At least 40 people who were bundlers for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, and four people who contributed to President Bill Clinton in exchange for overnight stays in the Lincoln Bedroom at the White House, have donated to Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe’s campaign.
According to a Washington Post analysis of campaign finance reports, “several” of these donors “have no history of giving to Virginia campaigns.”
One prominent donor is “Ron Burkle, a former business partner and friend of Bill Clinton’s,”who gave McAuliffe $100,000. Burkle “had never donated to any non-federal candidate in Virginia before this year.”
Burkle and Bill Clinton reportedly have taken many flights together on Burkle’s private plane, which has been described by aides as “Air F*ck One.”
McAuliffe, in what became known as the “Lincoln Bedroom memo,” wrote “to Clinton in 1994 suggesting that campaign supporters be given breakfast, lunch or coffee with the president.” Clinton then replied that high-dollar donors could also be given “overnight stays at the White House.”
In addition, “James H. Lake, who pleaded guilty in 1995 in an illegal campaign contribution scheme and was pardoned by Bill Clinton at the end of his term” has also donated to McAuliffe’s campaign. McAuliffe “confirmed at the time that Lake was a friend and that he had urged Clinton to grant the pardon.”
As the Post noted, “Republicans are highlighting McAuliffe’s aggressive fundraising practices on Bill Clinton’s behalf as well as questionable pardons that came at the end of his presidency. Republicans say McAuliffe’s Clinton-era behavior confirms his own worst caricature–an unethical pitchman who excels only at raising cash.”
John Morgan, who raised $400,000 for McAuliffe’s campaign at a fundraiser and made no secret that he had a potential Clinton 2016 race in line, said, “Terry’s Rolodex is their Rolodex, and their Rolodex is Terry’s Rolodex. He’s probably the closest person in the country to them.”