"Many of us perform balancing acts when making political endorsements. Yet this begs the question: What positions should disqualify a candidate entirely from consideration? What hostile views toward any group in America are unacceptable today? ...If a candidate had a similar, unabashed record of combating basic rights for Virginians because of their faith, their race, their nationality or any other trait, would that candidate earn the backing of any leading business group today?
...Is it important to ask what views should, in 2013, disqualify a candidate from a business endorsement? Are anti-Semitic views acceptable? What about racist? Anti-women? Or shall we recognize that, just as those views have no place in modern Virginia, having a governor with a history of mistreating Virginia's gay and lesbian citizens would be bad for business?"
-Jeff Trammell, Bob Witeck and James Parrish, in an op-ed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, criticizing the decision of the Northern Virginia Technology Council's political action committee, Tech PAC, to endorse Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in his gubernatorial bid. The endorsement has been a contentious political issue after it was revealed that McAuliffe allies tried to pressure the PAC to reverse its decision, prompting the Republican Party of Virginia and right-wing media outlets to attack the McAuliffe campaign.
Trammell, an attorney and a former rector of the College of William & Mary; Witeck, the founder and president of a communications and consulting firm; and Parrish, the executive director of Equality Virginia, argue that Cuccinelli's past statements and actions directed against members of the LGBT community disqualify him for office, let alone the endorsement of generally LGBT-friendly technology companies.
[Photo: Ken Cuccinelli (courtesy of the Office of the Attorney General). Photo 2: Bob Witeck (courtesy of Bob Witeck).]