BEFORE HE first ran for governor of Virginia, in 2009, Terry McAuliffe launched a company whose purpose, at least ostensibly, was to manufacture small, low-speed, battery-powered cars. Think of golf carts suitable for puttering around the neighborhood or to the grocery store. Now that venture has made Mr. McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate for governor this year, the target of questions, some specious, some not.
Mr. McAuliffe formed the company, GreenTech Automotive, as the recession hit. Part of his strategy was to seek financing from deep-pocketed foreigners who would pony up $500,000 each through a federal program designed to attract investors by offering them U.S. visas in return for their money.
There is nothing illegal in that 20-year-old program. Although it has been subject to periodic abuse, the so-called EB-5 visa program enjoys bipartisan support as a way to attract capital from overseas. To qualify for visas, EB-5 investors must show that their money will help create at least 10 jobs.