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Ken Cuccinelli

Reversing 2013 Cuccinelli opinion, AG Herring says localities can ban fracking

by: ivymain

Fri May 08, 2015 at 17:44:41 PM EDT

( - promoted by lowkell)

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring issued an official advisory opinion on May 5 holding that Virginia localities have the right to prohibit hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking") as part of their power to regulate land use within their boundaries. The letter reverses a two-year-old opinion by former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

Herring's opinion cites §15.2-2280 of the Virginia Code, which grants broad zoning powers to localities. These include the power to "regulate, restrict, permit, prohibit, and determine" land uses, such as "the excavation or mining of soil or other natural resources." Thus, writes Herring, "I conclude that the General Assembly has authorized localities to pass zoning ordinances prohibiting fracking. The plain language of the stature also authorizes localities to regulate fracking in instances where it is permitted."

The letter is not available online as of this writing, but is expected to be posted on the Official Opinions page.

Herring's opinion comes in a letter to Senator Richard Stuart, who had asked whether Virginia law allows localities to prohibit "unconventional gas and oil drilling," commonly known as fracking, and whether they may use their zoning authority "to regulate aspects of fracking, such as the timing of drilling operations, traffic, or noise."

The letter overrules a January 11, 2013 opinion by then-Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, which held that the General Assembly had preempted localities' right to regulate or ban drilling when it passed the Virginia Gas and Oil Act.  Under §45.1-361.5, localities may not "impose any condition, or require any other local license, permit, fee, or bond to perform any gas, oil or geophysical operations which varies from or is in addition to the requirements of this chapter."  

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Build Bob An Alibi Session Ends Today

by: Dan Sullivan

Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 10:20:09 AM EST

John Brownlee and friend photo 140308Brownlee_zpsba8626b7.jpg It could have been about mental health or affordable care, but this General Assembly session accomplished favors for the former Governor and itself. John L. Brownlee must be silently gloating. His client will benefit from what turns out is the real Virginia Way. To heck with becoming Attorney General.

What the General Assembly accomplished was to provide tacit approval of almost every unethical act Bob McDonnell, or any one of themselves, committed, ever. Mr. Brownlee, a former U.S. attorney, is a more than competent lawyer and he appreciates that the omission of specific restrictions from the "ethics bill" allows him to argue that those activities are condoned.

Some may not remember, but Bob McDonnell's attorney aspired to statewide office. He was cut off at the knees by Ken Cuccinelli, a centrist by comparison. Turns out it is better to have lost and lived to join a very good law firm than to have won and become such a pariah that the only way to earn a living is to bleed the paranoid. It's unfortunate that we'll never know if Brownlee had the stuff to tango with Jonnie Williams. What we do know is that his defense of McDonnell will be that nothing McDonnell did was unethical, at least anything he is charged with, or it would have been included in the ethics bill passed by legislators with the benefit of hindsight.

What is even more unfortunate is that politicians that take advantage of the Virginia Way to fatten their wallets (or purchase personal automobiles with campaign contributions) will continue to thrive. Frankly, there's no luxury like that of candidates willing to subsidize their lifestyle with campaign funds that the state of Virginia treats as their own. And if elected to office, why hire a staff when no one can be more valuable on your staff than yourself? Where's any reasonable standard for behavior, path for remedy, or process to enforce/punish?

So, bravo General Assembly, you may have made John L. Brownlee's case winnable.  

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Same-Sex Couples Aren't the Only Ones Injured

by: Dan Sullivan

Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 07:36:01 AM EST

 photo RS_Same_Sex_Marriage_zpsc0c8c064.jpg The litigants in Norfolk are same-sex couples, but in the end the discrimination will result in inequitable application of the law that places many opposite-sex couples at a financial disadvantage. Such will be the consequence of the twisted effort by Virginia homophobes to socially engineer human behavior by unconstitutional edict.

For all the whining about Attorney General Herring's position regarding defense of a patently unconstitutional scar on the Virginia Constitution, he never mitigated enforcement. Not one single same-sex couple has been issued a marriage license in Virginia while we wait for the law to be struck. The opinions of both his predecessors regarding the effects of the law remain in force; for now. But consider this. When the marriages of same-sex couples are inevitably recognized in Virginia, those couples will have an option that other married couples will not: filing their Virginia income tax returns with the most advantageous filing status.

Based upon an opinion by then Attorney General McDonnell and guidance from former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Virginia Department of Taxation does not allow same-sex married couples to file joint income tax returns even though they must use the status on their federal tax returns. Everyone else must. What was (and currently remains) an undue burden on same-sex couples (the requirement to construct fictional federal income tax returns to calculate Virginia income taxes) transforms to an advantage; consistent with federal policy after the Supreme Court DOMA decision, married same-sex couples will likely be allowed to choose the filing status that is to their advantage for the years when they were prohibited from using a married filing status.

So my advice to Virginia's married same-sex couples: if filing using a status other than married is to your tax advantage, file this year's return soon, before the stay on yesterday's ruling is removed; after that, you'll be like everyone else. Then for the three years prior to this, recalculate your Virginia tax returns to determine if you should file amendments, in the same way you should have with your federal returns last year. How the Department of Taxation will handle these amendments could be a bit more complicated, so stand by for guidance.

For other married couples, you just won't have equal treatment under the law. You might want to send the bill to Senators Marshall and Newman who spearheaded the amendment or those George Allen strategists who supported it in an underhanded effort to save his bacon.

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The world's smallest violin is playing for Ken Cuccinelli and his victimization rhetoric

by: Progressive86

Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 14:39:01 PM EST

Cross-posted from that paragon of journalism and reporting Richmond Progressive Examiner.

An immediate Cuccinelli political comeback was dispelled on Saturday during a dinner speech at The Homestead Resort. According to one source, Ken Cuccinelli stated "I don't mind not having an elected role in about a month or so. I've been in office 11 years... I look forward to a little bit of a break. ... but I'll be back with you. I'm not talking as a candidate, but just fighting for these principles because I believe in them."

Before anyone except staunch Cuccinelli supporters get too excited, the attorney general's words seem more like those of a man still licking his wounds from a recent election defeat rather than those of someone who's given himself enough time to make a resolute long term decision. And if there is one thing that Virginians should know by now, it's not to trust a good deal of what Ken Cuccinelli says.

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Another Cuccinelli Contradiction & the Illusion of Grandeur

by: Progressive86

Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 18:00:32 PM EST

Cross-posted from that paragon of journalism and reporting Richmond Progressive Examiner.

In the first edition of tales from a sore loser, Virginia Attorney General and loser of November 5th's race for governor, Ken Cuccinelli, suggested that Sen. Mark Warner will be vulnerable during the 2014 election because of the perceived flaws of the healthcare reform legislation. In other words, Cuccinelli could be positioning himself for a senatorial run against Mark Warner in 2014.

According to Cuccinelli, "There is no such thing as an unendangered Democrat who promised, as Mark Warner did, on video, sitting in his Senate office, 'I would not vote for a health-care plan that doesn't let you keep health insurance you like.' " On the other hand, there is no such thing as an unendangered Republican who compares abortion to slavery.

Unfortunately, Cuccinelli may not have learned much from his gubernatorial loss to Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe. Fortunately for Virginia, Cuccinelli may not have learned much from his gubernatorial loss to Terry McAuliffe.

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Birds of a Feather: TeaPublican, Pathetic "Gov" from NC to "Help" Cooch GOTV

by: KathyinBlacksburg

Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 21:01:28 PM EDT

If there were ever a metaphor for what's wrong with Ken Cuccinelli, and his desperate campaign to bring Virginia back to the Stone Age, it has to be the upcoming visit by pretend NC Governor Pat McCrory. He's even a more fitting metaphor than Rick Santorum's jetting in to "rescue the Cooch" from his inanity. As if. So tomorrow, Pat McCrory will rally with Cuccinelli in Roanoke, purportedly to get out the vote (GOTV) for the Cooch. How fitting that the worst "Governor" in America will campaign for the worst AG. (McAuliffe has totally trumped Cooch with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton, hasn't he?)

But McCrory is in a league of his own. He might as well be a subsidiary of Art Pope, the Koch Brothers' buddy, who helped found and fund Americans for Prosperity (prosperity for for the 400 richest in America and not for everyone else). As I have told you on these pages, Pat McCrory picked his very own sugar daddy, the Ayn Randian Art Pope, to be NC's budget director. And you know who is really governor (hint: it's not Pat). In other words, McCrory couldn't do the job himself anyway. He's too busy furrowing his brow in front of the mirror and trying to act "serious." He has taken to hiding from the citizens of NC because he cannot govern and he doesn't care what the citizens think.

Nor can Cooch do the job of governor of Virginia. He's too busy with foolish and destructive retro campaigns that hurt people. And he's too preoccupied trying to bring back anti-sodomy laws, which the SCOTUS has ruled unconstitutional. It's ironic as hell that the radical right used as an anti-ACA ad a caricature of Uncle Sam involved in pelvic exams. The ACA provides a way to buy private insurance. The government is nowhere in the examining room. But Cooch and McCrory have inserted themselves into women's vaginas and done more to eliminate women's privacy than anyone in America. Besides, who would be Cooch's budget director? Pat Robertson?  

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Quentin Kidd Sees the Down Ticket Races Less Certain

by: Dan Sullivan

Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 18:18:45 PM EDT

Tucker Obenshain photo 131010TuckerObenshain_zpsfc65e22d.jpgIn quick succession, four polls have shown the race for governor is slipping away from Ken Cuccinelli. Yesterday Quenton Kidd, Director of the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University (CNU) discussed recent poll results with Cathy Lewis on Norfolk's WHRV. Not all the news was great.

After about a month or so with a McAuliffe lead of around five percent and margins of error around three and four percent, there had been an argument that the gubernatorial race could be closer than the numbers indicate. Two days ago, Politico published a poll showing McAuliffe holding a 10 point lead and soon afterwards CNU released the results of a poll with him up by nine percent. Roanoke College had McAuliffe up by seven and today the Quinnipiac University poll has him with a lead of eight.

Lewis asked Kidd about the libertarian candidate. Kidd responded that Sarvis continues to perform well with about eight per cent of the vote (according to CNU). Sarvis's support, by Kidd's assessment, is coming out of what would naturally be Cuccinelli's voters; he's a protest vote for Republicans and independents who would normally go with the Republican. So the real question is: What do they do on election day? Do they stay home, do they go back to their natural base and vote Republican, or do they stick with Sarvis? Kidd believes that is the real unknown right now.

Kidd told Lewis CNU is currently conducting a poll asking about the shutdown and who is to blame; he expected the Quinnipiac poll to address the shutdown (it did). This he said, would begin to give a clearer picture about whether the race opening up for McAuliffe is directly or indirectly attributable to the "larger politics" around the shutdown and Ken Cuccinelli's connection to those "larger politics."

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Hurricane Cruz on Course to Destroy Cuccinelli Campaign Saturday

by: kindler

Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 14:45:50 PM EDT

The National Political Weather Service is now projecting that Hurricane Cruz will hit the Richmond area Saturday, and could strike a devastating blow to the Cuccinelli campaign.  Conservatives in the area are cautioned to shelter in place and not use telephones or computers during this time.  

Ted Cruz and Ken Cuccinelli will appear Saturday at the Family Foundation Gala at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.  Cruz is the featured Gala Speaker, with "Special Remarks by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli."

This storm makes it impossible to conceal a few inconvenient truths.  Cruz is well known as the architect of the current Federal government shutdown after his infamous 22 hour filibuster.  That he and his colleagues have no strategy or end game is becoming obvious as the shutdown has dragged into its 4th day with no end in sight and impacts on Federal workers, the economy, the elderly, children and many others multiplying.  

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Terry McAuliffe's Bold Move on Climate

by: kindler

Wed Oct 02, 2013 at 11:49:47 AM EDT

For any progressives out there still grumbling that Terry McAuliffe is not your type of Democrat, it's time to pay attention to the actual positions the man is running on.  Health care, education, transportation, jobs and economic development -- and yes, energy and the environment.  

Julie Carey of NBC 4 in Washington reported yesterday that Terry McAuliffe has now come out in support of President Obama's proposed climate change rules.  This is a courageous move, and a big deal that ought to make more those who care about these issues get off their butts and hit the streets to help Terry beat world-class climate denial conspiracy theorist Ken Cuccinelli.  

Needless to say, Cuccinelli's right wing allies are tripping all over each other to sputter nonsense in response about a "war on coal."  Lowell has done such a good job demolishing this phony talking point that I beg you to read his posts here and here and I'll simply provide the headlines:

- Cheap natural gas is what's destroying coal in the marketplace right now -- you know, that "free market" that conservatives like to talk about, except when it's in their political interest to oppose it?  

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Scandals vs. Shaggy Dog Stories

by: kindler

Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 06:00:00 AM EDT

Virginia Republicans have tried to neutralize the corrosive effects of the Star Scientific scandal by making noisy claims that Terry McAuliffe has been engaged in tons of scandals of his own.  Not surprisingly, the media has latched on to this bone like a pack of hungry dogs.

But this only reflects the media's careless failure to define what it calls a "scandal."  Right wingers happily exploit this weakness as they have so successfully since the 1990s, when they spent millions to spread nasty rumors about the Clintons.  As radio legend Garrison Keilor told the National Press Club in 1994, the so-called "Whitewater Scandal" was not a scandal but a "shaggy dog story" whose "point is its pointlessness":  

"What apparently is a long, winding circumstantial joke that the teller keeps complicating by tossing in new, unrelated elements [...] The American people are sitting on the bleachers waiting for the elephant to come out and all we see are the guys selling cotton candy," he told the assembled press: "That's you."

Today in Virginia, Cuccinelli's right wing supporters -- led by the Koch-funded Franklin Center and its affiliates and Cause of Action, to whom he has outsourced his opposition research -- are spreading a bunch of shaggy dog stories about Terry McAuliffe and declaring them "scandals".  And the media, as in this shameful reiteration of Franklin Center innuendos by the Washington Post, are doing little more than adding their bylines and publishing this dreck.  

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Virginia is For Rocket Lovers

by: kindler

Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 12:03:24 PM EDT

Last night, a rocket launched from Virginia to the moon.

What a wonderful thing to bolster our pride in this state, after all the depressing news we've had to bear about scandals and reactionary politics.  And what a fitting tribute to the Commonwealth that once hosted the great intellects behind the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and Constitution - Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, James Madison.  

Scientific and technological breakthroughs don't happen by accident, they occur because of leadership -- academic, industrial and political.  As one article from 2010 noted:

Virginia has put some effort into supporting a commercial space sector, anchored by NASA Wallops. In 2004, governors Bob Erlich of Maryland and Mark Warner of Virginia created the MARS partnership. And in recent years the General Assembly passed two laws to make the state more friendly to space transportation companies. The 2007 Virginia Space Liability and Immunity Act gives companies some legal shelter in the event of a mishap, and the Zero G Tax Act of 2008 provides an exemption to companies doing business in the state with plans to launch from MARS or to do spaceflight training.

Yes, tech-savvy political leaders like Mark Warner make the difference between a state that moves forward into the 21st century, and one that falls backwards into irrelevance and decay.  Which brings us to the current race for governor.  

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Corruption Is a Crime!

by: Elaine in Roanoke

Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 19:33:24 PM EDT

If we are ever to clean up Virginia politics, we need to get one thing straight: Taking thinly disguised bribes and calling them "gifts" or "in-kind political contributions" from people with serious business before the state is a crime and should be treated as such. When the shake-down first couple of Virginia, Bob and Maureen McDonnell, got Jonnie Williams to pay for their daughter's wedding reception, for the Guv's Rolex watch, for Maureen's shopping trip to the Big Apple, for "loans" to bail out McDonnell's real estate deals at the same time that Williams' company was fighting a tax case with the state was downright criminal - as was Ken Cuccinelli cozying up to Williams during the same period, enjoying vacation homes and Thanksgiving dinners.

Today, corruption is not treated as the crime it is. If the local school board is corrupt and takes a kickback to give the contract for a new school to a favored builder, that is stealing from the taxpayers. When legislators who have the power to approve or not approve uranium mining in Virginia accept a vacation in France disguised as a "fact-finding trip," they're stealing the one thing that they should hold precious: the right to represent their constituents, the reason they hold the offices they occupy. If Ken Cuccinelli sends an underling to "discuss" with gas and oil companies dealings with landowners who have filed a civil suit trying to get their royalty money from said companies, he is stealing from those people their fair chance to be heard in court without interference from legal representatives drawing their paychecks because voters trusted them to be fair and honest.

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A Happy Ending to the Star Scientific Affair

by: Dan Sullivan

Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 12:14:57 PM EDT

Star Scientific molecule photo 130825Anatabloc_zps34c14168.jpgIt is actually quite simple. Maureen could leave Bob for Jonnie. Ken could become ordained in a ministry that can deny the Pope's authority and wisdom, become confessor to Maureen and Jonnie, then preside over their nuptials. Bob could wash his hands of the entire affair. Done, done, and done.

It has been there all along. As the "facts" ooze forth it becomes more and more apparent, if you accept their versions, that Maureen and Jonnie are close confidants who have mingled their treasure with the pleasure of their company; already as close to marriage as it gets. If you are to believe their stories it seems they share more than Bob and Maureen have with each other of late. The kids are grown and out of the house, after all. Ken Cuccinelli benefitted from their association and must know more than he reveals. Bob just seems challenged to recognize any form of impropriety and, keeping those blinders properly fitted, can rationalize just about anything life throws at him.

Think of the benefits they accrue. Neither Ken nor Maureen nor Jonnie can be forced to testify against the other. Ken can jettison any Roman Catholic values he finds inconvenient and, to the benefit of running mate E. J. Jackson, dismiss Pope Francis's remark that "If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?" As for Bob, well beyond the fact he has established he knows nothing about his wife's financial affairs, we have come to learn that all that time at Notre Dame and Regent University did little to orient his moral compass; it remains, it seems, pointing in one self-serving direction.

Having already proven they are unperturbed standing in this swill, trading places shouldn't bother them in the least.  

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Another Ethical Mess for Cooch?

by: Elaine in Roanoke

Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 16:14:28 PM EDT

We all know by now that Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli both suffer from a form of Republican temporary amnesia caused by being found out about gifts given to them by a sleaze ball trying to curry favor. And, when it comes to stock in a dubious corporation being investigated by the Feds for possible stock manipulation, one having multiple class-action lawsuits against it, McDonnell got a unique form of that amnesia known as "I don't know what my wife did with $50,000." Cooch, on the other hand, just "forgot" that he bought $12,000 worth of Star Scientific stock, which he sold at a profit. (Funny, selling stock at a profit isn't something I've ever forgotten.)

There may be yet another scandal waiting for the memory-impaired twins of Virginia GOP politics. In late July, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sought an IRS investigation into whether McDonnell and Cuccinelli violated the Internal Revenue Code by failing to report income received from Jonnie R. Williams and Star Scientific Inc. and failing to pay taxes on said income. Now, Cooch will certainly do a "McDonnell" and claim that these were "gifts," but the IRS code isn't as forgiving as Virginia's non-existent ethics laws.

If Cooch claims that a big box of Star Scientific's Anatabloc given to him, worth more than $6,000, was a gift that he didn't have to report as income, he will have to explain away a statement by William's' attorney that the product given to Cuccinelli was "part of the company's regular marketing practices."  That is not a "gift." He also will have to explain away the fact that Jonnie Williams provided Cooch and family with vacations at the specific request of Cooch. That doesn't sound like a gift that meets the criteria of the IRS for exemption from taxes. To be exempt, gifts have to be made with a "detached and disinterested generosity," not at the request of the recipient. An additional problem is that Cuccinelli has admitted  Williams talked to him about the tax case the state has against Star Scientific and Cooch recommended Terry KIlgore as a lawyer knowledgeable about the state tax code. Is that a quid pro quo??

Cooch brags that he "released" several years of tax returns, but that's not quite the truth. He allowed selected reporters to look at the tax returns and make notes, but he did not allow copies to be made public. He's good enough a lawyer to know that if the IRS finds he has willfully misrepresented information on his tax returns, he faces felony charges. We can only hope....

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Rightward-Facing Dog: Who is

by: kindler

Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 05:00:00 AM EDT

Cross-posted at Daily Kos

If you want to know the source of the conspiracy theories floating around Terry McAuliffe's former company, GreenTech Auto, look no further than a little website named and its so-called "Virginia bureau."  It sounds like some sort of muckraking investigative site -- until a closer look reveals that this is in fact a watchdog trained to only bark at Democrats and wag its tail at Republicans.

However, it's not just another volunteer-based, opinionated blog like, say, Blue Virginia.  Watchdog is funded by big corporate, conservative interests -- including the Koch brothers -- to essentially manage the opposition research for campaigns like Ken Cuccinelli's so that the campaigns can focus their time and money on other things.  

They're certainly not legitimate journalists, but they've established their "bureaus" in state capitals across the country, and some state capital correspondents' associations grant them press credentials.  Unfortunately that includes our very own Virginia Capital Correspondents Association, of which Watchdog's Kenric Ward -- unlike any other blogger or lobbyist -- is allowed to be a member.

Thanks to some investigative journalism done about them, here's what we do know about the shadowy

It gets big bucks from right wing donors:  Watchdog is run by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, which itself was launched by the conservative Sam Adams Alliance.  These groups are so tied in to all the other major Tea Party power brokers and organizations that it's hard to go through all those links without pulling out a progressive version of Glenn Beck's chalkboard.  

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Cuccinelli gets ruffled in Roanoke over question related to campaign donations from Big Energy

by: Progressive86

Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 10:53:42 AM EDT

In today's spend-heavy era of American politics, it's admittedly difficult for political candidates to fund their campaigns and their hopes for elected office without reaching far and wide for political handouts. Perhaps now more than ever the question becomes, is it appropriate for a political candidate to take money from groups or individuals that have diametrically opposed interests to at least a segment of the potential or actual constituency of the said candidate?

For Virginia's attorney general, and Republican Party candidate for Virginia governor, Ken Cuccinelli, the answer has unequivocally been, "Yes, I'll take campaign donations just about anyone who offers it." And so the plot thickens.

When asked by an attendee of Cuccinelli's campaign stop at the Hotel Roanoke on Friday whether or not he felt it was acceptable to take campaign donations from Consol, Virginia's attorney general responded, "Well I need a lot more donations. My opponent is outspending me like 2:1." In other words, Cuccinelli's argument is that he's in this 'contest' to win, not to necessarily worry about the ethical implications of his behaviors.

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Can Any Virginia Republicans Stand Cuccinelli?

by: kindler

Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 11:13:37 AM EDT

The people in politics and government who know Cuccinelli best are his fellow Republicans.  How intensely do they dislike him?  Let me count the ways:  

Exhibit A: Bob vs. Ken: Last week, Bob McDonnell announced that he's going to spend the next week touring the state, touting his accomplishments -- essentially campaigning for himself rather than Cuccinelli, his party's choice to succeed him.  Anyone else find that a little odd?

Not that McDonnell's endorsement would be worth that much these days anyway.  But by the same token, having him on the road across the state is just one more distraction from Cuccinelli's own campaign.

The two of them are basically taking turns trying to throw each other under the bus --
Cuccinelli trying to erase the smell of the Jonnie Williams Star-gate scandal by calling for a special session of the General Assembly to enact a gift ban -- which McDonnell rejected; and McDonnell blaming Cuccinelli for the cost of his attorneys, appointed after Cuccinelli, having enjoyed his own gifts from Jonnie, recused himself.  

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The Swift-Boating of Terry McAuliffe

by: kindler

Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:00:00 AM EDT

The Republican Swift boat campaign against Terry McAuliffe has now begun in earnest. As is typical of GOP message campaigns, it is being spread in a coordinated, multi-media fashion with similar talking points being repeated by a variety of sources to create the illusion of a "bandwagon effect". This was only to be expected as Ken Cuccinelli's chief campaign strategist, Chris LaCivita, was media advisor to the infamous Swift Boat Veterans for Truth organization that so brutally smeared John Kerry in his 2004 presidential campaign.

Unfortunately, the media rarely applies the investigative resources needed to figure out what's really going on here -- it's a lot easier to say things like "both sides are accused of scandals" or similar meaningless nonsense. So sometimes us regular folks need to do the digging.  

The Repubs are blowing out so much smoke right now that it can be hard to sort the truth from the poppycock.  So this is my humble attempt to begin to set the record straight.

The Players: A "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy"
Over the weekend, the McAuliffe campaign put out a statement in response to all the allegations being thrown against it, and the Cuccinelli campaign followed with an attack (both here at Ryan Nobles' blog.)  McAuliffe's statement made one reference to Sen. Chuck Grassley (IA-R), the source of much of the current attention to Terry's former company, GreenTech Auto: "I find it unfortunate that a Republican Senator from Iowa...selectively released information for the purpose of partisan attacks instead of getting facts."

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EXCLUSIVE Blue Virginia Interview with Terry McAuliffe: Part II

by: kindler

Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 07:30:00 AM EDT

Intro: Recently, the McAuliffe for Governor campaign graciously provided Blue Virginia editors lowkell and kindler the opportunity to interview Terry for 45 minutes at his campaign HQ in Arlington. The following interview is edited for length and to focus on highlights of our conversation. We posted the first part of the interview yesterday; this is the second and final installment. Cross-posted at Daily Kos.

" an investment, not an expense"

lowkell: Ken Cuccinelli likes to say he's "Frugal Ken" and you're supposedly "Union Terry."  Two part question: First, I'm wondering what you think of Cuccinelli's claim to be "frugal," especially given his waste of money pursuing climate scientists and all this frivolous litigation he's mostly lost -- and his plan is to have these huge tax cuts for the wealthy and for corporations, which would blow a massive hole in Virginia's budget.

Terry: Well, "Frugal Ken" is a cute little slogan.  But this election is not about cute slogans -- we've got big issues facing us, many of which we've already discussed. It's not frugal if you're going to go before people and say I'm going to give you a $1.4 billion tax cut per year. I would love to run for governor and promise you billions of dollars in tax cuts. But I won't do that, because I'm realistic and honest. That is fiscally irresponsible.

I thought the debate was pretty clear -- he was asked how he was going to pay for it and he could not answer. Which tax incentives are you going to eliminate? He could not give one. So it's slogans. I'm not going to do that. As you know, Vince Callahan, who was the longest-serving Republican House of Delegates member, former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, came out and said this would blow a gigantic hole in the budget. It would wreak havoc at the local level.

And at the end of the day, it would most likely just take money out of education and public health. At a time we need to be investing in education -- which is an investment, not an expense -- you're going to be taking this money out of education, not saying how you're going to pay for it? What people want in their governor is an honest approach, bipartisan, fiscally responsible, like you had with Warner and Kaine, protecting our AAA bond rating while investing in education.

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EXCLUSIVE Blue Virginia Interview with Terry McAuliffe: Part I

by: kindler

Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 09:09:09 AM EDT

Intro: Recently, the McAuliffe for Governor campaign graciously provided Blue Virginia editors lowkell and kindler the opportunity to interview Terry for 45 minutes at his campaign HQ in Arlington. Terry was energetic and enthusiastic as always, even as he noted that the campaign is keeping him going regularly from 6 am to midnight. The following interview is edited for length and to focus on highlights of our conversation. This is the first installment; the second will be posted tomorrow. Cross-posted at Daily Kos

"I want other people to have those same experiences that Terry McAuliffe had."

kindler: I recently went canvassing for your campaign, and while I found many Democrats motivated to get out and vote, many of them still don't know you well.  To help introduce yourself to these voters, can you please tell us the 2-3 things Virginia Democrats most need to know about you as a person?

Terry: Listen, I'm a kid who grew up in a middle class family, started his first business at fourteen, paid for college because I either got to work or I wasn't sure I was going to go.  I've always been involved in business and politics.  I feel like I'm the luckiest guy in the world, I've had so many great experiences, I want other people to have those same experiences that Terry McAuliffe had.

There are a lot of things I could do in my life. This is not the easiest business in the world, but you need to have folks willing to step up to the plate.  I'm going to fight for families, fight for jobs.  So for me it's personal.  I like to get things done, I love to be in the arena.  I have Teddy Roosevelt's quote behind my desk [reprinted here]:

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

I will never be that poor timid soul -- I'm going to be in that arena fighting for people, because I'm passionate about helping them.

"You cannot grow an economy if you're putting walls up around Virginia"

kindler: So as governor, you get four years, and understanding the limits to what you can do, what are the 3 or 4 things you most want to be accomplish?

Jobs and economic development: That is our challenge.  We have been blessed -- we've been the number one recipient of DOD dollars.  That's not going to change, but with $500 billion baked into the Department of Defense cuts, and sequestration going into next year, it's going to be traumatic for us because we are the number one recipient. So the next governor's got a big, big challenge.  

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