Because APV is a non-partisan organization devoted to a wide range of civic activities (and because we have a tax exempt status), we do not, as a rule, endorse candidates. As far as APV is concerned, we only want you to vote.
Toward that end, I would encourage everyone to keep in mind no matter how politically loathsome a candidate might be, they are also fellow citizens who have spent an inordinate amount of time trying to convince you they are the cat’s meow. And they’re going to feel very bad if all that work isn’t recognized in some way. So, in an effort at bipartisan comity, I’d like to offer a few kudos to those I might not personally favor, much less vote for.
For example, in the Governor’s race, Republican candidate, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has made outstanding strides in areas hardly mentioned in a political context, much less advertised. I speak, of course, of sodomy. As far as I can tell in all of recorded history, sodomy has never before been used as a campaign issue for a Virginia Governor. Either pro or con. Ken defiantly pressed the issue until the US Supreme Court had to tell him to shut up, go home, and don’t come back. A defeat, at one level, but, on another, consider how bravely Mr. Cuccinelli walked into dens where grandmas feared to tread. That’s chutzpah, baby.
Ken Cuccinelli is also a vigorous climate change denier. And yes, this is a good thing, if you happen to be president of a large energy firm or a lobbyist for a large energy firm, or you work for Exxon. He hasn’t exactly advertised this on the campaign trail, but for those who know the candidate, his resume as a climate change denier is pristine. Way back in the mid-2000s, before people really worried about the end of Earth as we know it, Ken was vigorously assaulting the scientists who would make such predictions possible.
Ask Dr. Mann, previously of UVA, whom Mr. Cuccinelli attempted to attack on a tax technicality while conducting climate change science.…
Dr. Mann said that Cuccinelli actions as attorney general were “completely unacceptable, a witch hunt, an inquisition, and a crusade,” all of which “threatened me and my family all to advance his political career.”
This may not sound good, superficially, but if you, too, are a climate change denier (or powerful energy lobbyist) and willing to go after scientists who are trying to report their conclusions to the public despite major disinformation and interference by politicians who wouldn’t know a carbon molecule if it bit them on the butt, than Ken might just be your man.
This goes without mentioning Mr. Cuccinelli’s vigorous support of various financial entities around town, including, of course, Star Scientific, the star (so to speak) at the center of Governor Bob McDonnell’s recent fall from grace (a-hem, scandal), which, curiously, Attorney General Cuccinelli has refused to investigate. I would also mention in passing his illustrious career in the State Senate, funded in part by Pay Day Lending organizations. No doubt those who find usury especially compelling will also enthusiastically support his candidacy.
Of course, if you find litigious usurers, anti-sodomy crusaders and climate change deniers to your liking, Cuccinelli is hardly the only candidate. There’s E.W. Jackson currently running for Lt. Governor whose prosperity gospel makes Cuccinelli’s money changing at the government temple look like an Easter bonnet. Jackson doesn’t defend usurious laws for Pay Day lenders like Cuccinelli. No! He actively seeks the money for himself. If you want a go-getter grifter all in the name of Jesus is Lord, E.W. Jackson is your man. Oh, and bonus points, he’s also totally down with the anti-sodomy campaign.
And finally, we have the man who would be Attorney General looking to fill some BIG shoes. Mark Obenshain can’t quite reach Ken’s stature, but he makes a valiant effort.
Back in 2009, while in the State Senate, Mark Obenshain wanted to require women who had miscarriages without medical attendance to report it to authorities within 24 hours, or be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor (because shortly after a miscarriage every woman wants to race down to the court-house to make sure they aren’t charged with the criminal intent). There’s probably a small, but valid demographic of women who love bureaucratic and potentially criminal entanglements shortly after a miscarriage that will vote for him.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Mark is also a climate change denier which will certainly broaden his appeal. According to Dr. Mann, “The ONE person who stood up to oppose the bill [aimed at preventing another anti-climate-science witch hunt] was Mark Obenshain, and that speaks volumes…about what sort of person he is, what sort of Attorney General he would be…. ”
According to Dr. Mann, Obenshain “will say or do anything to get elected… that’s extremely dangerous for Virginia.”
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, necessarily. There may, in fact, be a small, but vocal minority who favor dangerous things for Virginia. Who are we to judge?
This is all by way of suggesting that each candidate has something to offer the state. As an organization, APV takes no stand either way. But, please– no matter what you decide on Tuesday, remember to vote.