Or is it the second?
Lt. Governor Bill Bolling announced some time ago that he was running for Governor in 2013, and recently, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced his plans to run for the same office. And as we posted last month, Bolling was none too happy about the challenge.
It appears that Bolling is again going on the offensive against Cuccinelli over the embarrassing mess that has arisen over the Virginia Republican Presidential Primary.
If you have been too busy with the Holiday to keep up with the goings on of late, it seems that only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul managed to qualify for the Virginia primary ballot. A rule change was put into place in October – after the process had begun – to exempt any candidates from scrutiny of the signatures they collected by setting a minimum bar at 15,000.
Many have looked the the Virginia process and now realize that it is a system that favors the better funded candidates, which also happen to be the ones preferred by the “establishment” sector of either party. Seeing the toughest in the nation rules eliminate most of the candidates, many have decried the system as blatantly unfair and unnecessarily restrictive.
Yesterday, Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli sent out a Press Release stating that he was considering emergency legislation to attempt to open up Virginia’s Primary to include more of the serious candidates.
And a short while ago, Cuccinelli issued a second statement saying that he had reconsidered and thought it best to leave the matter alone. And while Twitter and FaceBook began buzzing about the announcement, many expressing regret that the AG would back down from righting a perceived deficiency in Virginia’s Election Laws, Bolling issued an unexpected statement.
And while the statement was issued as the Lt. Governor of Virginia, many are wondering if the tone was more in line with (and in conflict with) either Bolling’s role as Mitt Romney’s Virginia Campaign Chairman or Bolling’s role as candidate in the 2013 Gubernatorial race against the Attorney General. Or perhaps all three!
Of course, as Lt. Governor, Bolling’s concern with the Presidential Primary is, at most, tangential. Certainty not sufficient enough to warrant a Press Release on New Year’s Day, which also happens to be a Sunday.
But it was the tone of the Press Release that was more telling. Bolling first applauds Cuccinelli for withdrawing his plans to seek emergency legislation to add more names to the Primary Ballot, a move that, if successful, would have served to lessen the number of delegates Mitt Romney would receive in the proportional allotment of Delegates. And the Press Release goes on to admonishes Cuccinelli in a way consistent with the way a candidate for Governor would scold his primary opponent. An admonition that, as Lt. Governor would be inappropriate and un-Statesman like in public and best reserved for a private conversation in person or by telephone. And on a normal working day. But totally appropriate for a political candidate intent on scoring points against his opponent.
Perhaps in the future, Bolling should consider using a press release under 3 different letterheads as appropriate for his statements in order to avoid the confusion of Virginians wondering in which capacity he was speaking.
Or perhaps a joint letterhead with all 3 titles would be better for these types of triple play releases.
In addition, Cuccinelli also released a statement apologizing to all who were disappointed by his decision to allow the process to remain as is for 2012.
All in all, a bizarre exchange on New Year’s Day.
And we are wondering if Cuccinelli will respond to Bolling. And which letterhead he should use.
This is going to be a long 2 year campaign!
Below is the statement from Lt. Governor, Mitt Romney Chairman and Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Bolling.
STATEMENT OF LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR BOLLING IN RESPONSE TO ATTORNEY GENERAL CUCCINELLI’S DECISION TO RECONSIDER HIS CALL FOR BALLOT ACCESS CHANGES IN ADVANCE OF THE MARCH REPUBLICAN PRIMARY
-Bolling applauds Cuccinelli’s decision to abandon call for legislative changes to Virginia’s ballot access requirements in advance of the March Republican presidential primary, and encourages the Attorney General to avoid public comments that are critical of Virginia’s election laws while his office is defending those laws in pending court actions-
RICHMOND – Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling today issued the following statement in response to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s decision to reconsider his call for ballot access changes in advance of the March Republican Primary:
“Needless to say, I am pleased that Attorney General Cuccinelli has abandoned his call for legislative changes to Virginia’s ballot access requirements in advance of the Republican presidential primary in March. While I do not object to the General Assembly considering changes to our ballot access requirements for future elections, it would have been inappropriate to make such changes in the middle of the current presidential nominating process. That would have been terribly unfair to Governor Romney and Congressman Paul, both of whom successfully complied with these requirements and filed a sufficient number of legal petition signatures to qualify for the Virginia ballot.
“Going forward, I would also encourage Attorney General Cuccinelli to avoid making public statements that criticize our state election laws while his office is defending the State Board of Elections in a lawsuit that has been brought against them by Governor Perry and certain other presidential candidates. I am concerned that such public comments could be used against the Commonwealth in our effort to defend these lawsuits, and I am confident that the Attorney General would not want to do anything that could jeopardize his office’s ability to win this case.”