviser conveniently forgot to leave out that the film’s director, Jason Meath, made a film in support of Gingrich that blistered Romney for giving workers the shaft in the name of deal-making and profits.

Mainstream sources in the Commonwealth, though, were convinced the film can permanently define McAuliffe in a way the Obama campaign defined Romney as a heartless plutocrat who was out of touch with the concerns of everyday working-class Americans.

NBC 12 Richmond, which prides itself on being a neutral arbiter, called it “damning.”

Former employees at McAuliffe’s plant in Mississippi described how their “hopes were dashed” and the operation was a “bit of a shocker” for not producing a car until at least seven months in. 

Another employee said McAuliffe’s operation was simply a “big show to get money” while another described months where they just swept the floor or painted instead of doing work building cars and were told to “act like we were busy” by supervisors. 

One employee said he never “saw an American investor,” while another described how employees routinely put on a “dog and pony show” for Chinese investors to make it seem like they were building cars. Another employee said McAuliffe told him he could “sell ice to the Eskimos.”

In 2009, Virginia’s Democrats from the party’s conservative and more progressive wings rejected the bill of goods McAuliffe was trying to sell when they nominated state Senator Creigh Deeds. Their attacks on the factual documentary reinforces that Virginia’s Democrats fear that Virginians will reject McAuliffe–and his tall tales, false claims, exaggerations, wheeling and dealing, and shenanigans–like they did four years ago.