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Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

Cuccinelli discontinues use of lapel pin

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In case you missed it over the weekend, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli found himself embroiled in another controversy, after he used a different version of the Virginia State seal on lapel pins that he gave to members of his staff. The pin was criticized because it featured a more modest version of the greek Roman goddess Virtus and it appears similar to a confederate-era version of the Virginia flag.

The story was first reported by Julian Walker of the Virginian-Pilot.

Cuccinelli has not granted an interview on the topic, but today he released the following statement on the issue. He said that this is a “media-made issue” that has become “distracting to his office”. In order to put a lid on the flap, he has decided to forgo the use of the pins.

Here is the full statement from Cuccinelli:

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Statement on office lapel pin from Attorney General Cuccinelli

RICHMOND (May 3, 2010) — Statement from Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli on his office lapel pin:

“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.”

Note:  The pins were not paid for with taxpayer dollars.  The image from the flag was not altered in any way by the attorney general or his staff.

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Meanwhile.. the Democratic Party of Virginia seems to agree that the pin flap is a distraction. Here is a statement released by Dick Cranwell, Party Chairman.

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Does Ken Cuccinelli have nothing better to do?

RICHMOND “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,” said Democratic Party of Virginia Chairman Dick Cranwell.  ” 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.”

Carnwell further stated “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.”

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Written by Ryan Nobles

May 3, 2010 at 4:30 pm

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