Virginia Dems mock Ken Cuccinelli's anti-sequestration stance

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Local,Virginia,Steve Contorno

Virginia Democrats attacked Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli on Wednesday for jumping onto the anti-sequestration side at the last minute.

Cuccinelli on Tuesday came out against the $1.2 trillion in defense and domestic spending cuts -- known in Washington as sequestration -- that are scheduled to go into effect Friday. The Republican governor candidate called on Congress to take actions to avert the crisis.

The Democratic Party of Virginia mocked the release as a "perfunctory statement, issued 574 days since the law establishing the damaging automatic cuts was enacted and just 3 days before they take effect."

It also noted that Cuccinelli in the past has been a proponent of shrinking the federal government, which has been a catalyst for the economic prosperity in Northern Virginia, quoting a Washington Post story from more than two years ago where he called that growth "not good."

But Cuccinelli's camp pointed to a July 12 press release from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign that quotes Cuccinelli blaming President Obama for the defense spending reductions and calling for "cooperation to avoid these types of severe sequestration cuts."

Cuccinelli had not recently weighed in on the automatic budget cuts that would devastate the Washington area economy, but he said in a statement that, "It's critical for the White House and Congress to fix the mess they created," noting the particular impact it will have on Virginia.

Both Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen were strong opponents of sequestration on the campaign trail for a U.S. Senate seat last year and Gov. Bob McDonnell has frequently lobbied Congress and President Obama to avert the cuts, which will hit Virginia harder than almost any other state in the country.

"One misleading press release will not mask Ken Cuccinelli's lifetime record as an anti-government ideologue who just this past weekend refused to oppose devastating sequester cuts that could cost Virginia 200,000 jobs," said state Democratic Party Executive Director Lauren Harmon. "Cuccinelli's belief that economic growth in Northern Virginia is 'not good' reflects a career of pursuing extreme ideological crusades that cost Virginia families."

scontorno@washingtonexaminer.com

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