Earlier this week, several Virginia Democrats (Senators McEachin and Petersen, Delegate Toscano) took on Attorney General Cuccinelli for his outrageous assault on academic freedom. Today, another Democrat weighs in with his own legislation. See the “flip” for Del. Adam Ebbin’s press release on legislation he’s introduced to “curb the ability of the Attorney General to file civil actions without the request or authorization of the Governor or General Assembly.” According to Del. Ebbin, AG Cuccinelli has “abandoned the tradition of good and responsible government set by his predecessors, and instead used his position as a platform to unilaterally pursue political-motivated ends.” And, Del. Ebbin adds, that’s completely unacceptable: “This bill sends a clear message from the people of Virginia: not in our name, and not with our money.”
Good for Del. Ebbin, and also to every Democrat who’ standing up to our far-right-wing ideologue of an Attorney General.
Ebbin Introduces Legislation to Hold Attorney General Accountable to the People of Virginia
Richmond, VA — Delegate Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) introduced legislation Thursday which will curb the ability of the Attorney General to file civil actions without the request or authorization of the Governor or General Assembly, arguing that Ken Cuccinelli has abandoned the tradition of good and responsible government set by his predecessors, and instead used his position as a platform to unilaterally pursue political-motivated ends.
“Instead of focusing on enforcing consumer protection laws and making sure Virginia is the safest state in the country to raise a family, the Attorney General is devoting taxpayer dollars and scarce government resources to pursue symbolic lawsuits and other civil actions that serve only to promote his own agenda and political career,” said Ebbin. “This bill sends a clear message from the people of Virginia: not in our name, and not with our money.”
The bill also specifies that the Attorney General may not file amicus curiae briefs on behalf of the Commonwealth or represent the state in matters before the federal government unless requested or authorized to do so by the Governor or legislature.
“The Attorney General doesn’t act alone — he acts on our behalf and in our name,” said Ebbin, “and like any employee of the state, Ken Cuccinelli must be accountable to the taxpayers. My bill allows the Governor to oversee the Attorney General’s expenditures and protects the Commonwealth’s budget by ensuring that the people’s money is spent doing the people’s work.”
Ebbin’s legislation comes on the heels of bills introduced by Sens. J. Chapman Petersen (D-Fairfax) and Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) aimed at restricting the ability of the Attorney General to issue civil subpoenas under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act.
While Cuccinelli is likely to object to the legislation, he won’t be able to do so on constitutional grounds. The Constitution of Virginia explicitly limits the duties of the Attorney General to that which are given to him by the legislature.