Home 2013 races Loudoun AG Debate Pits Problem-Solver Against Tea Party Extremist

Loudoun AG Debate Pits Problem-Solver Against Tea Party Extremist

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From the Mark Herring for Attorney General campaign. Also note that I've got the live stream of the debate in the comments section for this post.

 

This morning, the two candidates for Virginia Attorney General will square off at the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce debate in a contest that is certain to highlight the differences between the two candidates. The choice will be clear for Virginians: Do they want four more years of the same type of leadership Virginians have come to expect from Ken Cuccinelli or do they want to take the politics out of the office of Attorney General?

 

Democratic candidate for Mark Herring has been calleda pragmatist who has focused on high-tech research and development issues, introducing bills that would help small firms and entrepreneurs,” and that “the contrast between the two candidates – in judgment, in legal analysis, in priorities – couldn't be clearer. Herring is the better choice to be Virginia's next attorney general.”

 

Republican Tea Party candidate Mark Obenshain, on the other hand, has “developed a reputation in the Senate during the past nine years as a legislator who favors ideology over the common interest” and earned the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation’s endorsement due to his extreme right-wing record. This is part of the reason why Republican Lt. Governor Bill Bolling has called the Virginia Republican ticket “the most ideologically driven ticket that we have seen in the history of our state.”

 

Obenshain’s running mate, E.W. Jackson, said that the Virginia Republican ticket is “in fundamental agreement,” adding “I’ve heard that this ticket is probably more homogeneous than almost any ticket ever in the history of Virginia.”

 

We have seen what happens when ideologues like Ken Cuccinelli get into statewide office. Despite what he is saying on the campaign trail,  Mark Obenshain will continue where Ken Cuccinelli left off. In reference to Ken Cuccinelli, Obenshain said they are “‘two peas in a pod, philosophically,“ and that he can “take the baton from Ken, build on his work, without missing a step.”

 

With such strong ties to the Tea Party, Mark Obenshain – who sought out and received the endorsement of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation –  has been virtually silent on the current government shutdown that the Tea Party faction on Capitol Hill actively worked toward. The Tea Party’s actions at the Federal level are an example of the type of leadership Virginians can expect from politicians who support their efforts at the state level.

 

Democratic candidate for Attorney General Mark Herring has called on his Tea Party opponent Mark Obenshain to condemn the Congressional Republican obstructionism that led to the shutdown of the Federal government. Obenshain has yet to issue such a condemnation. 

  • Mark Herring opening statement: Work through challenges, differences together. “That’s the kind of leader I am, that’s the kind of AG I’ll be.” Vivid contrast: faction of Tea Party politicians have shut federal government down. Sen. Obenshain shares that same extreme approach. He votes with Tea Party, received their endorsement. Just like EW Jackson and Ken Cuccinelli. Obenshain sponsored the personhood bill that would outlaw a woman’s right to choose even in cases of rape and incest. Obenshain supported trans-vaginal ultrasound. LGBT Virginians would be treated second-class citizens in Cucc/Jackson/Obenshain Virginia. Obenshain opposed transportation funding. Herring says he believes in the law, not extremist politics. Mother drilled lesson into him that if you see something wrong, you have the duty to try and fix it. Way too much politics, not enough problem solving in AG’s office. Obenshain would be a continuation of Ken Cuccinelli. As AG, Herring will keep families and communities safe. Will support military veterans. Will fight against sexual and domestic violence/abuse. Will work to protect civil liberties, privacy. Tight ethical standards. Will put the law and Virginians first as AG.

  • Claims that he has a “positive vision” for Virginia. 1. Keeping communities safe. 2. Keeping Virginia a great place to do business. Falsely claims that regulations are #1 job killer in America. That’s just demonstrably bull****. Look it up. Claims he’s been all sweetness and light, while Mark Herring has been “false and negative” “focusing on social issues.” Uhhhh…name ONE THING that Mark Herring’s said that is “false?” Also, it’s not “negative” to tell people the truth about Mark Obenshain’s actual positions on the issues, actual votes, etc. Typical Republican Big Lie. Obenshain claims Herring somehow thwarted economic development, which is contradicted by the fact that Loudoun County has boomed the past couple decades. Another Big Lie. Now he’s bashing organized labor (of course) and project labor agreements (EVIL!!!! – lol). What a joke. Note that he hasn’t mentioned the endorsements of Mark Herring by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce and the NOVA Tech Council PAC? Hmmmm.

  • Mark Herring now nailing Obenshain on ethics. Touting independent ethics commission. Gift ban needs to be extended. Make sure campaign funds can’t be used for personal expenses. Obenshain doesn’t have an ethics plan.  CONSOL Energy scandal.

    Obenshain claims he’s been proactive on ethics. Uh huh.

    Herring – Points out that Obenshain voted against gift ban, has yet to criticize Cuccinelli’s handling of Star Scientific case.

  • Obenshain – If it’s a defensible constitutional provision, “I’m gonna defend it.” Bashes environmental regulations.

    Herring – Constitution is primary. AG is state’s chief legal officer. Review legal precedence, do legal analysis, good-faith, honest decision on whether law is constitutional or not. Will have to defend laws he personally disagrees with. But if it’s validly passed and constitutional he will defend that. But he will NOT ignore the constitutional, that’s foundational law, that’s primary law. Voted against school takeover law on policy and constitutional grounds.

  • Herring – “I know my way around the courtroom.” Strongly supports Medicaid expansion, will provide health care to hundreds of thousands of Virginians, billions of dollars to Virginia. Obenshain has opposed Medicaid expansion and the billions of dollars that would come to Virginia. As AG, would investigate any fraud.

    Obenshain – Medicaid fraud has become big business, have to go after this. Claims it does not need to be a confrontational process. Need to recognize who are our enemies and who are our friends. Whatever that means. Of course, notice that he’s dodging the issue of expanding Medicaid (and the billions of dollars, thousands of jobs, etc. that come along with it), which he voted against. #FAIL #FAIL #FAIL

  • From the Herring campaign:


    GOP AG candidate’s unpalatable anti-women record on display at Loudoun AG debate

    At today’s Attorney General debate, Tea Party Republican Mark Obenshain sidestepped his extreme record when it comes to women’s reproductive rights. When accused that his introduction and support of multiple “personhood” bills in the General Assembly would ban common forms of birth control, Obenshain pivoted to avoid evidence that clearly points out the far-reaching consequences of the measures.

    This is another example of Mark Obenshain misleading Virginians about his record. Obenshain knows that Virginians simply will not vote for someone who introduced these types of anti-woman measures.

    Background:

    Mark Obenshain, In 2012, Voted In Support Of A “Personhood” Bill That Would Give “Fertilized Eggs The Same Legal Rights As People.” Mark Obenshain, on February 23, 2012, was one of 14 state senators who voted against killing by sending back to committee House Bill 1, which was a bill to give “fertilized eggs the same legal rights as people.” This “so-called ‘personhood'” bill stipulated “that life begins at conception and confers all the rights and privileges of a person to a fertilized egg.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 02/23/12, and HB 1, 2012)

    The “Personhood” Bill In 2012, Would “Give A Fertilized Egg Full Rights Of Virginia Citizenship, And Jeopardize Some Forms Of Birth Control…” The Daily Press’ Tamara Dietrich opined, “Now that our House of Delegates is even more firmly in the grasp of the GOP, and the Senate is evenly split – with a Republican lieutenant governor to break ties – ideologues like Marshall have been shoving their hardline agenda right down the GA pipeline. Marshall introduced a ‘personhood’ bill to give a fertilized egg full rights of Virginia citizenship, and jeopardize some forms of birth control, in vitro fertilization and abortion rights. Thankfully, that bill was tabled till next year.” (Daily Press, Column, 02/26/12)

    Mark Obenshain, In 2011, Sponsored A Bill To Give Constitutional Rights To The Unborn From The Moment Of Conception. Mark Obenshain, in 2011, sponsored Senate Bill 1207, which was a bill to “extend constitutionally guaranteed rights to the unborn from the moment of conception.” (SB 1207, 2011 and Harrisonburg Daily News-Record, 01/21/11)

    Mark Obenshain, In 2007, Co-Sponsored A “Personhood” Amendment. Mark Obenshain, in 2007, was a co-sponsor of House Bill 2797, which was a “personhood” bill. (HB 2797, 2007)

    Washington Post Editorial: “The Practical Effects Of ‘Personhood’ Measures,” Would “Easily Include Banning The Most Popular Forms Of Contraception,” Including The Pill. “The practical effects of ‘personhood’ measures, including the one in Virginia to which Mr. Cuccinelli affixed his name, would easily include banning the most popular forms of contraception. This is because the pill, as well as other forms of birth control, work partly by preventing the implantation of eggs in the uterus wall after they have been fertilized. If the ‘preborn’ are protected ‘from the moment of fertilization,’ as the 2007 bill demanded, then contraception – which defeats a fertilized egg’s chances of becoming a living being – could be prohibited. In fact, the legislation seems to demand it.” (Washington Post, Editorial, 09/04/13)

    The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Said “Personhood” Bills Could Outlaw Some Forms of Birth Control And Contraception. “The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says such legislation could outlaw birth control pills and other forms of contraception that prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a uterus.” (PolitiFact Virginia/Richmond Times-Dispatch, 09/13/13)

    According To PolitiFact Virginia, Virginia’s “Personhood” Bills “Would Have Opened Or Protected Legal Avenues To Challenge The Use Of Certain Contraceptives.” Mark Obenshain “supported personhood bills that recognized life as beginning at the moment of conception or fertilization and bestowed human embryos with legal rights. The Bills “would have opened or protected legal avenues to challenge the use of certain contraceptives.” (HB 1, 2012; HB 2797, 2007; SB 1207, 2011; and PolitiFact Virginia/Richmond Times-Dispatch, 09/13/13)

    Mark Obenshain, On The JMU Board Of Visitors In 2003, Voted To Ban The Distribution Of The “Morning-After” Pill On Campus, And “Said That The Discharge Of A Fertilized Egg Constitutes A Type Of Abortion.” In April 2003, “the JMU Board of Visitors halted the sale of the pill that contains levonorgestrel, a synthetic hormone that is officially a contraceptive, but which also can perform a type of early abortion, critics say. … At the meeting, board member Mark D. Obenshain moved that JMU stop selling levonorgestrel, according to school spokesman Fred Hilton. Hilton said a clear majority of the board approved the motion but an exact vote count was not taken. Obenshain said that causing the discharge of a fertilized egg constitutes a type of abortion.” (Associated Press, 04/23/03)

    Mark Obenshain Opposes The Use Of Contraceptives “Known As Morning-After Pills.” He Said He Hopes They “‘Are Banned On College Campuses.'” State Delegate Bob Marshall, in 2004, introduced a bill to “ban the distribution of Emergency Contraceptive Pills [ECPs] on state colleges and university campuses.” Mark Obenshain said “he wants a chance to support” this bill. “‘I hope ECPs are banned on college campuses,’ he said. ‘I don’t think colleges have any business in that business. It’s overreaching. It’s well beyond what government should or should not be involved in. Universities are subsidizing the distribution of these drugs and they are promoting irresponsible behavior.'” (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record, 02/18/04)

  • Obenshain – AG should have role in toll proceedings. Claims he’d appear on behalf of toll payers. Bashes Project Labor Agreements yet again. Totally brain dead. Here’s Obenshain’s real record, courtesy of the Herring campaign:

    OBENSHAIN TRANSPORTATION RECORD: STOP, BLOCK AND TOLL

    GOP AG candidate’s perennial efforts to derail transportation upgrades highlighted in AG debate



    At today’s Attorney General debate, Mark Obenshain quickly pivoted from explaining why he did not vote for the landmark bipartisan transportation funding bill earlier this year that would provide desperately needed investments across the state, including Northern Virginia, which would receive millions of dollars for maintenance, upgrades and new construction.

    In a defining moment in Virginia history, Mark Obenshain had the chance to step up and show leadership and a willingness to work across the aisle to solve a perennial problem in the Commonwealth. Instead, Obenshain did not join the other Democrats, Republicans and Independents that put Virginia’s families and Virginia’s businesses first. This bill was so critical to business that the statewide business group Virginia FREE said that it was “the most important business vote in a generation,” and used just this one vote in their yearly legislative scorecard.

    Mark Herring has been a supporter of multiple bills aimed at improving our transportation system. This is why Herring has received endorsements from the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s TechPAC, the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Association of Realtors.

    “On the important issues facing Virginia, Mark Obenshain has been completely absent,” said Herring for Attorney General campaign manager Kevin O’Holleran. “Mark Obenshain has continuously stood in the way of solving our shared problems so he can put his unpalatable brand of personal politics first, just like Ken Cuccinelli.

    Background:

    Mark Herring, In 2013, Voted For An Historic Bi-Partisan Transportation Bill To Meaningfully Address Virginia’s Transportation Challenges.  Mark Obenshain, on February 23, 2013, was one of 15 state senators who voted against House Bill 2313, a bi-partisan transportation bill to fix “Virginia’s road woes,” a “long-term effort toward securing Virginia’s infrastructure and economy.” The new transportation plan would “raise an estimated $5.9 billion over five years; just under $3.5 billion will be raised statewide. The additional taxes in Northern Virginia will raise more than $1.5 billion for projects there during that period. In Hampton Roads, those taxes will raise about $1 billion over five years for projects here.” The Virginian-Pilot called the measure “historic” and credited leaders from both parties for doing “something meaningful about Virginia’s roads.” Mark Herring was one of 25 state senators who voted for the package. (House Bill 2313, 2013 and Virginian-Pilot, Editorial, 03/27/13)

    The Roanoke Times Called Mark Obenshain A Block To Fixing The Transportation Crisis. Mark Obenshain, according to The Roanoke Times, is part of a group of state legislators “who annually block measures to address the state’s transportation crisis.” (Roanoke Times, 10/16/09)

    Mark Obenshain, In 2004, Voted Against A Version Of The State Budget That Included Significant Increases In Funding For Transportation. Mark Obenshain on February 26, 2004, was one of nine state senators who voted against Senate Bill 30, was a “two-year, $61.5 billion budget” that included “a $3.8 billion plan” to raise “the sales, gasoline and cigarette taxes,” and adjust “income tax brackets.”  More specifically, this budget included $1.7 billion for “elementary and secondary schools – more than twice that proposed by [Governor Mark] Warner – as well as $1.6 billion on transportation.” It included “a one-penny increase in the sales tax” and “two new tax brackets for high-income Virginians,” as well as “additional fuel taxes” and an increase in cigarette taxes “from 2.5 cents per pack to 35 cents per pack.” Senate Bill 30, in 2004, did not pass. (Washington Times, 02/27/04, and SB 30, 02/26/04)

  • and do you plan to follow Cuccinelli model.

    Herring – We need fundamental change in AG’s office. Cuccinelli has twisted the law, abused  power of office to advance personal and politically extreme social agenda. Should be providing objective leadership advice. Obenshain has said that he and Ken Cuccinelli are like “peas in a pod” philosophically, would be a model for Obenshain as AG. They have the same record. Tried to get contraception banned at JMU. Tried to ban abortion and common forms of contraception. That should NOT be what the AG’s office should be about. Should be about protecting Virginians, providing objective legal advice.

    Obenshain – Claims again that these are “attacks” and that they are “false,” but does not say HOW they are “false.” Cuz they’re 100% true. Look it up yourself.

    Herring – Talking about LOTS of positive ideas, but an important part of campaigning is to point out opponent’s record. “If I had your voting record, I wouldn’t want to talk about it either.” Voters need to know where the candidates stand on the issues.  

  • …and judgeships.

    Herring says AG can do things to make sure court proceedings move along, not get clogged up with frivolous lawsuits. Work with local law enforcement, prosecutors. Politicians like to talk about keeping communities safe, supporting local law enforcement, but you have to vote to actually support them. I have been there time and again to support local law enforcement…to make sure they have the resources they need.  Obenshain hasn’t always been there in providing resources to local law enforcement and prosecutors.

  • Herring – Yes. Important that businesses be able to operate smoothly, not overburden them with regulation. Every term there’s a process for regulations to be reviewed. AG is part of that process. The business community knows they can trust me, work with me, that’s why business organizations around state are supporting me (e.g., Fairfax Chamber, NOVA Tech Council, Realtors).

    Obenshain – Claims EEOC has been acting “without constraint” over the years. “When the federal government steps over the bounds…” blah blah blah (standard Teapublican gubmint-bashing time. Also bashing the EPA for supposedly trying to “kill” coal. In other words, it’s Big Lie time for Mark Obenshain.)

    Herring – If any agency adopts a regulation that exceeds its authority and harms Virginia, I will stand up for Virginia. When I make those decisions, it will be based on the law, not on the politics. Will not fabricate lawsuits just to get publicity, curry favor with small segment of the political base.

  • Obenshain says he supports ethics reform (even though he’s opposed it in the past). “Protect families and kids.” The problem, of course, is that Obenshain has voted for YEARS for policies that HURT families and kids (e.g., opposing Medicaid expansion)!!! These people are truly shameless…

    Herring – Major ethics package. We have been tarnished by what McDonnell and Cuccinelli have done with Star Scientific scandal. Will also stress public safety. Ban the drug “spice.” Crack down on child sexual predators.

  • Herring – Two very different records, approaches, visions of office. Cuccinelli has advanced extreme ideological/social agenda. Obenshain’s approach would be exactly the same. Ban birth control, worth with Tea Party allies, etc. Herring will be pragmatic, problem solver, get things done. Focus on building the American dream – education, health care. Cuccinelli has bent and twisted the law. Obenshain is 100% in sync with Cuccinelli. Will support military veterans, families. Will protect people’s civil rights. Put the law first, take politics out of the office. Will wake up each and every day ready to fight for justice, equality, opportunity for all Virginians.

    Obenshain – Says he will keep Virginians safe, make Virginia great place to do business. All I can say is, LOOK AT OBENSHAIN’s RECORD and decide for yourself! Obenshain says he’ll “look you in the eye” and tell you what he’ll do as AG. Yeah, and that’s EXACTLY what terrifies us. Again, look at this guy’s records and his statements about Cuccinelli being a model for him. Is that what Virginians want, another Crazy Cooch as AG? Gack!!!

  • OBENSHAIN AVOIDS HIS ‘NAY’ VOTE ON LANDMARK TRANSPORTATION PACKAGE

    Transportation package considered ‘most important business vote’ by business groups

    In a defining moment in Virginia history, Mark Obenshain had the chance to step up and show leadership and a willingness to work across the aisle to solve a perennial problem in the Commonwealth. Instead, Obenshain did not join the other Democrats, Republicans and Independents that put Virginia’s families and Virginia’s businesses first. This bill was so critical to business that the statewide business group Virginia FREE said that it was “the most important business vote in a generation,” and used just this one vote in their yearly legislative scorecard.

    Mark Herring has been a supporter of multiple bills aimed at improving our transportation system. This is why Herring has received endorsements from the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s TechPAC, the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Association of Realtors.

    “On the important issues facing Virginia, Mark Obenshain has been completely absent,” said Herring for Attorney General campaign manager Kevin O’Holleran. “Mark Obenshain has continuously stood in the way of solving our shared problems so he can put his unpalatable brand of personal politics first, just like Ken Cuccinelli.

  • HERRING WINS SECOND AG DEBATE, REVEALS OBENSHAIN’S EXTREME RECORD AND TEA PARTY TIES

    Democratic AG candidate Mark Herring showcases a pragmatic, results-oriented approach for Virginia’s families and Virginia’s businesses

    In the second Attorney General debate of the general election, Democratic candidate for Attorney General Mark Herring highlighted the stark contrast between himself and his Tea Party Republican opponent Mark Obenshain’s extreme record in Virginia.

    “This morning’s debate showed voters the clear choice when it comes to who will work for and defend mainstream Virginia values as Attorney General,” said Herring. “Mark Obenshain has been shying away from his right-wing record in the state Senate because he knows that Virginians will find it unpalatable when they head to the polls next month.”

    During the campaign for Attorney General, Tea Party Republican Mark Obenshain has been saying anything and everything to avoid talking about his overtly political, Tea Party record during his time in the state Senate. The truth is Senator Obenshain developed a reputation in the Senate during the past nine years as a legislator who favors ideology over the common interest” and earned the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation’s endorsement due to his extreme right-wing record. This is why Republican Lt. Governor Bill Bolling has called the Virginia Republican ticket this “the most ideologically driven ticket that we have seen in the history of our state.”

    Herring added, “Mark Obenshain has applauded Ken Cuccinelli and said he would like to take the baton from him and continue on the same ideology-laden path that Cuccinelli has dragged Virginia down. Between their identical records of denying women from making their own, personal health care decisions, obstructing transportation funding and staying quiet during the largest ethics scandal in Virginia history ethics, it’s clear that Mark Obenshain would be a continuation of Ken Cuccinelli’s misguided approach in the office of the Attorney General.

    “I think Virginians have had enough of this. As Attorney General, I will take personal politics out of the office and put the law – and Virginians – first.”

  • The Richmonder

    I hope a video of this debate will be made available somewhere online.

  • Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC Statement on Attorney General’s Debate;  Obenshain Runs from His Record on Women’s Health

    RICHMOND, VA – Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC released the following statement in response to the attorney general’s debate, where Mark Obenshain ran from his extreme record and agenda on women’s health.

    Statement from Cianti Stewart-Reid, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC:

    “Mark Obenshain knows his record and agenda on women’s health are out-of-touch with a majority of Virginia voters and that’s why he tried desperately to hide it at today’s debate. The truth is Mark Obenshain has spent his entire career trying to interfere in women’s private and personal medical decisions. He co-sponsored so-called “personhood” legislation, supported the intrusive and medically unnecessary ultrasound law, and even introduced a bill that would have criminalized miscarriages that aren’t immediately reported to the police.

    “Mark Herring made it clear that he will stand up to protect women’s health and rights in Virginia and has a clear record of this in the state senate. Mark Herring will restore the honor and integrity to the office of the attorney general and will work to protect the interests of all Virginians.

    “Virginians deserve better than another attorney general who will put his extreme women’s health agenda ahead of the people of the Commonwealth. Given Obenshain’s record, it is clear he will follow Cuccinelli’s dangerous trend of interfering in women’s health as attorney general.”