Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cuccinelli Consistent. Shannon Shifting.

Today was the first Attorney General debate of the general election. In the leadup to it, Steve Shannon wanted to limit the use of audio and video clips from the debate. I think Ken Cuccinelli's press release explains why.

Cuccinelli answers questions, takes positions - Steve Shannon? Well, he was there.

Candidates agree that debates are substantive for campaigning, agree to hold more.

Virginia Beach -

In the Commonwealth's first debate for the office of Attorney General hosted by the Virginia Bar Association, Republican Senator Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Steve Shannon touched on a host of issues that demonstrated a wide difference in opinion and approach as to how they would operate as Attorney General.

Cuccinelli made clear that he would support and defend Virginia's right to work laws, where Steve Shannon has a 100% voting record with the AFL-CIO. Shannon refused to take a position on "Cap and Trade" - an issue that the next Attorney General will have to deal with as Washington continues to encroach on States economic prerogatives.

"I am pleased that Steve and I had this opportunity to debate on such a wide variety of topics said Senator Ken Cuccinelli. Virginians will be surprised to learn that not only will Steve Shannon not take positions on important issues but that if and when he does he will almost assuredly change them. Virginians need an Attorney General they can count on. As your next Attorney General I will interpret and defend the constitution and will remain consistent in my beliefs" added Cuccinelli.

In a debate lasting a little over an hour, moderated by the Executive Director of the Sorensen Institute at the University of Virginia Bob Gibson, members of the Virginia State Bar and Virginia's current Attorney General Bill Mims could witness first hand Steve Shannon's unwillingness to state a position on any major issue. His refusal to answer a question on the pending 4th Circuit Court ruling on Partial Birth Abortion and changing (again) position on the marriage amendment is indicative of a man without any sense of direction. He most certainly will have to deal with these and many other questions as Attorney General, but his silence speaks volumes.

Senator Ken Cuccinelli was the only candidate to unveil any major policy initiatives that he would pursue as Attorney General. These proposals will be discussed in detail in the weeks ahead, but go to the core of the job of Attorney General. "The first, consolidating the office of Consumer Affairs under the office of Attorney General would streamline government, provide a clear line of authority for business and get consumers off the Merry-go-around of where to go to get help said Ken Cuccinelli. How much sense does it make to house part of consumer affairs in the Agriculture Department?" added Cuccinelli. The second policy initiative would make the Virginia Court of Appeals a middle level of appeal for all cases, unlike its current, very limited authority. "This will help bring consistent application to the law of Virginia, and will offer the chance for truly meritorious appeals that now do not get consideration because of the Supreme Court's workload limitations," said Senator Cuccinelli. "It's a change a long time in coming."

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