WASHINGTON – The Virginia gubernatorial candidacy of far-right Republican Ken Cuccinelli may be a test of how far the GOP is willing and able to take its recent lurch to the right, argues a new report from People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch. As a bellwether for the course of the Republican Party, Cuccinelli’s success or defeat in this race – as well as the party’s continued embrace or rejection of his extremism – will be telling for the future of our country’s political landscape.
The report, Ken Cuccinelli: The Attorney General of the Tea Party, provides an in-depth look at the extreme positions Cuccinelli has taken throughout his career. Cuccinelli’s record provides no dearth of examples of his extreme ring-wing politics and policies, including:
• Filing suit against the Affordable Care Act just five minutes after it was signed into law.
• Supporting radical “personhood” legislation which would criminalize all abortions.
• Suing the EPA for seeking to regulate greenhouse gases.
• Comparing the deportation of undocumented immigrants to pest control.
The report also outlines Cuccinelli’s positions on gay rights, voting rights, education, guns, and more.
“If the GOP is serious about their ‘rebranding,’ supporting a candidate who compares undocumented immigrants to rats, wants to radically turn back the clock on women’s rights, and thinks ‘homosexual acts’ are ‘intrinsically wrong’ is not the way to go,” said People For the American Way president Michael Keegan. “Virginians – and all Americans – deserve better than that.”
The report notes, “In the first test for a Republican Party that is still reeling from the disastrous 2012 election, Virginia’s gubernatorial race could have provided the GOP an opportunity to temper its ultraconservative platform or restrain its partnership with the Tea Party. But the choice of state attorney general Ken Cuccinelli to be the party’s presumptive nominee for governor indicates that the GOP is moving even further to the right and letting go of any pretense of moderation or bipartisanship.”
The full report is available at www.pfaw.org.