Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
State Sen. Ken Cuccinelli of Fairfax is the right candidate for attorney general of Virginia. He doesn't speak in poll-tested sound bites or generalities, he doesn't float with the political wind, and he takes on substantive issues even if they promise him no personal, political benefit. More important still, the actual substance of his record and positions is excellent. We enthusiastically endorse his candidacy.
Mr. Cuccinelli's opponent, Delegate Steve Shannon, also of Fairfax, campaigns as if the attorney general is merely a glorified criminal prosecutor. Never mind that the official Web site of the attorney general notes that of 14 defined roles of the office, only one involves conduct[ing] or assist[ing] criminal investigations and prosecutions in certain limited cases. Unlike Mr. Shannon, Mr. Cuccinelli understands that the attorney general is an administrator with a vast portfolio. The senator has the experience and knowledge that well prepares him for prosecutions and for those larger responsibilities.
The first of the AG's jobs is to provide legal advice to the governor and executive agencies, and another major role is to make sure Virginia's constitutional prerogatives are defended. Mr. Cuccinelli distinguished himself this summer when the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in what is known as the Melendez-Diaz case threatened to gut the state's ability to prosecute drug and alcohol cases and hobble state crime labs in general.
While Mr. Shannon wrongly labeled Mr. Cuccinelli's immediate engagement with the issue a political stunt, the senator stuck to his guns and demanded that the governor call a special session to fix the problem. Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat like Mr. Shannon, was forced to agree with the Republican's proposals. At the resulting session, the legislature adopted two …