Franklin, Virginia located in southeastern Virginia’s South Hampton County, is surrounded by forests. For years, a huge paper mill provided a multitude of jobs for local residents and was the heart of the local economy until it announced in 2009 that it would be shutting down. Within a year, Terry McAuliffe announced his latest idea, a green company that would come to be known as Franklin Pellets.
Amidst the struggling economy, Terry McAuliffe promised Virginians a future of green job-creation. He began a traveling road show - selling a fantastical business story to anyone who would listen. As an owner and promoter of GreenTech Automotive, McAuliffe claimed he would build an electric car factory in Virginia that would bring jobs to the Commonwealth.
Amassing a large personal fortune as a political wheeler-dealer, McAuliffe used his various positions to raise funds for politicians and to expand his political network. There is no line between personal business deals and politics for McAuliffe. He once said “if the worst thing you say about me is ‘Terry McAuliffe has done business with people he’s met through politics,’ so be it. I plead guilty.”
Terry McAuliffe’s main claim to fame is his role as a flamboyant political fundraiser. In his autobiography, he refers to himself as a "hustler" and has bragged that he will “stop at nothing to get a check from you.” McAuliffe has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for liberal candidates and the Democratic Party and has been entangled in various campaign finance investigations.