We now know the lay of the land. The only candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor will be Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The Democratic nominee will be former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe.
Many already know about Cuccinelli's extreme positions on abortion, his attempts to oppose scientific research into global climate change, and so on.
Perhaps it is time to take a look at who is supporting him financially.
This Huffington Post pice provides some relevant information.
Let me stipulate the following - in Virginia it is legal for corporations to donate to state political campaigns. Information about all contributions is accessible online. There is NO ceiling on how much an individual or corporation can give to a candidate.
From the Huffington Post piece:
Overall, Cuccinelli raised $1,074,150 in the second half of 2012 for his campaign, with five-figure and six-figure contributions totaling $415,000. Virginia's campaign finance laws have no contribution limit and allow corporations to give directly.A bit more beneath the fold if you care to keep reading.
One contribution of note is the $50,000 given by Intrust Wealth Management, one of many corporations under the control of the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers. The company is a subsidiary of Intrust Bank, headed by Charles Koch. This is the second Koch contribution to Cuccinelli, who received $10,000 from Koch Industries in the first half of 2012.
According to the article, Cuccinelli has spoken at a number of Koch related events. This should not be surprising. We know the Kochs have done all they can to support climate change denial, in large part because so much of their income and wealth is derived from oil. They also are strongly opposed to government regulations of any kind - remember that David Koch was once the Vice Presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party.
Cuccinelli tried to destroy climate scientist Michael Mann. His jihad against Mann, which ultimately failed, let to that notable scientist leaving UVa for Penn State. It is worth remembering that Mann's work was acknowledged by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as having contributed substantial to the the reports that led to that organization sharing the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.
Of course, Cuccinelli is no Libertarian, not when it comes to imposing his social views upon the Commonwealth of Virginia, which is why he was able to bully a supposedly independent panel into issuing regulations that will while in effect have the result of denying women of Virginia access instate to any place where they can exercise their constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy.
Worth noting that among the other large contributions, Cuccinelli received $50,000 from The Presidential Coalition, an arm of Citizens United - remember those folks?
Folks, as of right now be clear on two things.
One, Chris Christie's opposition is likely to be a severe underdog, which means that Virginia's governor's race will be political ground zero for November.
Two, it does not matte whether you have bones to pick with McAuliffe - the choice for residents of the Old Dominion is stark - it is Terry or crazy Cooch.
Oh and by the way, should Cuccinelli actually win, do not doubt for a moment that he would be positioning himself to be on the national Republican ticket. He has already visited Iowa.
Ken Cuccinelli would, if elected, be the most extreme governor in the United States. Folks like Jindal, Haley, LePage, and Brownback would pale in comparison.
If you want to know what is at stake in Virginia, not only watch what the candidates say and do.
Remember the words of Deep Throat.
Follow the money.
And the money going to Ken Cuccinelli should tell you all you need to know.
We have to help Terry McAuliffe take back the Virginia Governor's office.