When you’re trailing in the polls and even Republican strategists have dumped you, calling your Democratic opponent the best choice for conservatives, what ya’ gonna do? If you’re Ken Cuccinelli, of “Planned Parenthood is racist” infamy, you pit yourself against the latest boogeyman and hope for the best.
To this end, Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli now appears to be running against both his actual opponent, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, and embattled Republican governor Bob McDonnell in his new ad.
First the ad slams Terry McAuliffe for GreenTech Automotive, and then it claims that Cuccinelli was cleared of any wrongdoing. His main argument seems to be to vote for him because everyone else is also corrupt.
“The truth? There’s only one candidate under investigation: Terry McAuliffe. Potential fraud that killed jobs and threatened national security. The press calls McAuliffe’s attacks false. A Democrat commonwealth attorney cleared Cuccinelli of any wrongdoing. Cuccinelli personally launched the investigation into Bob McDonnell and called for immediate reform to strengthen ethics laws.”
Sure, Cuccinelli was cleared, but not exactly in a ringing endorsement. They determined that Cuccinelli’s lapses look questionable, “one cannot help but question whether repeated omissions of gifts from Williams are coincidence or a pattern reflecting intent to conceal…” His being cleared says more about the holes in Virginia ethics laws than it says about Cuccinelli’s guilt or innocence.
We delved into Cuccinelli’s attempts to distance himself from McDonnell in July. Cuccinelli is the current Attorney General of Virginia, and while he may not be locked in meetings with federal prosecutors and hoping like Hell that he won’t be charged with a crime, he isn’t exactly smelling like a rose.
Cuccinelli owns $10,000 of Star Scientific stock and he also failed to properly disclose that investment, along with some gifts and such from Star Scientific. He didn’t ‘remember’ to make the disclosure until after Star revealed it was under federal investigation. This is not a shining example of ethics upon which to draw a stark comparison to Bob McDonnell’s criminal worthy failures.
For a super clear picture of just how entangled Cuccinelli is, see Brian Devine’s timeline at ProgressVA. It sheds “light on the lucrative relationship between one company, the Governor, and Attorney General of Virginia.”
This new ad is not going to help Cuccinelli, who managed to make a national joke of himself when he demonized oral sex. Ken’s biggest job in this election was to keep voters in the dark about who he really was, and the ladies at the View made that impossible.
Ethics investigations and felonies rarely stop a Republican from winning an election, but in this case, Cuccinelli was so close to McDonnell that he’s wrapped in the governor’s stench right now. Still, McAuliffe isn’t a rose either. The problem for Cuccinlli is that if his big argument is that everyone in this race is corrupt but he was cleared, that evens the playing field and leads us to his stance on the issues. It may be that Virginians do not want oral sex outlawed.
And deeper than that, with his fear of oral sex, Cuccinelli revealed his extremism in an easy to digest manner.
It’s not as if Ken was doing a super good job at burying his extremism. Republican women and Virginia business leaders fled from his ticket long before the ladies on the View exposed him to the nation and the gift scandal broke.
Listen to Sarah on the PoliticusUSA Pod on The Daily newsletter podcast here.
Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump.
Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.