There is only one week until the election, and this is usually the time where I start investigating the races that are maybe a little bit under the radar to me, down-ticket from Jari Askins or Mary Fallin. They're usually full of names I've heard of from yard signs and maybe the occasional NPR local news brief: Corn, Lamb, Baressi, Paddack, Priest. But I took notice for real when I read a news story about a particular attorney general from Virginia coming to the Sooner State to campaign for Republican attorney general candidate Scott Pruitt.
Ken Cuccinelli is proud to be known as a warrior against ObamaCare, but he's also known as a culture warrior dealing with other constitutional things besides the commerce clause and the supremacy clause; Cuccinelli is against non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation, the separation of church and state, academic freedom, and a woman's right to choose, among other things. He's also proud to endorse and campaign for Scott Pruitt for Oklahoma AG. Virginia's top lawyer, who filed the first lawsuit in the country against the federal health care law just minutes after it was signed by Barack Obama, is endorsing Scott Pruitt in large part because Pruitt is proposing to start an office of federalism.
According to Pruitt's website, the Office of Federalism's "primary responsibility is to determine how the office can and should push back against Washington."
In addition to bringing suit against the Obama Administration’s newly passed health care mandates, the new Office of Federalism will defend Oklahomans against agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency when its regulations seek to establish climate and energy policy absent congressional action, and the Nat'l Highway Traffic & Safety Administration in setting new fuel-economy standards.
Besides his dislike of the EPA and NHTSA, Pruitt would immediately sue the government over ObamaCare if elected, even if State Question 756, which would allow Oklahoma to opt out of ObamaCare (and which would be null and void upon passage due to the presence of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution), doesn't pass. Cuccinelli wholly endorses SQ 756, calling it a question of the "dignity of the sovereign, the State of Oklahoma in this case." It would certainly be undignified of Oklahomans to pass such an unconstitutional law, supported by a state attorney general who supposedly is sworn to uphold the Constitution.
Scott Pruitt's rival in the election, Democrat Jim Priest, could certainly not be described as out of touch with Oklahoma values. He wastes 937 words on his campaign issues page retelling a story he wrote about his first gun. But compared to Scott Pruitt, Jim Priest seems like his middle name should be Delano. Ken Cuccinelli came to Oklahoma to say that he needs another extreme right-wing cultural warrior/demagogue for his fight against what Cuccinelli perceives as tyranny, and that Scott Pruitt is the man for the job. But the last thing we in Oklahoma need is another Ken Cuccinelli.