Saturday, December 10, 2011

Washington Post Slam's Cuccinelli's Plan to Campaign at Taxpayer's Expense

For six decades with one exception - who also was a Republican for the record - Virginia Attorney Generals have resigned from office once they announce they candidacy for governor. The reasoning is simple: (1) it avoids any appearance of conflict of interest in the performance of one's duties as top attorney for the Commonwealth and (2) it avoids making taxpayers subsidize one's political campaign since the reality, the campaign will preempt the performance of one's paid duties (Mark Earley, a former law partner of mine, was AG and later ran for governor, so I know first hand the time demands of such a campaign). In short, resigning from office is the honorable and ethical thing to do. Which is exactly why Ken "Kookinelli" Cuccinelli has said he will not follow the 60 year tradition. As with most Christianist extremists, Kookinelli talks alot about ethics and concern for taxpayers, but his actions tell the real story. The Washington Post is rightly appalled at Kookinelli's plan to campaign at taxpayer expense. Here are highlights from it's editorial on the issue:

IT’S EASY TO make the case — and we will, at a later date — that Ken Cuccinelli II, the attorney general of Virginia, already has done a lot to politicize the office he holds, and thereby diminish its status. Nonetheless, Mr. Cuccinelli seems intent on going a step further.

Having announced his intention to run for governor, Mr. Cuccinelli (R) is bucking more than 60 years of bipartisan Virginia history by refusing to do the right thing and resign. Instead, he is insisting on remaining the state’s top lawyer “until the last day of my term,” even as he holds fundraisers, attends events and campaigns for governor. Thus Mr. Cuccinelli will inevitably further politicize his office, adding a partisan cast to every significant move it makes.

Since the 1940s, 10 of Virginia’s 11 elected attorneys general have run for governor, and nine of them have resigned to do so. The past four, including Mr. Cuccinelli’s elected predecessor — the current governor, Robert F. McDonnell — were Republicans; the ones before that were Democrats.

If Mr. Cuccinelli’s intent is to invite cynicism and cast ill repute on the position he holds and the office over which he presides, he is doing a bang-up job.

In a letter to his staff, he attributed his decision to the fact that “the people of Virginia trusted me to be their attorney general, and I intend to give them four full years.” If so, they may also have taken him at his word — frequently stated while he campaigned — that he intended to run in 2013 for reelection as attorney general, which he described as his dream job. It turns out he didn’t mean it.

Now he pledges to give priority to his current job, and Virginians will have to hope that his legal decisions will not be colored by his candidacy.

In my opinion, Cuccinelli is a sleaze bag and a prime example of those who want to suckle on the government tit - something he claims to abhor - while expending his time and efforts elsewhere. Why does the term hypocrite come to mind?

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