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Ken Cuccinelli
Extremists will plug hard for Virginia's premier extremist.
The anti-abortion organization Susan B. Anthony List plans to use Virginia's statewide elections this year as a test-run for the nationwide congressional mid-terms in 2014. Months ago the organization pledged $1.5 million to the campaign of Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II in his contest for governor against Democrat Terry McAuliffe. But now, writes Ben Pershing, the organization is taking it one step further.
The SBA List says its “budget is comprehensive” and will include TV, radio and online ads, live phone banks and direct mail, among other elements, to develop an effective message that can be deployed to other states next year. In Virginia, the SBA List plan reads, “a longtime red state is shading purple, with liberal partisans claiming a shift in their direction.” [...]

But Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said the SBA List “represent[s] extreme politics out of step with the consensus of Americans who believe that women and families know what’s best for them.

SBA President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in February: "Ken Cuccinelli's record of fighting exploitation of the most vulnerable is not just a position that he takes, it is clearly an extension of who he is."

Exactly.

Cuccinelli epitomizes the extremism that has intensified across states coast to coast in the past few years. He's a climate-change denier, favors anti-gay discrimination and backed Arizona’s draconian immigration law. So his extremism isn't just about abortion. But that plays a big role. Which is obviously why the SBA List is on board trying out its strategy for 2014 and, presumably, for the years beyond. Curtailing women's reproductive choice has made great strides at the state level, with forced-birther groups lobbying successfully to get a record number of new laws enacted in 2011 and 2012.

Cuccinelli is more than a mere ally in Virginia's anti-abortion efforts. As Katie J.M. Baker at Jezebel writes:

That's why he's the first attorney general in the country to file a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, supports letting employers decide whether a woman has access to affordable birth control, introduced an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood in Virginia, is opposed to safe and legal abortion even in cases of rape or incest, supported targeted regulations of abortion providers (TRAP) designed as a backdoor ban to eliminate access to safe and legal abortion in Virginia, and is a leading advocate for the "personhood" movement. Phew—a lady gets carpal tunnel syndrome just writing down all the anti-women endeavors he's backed, and that's not even a full list.
Cuccinelli's extremism may turn out to be a liability come election day. And although a victory by his Democratic foe would be far from a progressive prize, it would at least move Virginia away from naked right-wing attacks on reason and likely reduce the number of casualties from the relentless undermining of women's reproductive rights.
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Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Tue May 21, 2013 at 12:11 PM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and Daily Kos.

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