Facing Reality: Terry McAuliffe Will Be Virginia's Next Governor

For conservatives, Republicans, and fellow defenders of freedom, it’s time to face reality; Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, will be our next governor.  No, I’m not referring to the Rasmussen poll, which had McAuliffe up by an absurd seventeen points; Rasmussen hasn’t been the most accurate gauge in VA politics, but the Quinnipiac poll has Terry with a strong seven point lead.  In fact, most polls show McAuliffe leading within a seven to nine point range – and that needle hasn’t changed.  Then again, while the media has labeled this race “competitive,” it’s been rather soporific.

For starters, the Republican running for governor, current Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, really didn’t give me a reason to go to his events, knock on doors, or make phone calls for him.  I’ve met him briefly on one occasion and was very personable.  I won’t lie; I like Ken Cuccinelli, but he really didn’t run a good campaign.  Yes, money was an issue. McAuliffe was able to carpet bomb his opponent’s campaign, while Cuccinelli was left helpless; only able to counter via targeted engagement due to lack of funds.  One would think a die-hard conservative – unrelated to the campaign of course – would start a super PAC for the Republican gubernatorial candidate, especially since the Cuccinelli couldn’t raise money when the Virginia legislature was in session. While it only lasted thirty days – session only lasts that long during odd-numered years – that’s still valuable time.  It’s apparently more than enough time to define your opponent.

Luckily, Ken Cuccinelli has a good communications team; oh wait, he doesn’t.  There was no hammering of McAuliffe over GreenTech, which was covered by Watchdog.org.  Yet, probably the most damning evidence of McAuliffe’s sleazebaggery is the fact he accepted money fromAfrican drug runners and donations from a man who stole the identities of terminally ill people to make millions. Oh, and did I mention that Terry invested in this little scheme.

As Emily Zanotti of Naked DC wrote  earlier this month, the donor in question is Joseph Caramadre who”

[W]ent on to plead “guilty to stealing the identities of terminally ill patients and using that information to falsely apply for annuities and bonds with death puts.” This guy and “co-worker” Raymour Radhakrishman milked the stolen identities of the terminally ill to the tune of $30 million.

Their system was simple: stalk out unknowing AIDS patients at hospices, hoist up ads offering them $2,000, throw out some lies to acquire personal information, and take that to get bonds and annuities for themselves.

What’s illegal about that, right?

As Ed Morrissey noted on Hot Air, “McAuliffe contributed to that scam through his own carelessness about his investments — which isn’t a very good example of the kind of executive judgment that most people want to see in a governor.

AND there’s his extreme views on abortion:

Woman #1:  “So as governor, would you oppose any restrictions on my right to an abortion at any time?”

McAuliffe:   “Yes.”

Woman  #1:   “No, Yes?”

McAuliffe:   “I would support stopping any restrictions.”

And then to remove any doubt, he told another woman that as governor he would be a “brick wall” against even the most common ground limitations on abortion.

Woman #2:  “Also, if any anti-choice Republicans were to introduce legislation preventing me from getting an abortion after 20 weeks would you oppose it? “

McAuliffe: “So you have a Constitutional right. This has been determined in our nation. It is a Constitutional right. It is. What I said here is that I will be a brick wall to stop any erosion of any Constitutional right that any woman has in Virginia. I will be a brick wall.”

The truth is that Terry McAuliffe opposes parental consent laws, opposes 24-hour waiting periods, opposes bans on late-term abortions (when the baby in the womb can feel pain), opposes requiring non-invasive ultra-sounds before an abortion and opposes the ban on partial-birth abortion.  Most Virginians support these common-sense restrictions.

Heck, 60% of American women support banning abortions after 20 weeks.  This is easy cannon fodder.  Yet, Cuccinelli’s team decided to do nothing.

On a side note, not many Virginians like either Cuccinelli or McAuliffe.  In fact, current scandal-plagued Bob McDonnell has higher approval ratings; a Marist poll found that 53% of Virginians approve of the job McDonnell’s doing as governor.

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Quinnipiac poll Oct.23

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Quinnipiac poll Oct.23

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Quinnipiac poll Oct.23 — Marist had McDonnell at a 48% favorabilty rate.

For pro-Establisment Republicans arguing the shutdown killed Cuccinelli’s chances, the Transom’s Ben Domenech reminds us – concerning the breakdown above – that “this was the same kind of margin we saw pre-shutdown, and the idea that the shutdown cost Cuccinelli this election just ignores the fact he hasn’t had one poll showing him in the lead since early July.”  Additionally, there was an interesting Washington Post piece on October 23 that focused on McAuliffe’s attacks against Cuccinelli in Virginia’s coal country.

For several years, property owners in southwest Virginia have tussled with energy companies over who owns the rights to the methane gas under their property. The battle entered the governor’s race in June, when a federal judge criticized a lawyer in the attorney general’s office for providing legal advice to energy companies in the lawsuit. One of the energy companies, Pennsylvania-based Consol Energy, has given $111,000 to Cuccinelli’s campaign.”
The investigation found Cuccinelli hadn’t personally done anything wrong regarding the lawsuit, but that’s irrelevant: “The state inspector general issued a report this month saying Assistant Attorney General Sharon Pigeon “inappropriately” used state resources to give the companies legal help. The inspector general found no evidence that Cuccinelli knew about or approved Pigeon’s actions.” Cuccinelli has said he did nothing wrong, and Republicans noted that he pushed a bill in 2011 — opposed by energy companies — that would have tried to resolve the gas rights issue. The measure never came to a vote in the state Senate or House of Delegates. But the issue is prompting a more visceral response from voters whose fortunes have been battered for years by the decline of the coal industry. And it may be undermining a central theme of Cuccinelli’s pitch: a promise to defend the have-nots, particularly in coal-friendly southwest Virginia…”

“McAuliffe has been unrelenting in attacking Cuccinelli on the subject, running ads featuring southwest landowners who say Cuccinelli “cannot be trusted.” Tom Steyer, a hedge fund billionaire and environmental activist from San Francisco, also has gotten in on the act. His super PAC, NextGen Climate Action Committee, has spent more than $1.3 million statewide on ads attacking Cuccinelli’s ethics, many of them over the gas royalties issue.”

As Ben noted, “this strategy parallels a lot of the approaches we saw in Ohio and other areas with downtrodden voters in 2012: it wasn’t designed to convince them to vote for Obama, but to undermine any ability of the Romney campaign to gain their trust.”

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