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AP retracts story about Virginia gubernatorial candidate McAuliffe

October 10, 2013|By Evan Halper
  • Virginia gubernatorial candidates Democrat Terry McAuliffe, left, and Republican Ken Cuccinelli at a debate.
Virginia gubernatorial candidates Democrat Terry McAuliffe, left, and… (Pool / Getty Images )

WASHINGTON -- In the contentious Virginia gubernatorial race, which has been dominated by accusations and counter-accusations of unsavory business dealings, the campaigns are constantly accusing one another of spreading false information.

But on Wednesday night, it was not a campaign, but a major national news organization that put out the wrong facts.

The Associated Press published a story that threatened to be extremely damaging to the campaign of Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who enjoys a comfortable lead in the polls.

The story  involved allegations that a person identified in court documents by the initials T.M. had lied to prosecutors. The story said that McAuliffe was T.M.  One hour and 38 minutes later, the AP retracted the story, saying they had no evidence that McAuliffe was the person involved.

 “The indictment did not identify McAuliffe as the 'T.M.' who allegedly lied to prosecutors,” the retraction said. 

The Washington Post, in its coverage of the indictment, notes that McAuliffe’s name had come up, but only as one of dozens of investors with the Rhode Island estate planner at the center of the case, Joseph Caramadre.

Caramadre, who had donated to  McAuliffe campaigns in the past,  last year pleaded guilty to “conspiring to steal and to use the identities of terminally ill patients to obtain millions of dollars in illicit profits from insurance companies and bond issuers,” according to a statement from the FBI.

The McAuliffe campaign told the Post that it and the candidate have donated to charity $74,000 an amount equal to all of the Caramadre contributions and any earnings McAuliffe made in his investments with the estate planner

Twitter: @evanhalper

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