By James Cullum
Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia's attorney general and Republican gubernatorial candidate, said recently that controversies surrounding Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell are distracting voters from his campaign.
Cuccinelli made the statement after speaking last week to more than 100 residents of the Greenspring Retirement Community in Springfield.
"More than anything it's a distraction. I'm trying to run a race and we're talking about jobs and the middle class here," said Cuccinelli, adding that he has not been subpoenaed to testify in court over corruption charges being raised against the Governor.
McDonnell is accused of failing to disclose gifts from wealthy donors, including a Rolex watch, a $15,000 shopping trip and a catering for his daughter's wedding.
Cuccinelli on McAuliffe
Cuccinelli's speech to Greenspring seniors was largely focused on his opponent Terry McAuliffe - a fundraising mastermind and former chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Cuccinelli, 44, has $2.75 million in his campaign war chest as of May 29, 2013.
McAuliffe has $5.4 million in the bank.
"That's all he's ever done in politics. No policy. Nothing except fundraising and beating on Republicans. And that has its place, honestly, in a two-party system, but it's not much preparation to be governor," said Cuccinelli.
Cuccinelli said that McAuliffe's "War on Coal" would result in job losses.
"My opponent is against coal," said Cuccinelli. "But let me tell you what coal is about is southwest Virginia - it's about people; it's about a way of life where they don't have a diverse economy. The war on coal is a war on the poor.
These are folks who don't have other options."
Cuccinelli said he wants a balance between economic reality and having a clean environment.
"I'm not running for governor telling you I have a crystal ball about how to spend your tax dollars on the next great industry," he said. "Of course we want to always be moving in a cleaner direction. I would assume everybody here wants to strike a balance between environmental protection and opportunity. I want my seven kids to grow up in a clean environment, but I also want them to be able to have jobs."
McAuliffe, in his first run for governor in 2009, said that he would like to see an end to coal plants in the Commonwealth.
In 2009 during his first run for governor, McAuliffe said, according to Time magazine: "I want to move past coal. As governor, I never want another coal plant built.
McAuliffe is advocating a state renewable portfolio standard of 25 percent by 2025. Cuccinelli says it will create unemployment. He changed course in May in Bristol and told reporters that he wanted to see Virginia coal production thrive.
“I was over at Alpha Natural Resources talking about what they need done to make sure we have a healthy work force of coal, that coal can continue,” McAuliffe said, according to
The Augusta Free Press. “We need to make sure we do what we need to, to make sure this vital industry here in Virginia continues to grow. I can really help them on exports; to open up those Asia markets in China and Korea. As governor, I want to help them create more jobs to help exports around the world.”
Cuccinelli said that McAuliffe intended to "subsidize" electricity industries.
"You get the word 'jobs' out of my opponent but you don't get a plan - other than giving goodies away to his chosen industries," said
On federal regulations
Cuccinelli spoke against federal overreach and increased taxes.
"Virginia is a good place to do business, but we need to do better. And we're doing it in the face of - I mean, if you look at what the president said last week - more regulatory onslaught coming, which my opponent supports," he said.