The lower level of Howlett’s Restaurant & Tavern resembled a political forum last week, even though guest speaker Terry McAuliffe is not running for any office – he’s selling green. McAuliffe, a well known politico who worked for a number of Democratic presidents, was chairman of the Democratic National Committee and also ran in the Democratic primary for Governor of Virginia, worked hard to push a green agenda during the Chesterfield Historical Society’s Tavern Talk event.
About 35 patrons dined and then listened to McAuliffe speak about his green endeavors, including having just paid $20 million for Hong Kong-based EuAuto Technology, which builds electric cars. The electric vehicle, called MyCar, is part of an initiative to invest $1 billion to build electric cars in economically depressed areas in the United States to boost the economy and create green jobs, McAuliffe said. The first plant to manufacture the MyCar will be built in Tunica, Miss.
“We’ve got to be creative and use green jobs to boost the American economy,” McAuliffe said. “We’ve got to have a national renewable energy standard in this country and right now we don’t.”
Speaking of Virginia, McAuliffe said, all of our neighboring states have renewable energy standards and “we don’t and that’s disgraceful. Even the Saudis are investing in wind and solar. They don’t want to use their oil, it’s more profitable to sell it,” he said.
Asked to prognosticate on the coming election, McAuliffe predicted that the Democrats would lose six or seven seats in the Senate and the House of Representatives could lose as many as 50 seats held by Democrats.
“Shame on the Democrats,” McAuliffe said, his passion projected in his tone. “They’re just not putting out an effective message. They need to stand on their record and get out there and fight. I’m proud of what the Democrats have done.”
On allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for the top 1 percent of tax payers, McAuliffe said, “I’m in the top 1 percent and I didn’t ask for a tax cut, and those in my bracket are not creating jobs, you are,” pointing to the audience, “when you shop, buy cars and houses.”
He also chastised Virginia for not incentivizing big employers to locate here. He said South Carolina landed the Boeing Dreamliner manufacturing plant and Virginia didn’t even bid on it. “And their governor was in Argentina.”
According to the Chesterfield Historical Society, “Tavern Talk” offers patrons at Howlett’s Restaurant & Tavern in Chester an opportunity to meet and submit questions to influential local, state and national personalities. The monthly event is presented in the main dining area at Howlett’s at Chester Village Green. Lisa Hicks-Thomas, secretary of administration for Virginia, will be the featured guest on Nov. 29 at “Tavern Talk.
As McAuliffe left Chester last Monday evening, he “tweeted” on the website Twitter, “Headed up 95 after a long day. Finished up with an excited crowd at Tavern Talk in Chester and a visit with the always fun VCU YDs [Young Democrats].”