Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli made a name for himself in right-leaning circles back in 2010 when he launched a state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, on the very same day President Barack Obama signed the legislation into law. These days Cuccinelli is touting those conservative bona fides as he campaigns to be the next governor of Virginia. With yesterday's announcement that GOP rival and current Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling is dropping out of the gubernatorial race, Cuccinelli has emerged as the clear frontrunner.
Writing at The Washington Examiner, Timothy Carney highlights one powerful constituency that is not so keen about Cuccinelli's rise to power: Virginia's business lobby. As Carney explains,
Liberals typically ding Cuccinelli as too socially conservative, but the Democratic Governors Association today had a different knock on him: "The people of Virginia need a governor who will be business-friendly and focused on creating jobs and growing the economy…" they wrote.
This has been a theme throughout Cuccinelli's career: significant portions of the business lobby have turned against him, not because he's too pro-life, but because of his economic conservatism.
Before running for office in 2002, Cuccinelli made a name for himself campaigning against a tax hike for new roads. Cuccinelli explicitly called out the developers lobbying for the tax hikes: "They are asking you to pay for their driveway," he said. One developer funding the campaign for the tax hike had substantial holdings along the routes where the new tax-hike-funded roads would be laid….
This year, Cuccinelli rallied behind a ballot initiative that limited the state's power of eminent domain. So in next year's general election, especially if Democrats nominate K Streeter Terry McAuliffe, expect to see the business community again lining up against the Cooch.