Too close to count in Virginia so let’s change the rules

Rachel Maddow traces the discovery of the missing ballots in Fairfax County, starting with Ben Tribbett’s declaration that it appeared that around 3,000 ballots were missing from District 8.   Ben Tribbett is the blogmeister of NotLarrySabato blog as well as a local democratic.

The real crime here is the way those provisional ballots have to be counted.  I have never heard of anyone having to go in person to defend their ballot.  Several facts remain clear.  Cuccinelli should have resigned as Attorney General.  There is simply too much room for conflict of interest, especially with some of his prior … nice way to say this, conflict of interest.  He chose not to follow tradition and do the right thing.

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Cuccinelli slides further down the slippery slope

AG refuses to resign whiling running for governor.
AG refuses to resign while running for governor.

SINCE WORLD WAR II, 10 of Virginia’s 11 attorneys general have run for governor. Nine of those 10, Democrats and Republicans alike, resigned to do so, and for good reason: They were loath to politicize an office whose effectiveness and prestige depend on making legal judgments untainted by politics.

Despite that wise precedent, Virginia’s current attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli II (R), has refused to follow suit. He has clung to his position even as he angled for his party’s gubernatorial nomination, bringing a cloud over his office and casting doubt on its ability to act impartially as the state’s legal counsel.

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Mark Herring to run for Attorney General

Finally,  an attorney general without his own personal agenda.

Mark Herring would replace someone with an all out assault on progressive thinking.   Electing Mark Herring would be a chance to undo the embarrassment of having Ken Cuccinelli as Attorney General.  I don’t think there would be a need to have a Herring Watch.  That just doesn’t have the same ring as Cooch Watch.

Ken Cuccinelli’s Witch Hunt

Ken Cuccinelli’s witch hunt against climate scientist Michael Mann was stopped by the Supreme Court.  Good for UVA for failing to roll over and play dead.  However, in the wake of this law suit are a lot of unpaid  bills.  UVA had to raise about $600,000 to cover its legal costs .  Then there are the bills generated from the State Attorney General’s office.  Let’s hear Cuccinelli try to tell us to ‘stop the spending.’   He has lost his fiscally conservative street cred. 

This witch hunt was motivated by Cuccinelli’s own personal political agenda rather than from anything real that happened or any reasonable suspicion of wrong-doing while Dr. Mann was in residence at UVA. The newly elected attorney general  had a bug and he rashly wasted the taxpayers’ money pursuing his own silly paranoid  anti-scientific endeavors.

According to the Washington Post:

Mr. Cuccinelli’s inspiration appears to have been the conspiracy theorizing that emerged from the so-called Climategate scandal, in which global-warming opponents stole scientists’ e-mails — including a few of Mr. Mann’s — and then misinterpreted them to justify their activism.

Now that the Supreme Court has shut Mr. Cuccinelli down, what’s left is a range of consequences that can only hurt the commonwealth. The university had to raise nearly $600,000 for legal fees — money the cash-strapped university should have been able to use for something productive. On top of that are the public resources of the attorney general’s office that Mr. Cuccinelli wasted. Scientists in Virginia now have reason to wonder whether they will suffer similar pressure if they publish research government officials don’t like. And, because of some of the Supreme Court’s legal findings, the powers of the attorney general to pursue actual fraud have been clipped.

How many scientists will not want to work at UVA because of the climate of fear inspired by Cuccinelli?  Virginia has a long history of enlightenment that goes back to the time of Jefferson, Washington, and even further.  To have Cuccinelli try to ride his wave of anti-intellectual hocus pocus through the state at our expensive is simply unacceptable.  Mr. Jefferson would not like his school under attack and Virginians are tired of this administration causing them continual embarrassment.