Decision time for Virginians
By: Ken Cuccinelli
November 4, 2013 10:02 AM EST
President Obama is always welcome in the Commonwealth of Virginia. But his appearance in our state this weekend — less than 48 hours before voters head to the polls — says much more about Terry McAuliffe and his vision for Virginia’s future than it does about the president himself.
McAuliffe’s decision to invite President Obama to campaign with him, just days after it was revealed that the president and his administration knowingly and very intentionally misled the American people about their ability to maintain their preferred health plans, is not a surprising one. McAuliffe has long supported President Obama’s big-government agenda, with Obamacare being a prime example. In fact, McAuliffe thought the law didn’t go far enough. He even supported the public option, which would have put America on a path straight toward a full government takeover of our health care system.
Virginia can send Washington a message that we oppose Obamacare with our votes on Tuesday. Virginians who oppose Obamacare can vote for me, and Virginians who want to see Obamacare grow further can vote for McAuliffe.
If McAuliffe is elected, he will set out to implement a governing philosophy that lets the government, not the private sector, pick winners and losers. Two days before President Obama came to Virginia for McAuliffe, another leading Democrat — Delegate Candidate Kathleen Murphy — proposed considering legislation that would require all Virginia doctors to cover all Medicaid and Medicare patients, even against their will. The proposal is exactly the kind of liberty-crushing policy a Governor McAuliffe would pursue if elected. It would make Virginia’s current doctor shortage (expected to double from 45,000 to 90,000 in just a few short years) even worse and lead to fewer health care choices and higher premiums for Virginia families.
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McAuliffe’s support for Obamacare goes well beyond public statements made during the run up to the law’s final passage in the spring of 2010. Indeed, my opponent plans to use a key element of the law — Medicaid expansion — to pay for the many platitudes and endless promises he’s made during the course of the campaign. The trouble with such a strategy, however, is that it’s completely unworkable. Even the liberal Washington Post editorial board wrote that Medicaid expansion is “not a sustainable or realistic way to finance new spending in other areas.” Our campaign estimates that McAuliffe’s promises would cost every Virginia family $1,700 in new taxes.
This is not the right course for Virginia. I believe the best way to ensure our kids have the same opportunities my generation was privileged to enjoy is to remove government barriers to innovation and opportunity. Unlike Terry McAuliffe, I’ve laid out serious, substantive plans that can actually be scored by economists. My jobs plan, which will lower business and individual income taxes, would create 58,000 jobs and ease tax burdens by $700 per family. The plan will be paid for by reducing the growth of state government below 3.5 percent and eliminating special-interest giveaways in the tax code, which will allow middle-class workers and families to keep more of what they earn.
During the campaign, I’ve also put forward a comprehensive K-12 education plan that recognizes that while Virginia already has a great education system, far too many of our kids, particularly in more urban and rural areas, are not receiving the education they deserve. My plan would reform Virginia’s Standards of Learning test and implement legislation that would give parents more control of their children’s educational future. Parents with children in failing schools would have the ability to move their children to the schools of their choice, so their children aren’t forced to stay in failing or unsafe schools.
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In addition to having detailed plans on workforce training, mental illness and higher education, I’m also the only candidate with an all-of-the above energy policy the will reduce energy costs for families and protect the southwest Virginia coal industry (my opponent has fully embraced the Obama administration’s war on coal), as well as a transportation plan that will put our transportation decisions in the hands of local communities, rather than deep-pocketed lobbyists.
Elections are supposed to be about ideas. Over the past six months, my opponent has spent record amounts of money on negative and blatantly false advertising. His entire strategy has been to mislead Virginians — particularly women — about my record. Perhaps the most egregious example of that has been McAuliffe’s claim that I have supported a ban on contraception. What makes this false claim so absurd is that as a member of the Washington, D.C. Bar Association, Terry McAuliffe knows that the U.S. Supreme Court long ago said that no state can restrict access to contraception, as a matter of law. I never have and never will support legislation that restricts contraception, period, and McAuliffe knows it isn’t even possible.
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While my opponent has been focused on divisive attacks, my focus in this campaign has been on ideas and solutions that will expand opportunity for families, workers and job creators in Virginia. They are achievable plans, not empty, poll-tested platitudes that just sound good on the stump and have absolutely nothing behind them.
I’ve spent my entire life fighting for Virginia. Whether it was forming a first-of its kind sexual assault awareness group as a student at the University of Virginia, representing the mentally ill at involuntary commitment hearings as a lawyer in private practice, leading an eight-year fight to secure Virginia’s private property rights in the state constitution or making historic progress against human trafficking, Medicaid fraud and child predators in the attorney general’s office, I’ve always put the best interests of the people of our great Commonwealth above myself.
On Tuesday, Virginians have a critical choice to make. If they like big-government policies like Obamacare and Washington, D.C.-style politics, they should vote for Terry McAuliffe. But if they want a governor who has a proven track record of fighting government overreaches and showing leadership and service in the communities he aspires to lead, they should vote for me.
I humbly ask for your consideration and vote on Nov. 5.