The Other McCain

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Shorter Cuccinelli: Forget That I Was Trying To Re-jigger The Rules For 2012

Posted on | January 2, 2012 | 10 Comments

by Smitty

January 1, 2012

Dear Friends and Fellow Virginians,

As many of you read yesterday in the news (link here for the story) I was considering supporting an effort to change the rules to allow the full range of presidential candidates on Virginia’s ballot on March 6th.

I obviously feel very strongly that Virginia needs to change its ballot access requirements for our statewide elections. However, after working through different scenarios with Republican and Democratic leaders to attempt to make changes in time for the 2012 Presidential election, my concern grows that we cannot find a way to make such changes fair to the Romney and Paul campaigns that qualified even with Virginia’s burdensome system. A further critical factor that I must consider is that changing the rules midstream is inconsistent with respecting and preserving the rule of law – something I am particularly sensitive to as Virginia’s attorney general.

My intentions have never focused on which candidates would be benefited or harmed, rather I have focused on what is best for Virginia’s citizens, as hundreds of thousands of Virginians who should have been able to make their choices among the full field of presidential primary contenders have had their number of choices reduced significantly.

My primary responsibility is to the people of Virginia, and how best to fulfill that responsibility in these particular circumstances has been a very difficult question for me. I believe consistency on the part of public officials is an important attribute. And I believe that Virginians are best served by an attorney general who consistently supports the rule of law. That leads to my conclusion that while I will vigorously support efforts to reduce the hurdles to ballot access in Virginia for all candidates, I will not support efforts to apply such changes to the 2012 Presidential election.

I do not change position on issues of public policy often or lightly. But when convinced that my position is wrong, I think it necessary to concede as much and adjust accordingly.

Ken Cuccinelli II
Attorney General of Virginia

The whole idea, while not without a certain appeal, sounded like a bridge too far, at least for 2012.

In a way, the situation as-is has some appeal as a litmus test. Understood, a Santorum campaign is under-funded. Yet the Tea Partiers, arguably, could have been leveraged more.


10 Responses to “Shorter Cuccinelli: Forget That I Was Trying To Re-jigger The Rules For 2012”

  1. Anonymous
    January 2nd, 2012 @ 8:35 am

    I am not a believer in changing the rules because you don’t like the outcome; a leftist tactic.  On top of that, putting Newt on the ballot would have been wrong  in every way.  He has admitted to voter fraud.  We cannot reward that behavior.  It flies in the face of what we are trying to do with voter ID.  

    Moving forward they want to change the rules, fine, have at it.  But leave it alone for now.  

  2. Rbirchtree
    January 2nd, 2012 @ 8:46 am

    This will be an interesting race in VA…I like this match-up. 

  3. smitty
    January 2nd, 2012 @ 9:03 am


  4. Maggie Thornton
    January 2nd, 2012 @ 10:06 am

    They changed the rules when they decided to qualify every signature. According to earlier reporting, that hasn’t been done by either side in the past. 

  5. Anonymous
    January 2nd, 2012 @ 10:20 am

    In the past they didn’t give much as much scrutiny that they have this year to three of the four that gave signatures.  I would rather have more scrutiny than less.  I am saying this as a person who lives in VA and will not vote for either of the candidates who are on the ballot.  Yes, I got screwed.  But I blame the candidates.  Not the rules.

  6. Dcmick
    January 2nd, 2012 @ 10:34 am

    The rules WERE changed, and were changed in November, not of last year, or the year previous, but in the midst of an ongoing Presidential primary.

    Those calling for a status quo should be those calling for a restoration of the rules prior to their alteration, and their alteration in favour of some, but not all.

    Every single candidate who didn’t run four years ago was disadvantaged by the sudden departure of rules and requirements.

    Every single one of them.

  7. Dcmick
    January 2nd, 2012 @ 10:34 am


  8. Dcmick
    January 2nd, 2012 @ 10:37 am

    Previously, signatures weren’t given ANY scrutiny whatsoever, so long as the candidate had over 10,000 of them.

    The imposition of scrutiny obviously disadvantaged every candidate other than Paul and Romney, who had qualified in Virginia four years previous.

    The rule change had the appearance of impartiality, but in reality, in substance, they were a DRAMATIC alteration in the manner things were done in VA.

    And it was all done to help the “holding steady” Romney.

    Romney can’t earn votes on his own, he needs to be carried.

  9. Steve in TN
    January 2nd, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

    Wherein we learn that Iowa has no exclusivity on STUPID… Welcome, Virginia.

  10. Charles
    January 2nd, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

    Consider how very silly it would look to relax the rules in favor of complaining candidates who may drop out before March 6.

    All that’s needed is a None of the Above box on the ballot. Of course, the grand old pooh-bahs are not going to allow that.