Thursday, July 23, 2009

Governor Kaine Follows Cuccinelli's Advice

Below is Senator Ken Cuccinelli's Official Statement on Governor Tim Kaine's announcement that he will be calling for a special session of the General Assembly, as originally recommended by Cuccinelli.

Cuccinelli Commends Governor for Special Session
Special Session, first called for by Senator Cuccinelli, is needed for immediate legal fix

RICHMOND -- Statement of Senator Ken Cuccinelli

"Governor Tim Kaine announced this morning that he was calling a special session of the General Assembly to address the problems facing Commonwealth's Attorneys - Virginia's front line prosecutors - as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's June 25th ruling in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts."

"After many discussions with those on the front lines in criminal justice, I have been adamant in my call for a special session to deal specifically with the legal issues facing the Commonwealth as a result of the Melendez case. While the Governor's office indicated to me initially that they were focused on trying to find an "administrative solution," I am pleased that the Governor and his team have concluded that the best solution is to rewrite Virginia's laws to make sure we don't lose convictions of drunk drivers, drug offenders, and sex registry offenders. It's never a popular idea to call a special session, in the middle of the summer, especially in an election year. I congratulate the Governor for making the right choice to protect the people of Virginia."

"The problems caused by the Melendez case are growing daily. Prosecutors from all over the Commonwealth are faced with the prospect of having to dismiss - and in some cases lose - DUI, drug and other cases because analysts who tested the substance at issue (drugs, blood, etc.) are not available to testify in court, as specified under the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The longer we delay, the more drunk drivers and drug offenders get off spot free. I am confident that the overwhelming proportion of my colleagues will come to Richmond focused on fixing this real and rising danger in our criminal justice system."

"In the Melendez case, the Supreme Court identified three states whose laws already comply with their ruling: Georgia, Texas and Ohio. So there should not be feuding over the solution. We should conform Virginia's laws to be similar to the so-called 'notice-waiver' statutes of these three states for all appropriate cases. We will also need to try and add more lab technicians to catch back up on the backlog of work created for our lab techs and prosecutors since the Melendez decision."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Violence ON Pro-Lifers

It's a sad, infuriating fact that one unstable individual, in the name of the "Pro-Life" cause, can undo so much hard-earned respect and trust for the Pro-Life community. It's also quite obvious that while the mourning of a victimized abortionist rivals that of any late celebrity, instances of harassment and outright violence from the pro-death camp on their pro-life counterparts are disgracefully overlooked, common, everyday occurrences.

I intend to do my part in drawing attention to the injustice; starting today with a recent story of a pro-lifer who was nearly run over by an employee of the abortion clinic. (Click the highlighted text to read the article). The pro-lifer was on public property, not violating anything but the employee's conscience. The employee purposefully sped in the driveway, narrowly missing the common pedestrian who happened to be pro-life. This story is not new to me, for I myself participate in sidewalk counseling outside of abortion clinics - praying for the staff as much as the clients, and offering help and options to the latter. Screaming of obscenities from the staff and those of the pro-death mindset is nothing unusual, and every so often, they take it a step farther. So much for free speech.

One personal account is similar to the article linked above, with a pro-lifer being nearly run over.One day a car pulled into the parking lot and the driver rolled down his window and signaled for one of the pro-lifers, a young man, to come over to his car. He did, and when he stooped down to talk on face-level with the couple in the car, the man driving spit in the pro-life man's face. The young man then replied with "God bless you, sir." The driver then reversed the car, pulled back and aimed the vehicle for the young man, who was standing on the side of the driveway on the sidewalk. It all happened so quickly that he did not have the time to get out of the way... The driver jumped on the gas to run the man over, and would have done so, had not his wife in the passengers seat screamed and jerked the steering wheel, causing the car to miss the young man. This is just one of many, many acts of harassment bordering on outright violence and intentional harm (though what should we expect from those believe we have the "choice" to murder?).
No, the young man did not die that day as - we are all SO very aware - several abortionists have. But how do we know that pro-lifers have not been murdered for their convictions? If instances of attempted murder are not reported - or at least the abortion issue is not mentioned in the news report - there should be little confidence in the reports of those who are openly committed to advancing the pro-death agenda. Their silence speaks volumes.

Cuccinelli Outraises Shannon

Thanks to VASocialConservative for the following info:
In the last fundraising period Ken Cuccinelli ouraised his opponent, Steve Shannon, by $7,000.00. Ken Cuccinelli raised $291,704 and Steven Shannon raised $284,733. (Contrary to what the Richmond Times Dispatch may write this actually means Ken raised more money.) Not only did Ken outraise Steve, but he also had the most donations. He had 292 donations greater than $100.00 compared with Shannon's 238. On donations of $100.00 or less Cuccinelli had 487 more than eight times as much as Steve Shannon's 57. If donors are votes Ken Cuccinelli is in good shape.

Not only did Ken outraise Steve Shannon this quarter, he pulled in a historic haul. According to Chris Lacivita,
"This was more than the last two GOP candidates for attorney general, Bob McDonnell and Jerry W. Kilgore, raised in the same period, campaign consultant Chris LaCivita said. It also includes no national GOP money, he said."
This historic fundraising report follows only a week after Ken's polling lead was announced. Let's keep this moment going by volunteering, and continuing to donate. If we work hard we will see Ken Cuccinelli as our next Attorney General.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Cuccinelli Calls for Special Session of VA Assembly

"We need to Protect Virginians from Drug Dealers and Drunk Drivers."

Senator Cuccinelli showing Virginia that he's the real deal - that election or no election, campaign or no campaign, win or lose, he's about doing what's best for the people of Virginia - setting the example of a true public servant.

Reposted from VA Social Conservative:
FAIRFAX -- Today, State Senator Ken Cuccinelli, (R-Fairfax), and Republican Candidate for Attorney General, called on Governor Tim Kaine to bring the Legislature back to Richmond immediately to address the problems created by the ruling of the United States Supreme Court in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts.
This decision has begun forcing prosecutors to suspend drug and drunk driver prosecutions, "which is a situation that is bad and will likely get worse if we don't act quickly," said Cuccinelli.

"The first priority of Government is public safety. It is with this in mind that I call on Governor Kaine to convene the General Assembly as soon as possible to fix the problem with our notice waiver statute in the Virginia Code. While Virginia's law was ruled constitutional by our Virginia Supreme Court, that ruling was a close 4-3 decision, and it is on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. While I share our Attorney General's opinion that Virginia should prevail under the current statute, the U.S. Supreme Court will not reconvene to hear this case until at least October, and the case is clearly a close call at best," said Cuccinelli.

"Commonwealth's Attorneys are on the front lines in the war on crime, they need to be secure in knowing that all Virginia's statutes are constitutional and that their prosecutions will not be undone because of Melendez. And of course the state has an obligation to the defense, to ensure protection under the 6th Amendment. I believe the only way to ensure constitutionality is to conform Virginia's notice waiver statute to Georgia's, which the U.S. Supreme Court said is constitutional in theMelendez case. Anything less I believe would be a disservice to Virginia's Commonwealth's Attorneys and its law enforcement community," concluded Cuccinelli.

Until the ruling in Melendez-Diaz, the Virginia state forensic lab was able to submit a certificate of analysis of their findings for use in court in drug and D.U.I. cases. Virginia law allows the certificate of analysis as proof of the drugs involved in the case or blood alcohol content. "With the volume of cases analyzed, requiring court appearances by the scientist in every case has the potential to cripple the criminal justice system," noted Cuccinelli.

Local prosecutors across the Commonwealth are also asking for a special session to fix the problem. Louisa County Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Garrett said, "Across the Commonwealth drunk drivers and drug dealers are going free in cases that would have been certain convictions two weeks ago."

Senator Cuccinelli said, "A legislative fix would be much better than hiring 100-200 new scientists, which we couldn't do now even if we tried."

Senator Cuccinelli noted that under the Virginia Constitution, if the Governor does not act, the legislature can call itself into session if 2/3 of the Senators and 2/3 of the Delegates write to the Governor making such a request. "We can call the special session now, before too much damage has been done, or we'll end up doing it later, after hundreds or thousands of drug defendants and drunk drivers have gotten off spot-free. I think we should act right now."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Definition of Liberalism

According to Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, a Liberal is defined as the following:

Lib"er*al\, n. One who favors greater freedom in political or religious matters; an opponent of the established systems; a reformer.

If that is the case, then I am one. Except once again I take issue with the relation to status quo, by being intrinsically "an opponent of established systems," because that depends on what the established system is like. I do like the term "reformer," though, because it implies so much more meaning and purpose than just "change."

So if I'm trying to conserve the principles upon which our nation was founded - for the purpose of greater freedom in political matters - can I be rightly called a Conservative Liberal?

On the other hand, I think most modern conservatives today (myself included) would agree that the modern political label of "Liberal" often means anything but greater freedom... and of course, "Conservative" means much more than maintaining the established system.

Maybe we need to come up with some new labels.

Cuccinelli/Shannon Debate Clip

Here's a good illustration of the role-of-AG debate between Senator Ken Cuccinelli and Steve Shannon. Enjoy!

Ken Cuccinelli's Agenda, Steve Shannon's Aimlessness

In Virginia the Gubernatorial races are in full swing, as are the elections for Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General. The latter is of special interest due to the extremely rare breed of the Republican candidate, State Senator Ken Cuccinelli (pronounced "Koo-chen-el-ee"), and the exceptional message he represents. I will likely write about him often, but quite honestly, I'm finding that most people just can't say enough about the man who is even admired by his critics for his unwavering dedication to America's founding principles and sincere devotion to serving his constituents rather than the other way around. Yes, Ken Cuccinelli is here to stay.

For now, I'd like to comment on a shockingly under-reported, and therefore largely ignored, debate that took place on June 20th in Virginia Beach between Senator Cuccinelli and his Democrat opponent, Steve Shannon. I'm not exagerrating "shockingly under-reported"... there was only one press review of the debate by "Virginia Lawyers Weekly" and no other reporters were present.

You can read the (literally) incomparable Lawyers Weekly report here:

It's a shame more people didn't/don't know about this revealing dialogue.
Of special interest was the issue regarding just what, exactly, is the main objective of the Attorney General's office. According to the Lawyers Weekley report, "Cuccinelli said that the attorney general’s legislative agenda was the third-most important each year on Capitol Hill, behind that of the governor and the speaker of the House." And he would know, having served on Capitol Hill for the past 7 years.
Shannon, on the other hand, seemed be weakly to echoing the conservative "no activist judges" line, which would be commendable, were it not for the fact that he's not running for the position of Judge, but Attorney General. He stated that it is his belief that the Attorney General's job to enforce the law and nothing beyond. Again, this would sound more reasonable and relevant if he were running for Sheriff or Judge, and even then he would still have to come up with positions on the issues eventually. Apparently this is something Shannon struggles with; as one blogger reviewed the debate, "members of the Virginia State Bar and Virginia’s current Attorney General Bill Mims could witness first hand Steve Shannon’s unwillingness to state a position on any major issue... indicative of a man without any sense of direction."
How convenient to take a one-answer-fits-all approach on the tough and complex issues of the day by copping out with the "that's not my prerogative" line. How... political.

I'm not criticizing his opinion on law enforcement, I'm just wondering if he knows the position he's actually running for. A non-biased, ambitionless approach is right, if not necessary, for a judge to properly fulfill his/her role of applying the established law to any given case. The attorney's role, in contrast, demands a verdict (no pun intended). It is the attorney's sole objective to persuade the judge. Any lawyer who intendeds to continue being a lawyer must walk into the court room with an agenda which he aims to push aggressively to persuade the judge to rule in favor of his side of the case. By very definition, an attorney must choose sides. Cuccinelli understands this, and is being honest and upfront with the voters of Virginia by clearly laying out his position on the issues. In a recent interview with National Review Online, Cuccinelli frankly stated, "“The point is to accomplish the agenda,” he says. What is the agenda? “I’m running to advance a more limited-government, pro-family agenda. The founding fathers would approve.” Well at least we all know.

Judges are appointed, and not elected, because in theory they are not representing anything but the law. An attorney is different, and an elected attorney much more so. The candidates have every right - if not the responsibility - to clearly outline their ideals and agenda like good and honest politicians. And if the last statement seems like an oxymoron, it's because far too many candidates like Shannon are successful at saying nothing, standing for nothing and therefore accomplishing nothing. Why do we the voters feel cheated when we voted for a man who wasn't honest with us to begin with?

Both candidates claim to understand that the AG is a representative of the voters, so they should have no problem taking a stance on the issues and letting the people decide which viewpoint they'd rather have representing them. This is exactly what Ken Cuccinelli is doing admirably, and Shannon should stop misleading the public and get to work explaining himself to the voters.