Friday, January 20, 2006

Sen. Cuccinelli Speaks Out on the Potts Matter

Potts and Pans You will remember that Senator Russ Potts, who ran for his Senate seat as a Republican, declared himself to be an Independent, and ran against our party’s nominee for Governor. He swept to an awe-inspiring 2% of the vote this past November (who are these people anyway? I think they are usually called “the margin of error”). The rules of the Senate state (err, used to state) that “should any Senator, during his term of office, cease to be a member of the political party of which he was a member at the time of his election, he shall be deemed, thereby, to have forfeited all committee memberships . . .” While it might seem obvious that declaring yourself an Independent would remove you from the Republican Party, it is apparently only obvious to people NOT in the Senate. There was an attempt at a compromise, which failed. The thought in all corners was that Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling would be asked to rule on this matter, once he returned from being sworn in last Saturday. In an apparent effort to avoid that situation, the Republican floor leader introduced surprise amendments to the Senate rules on Friday morning, the day before Saturday’s inaugural ceremonies. I asked for the proposed rule changes to go by for the day, given that the rules committee had never voted on them and 39 of us had never seen them until that morning. This ordinary and traditional courtesy (something rumored to be customary in the regal Senate) was denied. (It’s funny how many of these alleged ‘traditions’ of the Senate simply disappear when Conservatives attempt to invoke them…) The rules change inserted a provision requiring a 2/3 majority in the Senate, 27 votes, to declare that a member has left his party. Sen. Newman pointed out this oddity in his questioning of the patron… the patron had no response to address that problem. This has left us in the rather odd situation where a member can declare openly that he is no longer a member of his party, but without 27 Senators voting to confirm this, he will be deemed to still be a member of the party he is trying to leave (or has already left). In other words, we now need Democrats to “confirm” that a Republican has left the Republican party… if this makes no sense to you, then you and I came to the same conclusion! Welcome to the Senate of Virginia! I wish I could report that these votes were even close. But that is not the case. I was writing and putting in amendments as fast as I could read the bill and write amendments, but most of the votes on the amendments were 36-3, with an occasional 35-4 vote. Senator Jay O’Brien and Senator Mark Obenshain consistently joined me in voting to alter the proposed rule changes, and Senator Steve Martin joined us on the key votes. Not a surprising outcome, but still shocking. By the time we got back to our office over the weekend, we had received over 70 completely unsolicited emails related to the Potts matter from all over Virginia, and in an absolute first for our office, there was not a single negative email. Amazing! Thanks to all of you for your kind words of encouragement. By the way, the rule change that was enacted further guts any significance of the political parties in the Senate, an outcome that I pointed out to no avail. C’est la vie (you know it’s bad if I’m talking French).
There you have it, the inside scoop from Sen. Cuccinelli's point of view.


At 1/20/2006 11:25:00 AM, Anonymous David Weintraub said... an absolute first for our office, there was not a single negative email. Amazing!

It's amazing, alright. I regret to say that Senator Cuccinelli is lying.

He certainly received a negative email from me, and it is simply not possible to believe there were not others.

What is the benefit of lying about this, when it can so easily be exposed?

At 1/20/2006 11:32:00 AM, Anonymous Rtwng Extrmst said...

Mr Weintraub,

Perhaps because he is not lying. Can you confirm 1: when he got back to his office? and 2: whether he received your email at the time? and 3: That your email was clearly about the Potts matter?

At 1/20/2006 02:48:00 PM, Anonymous David Weintraub said...

Mr. Extrmst,

I eagerly await the Senator's denial that he received an email from me. Perhaps the blog moderator can share the date of the Senator's communication posted here, and we can clear this up.

At 1/20/2006 03:19:00 PM, Blogger Riley, Not O'Reilly said...

Thursday, January 19, 2006 2:59 AM is when this was sent out.

Just because you may have sent your e-mail prior to this being sent out does not mean that he received and read it before he sat down to write this and send it out.

At 1/20/2006 03:41:00 PM, Anonymous David said...

The Senate vote in question was on the 13th.

If he hadn't even looked at his mail from the 13th and 14th, he shouldn't have made the statement he made. This is a very weak argument. Why not just admit that the man doesn't want to acknowledge receiving any negative mail?

At 1/20/2006 03:51:00 PM, Blogger Riley, Not O'Reilly said...

"By the time we got back to our office over the weekend"

They got out Friday around mid-day. If you sent your e-mail sometime on the 13th or 14th, it is beyond the timeframe that he described.

If that is all you've got to attack him on, well.....

Besides, can you prove that your e-mail made it through all the servers and into the inbox of the e-mail account he was checking? Did you do a receipt request and get a response with the date and time it was opened? If not, then no one, other than the Senator or his staff, can say if your e-mail was received -- not even you.

At 1/20/2006 04:13:00 PM, Anonymous Rtwng Extrmst said...

Not to mention the whole point of his text was this was ONE TIME where there were no negative emails. Obviously he was not saying he doesn't receive negative emails. Who knows how much time elapsed from when he wrote it to when it was sent out to us in the internet? This is quite a petty accusation.

At 1/20/2006 06:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

further more, Weintraub has yet to clarify whether he sent an email re: the vote to change the rules (impacting Russ Potts) or was his email about the marriage amendment? Sen. Cuccinelli was referring to the fact that he only received positive emails with regards to his motions to try and stop the rules change, not the marriage amendment vote.

At 1/20/2006 09:00:00 PM, Blogger Willis said...

Ken Cucinelli- kiss my ass.

You are not long for this senate.

At 1/20/2006 09:58:00 PM, Anonymous Rtwng Extrmst said...

Since Riley isn't here:

Watchu talkin'bout Willis?

At 1/20/2006 10:25:00 PM, Blogger Willis said...

I'm talkin' about Cuccinelli kissing my ass.

Go ahead, kiss it Ken!!

At 1/21/2006 04:03:00 PM, Anonymous David said...

Of course my email was regarding Potts. Is that not the topic of this post? I repeat, he sent his email on January 19. It's fun watching the attempts at redirection, but this is the kind of thing that causes people to disrespect lawyers, I think.

At 1/22/2006 10:47:00 PM, Blogger Riley, Not O'Reilly said...

Looks like Ken found David's e-mail:

"For the record, having had David Weintraub's blog entry brought to my attention, I asked my staff to go back through the 70 emails re the Potts situation/rule change. In fact, Mr. Weintraub is right, we did get his negative email on that subject last weekend. His subject line was virtually identical to an entire batch of emails that were positive, so it got shoved in the positive count. My apologies.
Thus, the count of emails over last weekend on the Potts rule change was 69-1, but Mr. Weintraub's email kept it from being our first-ever 'shutout' in my four years. I guess that 'first' will just have to wait.
And now back to our regular programming..."

As NLS wrote:

You can call Ken a lot of things... Ayatollah being one of them... but no one should ever call Ken a liar. Seriously, how many elected officials will get blasted on a blog, respond, then follow up after researching the issue with a correction? Very few. Good job, Senator.


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