POLITICS: Campaigns

Ken Cuccinelli seeks campaign cash before assembly meets Wednesday

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Local,Virginia,Steve Contorno,Ken Cuccinelli,Campaign Finance,Campaigns,2013 Virginia Governor Race

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is urging Virginians to contribute to his gubernatorial campaign soon - before a state law prohibits him from accepting donations for at least 30 days.

The presumptive Republican nominee for governor sent an email last weekend to supporters asking for cash to help fight Democrat Terry McAuliffe in what is expected to be an expensive race this fall. But Cuccinelli warned his fans that he can't take any cash once state lawmakers return to Richmond on Wednesday. State law bars legislators and constitutional officers from accepting campaign contributions while the General Assembly is in session.

McAuliffe doesn't face those restrictions, a point Cuccinelli makes very clear in his email.

"While our campaign cannot accept donations for the next month and a half during session, my Democratic opponent can," Cuccinelli said, "and he certainly will try to use that to his advantage."

But Cuccinelli shouldn't complain, Democrats retorted. Unlike previous attorneys general who stepped down from the office to run for higher office -- including Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell -- Cuccinelli has insisted on keeping his job as the state's top lawyer.

"Ken Cuccinelli has decided to break with bipartisan precedent and keep his taxpayer-funded salary while being a part-time attorney general," said Brian Coy, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Virginia. "It's insulting to Virginia taxpayers that he is now complaining that his government job is getting in the way of his campaigning."

scontorno@washingtonexaminer.com

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