McAuliffe Paid GOP Operative $140K for Consulting

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Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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RICHMOND, Va. — A longtime GOP operative who Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe recently appointed to the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control board was paid $140,000 for consulting on McAuliffe’s campaign last year, records show.

Boyd Marcus shocked Virginia’s political class last year by endorsing McAuliffe. The governor’s recent appointment of Marcus to a $130,000-a-year job has angered Republican lawmakers, who view Marcus as a party traitor and have suggested the appointment was a political payoff. The governor has denied those suggestions.

Records filed with the Federal Election Commission in December show Marcus was paid $100,000 for consulting work on the McAuliffe campaign by DGA Action, a federal super PAC associated with the Democratic Governors Association.

The bulk of DGA Action’s payments to Marcus — $80,000 — occurred three days after McAuliffe defeated Republican rival Ken Cuccinelli in November.

The McAuliffe campaign paid Marcus’ firm an additional $40,000, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonprofit that tracks state campaign finance records.

The $140,000 made Marcus one of the highest paid campaign aides, despite joining the McAuliffe campaign during its final months. Campaign manager Robby Mook was paid nearly $160,000, while deputy campaign manager Levar Stoney was paid $100,000, according to the nonprofit group.

DGA Action gave the McAuliffe campaign more than $6.6 million in cash and other contributions, according to campaign finance records, making it the single biggest donor to the campaign. Unlike federal law, Virginia allows super PACs to coordinate with campaigns.

The General Assembly will have to vote on whether to confirm Marcus to the ABC board, and Republicans have indicated they may scuttle the pick. A spot on the ABC board is widely viewed as one of the more cushy political appointments available to governors.

Before helping the McAuliffe campaign, Marcus had worked for several Republicans, including former Gov. Jim Gilmore and U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

After the ABC appointment was announced, former Cuccinelli campaign adviser Chris LaCivita shared with reporters an email he said was from Marcus asking for between $75,000 and $100,000 to work on the Cuccinelli campaign. In the email, Marcus said he needed “higher than normal” compensation because he’d be likely to lose other clients who disliked Cuccinelli. The email came a few weeks before Marcus announced his support for McAuliffe.

Marcus did not respond to requests for comment. A DGA spokesman declined comment.

McAuliffe has brushed off criticism of Marcus’ appointment to the ABC board, saying it was done in the bipartisan spirit by which he promised to govern. His spokesman declined to comment on DGA Action’s payment to Marcus.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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