The Virginia legislature years ago banned governors from donating excess inauguration funds to political causes, but that hasn’t stopped Gov. Terry McAuliffe from finding a way to route $211,000 from his inaugural fund back to his election campaign and the Virginia Democratic Party, disclosure records show.
Mr. McAuliffe’s aides say the two $78,000 checks his inaugural committee sent to his campaign committee along with a $55,000 check to the state Democratic Party were expenditures for the rental of email lists. But campaign finance analysts told The Washington Times that the costs of the email rentals appeared to be exorbitant, and critics suggest the transactions look like an end run around the state prohibition.
“It’s Terry McAuliffe,” said Bradley A. Smith, a Federal Election Commission member during the George W. Bush administration. “It’s probably legal, but it may make you raise an eyebrow.”
Mr. Smith said such transactions sometimes occur to abolish a committee’s debt or to get a campaign some assets.
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