On Friday evening, May 8th, I attended a gathering hosted by Wally Covington, the Brentsville District Supervisor for Prince William County. In his race to be our next Attorney General, Senator Ken Cuccinelli is making every effort to meet as many delegates as he can. So I had been notified, and I was happy to attend. What follows is a synopsis of what happened.
Covington’s office is at the historic courthouse in Manassas. The building provides a convenient location for a moderate size political meeting, and it was perfect for the occasion. The crowd filled the room without stuffing it.
I arrived on time, which I suppose most people would consider unfashionably early. However, this had two advantages. I got to chat briefly with Cuccinelli before the crowd arrived, and I got to raid the hors d’oeuvres (had to look that one up 😀 ) before the rest of the crowd. The hors d’oeuvres were excellent, and I enjoyed the brief opportunity to speak with the candidate.
Like the rest of us, Cuccinelli is not just politics. He has a spouse, children, and a home to care for, and he too was having his troubles with our extraordinary spring rainfall. With all the rain, and the need for his children get outside, he expressed disappointment his backyard is a muddy mess. Unfortunately, it did not occurred to me until latter that I could have offered a few kind words of consolation. At least, he does not have to mow it.
After about half an hour, the Bob FitzSimmonds, serving as the MC, spoke up. He thanked folks for coming. FitzSimmonds then introduced Wally Covington. Covington introduced the theme for Cuccinelli’s presentation, defending the Rights to Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness, and Property. As Covington noted, the original phrase (from John Locke: see here for an expanded explanation), was Life, Liberty, and Property. In fact, when he wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights, George Mason paraphrased Locke and spoke of the Rights to Life, Liberty, and Property. However, due to the controversy over slavery, Jefferson feared endorsing the Right to Property in Declaration of Independence would be viewed as an endorsement of the right to own slaves. So he adopted the phrase “Pursuit of Happiness” in its place.
During his presentation, Cuccinelli spoke on a wide variety of issues. Since the issues pages on his website details his stance on most of these issue, if you want details, I would suggest checking his website. What follows are some of the things that Cuccinelli mentioned that are not necessarily mentioned on the issues pages.
- Natural Law country. Cuccinelli believes the United States was founded on Natural Law. He believes we need to return to Natural Law principles.
- Illegal Immigration. Cuccinelli has backed his claim to be against illegal immigration with action (see here), and he has consistently voted to support E-Verify.
- Death penalty. He supports the death penalty. However, unlike his opponents (see here), he does not support abolition of the “triggerman rule.” Cuccinelli does not believe this radical expansion of the death penalty would be helpful in preventing crime. Cuccinelli explains his position here.
- Criminal justice. Serves on the Courts of Justice Committee. He is intimately familar with every criminal justice issue that has come before the General Assembly in the last seven years.
What Makes Cuccinelli the Right Choice
As Cuccinelli explained, almost any candidate running for the Republican nomination will run as a Conservative. So Cuccinelli did not argue that his position on the issues made him the best choice.
- Conservative record. Cuccinelli has a seven year record in the General Assembly. Cuccinelli emphasized that his record in the General Assembly proves that he means it when he says that as Attorney General he will fight to protect citizen rights and the rights of the Virginia Commonwealth from Federal encroachment. For example, when his opponents were no where to be found, Cuccinelli backed the Marriage Amendment. We can count on him to defend it.
- Back to basics campaign. As our candidate, he would strive to develop a volunteer based grassroots organization/campaign across the state. How would he attract volunteers? As our Attorney General, Cuccinelli promised to focus on core principles, defending the basic rights of the citizens of Virginia.
- Winning Northern Virginia. With a grassroots organization, Cuccinelli has proven he know how to win even in Northern Virginia. As the Republican nominee for Attorney General, he would bring this capacity to develop such an organization, benefiting Republicans statewide.
- Cuccinelli realizes the job is not about him. He told a story about a gentlemen who had served as his campaign manager. After the election victory, he tried to thank the gentleman. The man curtly refused his thanks. He said: “I did not do it for you.” With that simple statement, the gentleman made it plain that the principles Cuccinelli stood for, not Cuccinelli himself, had earned his support.