By D.J. Rippert
Greeninelli? Last July I wrote a column on this blog entitled, “The Dirty Deal on Dominion’s Clean Energy Credits.” In that post I documented the slippery deal between Virginia’s General Assembly and Dominion Resources regarding renewable energy goals. In a clear example of crony capitalism the General Assembly passed a law allowing Dominion to get a “rate bonus” for the implementation of renewable energy sources without actually having to create any renewable energy sources. Dominion, as usual, thanked its puppets in the General Assembly with a continuing river of campaign contributions. However, there’s trouble in River City. Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli just threw a fly into the ointment of the political graft that lubricates much of Richmond’s business community. He called “foul” on Dominion and the General Assembly.
Odd bedfellows indeed. Ken Cuccinelli finds himself in a strange alliance with the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Cuccinelli’s office issued a report calling into the question the dubious renewable energy laws passed by the General assembly. The Washington Post article sums up Cuccinelli’s position nicely: “Cuccinelli said the incentives given to Dominion Virginia Power and Appalachian Power have not served their purpose and called on the General Assembly to eliminate the bonuses. He painted the law as short-changing consumers and the environment.” On Monday the Chesapeake Climate Action Network issued a report supporting Cuccinelli’s position on this matter.
Through a Nearby Mirror. In 2009, Bob McDonnell famously transformed himself from conservative firebrand to reasonable moderate. That transformation landed him in the governor’s house. Now, Michael Mann’s nemesis Ken Cuccinelli is in cahoots with a group that has as its exclusive mission, “ … fighting global warming in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.” Can the RPV reprise the Professor Higgins role it played so masterfully in 2009? With a little bit of luck.
Rippert’s Read-out. This is a very deft political move by Ken Cuccinelli. Cooch’s priority is to avoid an Obama-scale turnout at the polls next November. He must convince apathetic Democratic voters that his tenure as Attorney General was that of an honest bureaucrat and not a flame throwing conservative activist. He must convince them that staying home rather than voting their lukewarm preference for Terry McAuliffe is OK. Don’t agree with with his actions on the Michael Mann issue? Just look at his actions against Dominion’s renewable energy hoax. Meanwhile, he tells conservatives that he is protecting their wallets from what is essentially a government agency in Dominion. Cuccinelli certainly can’t become a liberal. It’s debatable whether he can be seen as a right-leaning moderate. However, he can be less of a pariah to those in the Obama coalition and this is a good first step in that direction. Remember, his goal is not to convert Democrats to his side. His goal is to make them comfortable in staying home next November.