After breast controversy, Cuccinelli ditches new staffer lapel pins
If one statement is not enough, try, try again ...
In a second attempt to quiet controversy over new pins his political action committee bought for office staffers, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has announced that he will discontinue use of the pins, which he said have become a distraction to his office.
The new pin had featured a historic version of the Virginia seal, in which the Roman Goddess Virtus's traditionally bare breast is covered by a plate of armor. His new statement also seems to have been prompted by those who have noticed that the historic seal he chose -- there were apparently several versions before the Virginia state seal was formally adopted in the 1930s -- was one that was in use during the state's Confederate past.
Here's what Cuccinelli had to say:
The image on my office lapel pin is similar to that of a large antique state flag that hangs in the Virginia Capitol. That is where I got the idea for my pin. I liked this particular image and thought it would be something unique for my employees. I cannot believe that joking with my staff about Virtue being a little more "virtuous" in this antique version has become news. This is simply a media-made issue that has become distracting to the work of my office. I am going to end this distraction by discontinuing future use of the pin. I think we all do the citizens a service by getting back to talking about things that are more important to them, including my office's work last week to get four sexually violent predators committed to mental health treatment, the collection of $225,000 in back debt owed to the commonwealth, and assisting local law enforcement in an investigation that resulted in a drug kingpin being sentenced to life without parole.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Party of Virginia has weighed in. Party Chairman Dick Cranwell said in a statement:
Attorney General Cuccinelli has the wrong priorities for Virginia. This is the latest in a series of embarrassing actions that distract from the real challenges facing our citizens. All Virginians should be concerned that Ken Cuccinelli is wasting the people's time applying his ultra-conservative political agenda to every aspect of his job, even classical art. Under Governors Warner and Kaine, Virginia was recognized by Forbes.com and Governing Magazine. Under Ken Cuccinelli, we're only recognized by the Daily Show.
After the rulings which remove protections against discrimination, lawsuits that waste taxpayer money, and actions which cause Virginia to be a national laughingstock, Attorney General Cuccinelli's good will has run out with our citizens. Virginians demand common sense results-oriented government, not distractions, embarrassments, and misplaced priorities.
May 3, 2010; 5:20 PM ET
Categories: Rosalind Helderman
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