Cuccinelli the Liberal

Few people would confuse Ken Cuccinelli for a young Bill Clinton. Progressives (or whatever they are calling themselves these days) see Ken Cuccinelli as an ultra conservative who never strays from right wing dogma and panders to the conservative base for ongoing political support.

While nobody has ever accused “progressives” of consistency, even they must be wondering about their perspective on Cuccinelli after his office filed the legal brief in Digiacinto v. The Rector and Visitors of George Mason University. The brief was filed to the Virginia Supreme Court regarding a challenge to GMU’s regulation prohibiting the possession of firearms in university buildings and at university events. Mr. Cuccinelli filed a brief in favor of GMU’s regulation. However, it was the tone of Cuccinelli’s brief which should warm the cockles of any liberal’s heart.

“Without the regulation, the University community’s safety is seriously compromised. Unquestionably, the vast majority of gun owners are law-abiding citizens. Nevertheless, a rejected student applicant could walk into the Dean of Admissions office with an openly visible sidearm to discuss why the university rejected his application. An expelled student could do the same while he met with the Dean of Students to discuss his appeal of his expulsion. A disgruntled ex-boyfriend armed with a large hunting knife mounted on his side could enter the student residences to speak with his former girlfriend where she lived. Finally, any person who wishes to enter Fenwick Library with a sidearm, could not only frighten students and minors, such as preschoolers, but also expose them to unnecessary risks, such as an accidental discharge.”

Wow!

It seems to me that the District of Columbia v. Heller US Supreme Court ruling provided ample “wiggle room” for Mr. Cuccinelli to go either way with this brief. The overall ruling clearly asserted a personal right to bear arms as part of the second amendment. However, the majority opinion also clearly stated that there could be reasonable regulation of that right.

After the Virginia Tech massacre I believe that good public policy would argue in favor of allowing university administrations to limit firearms on campus.

Apparently, Attorney General Clintonelli agrees.


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51 responses to “Cuccinelli the Liberal”

  1. Michael Hikari Avatar
    Michael Hikari

    "After the Virginia Tech massacre I believe that good public policy would argue in favor of allowing university administrations to limit firearms on campus."

    Huh? Tech had already banned firearms on campus, remember? Cucinelli's cherrypicking speculation aside, I'm not seeing how this has any relevance to the Tech massacre whatsoever. If anything, one could make the point that a student or teacher with a weapon would have been able to take out the shooter sooner.

  2. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Groveton,
    When one considers the horror of Virginia Tech and the bipolar context with which you set it up, this post really sounds lame and pointless.

    Peter Galuszka

  3. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    Consistency? ha ha ha

    the only thing consistent about Cuccinelli is his self-serving quest to become a recognized political name in the average Virginia household.

    and I congratulate him on that score.

    and he also knows which way the political winds are blowing these days – chalk up another point in his favor.

    As far as weapons are concerned – I don't think we have any consistency in CRITERIA of where they should be allowed or not.

    As MH pointed out – there are those who say that had people had the opportunity to be armed at Tech – how much opportunity would a mass killer have before someone cut him down?

    verses over some period of time, easy access to weapons would result in even more deaths in multiple smaller one-on-one killings… on campus.

    or the fact that in places like Asia where guns are severely restricted, those with wacko tendencies just cut to the chase – literally – and hack people to death.

    hmmm.. would I rather be shot to death by a crazy or cut in half at the waist?

    hmmm.. tough choice, eh?

    but I digress…

    I remember how pissed I was when I went to Kitty Hawk one year to the Wright celebration and I was forced to turn over my small swiss army knife (with toothpick) to get in because Mr. Bush was scheduled to appear and they were taking no chances…apparently.

    I don't know what to think about the bigger issue to be honest except it's pretty clear (I think) we don't want elementary teachers packing heat and it would be a huge culture shock to see the cashiers at Target or WalMart packing heat saying "Hello, how are you today" to a customer also packing heat.

    so.. I'm open to hearing others advance a consistent criteria including Mr. Cuccinelli.

    The AG, I think – does have a mission of keeping the law itself in good repair as opposed to assaulting it with the intent (or outcome) of damaging the law and Govt.

    Right now, we have more than a few people who are questioning the role of govt and their response to that – is – to attack the govt and to attempt to tear it down in the areas they do not agree with.

    They say they are hewing to the Constitution but I hear now that Mr. Rand Paul wants to get rid of the Constitutional provision that says if your Mom is an illegal, and you were born here – that you are not a U.S. Citizen after all but just another illegal.

    I presume Mr. Cuccinelli will be following up on that issue at some point also, right?

  4. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    Mr. Hikari:

    The question of guns on campus and the mass murder, by handgun, at Virginia Tech seem related to me. Virginia Tech did ban guns and the killing happened anyway. Fair enough. However, I have to wonder how many more killings would occur if universities were told that handguns must be allowed. Maybe (and it is a huge maybe) some armed teacher or student would have stopped the killings at Virginia Tech sooner than they were stopped. However, how many angry confrontations between angry eighteen year olds would be resolved with bullets on the intramural football field? How comfortable would people feel providing an intellectual challenege to another student's ideas if that student were wearing a handgun? How safe would the parents of pre-schoolers feel when they brought their toddlers to camp at George Mason and saw people walking around with handguns.

    College and guns don't mix. Just like booze and guns don't mix.

  5. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    AS in many bigger colleges and universities – a ton of the students live off campus and unlike the Dorms cannot have their residences searched for "contraband".

    So I ask Groveton this. It's "easy" to say "no guns" on campus but now would you enforce it?

    Do we now have security and metal/weapon detectors at every building on campus – 24/7?

    How about County Govt buildings?

    every county govt building now have security and metal detectors?

    I'm just asking.

    I don't for every location but I can tell you that down in our area – we do not have this kind of security at the two local colleges nor at the local govt buildings – including the tax and assessment offices which I would think would be ripe for pistol-packing mamas.

    I know also that at least some buildings at tech do not have door security or weapons checks.

    So.. I'm asking.. is this much ado about public relations or is there something real going to happen to secure Va Tech… perhaps a fence around it and a large force of security folks manning checkpoints like we have at the airports?

    What level of government do you want at places like Va Tech?

    or.. is this.. really about something else… like how someone wants to APPEAR about the issue?

  6. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    Peter and LarryG have Cuccinelli Derangement Syndrome (DRS). It is similar to Bush Derangement Syndrome. In fact, derangement syndrome has reached epidemic levels among left-leaning Americans. One of the most notable symptoms of derangement syndrome is the utter inability of people suffering from the malady to admit they have a problem. There should be some kind of multi-step program that is offered to those under the spectre of derangement syndrome.

    The Cuccinelli matter in regard to GMU is a perfect case in point. The left has spent months falling into CDS by convincing themselves that Mr. Cuccinelli is a radicalized ultra-right wing loon. You cycle up your own political dementia by telling each other, over and over again, that Cuccinelli is one of those sad people clinging to guns and God that Dear Leader warned us about during the election.

    Then, something odd happens… Mr. Cuccinelli issues a brief which supports one of your policy planks. He upsets gun rights activists. He brings out people like Mr. Hikari who calls his brief "cherrypicking speculation".

    Do the CDS sufferers say, "Well, Mr. Cuccinelli got that one right."? Of course not. That's another hallmark of CDS. The obstinate refusal to admit that Cuccinelli has taken a position which you yourself support. What would you have said if Mr. Cuccinelli had ruled otherwise – saying that the GMU regulation was unconstitutional? You would have blown a mental gasket and spewed forth all kinds of anti-Cuccinelli rhetoric. It seems Mr. Cuccinelli can't do anything right – at least in the eyes of those suffering from CDS.

  7. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    no syndrome here … I'm just asking "small govt" Groveton if he actually supports a Big Govt approach to this issue.

    In other words, do you blather on about the issue or are you serious about the steps needed to make it happen?

    answers please.

    it's real simple.

    do you want airport-like security at GMU and the like?

    yes or no.

    In other words, I'm asking you what you REALLY THINK not just your political leanings.

  8. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    Mr. Hikari:

    Would you also support the possession of guns in high schools? Some students and all teachers are 18 or older. Should they be able to come to school in possession of handguns? Given that you believe the Virginia Tech massacre might have been stopped by a student or teacher with a handgun would you see the same potential benefit vis-a-vis a high school?

  9. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    LarryG:

    Your CDS is showing. It would have been far easier for Mr. Cuccinelli to file a brief saying that the District of Columbia v. Heller established the right to bear arms as a personal right. Therefore, sane adults should be able to exercise that personal right on college campuses. People like Mr. Hikari believe that, in some ways, college campuses would be safer if law-abiding citizens were allowed to carry guns. He is far from alone in his opinion. In fact, Phillip Van Cleave, President of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, wrote a scathing e-mail to the members of VCDL railing against Mr. Cuccinelli's brief. I will make the simplifying assumption that there are more conservatives than liberals in the VCDL. So, it appears that Mr. Cuccinelli issued a brief which was guaranteed to upset his political base.

    Why would an ultra-right wing loon do such a thing?

    Because it's the right thing to do? Because he's actually a good attorney general who is willing to upset people on both sides of the idealogical divide in order to do his job properly?

    The CDS patients in the Progressive Ward don't think so. No, he's now cleverly trying to appear reasonable by adopting positions he really doesn't believe.

    You guys need help. CDS is a terrible malady.

  10. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    again – I would ask – if we are going to say that guns are not allowed in some institutions, two questions:

    1. – what is the criteria so that we actually have a consistent approach and not a "because I said so" approach?

    2. – how will you enforce it?

    will you actually be willing to PAY for round-the-clock security and technology to enforce it

    or will the idea simply be "you're not supposed to do that"?

    this is the problem with the right wing folks.

    they SAY they don't want BIG govt "solutions" .. until you listen to them… and their "small govt" solutions are only for the areas they want small govt while at the same time they very much favor BIG GOVT solutions…

    How much money will it cost to actually implement the level of security they SAY they WANT?

    what a joke.

    the righties are saying they are fiscal conservatives…

    … to be succinct .. my butt…

    the biggest employer right now in the state of Virginia is the Department of Corrections…

    Let's total up the level of security that would be required to do what Groveton advocates – on a statewide basis – and see how much it costs.

    Let's start with Fairfax.

    How much money will Fairfax spend on the kind of security that he is advocating?

    I'm not saying that I'm opposed to it but I am saying – let's be honest about big and small govt and the costs of having it.

  11. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    Focus LarryG, focus….

    The article was about Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. I think he's a good attorney general who is focused (there's that word again) on ensuring that people and institutions comply with applicable Virginia law. I don't think he's always right. I was a public and vocal critic of his letter to colleges and universities claiming they did not have the right to ban discrimination based on sexual preference. They do have that right. Mr. Cuccinelli was wrong on that one.

    Now, focus LarryG … focus …

    Don't even you have to admit he was right with regard to the GMU brief?

    You are making my point for me. I believe that many on the left are incapable of agreeing with anything Cuccinelli says or does – even when it jibes with liberal dogma. You and Peter can't answer that point. Peter says my argument is bipolar and never addresses the question of whether Mr. Cuccinelli did teh right thing. You wander off into the mental never never land of fences around GMU and never answer the question of whether Mr. Cuccinelli did the right thing with his GMU brief.

    Interestingly, conservatives seem quite capable of harshly criticizing Mr. Cuccinelli for his brief. But the left … the left just ignores the matter or changes the subject.

    CDS – it can be cured.

  12. Mimi Stratton Avatar
    Mimi Stratton

    Is it perhaps time for Bacon to take Groveton aside and request he post on somewhat more relevant issues pertaining to Virginia issues, rather than just sounding like a cheerleader for Cuccinelli? I thought the point of Groveton as a blogger was his expertise on VA Gen Assembly (I realize, they are currently out of session), the local economy, etc. Perhaps he could illuminate some of the other regional races, candidates, and issues around the state.

  13. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    re: was he "right" about the GMU brief?

    not unless I know his basic criteria and how that affects other institutions in Va (or not)

    AND – an acknowledgement from him that a big govt solution with big govt money will be required to implement his solution.

    Unlike some.. I do not see Cuccinelli's cherry picking antics to be of any particular benefit unless I understand what he is after in the bigger scheme of things..

    you know.. FOCUS…

    what is Cuccinelli saying about the bigger picture of guns being allowed in public places and institutions?

  14. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    "How much money will Fairfax spend on the kind of security that he is advocating?".

    You're off the ranch again.

    Mr. Cuccinelli isn't advocating any level of security beyond supporting GMUs ban on guns on campus.

    He's the attorney general and the lawsuit at hand attempts to have the GMU rule overturned on constitutional grounds. He believes that the ban is constitutional and that's what his brief says. The most interesting note is his very vocal defense of the ban using examples such as pre-schoolers occasionally being on campus. Very Clintonesque.

    That's it, the whole matter.

    I am considering starting a Walk to Cure CDS. Can I depend on your support?

  15. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    Groveton – do you know how many backpacks travel every day from off campus to on campus?

    What is Cuccinelli trying to achieve with his brief?

    Is Cuccinelli saying that the Govt has a legitimate role in gun control?

    Is he actually advocating restricting "gun rights"?

    I'm just asking.

    I'm not opposed to it but I'm seeing what appears to be some hypocrisy between his statements and actions with regard to the "constitutionality" of some things and others.

    there is no "left" or "right" here for me .. I'm merely trying to understand where the guy is coming from – from a policy perspective.

    Are all state and local govt offices to also be included in the criteria for outlawing guns on the premises?

    what is his criteria for outlawing guns?

  16. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    LarryG:

    Mr. Cuccinelli is the attorney general not the governor, not the president, not dictator for life, not a diety.

    There is a case before the Virginia Supreme Court regarding a gun ban at GMU. He has filed a brief on that case. As appropriate, all of his legal reasoning and commentary relate to the question of whether GMU's gun ban is constitutional.

    Mr. Cuccinelli is not blogging. He does not have the lattitude to run amok discussing the possibility of building fences around GMU. He simply has to say whether he believes GMU's gun ban is constitutional or not. Now, he adds to that responsibility be expressing his opinion that the ban is not only constitutional but right-minded as well. However, all of his comments (by necessity) are directed at the question of guns on campus at GMU.

    Is he right?

  17. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    " Is he right? "

    Maybe.

    I need to know more about the basis for his argument and the implications of it.

    Is he saying that the govt has the right to outlaw guns for the purposes of safety?

    if not that, then what?

    re: walk for the cure

    you have my support.. rest assured.

  18. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    "What is Cuccinelli trying to achieve with his brief?

    Is Cuccinelli saying that the Govt has a legitimate role in gun control?

    Is he actually advocating restricting "gun rights"?".

    1. He is commenting on a lawsuit against an institution of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    2. He clearly believes that government has a legitimate role in gun control – especially in "schools and other sensitive places".

    3. The is clearly advocating the restriction of gun rights by asserting that the GMU ban is both legal and in the best interests of society.

    You can read the brief here:

    http://www.virginia1774.org/RVGMUBrief.pdf

  19. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    well Groveton – I would ask you to find in the Constitution where it says that guns are not allowed in "sensitive places".

    Is Cuccinelli arguing the Constitutionality of this as he is with Health care or has he picked some other non-Constitutional criteria for his brief?

  20. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    LarryG, the majority opinion in the US Supreme Court decision on Heller v. The District of Columbia contained the language.

    Specifically …

    "Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."

    Again, that was the majority opinion.

  21. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    Groveton – yes.. but isn't this yet another case of the Supreme Court "making law" instead of enforcing the Constitution?

  22. Waldo Jaquith Avatar
    Waldo Jaquith

    "Cuccinelli Derangement Syndrome"? Bullshit. You seem to be confusing "well-founded concern" with irrationality.

    I work for a prominent publication at the University of Virginia. We are, by the 1915 declaration of UVA President Edwin A. Alderman, "an organ of liberal opinion . . . solidly based, thoughtfully and wisely managed and controlled, not seeking to give news, but to become a great serious publication wherein shall be reflected the calm thought of the best men." What if Cuccinelli picks up a copy and reads an article that he disagrees with? Since we've established that "stuff he disagrees with" is our AG's criteria for launching an investigation of university programs, that means that I've got a constant, low level of fear that we'll publish something that he won't like, and he'll tie us up for months responding to subpoenas.

    Anybody who works for a state university ought to be deeply concerned about the well-being of their university and, indeed, their very employment, so long as Cuccinelli is in office.

    And don't give me any horseshit about "you have nothing to fear if you're not doing anything wrong." I was the recipient of a bullshit subpoena a year and a half ago, and it had me tied up for six months. It was swell that I hadn't done anything wrong, it was swell that everybody agreed I was in the right, it was swell that three prominent legal groups each provided me with an attorney, and it was swell that I prevailed, but it was still a very expensive, very time-consuming, very stressful experience. If my employment had been at stake, it would have been that much worse.

  23. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    I believe that Cuccinelli is arguing on two fronts:

    1. The ban is constitutional based on the language of the majority opinion in the Heller case.

    2. The ban is sensible and in the best interests of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    It's the second item which has Virginia's gun rights crowd up in arms (pun intended).

    Here's what the president of teh VCDL wrote, in an e-mail, to all of his members (using the motif of an open letter to Ken Cuccinelli):

    "I can understand making your argument that the GMU ban is valid based on some legal theory, since you are stuck defending GMU. The brief does some of that, BUT the brief then goes clean off the reservation into a gratuitous attack on gun owners, with a heavy does of fear mongering and even squeezes in a Clintonesque "for the children" emotional argument:".

    The e-mail is a mixed bag of thoughts. I am not sure that Mr. Cuccinelli is "stuck" defending GMU's regulation any more than he was "stuck" defending regulations which made forbade employment discrimination based on sexual preference. However, Mr Cuccinelli clearly went "above and beyond" the legal aspects of the argument with his commentary as to hypothetical situations when the gun ban would serve the interests of the Commonwealth. And it is that commentary which seems to have most inflamed the gun rights people.

  24. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    Mr. Jacquith:

    I will address Mr. Cuccinelli's dealings with the University of Virginia (re: Michael Mann) in a separate article on this site.

    As something of a teaser let me say that the University of Virginia seems to have vastly different policies regarding the e-mails of Michael Mann and the e-mails of another UVa environmental science professor – Dr. Patrick Michaels. It seems that "academic freedom" only applies to professors who hold a certain point of view.

    While I haven't finished the article, I am considering the title, "Academic Freedom My Ass".

  25. Kenneth Avatar
    Kenneth

    VA Tech has unfortunately served as a research lab for weapons control.

    Everyone remembers the massacre, but fewer remember the murder in the dining hall a year later, when a Chine grad student decapitated a female Chinese student with a serrated butcher knife.

    In both the mass murder and the single murder, the campus police didn't show up in time to save anybody.

    So, we have ample demonstration that weapons bans do not stop murderous people from coming on campus and doing their will. But we do have proof that campus weapons bans ensure that no one will be able to stop the aggressor in time to save a life, because all the good guys are unarmed.

    It's a civil rights issue. Students have a right to self-defense, just like anyone else. Especially adult students at a university.

  26. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    Kenneth:

    I see your point. My article was more about Mr. Cuccinelli being more balanced than people say but, obviously, gun rights / gun control is part of that story.

    You correctly point out that gun control did not prevent either of the tragedies at Virginia Tech. That cannot be questioned. You then believe that there is some chance that those tragedies might have been prevented or lessened if law abiding students had the right to carry guns on campus. You may be right. Unfortunately, we'll never know if students with guns might have prevented or lessened those murders. I certainly grant that it's possible. In fact, I recall a situation at a law school where students disarmed a deranged killer after they retrieved their handguns from their cars. It seems clear that armed students prevented further killings in that case.

    My worry is along the lines identified in Ken Cuccinelli's brief. College students are often living away from home for the first time in their lives. Some are tense as they make the transition from child to adult. They are in relatively crowded dorms and apartments. Tensions arise. Alcohol and drugs are sometimes over-consumed by young people with little experience with the party life. Debates over matters large and small seem to be neverending. Some students who were the smartest kids in high school find they can barely pass their classes. Suicides are too frequent.

    College is a volatile world of rising passions, new experiences and a mixture of mature and immature people.

    It is the wrong environment for guns.

    I respect that certain tragedies could have been prevented or lessened by students carrying guns. However, I believe that still more tragedies would occur when the students moved from argument to fisticuffs to gunplay.

    I believe in the second amendment as interpreted by the US Supreme Court. The Heller ruling verified that gun rights are personal right. However, the ruling also allowed for reasonable regulation of those rights. I believe the Commonwealth of Virginia has that reasonable regulation about right.

    The Virginia Tech tragedies have helped spark a legitimate public debate about guns on campus. Legal guns on campus might avert some future tragedies. However, I fear that the number of avoidable tragedies which an armed student body would facilitate outweigh the preventative value of guns on campus.

  27. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Groveton,
    (1) WHy are you such an apologist for cuccinelli?
    (2) Do't you understand the difference between a Freedom of Information Act request and a Civil Investigative Demand? State universities have to turn over research for an FOIA request although probably not hundreds of emails. The COoch is wasting public time and money on thisone.

    Peter Galuszka

  28. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    Hey, Peter, I have an idea. What if Groveton issued an FOIA asking for the exact same information from Mann that Cuccinelli is asking for. Would you have a problem with that? I wonder if UVa would resist.

  29. Mimi Stratton Avatar
    Mimi Stratton

    What is Cuccinelli's rationale for subpoenaing the Mann emails? He claims it's not because of the actual data–what is it, exactly?

    Are we really expected to get excited about Cuccinelli's upholding of the ban of firearms on campus? He's expected to enforce the laws of Virginia, and that's what he's doing–his job. For a change. Instead of engaging in witchhunts against academia, encouraging discrimination against gays, fund-raising with letters that mimic the Census, covering up nipples on the flag, and filing lawsuits so millions can't get access to affordable healthcare.

    There's plenty Cuccinelli could be doing in Virginia. He could follow the example of Attorney General Beau Biden who is making protecting consumers a top priority and has recently settled a complaint between 70 customers and 2 travel companies who were engaged in fraudulent practices.

    Why doesn't Cuccinelli engage in activities that actually produce some good in Virginian's lives?

  30. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    How many email accounts for what period of time would be required for a proper, fair and complete "investigation" and how many paid employees of the Commonwealth would be required to go through them?

    In the olds days, we used to call this a "fishing expedition".

  31. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Mime is tright, in the firearms case, he;s doing his joib.

    James A. Bacon, there is big difference between an FOIA request, which probably wouldn't be needed to see Micheals (or Mann's) research and the far mroe loaded Civil Investigative Demand. U.Va. could resist an FOIA but why would they want to? I ask you that since you are an alumn. Why do you make these little sdeparations? A CID is like a subpoena — a much bigger deal. UVA is having to spend lots of money (including yours, an alumn) to defend itself and academic freedom over Cooch's fishing trip.

    Why don't YOU answer these questions?

    PG

  32. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    I guess that we've finally reached the point where the right to consume public sector goods trumps the rights of taxpayers, students, parents and other tuition-payers to see funds paid to, or spent by, the public sector are spent reasonably and to protect against waste, fraud and abuse.

    My understanding in the Mann case is that it has been alleged he falsified data in order to obtain, or in connection with, certain grants. Sounds to me as if that is a reasonable subject for examination by law enforcement.

    When you're spending the public dime, you are held to different standards than when you are spending private money. The standard should be applied whether the subject is a road paving contract, furnishing computers to public schools or trying to obtain a state research grant.

    Or is the rule that the road builders trade association or the chamber of commerce should be the only entity to investigate? If we don't feel comfortable with internal investigations there, why do we feel comfortable with inside investigations in academia?

    TMT

  33. Mimi Stratton Avatar
    Mimi Stratton

    It was alleged. Four or five times there was found to be no evidence. Hello–fishing expedition, political axe to grind!

  34. Mimi Stratton Avatar
    Mimi Stratton

    It's the same bullshit tactics used by the birthers (of which Cuccinelli is one). If you keep repeating Obama has no birth certificate enough times, no matter how often a birth certificate has been produced, then maybe enough gullibles will believe you. If you loudly attack someone as having done something wrong, even though they've been exonerated, and you have no new evidence, maybe enough people will believe you. And BONUS–the academic who has to spend his time and money producing the emails and documents–can't continue his own research or make a living. Oh joy–he can be ruined! Double bonus–you get to stay in the headlines!!

  35. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    Cuccinelli Derangement Syndrome continues.

    When he submits a brief saying that GMUs ban on handguns is constitutional, he's "just doing his job".

    When he submits an opinion that the General Assembly has not passed enabling legislation allowing colleges and universities to add sexual preference to their discrimination policies he's a horrible homophobe.

    Why wasn't he "just doing his job" in the latter case?

    I think all of you Democrats ought to start getting used to the term "Governor Cuccinelli". It will be true soon enough.

    I suppose your Cuccinelli Derangement Syndrome will then reach life threatening proportions.

    I am only bringing Cooch's liberal leanings to light so that none of the nice liberals on this site actually expire from CDS.

  36. Mimi Stratton Avatar
    Mimi Stratton

    Groveton,
    Please. Give it up. CDS is not going to catch on as a cute Internet phrase.

    If once in a blue moon, Cuccinelli says something that remotely makes some sense, that's just dandy. It doesn't make his actions in the whole since he assumed office any more palatable. Instead of pursuing policies that make Virginia's health, environment, air and water safer, Cuccinelli is off chasing these pipedreams–at taxpayer's expense. Are the issues he's pursued since he stepped into office really priorities for the state of Virginia? Using our tax dollars on state lawyers to investigate a former professor who happens to engage in climate research? Mann left UVa 5 YEARS ago–has there been a problem? No, not until Cruscader Cuccinelli decided there was.

    This might be an effective way for Cuccinelli to grab headlines, but it’s not good for Virginia. And in particular it’s not good for our universities where apparently the Attorney General can claim “fraud” if he disagrees with the conclusions of the research (regardless if he has any understanding of the science involved).

  37. Mimi Stratton Avatar
    Mimi Stratton

    Another reason not to be impressed with Cuccinelli: he is the ONLY AG in this entire country saying no to signing on to the amicus brief in support of Al Snyder, whose son was killed in Iraq:
    http://www.citmedialaw.org/threats/snyder-v-phelps#description
    Shameful.

  38. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    Mimi – Groveton has to have someone to believe … first it was creigh deeds then Terry McAuliffe, then Bob McDonnell.

    he goes in phases.

    As soon as Cuccinelli steps in a particularly big pile, Groveton will drop him and move on the the next celebrity… and he's be agile in the transition as he was when he dropped the others as no longer virtuous….

    Don't worry. Cuccinelli is but one footfall away from Groveton's crap list…

    have faith.

  39. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    I never supported Deeds. In fact, I was quite vocal about why I did not support him.

    I did support McAuliffe and still do. Unfortunately, he lost in the primary so we may never know whether he would have made a good governor (or, maybe we will someday know).

    I supported McDonnell over Deeds. I still support Gov. McDonnell. However, I will withdraw that support if he proves to be even half as ineffective / incompetent as his predecessor.

    I didn't pick anybody in the Attorney General election. Never made any public statement that I remember on the matter. I met Steve Shannon at a Democratic fundraiser which I attended (yes, you read that right … I was contributing to a Democratic candidate). He seemed like a pretty sharp guy.

    I like what Cuccinelli is doing. The fact that he has become a lightning rod for the left only makes him more impressive in my eyes.

  40. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    "ineffective" ? are we talking about Cuccinelli or McDonnell?

    tee hee

    Cucci is close to being clown-bait. He likes the limelight and he's using the AG office for what appears to be personal political agenda – not the State's COMPELLING interests in my view.

    I think it is a disservice to the office itself.

    It's being "used" for purposes other than it's primary mission.

    if that's considered "deranged" so be it.

    trying to put a face on what he is doing and all I can see so far is that he is sending a message to the universities in Virginia and the Feds that he does intend to look into how they operate and challenge them.

    that's pretty ambitious, and is going to be perceived as deserving of responses in kind.

    I'm not quite sure why this serves the interests of the state but perhaps he knows more than I.

    Also.. are he and McDonnell on the same wavelength or are they two separate guys, each with their own separate agenda?

    I'm not sure even if I liked his style as Groveton seems to that I understand enough about his overall goals… for that office in the next 4 years but one thing is for sure – it won't be a yawner.

  41. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Larry, would you support an investigation of the Gulf oil disaster by BP or by an oil industry trade association? I wouldn't.

    So why should we support an investigation of alleged academic fraud by more academics? That's what is seemingly being proposed as acceptable.

    I don't care what people research, but when they are sucking at the public trough, I worry about fraud and misrepresentation. There may be something to climate change — or their might not be. But big bucks are at stake (Did you see where Tony Blair is getting millions of quid for climate change consulting?). When big bucks are at stake (be it on Wall Street, Tysons Corner or UVA), I get suspicious. Wall Street people lied. I know from personal experience that Tysons Corner landowners lied. So I am to presume that UVA professors don't lie.

    I don't want Wall Street investigating Wall Street. I sure as all **** would not trust Tysons Corner landowners to investigate themselves. And I don't want the sole review for alleged fraud/misrepresentation in connection with grant applications to be investigated by academicians.

    People sucking at the public trough need outside review whether they are liberal professors or conservative former military defense contractors.

    TMT

  42. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    TMT – are you saying that you think an investigation is needed but should be done by some entity besides he academics?

    I don't disagree with that.

    In fact, I thought Pennsylvania "investigation" clearly had conflicts of interest involved.

    but what is the "reasonable cause" for any investigation by the AG?

    I think the first step is a general survey of state-wide academic practices perhaps by the Auditor of Public Accounts or JLARC or a special GA-designated committee and then for the AG to base his involvement on something identified by a truly disinterested 3rd party and not someone whose motives are suspect.

    Cuccinelli has become radioactive and his motives suspect in my view.

    If he thinks he's on to something – turn it over to another office to pursue.

    Similarly, I do not think that an investigation of Tysons Developers or VDOT should be launched without reasonable cause – something specific that warrants an investigation.

    There are going to be a whole bunch of people reading a whole bunch of emails and scientific papers, etc and a whole lot of "experts" called in to render an opinion of how well scientific inquiry was conducted.

    I don't see much coming out of this and there is potential for the AG to end up looking like a dumb ass.. and he's apparently got more than a few folks right now motivated to make him look like one.

  43. commoncents Avatar
    commoncents

    THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS!

    I love your blog! Keep up the great work!!

    Common Cents
    http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com

  44. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Larry, I'm not supporting witch hunts anywhere. There needs to be some level of evidence that suggests wrongdoing before the government should institute any sort of civil or criminal prosecution.

    I've been involved in a number of civil investigations by the government. Generally, there has been some evidence that suggested some level of wrongdoing. Most of these investigations went no where after preliminary review of documents and witnesses. But there was some review.

    I would say that, with what has been shown with Climategate, given the money and power grab that the Global Warming crowd has been trying to make and the various internal white washes by academia, I think there may be cause for a document review by the AG's office. If there are no documents suggesting any fraud or misrepresentation in connection with the grant applications, the matter should be dropped.

    But what if there are documents suggesting the applicant altered or withheld data that was necessary to obtain funding? Is it OK to engage in fraud or misrepresentation to gain funding for academic research?

    What I see are institutions that obtain some public funding saying "We are above accountability in how we obtain and manage public monies."

    It's the same reason I have objected strongly for years about Bechtel and its partner being able to destroy documents from the Dulles Rail project. "We are above accountability in how we obtain and manage public monies." It's wrong there and it's wrong here. Let's see what the evidence shows.

    TMT

  45. hydra Avatar

    44 comments for that?

    Some people don't have enough to do.

    My dog is as tame as they come, but some things will suddenly unleash the hounds of the baskerville, out of a sound sleep for no reason apparent to me.

    Sometimes it is a real threat, like a bear tearing up the bird feeders, sometimes it is a train whistle in the far distance.

    The dog is not smart enough to discriminate.

  46. And BONUS–the academic who has to spend his time and money producing the emails and documents–can't continue his own research or make a living.

    Mimi is right. Like that guy in the Anthrax case, later exonerated. At the time of the rathe vague "perosn of interst" claim, it made the authorities look good.

  47. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    @tmt; re: accountability

    I would equate what is going on to the AG not liking the way that some VDOT office did business and deciding to take a 'closer' look to see if they were doing bad stuff.

    I'm struck by the fact that the same scientific community can have folks doing research on Tsunamis or dog genes or big bang theories and the dialog and rhetoric hot and heavy with some players .. playing fast and loose with their data and others being so scrupulous as to be laughable

    but the rest of us don't go investigating some guy studying Tsunamis for allegedly "cooking" the data or scheming with a colleague to dishonestly qualify for a grant.

    I'm not condoning bad conduct, only pointing out that in the world of science like any other endeavor, there are folks who has less than pure motives sometimes and push the envelope but in this case ..out of all the thousands and thousands of scientific studies and pursuits this one particular area has brought much more focused scrutiny not because they do things much differently but because of the SUBJECT they study and the implications of it to the economy and existing institutions… ways of doing business.

    It borders on efforts to marginalize and discredit an entire field of study – to invalidate it as a legitimate science – based on some bad actors who did bring discredit to their field.

    It's very much in the genre of killing the messenger.

    It simply can't be true that we might destroy the earth.. just not possible.. so there must be some evil people making it up just to force everyone to do something that is not needed or necessary…. yadda yadda…

    I'm quite sure if Cuccinelli did a comprehensive look at academics in general and how they pursue academics, he'd find some dark underbelly practices – across the board.

    More than a few scientists themselves will call some of their colleague immoral and undisciplined charlatans (remember the cold fusion dust-up?) …

    but why would an AG wade into any of this.. much less a particular field of science?

    Scientists who predict hurricanes screw up left and right all the time – and big bucks and people's lives hang in the balance of bad predictions – yet do we start looking at how they go about the science of predicting hurricanes trying to find out if they "lied" to get grant funding?

    It just doesn't make much sense, to me, TMT.

    My deal is consistency, no double standards.

    If we're going to investigate universities and grant funding and scientific inquiry – then let's do it with general process and not just cherrypick science and scientific inquiry that we don't like.

    The whole mess with climate-gate has to do with how data is portrayed – and old, old and long argued part of science whether it' about the DNA of fleas or the composition of dingleberries….

    fierce debates within the scientific communities have often occurred among peers and within the scientific communities, some scientists have rock-solid reputations and some are considered simply pretenders who don't even deserve to be called scientists.

    Virtually none of this is illegal ….

    This is like a hurricane forms suddenly and does great destructive damage and an email is discovered where several were emailing each other talking about how to portray the data in a more favorable light to their theory and on that basis they applied for and received grant funding.

    do you REALLY THINK that the AG is going to find ANYTHING even remotely illegal on what is clearly a fishing expedition of events that are 5 years old ?

    The AG has got wide latitude and significant authority to pick and choose how he chooses to define the agenda of his/her office.

    Several in the northeast have made great careers of going after corporations that they considered to be unscrupulous to great subsequent political gain….

  48. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    James A. Bacon,

    R: FOIA. Remember when I did that piece on Philip Morris and VCU and their research contracts? When I wanted to get any information about them, VCU asked me to file an FOIA request, which I did. I gather that doing so is pro forma, but you and other Cooch apologists are trying to make some kind of hay out of this.

    Peter Galuszka

  49. Mimi Stratton Avatar
    Mimi Stratton

    Ha! Hydra–you are absolutely right! Same thought occurred to me. Chalk it up to a lazy Memorial Day weekend.

  50. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    A Modest Proposal: All Virginians over 18 who possess no physical or mental impairment to the controlled firing of a sidearm should be required to carry loaded weapons at all times when outside their abodes. Carriage shall be visible to all, so that we can ensure compliance and so that there be none of the confusion caused by concealed carry. This requirement shall extend to students at state universities while in attendance at those universities, regardless of their state of residence.

    Except for the confusion of crossfire when gun violence breaks out, I suspect that this would keep massacres to a minimum in terms of numbers of victims and duration.

    NoVA Scout

  51. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    I concur with Nova Scout but believe that Republicans should go first.

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