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The Blue & Gray Press | November 20, 2018

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Cuccinelli to speak at UMW

by FRANCES WOMBLE

Va. Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, will give a 30-minute speech at the University of Mary Washington on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Federal Communications Commission regulations on Saturday, Sept. 17.

Senior Will Spaulding, Legislative Action Committee (LAC) chairman, booked Cuccinelli for the event and said he was very excited when he learned that Cuccinelli would be able to make it.

“It’s important to note that this Saturday is Constitution Day,” he said. “It’s a big deal for a politician to come.”

He added that last year the LAC did voter registration, but this year wanted to do something more educational.

“It’s a great way to get the entire student body in a discussion about the Constitution and how it relates to current issues and rights,” Spaulding said.

Senior Erica Gouse, chairman of College Republicans, agrees.

“The Attorney General is the spokesperson of the Constitution,” she said.

Gouse also thinks the event is a great opportunity for students.

“The student body can learn a lot about the health care debate and why [Cuccinelli] is trying to appeal it.  While we are a smaller school, we have a large impact on the area around us,” she said.

Spaulding feels the question-and-answer session after Cuccinelli’s speech will provide the UMW community with an opportunity to gain new insight on the health care law.

“I think a lot of people hear a lot about the health care mandate, but don’t understand what it means,” he said.

Last March, Cuccinelli sent a letter to Virginia state colleges and universities urging them to remove policies than ban discriminations based on sexual orientation, which garnered much criticism.  Spaulding is aware of this letter but does not see it being problematic.

“I’m going to request that the audience keep their question on topic,” he said, referring to health care and FCC regulations.  “I don’t foresee any problems though.”

Senior Evan McLaughlin, a member of the grassroots-organizing group Virginia Organizing, is putting together a protest for the event in addition to planning on asking tough questions of Cuccinelli.

“We just want to show him that not everyone supports what he’s trying to do,” McLaughlin said.

Senior Brendan Oudekerk, president of UMW’s Young Democrats is also planning on addressing Cuccinelli’s letter. He said he would be joining some of his fellow Young Democrats in attending the event because of the opportunity to ask Cuccinelli questions.

“Our big issue is his letter,” Oudekerk said.  “We oppose his political ideals, and his letter was completely inappropriate and unnecessary.  We want to know why he targeted the LGBT community.  We do not think he is right for Virginia.”

Comments

  1. Mary Weaver Mann

    When I called the campus police this morning, to find out exactly when and where our Attorney General would speak on campus, for “30 minutes,” I was surprised that they had no knowledge of the event. I would have thought that they would want to be sure of his security.

    I referred them to your article, which was deficient on those points, and they decided to do more research. After waiting about 5 minutes, I was told he would speak “between 12 and 4 at Jepson.”

    Apparently it WAS to have been outside near Monroe, but was moved to Jepson, inside, according to General Cuccinelli’s security guard with whom I spoke at another Constitution event later in the day. There was no one where they had been told to go originally.

    He noted that visitors were touring the campus, and perhaps they were not to be exposed to the protesters–who obviously knew where to go and when.

    UMW students were not gracious, apparently.
    Some students may not agree with our Attorney General,
    but HE is always polite, refined, and a true gentleman
    with good values.
    I just wish I could have been on campus to show him my support.

  2. anonymous

    As an admissions ambassador, I am very glad that “the Cooch” was moved inside. We would not want prospective students to get confused and think they were touring Liberty “University” instead of UMW.