Cuccinelli Threat on BOH Decision: 'Agree with Me or I Won't Do My Job'
Richmond, VA - Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli never misses an opportunity to put his radical agenda ahead of the business Virginians elected him to do, but today's Virginian-Pilot reveals a new low for the AG in a tenure defined far more by outrages and disappointments than accomplishments for the Commonwealth.
The report states that, as a part of his crusade to convince the Virginia Board of Health to reconsider their decision to reduce the impact of new regulations that could shutter women's health clinics across the Commonwealth, Cuccinelli threatened members of the board that he would refuse to represent them in court unless they substituted his opinion for theirs:
"Cuccinelli has threatened Board of Health members that they could be denied state legal counsel and have to pay for their own defense if they again disregard his advice about relaxing controversial abortion clinic rules and litigation ensues."
Cuccinelli's refusal to act in his elected role as the lawyer for state agencies and boards unless they do whatever he says is par for the course for an Attorney General whose priorities in office have more to do with advancing his radical agenda than providing the responsible legal representation the taxpayers expect. It is also a direct continuation of the attacks Virginia Republicans are continuing to wage on a woman's right to make her own medical decisions, that include Bob McDonnell's forced ultrasound legislation earlier this year.
"It's no secret that Ken Cuccinelli and most Virginia Republicans think their judgment on women's health should come before that of women or their doctors, but for him to refuse to do his job unless Board of Health members comply with his threats is offensive to Virginians who hired him to serve," said DPVA Executive Director David Mills.
"If Cuccinelli is successful in bullying board members into substituting his judgment for theirs, he will risk shuttering clinics that provide valuable health services to women across the Commonwealth. He will also establish a dangerous precedent regarding the relationship between government agencies and boards charged with doing the people's business and the lawyer who is supposed to act as an advisor and advocate for that work.
"It's been too long since we had an Attorney General who valued being a good lawyer for our state government over bullying his own agenda through and basking in the national limelight."
The regulations to be reconsidered by the Board of Health this week stem from legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2011 that aims to shutter women's health clinics that perform abortions unless they comply with rigid standards that do not apply to other outpatient facilities. The legislation preceded subsequent efforts by Republicans to curb women's health care rights in Virginia including 2012's forced ultrasound bill that Governor Bob McDonnell signed amidst national outcry.