Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will be speaking this Saturday in front of Monroe Hall from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and Virginia Organizing, a grassroots effort to challenge injustice, will be there to let the Attorney General know how the University of Mary Washington students feel.
The Attorney General’s storied record includes advising Virginia Colleges that they should not create anti-discrimination policies for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning students. It also includes denying the spurious claims of the Environmental Protection Agency that greenhouse gases are harmful or cause climate change and issuing a legal opinion that allows police officers to check the immigration status of anyone that they have stopped.
On Saturday, he plans to speak about the dangers posed to Virginia by the Affordable Care Act, and why he is opposing its implementation in Virginia.
Surely his message will be well received by the UMW students who under the law will be able to stay on their parents’ healthcare plan until they are 26 years old, whereas otherwise they would be left to fend for themselves. Surely he has thought of the dangers the law poses to those with preexisting conditions who would otherwise be denied coverage, to the millions of uninsured Virginians who have to wait until an emergency to receive care since they cannot afford coverage, or to the small business owners who under the law receive tax credits to cover their employees’ premiums.
It is time to tell Cuccinelli to stop wasting time and our taxes, and to focus on the issues that truly matter and make our lives in Virginia better. He has wasted them fighting against healthcare coverage for Virginians, he has wasted them fighting against environmental protection from greenhouse gasses and climate change, and he has wasted them attempting to deny the rights of LGBTQ people and immigrant communities in Virginia. When he comes to UMW, we need to tell him that all people in Virginia deserve the rights to be free from discrimination: to be free from harassment and fear of law enforcement and the right to affordable healthcare. Virginia Organizing will be there on Saturday to tell Ken Cuccinelli that he’s failing as our Attorney General and that he’d better step up his performance.
Evan McLaughlin is a senior.