With a recent Quinnipiac poll showing Ken Cuccinelli trailing Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe by 6 points, Virginia’s Republican attorney general has decided that he had better start distancing himself from scandal-ridden governor Bob McDonnell.
Cuccinelli’s latest ad cites the Security and Exchange Commission’s investigation of McAuliffe’s former business venture GreenTech. “Cuccinelli personally launched the investigation into Bob McDonnell. And called for immediate reform to strengthen ethics laws,” the ad states after noting the attorney general was cleared of all charges relating to his part in the Star Scientific scandal — by a Democrat. “Those are the facts.” A blistering editorial in the Roanoke Times points out several “facts” that were left out of the ad, including, “The inspector general is investigating whether Cuccinelli’s office aided energy companies in a lawsuit involving gas royalties owed to Virginia property owners.”
News that McDonnell’s wife Maureen twice bought stock from Star Scientific around the time the couple was promoting the supplement company has brought questions about the couple’s involvement with CEO Jonnie R. Williams back into the front pages of local papers. The governor has said he was unaware of his wife’s purchases.
The Quinnipiac poll showed that while the investigation into McAuliffe has voters split on his honesty 39 to 36 percent, 43 percent of voters said they did not find Cuccinelli “honest and trustworthy,” compared to 42 percent who did. The association with the McDonnells along with Cuccinelli’s own gifts from Williams that he disclosed after the governor’s scandal began to break are obviously affecting the public’s perception.
The fact that Cuccinelli can’t attack his opponent’s credibility without defending his own shows the issue is definitely an obstacle but far from the only hurdle that could keep him out of Virginia’s executive mansion. Demographics in Virginia are rapidly shifting in Democrats’ favor, which helped President Obama win the state twice, easily. The Republican nominee — who is noted for his anti-choice beliefs and comparing abortion to slavery — trails with women by 12 percent.
But it’s the attorney general’s controversial use of a sodomy law that outlaws all non-genital-to-genital sex that’s most responsible for branding Ken Cuccinelli as a religious extremist.
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Copyright 2013 The National Memo