“Stark contrast for voters in Virginia governor’s race.”
That’s the headline on the Washington Post’s Guide to the Governor’s Race in the Old Dominion.
And the lead paragraphs of Ben Pershing’s article
go like this:
“They’re both Catholic men with large families who live in Northern Virginia and want to be the commonwealth’s next governor. That’s essentially where the similarities end between Attorney General Ken T. Cuccinelli II and businessman Terry R. McAuliffe.
“Elections are about choices, and Virginians will be presented with very stark contrasts on their ballots Nov. 5. … From résumé to ideology to governing style, the two hopefuls present strikingly different visions of how they would lead the state.”
It is not until the 19th paragraph (of 24 in the story) that Pershing gets to the crucial contradiction of his “contrast” angle. Both Cuccinelli and McAuliffe are simply unacceptable.
As Pershing most decorously puts it: “Cuccinelli and McAuliffe do have one other thing in common — ethics problems.”
Let’s start with Terry McAuliffe. For most of his life, McAuliffe has been increasingly gainfully employed as what is known at the track as “a tout,” or more precisely at courthouses and capitols, “a fixer.”
Using his political connections, McAuliffe has connected politicians with funders (many of them simply buyers), and entrepreneurs or service providers with projects, many of them publically-funded, publically initiated projects. For his work, McAuliffe takes a fee of the sort that has increasingly become a “price of doing business.”
It is probably only a slight exaggeration to say, a lot of the “Terry McAuliffe tax” comes right out of our pockets before being laundered in this “doing business together” way.
On the rare occasion upon which McAuliffe placed himself in a position of corporate responsibility, as Chair of GreenTech, the electric car company he co-founded, he had to resign, last December, with investigators from the SEC in hot pursuit.
Compared to McAuliffe, Cuccinelli is much more a common thief. He got caught up in a more McAuliffe-sized caper tied to his boss, present Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell. As Pershing reports, “Cuccinelli took $18,000 in gifts” from Star Scentific, a maker of food supplements, which, Federal Prosecutors say, was “seeking favors” from the Governor, his wife and his Attorney General, Cuccinelli. Cuccinelli tried covering this up, but after he was embarrassed, Pershing notes, he “eventually wrote a check for the amount to charity.”
But Pershing has more: "Separately, the attorney general’s office is being investigated by the state inspector general’s office, which is probing whether a lawyer in the office gave improper legal help to out-of-state energy companies being sued over gas royalties by Southwest Virginia landowners."
Elsewhere, Pershing says one of the big “contrasts” between the candidates is that McAuliffe wants to push climate change reform and investment in “green” energy, while Cuccinelli calls this “attacking the coal companies,” whom he passionately defends.
The effect of this economically as well as environmentally significant issue on McAuliffe or Cuccinelli’s campaign treasuries is not mentioned in the article.
But there is something much more decisive that is completely absent from Ben Pershing’s Washington Post Guide to the Governor’s Race: the words “trans-vaginal probe.”
Oh yes, Pershing lists “abortion” (in as many words) as something the Democrat and the Republican disagree on, but here’s how Cuccinelli’s political persona is summed up: “He wants lower taxes, slower growth in spending and a more efficient, less intrusive government.”
A man whose version of “less intrusive government,” includes government-mandated use of a trans-vaginal probe on pregnant females is intellectually, politically and morally unacceptable.
For the Post, the dominant newspaper of Northern Virginia, to go silent on this issue is also unacceptable.
And McAuliffe, is at least as bad.
Between the 2 of them, Cuccinelli and McAuliffe exemplify the failure of today's American politics and the utter worthlessness of both the Republican and Democratic Parties.
Real political reform should begin with outright rejection of both these assholes. Virginians have a third choice, a lawyer named Robert Sarvis, running as a Libertarian. Pershing says, “Sarvis has positioned himself as more fiscally conservative than McAuliffe, more socially liberal than Cuccinelli and more likable and scandal-free than both.” Then he blows him off by noting, third-party candidates have never done well in Virginia.
Well, never before in Virginia history have the two-party choices been so reprehensible.
I would say, “Never in American history,” but some would argue, the choice in Louisiana in 1991 between famously corrupt former Democratic Governor and future Federal prisoner Edwin Edwards and Republican Ku Klux Klan-front man David Duke was even worse. To me, Edwards was, and amazingly, still is immensely entertaining, even if he imposed costs to his taxpayers of McAuliffian proportions; while Duke seemed not to take his malevolent racism anywhere near as seriously as Cuccinelli embraces his fundamentalist agenda.
And besides, the Edwards-Duke race and its unforgettable Edwards bumper sticker, “VOTE FOR THE CROOK, IT’S IMPORTANT” were a sideshow of contemporary politics, not as the Virginia race is, the epitome.
McAuliffe is the guy who helped sell America on “change is your friend,” as if Bill Clinton and Robert Rubin were any more of a change from Ronald Reagan and Donald Regan or George H.W. Bush and Nick Brady than Barack Obama and Tim Geithner would be. Publically disgraced many times over, he sticks like a barnacle to the dead-in-the-water Democrats.
Cuccinelli is the guy who does not want government to tax private citizens or regulate large corporations, but thinks the privacy of the bedroom or birthing room is just where government should insert its probing nose.
And these are the best either party could do?!!
Wait till you see the choices for President in 2016: an aged, amiable gaffe-machine, a ruthless, perpetual self-promoter whose Senatorial and State Department careers are absolutely empty of definable achievements in original legislation or policy, versus a much younger, amiable former Fat-joke (who, as a Federal prosecutor steered an important contract for labor union oversight to the completely inexpert John Ashcroft as a reward for his service in the G.W. Bush Cabinet), or the Texas Governor who majored in memory loss, or the Florida Senator of lived on the edge of the law for years, living off expense money from his home state GOP organization.
If this isn’t a crisis, if this isn’t a death spiral of leadership whose consequences cover the earth from Iraq to Afghanistan to Syria, and everywhere else the NSA gathers up data (which is everywhere else), I don’t know what you’d call it.
Does anyone doubt, both in coping with foreign competition and the realities of the 21st Century, that American government, America is failing?
Can you name two political parties who are responsible for this egregious failure?
I’d say the same 2, the Republicans and the Democrats, who defecated on the governor’s ballot in Virginia.
Virginians within ear or eyeshot, spoil your Governor ballot, or vote for Libertarian Sarvis (with his 2-party legislature, he can, at worst, do little harm).
But say NO to the Devils…and withdraw your registration from either of the mainstream parties. The country has lain with these dogs long enough. The fleas are coming home to bite.