On Tuesday, Nov. 5th, Virginia voters will head to the polls to choose their next governor. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a small-government conservative is running against Terry McAuliffe, an ultraliberal businessman from New York who cut his political teeth as a fundraising superstar for the Clinton family. McAuliffe’s wheeler-dealer reputation and deep connections to moneyed-up Democrats in Washington and New York are well known, but his campaign conduct proves even more disturbing.
For more than a year McAuliffe ran a substance-free campaign, choosing to focus all of his energy on scaring voters into believing his opponent will prohibit abortion, birth control and even divorce. He flooded the airwaves with nauseatingly misleading advertisements asserting that Cuccinelli plans to fire over 8,000 Virginian teachers and shut down the state government as noted by Politifact analyzing one particular McAuliffe TV ad. McAuliffe chose to run on gimmicky Democratic retreads, like the fictional “war on women.” It would seem he only knows how to build himself up by tearing others down. Virginians deserve a better kind of leader.
On the other hand, Cuccinelli ran on his stellar record of public service as a state senator and attorney general. In the Virginia General Assembly, he fought for policies that made the Commonwealth more economically competitive and attractive to business. As of right now, Virginia’s economy is doing superb, with the second lowest unemployment rate east of the Mississippi River and the thirteenth lowest in the country, at 5.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Lower taxation has drove economic growth and census data from 2012 shows that Virginia’s population swelled by over one hundred thousand. All these gains could easily be reversed if he wrong policies are allowed to take hold.
There are serious issues in Virginia, such as a transportation system hobbled by traffic congestion and poor management. However, it will not be fixed by contracts that lavish billions of taxpayer dollars on big labor unions. The tax hikes embedded in this year’s transportation bill will surely do more harm than good, and Cuccinelli was right to oppose them.
Cuccinelli is a steadfast fighter for the rights of Virginians, particularly in the battle against Obamacare. He was the first attorney general in the country to sue the federal government to stop the law, and he had the tenacity to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court. He continued to oppose it vigorously by resisting the expansion of Medicaid and the creation of a government-run health care exchange. In contrast, McAuliffe is a loyal supporter of Obamacare and pledged to shut down Virginia’s government if the legislature refuses to pony up for the Medicaid expansion.
In personal matters, the two men are vastly different. Cuccinelli spent his entire life in Virginia. He went to school here, attended the state’s prestigious public universities, including the University of Virginia and George Mason Law School, and raised his family in Prince William County.
McAuliffe was born and raised in New York. He lived in Fairfax County for over twenty years, but he has not been very good to his new home state. When he founded an electric car company, he pledged to open its flagship factory in Virginia and promised thousands of jobs. Instead, he used his political clout to gain tax favors in Mississippi, opened up shop there, and imported workers from China in a “visa-for-sale” investment scheme. His company is currently under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for misleading investors. His campaign slogan is “Jobs First,” but his actions and words are clearly not in alignment.
For these reasons, and many more, the UMW College Republicans are enthusiastically supporting Cuccinelli for governor. We believe that Mary Washington students who want to live and work in Virginia after graduation will have a more secure and prosperous future with Cuccinelli in the Governor’s Mansion. Under his stewardship, Virginia will continue to be a source of boundless innovation and economic power.
We also hope that his victory will be accompanied by the election of a Republican lieutenant governor, attorney general and a conservative General Assembly ready to work to implement the policies that Virginians need.
Max Reinhardt is Chairman of the UMW College Republicans