The Right Note is a weekly opinion column published on Thursdays. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
With all of the attention given to the top of the ticket race for Governor in Virginia, the two down ballot races are a lot like Rodney Dangerfield — they get no respect. You can use Google if the name Rodney Dangerfield doesn’t ring a bell.
State Sen. Mark Obenshain is running as the Republican nominee for Attorney General. During his 25-year legal career, Obenshain managed one of Virginia’s 50 largest law firms. Then, he started his own firm which now has over 50 total employees.
As a Senator, Obenshain was the author of the Constitutional amendment to protect private property rights in Virginia that passed last November — receiving 57 percent of the vote here in Arlington. He also authored several pieces of legislation to toughen penalties on child predators.
Now, Obenshain wants to put his experience and proven track record to work in the Attorney General’s office and has offered a clear set of priorities for his service as AG. He will continue his work to protect our children from predators. He will defend Virginia’s right-to-work laws. He has offered a plan to protect seniors from abuse and neglect. And, he will stand up for Virginia when the federal government overreaches.
On ethics, Obenshain has come out in support of a $100 gift cap and has said he will institute stronger ethics standards in the Attorney General’s office even if the legislature does not take up this issue. He has also proposed the adoption of a Transparency in Private Attorney Contracts act to ensure complete openness in the process of retaining outside counsel for specialized legislation.
Senator Obenshain continues to put forward detailed policy proposals for the Attorney General’s office instead of the simple platitudes usually offered by his opponent.
Most recently, Obenshain unveiled his comprehensive plan to go after human traffickers in Virginia. The plan includes pushing for legislation making human trafficking a stand-alone felony offense, adding those engaging in commercial sex with a minor to the sex offender registry, extending asset forfeiture laws to human trafficking, ensuring victim compensation, and establishing a Human Trafficking Task Force to assist prosecutors. Ten days later, Obenshain’s opponent followed his lead and released a similar plan.
Virginia needs a leader like Mark Obenshain in the Attorney General’s office.
Mark Kelly is a former Arlington GOP Chairman and two-time Republican candidate for Arlington County Board.