Friday, October 2, 2009

Attorney General candidates court Virginia veterens – debate Friday

Steve Shannon and Ken Cuccinelli

Steve Shannon and Ken Cuccinelli

While Senator Ken Cuccinelli unveiled his plans to better equip Virginia’s Attorney General’s office to advocate on behalf of  Veterans his Democratic opponent Steve Shannon was endorsed by thirty Virginia veterans Thursday.

In press releases:

“Steve Shannon has been one of our legislature’s strongest supporters of veterans,” said US Army Colonel Scott Robinson. “Steve has worked hard to make sure veterans can go to college. And throughout his career, Steve has devoted himself to making Virginia a safer place for service members to return home to.”

“Steve has shown himself willing to fight for those who have fought for our country,” said Air Force Colonel Thomas Beres. “When Steve is Virginia’s Attorney General, I know that he will not stop until every Virginia veteran has the benefits and protection we need, and until Virginia is a safer place for our families to live.”

“I am honored to have the support of these brave men and women,” said Shannon. “Our veterans have sacrificed in the defense of our nation. When I’m Attorney General, I will fight to get our veterans the care and benefits they deserve and to make Virginia a safer place for them and their families to call home.”

Shannon said that he has consistently supported legislation to extend higher education benefits to service members and their families. He voted in favor of legislation to extend in-state tuition benefits to families of active duty personnel and mobilized reservists and guard members. He was also the chief sponsor of a bill that would have granted a waiver of tuition, charges and fees for eligible veterans who gain admission to any of our public universities.

Cuccinelli in a conference call with three veterans Thursday outline his plans that include:

  1. Designating and training two attorneys in the Attorneys General’s office to better and more frequently help Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS) agents win individual claim cases. These attorneys would also serve as additional training resources for VDVS agents and in-state Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) in Virginia.
  2. Providing more regular and professional training for our VDVS agents and in-state VSO’s.
  3. Establishing a regular email newsletter with Attorney General’s office contributions to inform Virginia veteran’s of what benefits are available to them, how to access them, as well as keeping up (along with VSO and VDVS agents) with changes in federal law.
  4. Ensuring that Virginia and its localities, unlike some other states, complies fully with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
  5. Amend Virginia’s election laws to guarantee the timely delivery of BOTH absentee ballot requests and the ballots themselves to military members overseas.

Shannon Thursday also accepted the endorsement of the NVTC TechPAC, the political action committee of the Northern Virginia Technology Council. NVTC, the largest council of technology companies in the nation, represents businesses employing over 200,000 people in Virginia. In a press release, the group praised Shannon’s non-partisan commitment to business growth and innovation in the Commonwealth.

A debate between both candidate is planned for Friday October 2 at 10:00 AM on the Mark Plotkin Politics Hour on 103,5 FM – WTOP radio.

The debate is live online beginning at 10am at

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2009, Politics, State Politics

Tags: , ,

Comments (1)

Roger Sullivan

October 10th, 2009 at 6:28 AM    

Thanks Ken. NOTHING could be better for Veterans than what you are proposing to do: Training two attorneys in the AGs office to help with veterans claims. And providing regular and “professional” training to the VDVS agents. This has been neglected too long, especially in the Kaine administration. Part of the problem with the claims process for Veterans is the lack of training and caring about the Veterans of this Commonwealth. From talking with you, I know you care and this will be done. Again, thank you from the 800,000 plus veterans in Virginia…..Roger

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