Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Meeting Sen. Ken Cuccinelli

Last Tuesday at the Shoneys in Staunton, I was one of the many people who came to take advantage of the "meet & greet" with Sen. Cuccinelli who is seeking the Republican nomination to run for Attorney General in 2009.
Sen. Cuccinelli was quite active at the 2008 RPV Convention, however I was so busy working on the Frederick for Chairman campaign, I had little time to speak with any of the other office candidates. I was rather excited to have this opportunity to meet the Senator as I wanted to hear what he had to say on a variety of issues. I expected to hear a polished and prepared speech. What I heard was a man of seemingly endless character and wit talk to us like a group of valued friends at a backyard cookout.

If you've ever heard a Republican candidate do a "stump speech" you'll likely hear the "check box" bullet points such as pro life, pro-gun, national security / border security, and fiscal responsibility as well as any others they want to throw in. The problem is that they are usually only passionate about one or two of those and say the rest because the assume that a conservative audience won't take them serious if they don't mention them. Many candidates are frequently reluctant to spend any serious time on hot button issues like firearms, abortion, and home schooling. The truly interesting thing about Sen. Cuccinelli is that the previously mentioned 3 issues are some very big issues for the Senator. He mentioned 2nd Amendment issues on several occasions, specifically mentioning the recent Heller decision in the Supreme Court. Sen. Cuccinelli spoke of the 2nd as one of the keys to our system of government and even commented on it being what secures in some respects the other 9 amendments in the Bill of Rights. Sen. Cuccinelli is so passionate about 2nd amendment issues that he even hosted a Heller Decision Celebration Party at the famous Fuddruckers restaurant in Richmond last Saturday.

Abortion is one of the most polarizing issues of our time and many politicians avoid it whenever they can. Sen. Cuccinelli spoke of having a clear track record on this issue and has no problems saying to anyone that will listen that abortion is murder any way you look at it. The Senator even gave the example that if you remove the egg of certain turtles from their nest site (which usually causes the death of the turtle) you can go to jail, but you can get an abortion and you will not go to jail or get into any trouble for that matter. He also referenced parental rights on juveniles going through such procedures.

It seems these days, lots of people have a preconceived idea of what type of people are home school people. Some think that they are religious fanaticals, some others think they are survivalists, and some think they are so bent on a given issue that they fear outside contact. Well I know several home school families, some right here in the Valley and I've found none of these characteristics present in the parents or the children. I've seen some of the most well adjusted, well behaved, curious, intelligent, respectful, and capable kids you'll find anywhere as well as some of the most loving, engaged, and concerned parents behind them. These parents made the decision to take the time to ensure that their children would be able to compete once in college and the world in general. You might ask, where is he going with this? Well in the three taboos of politics that I mentioned, not only is Sen. Cuccinelli willing to discuss this hot issue, he is part of it. Sen. Cuccenelli is a home school dad and assisted in the education of his five daughters and one son with his wife Teiro. Sen. Cuccinelli is very aware of what home schooling means to the families of VA who are tired of the failings that some schools systems seem to be ridden with. Sen. Cuccinelli understands that home schooling is not for everyone and is a firm supporter that schools must be held accountable for their results.

Sen. Cuccinelli is among other things very concerned about the the mental health system in VA and how we work, treat, interact, and deal with the mentally handicapped members of our society. The Senator has put immeasurable time both as a State Senator and as an attorney on mental health issues. He is considered the Senate expert on these matters and is respected in a bi-partisan manner on such issues.

The Senator spoke for nearly 90 minutes on these and other issues and then sat and continued to speak with many of us while we enjoyed the great Shoneys buffet and other menu items.

I've provided a sampling of endorsements that the Senator has gotten at this time.

I'm very impressed with what I've seen from this candidate for Attorney General of the Commonwealth of VA. I will be very interested to see what else this candidate has to say and do. The Augusta Water Cooler is not formally endorsing Senator Cuccinelli for AG at this time, but I'm certainly saying this man is worth a look. If you'd like get more information on the Senators race for AG or to subscribe to the Cuccinelli Compass his web site can be reached here.

Take every opportunity to meet, question, and hold to their promises the people who shape our world.