AG Bob McDonnell, the GOP’s nominee for the ’09 Governor’s race in Virginia, is currently enjoying a modest lead in the polls; but what are Virginia voters going to make of this?
At age 34, two years before his first election and two decades before he would run for governor of Virginia, Robert F. McDonnell submitted a master’s thesis to the evangelical school he was attending in Virginia Beach in which he described working women and feminists as “detrimental” to the family. He said government policy should favor married couples over “cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators.” He described as “illogical” a 1972 Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by unmarried couples.
The school? Pat Robertson’s Regent University, best known for producing Bush Administration hacks like Monica Goodling. Of course, McDonnell now claims his thesis “was simply an academic exercise and clearly does not reflect my views.” But WaPo notes:
During his 14 years in the General Assembly, McDonnell pursued at least 10 of the policy goals he laid out in that research paper, including abortion restrictions, covenant marriage, school vouchers and tax policies to favor his view of the traditional family. In 2001, he voted against a resolution in support of ending wage discrimination between men and women.
Virginia is a Purple State, with a term-limited Democratic governor and two Democratic senators, narrowly going for Obama after supporting GOP presidential candidates for decades. These ultraconservative associations could cost him big time in NoVA (northern Virginia), the state’s fastest growing area and most vital swing region.