The First 3 1/2 Months of Kookinelli Madness


    It’s time to recap the brief “career” so far of AG Ken Cuccinelli, who all by himself seems determined to make the office of Virginia’s attorney general the continual butt of television comedians’ jokes.

    On February 16, just one month after taking office, Cuccinelli filed a request with the Environmental Protection Agency asking it to reopen its proceedings regarding the finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health.

    Of course, at the same time he also asked for judicial review of the EPA’s finding in federal court. As a result, Virginia has joined Alabama and Texas as the only states seeking to overturn any EPA action to control greenhouse gases. According to Cooch, the EPA is just a bunch of “bureaucrats with political agendas” who have falsified data in order to drive American business into the ground. He doesn’t say how he know that scientific data is “falsified.”

    February was just Act One of the Cuccinelli absurdist theater acted out in the office of the attorney general. We had much more waiting for us…

    On March 4 Cuccinelli sent a letter to Virginia public colleges and universities stating that, in his opinion, Virginia law prohibits them from including sexual orientation or gender expression in any non-discrimination policy they might have. In the national uproar that followed, Cuccinelli never said why he had released the letter and maintained that some unnamed colleges had asked for a ruling by his office.

    It was March 22 when Cuccinelli filed a lawsuit in the US District Court challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care bill that passed Congress on March 21.

    Hmmm. I’m beginning to see a pattern here. Every two weeks or so, Cuccinelli’s ego drives him to usurp headlines from the governor by issuing some extremist diatribe aimed at his Tea-Party-like base.

    On April 1 – appropriately April Fool’s Day – Cuccinelli announced a challenge to new standards for fuel efficiency for cars and trucks by the Obama administration and the EPA. (All those standards do is move up the date to meet goals that were set in 2007 when Republican President George W. Bush signed The Energy Independence and Security Act, which changed economy standards for cars and light trucks for the first time in more than 30 years.)

    Now, as April has ended, Cooch has unveiled, a la John Ashcroft, his own prudish version of the Virginia state seal. A breastplate of armor covers the breast of Virtus in Cooch’s version of the seal. Whew! Talk about “political correctness.”

    God only knows what Cooch will come up with as May winds down. Maybe he could revisit some of his state senate peculiarities, such as his attempt to amend the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to revoke the citizenship of children born in the United States to undocumented immigrants.

    (The two methods of amending the U.S. Constitution, as outlined in Article V, state that both houses of Congress may propose an amendment by a 2/3rds vote of members, or 2/3rds of state legislatures may ask for a convention to amend the document, a process never used. Nowhere does it state that an obscure, extremely odd state senator from Virginia can propose such amendments.)

    I guess Cooch could declare that his idea from back then to allow one business to sue another if it is proven that it hired illegal immigrants is now fine in Virginia because he, as attorney general, says so. Or, perhaps he would like to try to resurrect his wish to deny unemployment benefits to any person who could not speak “proper” English in the workplace.

    I also must remember Cooch’s love for abstinence-only sex education, even though all reputable studies have shown that such “education” is completely ineffective and a waste of taxpayer money.

    We all know that Cooch made quite a fool of himself by first appearing to endorse the “Birthers” in their attempt to change the birthplace of President Obama from Hawaii to Kenya, using a crazy, fake lady lawyer and a heaping helping of inchoate racism in the attempt. Cuccinelli quickly backed down from that piece of red meat that he threw to his “base.”

    My personal favorite Cooch story is when he told an audience of fawning far-righties during the  2009 campaign that he and his wife were contemplating not filing for a Social Security number for their new son because,  “it is being used to track you.” Please. Spare me that ridiculous statement. Cooch and his wife, who have many other children, know that a Social Security number is required for a family to declare a newborn child for tax purposes. That requirement was put into the tax law to foil people who had been making up kids to get the tax deductions. (I personally knew a fellow back then who had declared his dog and two cats as children until the time came when he had to have actual Social Security numbers for the “children.”)

    I guess Social Security numbers could be the basis of Cuccinelli’s next publicity stunt. Perhaps he could sue the federal government and say that it has no right to demand that citizens prove the existence of their tax exemptions.

    We all should stay tuned for the next act of the farce that is the attorney general’s office in the great state of Virginia. What I wish would happen instead is for the governor to call Cooch in and demand that he stop making a fool of himself and the state that put him in office.

    I will wait a very long time for that to happen.