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One of the lead lawyers in a court battle to block implementation of federal health reform visited Elizabethtown in hopes of helping elect an ally in his efforts.
Ken Cuccinelli, attorney general of Virginia, encouraged about three dozen people at a backyard gathering Thursday to support Todd P’Pool’s candidacy for Kentucky attorney general.
Carrying the banner against the federally mandated purchase of health insurance has cast Cuccinelli in the national spotlight, including frequent appearances on Fox News programs. He describes his efforts as acting to prevent over extension of federal authority and defending “the first principles of this country.”
To date, 29 states are part of the challenge. Cuccinelli hopes Kentucky will become the 30th.
“One candidate in this race respects and reveres that legacy and is in this fight,” Cuccinelli said. “The other is AWOL.”
P’Pool, a Hopkins County prosecutor and the Republican nominee, repeatedly has declared a commitment to challenge federal regulators on several matters, including health care.
“In my first month in office, Kentucky will report for duty in the fight against Obamacare,” P’Pool said at Thursday evening’s outdoor fundraiser at the home of Mike and Rose Harris.
Jack Conway, the incumbent Democrat, spoke on behalf of President Barack Obama’s health reform bill during his unsuccessful U.S. Senate bid last year. As attorney general, he has not joined the lawsuits calling it political theater, a waste of time and citing the cost of litigation.
“His oath of office is similar to mine and the first thing in it is a promise to protect the U.S. Constitution,” Cuccinelli said. “That includes protecting it from the federal government. That’s exactly what we’re doing.”
In addition to Virginia’s lawsuit, which Cuccinelli filed, another case based in Florida also is making its way through the appeal process in federal court.
Because of constitutional questions raised, Cuccinelli says both cases are headed toward a determination by the U.S. Supreme Court. The matter could be taken up this month with a decision likely within 10 months, he said.
In addition to Cuccinelli’s visit Thursday, political commentator and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was to appear Saturday at a P’Pool event in Louisville.
Attracting two nationally regarded conservative voices is an indication that the national Republican Party sees the Nov. 8 election as winnable and recognizes its importance, P’Pool said.
“If you want a firewall against federal overreach, this is the only office that can do it,” P’Pool said.
Ben Sheroan can be reached at (270) 505-1764 or firstname.lastname@example.org.