Cross posted from Blue Virginia. For Daily Kos readers, I'd just add that I can't stress enough how powerful the Virginia Attorney General is, and also how much of a stepping stone this position has been for ambitious politicians seeking higher office. For both those reasons, we badly need to make sure Democrats - State Sen. Mark Herring specifically - take back the Virginia AG's office this November.
Please click here or on the image to view the entire "Equality Agenda," in .pdf format, from Virginia's next Attorney General - one we can all be proud of for a change! - Mark Herring. Here are a few highlights, and note the glaring contrast with Ken Cuccinelli's far-right-wing, ideologically extremist, homophobic and anti-women's-rights agenda. Note also that the two Republicans (Mark Obenshain and Rob Bell) running for AG have talked about how Cuccinelli is a model for them. In short, they are "Cuccinelli clones," as Mark Herring puts it. And that's the LAST thing Virginia needs! Instead, how about....
*"Mark will use the power of the Attorney General to support initiatives to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Virginians from discrimination and disparate treatment in state and local agencies and programs."
*"As Attorney General, Mark will partner with local school divisions to implement the new law and adopt anti-bullying policies that include and protect LGBT students"
*"Mark Herring believes that civil marriage is a fundamental right, and he supports marriage equality for same-gender couples."
*"Mark believes that it is wrong that Virginia law currently requires state and local government social services agencies to contract with, and fund with taxpayer dollars, adoption and foster care agencies that actively discriminate against LGBT Virginians seeking to adopt children."
This is great stuff, far beyond what any other candidate for Virginia Attorney General has ever proposed, and a strong reason to enthusiastically support Mark Herring's campaign. Thanks.
UPDATE: On a conference call a few minutes ago, Sen. Adam Ebbin said that Sen. Herring is "running without reservation...about his support for [the LGBT] community." More broadly, Ebbin argued that Mark Herring is the best person to restore the integrity of the office of Attorney General after Ken Cuccinelli has "lowered it in a non-professional way." Ebbin added that the public is more than ready for - in fact expects - an AG like Mark Herring who stands up for equality for all Virginians, and has done so for many years. Ebbin added that Mark Herring has shown his electability over the years by winning votes from independents, and is the most electable Democratic candidate as well as the best candidate for AG on the merits. Ebbin added, "the Republican alternatives are frightening."
Respected Virginia LGBT activist Charley Conrad talked about his strong support for Mark Herring. Conrad talked specifically about the importance of strong anti-bullying measures being implemented, and praised Sen. Herring for supporting these measures. Conrad also said he is very pleased by Sen. Herring's non-discrimination pledge in his own office. Conrad added that we can't afford any more of the "craziness" we've seen from the AG's office, but instead we need "true equality leadership" from Mark Herring.
UPDATE #2: Sen. Herring was asked (by the Washington Blade) about the controversy over Cuccinelli's defense of Virginia's "Crimes Against Nature" (anti-sodomy) law. Herring responded, "Ken Cuccinelli is wrong on this, and it shows he is captive of the hard right wing of the Republican Party and he's using this to try to galvanize the far right in his campaign, and shows why he would be a bad governor and why he's not been a good Attorney General."
Sen. Herring ripped Ken Cuccinelli on his persecution of leading climate scientist Michael Mann as "wrong" and "downright unAmerican." Herring added, "That kind of attack on science went out with Galileo.."
Sen. Herring said that Mark Obenshain and Rob Bell would take the AG office in the same direction as Ken Cuccinelli has done - they've both voted in lockstep against a woman's right to choose, supported anti-LGBT legislation, etc. Sen. Ebbin added that Sen. Obenshain carried the bill to allow discrimination at Virginia universities. Herring emphasized that "Virginia deserves better" than the type of policies pushed by Ken Cuccinelli and his clones, Mark Obenshain and Rob Bell.