Kaine’s spokesman on SCOTUS decision: “No one is taking this lightly”
Governor Tim Kaine is out of the state for the weekend, but according to spokesman Gordon Hickey, his legal staff is busy at work preparing to present the Governor with a long list of options to deal with the problems presented by the Supreme Court decision Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts.
Senator Ken Cuccinelli, a candidate for Attorney General called on the Governor to bring the legislature back to Richmond to deal immediately with the issue, that he claims. will lead to the prosecutors across the commonwealth dropping D.U.I cases.
“No one is taking this lightly,” said Hickey. “The Governor’s legal staff is exploring a variety of options and taking legislative action is among them.”
In a statement released late last night Cuccinelli said that the Kaine administration cannot waste time and must get the General Assembly back to work, before Commonwealth’s Attorneys across the state run out of options. Hickey said the Kaine administration is taking a measured approach to the issue and it indicated that it would be irresponsible to call the entire legislature back before exhausting all the options the Governor has in front of him.
“There is no need to jump right to the legislature,” Hickey said. “The Governor is closely working with his legal team to determine the appropriate course of action.”
Hickey said that while Kaine himself has not received calls from CA’s around Virginia, there have been “calls of concern” and that is why the staff is busy at work getting ready to provide the Governor with some options.
Cuccinelli’s opponent Steve Shannon‘s campaign has weighed in on the Melendez-Diaz issue on not suprisingly pointed to their candidates’ career as a prosecutor. Incoming Campaign Manager Mike Henry said that Cuccinelli is only attempting to “hide his weak record on drunk driving laws, with a PR stunt that would cost taxpayers money.”
Henry said that Shannon supports Governor Kaine’s efforts to find an administrative solution to the problem. His full statement can be found after the jump.
Meanwhile, Cuccinelli released to the media, the letter he sent to Kaine, asking him to bring the legislature back. A copy of the letter is posted after the jump..
STEVE SHANNON CAMPAIGN MANGER MIKE HENRY RESPONDS TO CUCCINELLI CALL FOR SPECIAL SESSION:
“As a former state prosecutor, Steve Shannon knows how important it is protect Virginians against drugs and drunk driving. Ken Cuccinelli is once again attempting to cover his weak record on drunk driving laws with a PR stunt that would cost taxpayers money.
Senator Cuccinelli has opposed tougher penalties for drunk drivers, including in 2004 when he voted against a bill to allow state law enforcement to seize the cars of individuals convicted of a felony DUI. (HB 1130 3/8/04)
This year he helped kill a bill in committee that would have increased penalties for drivers convicted of multiple DUI offenses. (SB 1422, 2/9/09)
Currently the Governor’s office is bringing together the agencies and legislators who have a stake in this decision to find an administrative solution that would spare Virginians the cost of an expensive special session.
Steve Shannon has spent his career cracking down on those who threaten the safety of Virginians and he will continue that tough approach as Attorney General. This is a public safety issue that he takes very seriously.”