RICHMOND — Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II promotes his plan to cut $1.4 billion in personal and business taxes in a television commercial to be released Monday.
The ad — the Republican gubernatorial candidate’s second, and the race’s third overall — features Cuccinelli talking up his plan to cut taxes and close tax exemptions and loopholes.
(Bob Brown, Steve Helber/Associated Press) - Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Terry McAuliffe, left, and state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R)
At annual Advance retreat, some clamored for a change of direction while others vowed to stand pat.
Lawyers for the two candidates sparred over the procedures that will govern the ballot tally and the crucial days leading up to it.
The Democrat lost the race for the House seat to Republican Tom Rust by 54 votes.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy,” Cuccinelli says, speaking directly to the camera and standing in what appears to be a hardware store. “But they are being overtaxed and over regulated. I’ve a plan to make Virginia an engine for job growth. It starts with closing tax loopholes and putting an end to special interest giveaways.
“We’ll use the savings to cut taxes for those who’ve earned it: job-creating small businesses and middle class families. The powerful and well connected already get their breaks. As governor, I’ll be on your side.”
Titled “Your Side,” the 30-second spot will air statewide.
Cuccinelli faces former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe in the race to succeed term-limited Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R).
The ad continues Cuccinelli’s effort to stress economic themes rather than the social issues for which he has largely been known. Last week, the attorney general unveiled a plan to cut the corporate income tax rate from 6 percent to 4 percent over four years and shrink the individual income tax rate from 5.75 percent to 5 percent over the same period.
The tax cuts would cost the state government about $1.4 billion a year once fully implemented. Cuccinelli has said he would seek to replace that money by eliminating tax exemptions and loopholes, but he has declined to identify the specific exemptions or loopholes he would target. Democrats have predicted that the tax cuts would have to be offset with steep cuts in state services.
Cuccinelli launched the first ad of the governor’s race a week ago, with a spot that featured his wife, Teiro Cuccinelli, talking about his work with the homeless and the mentally ill and his efforts to combat sexual predators.
McAuliffe followed a few days later with a commercial that highlighted his early start in the business world and his ties to Virginia.