Talking Points Memo:
A company linked to questionable arms deals in West Africa has given $120,000 in campaign contributions to Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.
The Liberian International Ship And Corporate Registry donated to McAuliffe twice within the past 12 months. The two campaign contributions were the only ones made by LISCR in Virginia in the past decade.
Though it is based in Virginia, LISCR serves as a regulator of the shipping industry in the African nation of Liberia through a contract given to the company by former Liberian president and convicted war criminal Charles Taylor. In 2001, LISCR was associated with efforts of Taylor’s regime to arm rebels who committed atrocities in neighboring Sierra Leone in defiance of international sanctions.
In an interview on Monday, an executive of the company told TPM the contributions were given “on the basis of the friendship” between McAuliffe and LISCR’s chairman, Yoram Cohen. He also denied that the company had been involved in any wrongdoing in West Africa.