A Little Insider Trading Doesn't Bother DNC's McAuliffe. (Fair Comment)

Article excerpt

Compared to Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Terry McAuliffe, former Enron Corp. chief financial officer Andrew Fastow is a piker. Fastow used an inside track to earn millions of dollars in ill-gotten profits from Enron's off-the-books partnerships. McAuliffe turned his $100,000 investment in Global Crossing Ltd. into a $17.9 million profit -- four times the booty Fastow earned on his investment.

To hear McAuliffe tell it, "I bought stock and I sold stock. That's capitalism; if you don't like it, leave the country and move to China." As the chief fund-raiser for the Clinton re-election campaign, McAuliffe knows something about China firsthand.

To what extent was McAuliffe the beneficiary of an insider's deal? After all, Global Crossing founder Gary Winnick gave McAuliffe the opportunity to buy into the telecommunications firm on the ground floor in 1997. At the time Winnick extended McAuliffe the timely investment opportunity, a cynic might note, the Democratic Party's chief fund-raiser was universally known as President Bill Clinton's best (male) friend.

After Global Crossing's stock went public in 1998, its price soared in the Internet-created stock-market bubble, peaking at $64.25 per share. Cashing out his shares and exercising stock options, McAuliffe netted his astounding capital gains. Then, in 1999, Winnick found himself playing golf with Clinton -- a priceless outing arranged by the president's buddy and chief fund-raiser. Winnick soon pledged $1 million to Clinton's presidential library, while his company chipped in more than $1 million in soft money to the Democratic Party during the 1999-2000 election cycle. …