Since Attorney General Ken Cuccinnelli launched his nullification efforts the day after President Obama signed the Health Care legislation, I have been receiving a steady flow of constituent mail mostly critical (90+%) expressing feelings ranging from ridicule to outrage.
Governor McDonnell’s ill-considered “Confederate History Month” proclamation and his decision to add the additional requirement of a persuasive essay to the already cumbersome application process that nonviolent ex-offenders must follow in order to regain their voting rights have added increased volume to my mailbox – both in numbers and intensity of opinion.
Sadly, our elected leaders are projecting an image to the media of Virginians as right-wing ideologues and rejectionists. Gail Collins writes in her column (New York Times April 8, 2010) that “Virginia has been making big leaps in the category of general craziness.” Humorous, but we know this characterization is neither fair nor true.
My concern is that these incidents divert attention from the real work we have in front of us, fighting to build a progressive agenda for education funding, infrastructure investment, Commonwealth-wide sustainable economic development and programmatic reform to increase the value and effectiveness of core government services like Medicaid, corrections, mental health and child welfare. The recent mining tragedy in West Virginia also reminds us that responsible regulation is a vital complement to the business-friendly environment we want to maintain.
I honestly believe that a large majority of Virginians agree on what our overall goals should be in these areas, although we may disagree on the best way to achieve them. I intend to work with my constituents to define opportunities and venues to make tangible progress on building this progressive agenda in areas and on issues that affect them. Our energies should focus on finding common ground and moving Virginia forward rather than fueling partisan conflict resulting from political gamesmanship that is ultimately of little consequence. Our Governor and Attorney General must stop embarrassing the citizens whom they say they represent and begin to publicly show serious attention to the problems our Commonwealth is facing.
I ran for Delegate last year because I was dissatisfied with the status quo in Richmond. This past legislative session has raised my sense of urgency on behalf of my constituents, whom I am afraid will be disproportionately impacted by this administration’s policies.
I urge you to let Governor McDonnell and Attorney General Cuccinelli know your opinion of their recent actions. You can call Bob McDonnell at (804) 786-2211 and Ken Cuccinelli at (804) 786-2071.
Delegate Kory represents the 38th District in the Virginia House of Delegates. She may be emailed at [email protected].