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Del. Ebbin Introduces Bill to Curb Cuccinelli’s Power

by ARLnow.com — January 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm 1,465 36 Comments

Del. Adam Ebbin (D), who represents part of Arlington in the House of Delegates, introduced legislation this afternoon that would curtail the state attorney general’s ability to file civil actions “without the request or authorization of the Governor or General Assembly.”

Ebbin created the bill in the wake of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s lawsuit challenging the Constitutionality of last year’s sweeping federal health care reform act.

“Instead of focusing on enforcing consumer protection laws and making sure Virginia is the safest state in the country to raise a family, the Attorney General is devoting taxpayer dollars and scarce government resources to pursue symbolic lawsuits and other civil actions that serve only to promote his own agenda and political career,” Ebbin said in support of his bill, which is largely symbolic and stands little chance of passing in this year’s General Assembly session.

“Ken Cuccinelli has abandoned the tradition of good and responsible government set by his predecessors, and instead used his position as a platform to unilaterally pursue political-motivated ends,” Ebbin said in a statement. “This bill sends a clear message from the people of Virginia: not in our name, and not with our money.”

The bill would also prevents the Attorney General from representing the state in matters before the federal government or filing Amicus briefs without the authorization of the governor or the General Assembly.

See the press release issued by Ebbin’s office today, after the jump.

Richmond, VA — Delegate Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) introduced legislation Thursday which will curb the ability of the Attorney General to file civil actions without the request or authorization of the Governor or General Assembly, arguing that Ken Cuccinelli has abandoned the tradition of good and responsible government set by his predecessors, and instead used his position as a platform to unilaterally pursue political-motivated ends.

“Instead of focusing on enforcing consumer protection laws and making sure Virginia is the safest state in the country to raise a family, the Attorney General is devoting taxpayer dollars and scarce government resources to pursue symbolic lawsuits and other civil actions that serve only to promote his own agenda and political career,” said Ebbin. “This bill sends a clear message from the people of Virginia: not in our name, and not with our money.”

The bill also specifies that the Attorney General may not file amicus curiae briefs on behalf of the Commonwealth or represent the state in matters before the federal government unless requested or authorized to do so by the Governor or legislature.

“The Attorney General doesn’t act alone — he acts on our behalf and in our name,” said Ebbin, “and like any employee of the state, Ken Cuccinelli must be accountable to the taxpayers. My bill allows the Governor to oversee the Attorney General’s expenditures and protects the Commonwealth’s budget by ensuring that the people’s money is spent doing the people’s work.”

Ebbin’s legislation comes on the heels of bills introduced by Sens. J. Chapman Petersen (D-Fairfax) and Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) aimed at restricting the ability of the Attorney General to issue civil subpoenas under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act.

While Cuccinelli is likely to object to the legislation, he won’t be able to do so on constitutional grounds. The Constitution of Virginia explicitly limits the duties of the Attorney General to that which are given to him by the legislature.

  • Westover

    Good Grief

    • John Antonelli

      Well we can see where Ebbin is going with this, no where.

  • John Fontain

    “the Attorney General is devoting taxpayer dollars and scarce government resources to pursue symbolic lawsuits and other civil actions that serve only to promote his own agenda and political career,” Ebbin said in support of his bill, which is largely symbolic and stands little chance of passing in this year’s General Assembly session.”

    The irony in that quote is overwhelming.

    • Lou

      Yeah, from what I’ve heard about the legislation our delegates are putting forth, this session is not going to be anything to look back on proudly.

      What’s this guy doing about roads and transportation? Should I just assume he’s toeing the party line on that too?

      • Arlingtonthen

        How about the $260M trolley in Arlington that has no funding source that citizens didn’t get a vote on…..is that democratic Del. Ebbins?

        • DD

          +1

    • John Antonelli

      Like the County Board and their ‘racist’ HOT Lanes suit

  • Arlwhenever

    The Virginia Healthcare Freedom Act, which Cuccinelli is working to enforce by suing the Obama Administration in Federal Court to eliminate the individual mandate, passed the House of Delegates by a vote of 62 to 34 vote and passed the Democratic controlled Senate by a vote of 29 to 9.

    Mr. Cuccinelli isn’t like just any other state employee. He was elected by a 58% to 42& margin.

    It is an obscure, unearthly universe where someone who was popularly elected in a landslide and who is working to enforce a bill overwhelmingly passed by the state legislature, is said to not be doing the people’s work. Cuccinelli is representing the will of the majority of the people Mr. Ebbin — you represent only the few, and, in my opinion, you do a pretty poor job at that.

    • Dirk

      Like, um, maybe Ebbin is representing those in HIS district. And maybe the majority in THAT district don’t like what Cuccinelli is doing. Or is Ebbin supposed to just go with the flow dictated by places like Hanover County?

      • Skeptical

        +1

      • PikeHoo

        +2

      • Kalashnikev

        OMGosh… why are we always on the side of Evil here?

      • AllenB

        +20

      • Jason S

        Why would anybody past the eighth grade type “um”?

        • Will Rubin

          Um, because it allows a satirical pause intuitively explaining that the PERSON making the replied to comment is intrinsically stupid and their comment proves this as fact.

          • Will Rubin

            Um, QED.

      • Hmm

        Absolutely. This AG is using our tax dollars to fund his pet causes instead of prioritizing our actual needs.

        • brian

          You don’t need medical services within a couple days instead of a couple months?

          that’s a priority to me!

          • mehoo

            The new health care law won’t delay care. That’s patently absurd. Very little will change in how doctors and hospitals operate.

            It will allow millions to get health care in a few days that they wouldn’t get AT ALL though.

            I don’t think it’s a perfect law by any means, but the lies and distortions surrounding it are stunningly ridiculous.

          • brian

            ????

            the health care system can not withstand 40+ more million people with out major expansion

      • DouroDouro

        + A million

      • NPGMBR

        +25

    • ClarGirl

      If Cuccinelli and others had spent the time and money they took to promote, pass, and attempt to enforce the Virginia Healthcare Freedom Act and instead spent it figuring out how to provide affordable healthcare to Virginians, we’d all be a lot better off.

  • Steve

    For the Ebbin supporters – question: How exactly is Cuccinelli’s lawsuit “symbolic”? Please be precise as possible and if necessary include your definition of the word “symbolic”.

    • DouroDouro

      Symbolic, frivolous – call it whatever you want. I’m ashamed that Virginians elected this guy.

      When someone is so concerned about the state seal (which shows the Roman goddess Virtus showing a bit of skin) that they take time to redesign it to cover her up (http://hamptonroads.com/2010/04/cuccinelli-opts-more-modest-state-seal), that does make you wonder if he couldn’t be spending his time doing something more productive.

      • Steve

        I call it defending our liberty, and doing so very effectively.

        • DouroDouro

          Of course you would. Covering yourself with the flag and calling yourself a patriot doesn’t make you one.

          • Steve

            Wrapping yourself up in self-righteousness while simultaneously forcing others to participate in your poorly thought out welfare programs, doesn’t make you a force for good, despite your pretensions to the contrary.

  • DaveinSA

    Ebbin wil be history in the very new future. Out of his league and out of his element.

  • John

    The investigation of the former UVA scientist is nothing more than a scopes monkey trial of the 21st century. His harassment of researchers and our institutions is costing us jobs and research that will now power someone else’s economy. Maybe the AG should be doing something about actual crimes, rather than going on political crusades to get appearances on Fox news.

  • Wayne Kubicki

    My guess as to what this is really about – both Del. Ebbin and Alexandria Councilman Rob Krupicka have said they would run for Sen. Ticer’s 30th District Senate seat. I believe the Dem nominee would get selected via an August primary.

    Given the make-up of the 30th, one path to success in such a primary could be to position oneself as far left as possible, especially on something high-profile that would attract a Dem primary voter.

  • LVGuy

    I mean, I guess this is better than, though almost as pointless as, the right-wing solution to curbing the power of elected officials you don’t like: assassination.

    • Westover

      Now that is pretty uncalled for. Particularly when you look at Lee Harvey Oswald, a Left Winger; our Tuscon nut case who aspoused Left Wing writings; JFK who wanted to assassinate Castro, etc. Get your facts right before spewing politically biased hateful lies. Members of The Left again show it is as bad as the Palin followers.

      • PikeHoo

        “Members of The Left again show it is as bad as the Palin followers.”

        I think you mean extreme members of the left and extreme members of the right. The scope of the Left is much wider than that of Sarah Palin.

  • mehoo

    Cooch may or may not be mistaken about his suit against health care, but I don’t see that as an abuse of his power.

    The lawsuit against UVA, however, is a friggin’ witch hunt obviously based on politics. Stay out of science, Cooch. Are you going to sue to teach creationism next?

  • Jim

    The AG was elected by the people of VA. the people get what they want. silly bills like this are just a waste of time.

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