Sunday, August 02, 2009

Where Cuccinelli Stands

From Ken Cuccinelli, candidate for Attorney General

August 1, 2009

Dear Fellow Virginians,
For those of you that have been asking, here is a checklist of some of the issue differences I have with my opponent. Mind you, this is NOT comprehensive, and certain issues are more directly and frequently related to the responsibilities of the Attorney General, but I won't go into that level of detail here.

Issue Δ
First, I have to explain what "Δ" means. I was an engineer before I was a lawyer, and I still think like an engineer. Much of the very little shorthand that I have uses engineering symbols. "Δ" is 'delta' in Greek, and in engineering it stands for 'the difference.' E.g., the Δ between 15 and 50 is 35. So, here it is, from lowest numbered constitutional amendment to highest and alphabetically:

2nd Amendment: I support it as an individual right for law abiding adults, while my opponent supports gun control.

5th Amendment (property rights/eminent domain): This is a little confusing because since the U.S. Supreme Court's Kelo decision, the 5th Amendment no longer protects property rights. I have been a premier leader in pushing to re-establish property rights - as the founding fathers wanted - both in Virginia law and in our state constitution. In 2007, after three years of work, I succeeded in getting a law passed protecting property rights, but we continue to work to get a constitutional amendment. My opponent has opposed these efforts, siding instead with the special interests that want to be able to easily take your property by using their political connections. This is why Verizon, among the biggest opponents of property rights, has sided with my opponent in this race. Because he's a guy they can "work with." You know what that means, right?

10th Amendment: This is the state sovereignty amendment, and it reads "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the Sates respectively, or to the people." When the federal government oversteps its constitutional boundaries, as it seems poised to do in areas like our right to work laws, then the 10th Amendment gives states a way to fight back in court. In our only debate (you may recall that my opponent is ducking debates), I said that I would resist certain federal encroachments, such as in the area of right to work and in order to allow Virginia to maintain its own regulatory authority (cap and trade anyone?).

In that debate, I challenged my opponent to make the same commitment. He would not commit to protecting Virginia from such encroachments. And for those of you that may have attended a Tea Party recently, my opponent held a telephone conference call for the press last month in which he condemned the entire "Tea Party movement" (in case you weren't sure what he thought of YOU...).

Energy: I support drilling offshore for oil, while my opponent does not - this despite the fact that in our first debate he correctly stated that such energy production is important to our national security. I also have a much better record of protecting our coal industry while continuing to push for the cleaner use of coal. I support the aggressive expansion of our nuclear industry and making accommodations so market-competitive alternative energy can be brought on line.

Life: I am pro-life and he is not. He has a Family Foundation score of 13 - yikes!
Marriage Amendment: I supported it, he flip-flopped, coming out against it just before the election in 2006.

Melendez-Diaz vs. Massachusetts: This is the June 25th case that caused me to ask the Governor to call a special session, which he did, but not until after my opponent called it "a political stunt." Thankfully, Governor Kaine agreed with me and not my opponent. I am on the right track in addressing this legislatively to make sure our prosecutors don't lose any more drunk driving or drug cases because of the Melendez decision. My opponent still hasn't said what his proposed alternative to legislation is in this area, AND he mistakenly claimed that he had a bill in 2007 (HB 2086) that would have fixed the Melendez problem in drunk driving cases, but he got the law wrong! Woops.

Right to work: I strongly support Virginia's right to work laws, while my opponent has repeatedly voted against protecting our right to work. He has a 100% voting record with the AFL-CIO, I have a 0%. This is a very important issue to Virginia's economy, and it is threatened by federal "card check" legislation (which is why our stands on the 10th Amendment are so important). Maybe this is why both the AFL-CIO and the SEIU both donated tens of thousands of dollars to my opponent in June!

Supporting small business: I earned my second 100% scorecard in a row from the NFIB (the small business folks, and the only pure business group left in Richmond). NFIB's scorecards cover two years each, so I've had a 100% voting record for four straight years, also earning their "Guardian of Small Business Award" in 2007 for my leadership on property rights protection (only a select few of NFIB's 100% voters ever get this award). On the other hand, my opponent has a 50% score on the most recent NFIB scorecard.

Taxes: Part of being for limited government means limiting taxes wherever possible. I have been a strong fighter against tax increases, while my opponent has regularly supported them. He has even voted for sales tax increases after campaigning hard against that particular tax (woops, another flip-flop).

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