"The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves in all cases to which they think themselves competent, or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of the press." Thomas Jefferson (letter to John Cartwright, 1824)
Mention the words "Benghazi, gun control, IRS, seizure of the free press phone records" and most people will correlate them to the current scandals rocking Washington. Those words are much greater than scandals; they represent a slow and methodically erosion of constitutional rights and the deterioration of the liberties set forth by Jefferson and the Founding Fathers.
Washington will be content to posture and play politics with the scandals. An informal poll among friends reveals that they believe that after summer months, fueled by hot air and puffery, one committee hearing after another, no action will be taken. Washington will continue to do what it does - which is little. Not one believes that Congress will stand firm and fight for the common man or the constitution.
It has become more important than ever for states to have strong leadership and representation within their governments to fight to keep Washington from further encroaching on citizens constitutional rights. In the states, the front line on these constitutional fights are the Offices of the Attorney Generals.
In Virginia, all eyes have been on the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor's races for the Republican nominees. Ken Cuccinelli is the sole candidate for the Republican nominee for Governor and the LG's race has a field of seven candidates vying for the nod.
The race that has flown under the radar is that of the Commonwealth's Attorney General. This race is crucially important. The AG will hold the keys to the largest and most powerful law office in the state and will be responsible for determining the correct course of legal actions in accordance with the US and Virginia Constitutions.
One man has stepped up to become the next Attorney General - Mark Obenshain. Mark has served in the Virginia senate and has been a champion of constitutional rights and common sense.
As a practicing attorney, he has handled well over 100 constitutional cases during his 26 year legal career. He has handled cases in US District Courts, in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and has fought petitions in the US Supreme Court. This is what he does - Constitutional Law.
The AG's office has 265 attorneys. Mark has managed large law firms and helped found another that has grown in 12 years to 50 employees. He knows how to successful run both large and small law offices.
Mark is a strong conservative, having been named a Family Foundation "Legislator of the Year". His work in the Virginia Senate confirms his conservative principles and free market beliefs. Some of his accomplishments include:
Carrying the VA property rights amendment and legislation, putting it on the ballot in 2012 (SJ 3SB 240).
Requiring voter photo ID before casting a ballot which was signed into law this year. (SB1256)
Patroned the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
He patroned legislation to forbid insurance plans on any taxpayer-subsidized exchange from providing coverage for elective abortions.
Mark also introduced budget amendments to prevent taxpayer dollars from funding Planned Parenthood.
Mark championed the free market with the Public Labor Agreement Bill which bans government-mandated project labor agreements. He saw no reason as to why Virginia should ever close bidding to non-union shops - especially since 96% of our construction workforce is non-union. He believes the best bid should win whether it is union or non-union. The Senate passed the bill on a 20-20 vote, with Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling breaking the tie.
Mark has had successful legislation passed to protect 2nd Amendment rights. He authored the Concealed Carry Protection Act which keeps personal information of CHL holders confidential and away from the newspapers. (Remember New York and Roanoke?)
Mark has worked closely with Ken Cuccinelli (they were seat mates in the Virginia Senate) and numerous members of Ken Cuccinelli's AG staff have endorsed Mark's run. Mark was one of the three Co-Chairs that Ken named to his transition team after winning the 2009 election.
Mark is uniquely qualified to be Virginia's next Attorney General - A constitutional attorney, a legislator and as a principled conservation.
This Saturday, May 18th, Republican delegates from around the Commonwealth will be choosing our candidates for the Commonwealth's top offices. Let's choose an AG candidate that stands on and will safeguard the same ideals of freedom penned by Jefferson - freedom of person, of religion, of property, of the press by casting your delegate vote for Mark Obenshain.
Mark's website is here . I encourage you all to get to know this man and his principles.