by Josh Israel, Thinkprogress.org December 3, 2012
Virginia’s Republican Party appears poised to nominate state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to be its candidate for governor in 2013 — embracing a man whose extreme political views bear striking resemblance to those of unsuccessful 2012 Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO).
With his fervent anti-science, anti-choice, and anti-LGBT, anti-federal government activism, Akin’s extreme positions were well known long before his infamous August pronouncement that victims of “legitimate rape” are unlikely to become pregnant helped derail his 2012 U.S. Senate campaign. Cuccinelli’s views closely mirror Akin’s in all of those areas.
Over seven-and-a-half years as a Virginia state senator and three years as the commonwealth’s attorney general, Republican Ken Cuccinelli II has been, in the words of the Washington Post’s editorial board, “the most overtly partisan attorney general in Virginia’s history.” Though he claims he is “best known for his efforts to preserve liberty and defend the US Constitution,” it is his opposition to liberty for women and LGBT Americans and his frequent court losses based on his flawed constitutional theories that have defined his political career to date.
While perhaps not as careless as Akin with his rhetoric, Cuccinelli has embraced many of the same extreme positions:
3. He is a climate-change denier. As part of his efforts to cast doubt on climate-change science, he used his position to launch an inquisition against a former University of Virginia climate scientist. Citing possible “fraud against taxpayers,” Cuccinelli demanded the university provide him with a wide range of records relating Dr. Michael E. Mann’s grant applications. A circuit judge and then the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the Attorney General was incorrect in believing he had the legal authority to undertake such a fishing expedition. He blasted the ruling, newspapers blasted him for wasting Virginia tax dollars. He also failed in his federal lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas — a unanimous appeals court upheld the agency’s regulations as based on an “unambiguously correct” reading of the law. Since his legal efforts for climate-change denial failed, he often relies on mockery, asking audiences to exhale carbon dioxide in unison, during his speeches, to annoy the EPA. …
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