While Eli freely admits to being left of center in US terms, but somewhat in the center or even a bit to the right as far as civilized countries, the Bunny's reaction to many things varies between puzzlement and amusement. No better venue for both to play than today's Virginia gubernatorial election where indeed, the players deck has been shuffled with a vengence.
It is interesting how Ken Cuccinelli's politically trivial pursuit of, in Willard Willard's images, Sidney Crosby, aka Mike Mann has bit him in devious ways. His opponent, Terry MacAuliffe, is not the best loved, especially on the progressive side of the Democratic Party from which many of the ground troupes come, but what enthusiasm there is has been generated by their vision of Cuccinelli which the Attorney General's enthusiastic jihad against Mann and UVa played no little part in forming. Even more importantly Cuccinelli has been pounded by the staying away of the money club based in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.
And the most interesting thing there is Mark Kington. Kington as those bunnies who took their Alzheimer medicine may remember, was the Vice-Rector of the University of Virginia, up to his armpits in the coup against the President, Teresa Sullivan. Robert Geraci, an historian at UVa has been trying to figure out what happened.
Both Warren and "Climategate" crossed my mind when the BOV announced Sullivan's "resignation" on 10 June 2012. By then, half the board members were McDonnell appointees. But when no overtly political angle established itself in the press, and attention settled on issues of online education, finances, management styles and curricular cuts, I went with the flow – despite suspecting none of these explanations had more than a shred of evidence behind it (which is still the case today), and a nagging feeling that those issues aren't "hot" enough to account for the meanspiritedness of the board's actions and the lack of transparency in its conduct.Of course, even though the department strongly backed Mann, the appointment was blocked at the Dean's office or higher, something unusual
But then, I found a reference to the Joe D and Helen J Kington professorship in environmental change. In 2011, board vice-rector Mark Kington donated $1.5m to UVa to endow the chair in his parents' memory. Amid the public protest after Sullivan's removal, Kington resigned from the board (the only visitor to do so). Kington's gift was matched by UVa alumnus Paul Tudor Jones, who had written an editorial a week after the coup praising the board's action, when, at the same time, Charlottesville's the Hook reported that Jones had been directly involved in it. In short, both men were involved in the dismissal of the president and were the co-funders of a chair in environmental change.
So, a university that aspires to raise its profile in the sciences tossed aside the judgment of its own environmental scientists, spurning the opportunity to hire one of the country's best-known climate experts. Given Mann's high profile and the intensity of opinions about him, it is hard to believe that the blocking of his rehiring by UVa was not related to "Climategate". Whoever was responsible for blocking Mann's appointment abetted, in effect, the rightwing campaign against him and against an entire field of research – even if they may have thought they were only protecting UVa's reputation.But something even more unusual happened this summer and fall. Kington stoned Cuccinelli
Mark Kington, an Alexandria venture capitalist who gave $83,000 to McDonnell in 2009, said he steered clear of Cuccinelli because “his position on climate change to me was a real non-starter, and I told him as much.”
Kington, a moderate Republican and former business partner of Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), said he would not have supported Cuccinelli even if climate change weren’t an issue. “It may be time to vote for the third-party candidate,” he said, “if only to send a message to the Republican Party that we need pragmatic solutions, not positions that are unbending.”Oh well.