Virginia Republicans Nominate Anti-Science Candidate for Governor
Last week, the Virginia Republican party nominated Ken Cuccinelli for governor, in an election to be held later this year. Just three years ago, in his current job as Attorney General of Virginia, Cuccinelli launched one of the most outrageous attacks on an academic scientist that I’ve seen in many decades. His actions would not be out of place in a totalitarian state such as the Soviet Union, or perhaps in the 1950′s McCarthyism era, when many Americans were blacklisted, denied jobs, and even fired because of their political views. But in a country where the freedom to speak is a fundamental right, Cuccinelli’s actions are frightening.
Cuccinelli used the power of government to intimidate a scientist with whom he disagreed. Not just one scientist, but 40 scientists and their colleagues, all working at the University of Virginia. His message was clear: if you disagree with me, I will come after you. Now Cuccinelli is running for governor, and in a state fairly evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, he has a good chance of winning.