Guess what – Ken Cuccinelli has decided that ordering the Republican Party of Virginia to change their rules before their 2012 primary on March 6 is probably not fair to Mitt Romney and Ron Paul (he didn’t mention that it’s not his place, but that it’s not fair to the two candidates that were able to meet the strict standards):
“On Saturday, he said Virginians should be able to have their chose of the full field of presidential primary contenders, instead of the two who qualified for the March 6 primary. Of the four Republicans who filed petitions in Virginia, only former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas made the ballot. Today, he said in a statement that he still feels strongly that Virginia should change its ballot access requirements.
“However, after working through different scenarios with Republican and Democratic leaders to attempt to make changes in time for the 2012 Presidential election, my concern grows that we cannot find a way to make such changes fair to the Romney and Paul campaigns that qualified even with Virginia’s burdensome system,” he said in the statement. “A further critical factor that I must consider is that changing the rules midstream is inconsistent with respecting and preserving the rule of law – something I am particularly sensitive to as Virginia’s attorney general.”
He went on to say that he will support efforts to reduce the hurdles to ballot access in Virginia for all candidates but would not support efforts to apply changes in the 2012 presidential election.
“I do not change position on issues of public policy often or lightly,” he said in the statement. “But when convinced that my position is wrong, I think it necessary to concede as much and adjust accordingly.”
Virginia’s ballot-access requirements have come under scrutiny after state GOP officials recently determined former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry failed to submit petitions bearing 10,000 valid voter signatures, disqualifying them from the primary. Perry filed a lawsuit to have his name added to the ballot, but a U.S. District Court judge scheduled a hearing in that case for Jan. 13, four days after the ballots are to be printed.
A Virginia attorney and tea party activist have also filed a lawsuit to have Gingrich’s name added to the ballot. It contends that Gingrich met the requirement of filing 10,000 signatures and that many of those were improperly excluded. The suit also takes issue with how the Republican Party of Virginia determined that not enough signatures were valid.
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling applauded Cuccinelli’s decision to reconsider his call for ballot access changes this year, saying it would have been unfair to Romney and Paul who successfully complied with Virginia’s requirements and qualified to be on the ballot.
“Going forward, I would also encourage Attorney General Cuccinelli to avoid making public statements that criticize our state election laws while his office is defending the State Board of Elections in a lawsuit that has been brought against them by Governor Perry and certain other presidential candidates,” the statement from Bolling’s office said. “I am concerned that such public comments could be used against the Commonwealth in our effort to defend these lawsuits, and I am confident that the Attorney General would not want to do anything that could jeopardize his office’s ability to win this case.”
We call that a good old-fashioned politics burn!
Newt Gingrich lives in Virginia. Who do you think he will vote for in the primary? Mitt Romney or Ron Paul?
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