Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Virginia Ken Cuccinelli's Conflict of Interest Concerns

Ken Cuccinelli (R)
Ken Cuccinelli (R) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli is responsible for providing advice to the state Board of Elections on legal issues relating to campaigns and elections — including his own campaign for governor.

That means he's responsible for issuing legal opinions about the implementation of voting and election laws, and will be the Board's go-to lawyer if there are any problems or irregularities on Election Day!

If Ken Cuccinelli wants to resolve this stunning conflict of interest, he should recuse himself and his office from election matters immediately.

Ken Cuccinelli isn't the first Attorney General to run for governor of Virginia. But he did break a long-standing bipartisan tradition by flat out refusing to step down during the campaign.

In recent history, former attorneys generals have resigned because of the time commitments of a gubernatorial campaign (when Governor McDonnell stepped aside, he said a campaign "preclude[s] you from working full-time as attorney general") and because of the inevitable conflicts of interest that arise for any attorney general who is also a candidate for governor.

Earlier this month, the Daily Press Editorial Board called on Cuccinelli to step aside, explaining, "if a Democratic campaign needs clarification on a legal matter, it must seek guidance from an office headed by the Republican candidate for governor. And if questions arise for the GOP, the attorney general's office cannot be expected to give counsel to a ticket headed by its own boss."

From the Terry McAuliffe camp.  Sent via email to us.  It's about time that his staff actually sent something worth looking at and reporting and even better yet, without asking for money as well.  And this time we have to admit, it looks like he's right.  There is a very real potential for a conflict of interest here that is not in the least bit fair.  Now we will not try and pretend that we like McAuliffe, we don't.  But this is inexcusable by the Cuccinelli Camp and of very serious concern.  Cuccinelli either needs to step down from his position as Attorney General or leave the race.  

A very black eye for the Cuccinelli camp.

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