In another email, Liz Povar, the VEDP vice president of business expansion, wrote that, "I maintain serious concerns about the establishment of an EB-5 center in general ... but also still can't get my head around this being anything other than a visa-for-sale scheme with potential national security implications that we have no way to confirm or discount ... I am not willing to stake Virginia's reputation on this at this juncture."
Partnership officials also raised concerns that GreenTech lacked a distribution network and had overestimated revenues.
The investment group "has no demonstrated ability to run an automotive company," VEDP official Mike Lehmkuhler wrote in an October 2009 email.
GreenTech, meanwhile, told ABC News that the economic development group simply wasn't interested in helping a startup.
"If we were where we are now, they would probably welcome us more sincerely," GreenTech CEO Charles Wang told ABC, recounting VEDP's general lack of interest in GreenTech when he met with officials in Richmond. VEDP later apologized to Wang for derogatory comments an employee made about him in emails.
McAuliffe resigned from the board in December. Wang said the company wished him well as he departed to run for governor, and while there don't seem to be any hard feelings with McAuliffe, Wang acknowledged that McAuliffe's campaign has exposed the company to political criticism.
Ultimately, GreenTech went elsewhere, launching operations in Mississippi, where it employs about 100 people. When asked about his decision to open a plant in another state, rather than the one in which he's running, McAuliffe has said that GreenTech approached VEDP and that officials were not interested in bringing the car company to Virginia.
While officials expressed initial interest, and provided GreenTech with a set of possible locations, their conclusion matches McAuliffe's explanation that GreenTech was turned down.
Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who is running against McAuliffe for governor, has used GreenTech to attack his candidacy. Now, America Rising will help Republicans dig through more of McAuliffe's past and promote the most salacious bits of GreenTech's messy history in Virginia.
This story has been updated.