Thursday, October 8, 2009

AG Debate Provides Clear Example of Campaign Themes

Last night’s debate between the two candidates for Attorney General was one that actually did get into a fair amount of discussion on the issues that are relevant to the AG’s office. Whether it was discussing databases used to help law enforcement, guns on college campuses, or making college more accessible, Steve Shannon wanted to work with people from both sides of the aisle to create the best policy while Ken Cuccinelli wanted to promote a partisan agenda.

As a matter of fact, this theme even started to emerge before the debate even started. Cuccinelli’s supporters were outside of the auditorium holding up “Don’t tread on me signs” while Steve Shannon’s supporters were holding up signs that focused on how he’ll work on issues like public safety. Since both campaigns played a role in organizing their supporters this is very telling because it illustrates what each campaign values. With that being said, Cuccinelli’s campaign decided to associate with the teabaggers on the extreme right while Shannon’s campaign wanted people talking about ways to keep our communities safe.

Perhaps one of the most noticeable aspects of the debate was the fact that Ken Cuccinelli clearly doesn't like labor and consistently bragged about receiving a 0 rating from the AFL-CIO. I think this is important to note because the AFL-CIO gives out ratings that really focus on how an official votes on issues that largely affect working class folks. This essentially means that if you receive a poor rating from the organization you are voting against the best interests of the hard working people who do things like maintain our roads, build and maintain the buildings that business is conducted in, and keep our communities safe. You can claim you're pro-business, but if you are voting against these folks then you are also voting against the people who make it possible for business to succeed.

What makes Cuccinelli's 0 rating even more remarkable is that you have to work hard to get a 0. This means the senator didn't just vote the wrong way a few times; he was actively supporting an agenda that is anti-worker. The fact that Cuccinelli would continuously brag about his 0 rating and use it as an example of the policy he would promote as AG therefore truly goes to show that he's more interesting in attacking labor unions and the working class than actually making Virginia a better place to live.

Shannon, on the other hand, has received support from both business groups like the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce and some labor organizations. As Steve highlighted during the debate, the Chamber of Commerce usually endorses Republican candidates. This year is no different as the Chamber has already endorsed Bob McDonnell for Governor. Ken Cuccinelli’s is so out of touch, however, that groups like the Chamber are consistently deciding to forego endorsing his candidacy and are supporting Steve Shannon. The fact that he’s getting support from both labor and the Chamber of Commerce suggests that he truly is the candidate who would be able to lead in a direction that’s best for our economy

So there you have it. Based on the policy being promoted by the two campaigns you have a chance to decide between a candidate who got involved in politics to protect our communities and one who is proud of being anti-worker. In my opinion the choice is very clear. Vote for the candidate who has public safety experience and would work to improve our communities -- Steve Shannon.


  1. Yea the AFL-CIO, is such a good group, they confiscate money out of people's pay checks, just like the government does through taxes, then the unions bosses make 6 and 7 figures when the worker get screwed by their union leadership.Union leaders look out for their selves and their power, not the workers.

  2. gwatson, your comment is very typical of people who don't like people who stand up for the working class. We have labor unions to thank for the 5 day work week, a minimum wage, pensions, and plenty of other programs that improve the lives of not just their members but the general public as well. It's a shame that all your response to an organization that helps to empower America's workers is to spread misinformation in a desperate attempt to cast it an evil organization.