"Nasty New Cuccinelli Ad Slams Opponent For An Investment That His Own Donor’s Firm Also Made"
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) launched a new advertisement Friday against Terry McAuliffe, calling his Democratic opponent in next month’s gubernatorial election “corrupt” and “despicable” for his 2006 investment in a Rhode Island-based life insurance annuity pool. But while the ad slams McAuliffe for his investment in “an insurance scam that preyed on dying people,” a ThinkProgress review of court documents reveals that another investor was an Ocean State company whose vice chairman is a Cuccinelli donor.
Last week, court documents were released in the case of Joseph A. Caramadre, a Cranston, RI, estate planner who plead guilty to defrauding insurers by using the identities of terminally ill patients. Caramadre’s investors included Monsignor Raymond B. Bastia of the Rhode Island Catholic Diocese, former Cranston Police Chief Walter J. Craddock, and the law firm of a former Rhode Island Supreme Court Justice. According to the Washington Post, there had been “no indication that McAuliffe (D) or other investors were aware that Caramadre was stealing identities.” McAuliffe has denied any knowledge of the scheme.
But Cuccinelli pounced anyway, calling the revelation that McAuliffe had invested in Caramadre’s efforts a “shocking new discovery,” and concluding: “Profiting off the terminally ill: is that the kind of man you want as your governor?”
Watch the spot:
The ad shows a page from the list of investors featuring McAuliffe’s name (mispelled). It also shows the names “NATCO Home Fashions,” and its parents company “NATCO Products Corp.” While McAuliffe’s name appears on the full list once, the West Warwick, RI-based NATCO appears on the list six times.
NATCO Products’s chairman is Robert Galkin. His brother Warren is vice chair. Virginia contribution records reveal that Warren Galkin gave Cuccinelli’s 2013 gubernatorial campaign $500 — his only significant contribution to a Virginia candidate on record.
The court records make clear that NATCO was also just an investor, and there is no evidence that its officers knew what Caramadre was up to either. But using Cuccinlli’s standard, it is noteworthy that he took a significant contribution from an out-of-state donor who he apparently considers “corrupt” for this investment.
Cuccinellli’s campaign did not respond to questions about the contradiction and whether his campaign plans to refund Galkin’s contribution. Galkin and NATCO also did not respond to requests for comment.