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Cuccinelli says he chose new lapel pins to cover history, not breast

Rosalind Helderman

A spokesman for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says Cuccinelli did not choose a new version of the Virginia seal for the lapel pins for his staffers, one in which the image of the female Virtus standing astride a prone male Tyranny is wearing a breast plate covering her traditionally bare chest, to enforce modesty at the office.

That was our remaining question for Brian Gottstein, even after reading a statement distributed by Cuccinelli's office after midnight today. In the statement, Cuccinelli indicates that he chose the pre-1930s version of the Virginia seal to be "historic" and "unique" and had intended a comment at a staff meeting about the covered chest as a joke.

Still, he didn't quite deny the covered bosom played a role in the new seal's selection. So, we asked Gottstein: Did Cuccinelli's statement mean that he chose the seal to be historic and unique and *not* because it is more modest? His response: "Yes."

(The full statement from Cuccinelli is below.)

Julian Walker of the Virginian-Pilot first reported Saturday that Cuccinelli had distributed lapel pins with the new version of the seal to his staffers.

Here's what Cuccinelli had to say on the issue:

The seal on my pin is one of many seal variations that were used before a uniform version was created in 1930. I felt it was historic and would be something unique for my staff. My joke about Virtue being a little more virtuous in her more modest clothing was intended to get laughs from my employees -- which it did! Just because we've always done something a certain way doesn't mean we always have to continue doing it that way. Now seriously, can we get on with real news?

Cuccinelli's explanation is not likely to end the story. The covered chest just has too many shades of John Ashcroft to be dismissed so easily. Walker already quoted University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato saying Cuccinelli will be ridiculed nationally for the move. Just wait until Rachel Maddow gets ahold of this tomorrow.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  May 2, 2010; 3:58 PM ET
Categories:  Ken Cuccinelli , Rosalind Helderman  
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These two knuckleheads, Governor McDonnell and AG Cucinelli, are giving me hives with their not-too-subtle misogynistic viewpoints, their Confederate flag-waving, their love of offshore oil drilling, and their lawsuit filed against the healthcare law that was only going to cost $350, but now is costing more. So much more that I last week received a fundraising letter from Cucinelli specifying his need for my money to fight the healthcare bill. But remember, it was only going to cost $350.

These guys are not focused on the important issues. They spent the majority of time in the 2010 General Assembly arguing about whether employers should or should not be allowed to implant RFID chips into their employees (like--was anybody even wanting to do that? Not!) We, the taxpayers, are the losers in this pile of hubris, partisan politics, foolishness and lack of adequate preparation.

Posted by: moiraeve1 | May 2, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I just don't buy it. This lapel pin is a close copy of the Confederate Seal of Virginia. Please join us on Facebook: Friends of the Great Seal of Virginia to honor the Official Seal of Virginia

Posted by: rich_757 | May 2, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

The real story behind the pins is not that Cuccinelli covered up Virtus' bare breast in selecting that is that the seal that he chose was designed in 1861-2 for Virginia when the Commonwealth seceeded from the Union. [Link to 1861-2 seal (2nd picture down]
Those that continue to fight the War of Northern Aggression, "that recent unpleasantness," know exactly the message that Cuccinelli is sending.
If Rachel Maddow covers this story I am sure that she will focus on this dog-whistle to the Confederacy.

Posted by: kas1 | May 2, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

you sound pretty proud of yourself Ms. Helderman... Do you track the AG's tweets or follow him on FB? Try this one if you want some real news... Extraordinary presentation by Pat Michaels + D'Aleo tracing deceptive steps taken to increase appearance of glob. warm:

Posted by: BruceFairfax | May 2, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Is there any actual public business to conduct in VA? Cuccinelli, like the Gov, seems to have an awful lot of time on his hands. This latest act is just pathetic. I expect him to be explaining his "wide stance" pretty soon.

Posted by: osullivanc1 | May 3, 2010 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Ah, John Ashcroft lives...

Posted by: NancyNaive | May 3, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Governor McDonnell and Attorney General Cucinelli. What are the odds that ONE state would elect BOTH of them within the same year?

Posted by: Jimof1913 | May 3, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

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