Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, a pediatric physician, started off the discussion Wednesday morning with a chilling statistic – there have been 860 deaths so far this year due to opioid overdoses. Virginia is on par to reach 1000 deaths by year end he said.
Dr. Northam, met with leaders at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital to discuss the opioid public health emergency and to highlight policy solutions he will push for in the 2017 General Assembly session and beyond.
Nancy Agee, President and CEO of Carilion Clinic
Steve Arner, President/CEO, Carilion Medical Center, Nancy Agee, President and CEO of Carilion Clinic, Dr. Willia
Republican State Party Chair Pat Mullins, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, State Senator Ralph Smith, and Attorney General candidate Ken Cuccinelli headlined this year’s retreat. Before lunch and the breakout sessions Susan Allen, wife of former Governor George Allen energized the 60 women at the Holiday Inn on Ordway Drive.
The retreat is a version of past VFRW (Virginia Federation of Republican Women). Suzanne Curran is past 6th District Representative of the VFRW for which the event is name. Denise Bailey is the current 6th District Representative of the VFRW.
The hosts were the Roanoke Valley Republican Women and the Central Republican Women. Maryellen Goodlatte is Honorary Chair and Sandi Bird mother of 11th District House of Delegate candidate, Troy Bird is Retreat Committee Chair.
Since Cuccinelli had covered most topics during his remarks I asked him about campaign finance law. As he understands it there are essentially no limits on how campaign funds are used – “whether that is good or bad … the limitation is presumed to be disclosure.” He is the only candidate that has joined The Virginia Coalition for Open Government (VCOG). Cuccinelli said he has fought for budget transparency but it still has a long way to go. He is an advocate for keeping individual citizens information private but sees citizens are “stockholders” in government and they should be able to see everything.
Regarding my question about forming a 501(3)(c) with campaign funds he said if you get to a point where have people filing 501(3)(c) to achieve political purposes and “the next question would be does it run independently of that … if it doesn’t then it is probably a violation of law.”
Ed Elswick & Cuccinelli
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling
Pat Mullins, Republican State Party Chair
Susan Allen, wife of George Allen
Debbie Munoz (center) wife of Tito “The Builder” Munzo
Sheriff Johnson talks to Cuccinelli.
Sen. Ken Cuccinelli
Retreat Group Picture
During Sen. Cuccinelli’s remarks he charged all to get the message out saying “that our side is right … you don’t need guidance from us … just do it.”
He called his Democratic opponent for Attorney General, Steve Shannon, a “traditional Fairfax Democrat” when it comes to the 2nd Amendment. He claimed that Creigh Deeds has moved left of center and flip-flopped since he has been in office on gun control legislation. The 2nd Amendment “is a big deal in Virginia,” confirmed Cuccinelli. On property rights Cuccinelli claimed that Shannon had “consistently voted against property rights.”
“Looming large is the whole issue of state sovereignty,” said Cuccinelli. “The federal government is a creation of the states and not the other way around,” declared Cuccinelli to thunderous applause. He claimed that there were aspects of the implementation of the “cap and trade” bill just passed that an Attorney General would be able to challenge under the 10th amendment. The Attorney General’s job is to decide if a law is constitutional. Cuccinelli then referred to the AG of California, Jerry Brown and his refusal to uphold the marriage amendment to the state constitution. If then it goes to the Supreme Court Virginia’s Attorney General would decide whether to weigh in on the case – this example “shows you that it matters who is the AG,” said Cuccinelli.
Cuccinelli repeatedly emphasized Shannon’s flip-flopping on the marriage amendment saying he voted to put it on the ballot but opposed it later publicly. He attacked Shannon on having a 100% voting record in support of the AFLCIO labor union. Cuccinelli admitted to failing that test evoking applause and laugher from the group.
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is the only pure business group left he claimed. All the others “are playing politics” including Virginia Free that “counts voting against property rights as a pro-business vote” said Cuccinelli. Shannon received a 50% rating from the NFIB while Cuccinelli received a 100% rating. He urged all to write letters to the editor as a means of getting this information out. Cuccinelli said his campaign has only $100,000 while his opponent Shannon who had no opposition in a primary had accumulated $1 million. He said that he “was not worried about being outspent … he is worried about being buried.” He only has 4 full-time staff members. He is looking to run a grass roots campaign saying that Bob McDonnell, the Republican candidate for governor and Bill Bolling the incumbent Republican for Lt. Governor don’t need a Democratic Attorney General.
“The Democrats know they are in trouble …I want you to smell the blood in the water … we can really eat these guys lunch this year,” said Cuccinelli. He closed by saying, “you know where I stand … I am running against a flip-flopper” contrasting himself with Shannon who he claims is “duck, duck, ducking” every issue. Cuccinelli said he is a fighter that would even fight with “his own folks when they are wrong.” He called Shannon a “back-bencher” who has never fought for anything.
Cuccinelli is now on twitter, which his campaign manager is not too happy about. “It is very dangerous to let your candidate just get out there and tweet,” he said. Sen. Ken Cuccinelli’s website is HERE.