It’s hard to know where to start with the problems raised in David Sherfinski’s piece in today’s Washington Times on Attorney General Cuccinelli’s push to expand the authority of his office. But we’ll give it the old college try anyways.
Cuccinelli is seeking authority for members of his office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to serve subpoenas, wear a badge, and carry a gun. Legislation to approve this expansion has previously died in the House Court of Justice Committee because Chair Dave Albo (R-Fairfax) thinks that state employees carrying guns should probably have some sort of firearms training. Cuccinelli, however, disagrees. He told the Washington Times that “those concerns” weren’t necessary. He didn’t include any explanation of why investigating poor people is so dangerous that it might require (untrained) state employees to carry a gun.
Also troubling is the discrepancy between Cuccinelli’s words and actions when it comes to the limits of government power. He campaigned for office decrying an overly large government but has had trouble matching his action to those words since elected.
Since assuming office, Cuccinelli has recklessly pursued frivolous lawsuits against the federal government over consumer protection initiatives like health care reform and net neutrality. He’s filed suit against the EPA over common sense greenhouse gas regulations. He has found significant time to supervise the operations of the state’s colleges and universities, issuing edicts disallowing nondiscrimination protections for gays and lesbians and regulations prohibiting concealed weapons on campus while speciously pursing climate researcher Michael Mann in an assault on academic freedom. Most recently, he assigned a staffer to a Board of Health meeting considering extreme regulations of abortion clinics to instruct members that they were not empowered to amend the draft regulations to protect patient safety and privacy.
Meanwhile, Cuccinelli has remained conspicuously unengaged in the issues taking place closer to home, like worker safety violations in the mines of Southwest Virginia, open government violations taking place in the McDonnell Administration, and big bank abuses of the foreclosure process. Cuccinelli is supposed to be protecting Virginians. At this rate, he and his priorities are the ones we’re going to need protection from.