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Ken Cuccinelli has come under criticism for his connections to Star Scientific, while Terry McAuliffe recently said he resigned late last year from his electric car company.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Like hungry dogs with bones, Virginia Democrats and Republicans have latched onto issues they consider harmful to Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe, respectively, and neither side seems ready to unclench their jaws.
Democrats’ focus is on conflict of interest questions orbiting Cuccinelli over his connections to Star Scientific Inc. — the Henrico County company in which Cuccinelli is a shareholder has sued the state over a six-figure disputed tax bill.
Although Cuccinelli recently recused the Attorney General’s Office after his financial stake in the company, as well as his ties to the company’s chief executive, were revealed, Democrats still say he should resign from office as he runs for governor.
Not only is that consistent with Virginia tradition, it would also restore public confidence that Virginia’s top public law firm belongs to the people and “not deep-pocketed special interests,” Virginia Democratic Party Chairwoman Charniele Herring said Tuesday.
State Sen. Donald McEachin, D-Richmond, said it’s impossible for a person to devote their energy to a gubernatorial campaign and meet the job duties of being attorney general.
Virginia House of Delegates Minority Leader David Toscano of Charlottesville renewed his resignation call, saying that’s the “only way we can begin to undo the damage” caused by the Star Scientific scandal.
To this point, Cuccinelli has resisted calls to step down in the face of criticism. Democrats say he is shortchanging his public duties, drawing a full-time salary even as he spends much of his time on politics.
Republicans are meanwhile fixated on McAuliffe’s recent admission that he resigned from the electric car company he co-founded, GreenTech Automotive, late last year but waited months to publicly reveal that development.
Cuccinelli and the GOP are using that revelation to question whether McAuliffe has the job creation experience he claims as a central part of his argument for election.
“This is the latest example of Terry McAuliffe and his allies trying to distract voters from the fact that his core campaign message was completely undone by his late-night resignation from GreenTech. … McAuliffe’s fictional business acumen is no longer a viable narrative,” Cuccinelli spokeswoman Anna Nix said.
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