Ethics playing field balanced in Virginia; McAuliffe can swipe Cuccinelli

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Mr. Cuccinelli’s campaign has sent a series of releases raising doubts about the ethics of his Democratic rival amid questions about Mr. McAuliffe’s beleaguered car company, the sources of his income and his history as a Washington insider.

Mr. McAuliffe, a self-described “hustler,” quietly resigned in December as chairman of GreenTech Automotive Inc., a company that was supposed to serve as proof of his business acumen but has not lived up to projected production or employment levels.

Mr. Cuccinelli also has noted that he allowed reporters to examine eight years of his tax returns, though he did not release them outright. Mr. McAuliffe has declined to make his tax returns available for inspection, instead releasing three years of tax summaries.

Some Republicans had also relished the opportunity to revisit Mr. McAuliffe’s political history.

During the Clinton-era fundraising controversy, Mr. McAuliffe advocated for “face time,” arranging for legions of deep-pocketed partisans to be ushered into the Oval Office for coffees, lunches or other sit-downs with Mr. Clinton or given overnight accommodations at the White House, including the prestigious Lincoln Bedroom.

Mr. McAuliffe’s campaign did not respond to an email seeking comment about the report, but the lingering investigation of Mr. McDonnell’s involvement with Mr. Williams now leaves Democrats with plenty of room to launch ethics attacks against Republicans.

“This will ensure the campaign will get nasty,” Mr. Holsworth said. “The Democrats are not going to give up on this line of attack.”

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