Brownlee – Cuccinelli Illegal Immigration Scrum

By Loudoun Insider

Speaking of illegal immigration, John Bronwlee has scored the endorsement of Tom Tancredo, putting Brownlee at the head of the pack on combatting illegal immigration.

At a recent candidate forum Ken Cuccinelli said he was against the E-Verify system because it contains too many errors.  Cuccinelli fans have been trying to paint Brownlee as being for an “unfunded government mandate” because he is for this easy tool for screening job applicants for immigration status (see this post at Bearing Drift).  Now there are dueling first hand accounts of what was actually said at the forum in the latest Cuccinelli and Brownlee newsletters (provided as comments 1 & 2), with Brownlee producing multiple eye witnesses to Cuccinelli’s one.  Unfortunately taping was not allowed.  As Ric James points out, there’s a credibility issue here – one of them is right and one is wrong about what transpired.

E-Verify is a must.  And it will certainly pay for itself in the long run.  Cuccinelli seems to be siding with big business and the Club For Growth rather than the citizens on this issue.  Kind of like Cuccinelli’s opposition to price gouging controls in times of disaster, which he and his supporters tried to criticize John Brownlee for supporting (brought up by Jason Kenney in the post referenced above).  In this day and age of big business excesses, Cuccinelli’s positions may win him the backing of the Club For Growth types but will cost him dearly with the average voter.  This will not help him in November should he get the nomination, and is another reason he should not be the GOP nominee.


  • John Brownlee’s Inaccurate Rhectoric
    The Cuccinelli Record
    Dear Delegate,

    As I have stated numerous times in previous emails – at some point in this campaign, one of my opponents would launch mischaracterizations of my record. I expected as much. Given the record of the last year I’m not surprised that such attacks would come from John Brownlee. John has on more than one occasion taken inaccurate liberties with the truth in mischaracterizing my record.

    John is out of bounds in his attack that I am somehow against E-Verify (a program established to ensure illegal aliens don’t get hired). His attack is patently false – and like other attacks, John Brownlee also implies that I’m somehow soft on illegal immigration.

    It’s pathetic especially since it’s aimed at me, the one State Senator in Virginia who has been more successful than any other State Senator in getting legislation passed at curbing illegal immigration – but folks – desperate campaigns in desperate situations – well, they do desperate things. It sure would be nice to run positive, issue oriented campaigns and when you have issue differences, to accurately state them. Unfortunately, John Brownlee isnt doing that.

    For the record – I do not oppose any effort to verify the status of someone’s legal residency. Unlike John Brownlee, I have a proven record in the State Senate opposing illegal immigration. No where in my comments did I say I opposed E-Verify. But don’t believe me – long time party activist, VFRW member and party leader Helen Blackwell was there – and this is what she said:

    “No where in Ken’s comments Saturday did he say he opposed E-Verify. In fact, he recited his record supporting E-Verify in the State Senate. Ken said that they have not yet been able to get E-Verify out of Committee in the State Senate, and he suggested that an approach he would support would be to have the state government go first, then require private employers to use E-Verify. Ken said generally that he believes that the government should first impose requirements on itself before imposing those requirements on business.”

    Amazingly, John Brownlee’s lack of research has missed an important point. Working with then Attorney General Bob McDonnell, I actually PASSED legislation REQUIRING that all state government contractors hire only legal residents of the United States and for the first time, giving the Commonwealth the ability to FIRE contractors not in compliance. As simple and straight forward as that sounds – this was an enormously difficult bill to pass in the Senate. John didn’t mention that in his email. Another case of false rhetoric versus the actual record.

    Our campaign is moving into an unbelievable level of activity with growing support statewide (hence the attacks). We are focused on our winning message – a message for conservatives, and a message for all Virginians. I’m in this race to protect Virginia’s families from the continued oppressive federal government that seeks to rule every aspect of our lives – and our pocket books. To stop the waste in Washington from trickling down to Richmond. To end the tax and spend – and spend and tax – and to keep Virginia’s working families safe.

    To learn more on my record, and the facts about this race, please log on to


    Ken Cuccinelli II

  • The Brownlee Report
    A Grassroots Update from Virginia’s Conservative Prosecutor


    John Brownlee is a solid conservative who understands the danger to our nation posed by illegal immigration. As United States Attorney, John was on the frontlines of the crackdown against illegal workers in Virginia. As Virginia’s next Attorney General, John will lead the fight to halt illegal immigration. John will push for a strong, mandatory employment verification system, and he will use his office to insist that the Federal government enforce our nation’s immigration laws. I am pleased to endorse his candidacy.
    Former Congressman & Presidential Candidate
    Tom Tancredo (R-Colorado)


    I am so pleased to announce that former Colorado Congressman and 2008 Republican Presidential hopeful Tom Tancredo has joined Team Brownlee.

    Congressman Tancredo understands that Virginia needs a strong and experienced Attorney General who has a record of fighting illegal immigration. Tom is one of America’s leading voices on the issue of illegal immigration. Tom served in the Colorado State legislature for five years, and then was appointed the Secretary of Education’s Regional Representative by Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. In 1998, Tom was elected to the U.S. Congress, where he served for a decade before retiring to focus on his 2008 Presidential bid.

    In 1994, Tom started TEAM AMERICA PAC, a political action committee that supports candidates to Congress who support strengthened U.S. borders and enhanced national security. No one has done more for the cause of securing our borders and highlighting the problems created by illegal immigration than Congressman Tom Tancredo. We are grateful to have his support.

    Every day, more and more excited and enthusiastic Republicans are joining Team Brownlee. They know that our campaign offers Virginia Republicans the best chance of defeating the Democrats and winning in November. I hope you will consider joining Tom Tancredo, former Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore, more than 100 local law enforcement officials and Republican Party leaders from every corner of Virginia in supporting our campaign by joining “Team Brownlee” today.

    Lee Ann are grateful for all of our supporters and your prayers.


    John Brownlee

  • Part II of Brownlee message:



    On April 27, Team Brownlee sent out a position paper describing John Brownlee’s record of fighting illegal immigration, and his support for making the use of the federal government’s E-Verify system mandatory for all employers in the Commonwealth, including the state government, in an effort to reduce the number of illegal aliens in Virginia.

    John’s reasonable and thoughtful comments focused on the successful E-Verify program, which is supported by a vast majority of Republicans in Congress as well a number of right-thinking Democrats, and is rated a successful program by analysts at America’s premier conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation.

    In one sentence of our position paper, we noted that one of John’s Republican competitors “said he opposed requiring private employers to use E-Verify, suggesting the system was too flawed to be reliable.” John’s opponent made those comments during last Saturday’s VFRW debate.

    At around 1:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, John’s opponent sent delegates an email in which he denied making such a statement and accused our campaign of launching an “attack” on his record.

    As a former prosecutor and United States Attorney, John is comfortable with the idea of presenting the facts and letting you, the “jury,” decide whose position you agree with and who is best qualified to be our nominee.

    Here are statements from several individuals who were at the VFRW debate. These individuals agree that our position paper accurately depicted our opponent’s statement at the debate.

    Undecided, I attended the Saturday AG debate. I will make my decision based on the candidates’ stands on immigration issues. Candidate Cuccinelli surprised me as he said that he would not require businesses to use E-verify to ensure that job takers are lawfully present and eligible to work. He claimed E-verify has many errors.
    James G. McDonald
    Virginia Immigration Reform PAC
    Member, US Supreme Court Bar

    I attended the VFRW Convention this past weekend and watched the Brownlee/Cuccinelli/Foster debate. Mr. Brownlee stated that he supports E-Verify but I was surprised that Mr. Cuccinelli said that he would not impose E-Verify on businesses in Virginia.
    Peggy Een

    At the VFRW debate on Saturday, Ken Cuccinelli said that E-Verify was so full of errors that he would not require anybody in private business to use it.
    Dorothy O’Rourke

    I sat at Saturday’s VFRW debate in total disbelief on what I was hearing from Ken Cuccinelli. He stated that he would not require employers to use E-Verify because it did not work. Cuccinelli represents the Senate District that I live in so I pay extremely close attention to what he says and how he votes.
    Anna Lee
    Long-time VFRW Member
    Member of the RPV State Central Committee

    Now that you have read these statements, we ask you to do the following:

    Re-read our Brownlee Report from April 27 on this issue, including the link to analysis of instant verification by the Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector.
    Re-read the email you received from our Republican competitor overnight on April 28.

    Re-read Congressman Tom Tancredo’s statement at the top of this Brownlee report in support of John Brownlee.

    When you are done, ask yourself which candidate has given you a clear, unambiguous position on the issue of requiring both government and private employers to use E-Verify for all new Virginia employees.

    You might also want to ask yourself which candidate is presenting information to you in a manner befitting the Attorney General of Virginia.

  • VA Blogger says:

    Tom Tancredo is endorsing Brownlee? Yet another reason to find a reasonable alternative.

  • Rtwng Extrmst says:

    The facts in Ken’s Senate record is that has has supported E-verify, but the program has never gotten out of committee. His suggestion above is that it’s been extremely difficult to get this legislation through the committees because of the business lobby. Starting with State and local government would be a step in the right direction. His record and his words above say he supports E-verify. I suspect the folks quoted above (one at least a publicly known Cuccinelli hater) were in error and did not understand the statement made in context.

  • Chris says:

    Seriously, LI? On the one hand you scourge Cuccinelli and many of his supporters and people who drive moderates and independents away from the party . . . but now your TOUTING an endorsement from one of the most toxic politicians out there? It truly is the last act of a desperate campaign.

  • Rtwng Extrmst says:

    Ken Cuccinelli’s position paper on illegal immigration:

    “Cuccinelli on the Issues: Immigration

    The fourth in a series of issue positions
    from the Cuccinelli for Attorney General Campaign
    As part of the Cuccinelli for Attorney General campaign’s ongoing effort to keep delegates informed on the issues discussed in this campaign, we decided in light of John Brownlee’s misguided, deliberate attempt to mischaracterize Ken’s FACTUAL record on immigration, that we would list Ken’s position, and the numerous successful bills passed into law, dealing with this topic.

    It’s one thing – as in John Brownlee’s case – to just say you are against Illegal immigration – but with Ken Cuccinelli, his rhetoric is backed with ACTION. It defies logic that a campaign – in this case John Brownlee’s – would deliberately publish half-truth’s. But as we all know, campaigns that get stuck in the mud start to throw it.

    Ken is a FOUNDING MEMBER of the national organization of State Legislators for Legal Immigration. He is committed to passing legislation (not just talking about it – a critical difference) that removes the economic incentives that encourage illegal immigration. Illegal aliens who choose to break additional laws by stealing identities, dealing drugs, joining criminal gangs, driving without a license or committing fraud must receive prompt justice and deportation. No ifs, ands, or buts.

    Ken is the ONLY candidate for Attorney General with a PROVEN Record….not to sound like a broken one. Ken doesn’t merely say “this is my position, vote for me” (we have ample evidence of Republicans who say one thing – then do another) – but every position is backed by actual legislative effort.

    Ken is the only candidate for Attorney General that:

    Successfully passed legislation that requires all contractors doing business with the Commonwealth of Virginia to check the legal status of all employees and hire only legal residents. This law also provides – for the first time – that those contractors who cheat by hiring illegal aliens can now be terminated as state contractors (SB 517, 2008).

    Sponsored and passed legislation that made the trafficking of illegal aliens a crime – and provides for increased penalties. If you take away those who provide the means of illegal entry – you make illegal entry that much more difficult (SB815, 2007).

    Consistently supported E-Verify – a program that confirms the legal presence of prospective new employees.

    Successfully passed legislation that removes non-citizens from our voting rolls (SB 313, 2006). This legislation has resulted in hundreds of non-citizens being removed from the voting rolls – so far.

    Successfully passed legislation that finally gave counties and cities legal authority to investigate illegal boarding houses – one of the most common side effects of illegal immigration (SB 412, 2007). This bill was amended down to only apply to Northern Virginia (against Ken’s wishes), but after only one year, it was so wildly successful that four other legislators brought bills to get the same authority in their part of the Commonwealth, and the legal power now exists throughout Virginia.

    Supported then-Senator Jay O’Brien’s successful bill to deny new driver’s licenses to those who are not here legally (so called “legal presence” legislation).

    And this past session – just a few weeks ago, after cross-examining the witnesses for Sen. Yvonne Miller’s bill for over a half an hour (along with Senator McDougal and others), Ken forced an amendment on Senate Bill 1046 that “cleans out” illegal aliens that currently have driver licenses. These are illegals that already had driver’s licenses at the time that Sen. O’Brien’s bill passed. Thus, thanks in part to Senator Cuccinelli’s tenacity and leadership on this issue, Virginia is on the path to eliminating driver’s licenses for those that are not legally present in Virginia.

    Consistently supported legislation to require proof of identity when voting.

    Voted consistently against in-state tuition for illegal aliens. Virginia taxpayers should not be required to subsidize college tuition for those who are not here legally.

    Of the candidates in this race, Ken has the ONLY SOLID, PROVEN RECORD on this – and many other issues – that the next Attorney General will have to deal with. The question is – who do you trust to represent them? Candidates that have nothing but rhetoric? Or a trusted conservative with a record to back it up?

    To learn more about Ken’s factual record on Immigration and many other issues – log on to:

  • Lauren says:

    The Brownlee campaign continues to lie and twist the truth about Cuccinelli. Someone needs to warn John that he needs to think long term. There is a race beyond the convention. There are a growing amount of republicans who will not vote for him in Nov. becouse of all the lies. Both Foster and Cuccinelli have tried to keep this race clean but Brownlee has went waist deap into the mud.

  • center+right=rationale says:

    Endorsements DON’T matter, candidates do.

    Hell I think the endorsement is fine, anything to break into the headlines and keep your name out there, most people at the convention don’t know, don’t care, about these endorsements. Just gives the political crazies, all on here, something to write about.

    You wanna win statewide, you want to keep the Attorney General position in Republican hands, support Brownlee.

  • center+right=rationale says:


    Learn to spell and one might take your argument seriously instead of being distracted by stupidity. Does the comment section not spell check for you?


  • My, my….
    John certainly excited the few lone Coochies, didn’t he??
    I’ll keep a running tab of those who readily impune the character of the US Attorney for the Western District of Virginia.

  • Lauren says:

    Spelling isn’t my strong point, but this is a blog and if I don’t catch all of my mistakes you will just have to overlook it.
    I view this latest attack on Ken as a sign that John is lossing and will try anything. I expect more and more as we get closer to the convention.

  • VA Blogger says:

    CRR, everyone makes spelling mistakes. Knock it off.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    I’ve just returned from a long business trip to Mexico, so I’ve been a bit out of the loop around here (this persistent cough and fever are making me feel a bit off my game, I must confess). But the post raises several issues:

    1) who are these people who are endorsing Rs in a Virginia primary context? Thompson, Huckabee, Tancredo – why are they allowing themselves to get sucked into this at the primary stage? Why not wait and see who Virginia Republicans choose and then go to bat for that person?

    2. As is well known, I have a very contrarian view of the immigration issue and feel that if Tancredo has endorsed Brownlee, my days of detached contemplation are over. Foster is my man at least until he decides to make a fool of himself on immigration issues. I have no idea why state AG aspirants should be pitching positions on immigration other than to confuse the electorate.

    3. This influenza is only at the beginning. It could be relatively benign, or it could be a 1918 reprise. No one should make sweeping statements about it until we have a chance to watch it move around a bit and see where it crops up and how virulent it is, and how fast it mutates. We are just getting started with it.


    Lauren is correct. Brownlee must be in desperation mode if he has to distort Cuccinelli’s record. Ken is a staunch opponent of illegal immigration and supporter of capital punishment. On the one hand, he wants to portray himself as a moderate who can reach swing voters, but he criticizes Cuccinelli as if he’s some sort of liberal. Not a smart strategy. I won’t be at the convention, but if I were, I’d vote for Ken.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    Spelling is for sissies, Lauren. Ideas are what count. Don’t let little things get in the way of big things, CRR.

  • These Cooch supporters are the most touchy people I’ve ever come across!

  • Lauren says:

    Hey, lying about fellow Republicans is something that makes me VERY upset. I enjoy a good discussion about issues ( trigger man rule) but a bald face lie is something totally different.

  • Were you at the meeting Lauren??? Numerous people say Cuccinelli said he wouldn’t support a mandate for E-Verify. If Cuccinelli did say what many people said he said, then who’s lying?

  • James says:

    Lauren: Please point to the section in Cuccinelli’s response where he disputes the accounts of Brownlee’s 4 witnesses. Exactly! He doesn’t. Cuccinelli complains about being attacked, but he never disputes their accounts. Cuccinelli is upset because he is on the wrong side of a very important immigration issue. Brownlee hasn’t attacked Cuccinelli, he has simply pointed out a policy difference.

  • Lauren says:

    I was not at the meeting, however I have heard him speak to the issue a number of times. I also know he pushed the idea in the senate. I also have heard from some Republican H of D members who tell me that Ken has a history of fighting illegal immigration. Brownlee is trying to make you believe Ken is soft on illegal immigration and nothing could be farther from the truth.

  • Then why did he say what he said at the forum? Is he losing it? I think he’s looking increasingly desparate as this campaign draws to an end. And way too sensitive.

  • Lauren says:

    What I have heard him say is that he has pushed for it to start with the state and then move to the private side. He has stated that the reason for trying it this way was to try to get some Dems to go along with it.

  • Lauren says:

    Does anyone have his words? I have not seen what it is that he said, only what the Brownlee campaign is spitting out. Maybe Ken did misspeak, I don’t know. I do know that he has supported e-verify in the past and will in the future.

  • NovaConservative says:

    I’m still not over the fact that…Tom Tancredo endorsed Brownlee…and LI is still going to support the guy? Seriously?

    Brownlee continues to be desperate to outflack Cuccinelli to the right–thereby making Ken more appealing in a general. So if Cuccinelli gets out of the convention…well, then, thanks John.

  • Lauren says:

    NC, I also am suprised by the fact LI would support this. It all is very interesting to watch.

  • kelley in virginia says:

    thanks for all the different views here. brownlee & cuccinelli are set to appear mon. 5/4 at burkeville fire dept for a discussion. this event is sponsored by the lunenburg & nottoway Rep. committees.

  • I actually totally agree with Tancredo on immigration – that’s how much of a RINO I am. Of course in Club For Growth circles being against unchecked illegal immigration is considered to not be conservative. Anything that’s good for business is good for the country in their opinion, even if it drives down the wages and standards of living of current citizens. Just like Cuccinelli’s stated dislike of price gouging statutes and his implied refusal to enforce them if elected. Who cares about those citizens facing gouging prices for gas in an evacuation as long as business makes the maximum profit. Give me a break. There is a real need for good government in many instances, and price gouging protection is one of them. Cuccinelli thinks otherwise.

  • A Voter says:

    I was heavily involved in bringing national attention to the issue of illegal immigration as it was effecting us in Herndon.

    Senator Ken Cuccinelli was a great ally in this cause, as were a number of other elected officials.

    Meanwhile, Brownlee’s political activity only went as far as voting for DEMOCRATS, at the time.

  • rabble rouser says:

    Has Brownlee ever held elected office? Was he really a Democrat?

  • Recently Energized says:

    Here’s what I find interesting. KC never actually denies that he said what Brownlee (and others) claim he said. Instead, he calls the statement a “half-truth.”

    Stripping the emails down to the basics, this is the only sentence in the Brownlee email that even mentions KC: “In a response to the same question, State Senator Ken Cuccinelli said he opposed requiring private employers to use E-Verify, suggesting the system was too flawed to be reliable.”

    In neither of KC’s emails in response does KC actually deny that statement. Instead, he said (i) “nowhere in my comments did I say I opposed E-Verify” and (ii) “[he] Consistently supported E-Verify.” Brownlee never claimed he said that he “opposed E-Verify;” he claimed that he “opposed requiring private employers to use E-Verify,” something that KC to date has not denied.

  • G. Stone says:

    I for one am disappointed in the Brownlee campaign. Any honest examination of the record proves these claims to be bogus. Having worked this issue with Senator Cuccinelli over the last few years, I can tell you there are very few political leaders in either party who have done as much on this issue as Ken Cuccinelli.

    I spoke briefly with Senator Cuccinelli this morning on the phone. He too is very disappointed in the Brownlee Campaign. Many in the Republican party , myself included were happy that we had two solid conservative candidates for AG. As a grass activist on Second Amendment and Illegal Migration, I believed both men were solid on these issues that I have spent so much time working on. It was just those experiences that led me to support Senator Cuccinelli in the race for AG.

    Those who have spent any time working this issue know the truth. These activists much like those championing gun rights have very good crap detectors. There are crap detectors going off all over the state right now.

    This was a stupid move on the part of the Brownlee Campaign. They just pulled a Kilgore.
    Those of you active at the grass roots level of that election know what I am talking about.

    Disappointed big time.

  • Stone re-read the comment above and chill out. You’ve always been a huge Cooch fan, so it’s no big surprise you would be so disappointed by this mountain out of a molehill issue. Cooch is over-reacting big time.

  • G. Stone says:

    Ken’s position was actually very smart. The
    E- verify program kept getting shot down in committee. Those lawmakers unwilling to take on entrenched biz interests would always find a way to let it die. Ken’s position was to get the commonwealth to use the program, work out any bugs ( perceived or real ) and then use that as evidence that the program worked and implement it in the private sector. In politics when you keep getting the front door slammed in your face, try then to go through the side door or back door if needed. He was trying to find a realistic way to get E-verify implemented.

    The Brownlee campaign should have spent 10 minutes doing some basic homework before pulling this Kilgore. They have now opened the door for every organization in the know to call them on playing loose with the facts.

  • G. Stone says:

    Chill out= It was a horse shit plan, you caught
    us , please drop it before people start calling us the Kilgore campaign.

  • I see the new Cooch line is Kilgore!

    How about Ken’s refusal to enforce price gouging statutes?

  • NoVA Scout says:

    I love it when candidates say that they are “disappointed” in their opponents. When I was a little kid, my mother used to use that word on me with some effect, but I can’t imagine that the dynamic between two pols is such that one being “disappointed” in the other has much significance. (“John, you’ve let Ken down terribly. Aren’t you ashamed? By the way, Stoner is disappointed too. Go to your room and think about this for a while, and then come back and apologize to Mother Ken”).

    Aside from these crocodile tear aspects, I am beginning to wonder about Brownlee’s tactics. This idea of running to Cuccinelli’s right seems a little confining. It’s clear a stacked RPV deck against Brownlee and Foster – the whole process is set up to favor Cuccinelli. But, even with that, what’s most likely to work for the anti-Cooches? I would think they just have to keep consistently making the strong point that Cuccinelli is a weak candidate in Northern Virginia, one who had virtually lost his grip even on his own district and one whom the Dems would hammer into papier mache come Labor Day. If Brownlee tries consistently to get into the little cracks on the right side of Cuccinelli, doesn’t he essentially make himself as unelectable as his opponent and forgo any opportunity to start a thought process (if “thought processes” ever happen at a convention) among delegates that winning in the general election might be a desirable objective?

  • “Meanwhile, Brownlee’s political activity only went as far as voting for DEMOCRATS, at the time.”

    You’re openly admitting that you’re too $#%^’n stupid to figure out that Brownlee voted in two dem primaries to attempt an early version of “operation chaos” with the democrat’s choices in a year where the Republican candidates did not have a primary because they were uncontested?

    You’re not above playing loose with the facts, now are you?

  • kelley in virginia says:

    why can’t brownlee vote in a dem primary? i wanted to vote in the dem primary last year (to vote for hillary because i was scared of bambi–its so gratifying to be right, right?), but would have been too humiliated to take the dem ballot at my small precinct.

    i didn’t want anyone to think i could actually be a dem. horrors.

  • Lauren says:

    I wouldn’t have a problem with John voting in the democrat primary if he would have just worked to help the Republicans. However the only thing he has done in the past 15 or 20 is vote in the democrat primary. Now he wants my vote. LOL

  • Lauren says:

    15 or 20 years, sorry, please don’t yell at me CRR 🙂

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