Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II on Thursday staked out strong libertarian positions on police surveillance and embraced populist ideas to streamline major parts of state government as he tries to rally Republicans and close a gap in the polls heading into the final weeks of Virginia’s gubernatorial campaign.
Mr. Cuccinelli, in a wide-ranging interview with editors and reporters at The Washington Times, cast himself as “the most pro-liberty elected statewide official in my lifetime,” reinforcing his support for restraint on the use of technologies like drones and other surveillance technology by law enforcement personnel.
“This goes to cameras and other stuff as well. I have always been on the restraint side of this, whether its traffic cameras or whether its surveillance devices for law enforcement,” he said. “We need to shackle the new technology with the old rules. And normally, you talk in terms of going the other way, but not when you’re protecting civil liberties.”
The comments come as a new NBC4/NBC News/Marist poll put Mr. Cuccinelli 8 percentage points behind his Democratic rival, Terry McAuliffe. Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis is at 9 percent.
But the Republican said the numbers he’s seeing put him within the margin of error ahead of the Nov. 5 contest. He said a comparatively high number of voters who see him unfavorably can be attributed in part to a relentless campaign run by the well-funded Mr. McAuliffe in a manner similar to the one President Obama used to defeat Republican Mitt Romney in both the overall election and in Virginia last year.
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