Steve Shannon for attorney general

In the attorney general’s race, Virginians have a choice between a low-key fellow partial to brown suits, and a pugnacious culture warrior more apt to need flameproof gear.

Steve Shannon’s style is the better fit for Virginia. His thoughtful approach would preserve the reputation of the state’s law firm as a source of reliable legal advice. Ken Cuccinelli’s antics would be more entertaining, but drama is something best left to TV shows.

Shannon may be unsteady in the political realm, but he isn’t a newcomer to law enforcement. He served as an assistant prosecutor in Fairfax County, specializing in child pornography cases. He and his wife helped create a chapter of Amber Alert, a national network for rescuing abducted children.

As a Democratic delegate, Shannon has been a centrist who gravitated toward bipartisan compromises on budget and transportation issues. That background will lend him a steady hand as he guides the legislature through what promises to be a tumultuous effort to redraw political districts in 2011.

Shannon says he would partner with local law officials to battle computer crimes. He understands the need to enforce clean water and air regulations. He will work to curb predatory lending by subjecting the industry to a 36 percent cap on interest rates.

Cuccinelli’s experience as a court-appointed attorney for the mentally ill made him a valuable participant in efforts to reform state laws after the Virginia Tech massacre. His intellect could be an asset, but he relies instead on inflammatory appeals.

As a Republican state senator, his limited-government philosophy led him to oppose common-sense safety measures and some crime bills. He voted against allowing cities to enforce traffic laws with red-light cameras and even argued against stricter laws for cockfighting.

He reconciles his anti-government record and his desire to be the state’s lawyer by promising to sue the federal government over environmental and union issues.

“The government’s your client, but you’re responsible to the citizens of the commonwealth,” he said. But would he feel an obligation to all Virginians?

He sponsored a bill to waive unemployment compensation costs for companies that fire workers for not speaking English on the job. The measure would have affected only legal workers because illegal immigrants don’t qualify for unemployment benefits.

Cuccinelli’s views on reproductive rights don’t align with those of most Virginians. He favors legislation that would grant legal rights to fetuses at conception. He has sponsored bills requiring strict regulations that would put most abortion clinics out of business. He voted against a bill stating that contraception is not abortion.

He declined to commit to a nondiscrimination policy against gays and lesbians observed by former Attorney General Bob McDonnell: “ My view is that homosexual acts, not homosexuality, but homosexual acts are wrong. They’re intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law based country it’s appropriate to have policies that reflect that. ... They don’t comport with natural law. I happen to think that it represents (to put it politely; I need my thesaurus to be polite) behavior that is not healthy to an individual and in aggregate is not healthy to society.”

To put it politely, Cuccinelli’s election would bring embarrassment to Virginia, instability to the state’s law firm and untold harm to the long list of people who don’t fit his personal definition of morality.

Posted to: Editorials Opinion

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The Pilot would endorse a ham sandwich if it had a (D) after it.

That's the embarrassment.

So who do we vote for

After looking at the way what we have in office has behaved and performed, I would actually have to consider voting for the ham sandwich instead of the incumbents!


If it were on rye with mustard, I dont know....

But white bread and a little mayo (and perhaps a nice slice of tomato?) its got my vote!!

Ha! That made my day. Throw

Ha! That made my day. Throw some dill pickle chips on there and you've got a deal!

But seriously, I'll be voting for Shannon. He's the better fit for my view of limited government: Keep your hand out of my wallet and keep your nose out of my bedroom.


You've hit the nail on the head here. I think the VP should drop all pretense and change their name to the "Virginian Democrat Pilot".
I laughed so hard tears were rolling down my cheeks.

Ham Sandwich

I hear that Ham Sandwich is running as a write-in candidate in the 99th House district -- though I think he's running as an independent, so no "D" next to his name.

Ho hum.

Another "surprise" endorsement. Like the Deeds' endorsement, I'm sure it was made after "long and careful consideration." Jody Wagner's will be coming soon.

"Divisive Social Issues"

What liberals (and Libertarians) don't get is that the moral base of society is it's guard against ballooning social spending. If you can maintain - if not boost - the moral fabric of society, citizens engage in better behavior and social problems can be contained.

Undercut society's moral base and you have to increase spending on public safety, health, social services, etc. An ounce of public morality can save government a pound of spending.

You really don't get Libertarians at all

While I agree that poor moral choices often place people in need of assistance, the Libertarian approach is to not allow those who make those irresponsible choices to force others to bear the consequences. If people had to live with the consequences of their choices, instead of being bailed out by public subsidy, and rely on charitable institutions for help when they needed assistance, those consequences would lead to better moral choices.

Just as welfare has seduced generations into fatherless homes, other subsidies lead people into lives of dependency as well. So, Libertarians would eliminate public subsidy of immoral lifestyles so the consequences of those choices would encourage better choices, not try to use force to compel moral behavior in hopes of reducing the need for the subsidy.

You use force to compel good behavior in children, not adults. Libertarians know the difference.


If the behavior doesn't change and the private charitable donations don't materialize, Libertarians let society go to pot.

I rest my case.

Good point...

Our church leaders and politicians are SO good at teaching us the "right" way. By the way, when has society been "good" or "moral"? What age did that exist? I appreciate your sentiment, but how long have drugs been illegal, and how long has it been a "sin" to commit adultery? It amazes me how much people fear freedom. Tell me a time when a society failed because of too much freedom. I can give you plenty which have been convinced that they should fear the "other guy" to the point that they give up all to an oppressive regime.
"The men the American public admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth."-- H. L. Mencken


It is not the government's job to provide for those who refuse to provide for themselves. Try reading the Constitution.

Society going to pot?

No, we allow individuals who consistently make bad choices to experience their own failure, rather than facilitate their continued bad choices until they drag society down with them.


While I disagree with some of the stands of Libertarians on some social issues, I agree with them that it is not the government's job to bail everyone out. I agree with you about the cost of immorality on society.

Two Democrats

I want to thank the VA Pilot for their two endorsements. I always vote just the opposite of what the VA Pilot endorses.

What a shock

Does anyone really care who the five people who make up the Pilot's editorial board endorses for anything? The editors are nothing but mouthpieces for the liberals.

Moderate mouthpiece

Or alternately, a mouth piece for moderate, hard working citizens who expect their elected officials to do their jobs, like support education, transportation, and public safety. We can leave the pursuit of a radical social agenda on the side for others to deal with, not our elected officials. And it is baffling that conservatives would choose the republican ticket when they have caused the collapse of our transportation system according to the Virginia Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a group which is not partisan nor political; they just want safe and adequate infrastructure. For example, if Joannou et al had supported the Yes Campaign, the mid town tunnel expansion would be built today; now Portsmouth and Norfolk's citizens face a toll of $2.50 one way. I guess all the Lexus' will get through, the rest of us can take the bus. Welcome to Virginia; pay a toll, but cross your legs until you get to Maryland.


you say "...Or alternately, a mouth piece (Editorial Board) for moderate, hard working citizens who expect their elected officials to do their jobs..." Wow, talk about spin. I know those folks. While I like them personally, there is nothing moderate in their political views.

I am not saying that the Republicans are not without blame on the transportation problems. But increasing taxes without guarantees that the money will actually be spent on roads etc will only cause more problems.

One cannot possibly...

refer to themselves as 'moderate' or 'centrist' and support the modern day Dem Party. It's almost an oxymoron to link those terms with that organization! There is nothing moderate or centrist about that party, not with the faces they have leading them.

Breaking News! Developing Story! Team Coverage! Wow!

" Virginian Pilot Editorial Staff Endorses Democrat ! ! ! ! ! ! ! "

The Pilot

This editorial and the one endorsing Sen. Deeds are reasoned and well supported by the Pilot's moderate tradition.

I like the justification!

These "issues" are "devisive" because there are so many people on EACH side! Just say you don't agree with limited government and you are against conservative views on social issues, and be done with it. It's not going to change with ANY election, so we can just get rid of this section every election period. We should call this section "Platitudes". It sounds cool, but it's neither cool nor fresh.


The staunch republicans who post on these message boards support a candidate who would treat women, legal immigrants, and homosexuals as second class citizens... shocker...

I have to believe that...

Cuccinelli is quite formidable given the vileness of the attacks leveled against him here by the (ahem) always objective, always impartial, always non-partisan Pilot Editorial Board. The sheer, unabashed hatred that is present in this editorial suggests that they fear him as a true candidate for higher office, and will be quite successful in such endeavors. The more they try to villify him, the better and better he will look!


It's getting so you can judge the quality of a Conservative candidate by the vileness of the attacks leveled against them by the Liberal media. The more afraid they are of the person running against their leftist ideals, the more shrill and personal these attacks get.

Two Biggoted Editorials

Isn't it interesting that the Republican Party Nominated three pro life individuals but the Virginian Pilot only endorses two democrats - those pro abortion candidates running against Roman Catholics who follow their faith. In the third race where the Republican nominee is a prolife protestant the paper demurrers.

I guess the Pilot can't stomach a Catholic who follows his faith.

As for me I'll happily vote for McDonnell and Cuccinelli

Virginia has come a long way since 1928, even if the Pilot has not.

Yup, you hit the nail on the

Yup, you hit the nail on the head. You know, in those secret Virginian Pilot editorial board meetings, they have a contest to come up with the best ways to up the number of abortions. Winner gets a canned ham!

(sarcasm off, now)

It disheartens me how people on both sides of the political spectrum can be so divisive. There are a lot of us in the middle who are not only fed up with certain things about our government, but also with the partisan bickering and name calling that both sides have stooped to.

No one has all of the answers. Working together, perhaps we can come up with most of them. By bickering, we continue to sink even lower. The sad part is, for many of us, the "working together" part is too hard. For our politicians, it's easier to scream on TV. For many of us, it's simpler to scream on places like this message board.

It would be nice if for one day, we could log on to find thoughtful debate on here instead of socialist-this... or bible-thumper-that. Also, changing candidates names to make fun of them (like NOBama... etc) doesn't really help your argument. It makes you look like a third grader.

And before you label me a socialist, I voted for McCain.

This endorsement, such a SHOCK for VaPilot

The guy who does not even know what the office of Attorney General is gets the endorsement. He was asked to name the divisions and what each does and had NO CLUE. Watch the video as the audience is laughing at how pathetic he is in avoiding the answer. VaPilot smears the Republican but makes no mention of what a total know nothing Shannon is for the office.

This comment is VERY true
At the recent debate of the candidates for Virginia's attorney general, Republican Ken Cuccinelli put one to Democrat Steve Shannon that's probably not that hard: name each division of the attorney general’s office and explain what each does. With a question like that, a candidate is probably hoping his opponent forgets one, or mixes two up, or offers an answer that suggests incomplete knowledge of the duties they seek.


The far left Op Ed board endorses a democrat. No need for balance or any real thinking here. Just endorse the democratic candidate. Just a continuation from being in the tank for Obama.


Ham sandwich on what? WHITE bread!!!? AHA!It comes out every time.'White' bread.Typical racist republican.

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