TERENCE R. McAULIFFE WRITES
Your recent article by freelance writers Russ Baker and Adam Federman ("Hillary's Mystery Money Men," November 5) has been swiftly discredited upon its publication. Baker and Federman failed to conduct a basic fact-check before publication, resulting in significant errors about myself and others mentioned in the piece. I wish to draw your attention to several of those errors and concerns.
To begin, there are two inherent problems with the article as it relates to me personally: when I did respond to questions from the authors, the information I provided was not included in the article. When I did not respond to questions from the authors, they simply made up their own facts. (Perhaps this is why the authors circumvented the fact-checking process.)
I won't detail each error across every page of this sloppy piece of journalism; others featured in the piece have already registered their complaints and corrections. Instead, I summarize the major facts that the authors simply got wrong:
I did not receive $18 million for the sale of my Global Crossing interests. Please refer to pages 318-320 in my bestselling memoir What A Party!s
For the record, yet again: in 2005, after I had completed my term as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, my good friend Hassan Nemazee hired me at Carret Asset Management as Vice Chairman. This was a non-executive advisory role, a role I had played for numerous other companies.
The authors embarrass themselves when they intimate that I intentionally omitted my Carret involvement in my bestselling memoir, What A Party!, and infer that I was trying to conceal my involvement. But had they simply picked up the book in the course of their investigative journalism, they would have seen that the book ends with the day I drove away from the Democratic National Committee.
The authors infer that I "weighed in" on hedge funds in a speech at the 2006 investors' conference for Brean Murray, Carret & Co. I did not give a speech about hedge funds; I gave an overview of the upcoming midterm elections. I give speeches across the US and outside the US, and the topic is always politics.
Mr. Quasha has articulated his many concerns to The Nation already, but I will reiterate several key points involving Mr. Quasha's and my name: I was not hired at Carret by Mr. Quasha. Mr. Quasha never once set foot in Carret's Washington office. Mr. Quasha has never had a role in the Clinton campaign. (If the authors bothered to contact the campaign staff, they would have quickly learned this.)
This article has proven to be an embarrassment for all involved: the authors, who did not so much as bother to fact-check; me and others, who found themselves in an error-laden piece; and The Nation, whose reputation of quality journalism on progressive issues is now soundly tarnished.
Terence R. McAuliffe
BAKER AND FEDERMAN REPLY
We made numerous attempts to interview McAuliffe for our article and even sent him a list of detailed questions, but he never responded directly to our repeated inquiries. When we last communicated with his spokesperson, Tracy Sefl, she said, "He's been familiar with the material from the first time we spoke. I don't have answers and I don't think there will be answers." In our article we include the only information that Sefl was willing to provide: that McAuliffe was an adviser to Carret.
Moreover, McAuliffe's claim that we did not contact the Clinton campaign is wrong. As chairman of the campaign, he should know better. Not only did we contact him (through two different offices), but we also exchanged e-mails with Hillary Clinton's traveling press secretary, Jay Carson, and named the key figures in the forthcoming article, including Alan Quasha and Hassan Nemazee.
Contrary to McAuliffe's speculations, the fact-checking process at The Nation was not circumvented. Thus, he can find no errors and instead relies on half-truths.
In his memoir--if you can make it to page 318--McAuliffe does not say how much Global Crossing stock he sold or how much he received for the sale. He does say he put up $100,000 as an "angel investor," adding, "The company went public seventeen months later in August 1999 and the value of my stock skyrocketed. No one ever knew how much of the stock I sold, since as a private investor at the time, I was under no obligation to share that information." In 1999 he told the New York Times that "his initial $100,000 investment grew to be worth about $18 million." A few years later his spokesperson said the Times "created" the latter figure. But in his memoir McAuliffe himself relates an encounter on Fox's Hannity and Colmes when he was asked about the $18 million. McAuliffe replied, "What are you, jealous or something?"
As for mentioning Carret in his book, we thought perhaps McAuliffe would have thanked the company for providing him with an office to write his memoir. It's not clear why McAuliffe reiterates that he was hired by Carret Asset Management in 2005. That is the subject of our story.
In our list of questions to McAuliffe we asked him about his speech at Brean Murray, Carret's small-cap investor conference. According to Business Wire for January 17, 2006, which was citing advanced publicity material from Brean Murray, "Mr. McAuliffe...will be speaking about the current political debate in Washington, DC, and its impact on Wall Street and the status of potential further hedge fund regulation." McAuliffe did not respond to us when we asked about the speech, and Brean Murray, Carret was unable to provide a transcript for us.
Nowhere do we say that Quasha set foot in Carret's Washington office--as if that matters. Regarding his role in the Clinton campaign, we simply say that he contributed the maximum personal donation to Hillary Clinton, $4,600, and that his company hired Terry McAuliffe in 2005.
Finally, if the only demonstrable "error" in the article is that McAuliffe was hired by Carret co-chair Hassan Nemazee, and not Alan Quasha, who is chairman of the company, can it be said that anything of substance has been overlooked?
McAuliffe, in his series of unsubstantiated claims, evades the substance of the article: why Carret hired him and what they hoped to gain by doing so.
Russ Baker and Adam Federman
New York, NY
Oct 30 2007 - 2:14pm