One of the biggest stories in the Attorney General’s race is Ken Cuccinelli’s call for a special session to deal with the Melendez-Diaz v. Massacheusetts decision. While Shannon thought Cuccinelli was going to far, and wanted Kaine to find an administrative solution, it now appears that Tim Kaine agrees with Ken Cuccinelli.

The AP is reporting that a Virginia lawmaker says Kaine will call a special session to deal with the issue later today.

RICHMOND, Va. – A Virginia lawmaker says Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine will call a special session to deal with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that’s having repercussions in the state’s courts.

The legislator spoke on the condition of anonymity Tuesday night because he was not authorized to pre-empt the governor’s announcement. Kaine has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday, but his office says only that he will make two public safety announcements.

A second legislator, House Democratic Leader Ward Armstrong of Henry County, said Kaine has told him he’s leaning toward calling a special session.

The announcement is expected to take place sometime later today.
Cuccinelli was the person who realized how important this issue. He accurately predicted DUI cases would be dismissed, and made the difficult but correct decision. Once again he has stood up for what is best for Virginians, even if it may be politically difficult. Kaine’s decision to side with a candidate from the opposite party over his own candidate for Attorney General means that he realized administrative solutions were impossible, and the special session is what is necessary to fix this problem. His actions will validate Cuccinelli’s foresight, and accurate understanding of the law.
(Cross posted from VASocialConservative and also at Off The Trunk.)

Recently, six Commonwealth’s Attorneys sent a letter to Steve Shannon explaining how his stance against a special session to fix the damage to Virginia’s Statutes caused by the recent Melendez-Diaz Supreme Court ruling. To read a copy, click this link. While Ken Cuccinelli may not have been a prosecutor, he understands the law, and is willing to fight for and with the prosecutor’s in our state.

Don’t you think it would be better for Steve Shannon to meet face-to-face with Ken Cuccinelli, instead of hosting a tele-conference to ask four questions of his rival over the phone? I do, and Cuccinelli has challenged Shannon to a series of debates throughout the Commonwealth. The most interesting thing is that Shannon has not responded, yet it appears that he would rather debate Cuccinelli by fax instead of allowing the voters to hear both candidates’ positions.  This sounds eerily similar to Creigh Deeds not responding to Bob McDonnell’s requests for debates throughout the Commonwealth.

After hearing of Steve Shannon’s silly, time wasting tele-conference, Senator Ken Cuccinelli pledges NOT to do the same. However, Ken Cuccinelli did issue the following challenge:

“Steve, last week I sent you a letter asking if you would follow up on your pledge to debate me across the Commonwealth. As of today, I have yet to receive a response. I will not debate you via fax, nor by “tele-phone conference”. Pick a day, any day this weekend, or this week, and you can ask me your four questions, and I will ask mine. The people of Virginia deserve real substantive debates on issues they are concerned about. You’ve ducked two debate invitations already….will you duck this one?

Below is a link to the letter Senator Cuccinelli sent last week challenging Steve Shannon to debates around the Commonwealth. Instead of debating in person, it appears that Shannon’s “new” campaign team wants him to debate via fax.

Here is the letter that Cuccinelli sent to Shannon.

Cross posted from Crystal Clear Conservative.

By Jason Kenney
Published July 14th, 2009

Democratic Attorney General nominee Steve Shannon has finally responded to Ken Cuccinelli’s call for special session and wonders why Ken Cuccinelli couldn’t support a bill that didn’t even get out of a House subcommittee.

Shannon asks why Cuccinelli did not support Shannon’s HB 3086 in 2007 Problem is, HB 3086 died in the Criminal Law subcomittee of the House Committee of Criminal Justice.

Kinda gives you a sense of accomplishment, don’t it?

(Reposted from Bearing Drift.)

In a recent NBC 12 interview Ken Cuccinelli answered the charge that he is some radical right-winger. This is something he is regularly being accused of. As soon as Ken joined the ticket after the convention the ticket was called the “most divisive ticket” by the Democrat Party. While he was unafraid to identify himself as a social conservative, Ken reminded viewers that he is the leader in the senate on both mental health issues, and property rights issues. His ability to reach out and work with people is the reason he is able to serve as a state senator from Fairfax County. If he really were a radical wingnut it would be tough for him to win in Fairfax. Instead he has a “complete record” and seeks to find areas of agreement with all voters.

In the middle of the video (about 1:30) Ken makes the comment “If we can confuse them, we’re happy to do that.” Lowell Feld of Blue Virginia is trying to use this line as a “gotcha moment” with Ken. One other blogger even referring to this as a possible “macaca moment.” They are trying to use this to say, “Ha, Ken is out pulling the wool over our eyes.” However while you can pull a sentence out of context with any politician, this is not what Ken is saying. In the preceding sentence, Ken says, “There are a lot of issues I have been working on that just don’t fall into their carricature of me.” It is in this context that Ken makes the “controversial” statement. It is a matter of confusing people into thinking Ken is a radical right-winger. He is fine with letting people mischaracterize him. If they want to attack a straw man of him he is happy to let them remain confuses. He has a record to point to that is one of getting things done on issues important to all Virginians, and it is this record of getting things done that will lead him to victory in the fall.

(Simultaneously posted at VASocialConservative and Cuccinelli4AG.)

“We Need to Protect Virginians From Drug Dealers and Drunk Drivers.”

FAIRFAX — Today, State Senator Ken Cuccinelli, (R-Fairfax), and Republican Candidate for Attorney General, called on Governor Tim Kaine to bring the Legislature back to Richmond immediately to address the problems created by the ruling of the United States Supreme Court in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts.

This decision has begun forcing prosecutors to suspend drug and drunk driver prosecutions, “which is a situation that is bad and will likely get worse if we don’t act quickly,” said Cuccinelli.

“The first priority of Government is public safety.  It is with this in mind that I call on Governor Kaine to convene the General Assembly as soon as possible to fix the problem with our notice waiver statute in the Virginia Code.  While Virginia’s law was ruled constitutional by our Virginia Supreme Court, that ruling was a close 4-3 decision, and it is on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.  While I share our Attorney General’s opinion that Virginia should prevail under the current statute, the U.S. Supreme Court will not reconvene to hear this case until at least October, and the case is clearly a close call at best,” said Cuccinelli.

“Commonwealth’s Attorneys are on the front lines in the war on crime, they need to be secure in knowing that all Virginia’s statutes are constitutional and that their prosecutions will not be undone because of Melendez. And of course the state has an obligation to the defense, to ensure protection under the 6th Amendment. I believe the only way to ensure constitutionality is to conform Virginia’s notice waiver statute to Georgia’s, which the U.S. Supreme Court said is constitutional in theMelendez case.  Anything less I believe would be a disservice to Virginia’s Commonwealth’s Attorneys and its law enforcement community,” concluded Cuccinelli.

Until the ruling in Melendez-Diaz, the Virginia state forensic lab was able to submit a certificate of analysis of their findings for use in court in drug and D.U.I. cases.  Virginia law allows the certificate of analysis as proof of the drugs involved in the case or blood alcohol content.  “With the volume of cases analyzed, requiring court appearances by the scientist in every case has the potential to cripple the criminal justice system,” noted Cuccinelli.

Local prosecutors across the Commonwealth are also asking for a special session to fix the problem.  Louisa County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Garrett said, “Across the Commonwealth drunk drivers and drug dealers are going free in cases that would have been certain convictions two weeks ago.”

Senator Cuccinelli said, “A legislative fix would be much better than hiring 100-200 new scientists, which we couldn’t do now even if we tried.”

Senator Cuccinelli noted that under the Virginia Constitution, if the Governor does not act, the legislature can call itself into session if 2/3 of the Senators and 2/3 of the Delegates write to the Governor making such a request.  “We can call the special session now, before too much damage has been done, or we’ll end up doing it later, after hundreds or thousands of drug defendants and drunk drivers have gotten off spot-free.  I think we should act right now.”

(Originally posted at VASocial Conservative.)