Terry McAuliffe, Shame On You

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By Ken Blackwell, CP Op-Ed Contributor
April 9, 2013|2:38 pm

Career influence peddler and political mercenary Terry McAuliffe is at it again; and this time he's pushed the bare-knuckled, gutter politics he's known for to a new low.

Last month saw the 4th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals overturn an anti-sodomy statute in Virginia law that can be used to prosecute sexual predators who prey on our children, with a ruling handed down by a three-judge panel as opposed to the full bench. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli subsequently appealed the decision, sparking a headwind of media chatter, driven by far-left websites like Mother Jones.

Mr. McAuliffe, who is opposing Attorney General Cuccinelli in this November's election to replace Governor Bob McDonnell in Virginia, threw his two cents in with rank political exploitation and circus sensationalism.

"This is just another example of Ken Cuccinelli ignoring the economy and instead focusing on his divisive ideological agenda," a McAuliffe campaign spokesperson said.

It sounds like a good talking point, but unfortunately for McAuliffe and his fellow Democrats, that statement couldn't be farther from reality.

Unlike McAuliffe, whose most recent occupation before becoming a full-time candidate can best be described as 'green energy' flim-flam man – a financial expert dubbed his venture's funding scheme a "fraud" – Ken Cuccinelli has a day job, one that involves prosecuting criminals to the fullest extent of the law.

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It was an effort to do just that that fueled Cuccinelli's appeal of the court's ruling. As the court moved to overturn the statute, the Attorney General was in the midst of prosecuting the case of William Scott MacDonald; a 47-year old man who had solicited a 17-year old girl to perform sex acts. Only the anti-sodomy statute allows sexual predators like MacDonald to be charged with a felony – if the statue were overturned, sex with a minor over the age of 15 could only be handled as a misdemeanor under current Virginia law.

So, should the Attorney General's appeal prove successful, it means sex offenders who prey on teenagers can be tried as felons rather than receive a slap on the wrist?

"This case is not about sexual orientation, but using current law to protect a 17 year-old girl from a 47 year-old sexual predator," stated Caroline Gibson, a spokesperson for his office. "The attorney general is committed to protecting Virginia's children from predators who attempt to exploit them and rob them of their childhood."

In agreement with Cuccinelli is Circuit Court Judge Albert Diaz, an Obama appointee, who was the dissenting vote in the case. Diaz, agreeing with a lower court's ruling, argued that the invalidation of anti-sodomy statutes applied only to adults.

An attorney general doesn't make the laws. It's his job to enforce them to their fullest extent, which means taking any and all steps to ensure that heinous acts like the sexual exploitation of a minor aren't swept under the rug as misdemeanors. The protection of our children is something we should all be able to agree on.

Taking bold action when it comes to defending children from predators is a hallmark of Cuccinelli's career. As a Virginia state senator, he sponsored the Human Anti-Trafficking Act, which made human trafficking a Class 5 felony.

His time as Virginia's chief law enforcement official has been marked by 400,000 seizures of child pornography images and 94 convictions of child porn offenders.

Furthermore, he's received national acclaim from anti-human trafficking group The Polaris Project for his success in improving the state's ability to crack down on sex offenders.

When the facts about Ken Cuccinelli's record are examined, it's obvious that this appeal has nothing to do with a "divisive ideological agenda" and everything to do with keeping Virginia's children safe.

It's utterly shameful that Terry McAuliffe would resort to putting innocent victims of sexual exploitation at risk in order to score a few cheap political points with his liberal base.

The people of Virginia should expect nothing less than an immediate retraction and apology from someone asking to be their chief executive. McAuliffe's failure to do so, coupled with his unwillingness to answer questions about whether he would keep the statute in place to try predators like MacDonald as felons is a clear indication of which candidate in Virginia's gubernatorial contest is more concerned with the next election than the next generation.

Ken Blackwell is the Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at the Family Research Council. He serves on the board of directors of the Club for Growth and the National Taxpayers Union. He is also a member of the public affairs committee of the NRA. Mr. Blackwell is also the former Mayor of Cincinnati and a former Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
 

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