Home Virginia Politics Is Bill Bolling Actually MORE “Conservative” than Ken Cuccinelli?!?

Is Bill Bolling Actually MORE “Conservative” than Ken Cuccinelli?!?

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The conventional wisdom, which I’d point out is almost always wrong, is that Ken Cuccinelli is much more “conservative” (in quotes because the word today has essentially lost all meaning; many of these self-proclaimed “conservatives” are actually far-right-wing extremists and radicals) than Bill Bolling. Is there any truth to that? Let’s look at their interest group ratings, courtesy of Project Vote Smart, from when they were in the General Assembly.

Bill Bolling (looking at his last year in the State Senate, 2005, unless otherwise noted)

ZERO from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia

ZERO from Planned Parenthood of Virginia

100% from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce

ZERO from Equality Virginia

100% from the Family Foundation of Virginia

ZERO from the Virginia League of Conservation Voters (although other years are all over the place)

11% Lifetime Rating from the Virginia AFL-CIO

ZERO from the Virginia National Organization for Women (2000 rating is the last available)

Also, the NRA said “Bolling’s strong support of the Second Amendment has earned him an “A+” rating.”

Ken Cuccinelli (looking at his last year in the State Senate, 2009, unless otherwise noted)

ZERO from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia

ZERO from Planned Parenthood of Virginia

89% from Virginia FREE (note: Cuccinelli’s last rating from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce was 82% in 2005)

67% from Equality Virginia

91% from the Family Foundation of Virginia

10% from the Virginia League of Conservation Voters (note: other years are all over the place)

ZERO from the Virginia AFL-CIO

A rating from the NRA

Comparing these ratings, it looks like Bill Bolling was actually a bit more right wing than Ken Cuccinelli while in the General Assembly in a number of areas (social issues, business), and about the same in other areas. So much for Bolling being more “moderate” in any way than Cuccinelli? Looking at their actual voting records, that sure seems to be the case.

So why does Cuccinelli get most of the attention, both positive (from the Tea Party, religious fundamentalists, etc.) and negative (from Democrats, liberals, progressives, etc.)? I’d argue it has almost nothing whatsoever to do with substance, but is pretty much 100% style/tone. Namely, Cuccinelli is flashy, aggressive, abrasive, insurgent/grassroots, loud and proud of the right-wingnuttiness he stands for; Bolling is boring, dull, drab, relatively genteel/establishment, and quiet about his own right-wingnuttiness. Other than that, I’m not seeing much daylight between the two. How about you?

P.S. Per a comment, it’s also worth noting that Cuccinelli has been in a much stronger position to push his right-wingnut agenda as Virginia Attorney General than Bolling has been as the mostly powerless Lieutenant Governor.