March 8, 2016 News & Press Releases · Press Releases and Announcements

Cuccinelli’s Record on the Violence Against Women Act Makes him Unfit for the Bench

by Democratic Party of Virginia

Over the coming hours, DPVA will highlight different reasons why

Cuccinelli would be a damaging choice for Virginia's Supreme Court.

Other reasons Cuccinelli is unfit for the bench: 

#1: Cuccinelli's record on women's health 

#2: Cuccinelli's record on LGBT issues

#3: Cuccinelli's multiple conflict of interest scandals

#4 Cuccinelli is bad Lawyer 

Here is a sampling of Cuccinelli's opposition to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA):

Cuccinelli One of Three Attorneys General not to Urge Congress to Reauthorize the Violence against Women Act. The Washington Times reported, “Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II was one of just three state attorneys general who did not sign onto a letter urging Congress to reauthorize the federal Violence against Women Act - a decision that is now placing Virginia’s top prosecutor squarely in the middle of another politically charged debate.” [Washington Times, 4/01/12; National Association of Attorneys General Letter to Congress, 1/11/12]

Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance: VAWA Saves Lives “In Nearly Every Locality in Virginia” Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance co-directors Kristi VanAudenhove and Alba Jaramillo wrote to Cuccinelli that the act “supports life-saving services for women, children and men in nearly every locality in Virginia, including crisis intervention, shelter, specialized law-enforcement officers, additional prosecutors, and offender-treatment programs.” [Washington Times, 4/01/12]

Editorial: “Virginians Should Remember His Cowardly Inaction” as He Runs for Governor. In April 2012, an editorial in the Roanoke Times urged Virginian s to remember Cuccinelli’s cowardice in failing to urge Congress to reauthorize the Violence against Women Act as he ran for governor. The editorial read, “Virginians should remember his cowardly inaction as he seeks to become the next governor. He should put the commonwealth solidly behind protecting women from violence and providing services that help victims. If he cannot bring himself to do that, he should explain the deficiencies he sees in the bill.” [Roanoke Times Editorial, 4/05/12]

The Stakes:

Ø  62,000 calls to domestic and sexual violence hotlines in 2010

Ø  166 Virginians lost their lives to domestic violence, a 19.4% increase in domestic homicides from 2009 to 2010

Ø  6,261 adults and children received 188,982 nights of emergency of temporary shelter due to domestic violence

Ø  …Yet 2,571 were turned away due to lack of space

Ø  4,687 forcible sex offenses, including rape and sexual assault, reported in 2010

Ø  61.3 percent of reported forcible sexual offenses victims in 2010 were under the age of 18

Ø  Approximately one in four (24.6%) of the reported  forcible sex offenses in 2010 involved offenses committed against family members or intimate dating partners

Ø  35,846 emergency protective orders were issued by magistrates and judges [Office of the Attorney General, Domestic and Sexual Violence in Virginia, 2011 Annual Report]

VAWA Delivered $4.7 Million to Virginia to Fight Domestic Violence since Cuccinelli Took Office. In April 2012 the Washington Times reported, “The Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance penned a letter to Mr. Cuccinelli earlier this month saying it was ‘deeply disappointed’ and urged him to support the law, through which Virginia has received more than $4.7 million in grants since 2010.”[Washington Times, 4/01/12]

VAWA Funded $2.8 Million in V-STOP Grants in Virginia, Supporting 92 Initiatives across the Commonwealth The Violence against Women Act provided more than $2.8 million to Virginia’s Services Training Officers Prosecutors (STOP) Violence against Women Formula Grants program in 2011. The grants are awarded to states to develop and strengthen the response of the criminal justice system to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and to support and enhance services for victims..In 2011, DCJS received $2,899,721 in federal STOP funding, representing an 11.7% increase from the 2010 allocation. Funds awarded to Virginia in 2011 will be used to support grant initiatives during calendar year 2012.  In 2011, V-STOP funds supported 92 initiatives statewide in the effort to strengthen law enforcement, investigation strategies, prosecution strategies, and victims’ services.” [Office of the Attorney General, Domestic and Sexual Violence in Virginia, 2011 Annual Report]

VAWA Funded $800,000 in Community Defined Solutions Grants in Virginia. In October 2010, the Office of the Attorney General along with the Virginia State Police and other state agencies applied for a Community Defined Solutions to Violence against Women Grant (CDS) and received a two year $800,000 grant. The funding has gone toward training and technical assistance on the state and local levels to allied professionals to enhance the coordinated community response to domestic and sexual violence and stalking, to hold offenders accountable through enforcement of protective orders and effective prosecutions, and to enhance victim safety. [Office of the Attorney General, Domestic and Sexual Violence in Virginia, 2011 Annual Report]

VAWA Funded More than $200K for Sexual Assault Services Program Grants in Virginia In FY 2011, the Violence against Women Act provided a total of $221,858 in Sexual Assault Services Program grants to Virginia, supporting 26 eligible non-profit, non-governmental, sexual assault crisis centers statewide. The grants represent the first federal funding stream solely dedicated to the provision of direct intervention and related assistance for victims of sexual assault. [Office of the Attorney General, Domestic and Sexual Violence in Virginia, 2011 Annual Report]

VAWA Funded More than $850K to Virginia’s Rape Prevention and Education Initiative. In 2011, the Violence against Women Act provided $863,443 to the Virginia Department of Health, Injury and Violence Prevention Program (IVPP), supporting the Department’s Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) initiative. The program provides technical assistance to 12 local sexual assault crisis centers to promote sexual violence prevention education in local communities. [Office of the Attorney General, Domestic and Sexual Violence in Virginia, 2011 Annual Report]

Cuccinelli Defended Failure to Sign Letter, Cited Policy to Not Endorse Federal Legislation while Still in Progress. In April 2012, Cuccinelli’s office defended his failure to sign on to the bipartisan letter, stating that his policy was not to sign on to letters regarding federal legislation. The Washington Times reported, “Cuccinelli spokeswoman Caroline Gibson said the attorney general’s office often receives requests from the association to sign on to support letters for federal legislation. But she said bills have often been amended after the initial support, sometimes to the point where the attorney general no longer backed them, so Mr. Cuccinelli’s office has adopted a policy of rarely signing onto such letters.” [Washington Times, 4/01/12]

Editorial: Cuccinelli May Not Sign Letters on Federal Legislation “But He Has Never Shied Away from Injecting Himself in National Issues” An editorial in the Roanoke Times criticized Cuccinelli, “The attorney general might be shy about signing group letters that endorse legislation, but he has never shied away from injecting himself into national issues. His attacks on health care reform, the Environmental Protection Agency and global climate change come to mind immediately.” [Roanoke Times Editorial, 4/05/12]

…Yet Cuccinelli Signed a Letter to Congress Regarding Pending Drug Legislation In June 2010, Cuccinelli signed a bipartisan letter dated June 25, 2010, to Congress urging passage of pending legislation, the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act. The letter read, “We write in support of S.3397, the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, a bill by Senator Klobuchar of Minnesota and Senator Cornyn of Texas that would amend the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to allow states and private entities to operate responsible drug take-back programs…The Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act would give the United States Attorney General authority to write new regulations governing safe drug disposal - which would, in turn, allow the Department of Justice to authorize appropriate entities to develop effective drug disposal programs.  As a result, individuals and long-term care facilities would have access to facilities where they can deliver unused controlled substances to appropriate entities for safe disposal.  This would both prevent prescription drug diversion and make our families and communities safer.  The bill will have no fiscal impact on the states.”At the time, the bill had been introduced and was pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee.  [National Association of Attorneys General, 6/25/10; Thomas, S.3397]

  •  After Letter, Bill Cleared Senate Committee and Senate Floor In July 2010, the bill cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee and in August 2010 it passed the full Senate by Unanimous Consent. [Thomas, S.3397]
  •  …Then Bill Cleared House Committee and House Floor. In August 2010, the bill was referred to both the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. [Thomas,S.3397]
  •  …Then Amended Bill Passed House after Debate In September 2010, the House passed the bill, as amended, by voice vote. [Thomas, S.3397]
  •  …Then Senate Concurred with House Amendment and Bill Signed into Law. In September 2010, the Senate voted to concur with the House amendment to the Senate bill by Unanimous Consent. In October 2010, the bill was signed by the President and became Public Law No: 111-273. [Thomas, S.3397]

Cuccinelli Received More than $260K from Health Care Industry. According to the Virginia Public Access Project, Cuccinelli has accepted $268,305 in contributions from the health care industry. [VPAP, accessed 1/06/13]

Health Care Industry among Top Industry Contributors to Cuccinelli’s AG Bid. According to the Virginia Public Access Project, the health care industry was one of the top ten industry donor’s to Cuccinelli’s 2009 run for Attorney General contributing a total of $107,006. [VPAP, accessed 1/06/13]