Virginia's Attorney General Race

While surfing the web looking for information concerning Virginia's upcoming elections, I happened upon a voter guide page at the Richmond Times-Dispatch website that compared positions of the two candidates running for Virginia's Attorney General seat.

I wish to point out that on several positions Ken Cuccinelli's answers to questions start with something like: "As Attorney General, I would no longer have a vote on that issue, and thus, my position on it really doesn't matter." (Please note, this was not an exact quote.) I guess that is fair for most of the issues the questions asked about, but I am extremely concerned about this type of answer being given on one of the issues.

On the issue of transportation, the candidates were asked:
How should Virginia fund transportation?
Ken Cuccinelli's response?
As Attorney General, I would no longer have a vote on transportation issues, and thus, my role would be rather limited. However, voters can certainly examine my record as a state Senator, where I have long worked on this issue.
What? The Attorney General does not have a role to advise the Governor and the Legislature on whether or not solutions being considered are legal or not? Haven't we learned any lessons from past failed attempts to resolve our transportation problems where the courts had to tell us that the proposed actions were illegal (unconstitutional)?

It dismays me that anyone seeking to run for the office of Attorney General does not understand the responsibilities of the office he is running for. Now I realize that the office of Attorney General does not pay a very big salary, however I am sure the candidates are aware of how much the job pays. If either of them are unwilling to fulfill all the duties of the office because it just doesn't pay enough, well then please do not seek the job.

I am going to point out that the guy running for the office of Governor of Virginia who currently has a significant lead in the polls (that would be Bob McDonnell) has put forth a plan which includes trying to do some things that have very serious constitutional issues included in them. Bob McDonnell has a plan to put up toll booths and collect tolls at the North Carolina state line on I85 and I95. First off, this action would require federal approval and it is doubtful federal approval would be forthcoming. Second, even if federal approval is received, certain segments of our society are going to take the matter to the courts with the position that such action amounts to a thinly veiled attempt to tax interstate commerce and such action is unconstitutional.

We have already wasted enough time where our representatives in Richmond have only come up with plans that the courts had to get involved in and point out that whatever is proposed must be legal. In other words, we can not just do whatever we want without considering whether or not it is constitutional.

Whomever we end up electing might have an opinion that the courts may or may not agree with. However, do we really want to elect someone to the office of Attorney General who does not even understand that it is his responsibility to have an opinion on the issue? That part of his job is to advise the Governor and the Legislature on whether or not proposals pass constitutional muster?

Sigh. Looks like we are going to be in for another few years of inaction on solving our transportation mess. Not only is McDonnell leading in the polls for Governor, Cucinelli is leading in the polls for Attorney General. Not only are we going to have a Governor with a plan for transportation that includes specifics that are just downright foolish, that Governor is going to have an Attorney General who does not even understand it is part of his job to tell the Governor when he is playing the part of the fool.


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