HOT SPRINGS, Va. – A squabble about scandals is consuming much of the first debate between Virginia's gubernatorial candidates.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe confronted Republican Ken Cuccinelli about gifts he took from Jonnie Williams and his troubled nutritional supplements firm, Star Scientific. When the company sued Virginia over a $700,000 tax dispute, McAuliffe claimed, Cuccinelli owned stock in the company and let the case languish.
Lecturing Cuccinelli about Williams, McAuliffe said, "Instead of taking him to court, he took you to New York."
McAuliffe wrongly claimed that a prosecutor's report Thursday said Cuccinelli should be prosecuted for his role with Williams. It made no such finding; it cleared Cuccinelli.
Cuccinelli accused McAuliffe of fabricating claims about his electric car company's employment figures and a wood pellet company in Hampton Roads that has produced no pellets.