Democrats are coming out against Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, this time with a new ad demanding an explanation of his lack of action when it comes to women's rights.
A well-known Democrat from Charlottesville and a well-known business leader both slammed the attorney general making a bid for governor. David Toscano and Susan Payne held a press conference Friday afternoon. They are demanding Cuccinelli explain why he refused to advocate to Congress for the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
"And to not support this authorization, to me, makes little to no sense," Payne said.
The act, reauthorized by Congress this year, provides $1.6 billion toward the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women.
"Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli decided to stay on the sidelines even though he's willing to crusade against the EPA and against scientists who try to do investigations about global warming," Toscano said.
A new television ad about the issue is hitting the airwaves in the Charlottesville area. It's the first state Democratic Party ad of the 2013 campaign to air there.
A spokesperson for the Attorney General's Office said in a statement, "Attorney General Cuccinelli whole-heartedly supports domestic violence prevention efforts," and went on to say, "We have a strict policy of not signing onto any letters of support for federal bills that can still be amended to something that the commonwealth ultimately wouldn't support."
Read the full response as well as a press release from Cuccinelli's office below.
Office of Ken Cuccinelli
Cuccinelli Statement On Terry McAuliffe And The Democrat Party's Misleading Attack Ad
Springfield, Va. – Ken Cuccinelli today released the following statement regarding Terry McAuliffe and the Democrat Party's misleading attack ad.
"As a father of five girls, I am deeply disappointed but not the least bit surprised that Terry McAuliffe and the Democrat Party would be willing to go to such great lengths to distort the truth. I've spent my entire career standing up for the most vulnerable in our society, including women victimized by domestic abuse and sexual predators. As a student at the University of Virginia, long before I was even a Republican, I led an organized effort that resulted in the hiring of the University's first full-time sexual assault coordinator. Also at UVA, I helped establish a peer-to-peer sexual assault prevention group that was the first of its kind in the nation and still exists today. As Attorney General, my office has made historic strides against human traffickers who prey on women and girls and internet child predators who target our kids."
"I expected my opponents to engage in petty and false attacks, but this new ad is simply beyond the pale. No matter what false attacks come my way, I will never stop fighting to protect Virginia's women and children from violence, and it's ludicrous to think otherwise."
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
While At The University Of Virginia, Cuccinelli Helped Establish The Sexual Assault Facts And Education Group. "He transformed himself into a self-taught campus expert and agitator on the problem of sexual assault. He helped establish Sexual Assault Facts and Education (SAFE), a student group that raises awareness about the issue, and designed a brochure on preventing sexual assault. Survivors confided in him. It was emotionally scalding work." (David Montgomery, "Va. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli: The Rise Of The Confounding Conservative," Washington Post, 8/1/10)
Cuccinelli Helped Organize A Vigil For Sexual Assault Victims On UVA's Campus. "By April 1991, he was standing with a candle in his hand on the steps of the university's Rotunda, the historic center of the genteel campus designed by Thomas Jefferson. Cuccinelli was an organizer of dozens of student protesters who occupied the steps for 134 hours — one for each of the 134 alleged victims of sexual assault at the university the previous year — and demanded that the university fund the new full-time position of sexual assault education coordinator." (David Montgomery, "Va. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli: The Rise Of The Confounding Conservative," Washington Post, 8/1/10)
Because Of Cuccinelli, UVA Hired A Full-Time Sexual Assault Coordinator. "Just hours into the vigil, the university proposed hiring a part-time coordinator. The vigil continued for the full 134 hours. Before the year was out, a full-time coordinator was hired. Victory." (David Montgomery, "Va. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli: The Rise Of The Confounding Conservative," Washington Post, 8/1/10)
CUCCINELLI ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING
As Attorney General, Cuccinelli Has Fought Against Human Trafficking. "Va. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli met with members of the General Assembly Tuesday in a bipartisan effort to promote new legislation to fight human trafficking. The meeting also served as an introduction to a series of two-day-long human trafficking training conferences – which begin Wednesday in Northern Virginia – for law enforcement and prosecutors in all regions of the commonwealth over the next six months. ‘Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the country,' Cuccinelli in a press release." ("Cuccinelli Makes Human Trafficking Virginia's Top Priority in 2013," CBS-TV Washington, 01/15/13)
Cuccinelli Took A "…Lead In Opposing Human Trafficking In Virginia." "Mr. Cuccinelli's campaign is pointing to lesser-known chapters of his biography, like his lead in opposing human trafficking in Virginia. He has also worked to expand mental health treatment. It even notes that as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia he took part in protests calling for the hiring of a sexual assault awareness educator." (Trip Gabriel, "G.O.P.'s Ideological Split Appears In Virginia Governor's Race," The New York Times, 2/26/13)
Cuccinelli Was Recognized By The Polaris Project For His Work On Human Trafficking. "In response to the ongoing threat posed by human trafficking in Virginia, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, State Senator Adam Ebbin, and other key members of the legislature made these bills a key priority in this year's legislative session. The three bills -- Training Materials for Educators (SB 259), Hotline Posting (HB 1200), and Gang Predicate Offense (HB 546) -- requires the Department of Education to provide training and awareness materials to local school divisions on the prevention of trafficking of children, requires the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline number to be posted in strip clubs, and gives law enforcement and prosecutors new tools to target gangs involved in sex trafficking." ("Leading U.S. And Global Abolitionist Groups Applaud Governor McDonnell For Signing Three Bills That Combat Human Trafficking," The Polaris Project, 5/8/12)
Cuccinelli Has Spent Several Years Fighting The War Against Human Trafficking. "He's been pursuing these crimes for several years, dating back to when he introduced anti-trafficking legislation and served on the Human Trafficking Commission as a senator, which is when he first developed a plan for trafficking prevention in Virginia. He's implemented that plan at every level of office he's held since." ("Cuccinelli Makes Human Trafficking Virginia's Top Priority in 2013," CBS-TV Washington, 01/15/13)
Cuccinelli Has Helped Put Child Predators Behind Bars. "Because protecting Virginia's most vulnerable citizens is a critical priority for my office, we have focused even more intensely on prosecuting child predators, which has resulted in more convictions over the last two years than any previous two-year period in the office's history. Through more cooperative relationships with local, state, and federal law enforcement, we are finding and prosecuting more predators and obtaining more convictions. In the attorney general's office alone, we are averaging two to three convictions a month,' said Cuccinelli." (Press Release, "Cuccinelli Announces 11 Additional Arrests From 'Operation Phalanx' Child Predator Internet Sweep,"Office Of The Attorney General, 8/25/11)