Is Cuccinelli already “Pulling a Kaine”?

Putting robodialers on hold.  The United States Congress is considering substantial changes to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Passed in 1991, the TCPA provides many protections to consumers regarding the use of automated dialing systems, prerecorded voice messages, SMS messages and unsolicited faxes.  Many will remember with relief the day that the Act’s “Do Not Call” list was implemented.  It was one of those glorious moments when our government seemed to work.  The day before the DNC list, you were bombarded by people calling to get you to change long distance companies.  The day after the list … blissful silence.  Needless to say, anything government does right, it will undo.

Warning, Will Robinson!  The U.S. Congress is trying to cave in to the people who would take us back to the days of autodialers and unsolicited solicitations.  HR3035, with the sickly sweet title, “Mobile Information Act of 2011″  turns back the clock 20 years or so.  First, it narrows the definition of “automatic telephone number dialing system.”  In fact, it narrows the definition to old approaches rarely used today.  Many of today’s more sophisticated targeted dialers are excluded from regulation by this legislative trickery. Second, it grants consent for unsolicited calls each and every time you give your cell phone number to anybody.  Verbally or in writing, it matters not.  Give your cell phone number to a customer service rep?  You are now available for a lifetime of automated harassment.  Finally, the act “pretends to protect” by banning automated calls to cell phones, “unless the call is made for a commercial purpose that does not constitute a telephone solicitation.”  Your warranty expired.  It’s about to expire.  We’re just verifying your address.  There are many ways to advertise without being solicitous and the robots will use them all.

Cooch’s line goes dead.  This bill is so bad that it has actually united American politicians across the political divide.  The Attorneys General from 48 states and 6 U.S. territories signed a letter to Congress demanding that the bill be rejected.  48 states!  Now, which two states do you think missed the bus? Virginia and Nebraska.  You can read the letter here.  I have looked in the usual Internet spots for any commentary from Ken Cuccinelli as to why he declined to sign a letter that 48 out of 50 U..S Attorneys General signed.  Nothing.  Silence. If anybody knows of Mr. Cuccinelli’s thinking on this matter, please let me know.  Perhaps he’s providing this silence as solace for the day when our cell phones will start ringing off the hook.  Or, maybe he’s just asleep at the switch.

Pulling a Kaine.  Tim Kaine famously went AWOL from his job as Virginia’s governor in the midst of a paralyzing recession.  Gov. Kaine got a new job as the head of the Democratic National Committee while still governor.  He hit the road in Gulfstreams and Lear jets to keep America safe for Democrats.  It appears that AG Cuccinelli is doing the same thing.  Too busy popping off about Rail to Dulles to bother with the mundane tasks of the office to which he was elected.  Too busy running for governor to either join the AGs of 48 other states or declare why Virginians should relish the return of the robocallers.  At least Tim Kaine had the decency to wait until he was within eyesight of the end of his term.  Cooch is AWOL at just about the half way point.

By … Groveton

10 Responses to Is Cuccinelli already “Pulling a Kaine”?

  1. I think the nexus between the Cooch and Kaine is a stretch myself.

    but who signed off on Va supporting extending METRO?

    Was that bad or good?

    the problem with Cooch is that MOST state AG’s view that job as one that protects consumers from excessive and predatory practices and Cooch sees that job as a cudgel for his right-wing ideology.

    his use of that office for that purpose may not be criminal but it’s so far off the mark from what it ought to be that it calls into serious question what more power, the power of the Gov would he use in even more inappropriate ways.

    You cannot really say that about Kaine so the comparison is weak at best.

    but I essentially agree with Groveton’s deeper message that the Cooch is unfit to be Gov and basically seeks to further polarize people and divert us from the more important things that the state should be dealing with.

    At some point (hopefully) – the electorate is going to realize that the culture wars are corrosive and destructive and “leaders” who carry that banner need to be recognized for what they are – culture warriors not real leaders.

    McDonnell, to his credit, decided to lead for the good of all Virginians not just the right wing wackos.

    It used to be ..the heir apparent in Va was whatever (mostly unknown) establishment politician was waiting in the wings but now we have extremists running amok.

    I guess that’s what we get for being complacent….

    some day… if enough of us understand and care – we’ll put the right wing back in the cage it belongs.. and get on with the business of …for instance… a State AG that actually does the job that needs to be done.

    we get what we deserve…. and so far.. we got what we deserve for AG and if we stay asleep at the switch.. we’ll get a Gov of equal merit.

  2. Virginia needs someone like Chris Christie who can resist the siren call of national politics and really, truly focus on doing an excellent job of governing the state. We haven’t had a politician like that in quite a while…. Not since Gerry Baliles. Five recent governors have set their eye at least briefly on the presidency/vice presidency — Wilder, Allen, Gilmore, Warner and McDonnell. Kaine was more modest: He settled for being chairman of the DNC. But the distraction was no less damaging.

    Forget the pledge not to raise taxes. We need candidates for statewide office to sign a pledge not to run for national office.

  3. And one more thing. I want Virginia governors to stop whining about how the Virginia constitution allows governors to serve only one term. What do you care about a second term? You all want to run for national office anyway. How about giving your full focus to the four years you’ve got?

  4. When Cuccinelli was elected he was a known conservative. However, most didn’t know that he would use his office to launch a culture war. If I were in a position to give him advice (which I am not) I’d tell him to slow down, get his thoughts into a cohesive message and then decide if he wants to run for governor. If he does decide to run for governor he should step down as Attorney General.

    Kaine mimics Cuccinelli in that he was willing to largely ignore his then current position as governor in order to devote his time to being the DNC Chairman. This was done at a time when the US and Virginia were in the worst of a bad recession.

    We’ll see what McDonnell decides to do if he really is considered a Vice Presidential candidate. That decision will be made next summer. I hope he will step down as governor if he ends up on the Republican ticket. This would create an interesting situation where Bill Bolling gets to be governor for about 15 months before the next state-wide election.

    Cuccinelli seems to be an immature politician. He may be a mature man but he’s an immature politician. He had no need to announce his interest in the governorship so early. He had no need to go off “half cocked” on the issues. Now he’s reduced to hyperbole while supposedly still working as the full time Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    As a fisherman, I know that you sometimes have to throw the young ones back so they can grow to maturity. As a voter I feel the same way about Ken Cuccinelli. He seems “under the limit” from a political sense perspective.

  5. Stepping down from the AG position. Seems to me that this is a one-way street. GOP AGs step down when running for Governor. Mary Sue Terry did not. Where was the howling then? We need one set of rules to be applied to both political parties.

  6. linking Kaine and Cooch is creative but kaput. Kaine..like other pols in Va was looking out as much for himself as his current job.

    this is not the case with cooch…. who is clearly on a Kamikaze mission that will likely render his personal branding so toxic that he has no political future as a general candidate. Even Conservative Virginia wants someone who understands the difference between governance and ideology.

    I don’t think anyone could rightly accuse Kaine of pursuing an ideological agenda… much less being a culture warrior for the left.

  7. LarryG:

    Focus, focus here buddy. I did not say that Ken Cuccinelli is Tim Kaine. I said that he is acting like Tim Kaine in his willingness to bypass the responsibilities of his elected office in order to pursue his next job.

    TMT:

    “GOP AGs step down when running for Governor.”.

    Cucinelli has announced his candidacy. He is making public statements of policy (such as his disdain for Phase 2 of Rail to Dulles). He is asleep at the switch on important national policy where 48 stats Attorneys General have taken action. He is running already. When will he step down?

  8. re: ” I said that he is acting like Tim Kaine in his willingness to bypass the responsibilities of his elected office in order to pursue his next job.”

    and that’s wrong. the Cooch is not doing his current job even BEFORE he contemplates his next job.

    he is failing at doing the job he was elected to do …. not because he has his eye on the next job but because he is a radical right wing ideologue who is using his CURRENT office to follow his CURRENT agenda.

    I point out that this kind of behavior could well preclude his acceptability by the electorate for a future gov attempt.

    that’s the opposite of Kaine who kept his ideological leanings under some level of control as he sought future work that would be adversely affected by a perceived ideological track record.

    Credit McDonnell with similar good judgement. Credit the Cooch with no such good judgment – ergo – not fit for Gov.

    you just as well should have tried to attempt a comparison with Warner or other ex Va Govs none of whom ran for the gov with as much ideological baggage.

  9. LarryG:

    Your stubbornness is impressive. In a prior life, were you perhaps a goat?

    Your point about Cuccinelli using the Attorney General office as a platform to be a right wing reactionary is perhaps justified. I personally think it’s more a symptom of his political immaturity but that’s just my opinion. However, he is failing to pay attention to his current position JUST LIKE TIM KAINE DID. He neither signed the letter about HR3505 nor did he publicly explain why he broke with the state attorneys general from 48 of the 50 states. My belief is that his mind is elsewhere – namely on his effort to become Virginia’s next governor. This is the same as when Tim Kaine’s mind was elsewhere – namely on his new job as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

    We will have plenty of time to discuss Tim Kaine’s legacy as governor in the run up to the US Senate race. I intend to cover the topic with a number of blog articles. We will also have plenty of time to examine Ken Cuccinelli’s tenure in the General Assembly and as Attorney General.

    However, for now …

    Ken Cuccinelli appears to be AWOL just like Tim Kaine went AWOL during the last six months of his term as governor.

  10. Not surprisingly to me, the bill is dead. From the ACA trade association website.
    “Co-Sponsors Halt TCPA LegislationPressure from consumer groups and attorneys general stops progress of the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011, H.R. 3035. On Wednesday, Dec. 14, Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) and Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), co-sponsors of H.R. 3035, sent a letter to Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, requesting that the legislation not advance.
    “The bill, known as the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011, was intended to modernize the Telephone Consumer Protection Act to allow businesses to use assistive telecommunications technology, such as predictive dialers, to contact consumers on their wireless numbers for calls that do not constitute a solicitation.
    H.R. 3035 came under fire by consumer groups and states’ attorneys general, who believed the bill would open consumers to a flood of unwanted calls and texts to their cell phones.
    “ACA International and members of the TCPA Coalition of business organizations supporting H.R. 3035 are deeply disappointed by this action and will continue to advocate for legislation that better accounts for the increased use of cell phones and other modern day technologies such as autodialers.”

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