New Political Ad – Cuccinelli’s Witch Hunt

July 29, 2013

Further underlining Climate Change’s maturation as a potent political issue – a new ad in the Virginia Governmental race features GOP candidate Ken Cuccinelli’s crazed fixation on persecution of climate scientist Mike Mann.

Washington Post:

RICHMOND — The newest TV ad in the Virginia governor’s race focuses on Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II’s legal battle with a University of Virginia climate scientist.

Titled “Witch Hunt,” the commercial recalls a two-year effort by Cuccinelli, the GOP nominee for governor and a climate change skeptic, to obtain records from Michael Mann, then a U-Va. researcher.

The campaign of Terry McAuliffe, Cuccinelli’s Democratic rival, released the ad Monday. It declined to say where it will run and for how long.

“It’s been called ‘Cuccinelli’s witch hunt.’ ‘Designed to intimidate and suppress,’ ” a narrator for the 30-second spot says, quoting newspaper editorials from the time. “Ken Cuccinelli used taxpayer funds to investigate a U-Va. professor whose research on climate change Cuccinelli opposed. Cuccinelli, a climate change denier, forced the university to spend over half a million dollars defending itself against its own attorney general. Ken Cuccinelli — he’s focused on his own agenda, not us.”

The ad is part of McAuliffe’s broader strategy to portray himself as a business-oriented moderate and Cuccinelli as someone outside the mainstream on a range of cultural issues. The opening image of the ad shows McAuliffe sitting at table, having a seemingly productive discussion with others gathered there.

In 2010, Cuccinelli issued a civil investigative demand — essentially a subpoena — for grant applications and correspondence exchanged among Mann, research assistants, and scientists around the country. He based that demand on a 2002 state law designed to combat government employees defrauding the public of tax dollars. Cuccinelli said he was trying to investigate if Mann had, while seeking grants to study climate change, had used manipulated data to show that there has been a recent spike rise in the Earth’s temperature.

The story became national news as part of a broad campaign by right wing science denial groups to intimidate, spy on, and persecute scientists whose research ran counter to fossil fuel and other corporate interests.

Dr. Mann discussed the episode in his Chapman lecture here .


12 Responses to “New Political Ad – Cuccinelli’s Witch Hunt”

  1. stephengn1 Says:

    It would be nice if they would have added that he utterly abused his prosecutorial power by threatening a renown professor with criminal prosecution simply to silence him.

    Deplorable tactics worthy of Joseph McCarthy

  2. On Sunday, July 21st’s “Face the Nation” John Boehner said “he and his allies (in Congress) are fighting for what they believe in.”

    In other words, their own agenda…

  3. pinroot Says:

    “Ken Cuccinelli used taxpayer funds to investigate a U-Va. professor whose research on climate change Cuccinelli opposed.”

    Then again, Mann has used taxpayer funds to do his research, but is less than forthcoming about the data, methodology, etc.

    • Really it not like he has a website with the data.

      It not like he published his research in Journals

      It not like Congress requested The National Research Council to assess the state of scientific efforts to reconstruct surface temperature records for the Earth over approximately the last 2,000 years and the implications of these efforts for our understanding of global climate change. And Maked it public.

      Really can you tell me more specific information that you are not getting?

    • g2-b31f1590b0e74a6d1af4639162aa7f3f Says:

      pinroot, maybe you should change your handle to pinhead.

      All of Mann’s data and code are freely available on-line and can easily be found by anyone smart enough to figure out how to use Google. His methodology is well documented (documentation all available on line) and can be understood by anyone with the requisite technical skills.

      Oh, and pinhea… er, I mean, pinroot, here is a link you can follow to find all of Mann’s data, code, and and details about his methodology (in case you can’t figure out that Google thing):

      Disclaimer: The material at that link is a few orders of magnitude above your pay grade.

      Folks, this post is definitely snarky and quite impolite (rude, even), but at this point in the game, people like “pinroot” deserve all of the contempt and ridicule that anyone can possibly dish out. Posts like pinroot’s are simply unworthy of polite responses.

      • Having just liked your comment, I respectfully suggest that your handle could also use some sprucing up, g2-b31f1590b0e74a6d1af4639162aa7f3f

        • g2-b31f1590b0e74a6d1af4639162aa7f3f Says:

          Unfortunately, wordpress badly mangled my handle (which should be caerbannog — aka evil bunny).

          And another message to those who claim that Mann hasn’t been “forthcoming”:

          If you haven’t been able to figure out how to find Dr. Mann’s “hockey-stick” data/code/methodology on line by now, you should not be permitted to access the Internet without adult supervision.

    • livinginabox Says:

      Why be vague? What specifically is the problem with Mann’s work?
      Your comment seems little more than mud-slinging.

      Such allegations have been made before, by spineless, anonymous people, but when checked-out, these claims have been repeatedly debunked and shown to be without merit.

      What’s even more amazing, is that people like you overlook that Mann’s work has been confirmed repeatedly, time and again, by multiple subsequent, completely independent studies. Which rather makes your claim look incredibly biased and dishonest.

      So, make specific, detailed claims or go away.

  4. […] There is important context for this ad that you can get HERE from Peter Sinclair. […]

  5. […] procuratore generale dello stato con i soldi di Big Oil & Carbon, di aver scatenato una “caccia alle streghe” contro Michael […]

  6. […] New Politcal Ad – Cuccinelli’s Witch Hunt ( […]

  7. […] Ken Cuccinelli was roundly criticized by the Virginia media, and Mr. Cuccinelli was subsequently dumped by Virginia voters in his attempt to run for governor, in part because of his rabidly anti-science […]

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