Up Close With Ken Cuccinelli: Family Man Who is “Not Afraid to be an Outsider”
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli does not follow the prototype of what a politician should be. In fact, he may be everything a politician should not be. He thinks outside the box and his brain is like a dictionary. Think “Encyclopedia Brown the Detective”; he deals in fact yet keeps things close to everyone’s hearts first.
Oh–and he loves playing basketball. This white dude can jump.
While he was a State Senator, I called Ken on various complaints and subjects within our neighborhood, from bullying in the schools to roads with crosswalks that went from 25 to 45 mph. I sent messages through his Senatorial email and was shocked, but pleasantly surprised, to receive a response every single time within 24 hours. His responses were helpful, informative responses with action and conclusions.
Believe me, when I wrote to other politicians on same subjects, they never got back to me. Either that or I was brushed off or told they never received the message–and some of those guys were on my direct dial. The thing is, I could have bypassed e-mailing AG Cuccinelli and just asked his younger brother, who is one of my very close friends, to relay my messages to him. However, I felt I needed to go through the right avenues—or perhaps I’m the type that likes to test the ilk of a politician before I step in fully.
My first phone call with AG Cuccinelli occurred about a year after the Virginia Tech murders. One of my friend’s sons, along with two other Korean-American boys, was beaten by a group of “white boys” in Blacksburg near the campus. The Korean-American boys were not drunk; if anything, they are what you would call “nerd kids”, each of them less than 5’8”. The other boys were reportedly drunk; they were also taller, muscular and there were more of them. The pictures of the Korean-American boys were not pretty, with broken limbs—and yet they were the ones that were arrested, while the “white boys”, unscathed, were not even called in. Apparently the drunk “white boys” were hounding the Korean-Americans out of retaliation for the Virginia Tech shooting (because the shooter had been a Korean-American). It escalated when they started throwing cans at the nerd boys, who were trying to ignore them and get away.
At the time, the issue was still very sensitive throughout Virginia and throughout the Korean-American community. Ken Cuccinelli called me immediately and we were able to meet with the parents of the beaten Korean boys the next day. He followed up with the State Senator in the Blacksburg district and, suffice to say, the charges were dropped as soon as the magistrate saw both parties.
Cuccinelli could have used this to further his campaigns within the minority communities of Northern Virginia. He did not.
From that point on, I became a fan and not just a friend. Our families are close, and from what I’ve personally experienced, the number one most important thing for the Cuccinelli clan is family. Equally important is their sense of giving back and helping the community, and keeping that famous “playing field” as fair and equal as possible. As a family, they seem at peace with themselves and have no regrets about the life they’ve chosen.
The first time I met Ken Cuccinelli, I thought, “what a preppy”–but having grown up in McLean/Arlington, Virginia, that’s pretty much the norm. The thing about McLean/Arlington area is that although we may dress preppy and conservative, we live in a very progressive suburban culture with many types of people from all different aspects of the United States. We have the military kids, the embassy kids, the Hill kids and the poor kids from the other side of town. Thus when Ken started talking to me, and since we’re relatively close in age, we got along perfectly because we had so much in common. We even talked about the DC music crazes, from the go-go dancing revolution to 80’s rap and the multicolored “Miami Vice” clothes. We also talked about skipping school to attend the Superbowl Champions Redskins parades.
Many in our Arlington community were intelligent and lived a little “outside of the box”. Seeing the “haves and the have-nots” and being friends with a growing multicultural county helped embrace the culture of giving back among our friends and neighbors. Ken and I joked about how I once dated a St. Johns boy while he was a Gonzaga boy. They were rivals, both private all-boy schools in Washington, D.C., which brought in mostly the elitist walks of life but particularly gave scholarships to the young, talented men in the African-American communities. This is where a young, white teenage boy learned about a different walk of life outside of our clean, “safe” neighborhoods.
What I initially learned about Ken was that he was articulate and kind and understood the sensitivity and the prejudice of what is out there for the minority class, whether it be race or gender. He admitted he had noticed the looks I received when I spoke perfect English (which at times is Southern-tinged). As many Democrat politicians have told me, they don’t want Ken out there shaking hands and meeting people. Why? Because that is when people find out he is sincere and that he is for the people—and that’s when they’ve lost their vote. I experienced this when walking around Northern Virginia with Ken, campaigning at various ethnic churches and festivals. He was out of his box, that’s for sure; but he wholeheartedly experienced and learned and tasted the variety of cultural feedback and seemed to keep it in his heart as he went forward in his office. He acknowledged them and where they came from, and he was smiling from ear to ear, appreciative and trying to figure out what more he could do to bring the communities together.
So why am I telling you about Ken Cuccinelli, the “person”? Because Ken Cuccinelli would be an excellent Governor of Virginia. He would lead our state to a new plateau of industry, business, family services and social services that would enhance and empower the peoples of our state. He is a solver of problems–and as everyone in Virginia knows, we do not need to teach him the ropes. He’s been working as a State Legislator and a Public Servant of the State for the past decade.
Before he was Virginia’s Attorney General—and before he was a lawyer–Ken was a student, advocating for a women’s right to not be sexually assaulted on campus. Back in the day, universities and school did not want the bad publicity of assaults tainting their reputation, so most of the time they would brush it under the carpet. During his first 4 years at the University of Virginia, a housemate was sexually assaulted and Ken Cuccinelli took it upon himself to make sure that it was brought to light. He also ensured that services would be mended to prevent such assaults again, taking it upon himself to approach Alex Pittas to help organize 134 -hour vigils—which the University tried to prevent with threats.
As Alex Pittas says, Ken’s words at the time were, “I’ll go to jail with you. I’ll go to jail for this.”
“You just don’t expect Joe Wahoo to go the distance, but Ken Cuccinelli was a straight-up guy,” Pittas says. “He would not be threatened.”
Claire Kaplan was hired by the University in Virginia after demands by student and faculty (and she remains in that position today). Kaplan says she still admires Cuccinelli’s energy and dedication. “He was not afraid to be an outsider,” Kaplan says.
Of course, the Left continually uses the “War on Women” against all Republican politicians (including Cuccinelli) but how can anyone say he isn’t for Women’s Rights? Ken has five daughters and two sons. Before his sons came along, he was in a house of women, run by women, all toilet seats DOWN. His motivations on laws show that he defends women vigilantly.
Yet one of the weapons the other side uses in their campaign is that Ken Cuccinelli is against abortion in all aspects and that he is against using contraception. They point out the “Personhood Bill” which he cosponsored, the wording of which says, “It is a recognition of the dignity of unborn human persons from the moment of conception to be used in a type of law across the nation in the cases where a pregnant woman is murdered or harmed along with her unborn baby.”
Based on the “Personhood” laws, the perpetrator can be charged with two murders. (Case in point: Laci Peterson, a national case in which she and her unborn were murdered.) Cuccinelli also wanted to ensure that abortion clinics follow a hospital protocol. The “Personhood Bill” was never to address contraception or abortion. Unfortunately, the Left has used this bill to use encourage and manipulate emotional outrage towards Ken Cuccinelli, including this statement from Senate minority leader, Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax): “He didn’t drink the Kool-Aid; he made it.”
Prior to Ken Cuccinelli becoming the Attorney General of Virginia, there was no involvement within our state in stopping human trafficking of women and children. He devoted a full staff to this horror and most recently, the Polaris Project, a national victim’s advocacy group, recognized Virginia as one of the most improved states in fighting human trafficking.
In addition, Ken is an advocate for domestic violence programs to help and assist women.
The case that Cuccinelli’s opponent, Mr. Terry McAuliffe, continually refers to is Ken’s work to keep sexual predators from targeting children in jail. Cuccinelli’s belief is that this isn’t a “gay issue” but rather a case that government should not be in our bedrooms. Ken does not care or wish to prosecute what two consenting adults do in that bedroom—but when it reaches beyond the bedroom, that’s a different story.
Ken Cuccinelli was also the first Attorney General in the US to advocate against the Affordable Care Act, taking it all the way to the Supreme Court. Everyone on the Left ridiculed him for this, and tried to prove he was wrong. But the reason he put his neck out there is because from the start, he had a clear understanding about the toll of having socialized healthcare would mean to the middle and lower class. He knew this would effect the economic stratosphere of our state and our entire country–and as we found out this past week, Cuccinelli was right to fight the monster that is Obamacare, with the White House administration admitting they had lied about Obamacare and it’s benefits (or lack there of).
As Ken spoke in his address two weeks ago, “During the debate over this law, citizens in the Commonwealth were told they could easily access information about their health care choices and join the system… That proved to be untrue. They were told that their premiums would not increase… That proved to be false. And they were told they could maintain access to their insurance and doctors … And that proved to be downright dishonest.”
And they called him crazy, radical for speaking the truth—for being a good Public Servant to the State of Virginia! Ken Cuccinelli works for The People–not for the Political Machine.
All in all, Ken Cuccinelli is a man, a politician, who would never forsake women and children and minorities within his community. I know for a fact that he is a solid man. As recounted by his mother, “He was passionate and loved to argue, but he was also a sensitive young man. His eyes welled and his voice cracked when he was faced with the pain of others.” I’ve actually heard his voice crack when speaking of how to help others and what he can do. He abhors coming short of his goal when it comes to reaching out and giving, sharing and helping others. Ken believes in our founding principles, that “all men are created equal” and are entitled to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”.
Vince Callahan, a Former Fairfax House Republican said about Ken, “We never saw him at night. You don’t go to a bar and have a drink with him.”
The reason for this is because at the end of the day, Mr. Ken Cuccinelli goes home to his wife and children, hanging out, looking over homework, and having dinner with his family. And what’s wrong with that? This is where his motivation comes from–to provide a home, family, liberty, freedom and love for all, based on equality and justice.
“I don’t back down, I’m not afraid to lose. What happens if I lose? I go home. I like going home.” – Ken Cuccinelli
Let’s win for Virginia. Let’s elect Ken Cuccinelli.