Shorter Richmond Times-Dispatch: Forget this. We’re not endorsing anyone in this godforsaken gubernatorial race.

posted at 4:41 pm on October 21, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

The two Virginia gubernatorial candidates were busily working the campaign trail over the weekend; McAuliffe rolled deep with his BFFs the Clintons in NoVa and Cuccinelli buddied up with fellow conservative superstar Mike Huckabee in Lynchburg — and meanwhile, back in the capitol city, the commonwealth’s biggest newspaper was publishing a scathing non-endorsement of what the editors believe are the equally poor choices with which Virginia voters find themselves faced. Says the Richmond Times-Dispatch of this, the first occasion on which they believe they have declined to endorse a gubernatorial nominee:

The major-party candidates have earned the citizenry’s derision. The third-party alternative has run a more exemplary race yet does not qualify as a suitable option. We cannot in good conscience endorse a candidate for governor.

The paper generally leans Republican in its endorsements, including Mitt Romney in 2012, but the editors evidently feel that Attorney General Cuccinelli strong stances on social issues, combined with the ways in which he has pursued his “divisive agenda with a stridency that was unbecoming in an attorney general” and in which he obtained the commonwealth’s Republican nomination, make him a disagreeable choice:

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli rigged the process for the Republican nomination when his minions changed the system from a primary to a convention, which they considered more likely to produce their desired outcome. The switch mocked Cuccinelli’s advertised fealty to first principles. The expression of raw power would have delighted sachems of Tammany Hall. Virginia does not welcome an in-your-face governor. …

We do not support abortion for any reason at any time and have embraced bans on late-term abortions, for instance; we remain troubled by Cuccinelli’s approach to personhood and to regulations on clinics. Questions involving abortion will be resolved not by government policy but by transformation of the human heart.

As for McAuliffe, opine the editors, he may be a wheeler-dealer but he certainly is not the “conciliator” Virginia needs in these trying political times. Moreover, he only won the nomination by default because of the Democrats’ weak bench:

The Democrat stumbles when he proposes major spending hikes, which he claims can be financed by the federal dollars the state would receive by expanding Medicaid. He offers an easy answer to a tough question.

His inclinations do not conform to Virginia’s history of fiscal restraint. Regarding uranium mining, the three wannabes opt to lead from behind.

On energy generally, McAuliffe has spun like a top and now supports items he once opposed, such as the exploration for energy sources off Virginia’s shores. Cuccinelli and Sarvis did not need electoral considerations to persuade them to do the right thing.

As for the libertarian candidate Sarvis, a vote for him “would not be wasted but would serve notice to Republicans and Democrats that the electorate rejects their surly antics,” but practically, he “has no experience applicable to the governorship, period.”

Whew. By all means, tell us how you really feel.

The Washington Post and the Virginian-Pilot have endorsed McAuliffe, but with heavy reservations; it all seems to pretty aptly reflect the hot mess of poor favorability ratings Virginians apparently harbor for both candidates. From the latest NBC/Marist poll:

McAuliffe has expanded his lead with independents from 2 points in September (36-34 percent) to 8 points now (41-33 percent). In September, Cuccinelli got a 31-45 percent unfavorable score with the group. Now, a majority give say they view him unfavorably – 34-51 percent. McAuliffe doesn’t fare much better — with a 36-47 unfavorable, but that might not be the point.

“It’s not that independents are enamored with McAuliffe,” Miringoff said, “they just dislike Cuccinelli more.”

And that just might be the theme of this campaign.

“When you have a majority viewing you negatively, it’s hard to win an election,” said Barbara Carvalho, who also helped conduct the poll. “It’s not that McAuliffe has closed the deal, it’s that he’s the lesser of two evils.”


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We do not support abortion for any reason at any time and have embraced bans on late-term abortions, for instance; we remain troubled by Cuccinelli’s approach to personhood and to regulations on clinics. Questions involving abortion will be resolved not by government policy but by transformation of the human heart.

Translation: we’re pro-life, but we don’t really mean it.

Here’s a hint, guys: a final victory on abortion is not a matter of “transforming the human heart.” It’s a matter of ensuring that the unborn are guaranteed the same legal protection and right to life as anybody else.

Stoic Patriot on October 21, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Heckuva job, VA GOP.

GOPRanknFile on October 21, 2013 at 4:47 PM

“When you have a majority viewing you negatively, it’s hard to win an election,” said Barbara Carvalho, who also helped conduct the poll. “It’s not that McAuliffe has closed the deal, it’s that he’s the lesser of two evils.”

Wow. Sounds like the last two presidential elections.

Turtle317 on October 21, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Doesn’t matter either way, but telling nonetheless. Cuccinelli has gone from Tea Party darling to being less acceptable than a Clinton crony…says volumes about the sorry campaign he’s run. (Though I am getting multiple emails a day from him, so there’s that…I’m sure that’ll help close the gap before election day.)

changer1701 on October 21, 2013 at 4:53 PM

“It’s not that McAuliffe has closed the deal, it’s that he’s the lesser of two evils.”

McAwful the lesser of two evils?

I can’t comprehend that.

Bitter Clinger on October 21, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Questions involving abortion will be resolved not by government policy but by transformation of the human heart.

Or an unbiased review of existing federal and state laws concerning the destruction of turtle eggs.

Cellmate #1: “You don’t look like thug….what did you do on the outside?”

Cellmate #2: “I was a part owner/practitioner at an abortion clinic”

Cellmate #1: “Whadya do….molest little girls or toss a live baby in the trash or something?”

Cellmate #2: “Oh..no…nothing like that at all. I threw a party at my beach house and got caught stealing turtle eggs off the beach for hor d’overs.”

BobMbx on October 21, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Hey, let’s support McAuliffe’s War on the Unborn” and his war against “settled law”, the 2nd Amendment. Or maybe help him put the coal industry out of business in Virginia. Not sure how the Richmond paper had trouble deciding on that one.

iamsaved on October 21, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Didn’t Cooch stop the EPA from regulating storm water a pollutant? That right there ought to get him the nod.

DanMan on October 21, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Cuccinelli strong stances on social issues

Daman socons.

[BTW, that would be “Cuccinelli‘s strong stances.”

Strunk & White is your friend.]

davidk on October 21, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Damn socons.

davidk on October 21, 2013 at 5:06 PM

the ways in which he has pursued his “divisive agenda with a stridency that was unbecoming in an attorney general”

Don’t want any uppity Republicans.

davidk on October 21, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Doing campaign events with Mike Huckabee says all that you need to know about Ken Cuccinelli’s character or fitness for office, just in case his record of promoting insane legislation wasn’t proof enough.

Armin Tamzarian on October 21, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Poor Virginia . . . I once was a great conservative state but those days are gone.

rplat on October 21, 2013 at 5:10 PM

We do not support abortion for any reason at any time and have embraced bans on late-term abortions, for instance; we remain troubled by Cuccinelli’s approach to personhood and to regulations on clinics. Questions involving abortion will be resolved not by government policy but by transformation of the human heart.

If anyone needed more evidence that pro-life politics is a losing proposition for the GOP, there it is. Nicely put, too.

Extreme pro-life positions alienate far more voters than they gain. And losing elections to pro-choice candidates isn’t saving any babies, so pro-lifers should be smarter about how they try to achieve their objectives.

I denounce myself in advance for being “soft” on what some commenters consider murder, so if any pro-lifers want to debate the point, please do so without ad hominem attacks on those who disagree with you.

cool breeze on October 21, 2013 at 5:12 PM

At what point do we begin to have a discussion about what the VA Gov race does or does not portend in regards to near future Conservative electoral chances?

And, as a follow-up… should I be concerned by the level of confusing mess in the question I crafted above?

RightWay79 on October 21, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Heckuva job, VA GOP.

GOPRanknFile on October 21, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Oh Please! One of the gripes by the RTD was the way Ken Cuccinelli became the candidate. He beat out a worthless liberal RINO who would have played better in Northern Virginia but would not bring conservative values to Richmond. The loser bastard ran to endorse McAuliffe in a major snit fit. And don’t get me started on the libertarian douche that is probably going to hand the election to the Dems. Wouldn’t surprise me to find out that Sarvis was paid large sums of money by the DNC. “Libertarians” can be criminals too.

Happy Nomad on October 21, 2013 at 5:13 PM

At what point do we begin to have a discussion about what the VA Gov race does or does not portend in regards to near future Conservative electoral chances?

And, as a follow-up… should I be concerned by the level of confusing mess in the question I crafted above?

RightWay79 on October 21, 2013 at 5:13 PM

VA isn’t the bellweather it once was. It gets a lot of attention because it is a year off cycle and when it was more conservative a liberal win was an omen of things to come. But VA politics are a muddled mess thanks to all the carpetbaggers including McAuliffe.

McAuliffe is proud that he left his wife in pain with their newborn child in the car ON THE WAY HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL while he stopped by a DNC fundraiser in Maryland. McAuliffe has more than a few shady business dealings and is being investigated by the SEC and Immigration. Yet because the very stupid liberal women have decided that Ken Cuccinelli of being anti-women he will lose. Hillary Clinton talked about McAuliffe’s pro-woman record at a fundraiser this weekend. Last time I knew, real men and fathers didn’t put fundraisers ahead of their families. Yet he’s pro-vagina? Give me a break.

Happy Nomad on October 21, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Cuccinelli buddied up with fellow conservative superstar Mike Huckabee in Lynchburg

Conservative superstar? Are you kidding? Even conservatives loathe the Huckster. If he is the best Cuccinelli can do, it’s over. Whatever the case, this will be about as effective as Palins’ romp through New Jersey was for Lonegin.

Mr. Arkadin on October 21, 2013 at 5:21 PM

RTD wanted Bill Bolling.

Punchenko on October 21, 2013 at 5:25 PM

It is amazing that Virginia is even seriously considering electing a crook.

Of course it isn’t surprising that the Democrats would nominate one.

Suggestion for a campaign ad…

Newly Elected Governor McAuliffe arrested (show, from behind, a man being led away in cuffs).

Governer’s office in chaos as the state is left without leadership. (show newspaper clippings about McA’s various scandals)

Influence peddling, graft, kickbacks – the Chicago way comes to Richmond. (Continue newspaper clippings)

You have the power to decide if this is the future you want for yourself, your family, and your state. Vote wisely. Vote for the man that will clean up Virgina. Vote Cuccinelli.

18-1 on October 21, 2013 at 5:26 PM

At what point do we begin to have a discussion about what the VA Gov race does or does not portend in regards to near future Conservative electoral chances?

Having a lot of money can get even a crook elected…if he has a D by his name.

18-1 on October 21, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Oh Please! One of the gripes by the RTD was the way Ken Cuccinelli became the candidate. He beat out a worthless liberal RINO who would have played better in Northern Virginia but would not bring conservative values to Richmond.

He actually beat out no one. By the deadline, he was the only candidate who had filed, so therefore became the nominee by default via the convention. Whether he would have beaten Bolling in a primary or not is irrelevant. This nominating convention business is ridiculous. And even with a nominating convention, the VA GOP has a responsibility to recruit better people. Cuccinelli would be a great statewide candidate in a red state. VA is no longer a red state.

The loser bastard ran to endorse McAuliffe in a major snit fit.

I assume you’re talking about Bolling? Bolling has yet to endorse McAuliffe, so this is inaccurate.

And don’t get me started on the libertarian douche that is probably going to hand the election to the Dems.

Eh. With Cuccinelli’s numbers, neither the presence nor absence of Sarvis would have affected the election. Sarvis is probably only attracting the votes of people who would have just stayed home anyway because of these awful candidates. Cuccinelli is running against Freaking Terry McAuliffe. If that isn’t enough for someone to vote for Cuccinelli, then I don’t know what is.

Wouldn’t surprise me to find out that Sarvis was paid large sums of money by the DNC. “Libertarians” can be criminals too.

Happy Nomad on October 21, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Anything is possible I guess.

GOPRanknFile on October 21, 2013 at 5:36 PM

RTD wanted Bill Bolling.

Punchenko on October 21, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Probably but they also hate the way that the process for coming up with the candidates was changed. IMO the real test is how E.W. Jackson fares in the LT Gov race. A true compromise candidate who has done far better than the Bolling henchmen suggested in their post-nomination snit fits. Not that the office means much.

Happy Nomad on October 21, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Heckuva job, VA GOP.

GOPRanknFile on October 21, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Thank you. You reinforced my decision to vote Libertarian.

crash72 on October 21, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Doing campaign events with Mike Huckabee says all that you need to know about Ken Cuccinelli’s character or fitness for office, just in case his record of promoting insane legislation wasn’t proof enough.

Armin Tamzarian

That a sociopath like you has a problem with him tells me he’s probably got the right idea.

xblade on October 21, 2013 at 5:44 PM

Thank you. You reinforced my decision to vote Libertarian.

crash72 on October 21, 2013 at 5:39 PM

I would still vote for Cuccinelli and do whatever I could to help him get elected, but I just knew that as soon he was declared our nominee, we just hurt ourselves in a very winnable race. Just about any Republican should be able to beat McAuliffee, yet somehow we found the one Republican that’s have difficulty even getting within the margin of error.

GOPRanknFile on October 21, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Wow, and I thought my New York State GOP was messed up…

Pope Linus on October 21, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Just about any Republican should be able to beat McAuliffee, yet somehow we found the one Republican that’s have difficulty even getting within the margin of error.

GOPRanknFile on October 21, 2013 at 5:45 PM

I disagree. It is hard to beat all the outside money that McAullife is getting and the very stupid women of the Commonwealth who believe that somebody is trying to get rid of their birth control. The left has done a very good job of harnessing the power of stupid single issue females who only care about their private parts. The rat bastard Mcauliffe endorsing Bolling would hard pressed to confront the stupid whores as well.

Happy Nomad on October 21, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Wow, and I thought my New York State GOP was messed up…

Pope Linus on October 21, 2013 at 5:53 PM

It is. But since Manhattan pretty much cancels out the GOP, nobody cares. Virginia is not quite there yet.

Happy Nomad on October 21, 2013 at 5:59 PM

… and meanwhile, back in the capitol city…

.
BWWAAAAAAAAAA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
.
You didn’t read Cozmo’s Clues on spelling over the weekend… he thanked his third grade grammar nazi expert teacher who told him “O for DOME!” The city doesn’t have a dome!
.
Capital City is the term you want and don’t forget it!
.
Also, Times-Dispatch can only whine about Cuccinelli’s social conservatism and “the method of selection?” There is a clear choice and Cuccinelli is the best of the three main candidates. The clear best choice is Cuccinelli and RT-D should not shy away from saying it.

ExpressoBold on October 21, 2013 at 6:06 PM

I disagree. It is hard to beat all the outside money that McAullife is getting and the very stupid women of the Commonwealth who believe that somebody is trying to get rid of their birth control. The left has done a very good job of harnessing the power of stupid single issue females who only care about their private parts. The rat bastard Mcauliffe endorsing Bolling would hard pressed to confront the stupid whores as well.

Happy Nomad on October 21, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Set aside your animus toward Bolling for a sec. You honestly don’t think Bolling would be beating McAuliffe right now? Outside money tried to defeat McDonnell too and they tried to paint him as anti-woman as well (remember his thesis?). He ended up destroying Deeds…I think by almost 20 points IIRC. Deeds is not nearly as bad a candidate as McAuliffe is, but Cuccinelli is still losing.

GOPRanknFile on October 21, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Robert Sarvis is the only smart choice for liberty-loving, small government conservatives.

RayinVA on October 21, 2013 at 6:14 PM

McAuliffe’s latest radio commercial all but explicitly plays to the cronyism of VA federal workers.

Count to 10 on October 21, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Robert Sarvis is the only smart choice for liberty-loving, small government conservatives.

RayinVA on October 21, 2013 at 6:14 PM

So, half a vote for the Democrat, then?

Count to 10 on October 21, 2013 at 6:16 PM

I disagree. It is hard to beat all the outside money that McAullife is getting and the very stupid women of the Commonwealth who believe that somebody is trying to get rid of their birth control. The left has done a very good job of harnessing the power of stupid single issue females who only care about their private parts. The rat bastard Mcauliffe endorsing Bolling would hard pressed to confront the stupid whores as well.

Happy Nomad on October 21, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Set aside your animus toward Bolling for a sec. You honestly don’t think Bolling would be beating McAuliffe right now? Outside money tried to defeat McDonnell too and they tried to paint him as anti-woman as well (remember his thesis?). He ended up destroying Deeds…I think by almost 20 points IIRC. Deeds is not nearly as bad a candidate as McAuliffe is, but Cuccinelli is still losing.

GOPRanknFile on October 21, 2013 at 6:08 PM

We would be calling Bill Bolling Governor-elect right now if he had the nomination.

Punchenko on October 21, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Sarvis is probably only attracting the votes of people who would have just stayed home anyway because of these awful candidates.

Wrong. I’ve voted for the Republican for governor for the 12 years I’ve lived here. My vote for Sarvis reflects my dissatisfaction with the party and a maturation of my own views on liberty.

RayinVA on October 21, 2013 at 6:18 PM

We would be calling Bill Bolling Governor-elect right now if he had the nomination.

Punchenko on October 21, 2013 at 6:17 PM

I’d probably wait until November 5th just to be on the safe side, but yes, I agree with you. :)

GOPRanknFile on October 21, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Robert Sarvis is the only smart choice for liberty-loving, small government conservatives.

RayinVA on October 21, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Sarvis is probably getting large, dirty envelopes stuffed full of Terry cash at a P.O. Box somewhere in NoVa.

Punchenko on October 21, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Wrong. I’ve voted for the Republican for governor for the 12 years I’ve lived here. My vote for Sarvis reflects my dissatisfaction with the party and a maturation of my own views on liberty.

RayinVA on October 21, 2013 at 6:18 PM

I wasn’t necessarily talking about the Libertarians, Ray. Of course, they’d vote for Sarvis irrespective of who the Republican and Democratic candidates were. I was talking mostly about the Republican voters who would never vote for a Dem, but can’t find it within themselves to vote for Cuccinelli either. Those are the voters to whom I was referring, not to people who are naturally inclined to vote for Sarvis anyway.

GOPRanknFile on October 21, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Sarvis is probably getting large, dirty envelopes stuffed full of Terry cash at a P.O. Box somewhere in NoVa.

Punchenko on October 21, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Whatever helps you sleep at night.

If Republicans were really for small government, like they say they are, there would be no need for a Libertarian party.

RayinVA on October 21, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Hey, one thing I had forgotten until mentioned on Special Report. Ken Cucinnelli filed the first-in-the-nation state lawsuit against Obamacare. I wonder what the whores supporting McAuliffe will think next year when they can’t afford their health insurance.

Happy Nomad on October 21, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Sarvis is probably getting large, dirty envelopes stuffed full of Terry cash at a P.O. Box somewhere in NoVa.

Punchenko on October 21, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Whatever helps you sleep at night.

If Republicans were really for small government, like they say they are, there would be no need for a Libertarian party.

RayinVA on October 21, 2013 at 6:25 PM

No, it’s clear that Sarvis is getting funding somewhere. He’s being paid off by the DNC. No doubt in my mind about that. He has no chance of winning and has really done nothing but occupy the ballot. He’s just doing what he was paid to do.

Happy Nomad on October 21, 2013 at 6:30 PM

So, half a vote for the Democrat, then?

Count to 10 on October 21, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Beats giving a full vote to either of the 2 liberal candidates.

Armin Tamzarian on October 21, 2013 at 6:31 PM

No, it’s clear that Sarvis is getting funding somewhere. He’s being paid off by the DNC. No doubt in my mind about that. He has no chance of winning and has really done nothing but occupy the ballot. He’s just doing what he was paid to do.

Happy Nomad on October 21, 2013 at 6:30 PM

This is one of the oldest conspiracy theories in the book. I suppose you think Ralph Nader was paid by the GOP to run in 2000, huh?

RayinVA on October 21, 2013 at 7:05 PM

This is one of the oldest conspiracy theories in the book. I suppose you think Ralph Nader was paid by the GOP to run in 2000, huh?

RayinVA on October 21, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Sarvis runs no ads. I’ve not seen one sign in support of his candidacy. I’ve not read one word about what he stands for. He’s not really running for the office. He is being paid by somebody and is as dirty as Terry McAuliffe who preyed on dying people in an insurance scheme.

Prove me wrong before you claim I’m putting forth a conspiracy.

Happy Nomad on October 21, 2013 at 9:06 PM

meanwhile, back in the capitol city

That’s the capital city. Somewhere in that city may be an area known as the “capitol”, but that’s different.

-Language Martinet

The Monster on October 21, 2013 at 9:14 PM

Happy Nomad on October 21, 2013 at 9:06 PM

I’ve seen signs and bumper stickers. TV ads are expensive. He’s on Facebook. The Demopublican machine shut him out of the debates. He’s polling 7-9% depending on who you ask. You’re conspiracy doesn’t hold water. Now, care to address Nader in 2000?

RayinVA on October 21, 2013 at 9:40 PM

“It’s not that McAuliffe has closed the deal, it’s that he’s the lesser of two evils.”

McAwful the lesser of two evils?

I can’t comprehend that.

Bitter Clinger on October 21, 2013 at 4:54 PM
…its something I can’t either!

KOOLAID2 on October 21, 2013 at 10:18 PM

“It’s not that McAuliffe has closed the deal, it’s that he’s the lesser of two evils.”

No, he’s not. Maryland is already screwed, so all the elected kleptocrats and their entourages move to NoVa and skew to the Dimmies. :(

S. D. on October 22, 2013 at 12:37 AM