Up Close With Ken Cuccinelli: Family Man Who is “Not Afraid to be an Outsider”


by Jin Ah Jin

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli does not follow the prototype of what a politician should be. In fact, he may be everything a politician should not be. He thinks outside the box and his brain is like a dictionary. Think “Encyclopedia Brown the Detective”; he deals in fact yet keeps things close to everyone’s hearts first.

Oh–and he loves playing basketball. This white dude can jump.

While he was a State Senator, I called Ken on various complaints and subjects within our neighborhood, from bullying in the schools to roads with crosswalks that went from 25 to 45 mph. I sent messages through his Senatorial email and was shocked, but pleasantly surprised, to receive a response every single time within 24 hours. His responses were helpful, informative responses with action and conclusions.

Believe me, when I wrote to other politicians on same subjects, they never got back to me. Either that or I was brushed off or told they never received the message–and some of those guys were on my direct dial. The thing is, I could have bypassed e-mailing AG Cuccinelli and just asked his younger brother, who is one of my very close friends, to relay my messages to him. However, I felt I needed to go through the right avenues—or perhaps I’m the type that likes to test the ilk of a politician before I step in fully.

My first phone call with AG Cuccinelli occurred about a year after the Virginia Tech murders. One of my friend’s sons, along with two other Korean-American boys, was beaten by a group of “white boys” in Blacksburg near the campus. The Korean-American boys were not drunk; if anything, they are what you would call “nerd kids”, each of them less than 5’8”. The other boys were reportedly drunk; they were also taller, muscular and there were more of them. The pictures of the Korean-American boys were not pretty, with broken limbs—and yet they were the ones that were arrested, while the “white boys”, unscathed, were not even called in. Apparently the drunk “white boys” were hounding the Korean-Americans out of retaliation for the Virginia Tech shooting (because the shooter had been a Korean-American). It escalated when they started throwing cans at the nerd boys, who were trying to ignore them and get away.

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