Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli


I have been following with great interest the gubernatorial race being run in the Commonwealth of Virginia at the present time between the Republican Candidate, Ken Cucinnelli, and the Democrat Candidate, Michael McAuliffe.  The reason for my great interest in this particular race is because it brings back memories of the 2004 gubernatorial race in Texas between the Republican, Rick Perry who was completing the term of former Governor George W. Bush and who was now running for a full term in his own right, and the Democrat Candidate, Tony Sanchez.

While I knew both men, I knew Tony Sanchez better because he was a member of the Diocese of Corpus Christi when Laredo (his hometown) was still a part of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.  Tony Sanchez a prominent Catholic oilman who had been a generous supporter of the Catholic High School in Laredo.  Naturally I was inclined to offer quiet support to the candidacy of Tony Sanchez out of gratitude for his support of the Church.

Everything changed when, shortly after he announced his candidacy Tony Sanchez gave a lengthy interview to one of the Texas newspapers and during the course of the interview declared that he believed that a woman had a right to choose for herself whether to carry her pregnancy to term and deliver the baby or to abort it.  Naturally, I was shocked, saddened and angry that such a prominent Catholic layman of the Diocese would take a pro-abortion stand on one of the most burning issues of our time.

Shortly thereafter, I received an invitation from the local organizer of a rally for Governor Perry to go to the rally and offer the invocation for the rally.  I accepted the invitation.  When Governor Perry heard that I was going to give the invocation at the rally he asked me to meet him at the Corpus Christi Airport and to ride with him to the rally.  Then I began to think that when I got out of the Governor’s car at the rally the media present for the rally would probably ask me if I was supporting the candidacy of Governor Perry.   So, I wrote out a one page statement that said that I was indeed supporting him and I gave as my reasons the fact that he had served well as Agricultural Commissioner, Lieutenant Governor and Governor.  His administrations had been free from scandals and accusations of corruption.  Most importantly, for me as a Catholic Bishop, was the pro-life record Governor Perry had already established for himself in public office.  I had intended to hand the one page statement to the media in the event that they asked me if I supported Rick Perry.

The night of the rally the Governor flew to Corpus Christi and I met him at the airport.  In the meantime, a horrific thunderstorm struck Corpus Christi and the power failed at the rally site and so the rally was cancelled.   So Governor Perry and I sat in a private room at the airport conversing for a half-hour and when he was about to leave to fly back to Austin I took out the one page statement and gave it to him, explaining why I had prepared it.  Naturally he gave it later to his campaign manager and it was published across Texas.  There were no repercussions in Texas to my having endorsed Rick Perry over Tony Sanchez.  Rick Perry won of course and I never heard again from Tony Sanchez.

Governor Rick Perry will leave office next year with a distinguished record of accomplishment for the State of Texas as is well known now across the United States, not only in the area of respect for the sanctity of human life but also in terms of the economy, education and general welfare.

Which brings me to the subject of Virginia’s gubernatorial race.  Among the many editorials and articles that have been written on the subject here are three that are important to any and every Catholic and others who believe in the sanctity of human life.  These are good articles that show how one Catholic (McAuliffe) is attacking another Catholic (Cuccinelli) specifically on the issue of human women and human life that makes the former at least a heterodox Catholic if not a heretic.

Virginia GOP nominates staunchly pro-life Ken Cuccinelli for governor
by Kirsten Andersen
Tue May 21, 2013 17:29 EST
Tags: abortion, ken cuccinelli, planned parenthood
RICHMOND, May 20, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – The newly-nominated Republican candidate for governor of Virginia is a strong pro-life leader who told supporters at a fundraiser last year that LifeSiteNews.com is the homepage for one of the computers in his home.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, 44, accepted the nomination Saturday at the Virginia Republican Convention in Richmond.  Cuccinelli spoke to a crowd of 8,000 supporters at the Richmond Coliseum about freedom, jobs, infrastructure and the economy, and promised to work to defend “the elderly from abuse as well as the unborn.”

Ken Cuccinelli speaking at a LifeSiteNews.com gala in Washington last year.
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards has already said defeating Cuccinelli is a top priority for the group.  Together with Democratic opponent and former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe, Planned Parenthood started a website, “Keep Ken Out,” devoted to attacking the Republican candidate for his pro-life views.
“Access to safe and legal abortion, and even contraception, would be at risk in a Cuccinelli Administration,” the website claims. “The future of Virginia women’s health hangs in the balance, that’s why we’re going to make sure voters know exactly how out-of-touch he is, and why we need to keep Ken out of the governor’s office.”
The bottom of the website states: “Paid for by Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Planned Parenthood Votes, and Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC. Authorized by Terry McAuliffe, candidate for Governor.”
Cuccinelli told supporters at the Richmond Coliseum that he favored a simplified tax code with fewer loopholes, and tax cuts targeted at middle-class Virginians.  He also called for more streamlined regulations to help attract new businesses to the state.
He warned supporters that his opponent, former Clinton adviser and DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe, would try to paint him as an “extremist” and a “radical” conservative.
That can’t be true, Cuccinelli joked, “because I have not been investigated by the IRS,” the federal tax collection agency that is currently embroiled in a mushrooming scandal over its targeting of conservative groups.
“My opponent and his well-funded political insiders are going to call us lots of names,” Cuccinelli said.  “They are going to try and scare folks and scream at the top of their lungs that we’re extremists and radicals.”
“But when did it become extreme to protect children from predators and human traffickers?” Cuccinelli asked.  “When did it become extreme to guard our Constitution from government overreach? When did it become extreme to secure the freedom of the wrongly convicted? When did it become extreme to ask the government to spend less so our economy can grow?”
Cuccinelli said he has “an active and ongoing commitment to protecting the most vulnerable in our society.”  He emphasized his concerns over human trafficking, wrongful imprisonment and mental illness, along with internet predators who target children.
He also reaffirmed his commitment to “defending those at both ends of life – protecting the elderly from abuse as well as the unborn,” drawing cheers from the crowd.  “We should encourage a deep and abiding respect for all human life,” Cuccinelli said.
While Cuccinelli was speaking inside the Coliseum, Planned Parenthood staged a pro-abortion rally outside with about 35 demonstrators, including “Pillamina,” a woman dressed up like a package of oral contraceptives.
Cuccinelli has attracted vicious criticism from pro-abortion groups by voting to overturn then-Democratic Governor Mark Warner’s veto of the partial birth abortion ban as a state senator.  He also drafted Virginia’s parental consent law, led efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, and demanded the state’s abortion facilities meet the same health standards as other surgical centers.


McAuliffe Fundraising Email: Cuccinelli is ‘Virginia’s Todd Akin’

5:41 PM, Aug 19, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN

The campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe of Virginia has emailed its supporters likening Republican opponent Ken Cuccinelli to failed 2012 Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin.
Calling Cuccinelli “Virginia’s Todd Akin,” the email admits that the Republican attorney general has never expressed views like that of Akin, who claimed pregnancy as a result of rape did not happen because women’s bodies could “shut that whole thing down.” But that didn’t stop Emily Aden, McAuliffe’s research director, from making the comparison in a fundraising appeal.


August 16, 2013 12:00 AM
What 2013 Elections Mean for 2016
This time around, New Jersey and Virginia races won’t tell us much about national trends.
By Michael Barone


Sometimes off-year elections provide insight into national political trends and voters’ views on issues. That was true in 2009, when the issues in the gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia were congruent with the issues facing Congress and the president.
In both states the Republicans campaigned for lower spending and taxes, in contrast to the Obama Democrats’ policies. Heavily Democratic New Jersey voted narrowly for Republican Chris Christie, and in Virginia, the state voting closest to the national average in 2008 and 2012, Republican Bob McDonnell won a landslide victory.

This turned out to be a good predictor of 2010, when Republicans captured 63 seats and control of the House of Representatives, plus a bunch of governorships and some 600 state legislative seats.

Similarly, Democratic victories in those two states in 2005 turned out to be a good predictor of Democrats’ big gains in 2006 and 2008.
The Republicans’ good year in 2009 was not as good a predictor of 2012, when Barack Obama won reelection. But he had to fight for it, and he was the first Democratic president reelected with a reduced percentage of the vote.
But sometimes off-year elections turn out to have little precedential value. That seems to be the case this year.
The situation is different in Virginia. Current polling shows a tie, with 40 percent for former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe and 39 percent for Republican attorney general Ken Cuccinelli. Their stands on issues can be seen as roughly congruent with those of their national parties. But the election may hinge on other things. Each candidate has liabilities that make him arguably unelectable.
McAuliffe has had little involvement in Virginia state politics, except for a failed primary campaign for governor four years ago. And his business background, which he has said will help him spur the state’s economy, also has some problems. He started a firm called GreenTech, which was supposed to produce environment-friendly cars in Virginia. Instead it built a plant in Mississippi (which it won’t let reporters see), has hired only about 100 people, and has produced a few hundred golf-cart-sized vehicles. Two federal investigations are looking into the firm’s financing through a program that lets rich foreign investors get visas. McAuliffe recently revealed that he resigned as CEO last December, but he’s still the largest stockholder.
As for Cuccinelli, he has been in the habit of making provocative statements taking conservative stands on cultural issues. Some of his moves have been popular, such as his early lawsuit challenging Obamacare on constitutional grounds. His efforts to track down DNA evidence to absolve those wrongfully convicted of crimes should be attractive to voters of all stripes. But his strong stands on abortion could antagonize many voters in a state that has voted for the pro-abortion-rights presidential candidate in the last two elections. And he has accepted gifts from the Star Scientific CEO who lavished them on incumbent McDonnell and his family.
Both of the 2013 candidates have assets, as well. I find both of them likeable characters, though many voters may not. Both are articulate and have lots of energy. McAuliffe is a great fundraiser, and Cuccinelli has shown he can win in the Democratic-trending Northern Virginia suburbs.
Overall this race seems likely to hinge more on personal factors than on stands on issues. If so, it won’t tell us much about national trends.
— Michael Barone is senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner. © 2013 The Washington Examiner. Distributed by Creators.com


So it seems to me that the two Catholic Bishops in Virginia, Bishop Francis Xavier DiLorenzo of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington face the same challenge I faced in Texas in 2004.  They have the choice to either endorse the pro-abortion Catholic, McAuliffe, or to endorse the pro-life Catholic, Cuccinelli or to do nothing.
I honestly do not see how it is possible for a Catholic Bishop to remain silent when it is so obvious that we in this Nation are involved in a struggle between the forces of good and evil, between life and death.  In the Clinton Administration,  McAuliffe was an important player and he later served as Chairman of the  Democrat Party.   As was clearly demonstrated at the last National Convention of the Democrat Party, that Party is the Party of Death.

Recognizing that his gubernatorial election in Virginia has importance in 2014 for Virginia but also in 2016 for the Nation, I pray that God in his mercy will inspire Bishops DiLorenzo and Loverde to find ways to support the candidacy of Ken Cuccinelli.
– Abyssum




  • August 25, 2013, 8:27 p.m. ET

Virginia Governor Race Lures Far-Flung Donors

Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli are drawing large sums from out of state for their contest.

Terry McAuliffe helped put Bill Clinton in the White House and Hillary Clinton in the Senate, having raised hundreds of millions of dollars for their election campaigns as well as for the former president’s inauguration, legal-defense fund and library.

Now, the Clintons and their donor network are giving a boost to Mr. McAuliffe in his bid for Virginia governor.

[image] Associated PressRepublican Ken Cuccinelli, pictured, and Democrat Terry McAuliffe are facing off for the Virginia governor position.

Mr. McAuliffe, a former Democratic National Committee chairman, and his Republican opponent, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, are drawing large sums from beyond the state for their contest, which has become the marquee race in a year with few other notable elections.

More than 75% of Mr. McAuliffe’s and nearly 60% of Mr. Cuccinelli’s campaign donations this year through June 30 have come from out of state, according to nonpartisan watchdog Virginia Public Access Project.

Mrs. Clinton will headline a Sept. 30 fundraiser for Mr. McAuliffe at the home she and Mr. Clinton own in Washington, D.C., the McAuliffe campaign said. It is expected to be Mrs. Clinton’s first openly political appearance since she stepped down this year as secretary of state.

[image] Associated PressDemocrat Terry McAuliffe

A second fundraising event with Mrs. Clinton is planned for October, the McAuliffe campaign confirmed. The campaign said it wasn’t clear whether Mr. Clinton would play a role in the two events. The former president has already donated $100,000 to Mr. McAuliffe.

Media tycoon Haim Saban, a supporter of Mr. Clinton who served on a trade advisory council during his presidency, has given $250,000 to Mr. McAuliffe. Ron Burkle, the businessman who for a long time was a close friend of Mr. Clinton, gave Mr. McAuliffe’s campaign $100,000. Both were major supporters of Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 presidential primary campaign and are also longtime Democratic donors.

Mr. McAuliffe also received $100,000 from Doug Band, a senior Clinton White House aide who helped the former president build the Clinton Global Initiative philanthropy.

Other McAuliffe donors include Chicago businessman Fred Eychaner, who gave $100,000, and New York financier Marc Lasry, who gave $75,000. Both donated to Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and are major givers to the Clinton Foundation, and both raised money for Mr. Obama in 2012.

Those and other donations have powered Mr. McAuliffe to a fundraising lead. He raised about $12.3 million in 2012 and the first half of 2013, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, compared with Mr. Cuccinelli’s $7.7 million. Mr. McAuliffe had $6 million cash on hand, and Mr. Cuccinelli $2.65 million, as of June 30.

Virginia places no limits on donations from individuals or corporations in state races but requires contributions over $100 to be disclosed.

Many of Mr. Cuccinelli’s donors gave heavily to conservative and GOP political action committees and nonprofits in 2012. They include New York hedge-fund manager Sean Fieler, who has given Mr. Cuccinelli $70,000; Wyoming investor Foster Friess, $30,000; conservative industrialist David Koch, $50,000; and Koch Industries, $35,000.

Mr. Cuccinelli’s biggest donor is the Republican Governors Association, which gave $2 million in cash and $3.6 million in in-kind contributions, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. The group is paying for airtime for many of the campaign’s TV and radio ads.

Political analyst Stuart Rothenberg, publisher of a nonpartisan newsletter that rates races, called the Virginia contest the most important of 2013. “Many conservatives and Republicans see this election as a big test: the Clinton liberal Democratic clique versus a true, red-state conservative,” he said. “That’s why all the money is flowing in.”

In addition, Virginia’s role as a presidential swing state has both parties eager to retain influential elected offices there.

While Mr. McAuliffe benefits from his status as a national figure with a “huge Rolodex” of donors, Mr. Rothenberg said, that profile could become a weakness. “Hillary’s name is being used to raise money for Terry, but her name also raises money for the GOP,” he said.

Indeed, Mr. Cuccinelli and the GOP are portraying Mr. McAuliffe as the consummate Washington insider turning to his circle of friends to pave a path to the governor’s mansion. “As a career political operative, it’s no surprise that Terry McAuliffe’s campaign is bankrolled by out-of-state union bosses and environmental extremists,” said Cuccinelli campaign spokeswoman Anna Nix.

Josh Schwerin, spokesman for the McAuliffe campaign, said, “Terry is grateful to the thousands of Virginians who are supporting his campaign and the massive grass-roots movement backing his mainstream bipartisan approach over Ken Cuccinelli’s tea party-backed extreme social agenda.”

In addition to their own campaign donors, Messrs. Cuccinelli and McAuliffe each have backing from independent political groups.

New York hedge-fund manager Robert Mercer recently gave $500,000 to a super PAC called Virginia Principles Fund that is supporting Mr. Cuccinelli. Mr. Mercer and his family were donors last year to conservative groups such as American Crossroads and the independent super-PAC backing Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, according to the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity.

Mr. McAuliffe’s campaign will be buoyed this fall by California billionaire and environmentalist Tom Steyer. His environmental advocacy group, NextGen Climate Action, plans to run ads against Mr. Cuccinelli.

Write to Alicia Mundy at alicia.mundy@wsj.com

A version of this article appeared August 26, 2013, on page A4 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Virginia Race Lures Far-Flung Donors.

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas