Terry McAuliffe will get a little financial help from his friends across the Potomac River Wednesday, as the aspirant for Virginia’s top job will be feted at a fundraiser hosted by Gov. Martin O’Malley and other big-name Maryland Democrats.
The event to benefit McAuliffe’s gubernatorial campaign versus Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) will be headlined by O’Malley, along with Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who is running to succeed O’Malley, and Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (Calvert), among others. It will be held Wednesday evening at the Annapolis home of lawyer and former ambassador to Sweden Thomas L. Siebert and his wife Debbie, according to an invite.
Virginia Republicans didn’t wait for the event to start before attacking McAuliffe, suggesting that the candidate who has sought to position himself as a pragmatic moderate was showing his true colors by teaming up with the blue-state governor next door.
“Terry McAuliffe is crossing the Potomac tomorrow to unite with his ideologically liberal compatriot, Governor O’Malley,” said Cuccinelli spokeswoman Anna Nix. “O’Malley’s well-estbalished record of higher taxes and more spending is a mirror image of Terry McAuliffe’s plans for VIrginia.”
McAuliffe spokesman Josh Schwerin responded not by addressing Wednesday’s event or O’Malley, but by invoking the scandal that is currently enveloping Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell (R) and has also raised questions about Cuccinelli.
“This is just another attack by Ken Cuccinelli to distract voters from his ongoing role in the Star Scientific scandal and his close personal and financial relationship with [Star Scientific head] Jonnie Williams,” Schwerin said.
O’Malley, the former chairman and current finance chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, is widely thought to be considering a run for president in 2016. He has pushed a series of high-profile actions that have been applauded by liberals, including repealing the death penalty, legalizing same-sex marriage, tightening gun restrictions and raising taxes.