I just got off a conference call, in which the Mark Herring for Attorney General campaign announced the formation of a Republican coalition supporting Herring’s bid for Attorney General. Two speakers on the call, former Republican Delegate Katherine Waddell, and former Republican Senator Russ Pots, ripped GOP Attorney General nominee Mark Obenshain as an extremist, and explained their many reasons why they are strongly supporting Mark Herring for Attorney General. Here are a few highlights from the call.
*Mark Herring said he’s “excited…to announce the launch of Republicans for Herring, a growing coalition of former Republican lawmakers and party activists who are supporting my campaign for Attorney General.”
*In Herring’s view, “this may very well be the most important Attorney General’s race in a generation…because who our next Attorney General is will directly affect Virginians and shape our image as a state around the nation for years to come.”
*Herring says, correctly, that Ken Cuccinelli has used his power to “bend and twist the law,” and “use the office of Attorney General to impose his extreme agenda on Virginians.” The scary thing is, “Mark Obenshain would be a continuation of that,” as Obenshain has said repeatedly that “he and Ken Cuccinelli are like peas in a pod philosophically,” and that he views Cuccinelli as a “role model” who he’d “pick up the baton” from and continue along the same path.
*In stark contrast, Herring will take the politics OUT of the Attorney General’s office and return its focus to protecting Virginians – including their civil rights – and returning ethics to the office.
*Former Senator Potts said it is a “privilege and honor” to support Mark Herring for Attorney General, calling him a “class act” for whom he has the “utmost respect.”
*Potts said there are “glaring differences” between Mark Herring and Mark Obenshain, with the only similarity being that they share “the first name of Mark.”
*Potts said Obenshain has been, “without a doubt…one of the most far-right, extremist Senators in the history of the Virginia Senate.” Potts specifically cited Obenshain’s efforts to “make the Republican Party the party of exclusion and not inclusion” – for instance, making it tougher for people to vote and suppress voting; also the fact that Obenshain “led the way” in opposing the transportation bill, along with Ken Cuccinelli.
*Bottom line: “If you like what you see in Cuccinelli, you will LOVE what you see in Obenshain in terms of an extremist, right-wing platform, because both of them are birds of a feather…mirror each others’ political philosophy.”
*Obenshain and Cuccinelli are also, in Potts’ view, “classic examples of the abuse of power.” Referring to the saying, “power corrupts and power corrupts absolutely,” Potts said you’ll never find two better examples than Mark Obenshain and Ken Cuccinelli.
*In stark contrast, Potts believes that if we want someone “who wants to move Virginia forward…who reaches out across the aisles…you couldn’t find a better, more honest, decent, fine man…[who] represents all the best in Virginia politics” than Mark Herring.
*Katherine Waddell said that she’s “very proud to be supporting Mark Herring…the right choice for Virginia women in this Attorney General’s race.”
*Waddell said that Herring “strongly believes that women’s health care decisions are personal matters, and that lawmakers in Richmond have no right to be involved in them.”
*Waddell explained that “as someone who always believed in the Republican principles of limited government, individual freedom, and the right to privacy, there’s no way I could ever support Senator Mark Obenshain.”
*Waddell argued that Obenshain has been concealing his “extreme record against women’s reproductive rights” because “he knows that voters – whether they are Republicans, Democrats or Independents – will reject that record.” In fact, Waddell concluded, Obenshain is one of the “worst offenders on this Republican ticket…the most extreme ticket we have ever seen in the Commonwealth of Virginia.” Waddell specifically noted Obenshain’s support for “personhood” legislation, as well as the “transvaginal ultrasound” bill (Obenshain called it “commonsense legislation” and voted in favor of it), and his support for a bill that would have required women to report miscarriages to the police. Even worse, Obenshain “continues to rewrite history…promoting the ridiculous theory that he, Mark Obenshain [sponsor of that miscarriage bill], didn’t know the effect that bill would have on women, and remember this is coming from a man who wants to be Virginia’s top lawyer; all he had to do was read his own bill.”
*In stark contrast, Waddell said Mark Herring “believes that women are perfectly capable of making their own reproductive health care decisions without government interference,” which is why he is the “right choice for Virginia women.”