- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 1, 2005

When Virginians vote for attorney general on Tuesday, they will choose between a solid conservative, Robert McDonnell, a Republican member of the House of Delegates, and a triangulating Democrat, state Sen. Creigh Deeds.

If elected, Mr. McDonnell will likely be a conservative activist in combatting crime — much as Jerry Kilgore proved to be. Mr. McDonnell’s work as chairman of the Virginia Crime Commission’s Sex Offender Task Force illustrates the kind of strong leadership he would provide as attorney general.

Last week, the task force adopted several initiatives long advocated by Mr. McDonnell that would strengthen punishment of sex offenders. These include a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years imprisonment for violent sexual predators who attack children and life imprisonment for repeat offenders. Mr. McDonnell’s task force would also expand the use of Global Positioning System tracking and other forms of electronic monitoring of these offenders following their release from prison.

Sen. George Allen has campaigned vigorously for Mr. McDonnell, pointing to his work in support of initiatives that Mr. Allen enacted as governor, including the abolition of parole in Virginia, legislation making it easier to charge as adults juveniles accused of violent crimes and welfare-reform legislation limiting the amount of time recipients could receive cash assistance and requiring able-bodied welfare recipients to find work. “Bob, the taxpayers thank you,” Mr. Allen said at a recent campaign stop. “A lot of families heretofore on welfare, as fathers and mothers with their children, thank you for your great leadership.”

In fairness to Mr. Deeds, a member of the General Assembly since 1992, he is somewhat less liberal than his Democratic ticketmates. For example, it would be unimaginable that gubernational candidate Tim Kaine or lieutenant governor nominee Leslie Byrne would be endorsed by the National Rifle Association as Mr. Deeds has. But on most other issues, Mr. Deeds, a Senate back-bencher, has found himself on both sides — or simply the wrong side. Although he supports the death penalty now, for example, he pushed for a death-penalty moratorium in the past. He makes the specious charge that by refusing to support Mr. Warner’s tax increases, Mr. McDonnell was jeopardizing public safety.

Mr. McDonnell is pro-life, in contrast to Mr. Deeds, who is a strong supporter of abortion rights and has been all over the map on homosexual “marriage” and civil unions.

The Washington Times is proud to endorse Robert McDonnell to be attorney general of Virginia.

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