“No one has to believe a word I say,” Ken Cuccinelli, a Republican State Senator from Northern Virginia, recently told me in a phone interview about his campaign for Attorney General. Senator Cuccinelli went on to say that voters need to only look at his record in public office to make determinations about his conservative values. In a wide-ranging interview, Senator Cuccinelli spoke about his political philosophy, the role of Attorney General and his work as a State Senator.
When asked about his campaign in general, Cuccinelli noted that he was running to be the next Attorney General of Virginia to advocate for the “same conservative agenda” that he has brought to the Virginia Senate. Cuccinelli who currently represents the 37th District of Virginia (which encompasses part of Fairfax County in Northern Virginia) believes in strong conservative principles. Although Northern Virginia is left-leaning, Cuccinelli has fought for his core principles in office. An article from April 1st 2008 from the Washington Post after the announcement of his AG campaign noted the position that Cuccinelli finds himself in. It stated that “State Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II (R-Fairfax), one of Northern Virginia's few conservative elected officials with grass-roots support across the state, announced plans yesterday to run for attorney general next year.” In the Republican primary that Cuccinelli is now in, he has found himself in an enviable position. He has won several political campaigns maintaining a conservative message in an area known for its liberal ideology.
In terms of the role of Attorney General in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Cuccinelli noted the role of the 10th Amendment of the Constitution . That amendment states that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Cuccinelli noted that several of the Executive Orders that Obama has signed should be challenged because of their conflict with that Constitutional amendment. (When pressed on these orders, Cuccinelli mentioned executive orders that might interfere with Virginia's status as a right to work state.) Cuccinelli also noted that as Attorney General, he would make decisions “consistent with the law” and if he disagreed with the law, he would work to change the law through the proper legal means. Although he agreed that there was a potential for conflict as an Attorney General between the role of serving as a public advocate and defending the state’s actions, Cuccinelli noted that as AG, he would always have “allegiance to the Constitution and the people of Virginia” and that he would not defend unconstitutional actions in governmental agencies.
In terms of his work in the Virginia State Senate, Cuccinelli noted his past work on property rights legislation and his pro-life legislation. Cuccinelli’s political website notes that “In the 2005, 2006 and 2007 Legislative Sessions, Ken worked tirelessly to pass meaningful eminent domain laws that now prevent local and state governments from taking private homes and businesses for developers’ projects instead of for true public uses.” In addition to his work protecting property rights and mental health reform in the State Senate, Cuccinelli also said one his major accomplishments was the extent he succeeded in keeping taxes low in the Commonwealth.
Ken Cuccinelli’s conservative ideology has earned him recent endorsements from Mike Huckabee’s PAC and RedState. As Cuccinelli noted in the interview, voters do not have to believe a word he says. In terms of supporting conservative values, Cuccinelli noted that he has a “record to prove it.”