That's right, Virginia GOP Attorney General candidate Mark Obenshain voted to kill a vaccination requirement that has proven amazingly successful in reducing the HPV cancer virus among girls. Why would he do such a seemingly crazy thing? The answer is obvious: because he's a right-wing extremist who cares more about ideology than about pragmatism and getting positive, real-world results.
Of course, the type of politician who would put his ideology ahead of the health and lives of children is the LAST person we'd ever want as Virginia Attorney General. Kind of like the current occupant, Ken Cuccinelli, who Mark Obenshain has said is his model for that office. Shuddderrrrr....
You know that crazy anti-abortion bill passed by the US House of Representatives yesterday? The one that almost every single Republican voted for, even though it's blatantly unconstitutional, extreme, and also has no chance of being enacted into law? Well, guess what: it is essentially the same bill Virginia State Senator (and nominee for Attorney General) Mark Obenshain introduced in 2012. The name of Obenshain's bill: Virginia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act:
...prohibits an abortion after 20 weeks gestation unless, in reasonable medical judgment, the mother has a condition that so complicates her medical condition as to necessitate the abortion to avert her death or to avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function. The prohibition is predicated on the assertion that a fetus is capable of feeling pain at 20 weeks. When an abortion is not prohibited post-20 weeks gestation, the physician is required to terminate the pregnancy in a manner that would provide the unborn child the best opportunity to survive. The bill punishes an abortion in violation of the article as a Class 6 felony. The bill also provides for civil remedies against a physician who performs an abortion in violation of the article.
Heck, I'm surprised Mark Obenshain didn't bring up the "masturbating fetus" argument while he was at it. Also note that there's no exception for rape or incest in Obenshain's bill. Charming.
Meanwhile, over in the Teapublican-controlled House of Representatives, the name of the bill that passed yesterday, sponsored by Rep. Trent "The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low" Franks, is the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act :
Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe and Senator Mark Herring, candidate for Attorney General of Virginia visited the McLean Metrorail Station, a new stop on the Silver Line on Tuesday. During the visit, McAuliffe and Herring highlighted the importance of supporting transportation projects in Virginia that create jobs in the Commonwealth and ensure the state remains competitive in the 21st Century.
McAuliffe and Herring both praised the Silver Line project as a vital investment that will strengthen Virginia's economy. "This kind of project that encourages economic development and responsible growth is exactly what we need to be focused on as we work to improve our transportation system," McAuliffe stated.
McAuliffe also criticized GOP candidate Ken Cuccinelli for being "the only statewide elected official in more than a decade to oppose the Dulles Metrorail project" and said that his opponent "wanted to stop the Silver Line even after work had already begun." "That would have benefited no one," he added.
Dating back to early in his political career, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has on multiple occasions voiced his opposition to the Silver Line, stating that he "opposed this project entirely" and later called it the "biggest waste of money in the History of Virginia." His stance on the Silver Line project caused the Washington Post Editorial Board to question his motivations for doing so, commenting, "If Mr. Cuccinelli is remotely interested in sustaining and expanding Northern Virginia's commercial vitality and promoting job growth, killing off the Silver Line is hardly the way to do it."
McAuliffe and Herring also criticized Ken Cuccinelli and GOP candidate for Attorney General Mark Obenshain for opposing Governor McDonnell's bipartisan transportation compromise which passed earlier this year. "On the most important issue for Virginia's competitiveness, Ken Cuccinelli was a leader in the effort to defeat Governor McDonnell's signature accomplishment," stated McAuliffe.
Herring added that Virginians "can't afford to have leaders who would rather see political gridlock than mainstream, bipartisan solutions to the challenges [Virginia's] economy faces."
McAuliffe stressed the need to work in a bipartisan manner to guarantee a modern, efficient transportation system in Virginia in order to create a solid foundation for economic growth in the 21st Century. McAuliffe also pushed for passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act during the visit, which would require Internet retailers to pay the same taxes as Main Street businesses as a means to raise vital revenue which would support investments like these as well as protect Virginia's local business sector.
From the Terry McAuliffe for Governor campaign, it's fascinating how the old-school Virginia Republicans - mainstream, moderate, pragmatic - are throwing their support to Terry McAuliffe, not to Tea Partier Ken Cuccinelli. Personally, I expect this trend to continue...
"Virginians for McAuliffe," a bipartisan coalition of Virginians committed to electing Terry McAuliffe for Governor launched in Richmond on Monday. Co-chaired by prominent Virginia Republicans Judy Ford Wason, Senator John Chichester, Senator Russ Potts, John Sherman, Delegate Katherine Waddell, Delegate Vince Callahan, and Delegate Jim Dillard the group announced their support for McAuliffe because he is focused on working across the aisle to find mainstream solutions to the issues Virginians care about.
"Terry will focus on issues that matter most to Virginians, like jobs and the economy, education, transportation, healthcare, and public safety," the co-chairs commented. Former Virginia Senator John Chichester added in his endorsement for McAuliffe, "having served as a Republican member of the Virginia legislature for many years, I have seen the progress our great state can make if we have leaders in the Governor's and Lieutenant Governor's offices who will reach out to both sides of the aisle in order to move forward on issues such as transportation, fiscal responsibility, and educating our workforce."
Judy Ford Wason, a Virginia Republican who led Virginians for McDonnell in 2009, and a former member of the Reagan Administration, commented that she is supporting McAuliffe, only the second Democrat she has ever supported as Governor of Virginia, "because the stakes in this election are so high for the future of our economy and the future of our citizens and communities." Wason added, "Terry will lead from the middle of the road focusing on the economy and jobs, education - K-12 and higher education, the environment, and public safety," and referenced McAuliffe's work rallying support for Governor McDonnell's bipartisan transportation compromise as an example.
This week the Democratic Party of Virginia will begin running web ads in Southwest Virginia holding Ken Cuccinelli accountable for his office's active assistance of two energy companies in a legal dispute with area landowners over unpaid mining royalties.
"Ken Cuccinelli and his office's direct assistance to two gas companies in their fight against Southwest Virginia landowners is so inappropriate that even a federal judge was 'shocked,'"said DPVA Executive Director Lauren Harmon. "Virginia needs leaders who fight for taxpayers, not against them.
"That's why the Democratic Party of Virginia is acting today to hold Ken Cuccinelli accountable and make sure Southwest Virginia families know which side he chose when it was time to stand with Virginians or with out-of-state campaign donors."
The new ads will be featured on the websites of popular Southwest Virginia publications as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
For more on this latest example of Ken Cuccinelli's ongoing pattern of corruption, see here. As Sen. Phil Puckett says, "With this much at stake, it was positively outrageous to learn last week that Ken Cuccinelli's office has been acting not as a neutral observer in this case, but as an active adviser to the companies who are seeking to avoid paying Virginians millions in royalties." Outrageous, yes. Surprising, no.
From the Mark Herring for Attorney General campaign, it looks like Mark Obenshain is trying desperately to run away from his far-far-right-wing record of trying to criminalize miscarriages, of discriminating against gay and lesbian Virginians, of getting a ZERO rating from the Virginia Education Association (and an "A" rating from the NRA), etc. In reality, of course, Obenshain will never be able to run away from the fact that he "votes like E.W. Jackson talk," as Sen. Herring put it at this morning's AG debate in Virginia Beach. Let's make sure we elect Mark...Herring, that is, NOT Obenshain!
OBENSHAIN RUNS AWAY FROM RECORD ON MISCARRIAGE AND ULTRASOUND BILLS, AND HIS OPPOSITION TO TRANSPORTATION BILL DURING FIRST DEBATE
VIRGINIA BEACH - In their first debate of the general election campaign, Senator Mark Herring (Loudoun & Fairfax) quickly and repeatedly drew a stark and clear contrast with his Republican opponent Senator Mark Obenshain and the extreme Tea Party ticket.
"Senator Obenshain and I couldn't be farther apart on the issues Virginians care about," Herring stated. "He sees the law through the prism of radical extremism."
In the days leading up to today's debate, Obenshain had attempted to distance himself from the extreme views of his ticket-mate E.W. Jackson. But Herring said that Virginians need only look at Obenshain's record in the Senate to find there is no difference between the two men.
"Much has been made of E.W. Jackson's rhetoric but the truth is that Senator Obenshain votes like E.W. Jackson talks. Through the power of his Senate seat, he's not only given those views a powerful voice, he put these extreme views to work through legislation he proposed, in amendments, in committee action and votes on the Senate floor."
Great news from the Terry McAuliffe for Governor campaign, as yet another moderate, sane Republican endorses him, not crazy Ken Cuccinelli.
Virginia's 61st Governor, Republican Linwood Holton, endorsed Terry McAuliffe for Governor today, stating that McAuliffe "will put partisan politics aside and work every day to move Virginia forward."
Holton, who served from 1970-1974 was the first Republican governor elected in Virginia since Reconstruction. He became a model for those who governed from the middle, as he rejected the extreme wings of both parties, and championed causes such as civil rights and equal opportunity across the Commonwealth.
"My time as Governor taught me a thing or two about the qualities needed to ensure the Commonwealth remains the best place in the country to live and work," Holton commented. "Virginia needs a Governor who will work across the aisle to find mainstream solutions to growing our economy," he added.
"I am honored to have the support of Governor Holton. He is a leader who did what was right for Virginia and made this state a better place to live, work, and raise a family. As Governor, I hope to continue his legacy of focusing on mainstream issues, like strengthening Virginia's infrastructure, making our government more efficient, and expanding economic opportunity for all Virginians," McAuliffe said.
Holton's endorsement follows a series of endorsements from prominent Virginia Republicans and business leaders over the last two weeks.
Statement from Governor Holton:
"My time as Governor taught me a thing or two about the qualities needed to ensure the Commonwealth remains the best place in the country to live and work. Virginia needs a Governor who will work across the aisle to find mainstream solutions to growing our economy. There needs to be a singular focus on these economic issues, not an ideological agenda that divides people. I'm supporting Terry McAuliffe because he has that focus, he will put partisan politics aside and work every day to move Virginia forward. Terry has shown his focus already by emphasizing the importance of improving community colleges and working across the aisle to support the critical bipartisan transportation proposal."
From the Mark Herring for Attorney General campaign, this press release references Republican AG nominee Mark Obenshain's appearance on the John Fredericks Show earlier today. In that appearance, Obenshain claimed that he pulled the bill because it was "too broad." In fact, what's really going on here is Obenshain trying to rewrite history, change the narrative away from one that is damaging to him to one that's more favorable - albeit untrue. Nice try, but no cigar as the saying goes...
Leesburg - Democratic nominee for Attorney General State Senator Mark Herring (Loudoun and Fairfax) issued this statement today following comments made by Senator Mark Obenshain on the John Fredericks Show this morning in regards to legislation he sponsored that would have required women who suffer a miscarriage to report it to the police:
"Mark Obenshain is not being honest with voters. His bill would have treated women who suffer through miscarriages as criminals. It was so extreme that he had to pull the bill because of a firestorm of opposition.
"And Obenshain knew exactly what he was doing when he introduced the bill. He saw just a few sessions earlier the outrage caused by a similar bill introduced in the House of Delegates.
"Mark Obenshain knew what he was doing - pandering to his extreme base so he could make it through the same convention that nominated E.W. Jackson for Lt. Governor. Obenshain's record of attacking women's health through his career couldn't be more clear."
Today the Republican Party of Virginia held a conference call to try and distract from the growing scandal around Ken Cuccinelli's office's direct assistance to two gas companies in a lawsuit against Virginia taxpayers over unpaid mining royalties.
During that call, a Republican Party of Virginia spokesman attacked Senator Puckett for his support of the landowners' efforts to file their suit as a class action, a move the companies oppose and which Cuccinelli's office advised the companies on how to avoid in court.
As the Washington Post reported, the spokesman "suggested that by supporting a bid by southwest Virginia landowners to create a class action in federal court over the dispute — a legal maneuver that Shipley noted was led by out-of-state attorneys — the case could drag on even longer, allowing the bank to keep the escrow money on its books."
DPVA spokesman Brian Coy responded to more Republicans siding against taxpayers saying, "It's a shame that Ken Cuccinelli has deputized the Republican Party of Virginia to support his attacks on Virginia taxpayers seeking a class action lawsuit against energy companies over unpaid mining royalties. Virginians deserve an Attorney General who fights for them, not one who backs his campaign donors in lawsuits against them."
A Southwest Virginia legislator Monday called for an state Inspector General investigation into Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's office after a federal judge rebuked a lawyer on his staff for assisting two energy companies as they defend against lawsuits from citizens over natural gas royalties.
State Sen. Phillip Puckett, D-Russell County, publicly made that request after the Associated Press last week reported on the shock U.S. Magistrate Judge Pamela Meade Sargent conveyed in a recent court document upon learning one of Cuccineli's staff attorneys had offered advice to the corporate litigants.
E-mails provided to the court show that assistant attorney general Sharon Pigeon gave advice to attorneys for the companies: EQT Production Co. and CNX Gas Co., both from the Pittsburgh area.
As part of her duties, Pigeon represents the Virginia Gas and Oil Board, which has an interest in the case but isn't a party to the long-running dispute between the energy companies and private landowners over compensation for gas harvested from their properties.
"With this much at stake, it was positively outrageous to learn last week that Ken Cuccinelli’s office has been acting not as a neutral observer in this case, but as an active adviser to the companies who are seeking to avoid paying Virginians millions in royalties," Puckett said on on a conference call organized by Virginia Democrats.o;s report on whether any laws or ethics rules have been broken in this disturbing matter," he added.
Serious stuff, and it's unlikely there's any good answer (the "I forgot" excuse probably won't work here, as it didn't work when Cuccinelli tried it in the Star Scientific scandal case). So now, Del. Terry Kilgore - the brother of Ken Cuccinelli's attorney, Jerry Kilgore - is desperately trying to defend Cuccinelli politically at least, flailing around for something to get him off the hook, or at least distract the press for a while. Thus, according to Terry Kilgore, "Any suggestion that Attorney General Cuccinelli or his office was involved in any impropriety should be dismissed for the Democrat talking points they so clearly are." Uh huh. So it's all a made up, partisan witch hunt. Why is everyone always picking on poor, poor Ken Cuccinelli, anyway? Boo-hoo-hoo. In reality, of course, Cuccinelli has been sloshing around in contributions and gifts from the very companies his office has been improperly advising and otherwise "assisting." As has his pal Terry Kilgore. A few examples of the oil and gas companies' favors to Kilgore include:
So...$700 in gifts and over $27,000 in campaign cash to Terry Kilgore. And lots LOTS more to Ken Cuccinelli ($111k from Consol alone). And then, in a TOTAL coincidence I'm sure, Cuccinelli's office "gave advice to attorneys for the companies" which just happen to be "seeking to avoid paying Virginians millions in royalties." Sure, happens all the time, right? Nothing to see here, move right along. At least that's what Ken Cuccinelli and Company would like us to believe. But last I checked, Virginians were not as gullible as the cynical, smarmy Cuccinelli (and his cynical, smarmy defenders like the Kilgore brothers) likes to think we are.
This Sounds Familiar: Energy Company Bought Cuccinelli Dinner as His Office Aided their Case
Did Cuccinelli discuss mining royalties case with parent company over gifted dinner?
TheBristol Herald Courier just reportedthat the parent company of one of two companies benefitting from Ken Cuccinelli’s office's counsel in their effort to avoid paying Virginians millions in mining royalties recently bought the Attorney General dinner.
The Statement of Economic interest Cuccinelli filed yesterday revealed that Consol Energy recently bought him an $82 dinner. Consol has also contributed more than $110,000 to Cuccinelli’s campaign, even as his office actively strategized with one of its subsidiaries’ lawyers in a lawsuit against Virginia taxpayers.
Much like he finally admitted discussing his tax case with Jonnie Williams as the CEO gave him thousands in gifts, Cuccinelli should answer whether he and any Consol staff or representatives discussed this tax case while enjoying the dinner they gave him as a gift.
If you back out the results from Loudoun County, the primary contest between Senator Mark Herring and former prosecutor Justin Fairfax was essentially a dead heat. In the view of 200-proof politics, strong support from the progressive blogs made the difference for Herring. As a purely technical matter, Fairfax had the better general election "message." Thus, it wasn't quite as attractive to the progressive blogs as Herring's candidacy, whose pitch seemed designed to get their support.
The blogs did for Herring what his campaign did not: provide a certain energy, a certain edge, a certain image of the guy which is not his normal MO. Of the two candidates, Herring comes across as the more laid back. This can be a problem in a low-vote situation against a young, aggressive challenger.
Fairfax did an amazing job of coming from nowhere to near victory in a very short span of political time. Moreover he did it in the face of a solid Herring campaign with a very good direct mail effort. But the Fairfax support demonstrates a certain hunger on the part of Democratic primary voters for a more youthful, forceful style, more in the "prosecutorial" mode which fit Fairfax.
Bottom line here at 200-proof politics: Had the blogs gone for Fairfax, he wins. As 200-proof wrote at the time, Herring's smartest technical play was getting out front on the so-called "gay rights" issues. He also ran more against Cuccinelli than anyone else in the primaries this year. Again, a smart technical play.
In my view, given their resources, I don't think the blogs made much difference in the LG's race when all is said and done. Both candidates had the money to make their case. This was not true in the AG's race in my view. Herring overcame the Post endorsement. But had he lost the blogs, I think he would have lost.
In the general election, the blogs' influence will likely be far, far less, as they will tend to "preach" to the choir on each side of the aisle. But in a low-vote primary dominated by high-information political voters, the blogs must be seen as important players.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 12th, Democrat Michael Abraham officially launches his campaign to gain his party's nod to unseat one-term conservative Republican Delegate Nick Rush in House District 7. Abraham is a Christiansburg native and current Blacksburg resident. A former owner of his family printing business, he's now a local author and publisher. He's written five books, including Harmonic Highways; Spine of the Virginias; Union, WV; Providence, VA; and War,West Virginia.
Mike has been active in both professional and community organizations, including Rotary International. From his page at amazon, here's a brief bio:
Michael Abraham (1954- ) grew up in a Jewish family in Christiansburg, Virginia. He earned an engineering degree at Virginia Tech and has had a varied career in engineering, sales, marketing, management, and industrial real estate development and management. In semi-retirement in 2009, he began his writing career with the non-fiction travelogue, The Spine of the Virginias. In 2012, his third book, Harmonic Highways, was nominated for the 15th Annual Library of Virginia Literary Award.
In 2011 and 2012, he was a featured speaker at the Virginia Festival of the Book, the state's most prestigious annual book event. He writes regularly for a number of publications, including the Valley Business Front, Blue Ridge Country, Roanoke Business magazine, Greenbrier Quarterly magazine and the (Montgomery County). News Messenger.
It's 7 pm, and polls in Virginia are now closed. Which races are you watching? Obviously, I'm curious to know who won the Democratic primaries for Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General. I'm also interested in the Democratic and Republican House of Delegates primaries. I'll be listening to the John Fredericks Show, as well as checking results at VPAP and the State Board of Elections website. On the LG and AG races, it will be interesting to see if they can be called early, or whether they are too close to call for a while. Should be interesting...stay tuned!
UPDATE 9:43 pm: Looks like turnout in the Democratic primary was around 140,000, which is better than 2005 by about 25,000 votes. Still pitifully low, but at least it wasn't a historic low as many of us thought it might be this afternoon.
UPDATE 9:23 pm: @ryanobles tweets, "AP Calls it: BULLETIN (AP) - Mark Herring, Dem, nominated Attorney General, Virginia."
UPDATE 9:11 pm: Huge upset by Tea Partier Mark J Berg over Del. Beverly Sherwood in the 29th HoD district. And Del. Joe May loses to Tea Partier Dave LaRock in the 33rd HoD district. These upsets are all about the transportation bill vote. Wow. On the other hand, Republican Scott Taylor wins the 85th HoD primary, despite his support for the transportation bill, over Gary Byler and Jeremy Waters.
UPDATE 9:08 pm: VPAP is finally back up. With 95.8% of precincts reporting, it's Mark Herring 51.78% (69,058 votes)-Justin Fairfax 48.22% (64,315 votes). In the House of Delegates, congratulations to Del. Rosalyn Dance (53%-47%), Jennifer Boysko (76%-24%), and Del. Algie Howell (68%-32%).
UPDATE 9:01 pm: @aneeshchopra tweets, "Congratulations to Senator @RalphNortham on his victory tonight. I'm looking forward to working together to win in November. #Unity"
UPDATE 8:59 pm: This is nuts! @DenaPotterAP tweets, "Senior Va. GOP Del. Joe May, roads package backer, loses primary to conservative challenger."
UPDATE 8:58 pm: @vpapupdates tweets, "House District 63 - 29 of 30 precincts - Dance 52.88% Thompson 47.11%." Looks like that one's over.
UPDATE 8:57 pm: NLS just called the AG race for Mark Herring.
Today is the Virginia Democratic primary election to choose our nominees for Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and several House of Delegates candidates (63rd, 86th, and 90th districts for the Democrats). Polls are open from 6 am to 7 pm. To find your polling place, click here. [UPDATE: Note that there are a few interesting Republican primaries as well for House of Delegates, mostly fueled by right-wing anger about the incumbents' votes for the transportation bill's tax increases...)
What are you seeing and hearing out there? What's turnout like in your neck of the woods? Who did you vote for and why? I'm going to vote this afternoon - for Aneesh Chopra and Mark Herring. Tonight, I plan to live blog the results starting at 7 pm or so. I'm also planning to listen to the John Fredericks Show - featuring Del. Scott Surovell, Ben Tribbett, and reporter Dave Sherfinski - starting at 6 pm. Should be a fun evening!
UPDATE 1:25 pm: From numbers I've seen in Arlington, I'd say that turnout will be up a bit from 2005. Of course, that's not saying much, but still...better than flat or down! Also, I'm hearing that turnout in Leesburg is significantly up from 2005, and that Loudoun turnout is strong (see here for instance).
UPDATE 1:50 pm: I just heard from a Democratic campaign manager that he thinks turnout will better than 2005, not as good as 2006. Maybe somewhere around 130,000?
UPDATE 3:07 pm: According to the Loudoun Times, "Loudoun County General Registrar Judy Brown, just before 3 p.m., said voter turnout for today's primary elections has generally been low thus far - remaining in the single digits in many precincts." Not sure how that meshes with some of the info I heard earlier this afternoon from Loudoun. At this point, I might just wait for the results and stop even trying to guess...
UPDATE 4:19 pm: NLS predicts record low turnout in the Democratic primary today. That's not what I'm hearing from my sources, but I guess we'll see soon enough. Of course, they could both be right, in that turnout as a percentage of registered voters almost certainly will be the lowest ever, but absolute turnout might not be...
UPDATE 6:03 pm: @frankoanderson tweets, "Latest from Fairfax County: sampling of precincts that reported btwn 3:30-4:30pm shows turnout of 2-3%." Turnout in Fairfax County was 3.1% in 2005.
UPDATE 6:30 pm: @patrickmwilson tweets, "The Portsmouth registrar says 4,667 people had voted as of 3 p.m." In 2005, 4,279 voted in Portsmouth.
I think the vast majority of us would agree that Faux "News" is nothing more than a right-wing, pro-Republican echo chamber. I think we'd also agree that "Fox and Friends" is about as bad as it gets on Fox - and that's saying something for that bad joke of a network!
The New York Times wrote that Fox & Friends "has become a powerful platform for some of the most strident attacks on President Obama." The program has provided a platform for conspiracy theories about Obama's religion and, in May 2012, aired a 4-minute video attacking Obama's record as President. The video was widely criticized as a political attack ad masquerading as journalism, TIME television critic James Poniewozik wrote: "It's hard to imagine a more over-the-top parody of Fox raw-meat-hurling, fear-stoking, base-pleasing agitprop."
In sum, this is the loony bin of all loony bins. An echo chamber of insanity on steroids. However you want to put it. And Ken Cuccinelli fits in really, really well there. Conspiracy theories run amok? Yep, we got 'em. Multiple false assertions a minute? Check. Nastiness and smarminess? Check. Bottom line: when Ken Cuccinelli loses this November, this would be the perfect job for him: join "Fox and Friends," he'll perfectly in the Fox insane asylum!
“Virginia deserves a governor who understands that health care and fair pay are not just matters of equality and fairness, but are family and economic issues as well.” — Cianti Stewart-Reid
RICHMOND, VA — On the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act being signed into law, Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC released the following statement highlighting the clear choice between Virginia gubernatorial candidates when it comes to women’s health and economic security. Last week, Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe rolled out a proposal for tougher sanctions on gender-based wage discrimination.
While Virginia has made progress toward fair pay there is still work to do. In Virginia, women still make just 78 cents to every dollar a man makes, resulting in a wage gap of over $14 billion in potential earnings. That is why it is critical that Virginia continues to elect leaders who will fight for equal pay and ending discrimination in the workplace.
Statement from Cianti Stewart-Reid, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC:
“Virginia deserves a governor who understands that health care and fair pay are not just matters of equality and fairness, but are family and economic issues as well. Terry McAuliffe is clearly that candidate. He has announced a plan that would strengthen current workforce discrimination laws and as governor, he will work to ensure that women are treated fairly on the job.
“Bycontrast, Ken Cuccinelli is out-of-touch with the critical health and economic concerns of Virginia women. He refuses to say whether or not he agrees with Terry McAuliffe’s equal pay proposal and he was only one of three state attorneys general who opposed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Cuccinelli has fought against expanding women’s access to affordable birth control under the Affordable Care Act — a key economic concern for women — and threatened the entire state budget over an amendment to cut access to Planned Parenthood’s preventive health services.
“Ken Cuccinelli’s running mate E.W. Jackson has called equal pay efforts ‘subtle sexism’ that adds ‘nothing to the dignity and equality of women’ – and Cuccinelli has not disagreed. It is astonishing how out-of-touch Ken Cuccinelli and his running mates are with the needs of Virginia women and families, consistently putting their extreme ideologies ahead of women’s rights in the commonwealth.
“Virginia needs leaders who will fight to protect and advance women’s rights — not bring us backwards. That is why we are proud to stand with Terry McAuliffe.”
Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Planned Parenthood Votes and Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC have been leading the charge to educate Virginia voters about what’s at stake for women’s health and economic security in advance of the November election. The campaign is called “Keep Ken Out” and you can learn more here: www.keepkenout.org.
Tomorrow, June 11th, is a very important primary to elect the Democratic nominee to be Virginia's next Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General. I'm supporting former VA Secretary Aneesh Chopra and VA Senator Mark Herring and hope you will too.
Aneesh Chopra is a friend of many years and I have seen the results he has delivered for Virginia. His service as Secretary of Technology for Governor Tim Kaine was impressive, and he did groundbreaking work for President Obama as the first Chief Technology Officer of the United States. He will be an outstanding Lieutenant Governor. You can learn more about Aneesh by visiting teamchopra.org.
I’ve had the pleasure of serving with Mark Herring in the Virginia General Assembly my entire tenure and know him to be a man of integrity, high ethics, and honor.He will put the interests of Virginians first – always protecting our most vulnerable.He will be an Attorney General in which Virginia can be proud!
The following press release from the Terry McAuliffe for Governor campaign highlights how, increasingly, Virginia business people and moderate Republicans are getting on board with Terry's campaign. Clearly, a lot of these people don't see Ken Cuccinelli as good for business, and they're most definitely right about that. All Cuccinelli would do is to divide Virginia and let our educational and transportation infrastructure fall apart, thus making our state less appealing for businesses and families to come live here. Why would anyone with any business sense want that?
Prominent Virginia business leaders Jimmy Hazel, S. Buford Scott, and David Addison announced their support for Terry McAuliffe on Monday. Hazel is the current chairman of Virginia FREE (Virginia Foundation for Research and Economic Education), a nonpartisan organization which provides information to Virginia's business community in order to advance responsible, pro-business government. Scott is a former Chairman of Virginia FREE and Addison is currently a member of their Board of Directors.
"We need our next governor to support pro-job, pro-business policies, and that is why we need to make sure we elect Terry McAuliffe for Governor," Hazel stated. In addition to being the current Chairman of Virginia FREE, Hazel is a Principal at Angler Environmental, an ecological design and building company, and the former Chairman of the Virginia Board of Game and Inland Fisheries.
S. Buford Scott, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of BB&T Scott & Stringfellow, said he is supporting McAuliffe because "he is committed to making vital improvements to our transportation systems in Virginia and knows what it takes to diversify Virginia's economy so we can compete in a global economy." Scott also referenced McAuliffe's efforts to garner support for the bipartisan transportation compromise earlier this year as a testament to his commitment to finding mainstream solutions to the challenges facing the Commonwealth.
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