Social conservative extremism costing VA gov. candidate Cuccinelli donors.
Bloomberg News: Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli has less than half as much cash as Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe, with a prominent list of Republican donors sitting out this year’s most competitive U.S. political contest — and in some cases switching sides.
The financial disadvantage four months before the election illustrates the difficulties confronting an attorney general who is campaigning on an economic growth plan yet is best known for his opposition to gay marriage and abortion.
“Mr. Cuccinelli’s very hard stance on some of the social issues is a concern for me,” said Virginia Beach developer Bruce L. Thompson, chief executive officer of Gold Key/PHR Hotels and Resorts, a financial backer of current Republican Governor Bob McDonnell who in May gave McAuliffe $25,000.
“I believe personally in a woman’s right to choose, but I also think from an economic development standpoint, we’re trying to attract businesses from other areas of the country, and we’re telling women that we’re going to regulate the way that they run their life? I just don’t think we can be exclusionary when it comes to women” and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, Thompson said.
Cuccinelli, 44, had $2.7 million in cash as of the end of June, compared with $6 million for McAuliffe, 56, the former national Democratic Party chairman and fundraiser. While McAuliffe had been expected to out-raise Cuccinelli, the Republican is lagging behind where McDonnell was at this point in his 2009 race, when he had $4.9 million in cash on hand.
Granted, a some of the lag in fundraising has to come from the fact that Cuccinelli is growing increasingly rank with the smell of impending failure; the scandals of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell threaten to pull his camaign down as well. But when donors are specifically citing certain social issues as the reason for withholding donations or even for funding the opposition, something is most definitely up there.
Cuccinelli’s been a tireless social warrior and the business community is concerned that this is the only thing he thinks about. Given the Governor’s Office, they think he’ll use it almost exclusively to wage War on Women and to fight the Homosexual Menace — which probably isn’t a bad guess. That has been his history as the state’s Attorney General.
Here’s hoping that other Republicans notice that hyping the religious-based wedge-issue politics is a fundraising loser. That would be a welcome — and long-overdue — development.
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