March 18, 2013
The Washington Post opines, "VIRGINIA ATTORNEY GENERAL Ken Cuccinelli II, the presumptive Republican gubernatorial nominee, is the state's most prominent elected official to oppose the landmark transportation bill enacted by the General Assembly this year. Because of the bill's importance -- it would raise well over $1 billion annually for new roads and rails -- and because it has the backing of Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, a fellow Republican, Mr. Cuccinelli's stance has made waves. In fact, it is consistent with his opposition to every significant, politically viable effort to rescue the state's transportation fund for more than a decade... Mr Cuccinelli likes to tell people that whatever they think of his views, he's a straight shooter. The reality is that for years he has been peddling the fantasy that roads can be built for free."
Progressive Point: Virginia families deserve leaders that fight for us and for our priorities: investment in our economy, infrastructure, and future growth. Ken Cuccinelli's radical ideology leaves him with only one solution, no matter the problem--cuts to home front investments we value. That strategy won't rebuild our transportation system, improve our schools, or help families access low cost health care. Cuccinelli is attempting to score political points with right-wing extremists at the expense of working Virginia families.
Virginians have worked hard at their jobs, tightened their belts, and made difficult financial choices. The bipartisan transportation compromise will deliver what we need--investment in quickly crumbling infrastructure. Ken Cuccinelli's cuts-only campaign and threats to tank this compromise couldn't be more out of line with our families' and communities' priorities. Virginians know we can't cut ourselves into less traffic and better schools. Cuccinelli's ideology bears little resemblance to real solutions or our shared priorities.
Get the Facts:
Women's Health: Cuccinelli has been an outspoken advocate for personhood legislation that could criminalize some forms of birth control. Personhood isopposed by a clear majority of Virginia voters, as evidenced by their rejection of personhood supporters Mitt Romney and George Allen.
In 2012, Cuccinelli intervened with the independent Board of Health, bullying members into approving abortion clinic regulations designed to shut down clinics. Health Commissioner Karen Remley resigned over the interferenceand The Washington Post called it "in keeping with Mr. Cuccinelli's crusading style."
Equality: Cuccinelli has done little to hide his animosity to Virginia's LGBT community, telling the Virginian Pilot, "homosexual acts..." are "intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law-based country it's appropriate to have policies that reflect that... They don't comport with natural law. I happen to think that it represents (to put it politely; I need my thesaurus to be polite) behavior that is not healthy to an individual and in aggregate is not healthy to society."
In 2010, "his most aggressive initiative on conservative social issues since taking office," Cuccinelli demanded state colleges and universities immediately rescind policies offering workplace protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation.
In another example of interference with independent boards and commissions, Cuccinelli has repeatedly pressured the Virginia Board of Juvenile Justice to eliminate protections for LGBT youth. The Board has thus far refused.
Climate Change: Cuccinelli, an extreme right-wing climate change denier, has used the power of his office to wage a "witch hunt" against UVA climate scientist Michael Mann. Even climate skeptics condemned Cuccinelli's suit, one saying "what Ken Cuccinelli is doing is going fishing for wrongdoing without an allegation of such wrongdoing." Cuccinelli's suit, a huge waste of taxpayer resources, has been repeatedly thrown out by Virginia courts, including the Virginia Supreme Court. The Washington Post editorialized, "IF VIRGINIA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) needs examples of official waste and abuse as he runs for governor, he could cite the harassment that he conducted against climate scientist Michael E. Mann, a costly episode of government overreach that is finally over."
Health Care Grandstanding: As Attorney General, Cuccinelli sued the federal government over the Affordable Care Act. Cuccinelli refused to join the multi-state suit against the legislation, instead preferring to spend extra resources going it alone. While the multi-state suit progressed to the Supreme Court, Cuccinelli's solo attempt was unanimously dismissed by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court found no standing for the suit. "Writing the majority opinion, Justice Diana Gribbon Motz suggested that if Cuccinelli's suit were allowed to proceed, it could lead to an onslaught of politicized and frivolous legal challenges."
Voting Rights: Further solidifying his adherence to an extreme, right-wing ideology, Cuccinelli "completely" agreed with a radio hosts' assessment that voter fraud was to blame for President Obama's reelection and more strict voter ID laws could have changed the outcome.