Home 2019 Elections Cuccinelli’s New Ad Backfires and Draws More Attention to Cuccinelli Scandals

Cuccinelli’s New Ad Backfires and Draws More Attention to Cuccinelli Scandals


The following is from the McAuliffe campaign. My (rhetorical) question is why do TV stations allow demonstrably false advertising from Ken Cuccinelli to run, but not a totally accurate ad from Tom Steyer about TransCanada? Hmmmm


Ken Cuccinelli’s new ad aiming to distance himself from the Star Scientific scandal has backfired and brought more attention to his relationship with Star and its CEO Jonnie Williams and his “issues of trustworthiness” with Virginia voters. Recent reports have noted that Cuccinelli’s refusal to follow Governor McDonnell’s lead and return the $18,000 worth of gifts and trips from Star and Williams, as well as his office's inappropriate involvement with out-of-state energy companies in a lawsuit against Virginia landowners have clearly taken a toll on voters’ confidence in him.

While Cuccinelli attempted to regain voters’ trust with this new ad, it instead was interpreted as a “clear sign” of “concern” from his campaign.

Here’s a roundup of the backlash Cuccinelli’s ad is receiving:

AP: “The new commercial comes as fresh polling finds Cuccinelli struggling with issues of trustworthiness as a result of the scandal that touches him in addition to the Republican governor. McDonnell and his family received more than $145,000 in gifts and loans from Jonnie R. Williams Sr. of Star Scientific Inc., most of it not reported on state economic interest forms.  Cuccinelli, however, received $18,000 from Williams and his company over four years.”

Jeff Schapiro on WCVE: New Cuccinelli ad is “clearly a sign of some concern by the Cuccinelli people.”

The Hill: Cuccinelli ad is “a sign that the negative campaign is taking a toll on the Republican's numbers.”

 Washington Post: “Cuccinelli’s spot, titled “Facts,” also aims to put more distance between himself and McDonnell, the subject of state and federal investigations into luxury gifts and loans that a Virginia businessman provided to the governor and his family. Cuccinelli has his own ties to the businessman, Star Scientific chief executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr., but he also called on a state prosecutor to investigate the governor.

Williams provided $18,000 in gifts to Cuccinelli, who initially failed to disclose $4,500 of them as well as extensive stock holdings in Star. At the time, Cuccinelli’s office was representing the state in a civil tax suit brought by Star.

WRICThis morning republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli is airing a new ad distancing himself from Governor Bob McDonnell and the recent scandal involving campaign gifts. New polls show Cuccinelli is struggling to gain voters trust as after he accepted 18 thousand dollars in gifts from the CEO of Star Scientific. Right now Governor McDonnell is in the middle of a criminal investigation over more than 145 thousand dollars in gifts that were unreported in his office. In the ad, Cuccinelli takes credit for launching the investigation into McDonnell. Meanwhile, a recent poll shows Cuccinelli is trailing Democrat Terry McAuliffe by 6 percent ahead of November’s election.

WTTG: McDonnell has apologized for accepting those gifts from a campaign donor and returned or paid back what he can. But he is still the subject of state and federal investigations. Meanwhile, attorney general Ken Cuccinelli also received gifts from that same donor. Now he’s trying to separate himself from the scandal as he runs to replace Bob McDonnell. The republican candidate is airing a new ad now that casts McDonnell in a negative light and takes credit for launching an investigation into his actions. The ad comes days after a separate poll shows Cuccinelli losing distance in the race against democrat Terry McAuliffe. 


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