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Yesterday’s Legal Victory for Women’s Health Advocates in Virginia Highlights Importance of AG Race


This story about women’s health clinics epitomizes why who ends up being elected Attorney General of Virginia really really REALLY matters.

Abortion rights supporters in Virginia are cheering after they won a small, first step in a challenge to strict, new state regulations that require abortion clinics meet hospital standards.

An Arlington judge rejected a motion from Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and the Virginia Board of Health seeking to toss out a legal challenge to the regulations. It means the case will now move forward.


The November election could have an impact. Attorney Larry Roberts said that an attorney general with a different view could simply not fight Codding’s lawsuit.

Pay particular attention that last paragraph and note what former Tim Kaine top advisor Larry Roberts has to say about how the Virginia Board of Health was “bullied [by Ken Cuccinelli] into adopting regulations that it did not intend to adopt.” That’s just one example of how important the office of the Attorney General is in Virginia. Keep in mind what the AG’s office is responsible for: “Defending the constitutionality of state laws” (or not); “Providing legal advice and representation in court for the Governor and the state government in general” (it’s very important what type of “advice and representation” that is); and “Providing legal advice, official opinions, to members of the Virginia General Assembly and local government officials” (ditto).

All this advice and representation is not just on women’s health, of course, but on basically every single issue facing Virginia, from the environment to guns to voting rights to civil liberties to consumer protection to ethics in government to…you name it. In Ken Cuccinelli’s case, we’ve seen the disastrous results of an Attorney General misusing the office as a platform for his extremist ideological agenda. We’ve also seen abuse of power, in the case of Michael Mann, and “quid pro quo” corruption in the cases of Bobby Thompson and CONSOL Energy.  

The question is, will we actually be crazy enough to CONTINUE this type of AG by electing Cuccinelli Clone Mark Obenshain, who has stressed that Cooch is a role model for him and that they are two “peas in a pod” ideologically? Or, should we instead support someone (Democratic nominee Mark Herring) who is strongly committed to upholding the LAW (I know, what a concept after four years of Cuccinelli’s abuses!), ensure that the AG’s office looks out for all Virginians (not just the wealthy, powerful and well-connected; again, what a concept after four years of Cooch), and maintains the highest levels of professionalism and ethics in the AG’s office (ditto)?

Really, this isn’t a difficult choice. Now, the only question is whether Mark Herring has the resources to communicate who he is, and also to let them know all about Mark Obenshain, by election day. On that front, I’m glad to see that Gabby Giffords is helping out, but we need more, both from big donors and from everyone else. If you can spare any amount of money, please donate to Mark Herring now. Thanks!  


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