The race for governor in Virginia is one of the most hotly contested elections in 2009. In the Democratic primary, the established party figure Terry McAuliffe is facing off against a few opponents, but Theresa Amato is leveling the charge of hypocrisy against McAuliffe. “Terry McAuliffe the candidate is not the Terry McAuliffe I knew as chairman of the DNC in 2004,” she said in a press release from the organization Free and Equal Elections. Amato worked on Ralph Nader’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns for president and she has recently released a book called “Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny.”
The press release explains:
In Grand Illusion, Amato, the national manager of Nader’s lightning-rod 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns, recounts how, after Nader rebuffed Chairman McAuliffe’s offer, the DNC and its state party affiliates embarked on an effort, unprecedented in U.S. history, to force Nader out of the 2004 presidential election. Amato says McAuliffe repeated over and over during a conversation: “Stay out of 19 states.”
McAuliffe’s 2004 attempt to confine Nader to 31 states, revealed an exclusionary and censorious Terry McAuliffe that is hard to reconcile with gubernatorial candidate McAuliffe’s professed support for ballot access and democratic participation as a candidate in Virginia’s 2009 Democratic gubernatorial primary.
Earlier this year, candidate McAuliffe told WTOP radio’s Mark Plotkin that “anyone is entitled to run for office,” and “the more people who run for office, the better it is.” McAuliffe’s campaign blog also claims that he stands for “getting people engaged in the democratic process.”
It goes on to explain in more detail what McAuliffe did to keep Nader off of the ballot: