Virginia

Cuccinelli Backers: We Were Betrayed; Expel Bolling

With Ken Cuccinelli’s conservative backers already crying foul about their failed candidate’s supposed mistreatment, the GOP’s Civil War continues.

Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel is fantasizing about voter fraud despite offering absolutely no proof, and Tea Party Nation head Judson Phillips wants Virginia’s Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling — who refused to endorse Cuccinelli — expelled from the GOP:

The Republican Party of Virginia has bylaws that call for the automatic expulsion of members who support Democrats in contested elections. Bill Bolling’s support of Terry McAuliffe has been well documents [sic].



Had the Republican establishment not worked against Cuccinelli, he would be governor today. Conservatives need to make an example of Bolling. He should be persona non grata at any Republican function in Virginia. His name should be synonymous with being a sell out [sic].

And if the Republican Party of Virginia does not publicly expel Bolling, then conservatives need to find a new political party in Virginia.

Just to add some perspective, Phillips hailed Cuccinelli’s running mate E.W. Jackson as the “future of the conservative movement.” Jackson was soundly defeated 55-44%.

John Nolte of Breitbart News attacked Chris Christie for not helping Cuccinelli in Virginia and said that Cuccinelli’s defeat actually helped the Tea Party:

Tuesday night and again Wednesday morning, NBC's Chuck Todd reported that New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie refused to campaign for Ken Cuccinelli, the Virginia Republican who narrowly lost his own governor's race to Democrat Terry McAuliffe. "They begged Christie, and you can make an argument," Todd said on Morning Joe. "That to bring a Chris Christie to Northern Virginia might have helped. But Chris Christie is worried about his own brand."

Part of Christie's brand problem, though, is his behavior during the closing days of last year's presidential campaign. After running one of the most divisive administrations and re-election campaigns in recent memory; in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Barack Obama went to New Jersey seeking bipartisan credibility. And in the eyes of many, Christie went above and beyond to give it to him.



Had Christie taken just a half-day to stump for Cuccinelli, not only would that have helped wash the Sandy stain away, it might have actually made him a hero to the base for both defying the Morning Joe crowd and helping to drag Cuccinelli over the finish line.



If Christie wins the 2016 Republican nomination but loses Virginia, and with it the general election, last night should be remembered as the most short-sighted and spiteful cutting off of the nose to spite the Tea Party in years.

The GOP Establishment and Morning Joe crowd keep lecturing the Tea Party about how it is all about winning elections. In Virginia last night that talking point was laid bare as nothing more than a lie.

Longtime conservative activist Richard Viguerie maintained that Cuccinelli’s loss has nothing to do with his radical views. Viguerie even compared Cuccinelli to Goldwater, who lost the 1964 presidential election in a landslide:

What is clear is that Cuccinelli’s ideas weren’t rejected so much as he was drowned in the sea of money that flowed in to Terry McAuliffe’s campaign to keep Virginia government growing, taxes rising, to roll back the progress social conservatives have made in the state, and most importantly, to keep cronyism as the governing principle at the Virginia state Capitol building.



The betrayal of Ken Cuccinelli by Bolling and other nominal Republicans, such as political consultant Boyd Marcus, mirrors the betrayal of Barry Goldwater by the Republican establishment and their nominal allies in the business community.



George Will once wrote that Barry Goldwater didn't lose in 1964, it just took 16 years, until the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, to count the votes. We expect that the same will be said of Ken Cuccinelli and we believe he will be vindicated in the future.

Ken Cuccinelli did not lose last night because he is a principled limited government constitutional conservative. Cuccinelli lost because he was drowned in a sea of money and undercut by a Republican establishment that would rather see a Democrat in the Governor’s mansion than end the good ole boy politics in Richmond and allow a real conservative anywhere near the levers of power that he might use to make good on Republican promises to govern as limited government constitutional conservatives.

Anti-choice activist Marjorie Dannenfelser said that Cuccinelli was hamstrung by the Star Scientific scandal and “misleading attack ads,” but insisted that the “Republican establishment” is to blame “for abandoning this race.”

Somehow, Dannenfelser thinks that Cuccinelli’s loss shows the need for candidates to emphasize their opposition to abortion rights, even though 61% of Virginia voters [PDF] said they are pro-choice.

In response to Ken Cuccinelli’s close defeat in the Virginia gubernatorial election tonight, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), told LifeNews that the race shows the pro-life movement needs to spend more time exposing how extreme candidates like McAuliffe are on abortion.

“Despite being woefully outspent and compromised both by the government shutdown and the ethics scandal faced by Governor Bob McDonnell, Cuccinelli came within inches of victory. The political prognosticators that can often drive election results by their predictions ought not to have given up on him. The results make clear that more support from outside groups in the final weeks could have changed the outcome. Shame on the Republican establishment for abandoning this race and failing to push Ken over the finish line.

“Terry McAuliffe spent well over $5 million on misleading attack ads about Ken Cuccinelli and the fictitious ‘war on women,’ including running more than 5,600 spots on the abortion issue alone. Attacks on Cuccinelli were left unanswered, or answered too late, and the negative message stuck.

“This election shows that it is imperative for pro-lifers to be on offense in 2014 against the distortions and extremism of the Left. The Democrat strategy for 2014 is set: demonize pro-life candidates and spend big on ‘war on women’ advertising. The party, candidates, and movement must aggressively expose the other side’s extremism and penchant for putting women and children at risk through their abortion policies.”

Women Speak Out – Virginia, the state PAC of the SBA List, raised and spent $870,000 in support of Ken Cuccinelli’s candidacy, working to turn out the pro-life base. The organization canvassed the homes of 69,700 voters, engaged in volunteer calls reaching 255,000 identified pro-life inconsistent voters, and had get out the vote calls reaching as many as 1 million homes.

UPDATE: Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage accused the Republican Party of abandoning Cuccinelli over his opposition to same-sex marriage:

"Too many leaders of the Republican Party have drunk the Kool-Aid of the consulting class that they should abandon conservatives like Ken Cuccinelli because they have taken principled stances on social issues such as preserving marriage and protecting life," said Brown. "How many elections do they need to lose before they realize they are implementing a disastrous election strategy and ruining their chances of success?"

Brown noted that when the marriage issue has been on the ballot, it has outpolled the Republican ticket by a significant margin. Support for traditional marriage polled an average of seven points higher than Mitt Romney did in the four states it was on the ballot in 2012.

"The GOP elite wants candidates to be silent about their views on marriage and other social issues, but election results show that is exactly the wrong thing to do," Brown said. "Election after election has shown that voters across America, including in deep blue states, support traditional marriage by a significantly higher margin than they support the GOP. For the second election in a row, Republican leaders and consultants have pursued a flawed strategy of urging silence on social issues that has cost their candidates. If they don’t wake up, they could face disaster next year."

The Religious Right Faces String Of Election And Gay Rights Defeats, Blown Narrative

After the 2012 election, right-wing activists immediately declared that Mitt Romney lost because he was not conservative enough and that Republican candidates must run to the right if they want to succeed in general elections.

Last night in the swing state of Virginia, however, two extremely conservative candidates both lost in their statewide bids, the first time since 1977 that a candidate from the party that lost the presidential election failed to win the Virginia gubernatorial race.

Not only did the Religious Right dream team in Virginia lose both races, but so did an Alabama Republican who ran even farther to the right than his conservative opponent. These defeats come at a time that the Senate is set to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) with bipartisan support and two states—Illinois and Hawaii—are poised to legalize same-sex marriage.

Cuccinelli & Jackson Flop In Virginia

Virginia Republicans Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson, two Religious Right favorites, lose their races for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively. Cuccinelli’s deeply anti-choice and anti-gay record hurt him according to exit polls [PDF]: 50% of voters claimed Cuccinelli was “too conservative” and 61% of voters said they supported abortion rights. During the campaign, Cuccinelli advocated for strict restrictions on abortion clinics and the restoration of unconstitutional sodomy laws, even though some conservative activists complained that he shied away from social issues or wasn’t conservative enough.

Jackson’s attempt to downplay his extremist and bigoted rhetoric and policy positions was even more pathetic to watch, as he insisted that criticisms of his candidacy and quoting him verbatim were unconstitutional and even resorted to lying to deny making remarks that are recorded on tape. Yet, he predicted that “disenfranchised” Christians would lead him to “a stunning victory.”

Don’t expect their defeats to change the Religious Right’s skewed mindset about what it takes to win. Cuccinelli surrogate Jim Bob Duggar, who campaigned throughout the state on a Family Research Council-paid tour, claimed that the “vast majority of people in America are pro-life” and conservative voters represent a “sleeping giant.” Despite having Cuccinelli and Jackson leading the ticket, white evangelical turnout dropped seven points, from 34% to 27% of the electorate, compared to the 2009 gubernatorial race.

The Cuccinelli complain will likely complain that he was abandoned by national Republicans (even though the Republican Governor Association donated $8 million to Cuccinelli) and could have won if the “establishment” offered him more support.

Dean Young Defeated

Dean Young, an ultraconservative birther with strong support from local Tea Party groups, lost to former state lawmaker Bradley Byrne, hardly a moderate himself, in the GOP primary for a special congressional election in Alabama. Young made opposition to gay rights a central part of his campaign: he urged his GOP rivals sign a pledge to oppose gay rights and to attend a church that opposes gay marriage, compared homosexuality to murder and demanded gay Alabamians leave the state.

He is also a senior aide for Roy Moore, the Alabama supreme court justice who refused to obey a court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument that he had installed in the court rotunda and warned that gay rights will destroy America. Moore backed Young’s candidacy, as did Mark Levin, Phyllis Schlafly and Bryan Fischer, who fawned over him in an interview the day before the election, where Young continued to criticize “homosexuals pretending to be married” and warned that gay rights will lead to God’s judgment on America.

Young reportedly refused to call Byrne to concede defeat and announced that he may establish a national organization.

Marriage Equality Poised To Pass In Illinois, Hawaii

Anti-gay groups have consistently cited Illinois as an example that Religious Right has become more successful in fighting marriage equality. But the state legislature approved a marriage equality bill yesterday and the governor is a vocal supporter of legalizing same-sex marriage, which means that Americans For Truth About Homosexuality president Peter LaBarbera will soon live in a state with marriage equality.

With Hawaii also expected to pass a marriage equality bill this week, the success of the two gay rights measures represent big setbacks for Religious Right groups such as the Illinois Family Institute and Hawaii Family Advocates, which both employed ugly smear campaigns against the marriage bills.

Poll: Democrats Crush Republicans Among Latino and Asian American Voters in Virginia

By Gary Segura, Latino Decisions

With polls closed across the Commonwealth of Virginia, Latino Decisions can release the results of our 2013 Virginia Election Eve Survey of Latino and Asian American voters, commissioned by America’s Voice and the People for the American Way.  The poll finds a staggering margin of victory for Democrats within these two rapidly growing segments of the American electorate.

Complete topline results and full cross tabs.

Gubernatorial Race

Democrat Terry McAuliffe out paced his GOP opponent, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, by a staggering 37-point margin.  Latino Decisions estimates McAuliffe received 66% of the Latino vote, compared with 29% for Ken Cuccinelli. Among Asian Americans, McAuliffe’s margin was 29 percentage points.

 

We estimate that Asian American voters gave the Democrat 63% of their vote, compared with 34% for the GOP nominee.McAuliffe’s performance among Latinos was even better than President Obama’s vote share (as estimated by exit polls) in 2008 (65%) and 2012 (64%).  By contrast, Ken Cuccinelli underperformed both John McCain (34%) and Mitt Romney (33%) in the state.

Attorney General’s Race

In the race to succeed Cuccinelli as Attorney General, the Democratic margin was even greater.  Latino Decisions estimates that Mark Herring, the Democratic nominee, out polled Mark Obenshain among Latinos by an even more impressive 40-point margin.  We estimate Herring with 69% of the Latino vote, compared with Obenshain’s 29%.

Among Asian Americans, the margin was 24 percentage points.  Latino Decisions estimates that Mark Herring received 61% of the Asian American vote while Obenshain received 37%. The importance of the minority vote is even greater in this race, widely seen as more hotly contested than that for Governor.

House of Delegates

And how about in the races for the Virginia House?  Latino Decisions estimates that Democrats out-polled Republicans among Latinos 65% to 32%, a 33-point margin, while among Asian Americans, Democrats led 58% to 42% for the GOP.

The Importance of Immigration

Voters from both immigrant-rich ethnic communities indicated the importance of immigration to their vote choices.  A majority of Latino voters—53%--indicated that immigration was one of the, if not the, most important issue in determining their vote.  Perhaps more surprising, among Asian American voters, 46% identified immigration as one of the issues most driving their voting decisions.  Only 18% of Latinos and 24% of Asian Americans said immigration did not affect their vote.

A Note about Asian American Voters

In 1992, when McAuliffe’s mentor Bill Clinton was elected to the presidency, he received only 31% of the Asian American vote nationally.  Last year, Barack Obama received 73% of the Asian vote nationally and 66% in Virginia.  This shift of Asian American voters from super-majority Republican to super-majority Democratic, in just one generation, is reflected again in tonight’s vote.

Complete topline results and full cross tabs.

About the Poll/Methodology

Latino Decisions interviewed 400 Latino voters and 400 Asian American voters participating in the Virginia 2013 general election. Voters were contacted by landline and cell phone between November 1- November 4. Latino respondents had the option to take the survey in English or Spanish and Asian American respondents had the option to take the survey in English, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, or Vietnamese, at their choosing. Initial sampling was based on Latinos and Asian Americans who had voted in the 2009 election, or newer registrants who voted in both the 2010 and 2012 general elections. To take the survey, respondents were asked if they had already voted early or by absentee ballot, or if not, if they were certain to vote in the Nov 5 election. Each ethnic group sample carries a margin of error of +/- 4.9%.

Cross-posted from Latino Decisions.

Ken Cuccinelli's Nativist Rhetoric Backfires Badly In General Election

Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli appears to be paying the price for his anti-immigrant record.
PFAW

Ken Cuccinelli's Nativist Rhetoric Backfires Badly In General Election

Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli appears to be paying the price for his anti-immigrant record. Cuccinelli backed Arizona’s draconian SB 1070 as the state attorney general and as a state senator he proposed several bills targeting immigrants and non-English speakers, and even equated US immigration policy to pest control. Cuccinelli’s harsh comparison was captured in this Spanish-language ad sponsored by People For the American Way:

While Cuccinelli’s nativism may have appealed to the Tea Party fringe, it has upset Latino voters — already alienated by the GOP’s extremist stance on immigration — and the majority of voters who back immigration reform.

But judging by interviews with Latino voters on Tuesday, the ad — which aired heavily on Spanish-language television in the weeks leading up to the election — resonated.

“He talks about our community with no respect,” said Umberto Adrian, a Manassas resident who was born in Bolivia and has lived in Virginia for 30 of his 60 years. “I can’t understand why a professional like him would refer to immigrants as if they are not human.”

Some Latino voters who said they were spurred to action by the commercial appeared to have their own interpretations of what Cuccinelli actually said.

“Cuccinelli called Hispanic people rats,” said Mary Alba, 74, a retired bakery worker. “I want people in office who know we need immigrant people. In this country we need people like immigrants, who work hard.”

Pedro Delcid, 40, perceived the remark in a slightly different, but equally derogatory, way. “This man was talking bad about our people. He said we reproduce like rats,” said Delcid, who lives in Manassas. “This is the one issue that brought me here today. I have an issue with the way he talks about immigrants.”

It’s not just anecdotal evidence either, as new polling from Latino Decisions sponsored by PFAW and America’s Voice reveals the extent of the damage from the GOP’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy positions:

Immigration weighs heavily in Latino and Asians’ voting decisions. Over half (53%) of Latinos rank immigration as the most important issue facing the Latino community that politicians should address. While the Asian community put other issues first, their voting choices are influenced by a candidate’s position on immigration reform. When asked about the role of immigration in their voting decisions, 53% of Latinos and 46% of Asians said it was either “the most important issue” or “one of the most important issues” in their “decision to vote, and who to vote for.”



Cuccinelli’s hardline immigration hurt not only him, but the Republican Party overall. After hearing a statement from Cuccinelli comparing immigrant families to rat families, 70% of Latinos and 59% of Asians said it made them look less favorably on the Republican Party as a whole. The comments were most salient to foreign-born Latinos and US-born Asians, who said it made them view the GOP more negatively at a rate of 75% and 74% respectively. After learning that Cuccinelli sponsored a bill as state Senator that would allow employers to fire any workers who did not speak English, 75% of Latinos and 67% of Asians said this made them less favorable to the Republican Party as a whole.



Added Gary Segura, Professor of American Politics and Chair of Chicano/a Studies, Stanford University and Co-Founder of Latino Decisions, "Hostility to immigrants--once a political wedge that worked for Republicans--has clearly now become an Achilles' heel for the Party. Latinos and Asians, climbing towards 10% of the electorate in Virginia, are clearly and profoundly put off by GOP rhetoric on this litmus-test issue for these immigrant-heavy communities. Continued antagonism toward immigration reform has the potential to erode or erase GOP competitiveness in this important and growing purple state."

Virginia Latinos and Asian Americans to GOP: Politics of Exclusion Will Cost You Elections

**** Latino and Asian Election Eve Poll in Virginia****
***TODAY Poll Release in Two Parts***

**WED 11/6 Webinar at 12pm ET**

Virginia Latinos and Asians to GOP: Politics of Exclusion Will Cost You Elections
First Installment of New Poll Shows Virginia is a Test Case for the National GOP

Washington, DC – With Election Day in Virginia today and the gubernatorial candidates’ positioning on immigration reform on stark display, a new election-eve poll reveals how Virginia’s changing demographics are also changing the state’s politics. The polling data also present a sign of things to come for the national GOP in 2014 and beyond.

The first installment of the election-eve poll of extremely likely voters , conducted by Latino Decisions and sponsored by America’s Voice and People For the American Way (PFAW), shows that immigration policy and rhetoric are important factors in the voting decisions of Latino and Asian Americans.

A second installment of the election-eve poll, which includes candidate selection, will be released when the polls close in Virginia tonight at 7pm eastern. If you would like to receive an advanced copy of the embargoed results, please email Katy@newpartners.com. The entire poll will be discussed on Wednesday, November 6th, at a noon press call/webinar with Latino Decisions, People For the American Way, and America’s Voice.

Highlights of this first installment reveal the following (crosstabs also available here ):

Immigration weighs heavily in Latino and Asian Americans’ voting decisions. Over half (53%) of Latinos rank immigration as the most important issue facing the Latino community that politicians should address. While the Asian community put other issues first, their voting choices are influenced by a candidate’s position on immigration reform. 

When asked about the role of immigration in their voting decisions, 53% of Latinos and 46% of Asian Americans said it was either “the most important issue” or “one of the most important issues” in their “decision to vote, and who to vote for.”

Candidates’ positive and negative immigration positions move voters. After hearing Terry McAuliffe’s position on immigration, including his support for a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States and for the Virginia state DREAM Act, 56% of Latinos and 40% of Asian Americans said that they were more enthusiastic about McAuliffe. After hearing that Ken Cuccinelli proposed a law to take away citizenship from children whose parents are undocumented and wanted to authorize local police to check the papers of anyone they think might be undocumented, 64% of Latinos and 50% of Asian Americans said this made them less enthusiastic about Cuccinelli.

As Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way, put it: “Ken Cuccinelli is leaning heavily on the politics of exclusion, especially when it comes to Latinos and immigrants. This election will prove that if the Republican Party moves further in the exclusionary direction of the Tea Party, it will do so at its own peril.”

Cuccinelli’s hardline immigration hurt not only him, but the Republican Party overall. After hearing a statement from Cuccinelli comparing immigrant families to rat families, 70% of Latinos and 59% of Asian Americans said it made them look less favorably on the Republican Party as a whole.

The comments were most salient to foreign-born Latinos and US-born Asian Americans, who said it made them view the GOP more negatively at a rate of 75% and 74% respectively. After learning that Cuccinelli sponsored a bill as state Senator that would allow employers to fire any workers who did not speak English, 75% of Latinos and 67% of Asians said this made them less favorable to the Republican Party as a whole.

The good news for the GOP is that they can stop the bleeding, but they need to act. This evening, we will release candidate choice numbers for key VA races, but it’s safe to say that they will be less than stellar for the GOP candidates. In fact, a majority of Latino (58%) and Asian (68%) voters have voted for a Republican candidate at some point in their lives.

This is, in essence, the swing vote within the two electorates that could move toward the GOP if the Party stops immigrant bashing and starts passing immigration solutions. Also in the poll, 69% of Latinos and 47% of Asian Americans said they would be less favorable to the GOP if the House continues its current stance on immigration reform. If the House takes action, pluralities of Latinos (41%) and Asian Americans (43%) would have a better view of the Republican Party even if some of its members still oppose reform.

“The polls show that championing anti-immigrant positions and siding with extremists not only does serious damage to individual candidates, but the party as a whole. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, and Speaker John Boehner should be watching the results of the Virginia election closely. They can stop the bleeding, but they have to change course on immigration reform,” said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice.

“Bring citizenship up for a vote on the House floor. We know we have the votes to pass it. The right policy for the country is actually the right political move for the GOP. As David Gergen put it just a year ago, immigration reform will happen because Democrats want it but Republicans need it,” Sharry concluded.

Added Gary Segura, Professor of American Politics and Chair of Chicano/a Studies, Stanford University and Co-Founder of Latino Decisions, "Hostility to immigrants--once a political wedge that worked for Republicans--has clearly now become an Achilles' heel for the Party. Latinos and Asians, climbing towards 10% of the electorate in Virginia, are clearly and profoundly put off by GOP rhetoric on this litmus-test issue for these immigrant-heavy communities. Continued antagonism toward immigration reform has the potential to erode or erase GOP competitiveness in this important and growing purple state."

The second installment of the poll of 400 Asian and 400 Latino “extremely likely” voters in Virginia, including candidate choice, is also now available to reporters (embargoed until 7pm). To request the full poll under embargo, email katy@newpartners.com.

All data will be public as the polls close in Virginia tonight, and can be found on the Latino Decisions website. Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 6th at 12pm ET, pollsters, civic engagement leaders and immigration experts will then analyze the full results on a press call/webinar. To participate in the noon Eastern press call/webinar on 11/6 call 1-866-952-7534; Passcode: VIRGINIA and follow the presentation here: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/connexevent/join?id=VIRGINIA&role=attend&... (meeting ID: VIRGINIA, entry code: ATTEND).

Press call speakers include Gary Segura, Professor of American Politics and Chair of Chicano/a Studies, Stanford University; Principal, Latino Decisions; Xavier Medina Vidal, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Virginia Tech; Dolores Huerta, Co-Founder of the United Farm Workers Union and longtime civil rights and labor activist; Michael Keegan , President, People For the American Way; and Frank Sharry, Executive Director, America’s Voice.

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Profiles In Extremism: The Virginia GOP's Tea Party Ticket

This year, after switching its nominating process from a primary election to a convention system, the Virginia Republican Party selected three candidates for statewide office who are far out of the mainstream. The state convention, attended by the party’s diehard members, was an opportunity for the Tea Party wing of the party and Religious Right activists to push the state GOP even further to the ideological fringe, even after the bruising the party took nationwide in the 2012 election.

Now, Virginia voters will have the chance to vote on a GOP ticket so far to the right that it would make Barry Goldwater cringe.

Undermining Abortion Rights

Gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli, the state attorney general and a former state senator, boasts that he entered politics by challenging a Republican lawmaker in a primary over the incumbent’s pro-choice views. After he was elected to the state senate, Cuccinelli tried to pass a personhood law which would criminalize all abortions in every case, along with several forms of contraception and fertility treatments. He has warned that God will punish America over abortion rights, which he compared to slavery, and has embarked on several endeavors as state senator and attorney general to close clinics that provide abortions and to defund Planned Parenthood.

E.W. Jackson, the minister and failed US Senate candidate who won the party’s nomination for lieutenant governor, earned plaudits from the far-right for arguing that Planned Parenthood is worse than the Ku Klux Klan . He fears that due to health care reform “abortion will increase like a plague upon the land” and claims anyone who backs a pro-choice candidate is “blaspheming their God.” An advocate of personhood laws, Jackson has slammed abortion and in vitro fertilization as “evils” that carry “the mark of Satan” and are akin to the gross crimes committed by Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

The GOP nominee for attorney general, state senator Mark Obenshain, like Cuccinelli backed multiple personhood bill in the General Assembly. He also supported successful legislation requiring invasive, transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortions. In fact, Obenshain introduced legislation that would make it a crime for a woman to fail to report a miscarriage to the police, punishable by a hefty fine and even prison time. A former board member of James Madison University, he wanted to ban emergency contraceptive pills from the student health center.

Anti-Gay

A hero of the anti-gay Right, Ken Cuccinelli has attacked gay rights at every turn, most recently by taking on the 2003 Supreme Court ruling that struck down sodomy laws. Cuccinelli describes homosexuality as “intrinsically wrong,” “against nature and harmful to society” and as representing a “personal challenge,” arguing that gay people can’t have a family. Cuccinelli led the effort to pass a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, which he said would lead to polygamy, and denounced HIV/AIDS education.

“When you look at the homosexual agenda, I cannot support something that I believe brings nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of their soul,” Cuccinelli said.

He has worked to stop gay people from adopting children and extending health benefits to their partners, and even tried to stop college and universities from offering protections for LGBT employees.

Obenshain opposed a bill to protect LGBT employees from job discrimination three times in the state senate. Receiving a perfect rating from the state’s chief anti-gay group, Obenshain voted in favor of bills that would curb gay adoption rights and undermine anti-discrimination policies at public universities. The state senator also withdrew his support from a judge whose nomination drew GOP opposition because he is openly gay.

Jackson has built his entire career demonizing gays and lesbians, whom he has called “perverted,” “degenerate,” “spiritually darkened” and “frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.”

“Homosexuality is a horrible sin, it poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things that we can think of,” Jackson said. “It also attempts to poison our children, divide them from their parents and the teaching of the church and basically turn them into pawns for that movement so that they can sexualize them at the earliest possible age.” He maintained that gays have “recruited” black men, warning that homosexuality is “killing black men by the thousands.”

Jackson has also linked homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality, and suggested that God will punish the military over the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, calling the discriminatory policy’s repeal “an abomination.”

Government Shutdown

Government shutdown architects Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Jim DeMint, a former US senator from South Carolina who now leads the Heritage Foundation, are two of Ken Cuccinelli’s favorite politicians. He told a conservative gathering, “I’m glad Ted Cruz was here. That was a great win. You know, you get more Ted Cruzes in there to back up Jim DeMint and you have less to worry about. You want to elect people you don't have to lobby. Sort of launch and leave missiles, politically speaking. Ted Cruz is a good one, and he’s a smart missile.”

During the shutdown, Cuccinelli joined Cruz at a Religious Right group’s event, even while saying he opposed Cruz’s strategy. But Cuccinelli actually backed a similar strategy in Virginia, urging anti-tax Republicans to take their budget standoff “right to the brink, over the brink.”

E.W. Jackson also previously supported government shutdowns. At a 2011 Tea Party rally with House Republicans, he chanted “cut it or shut it” during that year’s budget standoff. During this year’s shutdown he addressed the Values Voter Summit, an event where speaker after speaker, including Cruz, praised the GOP’s shutdown strategy.

Restricting Voting Rights

Cuccinelli said that Virginia, the home of Massive Resistance, should no longer be subject to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He is also a huge supporter of voter ID laws that encumber voting among people of color, along with urban, young and elderly voters. While serving in the state senate, he fought against efforts to improve access to absentee ballots and restore voting rights to people who had served time for nonviolent felony convictions.

Obenshain will continue Cuccinelli’s legacy of undermining the rights of voters if he’s elected to replace him. The Washington Post editorial board writes of Obenshain: “In the legislature, he has been a champion of the GOP push for more restrictive voter ID laws, which would reduce access for poor and minority voters. (There is zero evidence of voters misrepresenting their identity at the Virginia polls, the ostensible justification for such laws.)”

Anti-Science

Exhibiting just how his extreme ideology influences his policymaking, Cuccinelli used his office as attorney general to hound climate scientists who worked at the state’s universities. One scientist who was relentlessly attacked by Cuccinelli said that the GOP gubernatorial candidate wanted to “intimidate clime scientists” and “chill the scientific discourse” around climate change. Courts sided with the University of Virginia over Cuccinelli, and also rebuffed his legal challenge to the EPA’s regulations of greenhouse gases.

Obenshain readily defended Cuccinelli’s witch hunt against climate scientists, opposing a bill to prevent the attorney general’s office from pursuing cases against academic inquiries. He told one Tea Party activist that he “absolutely” would pursue another lawsuit against the EPA and investigation into climate scientists.

Jackson, for his part, denies the theory of evolution, arguing that the theory must be wrong because chimpanzees do not have a spoken language. He similarly rejects climate science as “silly” and “hysteria,” arguing that God would prevent climate change. “As if God’s gonna let mankind destroy the planet with SUV’s,” he told National Review’s Betsy Woodruff, who also notes that Jackson has preached that yoga and meditation could lead to demonic possession.

Anti-Obama Conspiracy Theories

Cuccinelli has flirted with the birther conspiracy theory (that President Obama was born in Kenya instead of Hawaii) and told a birther activist that it “doesn’t seem beyond the realm of possibility” that Obama was born in Kenya, even offering the activist legal advice. He also warned people against registering for a Social Security number “because it is being used to track you,” and endorsed the conspiracy theory that Obama won re-election through voter fraud.

Jackson, meanwhile, suggested that Obama is an “anti-America, anti-Christian Communist and an anti-Semite with “Muslim sensibilities ” and “a lot of sympathy for radical Islam.”

“He certainly does have a lot of affection and favor for Islam,” Jackson said. “I’ve heard him talk about Islam in ways I’ve never heard him talk about America, and Christianity, I don’t even think about that with him, I really don’t, come on, that’s a joke.”

“We are dealing with an evil presence,” Jackson said of Obama.

He has also claimed that Obama is in “ rebellion…against God ” and supports “an agenda worthy of the Antichrist ,” tweeting that Obama would “like to be” the “Pres. of Sodom & Gomorrah.” Jackson also believes Obama “will force schools to start teaching all children homosexuality.”

E.W. Jackson: 'Deliver' Gays From 'Destructive' Lifestyle; Obama Will 'Teach Children Homosexuality'

Now that Virginia Republican lieutenant governor nominee E.W. Jackson is simply denying that he ever said anything that could be considered to be anti-gay, we’ve decided to post a few more clips of Jackson saying things that are totally not at all hostile to gay people.

In a Virginia Family Foundation speech last year, Jackson mocked President Obama for supporting marriage equality and for admiring same-sex couples, adding that he wants to “deliver” gay people:

That individual homosexual who is caught up in that lifestyle we love and so desperately want to see that person delivered; that woman who is contemplating abortion who is confused and emotionally distraught and has been misled by bad information, we love her, we desperately want to help her; but these folks who have it in their minds as homosexual activists and abortionists to fundamentally transform our country, they’ve got a fight on their hands and we are not ashamed of it.

But apparently Jackson actually is ashamed of it because he is now outright lying about his anti-gay views.

Jackson also criticized Obama in a 2012 interview with Religious Right activist Dean Welty, arguing that the president is “shaking his fist at God” and belongs to a party that has “declared war on God” by supporting marriage equality. In fact, he suggested that Obama supporters are “unclean” and that they have denied Jesus Christ and are worshipping Obama instead.

He even claimed that Obama “will force schools to start teaching all children homosexuality.”

He tried to explain his anti-gay viewers at an event earlier this month at Patrick Henry College, a conservative school that pushes anti-gay politics.

Jackson told his audience at Patrick Henry that gays and lesbians don’t face discrimination in society and that he is not anti-gay but only wants gay people “to do what we think will be helpful to them and productive for them rather than destructive.”

E.W. Jackson Resorts To Lying To Duck Questions About Anti-Gay Rhetoric

The Republican nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia has contorted himself in all sorts of ways to dodge questions about his extremist record, arguing that anyone who simply quotes his past statements is violating the Constitution or persecuting him or misrepresenting him.

But since very few people would actually take his absurd objections seriously, Jackson has now resorted to lying.

During an interview with WUSA, he denied ever having said that gay people are “sick” or that God will stop blessing the military over gay rights. He said that such direct quotes are “absolutely, categorically not true.”

Unfortunately for Jackson, we here at Right Wing Watch have the audio of him making the very statements he is now denying he ever made.

Last year, we captured audio of Jackson calling gay people “perverted…sick people”:

And we recently posted video of Jackson suggesting that the military will lose God’s favor over same-sex marriage.

In fact, Jackson has made plenty of other viciously anti-gay remarks in the past.

Dave Weigel provides video of the WUSA interview, noting that Jackson is “just lying his head off about what he said in the past”:

Rachel Maddow points out that “Virginia Republicans’ last minute plans for this election appear to be to try to convince people that they have not said things that they have said on tape.”

 

E.W. Jackson: God Created The Tea Party

Following his outburst against gay service members at a 2011 Virginia Family Forum meeting, E.W. Jackson claimed that God is behind the Tea Party movement. Jackson, who is now the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, said that the 2008 election “broke my heart” and didn’t understand why God would allow the “grave danger” of Obama’s election…until realizing it was part of God’s plan to beget the Tea Party.

“The Tea Party is a move of God to stir this nation’s back to its conscience and back to its senses,” Jackson told conservative activists. “I remember saying, God we prayed Lord but we didn’t win, but you know what God said to me? ‘You won, you won.’ I couldn’t figure out what that meant until I began to hear some of the things I heard and then I realized what it meant: it meant that maybe the best thing that has ever happened to this country was the election of the last president because he has awakened a sleeping giant and I trust that now that we’re awake we will never go back to sleep again.”

Of course, recent polls show that opposition to the Tea Party nationwide and among Virginians has hit record highs.

E.W. Jackson: God Will Stop Blessing Military Because of Gay Rights

At a 2011 Virginia Family Foundation summit, E.W. Jackson – now the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor – said that God will stop blessing the U.S. military because of a rule that allows chaplains to marry gay service members following the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Jackson told the group that “our military is under attack” by those who want to allow chaplains to marry same-sex couples.

Jackson, who has made a career out of making extreme anti-gay statements, warned: “How in the world can we expect our military to be blessed by the hand of almighty God if we allow our military to become the equivalent of Sodom and Gomorrah? God is not pleased.”

Watch:

E.W. Jackson: More Guns Needed In Schools

E.W. Jackson, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, told a Republican forum prior to his nomination that a plan to have armed guards in schools didn’t go far enough to prevent school shootings.

He said that “every person who had a concealed carry permit and was trained to use a firearm” should be “allowed to bring that firearm to school,” adding that he believes it is a Second Amendment right to bring guns to schools.

Jackson has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association and the Gun Owners of America, and earlier this year blamed urban violence on young people “treating [their] bodies as sexual objects.”

Cuccinelli, 2009: Republican Areas Are The 'Real Virginia'

Back in 2009, then-State Senator Ken Cuccinelli told the Shenandoah County Republican Party that it was nice to leave Richmond for the heavily Republican county because “the real Virginia is here.”

Cuccinelli, now the GOP nominee for governor, made the remark while defending Sarah Palin’s famous comment that conservative areas represent the “real America” and are more “pro-America” than the rest of the country.

Cuccinelli was also echoing the remarks of the McCain-Palin campaign’s Nancy Pfotenhauer, who said in 2008 that the more conservative regions outside of northern Virginia are the “real Virginia.”

In 2006, then-Sen. George Allen told a Democratic campaign worker of of Indian descent: “Let's give a welcome to Macaca here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.”

Cuccinelli also discussed his fight to defund Planned Parenthood and defend anti-gay marriage laws in a video of the event posted by a Virginia Republican activist.

PFAW Hosts Telephone Town Hall Briefing On Cuccinelli's Extremism

Last week, PFAW hosted a fantastic telephone town hall briefing about our work in Virginia holding Ken Cuccinelli accountable for his extreme record. More than 6,000 of our members joined the call to discuss this critical race with our panel of experts.

PFAW President Michael Keegan explained why the Virginia governor’s race is so important and what PFAW is doing to stop Cuccinelli, including our canvassing efforts and our six-figure Spanish-language ad buy.

Senior Fellow Peter Montgomery spoke about our report, “Ken Cuccinelli: Attorney General of the Tea Party,” and gave us some more detail on Cuccinelli’s record of extremism, particularly on LGBT equality and reproductive rights.

Pollster and strategist Lorena Chambers told us about PFAW’s Spanish-language ads in Virginia, which highlight Cuccinelli’s record of attacking Latinos, and the importance of the Latino vote in Virginia and beyond. Watch our three ads on YouTube: “¿Qué tipo de persona?" (What type of person?)”, “Tim Kaine/Apoyo” and “Job Security.”

We also took some great questions from our members, who wanted to know about the recent voter purge in Virginia, and asked why the Republican party has been taken over by Tea Party extremists like Cuccinelli.

You can listen to the full audio of the call here.

PFAW

Pro-Cuccinelli Robocall Plays Up Anti-Gay, Anti-Choice Positions

Even as Virginia Republican Ken Cuccinelli tries to downplay his far-right record on reproductive rights and LGBT equality, his allies are quietly using that record to try to turn out voters.

Virginia business consultant Shaun Dakin has posted a recording of a robocall paid for by The Catholic Association that calls Democrat Terry McAuliffe an “extremist” for his pro-choice and pro-LGBT rights positions and praises Cuccinelli as a "pro-life, pro-family, pro-religious freedom advocate." McAuliffe is pro-choice and has said he would sign a bill repealing Virginia’s marriage equality ban but wouldn’t use the governor's office to campaign for repeal. Meanwhile, Cuccinelli has led efforts to criminalize homosexuality, all abortion and even forms of birth control.
 

I’m calling from the Catholic Association. November 5 is coming quickly, and Ken Cuccinelli needs your vote. Terry McAuliffe is an extremist who shockingly supports taxpayer funding of late-term abortion and abortion on demand for any reason. He wants to repeal Virginia’s constitutional protection for marriage. Ken Cuccinelli is a staunch pro-life, pro-family, pro-religious freedom advocate who works to defend our shared values for the common good.

 

PFAW Takes On Cuccinelli With Spanish-Language Ads

With the election in Virginia less than two weeks away, PFAW is holding Cuccinelli accountable for his record of extreme views and hateful comments.
PFAW

Right Wing Watch Exposes Ken Cuccinelli's Extremism

Right Wing Watch has been watching Ken Cuccinelli to help make sure he can't run from his extremist views and record.

Tea Party Leader: Ultraconservative Ken Cuccinelli Is Not Conservative Enough

Virginia attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli is a longtime conservative culture warrior, but according to one Virginia-based Tea Party leader, the reason that he is trailing in the polls behind his Democratic rival is because his hard-right record simply isn’t conservative enough.

Larry Nordvig, Executive Director of the Richmond Tea Party, told Breitbart News last month that "conservatives are highly concerned about Obamacare, immigration, and moral decline, and are looking for reassurance and leadership in those areas. Attorney General Cuccinelli has not taken a hard stand on those issues. The net effect is that he's not exciting his base, which dampens campaign volunteer activism."

But for Nordvig when he spoke with Breitbart in September, "re-engaging his base" was "even more critical for Attorney General Cuccinelli."

"Cuccinelli is not going to win the money race," Nordvig said. "That means he will stand, or fall, based on grassroots support. He has got to start reassuring conservatives that he will fight for their deepest-held beliefs. Oh, and it wouldn't hurt to court the Tea Party a little more," Nordvig added. "We're the major component of the grassroots support he needs to win."

We’ve seen this pattern before, where conservative activists are so utterly convinced that the majority of Americans support their political endeavors that the only way they can explain electoral defeats or bad polling numbers is to blame it on Republican candidates who they say were too liberal and failed to energize conservatives to turn out and vote.

That’s why we see Nordvig making the patently absurd claim that Cuccinelli “has not taken a hard stand” on topics such as Obamacare, immigration and social issues.

Cuccinelli was the first state attorney general to file a lawsuit challenging Obamacare — even winning a case on the district court level against the individual mandate before the Supreme Court ultimately upheld the mandate as constitutional — and has called for civil disobedience against the law.

On immigration, he sided with Arizona’s SB 1070, sought to overturn birthright citizenship, offered legislation that would make it easier to fire workers for not speaking English and likened immigrants to rats.

Opposition to abortion rights and gay equality has defined Cuccinelli’s political career. The Republican gubernatorial candidate has talked about how he believes God will punish America for legalizing abortion and backed the criminalization of certain forms of birth control, along with denouncing what he calls the “homosexual agenda,” supported sodomy laws and tried to rollback job protections for LGBT employees and health benefits for gay couples.

With a record like that, it is no wonder that polls show that over half of Virginia voters believe his is “too conservative” while a mere 5 percent think he is “too liberal.”

But even if Cuccinelli campaigns with Mike Huckabee at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University or with a Family Research Council-sponsored event with the fundamentalist Duggar family, Nordvig and his Tea Party group are still unsatisfied and want Cuccinelli to move even farther to the right.

If Ken Cuccinelli is not conservative enough for the Tea Party, then who is?

Cuccinelli Touts Endorsement Of Radical Gun Group With Ties To White Supremecists, Conspiracy Theorists

Earlier this month, the extremist gun group Gun Owners of America announced that it was endorsing Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli in next month’s gubernatorial contest and urged its supporters to do “everything you can” to elect the Republican. Though Cuccinelli’s campaign doesn’t seem to have touted GOA’s endorsement at the time, it is now prominently featuring the endorsement on its website.

While it’s no surprise that GOA is backing Cuccinelli, Cuccinelli’s touting of the GOA’s endorsement should raise some eyebrows.

GOA is an extreme group that trades in racism and conspiracy theories. The group’s executive director, Larry Pratt is so radical that he was forced out of Pat Buchanan’s 1996 presidential campaign after it became public that he had spoken at white supremacist and militia movement rallies.  Just this past fourth of July, Pratt was scheduled to speak alongside a prominent white nationalist at an event hosted by an anti-Semitic rock band.

Today, Pratt regularly appears with far-right fringe talk show hosts including Alex Jones, Stan Solomon and Pete Santilli, where he has:

GOA’s legislative counsel Michael Hammond and its communications director Erich Pratt (Larry’s son) also push conspiracy theories on fringe media.

So, why is Cuccinelli touting GOA’s endorsement?

PFAW Volunteers Take Fight Against Cuccinelli’s Extremism to the Streets

PFAW made the news this weekend with the debut of our new Spanish language ad in Virginia, part of our partnership with the McAuliffe campaign. But we’re also on the ground, taking the fight against Cuccinelli’s extreme views to the streets. This weekend, we went out to Herndon, Virginia, participating in a training for canvassing and get-out-the-vote activities—the kind of on-the-ground efforts that will make all the difference in this election.

More than 100 volunteers hit the streets to talk to Virginia voters and make sure they know just how extreme, reckless and wrong for Virginia Cuccinelli is. We were proud to be a part of the canvass — and the McAuliffe campaign told us that Herndon was the No. 1 canvassing location for the weekend!

The level of enthusiasm we saw in our activists was very encouraging, but we won’t let ourselves get complacent. We won’t stop until we’re sure that Cuccinelli won’t be bringing his right-wing agenda to the Governor’s office.

PFAW
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