McAuliffe campaign targets Taylor Swift fans with ads linking Youngkin to Scooter Braun
© Terry McAuliffe campaign

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffeTerry McAuliffeJill Biden adds to communications team in lead-up to midterm elections The Memo: Is Trump the GOP's future or in rearview mirror? The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems barrel towards voting rights vote with no outcome MORE’s (D) campaign is targeting fans of Taylor SwiftTaylor Alison SwiftHillicon Valley — Progressives put pressure on Google The Hill's 12:30 Report: Israel testing fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Pelosi takes victory lap after breaking months-long standoff MORE with new digital ads highlighting GOP gubernatorial opponent Glenn YoungkinGlenn YoungkinVirginia exits multi-state coalition backing EPA in climate lawsuit Virginia universities lift vaccine mandates after Youngkin's order Jill Biden adds to communications team in lead-up to midterm elections MORE's role in music mogul Scooter Braun's purchase of Swift's master recordings in 2019.

Youngkin, who was then a co-CEO of private equity firm the Carlyle Group, worked with Bruan to acquire the Big Machine Label Group, including all of Swift’s master recordings, according to The Verge, which first reported the ads.

Swift reportedly called Carlye in an attempt to intervene in the deal at the time, arguing that the acquisition had made it hard for her to perform her music and produce her Netflix documentary.


“Controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever,” Swift said in a Tumblr post in 2019.

The five-figure ad buy of Facebook, Instagram, and Google search ads launched on Tuesday will include the hashtag #WeStandWithTaylor, which was widely used by the "Willow" singer's fans during her public battle with Bruan. 

"Terry McAuliffe has reached the stage of desperation in his campaign where he’s rolling out the most baseless attacks to see what sticks. It’s a pathetic fall that could only be achieved by a 43-year political hack," Youngkin campaign spokesperson Christian Martinez said in a statement.

The Democratic Governors Association (DGA) had tweeted in February about the Carlyle-Bruan situation, criticizing Youngkin for his role in the acquisition. 

"This is not exactly why we elect #DemGovs but it’s definitely part of it," DGA said.

Polls show a tight race ahead of the election next month in Virginia, one of only two states, along with New Jersey, to be choosing its governor in the off-year vote.

Updated at 4:10 p.m.