McAuliffe Ally: 'Let's Find Some Money' for 2008 Hillary Clinton Campaign

McAuliffe Ally: 'Let's Find Some Money'  for 2008 Hillary Clinton Campaign

On Wednesday the Washington Post reported that Minyon Moore, a long time associate and ally of Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe, played a key role in introducing Troy White, a political consultant, to a well known Democratic financier, Jeffrey E. Thompson. Thompson allegedly paid White $608,750 in illegal campaign expenditures to conduct get-out-the-vote activities in support of Hillary Clinton’s failed 2008 Presidential bid.

Earlier in the day on Wednesday, White pled guilty to misdemeanor tax charges in a document filed in a Washington, D.C. federal court. According to the document, White admitted that his company “received approximately $608,750 in gross receipts related to services provided in support of ” the 2008 Hillary Clinton for President campaign. 

Those services were allegedly paid for by Mr. Thompson, referred to in court documents as “EXECUTIVE A.” White admitted that he “did not report these gross receipts to the IRS, nor did he report any of his gross receipts for fiscal years 2007 through 2010, as required by law.”

Though the court document does not specifically name the others involved in organizing and financing White’s illegal campaign activities, the Post reported that Ms. Moore is referred to as “INDIVIDUAL A,” Guy Cecil, who is currently the executive director of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, is referred to as a senior official with “”CAMPAIGN-1…a political committee whose candidate [Hillary Clinton] was running for President of the United States during the 2008 federal primary election cycle,” and Mr. Thompson is referred to as “EXECUTIVE A.” “People close to the case who were not authorized to speak publicly about it said the senior official is Guy Cecil, who served as Clinton’s national political and field director. “

On January 31, 2008, according to the court documents, Ms. Moore (“INDIVIDUAL A”) emailed White and Cecil, stating “I am piping up to say we need your services. [Campaign-1 senior official] let’s [find] some money. I will fight for it.”

In February, the document states, Moore introduced White to Thompson, who she “described as a business owner in the District of Columbia who wanted to organize an effort to support” the 2008 Hillary Clinton for President campaign.

Breitbart News emailed Ms. Moore on Saturday to confirm or deny the Post’s report that she is “INDIVIDUAL A” identified in the court documents, but as of the time this story was published Ms. Moore had not responded. However, a source familiar with the investigation confirmed to Breitbart News on Saturday that Ms. Moore is “INDIVIDUAL A.”

Perhaps most problematic for McAuliffe and the Clinton campaign, White admitted in open court that his illegal activities were coordinated with the Clinton campaign.  The Post reported on Wednesday that “U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly asked White during the hearing whether there was ‘some cooperation’ between the official campaign and his operation. White responded, ‘Yes.’ “

The court document which Mr. White signed admitting his guilt clearly shows there was cooperation between the Clinton campaign (CAMPAIGN-1) and his “street campaign” activities:

During this period, INDIVIDUAL A [Ms. Moore] introduced defendant White to INDIVIDUAL B, who would help organize street teams and paid canvassers in Austin, Texas. White, EXECUTIVE A, and INDIVIDUAL B, after being introduced to each other by INDIVIDUAL A [Ms. Moore], communicated by telephone several times in advance of the Texas primary and caucus election. . .

Beginning in or about the last week of February 2008, the paid street team workers and canvassers began disseminating and distributing CAMPAIGN-1’s prepared materials. Defendant White and INDIVIDUAL A [Ms. Moore] maintained contact during this period, and INDIVIDUAL A [Ms. Moore] arranged for CAMPAIGN-1’s Texas offices to provide CAMPAIGN-1’s prepared materials to the street team workers. INDIVIDUAL A [Ms. Moore] also provided White with confidential internal information from CAMPAIGN-1 regarding the itinerary and schedule for a high-profile individual who would be campaigning in Texas in support of CAMPAIGN-1. The paid street team workers and canvassers then were directed to attend these campaign events to show support for CAMPAIGN-1 and disseminate and distribute CAMPAIGN-1’s prepared materials.

This latest investigation into potential violations of the law that took place in a campaign chaired by McAuliffe is just the most recent in a string of separate investigations into organizations run by McAuliffe. 

Thompson,  a well known Washington, D.C. based financier and government contractor, has built a career of political connections and hefty contributions to Democratic politicians. A review of Federal Election Commission records shows that Thompson has given generously to Eleanor Holmes Norton, Jesse Jackson, Jr., Alcee Hastings, Cynthia McKinney, Dianne Feinstein, Elijah Cummings, Harry Reid, Claire McCaskill, John Kerry, James Clyburn, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama. Among his few contributions to Republicans have been donations made to the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush in 2004 and John McCain in 2008, though he also contributed to Arlen Specter before he switched parties.

It is a violation of federal election law for individuals to fund political activities in support of candidates for federal office without reporting the amount of those expenditures to the Federal Election Commission. In addition, in 2008, which was before the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision that legalized unlimited expenditures “uncoordinated” made on behalf of candidates by SuperPACs, there were clear limits on individual contributions to political candidate committees ($2,600) and national political party committees ($32,400).

If the allegations that Thompson paid White $608,750 to engage in “street campaign” activities in support of the 2008 Hillary Clinton for President campaign are true, both Thompson and White could face charges for violation of federal election laws.

Ms. Moore’s potential culpability is somewhat less clear cut. It is not a violation of any federal law to introduce people. However, federal election officials may be interested in questioning Moore about her intentions in putting White and Thompson together. 

Moore knew that White wanted money to conduct street campaigns to support Hillary Clinton. She also knew that the Clinton campaign would not fund White activities. She knew that Thompson was a top political donor, and was willing to spend it to help Clinton. Moore’s position may well be that she assumed Thompson and White would make their own decisions about how to accomplish their mutual goals to support Clinton within the context of federal election laws.

According to the Post, Ms. Moore got her political start in Chicago, “joining a pipeline of African American political operatives into national politics through Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition and his presidential runs.” The Post reported that “[b]y 1992, she was assistant to Bill Clinton and director of White House political affairs, serving as a principal adviser to the president and first lady.”

Throughout the 1990’s Ms. Moore and Mr. McAuliffe worked together closely while Bill Clinton was in the White House.  When McAuliffe became Chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 2000, he said later that “My first official act as chairman was to name Minyon Moore as my chief operating officer. Minyon was one of the classiest, most talented women in American politics, as well as one of the most loyal.”

Ms. Moore currently works for the Dewey Square Group, whose website says ” [n]amed one of city’s most powerful women by Washingtonian Magazine, Minyon provides strategic counsel to leading companies and organizations offering counsel on branding, advocacy, and crisis management.”

Moore’s friends have rallied around her and put forward a full-court public relations campaign to defend her integrity. Donna Brazile, the Democratic political analyst who ran Al Gore’s 2000 Presidential campaign, told the Washington Post, “Minyon has been in this city for years operating aboveboard. When Minyon sees a wrong, she tries to make it right.” Regena Thomas, a political consultant and former New Jersey secretary of state, told the Post, “[Minyon] would never have done anything that was borderline being dishonest or illegal.”

The Dewey Square Group, Ms. Moore’s employer, provided this statement to Breitbart News on Saturday:

Minyon has been fully cooperating with the Government’s investigation and the facts make clear that she was entirely unaware of any inappropriate activities and at all times conducted herself, as she always has, not only in full compliance with the law but in accordance with the highest ethical  and professional standards.

Despite these character testimonials from her friends and her current employer, the email records present potential difficulties for Ms. Moore, Mr. McAuliffe, and the 2008 Hillary Clinton for President campaign. A a coordinated public relations effort is likely to have little impact on the progress of the federal officials investigating the White/Thompson matter.

The investigation into alleged illegal expenditures for the “street campaign” that benefited the 2008 Hillary Clinton for President campaign came about indirectly. The incident would never have come to light had not Mr. Thompson been under investigation for financing similar “under the table” political activities in the 2009 race for mayor of Washington, D.C. Additionally, it was apparently only Mr. White’s failure to report the funds he received from Mr. Thompson in his tax returns that turned up the allegedly illegal expenditures for the “street campaign” on behalf of the Clinton campaign.

That such an unlikely turn of events unearthed this single instance of a serious campaign impropriety raises questions about any other improprieties, if any, that may have occurred to support the Clinton campaign. 

Politically, the investigation of the allegations of illegal expenditures for the “street campaign” that benefited the 2008 Hillary Clinton for President campaign chaired by Terry McAuliffe is likely to further increase his negatives in his hotly contested Virginia governor’s race with Republican Ken Cuccinelli. McAuliffe’s reputation as “Fast Terry,” a crony capitalist who plays fast and loose with the rules, has been damaged enough by the long string of stories that support that public impression. This latest investigation will serve to magnify that negative image among Virginia voters.

Image:  Shevry Lassiter / Washington Informer