Monday, June 10, 2013

Elections against nature: Virginia Governor

Public Policy Polling (PPP) completed their polls in Virginia recently.  They found that in the gubernatorial race between Terry McAuliffe (29/33) and Ken Cuccinelli (32/44) that everyone loses.  Well, sort of.  McAuliffe, with his -4 net favorability leads Cuccinelli by 5 points, 42-37.  PPP found that as voters get to know the candidates better, the more undecided they get about this election.  Clearly, not the trend you want to see.  But if you're either of the candidates, you have to be worried about how negative people see you, 5 months before the election.

McAuliffe, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and top fundraiser for Bill and Hillary Clinton, hasn't made himself look too good.  In his memoir, he mentions that he almost missed the birth of one of his children to go to a party.  It's really easy to use that against somebody, I'd imagine.  You can just repeat that the guy feels that fundraising is more important than family.  Ofcourse, there are legitimate questions about McAuliffe's experience, or lack thereof.  He has also been accused by many past opponents of standing with Wall Street and Donald Trump.  He also may have called black people, colored people.

Of course, this would be a much bigger deal if McAuliffe wasn't running against former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.  Cuccinelli, in 2004, warned of a plot by the LGBT community about dismantling sodomy laws and getting education about homosexuals and AIDS in public schools.  He has announced his opposition to homosexuality, saying that homosexual acts are intrinsically wrong.  In 2003, the Supreme Court struck down anti-sodomy laws in the decision of Lawrence v. Texas. But Virginia kept its state-wide ban, even after the decision.  When the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the law was unconstitutional, Cuccinelli has petitioned for the 4th Circuit Court to hear it again. 

Just to be clear, the law in question is a "crimes against nature" law which forbids anal and oral sex, regardless of who practices it (in theory).  Of course, these laws are arbitrarily enforced and according to the Supreme Court, "intrusion into the private and personal life of the individual." 

The Virginia legislature tried to change the law to only include public sex, sex with minors, and prostitution.  This might make it likely to be able to stand the rigors of the constitutionality question.  Cuccinelli opposed the bill.

Cuccinelli has also opined that abortion clinics that offer first trimester abortions can be regulated. Cuccinelli tried for eight years to have abortion clinics treated as outpatient hospitals and the rest of the state legislature stopped him.  First trimester abortions are generally pretty safe.  I mean, only about 0.3 result in complications. But if you can close 17 out of 21 facilities with these types of laws, you got to do it.

Cuccinelli has also written a letter expressing the opinion that police should ask for the immigration status of people they stop, to stop anti-discrimination policies at public universities, campaigned for a lawsuit against Obamacare, and finally a lawsuit against the EPA for attempting to regulate greenhouse gases.

In between all of this, he has also tried to subpoena and stop one of the first climate scientists who noticed that global temperatures were on the rise.

No wonder people are starting to dislike the candidates the more they find out about them and it's no wonder that Cuccinelli is feeling that disapproval so heavily.

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