Our View: Cuccinelli’s good week

Posted: September 21, 2013

It started on Monday with the official announcement of the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s endorsement of his candidacy, and opponent Terry McAuliffe’s lame denial that he knew nothing — nothing! of his Democratic colleagues’ brass-knuckle attempts to get the NVTC to change its mind.

And from there on, the week got even better for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli.

Not only did a pair of polls — Quinnipiac and Roanoke College — show the attorney general gaining ground on Mr. McAullife (to within the margin of error), but quick resolution of the state’s felony case against the former Governor’s Mansion chef also took the state GOP’s Capitol Square “scandals” off the front page, at least for the time being.

Finally, just to show what kind of a week it’s been for Mr. Cuccinelli, the federal Environmental Protection Agency picked Friday to roll out strict limitations on carbon emissions from future coal- and gas-fired power plants. These restrictions affect Mr. Cuccinelli not a whit — he’s already told the public where he stands on the issue — but they do put Mr. McAuliffe in a considerable bind.

Since stating, in unequivocal terms, his opposition to coal-fired power during his ill-fated bid for the Democratic nomination four years ago, Mr. McAuliffe has tempered his stance on the issue, at least publicly, so as not to alienate folks in Southwest Virginia, where coal is central to the economy. Now, Mr. Cuccinelli can run him to ground merely by asking a simple question: “With whom do you stand, Virginians or the out-of-the-state environmental interests bankrolling your campaign?”

Meanwhile, in a statement issued Friday, Mr. Cuccinelli simply reiterated his position: “Unlike my opponent, you don’t have to guess where I stand on energy issues and protecting Virginia jobs. I’m the only candidate in this race who has fought to protect Virginia jobs and sensible energy policy that keep rates manageable, and I will continue that fight as governor.”

It’s a heckuva good week, we say, when the EPA unwittingly advances your cause.