OBENSHAIN DODGES QUESTIONS, CONTINUES TO STAND BY MCDONNELL AND CUCCINELLI DURING ONE OF THE WORST ETHICS SCANDALS IN VIRGINIA HISTORY
Herring: “Either Senator Obenshain doesn’t have the courage of his convictions or he doesn’t have any ethics convictions at all.”
When asked directly whether he believed that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s office has handled the investigation into the financial relationship between Star Scientific and Governor Bob McDonnell’s financial relationship appropriately, Republican candidate for Attorney General Mark Obenshain’s non-answer tells Virginians all they need to know about his ethical standards. Putting political cronyism ahead of the interests of Virginians, Obenshain strikingly refused to condemn the unethical behavior of Governor McDonnell and Attorney General Cuccinelli, or to address serious concerns that Virginians have about pervasive ethics violations among Obenshain’s closest political allies.
In an email response to the Washington Post, Obenshain said he is, “committed to ensuring that the important work of the Attorney General’s office is unimpeded by any inappropriate political influence or even its appearance.”
Democratic candidate for Attorney General Mark Herring responded to Obenshain’s avoidance of addressing the ethics issues of his political allies:
“In one of the worst ethics crises in Virginia’s history, Senator Obenshain has refused to give Virginians a straight answer-or to hold the current office holders to the standard he, himself, has set forth. Either Senator Obenshain doesn’t have the courage of his convictions or he doesn’t have any ethics convictions at all. He has chosen to remain silent on Governor McDonnell’s ethical lapses and he has continued to be a cheerleader for his running mate Ken Cuccinelli despite his own unethical actions.
“The Attorney General has taken $18,000 in gifts from the Star Scientific CEO and his company, he’s taken vacations at his lake house and failed to disclose thousands of dollars in stock in his company, and has had to recuse himself from cases involving the company only after public outcry to do so. What would Ken Cuccinelli have to do to get Senator Obenshain’s attention?
“When it comes to ethics, Senator Obenshain doesn’t have a blind spot, he’s wearing an ethics blindfold,” Herring added.